Posted by Curt on 16 August, 2020 at 5:19 pm. 3 comments already!



Never underestimate the duplicity of Andrew Weissmann in efforts to cover his own tracks and throw off the scent of ethical hounds pursuing him.

“hat tip” on this point is owed to “Sundance” at “The Conservative Treehouse” for called attention back to a footnote in the Mueller Report that, at the time, seemed to serve no other purpose than to explain staffing of the Special Counsel’s Office (SCO), lines of authority, and lines of responsibility — drawing “circle” around who was in the SCO, and distinguishing them from other components of DOJ that assisted the SCO by assigning personnel but who not actually being a part of the SCO.  As Sundance noted, there seems to be a reference in that footnote to an unnamed government attorney with what seemed to be a benign, but now more meaningful claim that the attorney was not under the supervision of the SCO.

Here is the language used by the SCO at Page 13 of the Report, in a section that lays out the size and scope of the SCO organization and mission.

The Special Counsel attorneys and support staff were co-located with and worked alongside approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, a paralegal, and professional staff assigned by the FBI to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation. Those “assigned” FBI employees remained under FBI supervision at all times; the matters on which they assisted were supervised by the Special Counsel.1

  1. FBI personnel assigned to the Special Counsel’s Office were required to adhere to all applicable federal law and all Department and FBI regulations, guidelines, and policies. An FBI attorney worked on FBI related matters for the Office, such as FBI compliance with all FBI policies and procedures, including the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG). That FBI attorney worked under FBI legal supervision, not the Special Counsel’s supervision.

The calendar is important here, so let me first remind everyone of key dates here.

Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel on May 17, 2017.  At that time the Crossfire Hurrican investigation had been ongoing for nearly 10 months.  The Carter Page FISA warrant had been initially obtained in October 2016, first renewed in January 2017, next renewed in April 2017, and finally renewed in July 2017.  So the third renewal happened under the watch of the SCO.

As set forth in the Information, Clinesmith was first tasked by a Senior Supervisory Agent (SSA) to clarify Page’s status with the CIA, and to do so Clinesmith sent an email to the CIA on June 15, 2017.  The exchange of emails between Clinesmith and his CIA contact which included the email that Clinesmith later altered was on June 19, 2017.

On Dec. 4, 2017, it was announced that Strzok had been removed from the SCO investigation because of his anti-Trump messages — but he had been removed by Mueller in Aug. 2017.

In June 2018, the Inspector General issued the Report of his investigation into FBI actions in advance of the 2016 election.  During the course of that investigation, anti-Trump emails and text messages from a number of FBI and DOJ employees were uncovered.   In that Report, on pages 415-420, the following is attributed to Clinesmith, identified as “FBI Attorney 2” — Lisa Page  Sally Moyer is “FBI Attorney 1”. [Note — A Twitter follower pointed out this error — Page is actually identified by name earlier in the Report.  But the identity of “Attorney 1” does not change the nature of Clinesmith’s communications as set forth below].   Any and ALL efforts to minimize Clinesmith’s role must be read against this backdrop:

FBI Attorney 2 was assigned to the Midyear investigation early in 2016. FBI Attorney 2 was not the lead FBI attorney assigned to Midyear and he told us he provided support to the investigation as needed. FBI Attorney 2 told us that he was also assigned to the investigation into Russian election interference and was the primary FBI attorney assigned to that investigation beginning in early 2017. FBI Attorney 2 told us that he was then assigned to the Special Counsel investigation once it began. FBI Attorney 2 left the Special Counsel’s investigation and returned to the FBI in late February 2018, shortly after the OIG provided the Special Counsel with some of the instant messages discussed in this section.

There is no question that Clinesmith was NOT picked by Mueller to be an SCO prosecutor.   But Clinesmith said to the IG he was the “primary FBI attorney” assigned as of early 2017.  And he was removed from the investigation ONLY after his emails and text messages expressing anti-Trump bias came to the attention of the IG as it investigated FBI actions in the Clinton e-mail investigation.

But the Mueller Report wants everyone to believe that while Clinesmith was assigned to the SCO, he was not “supervised” by the SCO — at all times he remained under the “FBI legal supervision” according to the Report.  What is noticeably missing is any explanation as to how that was possible since the SCO operated independent of DOJ, and all investigative activity — including the work done by Clinesmith while assigned — was done under the authority of the SCO who answered only to the Attorney General — Rosenstein since Sessions was recused.

At the time the Mueller Report was drafted, Weissmann and the others knew what Clinesmith had done.  They knew that the Carter Page FISA — based nearly entirely on the Steele memos — was not supported by sufficient probable cause going all the way back to the initial application in October 2016.  That is why the SCO NEVER publicly claimed to have ever relied on the Steele Memos for any purpose.

Attempting to “disown” Clinesmith the way they did in the Report also helped Weissmann,, in distancing themselves from what was revealed to them by the IG about Clinesmith’s anti-Trump views, which they realized would make him stick to them and their work like a “tar baby.”   This vehement anti-Trumper committed a crime, altering a key document supporting the issuance of the Page FISA affidavit when truthful information from that document would have likely stopped the initial warrant from being issued if the FISC had been informed.  Here are some of the highlights of what the IG wrote about Clinesmith:

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