Here's the short story--you can get the gist of it from these notes that Kathleen Kavalec, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, sent on Oct. 13, 2016:
Got that? No? Oh, sorry, that's because the FBI redacted the notes and classified them on 4/30/2019. That's right--a week ago. So where have these notes been for the past two and a half years, before a FOIA suit unearthed them? Well, unearthed a few words from it, the rest having been redacted. There's the story. And there are a lot of questions to be answered about this. For example, why did the FBI classify the notes "Secret" last week when for the first two and a half years of their existence they were classified, or not, as "Unclassified"? Boy, that's an interesting question, aina?
Here's a summary of John Solomon's account of what Kavalec's notes are all about.
The notes are Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele. Steele told Kavalec that his firm, Orbis, had been hired by the DNC--i.e., "at the behest of an institution that he declined to identify that had been hacked." The target of the investigation was the "Trump/Russia connection," presumably relating to the "hack." Orbis got this commission upon the recommendation of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, i.e., Fusion GPS. In other words, Steele told Kavalec that he was engaged in opposition research for the Clinton campaign, which "is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8, 2016"--which, coincidentally, was the date of the national election for POTUS.
Now, wouldn't you like to see the rest of the notes? Well, you'll get the chance if you live until 12/31/2041, when they're now due to be declassified.
Interestingly, Solomon points out that this interview between Steele and Kavalec occured 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s dodgy dossier to secure a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The notes were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Despite the very apparent interest of these notes, Solomon points out that
Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). "They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it," Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.
One member of Congress transmitted the memos this week to the Department of Justice’s inspector general, fearing its investigation of FISA abuses may not have had access to them.
Ah, but the FBI, always on the ball, quickly moved to retroactively classify the notes, even though they were originally marked unclassified in 2016.
What's contained in the redacted portions of the notes? Well, that's guesswork, but it's not just speculation in the dark. Here's Solomon again:
Sources tell me there also are handwritten notes from the meeting, with information about Steele’s political ties, that have not been given to Congress. “There’s a connection to Hillary Clinton in the notes,” said one source who has seen them.
The mere three sentences that the FBI allowed State to release, unredacted, show that Kavalec sent an email two days after her encounter with Steele, alerting others.
“You may already have this information but wanted to pass it on just in case,” Kavalec wrote in the lone sentence the FBI and State released from that email. The names of the recipients, the subject line and the attachments are blacked out.
Interestingly, one legal justification cited for redacting the Oct. 13, 2016, email is the National Security Act of 1947, which can be used to shield communications involving the CIA or the White House National Security Council.
Look, not long ago I wrote that Chris Wray is a "Deep State Tool" and has to go. This maneuver that Wray has pulled is a direct challenge to Bill Barr's authority and his determination to get to the bottom of the whole Russia Hoax and what's behind it. Barr cannot allow this to stand. He can order the release of this document, but sooner or later Wray must go.