Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The FBI Has Sought To Interview Eric Ciaramella

This story comes via Yahoo, and the details are somewhat sketchy. The article stresses supposed internal debates at the FBI and suggests there was support for the idea that Ciaramella's complaint raised important issues: FBI seeks interview with CIA whistleblower. Whatever the nature of any internal debate, the FBI did reach out to Ciaramella but, obviously, since he's represented by Mark Zaid any such interview is unlikely. I would add that it's unlikely that the FBI would seek such an interview without having done significant background investigation on Ciaramella. The article specifically disclaims any knowledge re the scope of the intended interview and investigation. Excerpts below. Some of these statements are subject to more than one interpretation. Without knowing who the "former senior official" is it's difficult to judge. There are several former FBI officials who have adopted a clearly propagandistic stance in the Russia Hoax and related matters:

WASHINGTON — The FBI recently sought to question the CIA whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump’s July 25 Ukraine call — a move that came after a vigorous internal debate within the bureau over how to respond to some of the issues raised by the complaint’s allegations and whether they needed to be more thoroughly investigated, according to sources familiar with the matter. 
In late September, the Justice Department confirmed that Brian Benczkowski, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, and an appointee of Trump, had reviewed the whistleblower’s detailed complaint the previous month and determined there was no violation of campaign finance laws by the president when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open up an investigation into the gas company that once paid Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, to serve on its board. 
As a result, Kerri Kupec, chief of public affairs, said the Justice Department determined that “no further action was warranted.” 
But that decision, a Justice Department official said, was limited only to the question of potential campaign finance law violations and not to any other issues raised in the whistleblower complaint. “It was a very narrow issue,” the official said.  
Some officials within the FBI, which received its own copy of the whistleblower’s complaint in early September, chafed at a Justice Department move they believed was aimed at shutting down any inquiry at all, especially into potential counterintelligence issues raised by the allegations, according to a former senior U.S intelligence official who has discussed the matter with current FBI counterintelligence agents.   
There were “guys who wanted to run with it,” said the former senior official. “People were pissed off.” 
Others in the FBI were wary and “didn’t want to touch [the whistleblower complaint] with a 10-foot pole because of the Russia investigation,” said this former senior official. 
FBI counterintelligence officials were particularly concerned about the claims — detailed in the whistleblower’s complaint — that the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two of his associates may have been manipulated by Russian interests, said the former senior official. 


  1. Let me see if I have this right. The FBI wants to interview Mr. C, aka the whistleblower, to see if he has some nefarious goods on DJT.

    They don't want to interview him to learn if he overstepped his bounds, or maybe stepped into some legal difficulties himself, i.e., should be indicted and prosecuted.

    I also admit to having difficulty telling the good guys from the bad guys. Barr is running the DOJ. DOJ says nothing to see here, albeit in a limited sense, as you point out.

    Then engines start to rev up at the cesspool dba the FBI. The FBI reports to or is on the flow chart underneath the DOJ.

    Do we have here a pack of dogs off their chains and maybe foaming at the mouth? Are Mr. Wray's knickers in a snit? Is he foaming too?

    1. This is why I offered the caveat:

      "Without knowing who the "former senior official" is it's difficult to judge. There are several former FBI officials who have adopted a clearly propagandistic stance in the Russia Hoax and related matters:"

      The suggestion that Trump is being played by the Russians through the Ukrainians sounds very much like Russia Hoax Redux. I doubt that the FBI is going to fall for that again, and suspect that the source for this story is pushing the impeachment agenda. But the fact that the FBI sought an interview means that they've opened an investigation. What we'd all like to know is what type of investigation it is, who is the subject, what is the predication. I very much doubt that Wray took any step that wasn't ultimately approved by Barr, which is another reason to doubt the spin that the source puts on this.

    2. Everything in the article is about process--discussions, debates, and reactions by anonymous sources, in order to keep the "whistleblower" story alive--nothing is news, i.e. reporting events that have happened.

      They're attempting to resuscitate a corpse, breath new life into a dead body. They've got less than nothing.

      Media is entertainment--programming to keep you watching or reading to satisfy the vanity and narcissism of being "informed." Glorified gossip.

  2. Now come the Ukrainian MPs to knock the blocks out from under Schiff’s whole fake show - they are demanding a Ukrainian-U. S. investigation of the Burisma illegal actions re the “stolen” monies paid to Hunter Biden:

    KYIV. Nov 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian members of parliament have demanded the presidents of Ukraine and the United States, Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump, investigate suspicions of the legalization of $7.4 billion by the "family" of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych through the American investment fund Franklin Templeton Investments, which they said has ties to the U.S. Democratic Party.

    At a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday, MP Andriy Derkach announced that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists about international corruption and the participation of Ukrainian officials in it.

    "Last week, November 14, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), unnoticed by the media, announced a new suspicion to the notorious owner of Burisma, ex-Ecology Minister Zlochevsky. According to the suspicion, the Yanukovych family is suspected, in particular, with legalizing (laundering) of criminally obtained income through Franklin Templeton Investments, an investment fund carrying out purchases of external government loan bonds totaling $7.4 billion," Derkach said.

    With reference to the investigation, he emphasized: it was money criminally obtained by the "family" of Yanukovych and invested in the purchase of Ukrainian debt in 2013-2014.

    For his part, MP Oleksandr Dubinsky from the Servant of the People faction said that according to investigators, "the Yanukovych 'family' illegally obtained $7.4 billion and laundered the funds through an investment fund close to some representatives of the U.S. Democratic Party in the form of external government loan bonds."

    Meanwhile, Derkach said that several facts indicate Franklin Templeton Investments' relationship with the U.S. Democratic Party.

    "The son of Templeton's founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama's major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama's national security advisor," Derkach said. (Snip)

    According to Derkach, ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin repeatedly appealed to the NABU Director Artem Sytnyk in the framework of criminal proceedings for Burisma, but constantly received formal responses. The activities of Shokin, according to the MP, irritated then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during his fifth visit to Kyiv in two years. The visit on December 7-8, 2015, was devoted to solving the issue of Shokin's resignation for the affairs of Zlochevsky and Burisma, he said.

    "The subject of pressure was the $1 billion credit guarantee that the United States should have provided to Ukraine: Biden himself acknowledged the pressure in his speech to the U.S. Foreign Relations Council in January 2018," Derkach said.

    1. Right. The amount of Dem corruption still to be exposed is huge. And you can probably count on it that there's far more in connection with China.

    2. Tom Donilon was Obama’s troubleshooter. His fixer. The guy who would go whenever and wherever there was a problem for Obama and try to make it better or paper it over. I read this at the time it was published. It reminds that his wife was Jill Biden’s chief of staff. Political incest?

  3. Yahoo? Isikoff? This whole thing sounds sort of sketchy to me. Something floated to raise doubts?

    1. That's pretty much my view. I don't doubt that the main point is true--that the FBI wanted to talk to Ciaramella. The spin given to it is a whole 'nuther story.

  4. "Others in the FBI were wary and “didn’t want to touch [the whistleblower complaint] with a 10-foot pole because of the Russia investigation,” said this former senior official. "

    One interpretation of this is that FBI agents don't want to investigate the "WB" claims for fear that they will start tripping over the feet of Durham's investigators, if the "WB" is implicated in the Russia Collusion Hoax that was perpetrated in 2016, and the follow-up effort to commit a soft coup.

    One rumor that fits this scenario is one in which the "WB" was one of Brennan's analysts working on the special "Russia Collusion Task Force" that Brennan assembled in 2016 to push the fake evidence into the FBI.

    If the "WB" has cropped up in Durham's CRIMINAL investigation of the origins of the Russia Collusion Delusion Hoax, I can well imagine nobody in the FBI wants to run with the WB allegation, for fear they will inadvertently mess up Durham's investigation.

    1. I saw the AP claiming they wanted to interview Ciaramella as a "witness" of some sort. That can be taken in a number of ways, including that--since they would be well aware that Ciaramella is not a WB--they want to get his version of where that information came from. We all know it was at least mostly from Vindman. IOW, it could actually be a leak investigation.