Judicial Watch Sues for Anti-Trump Coup Docs
Victoria Nuland, President Obama’s assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs from September 2013 until January 2017, has been linked to the notorious anti-Trump dossier fabricated by Hillary Clinton’s opposition research firm.
The author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, reportedly had developed long-standing relationships with senior State Department officials, including Nuland. “Between 2014 and 2016, Steele authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine. These were written for a private client but shared widely within the State Department and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to the Ukraine crisis.”
To understand better how the dossier’s spurious charges were spread around the Obama administration, we have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for communications between Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.
We sued because the State Department failed to respond to our November 1, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:19-cv-00574)). We are seeking:
Any and all records of communication between Ambassador Victoria Nuland and any of the following individuals between January 1, 2016, and January 25, 2017:
Professor Joseph Mifsud
Mr. Christopher Steele
Mr. Glenn Simpson
Mrs. Nellie Ohr
Former CIA Director John Brennan
Former Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
Former Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General George Toscas
Former DOJ Official David Laufman
Former Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco
Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr
Former FBI Director James Comey
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok
FBI Attorney Lisa Page
FBI Attorney James Baker
Former FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki
FBI Assistant Director Edward William Priestap
Former FBI Agent John Giacalone
Former FBI Agent Michael Steinbach
Former FBI Agent Josh Campbell
On February 4, 2018, in an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Nuland stated that she had been given details of the anti-Trump dossier directly from Christopher Steele, which she then referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
[Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding. And our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate. And that was our reaction when we saw this. It’s not our – our – we can’t evaluate this.
Nuland reportedly “green lit” the initial meeting about the anti-Trump dossier between Christopher Steele and FBI agent Michael Gaeta. Quoting from David Corn and Michael Isikoff’s book Russian Roulette, “The FBI checked with Victoria Nuland’s office at the State Department: Do you support this meeting? Nuland, having found Steele’s reports on Ukraine to have been generally credible, gave the green light.”
We intend to find out how far the Deep State was willing to go in their effort to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump. There clearly was an Obama administration no-holds-barred attempt to clear the path to the presidency for Hillary Clinton. Our FOIA lawsuits have already shown the Obama State Department was corruptly targeting President Trump.
We already exposed elements of the plot when we released 42 pages of heavily redacted State Department documents containing classified information that was provided to Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. The documents show Russian political interference in elections and politics in countries across Europe.
And then we released more heavily redacted State documents showing classified information was desperately sent to multiple U.S. Senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
Top Obama officials in the Justice Department and the FBI declared that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was the reason for investigating candidate and then President Donald Trump.
We know what they were leaking to their allied anti-Trump media friends, but what were they telling each other about this Russian business? We’d like to know.
We just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for records of communications from top Obama and Deep State FBI and DOJ officials about possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
We sued after the DOJ failed to respond adequately to a May 21, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00726)). We want:
All records of internal DOJ communications, including emails (whether on gov or non-.gov email accounts), text messages or instant chats, of officials in the offices of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General regarding possible Russian involvement and/or interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Also, on May 21, 2018, we submitted a FOIA request to the FBI seeking similar information:
All records of internal FBI communications, including emails (whether on gov or non-.gov email accounts), text messages or instant chats, of officials in the offices of the FBI Director, FBI Deputy Director and Office of General Counsel regarding possible Russian involvement and/or interference in the 2016 US presidential campaign.
The time frame for both requests is January 2016 through May 2017.
In July 2018, the DOJ claimed that it needed additional time to respond to our request but has since been unresponsive. The DOJ’s answer to us is due April 21, 2019.
The FBI asserted in June 2018 that all records responsive to the request were exempt from disclosure, claiming that release would result in interference with law enforcement proceedings.
This is the latest FOIA lawsuit in our in-depth investigation regarding the FBI’s involvement in the Russian investigation. Our extensive investigation includes discovering information on the Clinton funded anti-Trump dossier and its use to obtain FISA warrants in order to spy on the Trump campaign; politically biased messages against President
Trump between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; the leaking of former FBI Director Comey’s memos; and the relationship between FBI official Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS.
You and all Americans deserve to know the truth about what the corrupt DOJ and FBI leaders were saying when they were ginning up the bogus Russia investigation. It’s no wonder the DOJ and FBI are stonewalling. Once again, we are in the lead in investigating the worst corruption scandal in American history – the abusive targeting of President Trump by the Obama administration and the Deep State.
This week, members of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team are leaking to the press because they aren’t happy with Attorney General Barr’s summary of the special counsel report. Did the Mueller operation just begin illegally leaking just a few days ago? I think not.
This is why we just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department to find other potential leaks. We’re focused on records of the planning and preparation of the raid of the home of former Trump campaign aide Stone.
Importantly, we want to see any communications between Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office, the FBI and CNN about the raid (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00795)).
We sued after the Special Counsel’s Office failed to respond to our FOIA request on January 25, 2019, and the FBI failed to respond to two separate FOIA requests on January 25, 2019, and February 1, 2019.
- The January 2019 FOIA request to the Special Counsel’s Office sought all records of communications between SCO officials – and representatives CNN – regarding the January 25, 2019, arrest of Stone. We also asked for all records of communications between SCO officials or people acting on their behalf communicating with CNN regarding the arrest of Stone.
- The January 2019 FOIA request to the FBI sought all records of communications from government or commercial sources between officials in the offices of the FBI Director, FBI Deputy Director, Office of General Counsel, Office of Public Affairs, and/or the FBI Miami Field Office – and representatives of CNN – regarding Stone’s arrest.
- The February 2019 FOIA request to the FBI sought all planning materials used in preparation arrest and raid, as well as communications between the FBI Director, Deputy Director, Director’s Chief of Staff, and Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal Division. We also asked for all records of communications between the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office regarding the arrest and/or raid on the home of Roger Stone.
Our FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit were in part prompted by the extraordinary and exclusive video access to the raid and arrest of Stone obtained by CNN on January 25, 2019. Questioned about the extraordinary early morning access, CNN claimed it was “the product of good instincts, some key clues, more than a year of observing comings [sic] at the DC federal courthouse and the special counsel’s office – and a little luck on the timing.”
Later in the day, however, Stone told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that CNN was aware of his arrest even before his own lawyer. “It’s disconcerting that CNN was aware that I would be arrested before my lawyers were informed. So, that’s disturbing.” And during his February 8, 2019, testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said, “It was deeply concerning to me as to how CNN found out about that.”
Our FOIA filing was a simple request for information about any leaks to CNN regarding the controversial raid and arrest of Roger Stone. That we’re being stonewalled suggests that someone has something to hide. We are investigating the investigators, and it’s time for them to come clean.
We recently sent an official complaint to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) calling for investigations into leaks of information about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The complaint asks for an investigation of any leaks to CNN about the controversial raid on the home of Roger Stone and for leaks to BuzzFeed suggesting that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Until next week …