Earlier today John Solomon wrote an article noting how congressional investigators were reviewing Nellie Ohr testimony against last month’s release of FOIA documents. There are significant differences between Mrs. Ohr’s testimony about her communication and contacts with DOJ and FBI officials, and the scale of contact within the FOIA release.
According to an interview with Representative Jim Jordan, Rep Mark Meadows was considering a criminal referral. This evening, John Solomon is following up and affirming Nellie Ohr has now been referred to the DOJ for criminal prosecution (pdf below).
This doesn’t come as a surprise following the release of transcripts and the ability to contrast testimony from 2018 with recent discoveries and evidence. As a point of fact, Ms. Ohr also lied in her testimony about the timing of her Ham Radio license and use.
Not coincidentally, Fusion-GPS owner Glenn Simpson is also being reviewed for lying to investigators about his contacts and activity in connection to the dossier. Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion-GPS and it would appear Fusion was at the center of the effort to construct evidence to support the 2016 election operation against Donald Trump.
Prior to March 9th, 2016, the political surveillance and spy operations of the Obama administration were using the FBI and NSA database to track/monitor their opposition. However, once the NSA compliance officer began initiating an internal review of who was accessing the system, the CIA and FBI moved to create ex post facto justification for their endeavors. [Full Backstory]
After the NSA alerts, in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.
Since 2017 CTH research has outlined that Christopher Steele was never the factual source of all the material inside the Clinton financed dossier. Instead all indications of the granular details point toward Christopher Steele as the laundry process; where Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson’s collaborative work was formatted into an intelligence product known as the “Steele Dossier”.
Our research of central dossier claims, suppositions, accuracy and inaccuracy, points toward a process where Nellie Ohr provided Chris Steele with her research material and then Chris Steele was tasked with verifying, finding second sourcing, and formatting the final product into a series of intelligence documents that could be passed back to the FBI.
In essence, Nellie has always been the material dossier author.
Fusion-GPS’s Glenn Simpson hired (contracted) Nellie Ohr in December of 2015. It is highly likely this arrangement was due to Nellie’s research access to the FBI/NSA database. Mrs. Ohr was almost certainly doing unauthorized wide-ranging FISA(702) searches using “about queries” (option 17) and “To/From queries” (option 16).
At the conclusion of her effort (providing material she knew the FBI was exploiting for the Trump-Russia ‘spygate’ scheme), the memory stick Nellie provided to Bruce was the totality of all her raw research files. Those files included stuff Chris Steele had already compiled; raw stuff that neither was able to verify (Cohen-Prague); and search results that never made their way into the dossier.
Turning over all of the raw research would allow the FBI to explore and/or re-explore the information to see if they could extract more value. My suspicion is the memory stick from Nellie Ohr to her husband Bruce Ohr provided the unlawfully extracted seed material for what the Mueller investigation ultimately used against Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. [The Papadopoulos and Page stuff was not as valuable]
With this hand-off, the FBI research and investigative unit assisting Robert Mueller’s 2017 assembled team of prosecutors etc. was essentially the same FBI small group who constructed the 2016 insurance policy.
Nellie’s files gave Team Mueller a head-start. They didn’t need to look for too much evidence as Nellie had already explored and extracted the material they could use. It’s really not a hard pattern of dot connection once you follow the timeline and process.
This is disturbing: “This is the third case in less than a year in which a former US intelligence officer has pled or been found guilty of conspiring with Chinese intelligence services to pass them national defense information.”
VIA DOJ – A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) case officer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to communicate, deliver and transmit national defense information to the People’s Republic of China. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant Director for Counterintelligence John Brown of the FBI and Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea.
According to court documents, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, left the CIA in 2007 and began residing in Hong Kong. In April 2010, two Chinese intelligence officers (IOs) approached Lee and offered to pay him for national defense information he had acquired as a CIA case officer. The IOs also told Lee they had prepared for him a gift of $100,000 cash, and they offered to take care of him “for life” in exchange for his cooperation.
Beginning sometime in May 2010 and continuing into at least 2011, Lee received requests for information, or taskings, from the Chinese IOs. The majority of the taskings asked Lee to reveal sensitive information about the CIA, including national defense information. On May 14, 2010, Lee made or caused to be made a cash deposit of $138,000 HKD (approximately $17,468 in USD) into his personal bank account in Hong Kong. This would be the first of hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD equivalent) in cash deposits Lee made or caused to be made into his personal HSBC account from May 2010 through December 2013. (read more)
Unrelated. I’m wondering if “Assistant Director for Counterintelligence John Brownof the FBI” is the “John” in this text exchange:
“Andy” is Andrew McCabe (Former FBI Deputy Director)
“Bill” is Bill Priestap (Former FBI Director of Counterintelligence)
“Jen” is Jennifer Boone (FBI Counterproliferation unit)
“John” might very well be John Brown. Asst. Director for Counterintelligence
Then a similar case was discovered. An award winning contributor to Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazine, Dirk Gieselmann, had invented a main protagonist in a story he wrote. The SZ stated the forgery had taken place, but revealed few details, while suggesting the case was not as severe as that of Relotius.
One way or another, do two known recent cases of fictitious journalism in Germany make the problem systemic?
But what about the infamous fake news? And alternative facts? Those have been around for a while. Is that something totally different from making up plots and characters as in the above mentioned cases?
Even though it was Donald Trump who was credited with creating the fake-news brand, it was largely applied to his own statements, as well as various stories, posts and tweets coming out of Russia, on its behalf, in favour of its perceived friends, and against its perceived enemies.
Yet, has the fake news era really started with Trump and his collusion with Russia, that never actually was? While some call the Trump era “post-truth”, how should we refer to the times when, for example, a Labour prime minister was lying blatantly to justify a war that was to kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians? Or what was the director of National Intelligence in the administration of a progressive predecessor of President Trump doing as he denied NSA were spying on Americans? He was lying, as it became obvious from Edward Snowden’s revelations a little later, but it was a lie before the post-truth era kicked off “officially”.
I had to do my fair share of pondering on the fake news issue while dealing with the story of Sergei Magnitsky and William Browder. I started investigating the story well before the Trump era, but the consequences of my findings revealed in a film played out fully in the context of the new ideological war between Russia and the West.
In the course of the preparations for a new film I am to shoot this year, I wrote to Frederik Obermaier, a Munich based journalist known for the investigation of the famous Panama Papers leak. Obermaier won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the Panama Papers, as part of an ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) team. Mr Obermaier was one of the authors of the article “The Cellist and the dead Lawyer” (in the English version: “The Magnitsky Case“) published by Suedeutsche on 27 April 2016.
My new film deals, inter alia, with the ways money is laundered, and I wanted to interview Mr Obermeier, who, along with his ICIJ colleagues, has become an authority on the subject. The article Mr Obermeier co-wrote was of a particular interest to me as it appeared to have traced the money stolen in the fraud associated with the name of Sergei Magnitsky. ICIJ has recently reminded its subscribers of the great investigative article by the German colleagues, published exactly three years ago.
The article seems to have established a connection between the Magnitsky Affair (which my previous film was about) and a friend of Vladimir Putin, Sergei Roldugin. My forthcoming film is in many ways a sequel to the film about the fraud at the centre of the Magnitsky Case.
While studying Frederik Obermaier’s article and its sources I realised that it was full of mistakes. I made a list of the most obvious ones and emailed it to Mr Obermaier on the 23 October 2018. Having not heard back I sent another email on 21 November attaching an updated list of mistakes complete with explanations and links to documents disproving the majority of the claims in the article. The first time round I asked Mr Obermaier for an interview, but then I suggested we discuss the matter off the record. Anyone can make mistakes, but the ability to admit them is as important as the talent for authoring good stories, in my humble opinion. I got no response from Frederik Obermaier whatsoever.
Browder is wanted by Russia for tax evasion. He claims that the Russian criminal charges are politically motivated. Yet, the tax evasion (as well as a number of related crimes) Browder is being accused of happened in 2001, the criminal probe into it starting in 2004. It is well known, and easily evidenced, that Browder was an outspoken supporter of Putin and his government until at least 2005.
Putin understood that the country would never succeed with seven oligarchs at the helm — particularly since their interests were so counter to those of the nation. He has set clear limits to the oligarchs’ power and their meddling in the affairs of state. While there may be some things about Putin that we disagree with, we should give him the benefit of the doubt in this area and fully support him in his task of taking back control of the country from the oligarchs.
To divert attention from the the proven 2001-2004 tax evasion case, as well as the suspicion that he may have been involved in the 230 million dollar tax rebate, Browder invented a figure of the crusading anti-corruption lawyer, whistleblower, Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky existed of course, but he was Browder’s accountant, not a lawyer, and he never blew whistle on anything.
Tragically, Magnitsky died while in pre-trial detention. Browder claims he was beaten to death by eight “riot guards”. Browder presents no evidence for that, apart from selective quotations from Russian documents. Studied in full those documents, as well as an American report commissioned by Browder himself, make no mention of a murder, let alone a murder by beating. The author of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe report on Magnitsky, Andreas Gross told me on camera that Magnitsky had not been murdered but died of the “lack of care”.
The investigative journalists at Sueddeutsche Zeitung claim to have traced money flows from the Magnitsky affair, but appear unwilling to recognise that they had uncritically embraced the affair’s interpretation by someone with a vested interest in it.
It is also highly ironic that the journalists, writing about Browder’s Russian business, chose to ignore that Browder himself used off-shore schemes extensively, with the help of his Russian staff that included Magnitsky. Companies controlled by Browder have also appeared in Panama papers, e.g Berkeley Advisors and Starcliff.
In the spring of 2016 my film was secretly, and possibly illegally, seen by U.S. government officials before its premiere at the European parliament was stopped on the 27th of April, and the ARTE transmission cancelled on the 3rd of May. One of those officials was Robert Otto, a top intelligence officer at the State Department who wrote in one of many e-mails that were later leaked online. “I am beginning to feel we are all just part of the Browder P.R. machine.” – Mr Otto wrote.
I was not contacted by the SZ, either before the cancelled European Parliament screening or thereafter.
On 13 June 2018 Telepolis organised a screening of my film in Munich, with a following discussion. Frederik Obermaier and Tim Neshitov, who had written about the Magntisky case for the SZ were invited. No-one turned up, nor replied to the invitation.
The “money tracing” SZ/Panama Papers used trying to connect the Magnitsky fraud to Sergei Roldugin, was in its main part presented in the U.S. case against Prevezon Holdings Ltd (2013-2017). After almost five years of trying to prove that Prevezon received and laundered money from the Magnitsky fraud, the American government decided to avoid the litigation and to settle the case with no guilt admitted by Prevezon.
Prevezon lawyers questioned Browder as a witness under oath. It was Browder (as he himself admitted) who had personally handed Preet Bharara, then the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the version of the Magnitsky story that I disprove in my film. William Felix Browder was the source of the whole sprawling, costly case. And it’s his Magnitsky story that was essentially disproved in a court of law.
Yet the mainstream media, including the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, had no interest in taking another look at their articles which had faithfully re-transmitted Browder’s false story. And a stony, arrogant silence was all I got trying politely and tactfully to point out serious mistakes.
Panama papers became a brand name for the press standing up to corruption and wrongful secrecy of those in the position of power, whether financial or political. It would be paradoxical and particularly regrettable if a journalist, a colleague, would use a power he has acquired through a reputation for openness and association with mainstream German and international investigative networks, to obfuscate legitimate questions and documented objections.
A.: Well, we reviewed his documentation, we reviewed some of his statements and verified some of his statements via the internet.
Q.: What did he tell you?
A.: Well, he told us the story of Sergei Magnitsky.
Q.: What public source documents did he refer you to?
A.: He referred me on his website, he referred me to a Russian language newspaper.
Q.: What else?
A.: And the documents that he provided.
Q.: What documents did he provide?
A.: Copies of the bank records, copies of wire transactions
Q.: Did you get in touch with the banks to see if they were accurate?
A.: No, I did not.
Q.: And you obtained flow charts; is that correct?
A.: That’s correct.
Q.: And those were also from Hermitage that you obtained them?
Q.: So every transfer here is based on copies that are not authenticated, of records that are incomplete, based on an accounting assumption. Is that right?
A.: That would be correct.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Russia
Re-Posted May 2, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
Andrei Nekrasov has put out an article on the fake news that was behind the Magnitsky Case. He documents how there was never any evidence behind Bill Browder’s claims. Nevertheless, we are left with a question. Was all of this created fraud by Bill Browder or was there those in power who could care less if the story was true, they have been able to use it to create isolation of Russia and paint Putin as an evil warlord.
Western powers immediate moved nukes into place and pushed up against the borders of Russia. The neocons hate Trump and for whatever reason, they simply want war without purpose other than they seem to want to dominate the world and they accuse others. Every president before Trump strived for world peace. Here they are desperate to tie Trump to Putin to maintain a cold war if not turn it hot.
The Magnitsky Case is a great film. It has been banned and that is why it is the real story. If it was fake, they would let it air. But they are desperate to ban the Magnitsky Case as they were with our movie the Forecaster. There is something sinister behind the curtain and you can bet it is more than the Democrats – it involved the neocons as well.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Corruption
Re-Posted Apr 27, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
Political “space to destroy” leadership, particularly mayors in Baltimore Maryland, have an inherent disposition toward transparently corrupt behavior. Remember Sheila Dixon in ’08, or Stephanie Rawlings Blake in ’15… It’s a perpetual cycle. I digress…
Into the recent corrupt landscape comes current Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who takes bribes and graft through a pay-to-play bribery scandal for books she “authored” called “Healthy Holly”. Want a city contract?…. buy some books, easy peasy.
(Baltimore) Hauling out boxes of “Healthy Holly” books and documents, dozens of federal law enforcement agents Thursday struck businesses, homes and government buildings across Baltimore as an investigation into Mayor Catherine Pugh’s business dealings widened.
FBI agents and IRS officials executed search warrants at her City Hall office, Pugh’s two houses, and offices of the mayor’s allies, as the growing scandal consumed the city’s attention, generated national headlines and provoked fresh calls for the embattled Democratic mayor’s resignation.
“This is too much for our city,” Democratic City Councilman Zeke Cohen said. “It puts all of us under a tremendous strain, and again it is not fair either to the people that live here, or the people that work here.”
Dave Fitz, an FBI spokesman, confirmed agents from the Baltimore FBI office and the Washington IRS office searched at least six addresses. The U.S. attorney’s office confirmed the location of a seventh search. The actions were the first confirmation that federal authorities, as well as state officials, were investigating the mayor’s activities. (read more)
Perhaps the weaponization of the NSA database was the biggest research project we ever took on. That said, CTH prudence requires a lack of commentary. For a background on this story see the [“SIDE NOTE“] previously presented HERE. “The candle is not worth the flame.”
(WASHINGTON DC) The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a U.S. surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone calls and text messages, saying the logistical and legal burdens of keeping it outweigh its intelligence benefits, according to people familiar with the matter.
The recommendation against seeking the renewal of the once-secret spying program amounts to an about-face by the agency, which had long argued in public and to congressional overseers that the program was vital to the task of finding and disrupting terrorism plots against the U.S.
The latest view is rooted in a growing belief among senior intelligence officials that the spying program provides limited value to national security and has become a logistical headache.
Frustrations about legal-compliance issues forced the NSA to halt use of the program earlier this year, the people said. Its legal authority will expire in December unless Congress reauthorizes it. (read more)
…”It is up to the White House, not the NSA, to decide whether to push for legislation to renew the phone-records program. The White House hasn’t yet reached a policy decision about the surveillance program, according to the people familiar with the matter.
The White House National Security Council and the NSA declined to comment.”…
[…] In remarks over the past month, Gen. Paul Nakasone, the director of the NSA and chief of U.S. Cyber Command, has declined to offer specifics about the status of conversations about the metadata program, but he has acknowledged officials are reviewing whether it is necessary.
“It’s a collaborative process, and the administration will make the decision,” Mr. Nakasone said this month at a Marshall Forum event in Washington. “We are taking a look at it, what is the value of it, what are we able to get from it…I think the question becomes, is this a tool that we continue to need to have for our nation’s security?” (link)
May God continue to bless Admiral Mike Rogers…
Do not go about your day without contemplating the scale of this decision; and more importantly the ideological shift on the freedom continuum. 97% of our nation will have no comprehension of the importance of this story.
One of the hurdles in revealing the scale of the story behind the abused FISA process are the current interests of the intelligence community. Those who benefited from the abuse of the system have used “national security interests” as a shield to avoid revealing the history of Obama-era political surveillance and spying.
However, if the intelligence apparatus says they no longer want/need the surveillance system; that is, the specific aspect used for prior abuse; well, the shield is removed;… and, as a consequence, the history of how the NSA database was abused for political spy operation can then be revealed.
Love to all.
[U.S. DOJ] […] Candace Marie Claiborne, a former employee of the U.S. Department of State, pleaded guilty today to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, by lying to law enforcement and background investigators, and hiding her extensive contacts with, and gifts from, agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in exchange for providing them with internal documents from the U.S. State Department.
[…] According to the plea documents, Claiborne, 63, began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintained a TOP SECRET security clearance. Claiborne also was required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency as well as any gifts she received from foreign sources over a certain amount.
Despite such a requirement, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two agents of the People’s Republic of China Intelligence Service, even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years.
The gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, Chinese New Year’s gifts, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, a monthly stipend and numerous cash payments. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, while others were provided to a close family member of Claiborne’s.
In exchange for these gifts and benefits, as stated in the plea documents, Claiborne provided copies of internal documents from the State Department on topics ranging from U.S. economic strategies to visits by dignitaries between the two countries.
Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents. That same agent at one point tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.
Claiborne, who confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were “spies,” willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents, the plea documents state. After the State Department and FBI investigators contacted her, Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents. She was arrested on March 28, 2017, following a law enforcement investigation.
Judge Moss scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2019. Claiborne, of Washington, D.C., was ordered detained pending sentencing, but will self-surrender for said detention on June 5, 2019. (DOJ Link)
Original Criminal Complaint Below: