Wednesday, April 29, 2020

UPDATES: Priestap Now Front And Center In The Flynn Case

Former head of Counterintelligence for the FBI, Bill Priestap (now retired) is featured in new and, presumably, soon to be unsealed FBI records regarding the framing of Michael Flynn. John Solomon provides a sneak preview--FBI notes detail effort to catch Flynn in lie to 'get him fired' as Trump adviser:

A senior FBI official's handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration detail a tortured debate among officials to use a bureau interview of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to get him to lie so "we could prosecute him or get him fired." 
The notes and other emails were provided to Flynn's lawyers under seal last week and released Wednesday night by court order, providing the most damning evidence to date of potential politicalization and misconduct inside the FBI during the Russia probe. 
The notes show FBI officials discussed not providing Flynn a Miranda-like warning before his January 2017 interview —  a practice normally followed in such interviews — so that he could be charged with a crime if he misled the agents, the officials said. 

That's Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who had that discussion. Andrew McCabe would have had operational control of the Flynn interview, and Lisa Page was his legal counsel. It all fits in.

"What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?," the handwritten notes of the senior official say. 
Multiple officials confirmed to Just the News that the author of the notes is William Priestap, the now-retired FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence and the ultimate supervisor for fired agent Peter Strzok, who led the Russia probe.

I left Priestap off my original list of targets, but his role here is perfectly logical.

Justice Department officials are investigating whether Priestap's notes were written in conjunction with meetings he had with top leaders like then-Director James Comey and then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, officials said. A special prosecutor is reviewing DOJ's and the FBI's handling of the Flynn prosecution, which led to the former Trump adviser and retired general pleading guilty to lying to the FBI under a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia case.

Yeah, I'll bet they are!

Question: When did it become official FBI business to get someone fired? When did that became a legitimate goal of an interview regarding matters outside the FBI's responsibility? It seems to me that anyone involved in this is in a very hard place. Even if they somehow elude prosecution, Flynn will own them.

UPDATE 1: I've had a chance to look at some of the unsealed documents: US v Flynn - new unsealed docs.

What I see here is three things:

1) Peter Strzok emails James Baker Baker for legal advice on how "DD" (Deputy Director Andrew McCabe) should respond to various scenarios when McCabe makes the phone call to Flynn to send Strzok over for the interview. The scenarios that Strzok puts forward all appear to be aimed at hiding from Flynn the true nature of the interview. This is part of what Bill Priestap (below) will refer to as "game playing"--an "ambush" or "gotcha" plan of attack to frame Flynn.

2) Strzok and Lisa Page email re when "1001" (False Statement) warning should/must be given in an interview.

3) And this is most important. Bill Priestap's handwritten notes regarding what the interview is all about in the first place. Priestap's notes come in two parts. The first part, on the left side, are brief. However, the notes on the right side are longer, and appear under the heading "Afterwards." My guess is that these are notes that Priestap made either in advance of presenting an argument orally or perhaps as a draft for an email. Priestap says in this portion of the notes that he thought about the proposed Flynn interview "last night"--presumably after a discussion/meeting. Clearly Priestap began having second thoughts on the advisability of the proposed meeting--he thinks the FBI should "rethink" the whole idea.

Priestap's counter proposal is that the interview should be conducted on the up and up, by being open with Flynn about the FBI's concerns and by showing him the transcript of his conversation with Kislyak. Priestap regards the plan as proposed by others as smacking of "game playing," of a "gotcha" approach. And so he asks: What are we trying to accomplish? Are we trying to learn the truth, or are we trying to catch Flynn in a lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired? Priestap appears, after thinking about it overnight, to favor trying to learn the truth! He was, of course, overruled. He ends by stressing the risks of the proposed "game playing" approach--"the White House will be furious." He wants to "protect our institution"--the FBI--whereas the coup plotters are perfectly willing to risk all.

Overall, Priestap strikes me as a sap. How could he ever believe that the talk of a Logan Act violation was actually serious? It must have been a sore trial for the coup plotters to have to deal with a dummy like Priestap who didn't understand "What's urgent?"

That's my summary, but here's my transcript of Priestap's notes:

* We have a case on Flynn and Russians 
* Our goal is to resolve case 
* Our goal is to determine if Mike Flynn is going to tell the truth & his relationship with Russians 
* Can quote [REDACTED] 
* Shouldn't [REDACTED] 
Review [illegible?] alone 

* Afterwards
* Interview 
* I thought [about?] it last night, + I believe we should rethink this
* What's urgent? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?
* We regularly show subjects evidence with he goal of getting them to admit their wrongdoing 
* I don't see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him 
* If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DoJ + have them decide
* Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [REDACTED] + he admits it, document for DoJ, + let them decide how to address it 
* If we're seen as playing games, WH will be furious
* Protect our institution by not playing games

I presume Priestap cooperated with OIG and is now cooperating with John Durham.

UPDATE 2: Sidney Powell stated to Hannity tonight that while the emails have, of course, always been in FBI custody, the written notes may not have been. She also stated with regard to the notes--which are being widely attributed (as above) to Bill Priestap--she is still not certain of the identity of the person who wrote those notes.


  1. beat me to it!

    Baker (assuming these are his notes) appears to be asking these clowns "what the Hell are you trying to do: investigate, or trap the guy, or get him fired?"

  2. OOps, didn't read the whole post. I see they are saying it's Preistap's, not Baker's notes.

  3. Obama is golden, except for legacy. No way he will get tried because he is our first black president. Simple as that.

    Everyone else are targets.

    Yet, my cynicism screems that only 3rd level folks will get prosecuted.

    - TexasDude

  4. It seemed like Priestap had serious reservations about what some of the players were planning to do.

    Sidney Powell has claimed the next batch of releases (with still more on the way again) are more appalling than these releases. I wonder, does she hold onto them until she sees how the government responds by the Monday deadline? If I were the DOJ attorney that had to respond to Powell's dismissal motion, I would be looking for the quickest route to the exit.

    1. Yes, serious reservations. There were indications from the Strzok/Page texts that the insiders didn't trust Priestap. The problem for them was that Priestap, as head of Counterintelligence, was in a critical position. Thus you see McCabe's lawyer Page bypassing Priestap to go directly to Priestap's subordinate Strzok.

      As I say, I don't think Priestap was terribly bright--falling for that Logan Act nonsense is a dead giveaway.

      Jensen's role in this makes be suspect that the government may simply not oppose Powell's motion. That seems the easiest way out. But, too many surprises already to be sure. Flynn seems very confident.

  5. John Solomon on Hannity TV tonight revealed he and Sara Carter were approached by a high level FBI official in 2017 who expressed concern that the FBI had "set Flynn up."

    Hannity says his sources are telling him "this is the tip of the iceberg." Much more, much worse, to come.

    1. Perhaps that was the "mole" in the FBI that diGenova has referred to within the past week.

      I've been saying that the Flynn case leads directly to the inception of the SC by Rosenstein and led by Mueller and Weissmann. That, I believe, is Durham's goal.

    2. I think you are correct; it appears that Durham has deduced a clever way to unravel the Russia Hoax by going backwards, first unpacking the FLynn case, the that leads back into the Mueller Probe, which I assume he is busy unraveling, and that will lead back to Brennan's ICA and CH, and that lead to the FISA on Carter Page, and then that leads back to the fake Steele Dossier material and the bogus predication for CH, and and all the various "informants" and "agents provocateur" dangling OCONUS lures and the like.... and somewhere it will lead to the massive unmasking campaign of Rice/Samantha Power on NSA intercepts, adn help from various FFG intel agencies in the run up to this in late 2015.

      Durham is basically running the "film" backwards to see how it all fit together, and hopefully it leads to the discovery of who the film's director and screen writers were.

      Very methodical.

    3. The reason for this is straightforward enough. The Flynn case is the most transparently criminal on the part of the FBI and Team Mueller. However, most of the same players are involved in both Flynn and CH. Thus, by attacking via Flynn, Durham flips people who can lead him into the heart of the Russia Hoax. Also, it's long been rumored that Priestap began cooperating at an early date, probably with Horowitz. Again, the information of greatest value from Priestap--who gullibly probably believed the Russia Hoax--had to do with Flynn.

      Whatever, we'll be learning more in coming weeks. This has to scare the daylights out of all Team Mueller.

  6. I was not aware of how these people all interacted, but what you describes seems to really, really screw Page and Strzok (and McCabe?). If Strzok's supervisor is cautioning against this course of action, but they do it anyway, it shows a level of deceit and planning that cannot be explained in any other way than criminal intent.

    I agree, the way this was partially rolled out was likely meant to encourage any holdouts to not oppose Powell's motion. This information seems so damning, that I just could not imagine this was not part of some grand jury proceeding involving some of the parties involved in this. My assumption is evidence of criminal conduct generally is not released publicly prior to some resolution by a grand jury, one way or the other.

    1. Right. As diGenova explained just recently, you have to have testimony and evidence locked in before you start going public. This will free up more people to talk.

  7. Check this out:

    >> Techno Fog
    Take a look at how the evidence is marked.

    DOJSCO-700023473 - DOJSCO700023475

    SCO = Special Counsel's Office

    Curious if Team Mueller had these all along...

    ON Hannity tonite, somebody mentioned it was unclear where these various notes came from that Jensen is turning over -- implication was that they may not have come from FBI.

    THe footnote in Shea's letter referencing SCO documents being turned over regarding FBI internal communications re: Flynn case suggests that Mueller Team had them all along.

    I have always suspected one of the main purposes of the Mueller investigation was to gather up the incriminating evidence at FBI/DOJ and bury it so that the Trump administration would never find it.

    It appears they very nearly got away with it, until a clever man named Barr came out of retirement to become AG.

    1. See my UPDATE 2 above. My impression, although Powell spoke somewhat guardedly, is that the author of the notes--who was unquestionably FBI--may have taken them with him. That of course would fit Priestap, who retired the first day he was eligible.

      Re the SCO, since the investigators were FBI, I assume they had full access to previous materials re investigations that the SCO inherited from the FBI. That included Flynn as well as Crossfire Hurricane.

    2. The beauty of shovelling all the documents/notes to Mueller is that it protects them from prying Congressional Committees run by GOP, as well as from FOIA requests from nosy journos like Solomon and Sara Carter, by citing "ongong investigative matter" exception.

      As I noted, it almost worked.

    3. Not necessary to go through SCO. DoJ and FBI could rightly refuse to turn over docs citing ongoing investigation without the SCO. The purpose of the SCO went beyond mere concealment. It was to target Trump directly (no matter what was said publicly) but to protect the investigation from Executive Branch oversight because the media would raise a storm if Trump tried to rein it in.

  8. And here we are, 2nd day of supposed official outings of wrongdoing and nothing.

    - TexasDude has

  9. Seems to be multiple tracks to what is going on:

    1. Flynn Trial - Sidney Powell is leading the charge on this. And seems to have sources telling her where to look. Barr is indirectly helping, since if he helps directly it will be seen as partisan. So any help he does needs to be above reproach.

    2. FISA Court - Fruit of the poisonous tree may have a huge impact.

    3. DNI - Grennell is uncovering a huge amount of rot.

    4. Trump is staying mostly quiet, but keeping the story alive.

    5. UK Defamation Suit - Lots of interesting information about Steele and his dossier.

    6. Senate - Lots of noise, but no actions.

    7. Schiff in the house is hiding testimonies. Be funny if a FOIA gets these.

    8. Durham just keeps on making progress.

    9. FTC - Schiff's actions on subpoena phone records - not sure much will happen.

    10. Hillary's Emails may have a lot of interesting related information. Judicial Watch is suing Google for them, as well as continued FOIA suits. Seems this keeps on getting delayed.

    11. Weiner's Laptop - Rumor is it has all of Hillary's Emails on them, as well as Blackberry back ups. Judicial Watch is also suing on this.

    1. Several of the players were also active in the fake impeachment. I believe Durham will make a concerted move against them.


    As an aside, I had an FBI agent try to get me in trouble with my LT. The FBI agent wanted me to sit on a house for a dual interest wanted person.

    Thing is, I had thousands of wanted folk to try to get all over. Even though myself and others sat on the house for many hours over weeks, the FBI agent kept calling me day after day at work. Finally, I told him to get a 24 hour/7 days a week team to get this guy. My police agency only had 2 warrant officers. Today, after several years, we have now 4. Patrol can only do soo much.

    My LT brother the FBI agent off as the putz deserved.

    - TexasDude

  11. "...get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired"

    Strange "goal" for the FBI. Curious about the motive. Nice evidence of Deep State M.O. nonetheless. I don't believe I've ever seen it documented like that.

    1. And that's the point. That's not a goal for ANY law enforcement agency. So they were outside the scope of their duties--especially they were not legitimately investigating any matter under their jurisdiction. No plausible way for Logan Act to qualify.

    2. Literally, "Show me the man and I will show you the crime."
      Tom S.

  12. One nugget that I recall was Lisa Page’s text to Strzok in 2016 that POTUS (Obama) wanted to know “everything we are doing”. It was assumed by some that this referred to Hillary’s mess, but according to what I have read that was never made clear.

    1. We're told that the next batch--eleven pages, as opposed to the current five--may include more of those texts.

  13. Breaking:

    >> <<

    FBI DC Field office found no derogatory info on Flynn, and tried to close investigation (CROSSFIRE RAZOR) on 1/4/2017.

    FBI HQ goes nuts, and intervenes to keep case open. "7th Floor intervenes."

    "Logan Act" excuse appears to have been invent on 1/4/2017 to keep "CROSSFIRE RAZOR" open.

    1. Yep, was reading this--attachments to latest pleadings--when you commented. Fascinating to be finally reading not just texts and emails but actual case ECs. Predication for CR is 100% bogus.

    2. From the Duke Alumni Facebook page:

      From his perch on the 7th floor of FBI headquarters, Andrew McCabe is one of the most powerful figures in U.S. law enforcement, but most Americans would be hard-pressed to pick him out of a lineup.

      Responsible for overseeing investigations of terrorists, spies and corrupt officials, as well as the sensitive inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, the longtime FBI agent toils mostly behind the scenes, and he likes it that way.”

      READ MORE:
      From his perch on the 7th floor of FBI headquarters, Andrew

      What they mean when they referred to 7th Floor. The part about picking his face out of a lineup - prophetic?

    3. About that Duke Alumni Facebook quote on McCabe, it was from a puff piece May 5, 2016, in the Los Angeles Times. The link goes to that article.

    4. >> What they mean when they referred to 7th Floor. The part about picking his face out of a lineup - prophetic? <<

      See: literary devices, "foreshadowing."


  14. >>Undercover Huber
    This is slam dunk evidence that the FBI’s own field office investigative team knew they had no basis to continue to investigate Flynn about Russia, and wanted to close the case on Jan 4, 2017. Strzok/HQ stopped them, to jam him up about the Kislyak call <<

    1. This has always been about predication. There isn't any, never was any. That's why Barr said: "Without a basis."

  15. WOW!

    >> <<

    1. You need to follow the link to the pleading.

      That EC is one of the most idiotic official docs I've ever seen. My eyes are shot for the time being, so I'll have to write it up later. It's just utter BS, unprofessional, stupid. I can't believe this stuff went down.