By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security
Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee last Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions engaged in a heated discussion on whether he would push for a special counsel to investigate former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The investigation would look into the Uranium One deal and other areas of concern.
Prior to Sessions’ testimony, he left open the possibility of a special counsel, but then demurred by commenting he would take “a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel.” When pressed by committee members, Sessions responded, “We will use the proper standards and that’s the only thing I can tell you.”
Clinton Email Scandal, Russian Dossier and Uranium One Raise Concerns
The three main concerns of the committee and for those outside Congress is how the Justice Department will handle investigation into the Clinton email scandal, the Uranium One deal and the dossier that allegedly shows collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Since FBI Director James Comey’s controversial decision not to seek an indictment or the prosecution of Hillary Clinton, new information has come to light that contradicts his earlier statements.
Earlier this year, Comey testified before Congress that he felt uneasy when then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” What was the basis for this change?
According to newly released FBI documents, Comey began drafting an exoneration letter months before investigators interviewed key people, especially Hillary Clinton. What was the purpose of writing this exoneration letter?
Lynch and Clinton Tarmac Meeting Raise Questions about Influence
After steadfastly denying the existence of documents related to Lynch and former President Bill Clinton’s meeting on a Phoenix airport tarmac, the Justice Department reported that the FBI found 30 pages of documents related to the meeting. Judicial Watch found this information in a subsequent investigation and issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting the documents’ release. These documents now will be produced no later than November 30.
Why was this information not released before? Why have the Justice Department and the FBI failed to acknowledge this information? Why have they resisted sending these documents to Congress when requested, considering Congress’s oversight authority over executive agencies?
What is also not known is whether there was coordination between the FBI security detail protecting Lynch and the Secret Service detail protecting Clinton. For the safety and security of both individuals, travel arrangements are classified.
Why did Lynch communicate with the public relations staff at the Justice Department by using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle” in the days after the meeting? If their meeting was all about golf and grandchildren, why are Clinton and Lynch going to this extent to hide information about their meeting?
More Questions Are Raised Regarding Russian Dossier
The most controversial matter involving Clinton is the Russian dossier. Fusion GPS put together a dossier, allegedly showing that members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
Christopher Steele, former MI6 intelligence operative, put together the dossier by utilizing intelligence officials inside Russia. Much of the dossier’s information has never been verified or corroborated. However, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid $12 million for the compilation of the dossier.
Fusion GPS has refused Congressional requests for its bank records as to who else paid for the dossier. The company’s two top executives, Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catán, have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights. However, if this was just legitimate opposition research, why do they not disclose who else paid for the dossier?
Did other media outlets pay Fusion GPS for this dossier? Did they use any aspect of it in reporting alleged Trump-Russian collusion?
Did the Justice Department Illegally Obtain A Warrant?
The Russian dossier has become the central basis for finding out if Trump or anyone associated with his campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. What we don’t know is whether the dossier was used to obtain a warrant before the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISCA) to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign. The FBI and the Justice Department are reluctant to be forthcoming on this matter.
Why would the Justice Department and the FBI pay and use a dossier that had been paid for by a political candidate and a political party against an opponent and his campaign staff?
In Congressional testimony, Comey called the dossier “salacious and unverified.” But after that statement, why did he brief President-elect Trump on it and give the document a sense of “legitimacy”?
Comey admitted under oath that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked him to personally brief Trump regarding the dossier. However, the Obama administration quickly leaked news about the meeting, thus giving the media ample opportunity to report on it.
Why Has No One Seen the DNC’s Hacked Server at CrowdStrike?
One of the more interesting aspects of this collusion story is that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) server at cybersecurity company CrowdStrike and released information to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated he never got his information from Russia.
Why has the DNC refused the FBI’s help in identifying the source of the attack with CrowdStrike in Irvine, California? So far, only CrowdStrike employees have been able to access the server.
Why has no one seen the report by CrowdStrike that allegedly shows that Russia hacked the DNC? Why would the FBI take the word of a third party and the DNC?
The other story floating around is that 17 intelligence agencies stated that Russia tried to influence the election. This statement was refuted back in January, when it was revealed that instead of 17 intelligence agencies it was only four. The New York Times and the Associated Press had to publish retractions back in June. Why were these four agencies and their analysts chosen over others? All of these actions were against standard operating procedures.
More Questions Are Left Unanswered Regarding Uranium One
Last month, The Hill reported that the Obama administration approved a controversial deal, which ceded 20% of U.S. uranium to Russia. However, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. These activities were designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.
What we now know is that the FBI had a confidential informant inside Russia’s nuclear industry who had been gathering extensive financial records. That informant recorded secret conversations and has copies of emails beginning in early 2009 regarding how Moscow utilized bribes, kickbacks, racketeering and money laundering in a clear violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The informant has eyewitness accounts, backed by documents, showing how Russian nuclear officials routed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
For the Uranium One deal to go through, it had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. The nine senior members of this committee included the secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder and two White House representatives. The deal was approved unanimously.
What Does the Justice Department Know About Uranium One?
There is no evidence to show that Hillary Clinton knew of the FBI corruption investigation, but Holder should have known. This knowledge was not conveyed to committee members.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller led the investigation into Uranium One. Mueller now leads the special counsel looking into collusion between Trump and Russia. What did Mueller know and did he convey what information he knew to the Attorney General? What became of that information and who knew about it?
Why did former President Bill Clinton receive $500,000 for speaking before the Russian investment bank tied to Moscow? Why did $145 million get sent to the Clinton Foundation mostly from one person, Uranium One investor Frank Giustra? Giustra stated he sold all his shares before Clinton became Secretary of State and three years before the Russian Company Rosatom and Moscow began its push.
Giustra currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Foundation. Why hasn’t the Justice Department looked into the Clinton Foundation more extensively? Why did the Obama administration prevent the FBI from conducting surveillance into the Clinton Foundation when it was apparent that many of Clinton’s key staff members at the Department of State were working for both the foundation and the State Department? Those staff members would include Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, among others.
These are just a few questions among many others that involve our government. These questions must be answered if the American people are to trust that the Justice Department and the FBI were not doing the bidding of a political party.