Thursday, May 9, 2019

UPDATED: Uh-Oh! More On Kathleen Kavalec's Notes Re Chris Steele

This is awkward. Just over a week ago Chris Wray's FBI retroactively classified Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec's email, based on notes regarding her meetings with Chris Steele, the Brit ex-spook of "dossier" fame. Then just two days ago, John Solomon revealed the scam--it turns out Kavalec had classified her email as ... Unclassified (Chris Wray Challenges Bill Barr). And now Solomon has a new article out in which he provides some details about what's behind all those redactions, based on the notes. The email as obtained by Citizens United looks like this:

You could say, just from the title of Solomon's article, that he's skeptical of the FBI's "narrative": FBI's Steele story falls apart: False intel and media contacts were flagged before FISA. Here are some of the details that Solomon reveals, after carefully noting that the FBI had sworn in its FISA application that Steele’s “reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings” and the FBI has determined him to be “reliable” and was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to him.

... Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false. 
In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.” 
She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

Ouch! Standards for judging informant reliability at the FBI seem to have fallen.

Kavalec, two days later and well before the FISA warrant was issued, forwarded her typed summary to other government officials. The State Department has redacted the names and agencies of everyone she alerted.
But it is almost certain the FBI knew of Steele's contact with State and his partisan motive. That's because former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland says she instructed her staff to send the information they got from Steele to the bureau immediately and to cease contact with the informer because "this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of — not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act."

Well, that's one decision Nuland will certainly never regret putting in writing. This part is good:

Later [Kavalec] quoted Steele as suggesting he was “managing” four priorities — “Client needs, FBI, WashPo/NYT, source protection,” her handwritten notes show.

And there's lots more about the stories Steele was peddling. Overall, it's difficult to quarrel with Solomon's conclusion--and I for one wouldn't dream of quarreling with it:

And, as I reported earlier this week, Kavalec’s memo clearly warned that Steele had admitted his client was “keen” to get his information out before Election Day. In other words, he had a political, rather than an intelligence, deadline. 
If the State Department and Ohr could figure out that Steele was a partisan, paid by a political client and facing an Election Day deadline to broadcast raw intelligence that in some cases probably was false, the FBI should have done the same before it ever envisioned taking his evidence to a FISA court.

One does wonder how the retroactive classification of the email by Chris Wray's FBI could be justified. Who thinks this would cause harm to national security? Who will Wray be sacking for this?

UPDATE 1: OK, here's the story--just to be clear. What's classified is the email that Kavalec wrote based on her notes, but Mark Meadows had the original notes--or at least a copy of them, and they've now been made public, which Solomon getting first crack. You can view those notes here. I've edited the original post to reflect this understanding.

UPDATE 2: Thanks to Anonymous, below, we have a transcript of Kavalec's written notes. They're quite extensive and detailed, and for that reason I'm going to paste them in without further comment, at least for now:

May 9th, 2019
Steele-Kavalec notes taken during a meeting on 10/11/2016

--- PAGE ONE ---
Orbis J. Winer 10/11/16
Chris Steele 12/16
Russia - Ukraine
Source network in Russia
Glenn Simpson - WSJ sources
Intermediary - Peter Fritsch editor
May-June - Trump-Putin
Rybolovlev T[?]
Rybolovlev sale
Sourcing complicated
H-L in Kremlin, over sources
not sure where going, or how used
- online - computer e[?]
Spectrum Health Care - Trump
23/26 Sept Collusion
Saw changes at Spectrum after inquired of alfa

--- PAGE TWO ---
- info and changes cp[?]q since last 15 years
- cited as example as pattern of behavior
having used kompromat -
agreed on info exchange without use
of kompromat
Says Millian claims to have signed contract w/Trump
Former SVR Director Vladimir I. Trubnikov [source]
Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov [source]
Very significant network in
U.S., via emigres, recruitment at DNC
pay using pension fund for services
- human and technical in US or Russia
- op run by Kremlin, not FSB
Ivanov, Peskov (HRC dossier), Putin

--- PAGE THREE ---
Ivanov claims [?] use it
others argued against it
Leaked all best stuff
Will be more, no killer
June - reporting started
NYT and WaPo have
Entity - was hacked by R
3 distinct channels
Carter Page - changes RNC
platform - secret meting with Sechin
Igor Divyekin - ex ID [?] Ivanov (Peskov)
2 secret meetings - kompromat

--- PAGE FOUR ---
Buyer's remorse
Spectrum health unwitting
Emigre - network - hacking and recruiting
Manfort - key player -Prague - not family
Sergei Millian - new in CHina - emgigre - American - is he alive?
Putin mistress Kabayeva
Lesin screwn chance to knife her out of company
$4b not invested in Russia makes him vulnerable
Putin - oil for food
has good on Putin

--- PAGE FIVE ---
Trump get [Redacted]
month w[?]ed before replied
$100m owed to Russians by Manafort
Chris Steele
Tatyana Duran
Link to Glenn Simpson Client
Client needs
Source protection

--- PAGE SIX ---
plant in DNC
Russian emigre person
Out of Russia
Cyber criminals

--- PAGE SEVEN ---
Doug [?]
- ta[?]d set of paints for NTC
FNC - Russia convo - should not be difficult
Sharing with IC
3 lines of effort
Cyber Collections
hackers out of Russia
active in U.S. pension fund
Miami - consulate payment
Page, Millian (emigre?), Manafort

--- PAGE EIGHT ---
Chasenual[sp?] Belton FT
London wre[?]ly
shut down operation
Roger Stone - Podesta
DC Sunday
Multi-lat JIC
get paper
no time limit
Pentagon non-concures
72-hour limit
State Dept said no
Pentagon going to Geneva
London outcomes paper
Last of folks going to Geneva
all except Iranians sending people

--- PAGE NINE ---
-Kulagin left in any set
ups real estate entities used
or massive # of purchases
by Russians
set up espionage network
in Florida - to buy a lot of perpetuitites for POTUS businesses
though a R prob[sp?]
100's of real estate transactions
set any price for a rent
to hold it - no due diligence
set up by govt officials
Domestic espionage
funding oligarch and getting him out

--- PAGE TEN ---
Kulagin withdraws from DC
invalidated in
emigre pension system
Russian Kulagin
worked in embassy
Roubeul [sp?] pol officer
Part Lithuanian dip moves to DC (was
Global Group 2000 LLC
Current registered agent
Mikhail Kulagin
Abenshura, Florida
Florida Best Realty
Marat Zitsman
Located in Trump Towers
Real estate vendors of sales
125 of Russians
Reuters story today
703 of 2044 are LLC
zip code - 1200 R-born residents

Vadim Gastelin [sp?]
63 individuals
$98m in 7 towers
Validates work of CS
Daily Beast
BBC Reuters, Global Witness
Ziffs Bank - never heard of Global Group (photo w/Trump)
Mikhail Kulagin in U.S.
Guardian story on Rybolovlev - flying
Cohen - Prague
Flying - late July early August
August 18


  1. Whom will Wray be sacking for this?


  2. It is illegal to over-classify documents to prevent wrongdoing. c/f DoD Inspector General report top of page 5 at

    "While we did find some instances of over-classification, we do not believe that those instances concealed violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevented embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency; restrained competition; or prevented or delayed the release of information not requiring protection in the interest of national security."

  3. This is true. Nobody wants to sit around figuring out what should be classified and what shouldn't, so it's pretty common--or used to be--to simply classify everything that has to do with a CI case, figuring that in the unlikely event that it will ever end up being the subject of an FOIA suit, someone else will figure that out. Of course, the difference here is that Kavalec actually did sit down and figure it out--and decided it should be Unclassified.

    1. I'm no lawyer but that sounds like a crime. I'm going out on a limb and saying that it IS a crime. National Security dictates classification, not non, mis or malfeasance.

  4. Comey keeps digging his grave deeper and deeper. If he were smart, he'd keep his mouth shut. In my opinion, he's desperate and hoping that he can fool and deceive the public. It's his Hail Mary pass. I don't think it'll work.


    Transcript of Kavalec handwritten notes

    -- Cassander

  6. The Deep State strategy, with respect to potential future indictments of the coup conspirators, is to use their dominance over the MSM in order to create and sell a narrative that any indictment issued by Barr's DOJ is illegitimate because it amounts to revenge. The problem with this strategy is that alternative media (and internet sleuths) will produce an endless stream of rebuttal using facts that will be revealed via declassification. At best, this bogus narrative will become red meat for the Progressive faithful and, they hope, get out the vote next year.

    The Left seems to be pathologically committed to pissing off both Trump and Barr moving forward, which is a bit like giving the hangman the finger as he places the noose around your neck

    1. I agree--it's a strategy born of desperation. I doubt that it will catch on, just as polls show overwhelming majorities want the Dems to "move on" from impeachment. Of course, "moving on" means accepting wholesale indictments--which I think the country is quite willing to accept.

  7. Replies
    1. Yes, that jumps out. I hafta run, but check out my new post, just up, super important.

    2. That alone really does discredit the FBI, since one assumes that before using any of Steele's BS they would have demanded to know who his sources were and would have researched them. If not, what was this all based on? You claim tot he FISA court that Steele is reliable, yet you never verify anything he tells you? Please.