In an article at Real Clear Investigations, long time White House reporter Paul Sperry has confirmed what everyone has long known. Eric Ciaramella, former NSC staffer, is the Dem operative whose narrative started the current Impeachment Theater. In the article, How 'Whistleblower' May Be Outed: Ties to Biden, Brennan, Schiff's Staff, Etc., Sperry discloses further details, including some that tie Ciaramella to the Russia Hoax's origins. Sperry confirms what was believed about the circumstances in which Ciaramella left the White House:
Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Also, Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. (Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry.)
However, what to me is an explosive revelation has to do with Ciaramella's ties to a Ukrainian and political operative who is a US citizen and was an oppo researcher for the Hillary Clinton campaign: Alexandra Chalupa:
Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American who supported Hillary Clinton, led an effort to link the Republican campaign to the Russian government. “He knows her. He had her in the White House,” said one former co-worker, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
Documents confirm the DNC opposition researcher attended at least one White House meeting with Ciaramella in November 2015. She visited the White House with a number of Ukrainian officials lobbying the Obama administration for aid for Ukraine.
In line with those connections Sperry reveals that Ciaramella also attempted to spin anti-Trump fantasies:
“Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White House knows. Even the president knows who he is,” said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and national security adviser to Trump, who has fielded dozens of calls from the media.
Yet a rare hush has swept across the Potomac. The usually gossipy nation’s capital remains uncharacteristically — and curiously — mum, especially considering the magnitude of this story, only the fourth presidential impeachment inquiry in U.S. history.
“They’re hiding him,” Fleitz asserted. “They’re hiding him because of his political bias."
Federal records show that Biden’s office invited Ciaramella to an October 2016 state luncheon the vice president hosted for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Other guests included Brennan, as well as then-FBI Director James Comey and then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
Several U.S. officials told RealClearInvestigations that the invitation that was extended to Ciaramella, a relatively low-level GS-13 federal employee, was unusual and signaled he was politically connected inside the Obama White House.
The official added that it soon became clear among NSA staff that Ciaramella opposed the new Republican president’s foreign policies. “My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine,” he said. “He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.”
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the whistleblower,” the official said.
In May 2017, Ciaramella went “outside his chain of command,” according to a former NSC co-worker, to send an email alerting another agency that Trump happened to hold a meeting with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office the day after firing Comey, who led the Trump-Russia investigation. The email also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had phoned the president a week earlier.
Contents of the email appear to have ended up in the media, which reported Trump boasted to the Russian officials about firing Comey, whom he allegedly called “crazy, a real nut job.”
In effect, Ciaramella helped generate the “Putin fired Comey” narrative, according to the research dossier making the rounds in Congress, a copy of which was obtained by RealClearInvestigations.
Ciaramella allegedly argued that “President Putin suggested that President Trump fire Comey,” the report said. “In the days after Comey’s firing, this presidential action was used to further political and media calls for the standup [sic] of the special counsel to investigate ‘Russia collusion.’“
In the end, Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no conspiracy between Trump and Putin. Ciaramella’s email was cited in a footnote in his report, which mentions only Ciaramella’s name, the date and the recipients “Kelly et al.” Former colleagues said the main recipient was then-Homeland Security Director John Kelly..
Read it all!
Sometimes I feel forced to acknowledge that some things happen for a reason. How many people would still believe that the Deep State was a tinfoil hat "conspiracy theory" if not for Lois Lerner/IRS scandal of 2013. As unfortunate as it was for the organizations targeted, where would we be if that episode had not began an awakening to the fact of an Imperial Bureaucracy that holds itself sovereign over and above the people.ReplyDelete
I wonder whether whether the entire concept of the NSC was intended to surround the President with IC operatives to keep him under control as "assets" rotate in and out.
One thing the Vindman tool demonstrates is the degree to which the rot has affected the officer corps.
Of course. They're products of our society at large.Delete
Add to it that Taylor likely staged his communication with Sondland, and Schiffty stopping republicans from questioning Vindman about any contacts he had regarding the Ukraine call. Yep, seems totally legit.ReplyDelete
So everybody knows who he is and what is happening.ReplyDelete
Why aren't they charged yet? At a minimum, isn't there leaking of classified information?
Is this DOJ ever going to step up?
At this point I'm thinking, who would want to be a Republican? As a Democrat, I can get away with murder, as long as I spin it properly.
"Is this DOJ ever going to step up?"ReplyDelete
Yes, but the revelations of the last week or two should show you how much there is to uncover, plumb, organize. Once you indict, the speedy trial act provisions go into action. You have to be ready, and when you're dealing with a large conspiracy you can't afford to start the ball rolling before you have your "arms around it" as
Then don't indict the conspiracy if they're not ready.Delete
At this point, just indict and indict again, for every offense. Pile on. Once you get your arms around it, then indict the conspiracy and add it to the charges. I see lots of people being charged with dozens of indictments, so it's not unknown.
You're going to say, the media will charge politically based indictments. I say it doesn't matter, it would be no different than what they're doing now.
And at least it would satisfy the half of the country who wants Trump to succeed, instead of the other half.
"I see lots of people being charged with dozens of indictments"Delete
OK, lots of people--dozens of indictments per person. One example. Give me exactly one example of that.
Mark is correct. You don’t start nibbling at a big, wide, deep, apparently long conspiracy like this one - many moving parts that even include foreign participants. The prosecutors must have their ducks in a row first. And it is the grand jury that indicts, not Barr, not Durham. The grand jury. After hearing witness testimony and reviewing evidence. Our lack of knowledge of how the law works sometimes shows.Delete
Ok, dozens may be hyperbole. But I see more than one charge in many cases.Delete
Just a quick google:
Ka’Saun Carlock, 15, of Steubenville has already been sent to adult court, where he was indicted on one count of murder with a firearm specification, one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and one count of tampering with evidence.
Chelsea L. Lee, 26, of Brownstone, Mich., was indicted on two counts of complicity to aggravated robbery, robbery, two counts of theft and one count of criminal damaging. Michael D. York, 32, of Trenton, Mich., was indicted on two counts of aggravated robbery and single counts of complicity to robbery, complicity to theft, theft and criminal damaging.
The first guy has 5, the second has 6.
The point is, there's nothing to stop LE from piling on indictments if necessary.
Look at all the time and effort the administration has to spend in defense every time one of these unwarranted accusations are made. And isn't that the Left's goal?
They won't stop until they're forced to stop, by paying penalties of law.
Two things are essential:Delete
1) Criminal Convictions
2) Clear connections
Without convictions it will all have little impact on public perception. Without connections among the various actions/perpetrators the underlying rot will not be exposed. The primary difficulty is that this sea of corruption is so vast and so deep that it is almost impossible to map, coherently, for the general public.
That being said I would like to see positive movement on the leaker/whistleblower front. At the very least the ersatz whistleblower cover for Ciaramella should be publicly revoked as being fabricated after the fact and LtCol Vindman should be investigated for violations of the UCMJ (possibly Art's 80, 81, 91, 92 and 94). If bad actors are allowed to feel immune from legitimate scrutiny all we will get is more free-range bad actors.
Some will make the argument that whistleblower protections are sacrosanct because whistleblowers are necessary. I say not true. The Republic survived for some 200 years with out them (theoretically that is the role of a free press). The "baby vs bath water" argument is misused more often than not. If the bath is acid then the baby has to come out of it NOW. If the baby gets bruised it likely will survive. If it stays immersed in acid it surely will not.
In an earlier comment I compared Vindman to Gen'l Wilkinson. I'm beginning to think I was unfair to the Gen'l. What Vindman has done is more egregious by orders of magnitude. A serving officer has decided his policy preference is superior to that of the Constitutional Authority, acted upon it in direct contravention to his oath, and stands defiant in his crime. If this is allowed then a Caesar becomes inevitable. That Democrats are willing to go down this road demonstrates their very casual relationship with the theory of a free republic.
1. Those are not multiple indictments--those are multiple counts in one indictment. There is no problem of violating the Speedy Trial clause of the 6th Amendment. Just to be totally clear, that's an amendment to the US Constitution, and since it's one of the ten original amendments it's considered part of our Bill of Rights.Delete
2. Here's a bit of additional news for you: The Russia Hoax conspiracy--involving numerous persons throughout an enormous bureaucracy--is just a little more complicated than than the examples of "multiple indictments" of individual offenders you thought you were giving. As such, it's totally unreasonable to expect justice to be dealt out as quickly in the Russia Hoax as in garden variety crimes. That's especially true if you want to see "clear connections."
Sometimes I get the feeling that many got their “law degrees” from watching too much Law & Order.Delete
I haven't a shadow of a doubt that Barr is keenly aware of the need for an expeditious resolution of the investigation, but he's equally aware of the need for thoroughness. I'm as antsy as anybody for results, but it's just not reasonable to expect some magical wrap up when you've got significant players throughout the vast federal bureaucracy and political party organizations.Delete
Here's my guess on the complexity of the investigation.Delete
1:Obama - not talking
2:Brennan - not talking
3: Italian official - "We helped Brennan but don't know what he was doing"
4: British offifial - "We helped Brennan but don't know what he was doing"
5: Ukranian official - "We helped Brennan but don't know what he was doing"
6: Australian official - "We helped Brennan but don't know what he was doing"
7: Comey - not talking
8: Yates - not talking
9: Strzock - not talking
10: Page - "Yeah, I hate Trump but I just did what I was told"
11: Rice - not talking
12: Lynch - not talking
13: Chalupa - not talking
14: Steele - telling lies
15: Simpson - not talking
16: Mifsud - not talking until he feels safe from retribution
17: Halper - not talking
18: Papadopolous - credible witness
19: Manafort - willng to talk in exchange for Pardon
20: CIA staff - pointing fingers or lawyered up
21: NSA staff - pointing fingers or lawyered up
I don't know how you break the wall of silence.
The US has lots of ways to get info from foreign governments:Delete
1:Obama - not interviewed yet
2:Brennan - not interviewed yet
3: Italian official - We don't indict foreign governments but we do accept info of use
4: British offifial - We don't indict foreign governments but we do accept info of use
5: Ukranian official - We don't indict foreign governments but we do accept info of use
6: Australian official - We don't indict foreign governments but we do accept info of use
7: Comey - deep trouble, may want to talk, may not be given much if any deal.
8: Yates - deep trouble, same as above
9: Strzock - deep trouble, no confronted yet, same as above
10: Page - Did what I was told is no defense, probably singing like a bird and had contact with key players up to and including Rod Rosenstein.
11: Rice - not confronted yet, probably deep trouble
12: Lynch - "
13: Chalupa - "
14: Steele - Steele has talked and has probably told the truth.
15: Simpson - deep trouble, based on past testimony
16: Mifsud - has already provided valuable info
17: Halper - extremely deep trouble, will almost certainly want to talk
18: Papadopolous - credible witness
19: Manafort - willng to talk in exchange for Pardon
20: CIA staff - pointing fingers or lawyered up
21: NSA staff - pointing fingers or lawyered up
I agree. The task is enormous. I don't think Barr&Durham themselves really understood the breadth of their undertaking when they started the job. Now it has to be carried to the end to be meaningful in history. (see what I did there ;-) That means convictions, which means thoroughness, however long it takes; and connections, so the People can understand what has been done to them, regardless of how long Barr&Dunham must "grow" their reach to connect the dots.Delete
Vindman is a special case though. He is a serving officer. For him the rules are clear-cut, nonnegotiable, not within the purview of a congressional committee to abrogate and not in his favor. That the Army is not investigating this is in itself disturbing.
"I don't think Barr&Durham themselves really understood the breadth of their undertaking when they started the job."Delete
I'm quite sure they did. Barr is well known for following DC events closely over the years and sharing his opinions with officials.
I assume the Army is every bit as corrupt as DoJ/FBI.
Just to be mildly contrarian -Delete
To Tom -- we don't know, do we whether the Army is investigating...
To Mark -- My suspicion is that its not that the FBI, CIA, even the Army, are per se corrupt. I think its something closer to a kind of Potomac Fever which the higher echelons of the Deep State are susceptible to.
"Those are not multiple indictments--those are multiple counts in one indictment."
Thanks for clearing that up.
To be clear though, I had already agreed that they shouldn't move on Russiagate until they're ready.
I was specifically trying to make the point that they should indict each new additional crime as it happens. Isn't this whole "whistleblower" event a crime? Since someone leaked classified info?
"I was specifically trying to make the point that they should indict each new additional crime as it happens."Delete
And I was specifically making the point that doing that could land you in trouble with the Speedy Trial clause of the Sixth Amendment, possibly resulting in multiple defendants not being charged to the full extent of their wrongdoing. You might very well end up being forced to go to trial while investigation is still not complete in potentially related cases.
for Cassander - I think if he were being Art 15'd or 32'd the Dem's and their (what was that quaint phrase of our Red friends? oh yes) running dogs of the press would be howling about it as we speak.Delete
for Mark - I hold no illusions concerning the upper echelons of the Pentagon. I just thought they might make a better attempt at CYA (that being the skill most in demand for O-6's and up) since, so far, they have not allowed themselves to be directly involved in this particular cluster f___. Just thought they might want to stay at the top of the publics confidence pyramid. But ignoring this is clearly taking sides, and virtually every veteran is knowledgeable enough to see it.
Thanks for your many explanations... just one more question.
Are you saying, if they charge someone now, like this guy with leaking classified information, and start trial, and then later find out this person was also involved in Russiagate, they can't then charge them for Russiagate crimes at a later date, even though this current trial has not yet finished?
Would that not be another separate trial, or would they need to join everything into the current trial?
Does that mean they can't charge anyone who might have the slightest connection to Russiagate with anything? That doesn't seem right.
What about the Kavanaugh perjuries, and the Omar frauds? Surely those are clear crimes that could be prosecuted?
Again, thanks for all your work on this blog, it's an invaluable resource.
Multiple trials surrounding the same subject matter would be very messy. Judges would be extremely unhappy about that because it would really complicate sentencing. It could also affect possible cooperation of witnesses. It would be a mess. I very much doubt that in complicated trials--and these would be--any judge would allow them to be "joined." It should all be one package from the start. You would have multiple prosecutors stumbling over each other. I think it would unnecessarily unworkable.Delete
The Vindman testimony, such as it is, suggested to me that Vindman was literally trying to fix up the official transcript to mirror what the whistleblower complaint claimed, and was probably caught doing so by someone. The focus of his testimony on these trivial corrections makes little to no sense to me unless it is his cover story about what he was trying to do.ReplyDelete
Or simply an attempt to claim the transcript is obstruction.Delete
-->Vindman was literally trying to fix up the official transcript to mirror what the whistleblower complaint claimed, and was probably caught doing so by someone.<--Delete
Good catch. I couldn't make sense of what Vindman was alleging as it was so convoluted in minutia.
RealClearInvestigations has changed its headline to:ReplyDelete
The Beltway's 'Whistleblower' Furor Obsesses Over One Name
Same article and initial url still works. Sperry does excellent work.
If, God willing, the coup conspirators and their corrupt and complicit allies in the Executive Branch are to be truly held to account (as in legal liability), then the path to that endpoint will likely require flipping dozens of low level employees (in exchange for plea deals) on the long way up to the Obama Administration Oval Office. These prosecutions will likely take years and a reformed DOJ will be up against the full resources of the Deep State every step of the way. In military terms, this is World War as opposed to a squad level skirmish. I pray that Barr has some Churchill in him.ReplyDelete
"the path to that endpoint will likely require flipping dozens of low level employees"Delete
Absolutely not--it only requires flipping the right ones. For example, Lisa Page is supposed to be cooperating:
We already know that she was in close and frequent consultation with key plotters such as Strzok and especially McCabe, who is key. But we also know she was working closely with key people at DoJ. By combining testimony of one flipper with docs that support her testimony and explain what others were doing, you can quickly build multiple case and secure more pleas.
Another example, James Baker is reported to be cooperating.
Baker was Comey's FBI lawyer. There's little he won't know, both re above him and below him, and he was also close to Lisa Page and others at DoJ. He consulted closely with McCabe and was present at meetings with DoJ plotters such as RR and probably Laufman.
I should add, Lisa Page was also present at critical meetings with Andrew Weissmann, Chris Steele, and Bruce Ohr (who's also IMO cooperating). Bear in mind as well that Ohr was the highest non-political official at DoJ. Much of the investigation going on at this point is probably getting max documentary corroboration for testimony already taken, before confronting the major plotters: Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and a few others. I suspect, from a distance, that Yates and Strzok will also either be leaned on to cooperate or will seek deals. And then there's team Mueller, and especially Weissmann ...Delete
Weissmann, IMO, is in a very hard place.
And don't forget Bill Priestap and Joe Pientka. Another point. Look at what we're learning about the plot to frame Flynn. Guess what? Barr has known all that pretty much from the get go--Lisa Page was at the frame plot meeting, possibly Priestap and Pientka and Baker as well.Delete
"the path to that endpoint will likely require flipping dozens of low level employees"
Nothing could be further from the truth. The investigation is already well into the mid level officials with a real shot at people who spoke face to face with Obama about this stuff.
1. Why would any competent prosecutor jeopardize the biggest case in US history by jumping the gun on prosecutions? That's simply crazy.
2. Why would anyone think that Barr is going to share the details of a case like that with the media or the public? And give credence to claims of prejudicing the potential jury pool?
If all this buzz is anywhere near right, that Page, Steele, Ohr, and Baker are singing, then Barr has a helluva hand, and it'd be utterly heartbreaking were he not to cram that hand deep down the throats of the whole D.S. swamp.
Do you think Barr was just blowing smoke a few days ago when he said Durham was making great progress? I don't.Delete
The world is (or should be) holding its breath, waiting to learn what he actually does.Delete
Likewise, if Sullivan doesn't rule on Flynn by the end of next week (after Powell's Monday reply), I'll fear that the D.S. sent him an offer he couldn't refuse.Delete
Some have mocked William Barr for his playing the bagpipes. They apparently don’t know that centuries ago they were banned in Scotland by the loyalists because they believed they were an instrument of war. Those big guys in kilts were definitely not sissies, either.ReplyDelete
I believe Barr is a warrior. And a very smart one. He just doesn’t waste energy thrashing around. And racing for the nearest reporter’s mic and camera...
You made great points, and, as I have said in the past, I share your views. Bill Barr is a consummate professional and he's not going to blow this. I'm no expert, but it seems as though Durham is 1A. Guess who Barr chose?
I am no expert on body language, but it does appear that Clapper was nervous, deceptive and lying in the Anderson Cooper segment about one week ago.
I am impatient, too, but I want this done right.
Yeah, I thought Clapper was definitely rattled. And he has every reason to be.Delete
That would be the AC appearance where Clapper said he was just acting on Obama's instructions...Delete
That was funny!Delete
demoperative whistleblower, sorta like demophake news brennan, comey, get ur crim defense team ready, sorta like OJ revisited,ReplyDelete
a bad dream relived, oh no mr. eric ciarmotta