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Judicial Watch • Weekly Update: New Clinton-Weiner Laptop Lawsuit

Weekly Update: New Clinton-Weiner Laptop Lawsuit

Weekly Update: New Clinton-Weiner Laptop Lawsuit

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Strzok-Page Emails: FBI Officials Used Unsecure Email for Sensitive Data
The FBI Continues to Hide Its Interviews with Disgraced Bruce Ohr
Let’s Help “Spartacus” Get the Attention He Deserves
JW Sues for Clinton-Weiner Laptop Docs

Strzok-Page Emails: FBI Officials Used Unsecure Email for Sensitive Data

Thanks to our efforts in the courts, we’ve known for some time now that Hillary Clinton used her unsecure illicit email system to transmit sensitive information. Turns out those supposedly investigating her in the FBI did some of the same.

We just received 47 pages of records from the Department of Justice, including email exchanges between fired FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page revealing that FBI officials used unsecure devices in discussing how the U.S. could improve the sharing of sensitive data with the European Union top executive governing commission.

The documents also reveal that high-ranking FBI officials were not properly read-in to top-secret programs.

We obtained the documents through a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). We were seeking:

  • All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strzok.
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.

The newly obtained emails came in response to a May 21 order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to begin processing 13,000 pages of records exchanged exclusively between Strzok and Page between February 1, 2015, and December 2017. The FBI refuses to timely process the records and will not complete review and production of all the Strzok-Page materials until at least 2020.

In a January 30, 2016 email exchange sent entirely over unsecure devices, top former FBI officials including General Counsel Jim Baker, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok, Page, unidentified individuals from the DOJ’s National Security Division and NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell, discuss a draft document with the subject line: “Revised IC Safe Harbor Letter (from [redacted] using [redacted] iPad).”

Baker notes in the exchange that he is attempting to work on the document using his smartphone: “So it is not possible to read the redlines on my smartphone. If you are still at the office, can you please save the redline version as a PDF and then resend? Thanks.”

Also, in the exchange, Strzok writes to Page “AND [GOD***MIT] GIVEN EVERYTHING GOING ON WHY IS [redacted] USING A YAHOO! ACCOUNT FOR THIS? (Actually, apparently a Yahoo! Account from [redacted’s] iPad. Make him stop!!!!!!”

IC Safe Harbor refers to a European Commission data-sharing arrangement with the United States that allowed for the transfer of personally identifiable information from the EU to the U.S. The arrangement was invalidated by the European Court of Justice in 2015 after disclosures of NSA surveillance operations by Edward Snowden. The court ordered that a new, stronger version of the arrangement be reached by January 31, 2016.

Five hundred million Yahoo! accounts reportedly were hacked in 2014. And, “a different attack in 2013 compromised more than 1 billion accounts. The two attacks are the largest known security breaches of one company’s computer network.” According to IT experts, the iPad is also notoriously insecure from hacking.

In a February 5, 2016, email Strzok indicates to Page that at least two, and possibly more, top FBI officials had not been properly “read-in” to top-secret, compartmented programs. Those included McCabe and Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Bill Preistap. It is indicated Page needs some read-ins as well.

Strzok writes:

Lisa — you were right, I was wrong (first time for everything), you’re good. Andy, however needs [redacted] (as does Bill P). I will take care of Bill — would you or someone on DD staff handle paperwork for Andy? Looking to get a bulk read-in done next week; to the extent Andy wants to join, I will let you know the time. I suspect, he (/you) may need other compartments as well, so it might make sense to do his separately en masse (that’s French for “all at once” … I’m not just a leader, I’m an educator).

Page responds:

Aww, it’s so cute that you think this is the first time you’ve been wrong. No reason to disrupt the fantasy now; the sad truth of reality will come crushing down soon enough.

In a January 28, 2016, email to Page, Strzok apparently mocks people with developmental disabilities when he complains to Page about the inefficient mail handling system: “Cool — I have three pieces of mail for 7th floor – what’s the easiest way to get them into the system there rather than waiting on Melwood mail system?”

Melwood is a nonprofit organization which helps those with developmental disabilities get jobs (such as sorting mail). The FBI employs and has even given awards to people placed by Melwood.

Here we see the top echelon of U.S. cyber security and law enforcement officials looking like Keystone Cops. And the emails show Strzok’s extreme lack of professional behavior in his FBI communications. Judicial Watch is frustrated by the FBI’s slow roll of documents at a rate that will not see all releasable Page-Strzok documents provided until 2020.

The FBI Continues to Hide Its Interviews with Disgraced Bruce Ohr

Republican lawmakers recently indicated that Bruce Ohr is becoming more central to their investigation of the putsch against Donald Trump. Ohr was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General in December 2017 when his role was uncovered.

We are no less interested, and we have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice for details of interviews the FBI conducted with Ohr. The interviews could be key to understanding how information from anti-Trump dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele, was transmitted to the FBI.

We sued (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02107)) after the Justice Department failed to respond to a FOIA request seeking Form 302s for a number of interviews with Ohr concerning his interactions with Steele. A Form 302 is used by FBI agents to summarize the interviews that they conduct and contains information from the notes taken during the interview. We are seeking:

  1. Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 11/22/16)
  2. Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 12/5/16)
  3. Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 12/12/16)
  4. Ohr FD-302 12/27/16 (interview date 12/20/16)
  5. Ohr FD-302 1/27/17 (interview date 1/27/17)
  6. Ohr FD-302 1/31/17 (interview date 1/23/17)
  7. Ohr FD-302 1/27/17 (interview date 1/25/17)
  8. Ohr FD-302 2/8/17 (interview date 2/6/17)
  9. Ohr FD-302 2/15/17 (interview date 2/14/17)
  10. Ohr FD-302 5/10/17 (interview date 5/8/17)
  11. Ohr FD-302 5/12/17 (interview date 5/12/17)
  12. Ohr FD-302 5/16/17 (interview date 5/15/17)

Until his dossier-related demotion, Ohr was the fourth ranked official at DOJ and a contact for Steele. The House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 says that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.

In August, we released FBI records showing that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” after he disclosed his relationship with the FBI to a third party. The documents show at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016 and that he was admonished for unreleased reasons in February 2016.

Emails and memos released to Congress show that Bruce Ohr continued to receive information from Steele in 2017 after the FBI had terminated its relationship with Steele in 2016 for leaking to the media.

In a related case seeking records of communications between Ohr, other DOJ officials and Steele or Fusion GPS, the DOJ told the court it has located 1650 responsive documents and wants until February 2019 to turn them over. A hearing in federal court was held in that case this week before U.S. District Court Judge Trevor Neil McFadden.  The hearing resulted in our getting Ohr communications and travel records by December, while we will have frustratingly wait for his calendar information until February.

We filed this lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00490)) on March 1, 2018, after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 7, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats between Bruce Ohr and any of the following individuals/entities: former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele; owner of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson; and any other employees or representatives of Fusion GPS.
  • All travel requests, authorizations and expense reports for Bruce Ohr.
  • All calendar entries for Bruce Ohr.

We’re doing the heavy lifting in federal court against the DOJ’s outrageous delays and secrecy about the Ohr-Strzok-Steele-Fusion GPS-Dossier scheme targeting President Trump. Once again, it may be Judicial Watch – not Congress – that is finally able to extract the truth about this continuing Deep State scandal.

Let’s Help “Spartacus” Get the Attention He Deserves

We have hand delivered a letter to the chairman and co-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation into Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) admitted violation Senate rules by releasing confidential records through his social media accounts. Senator Booker faces expulsion from the Senate for his violation of the rules.

Sen. Booker admitted to violating Senate rules when he issued a tweet on Friday, September 7 saying:

Weds—I broke committee rules by reading from “committee confidential” docs.

Sen. Booker then posted the following entry on his Facebook account on Saturday, September 9:

And the classification of many documents as “Committee Confidential” is a sham… I willfully violate these sham rules. I fully accept any consequences that might arise from my actions including expulsion.

Additionally, Sen. Booker uploaded Committee Confidential records to a publicly accessible Dropbox account with the heading “Booker Confidential  – Kavanaugh Hearing Documents”.

Here is our complaint:

Dear Chairman Isakson and Co-Chairman Coons:

Judicial Watch, Inc. in a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anticorruption mission.

Sen. Cory Booker admitted to violating Senate rules when he issued a tweet on Friday, September 7 saying:

Weds-I broke committee rules by reading from “committee confidential” docs.

(See https://twitter.com/CoryBooker/status/1038077511924629504.)

Sen. Booker then posted the following entry on his Facebook account on Saturday, September 9:

And the classification of many documents as “Committee Confidential” is a sham … I willfully violate these sham rules. I fully accept any consequences that might arise from my actions including expulsion.

(See https://www.facebook.com/corybooker/photos/a.115558592227/10158241220222228/?type=3&theater )

Sen. Booker uploaded Committee Confidential records to a publicly accessible Dropbox account with the heading “Booker Confidential – Kavanaugh Hearing Documents”.

(See https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cc4u94lgyncygn6/AABPGJkIiq5ND7KJuX7kXUX9a?dl=0)

By publicly releasing Committee Confidential records, Sen. Booker appears to have violated provisions 5 and/or 6 of Rule 29 of the Standing Rules of the Senate (Rev. Jan. 24, 2013), which stipulate:

  1. Any Senator, officer or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees and offices of the Senate shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt.

  2. Whenever, by the request of the Senate or any committee thereof, any documents or papers shall be communicated to the Senate by the President or the head of any department relating to any matter pending in the Senate, the proceedings in regard to which are secret or confidential under the rules, said documents and papers shall be considered as confidential, and shall not be disclosed without leave of the Senate.

(See pp. 48-49: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-113sdoc18/pdf/CDOC-113sdoc18.pdf )

We hereby request that the Senate Ethics Committee conduct a preliminary investigation into whether Sen. Booker violated Senate Rules by releasing Committee Confidential records through his social media accounts.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Senator Booker, in an absurd invocation of  “Spartacus,” explicitly invited his expulsion from the Senate in his egregious violation of the rules and contempt for the rule of law and the Constitution. Will the Senate assert the rule of law in the Booker case or allow mob rule to be the new standard?

Let your Senators know what you think – you can call your Senators at 202-224-3121 (other contact and other information is available here at www.senate.gov.)

JW Sues for Clinton-Weiner Laptop Docs

We are again having to sue the U.S. Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for all emails the FBI found on the laptop of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner. We’ve only been at this for two years.

We sued after the Justice Department did not act on two of our FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-02105)).

In October 2016 The Washington Post reported that the FBI obtained a warrant to search the emails found on a computer used by Weiner that may contain evidence relevant to the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

In light of that report, on December 12, 2016, we submitted a FOIA request to the FBI, seeking all emails seized pursuant to the search warrant. The FBI denied the request and we appealed. The FBI has not acted on the appeal. We then filed a second FOIA request on September 29, 2017, to which the FBI has not responded. Judicial Watch is seeking:

  • All records regarding the search of a laptop owned or formerly owned by former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
  • All records retrieved from a laptop owned or formerly owned by former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
  • All records of communications, emails, text messages and instant chats, sent to or from FBI officials relating to Hillary Clinton’s knowledge or possible knowledge of illicit activities involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Weiner is the incarcerated husband of former Clinton top aide Huma Abedin. He was convicted of having sexually explicit communications with teenage girls. In October 2016, FBI investigators from its New York field office discovered Abedin’s emails on Weiner’s laptop, including data indicating the emails went through Clinton’s non-“state.gov” email system.

A separate Judicial Watch lawsuit already uncovered at least 18 classified emails from the Clinton server on the Weiner laptop.

The Anthony Weiner laptop-Clinton email cover-up by the Obama DOJ and FBI is central to uncovering the corrupt politicization of those agencies. The same FBI that provided cover for Hillary Clinton was going full bore against then-candidate Trump and this lawsuit aims to uncover the full truth about that corruption.

RealClear Investigations’ reporter Paul Sperry recently reported that “only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails [found on the Weiner laptop] were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.”

You can see there may still much to be learned from other Clinton emails and the related cover-up of her misdeeds.

Until next week…