Will Missing Texts Save Manafort From Mueller’s Probe?

Some have suggested that the FBI losing five months of text messages between anti-Trump investigators is a coverup of an “insurance policy” to smear Donald Trump with claims of Russian collusion in the event of a win. Others have suggested it’s simply bureaucratic incompetence. Paul Manafort’s attorneys, on the other hand, are likely chomping at the bit see if they can argue for a dismissal of the federal charges against their client due to Robert Mueller’s increasingly tainted probe.

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Look for Paul Manafort to jump all over this. He’s already fighting his indictment, claiming that Mueller is overstepping his authority and shouldn’t be running the investigation. Throw in this evidence that the investigation may have been tainted before Mueller even took over, and that the DOJ could be covering up damaging information, and a motion to dismiss alleging prosecutorial misconduct is a near certainty.

FBI Agent Strzok was reportedly heading up the Manafort investigation before he was taken off the Mueller probe. Manafort’s attorney might try to say that the missing text messages could contain exculpatory evidence (or evidence favorable to the defendant) and therefore the court should get to the bottom of what the two said.  However, two former federal prosecutors who spoke to Law&Crime both contend it would be difficult to get the entire indictment dismissed based on the text messages alone.LawandCrime.com

“It depends on what FBI’s retention policy is for text messages. It does certainly raise questions as to how these five months came up missing,” explained former federal prosecutor Bill Thomas, adding “However, the court is not going to just dismiss the case. If it comes to it, the judge may hold a hearing to get to that information through calling witnesses. Dismissal is the nuclear option, it would have to be something very very egregious for a court to dismiss the case.”

Very very egregious

The bombshell announcement regarding the missing text messages did not go over well with Congressional investigators. In a letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) to FBI director Christopher Wray, Johnson asks five key questions: 

  1. Please explain the scope and scale of all records lost, destroyed, or otherwise alienated during the midyear examination investigation
  2. Does the FBI have any records of communications between Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017? If so, please provide those communications.
  3. Has the FBI conducted searches of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’s non-FBI-issued communication devices or accounts to determine whether federal records exist on those nonofficial accounts? Please explain how the FBI is complying with federal records requirements with respect to these devices.
  4. Has the FBI produced text messages to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) or any other FBI employees in furtherance of the DOJ OIG’s review of the Clinton email investigation? If so, please identify which FBI employees’ communications were produced.
  5. Has the FBI produced Microsoft Lync conversations between Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok to the DOJ OIG? Please explain. 

 

Question four is an interesting one – considering the conflicting information discovered last night between the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). A Friday document submission from the DOJ included a cover letter from the Assistant AG for Legislative Affairs, Stephen Boyd, claiming that the FBI was unable to preserve text messages between the two agents for a five month period between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 – due to “misconfiguration issues” with FBI-issued Samsung 5 devices used by Strzok and Page (despite over 10,000 texts which were recovered from their devices without incident).

 

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However – as Josh Caplan points out, the lost text messages are in direct contradiction to a December 13, 2017 letter from the DOJ’s internal watchdog – Inspector General Michael Horowitz, to Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley and HSGAC Chairman Ron Johnson, in which he claims he received the texts in question on August 10, 2017

In gathering evidence for the OIG’s ongoing 2016 election review, we requested, consistent with standard practice, that the FBI produce text messages from the FBI-issued phones of certain FBI employees involved in the Clinton email investigation based on search terms we provided. After finding a number of politically-oriented text messages between Page and Strzok, the OIG sought from the FBI all text messages between Strzok and Page from their FBI-issued phones through November 30, 2016, which covered the entire period of the Clinton e-mail server investigation. The FBI produced these text messages on July 20, 2017. Following our review of those text messages, the OIG expanded our request to the FBI to include all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, through the date of the document request, which was July 28, 2017.

The OIG received these additional messages on August 10, 2017.

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As one can see, the deleted text messages are not only highly unusual – but the circumstances surrounding their disappearance are highly suspect, and may even be “very very egregious” upon further analysis

We’re sure Paul Manafort’s legal team is drafting a motion to dismiss at this very moment.

Retired Green Beret Warns “The Public’s Attention Is Being Diverted From What Is Really Happening”

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via SHTFplan.com,

The Russian surveillance vessel the Viktor Leonov was reportedly leaving the Caribbean over the weekend bound toward the U.S. East Coast. Florida will be reached by next Friday, and before this, the King’s Bay ballistic missile submarine base in Georgia is also along their projected route. This comes on the heels of what has gone largely unreported by the Mainstream Media. On Friday, 1/19/18, a report from U.S. National News emerged, entitled Submarine off of NJ/DE/MD coasts? US Navy deploys NINE Anti-Submarine Aircraft off East Coast Fearing Sub Missile Launch Against US. Here is an excerpt:

The East Coast of the United States may be subjected to attack by submarine launched missile(s) and the US Navy has scrambled NUMEROUS P-8A POSEIDON anti-submarine aircraft, to repeatedly search coastal waters from New York City to Washington, DC ALL DAY Thursday into Thursday Evening. 

According to flight records, at least NINE anti-submarine warfare aircraft were sortied Thursday off the US East Coast, and Flight Records show they were engaged in very active hunting for submarine(s) off the East Coast . . .. well WITHIN the 12-mile territorial limit of the United States.

This article has plenty of photos, and some with the locations of CAP (Civil Air Patrol) enlisted to aid the U.S. Navy with the “shortfall” in radar coverage and area surveillance. The article also gives the disposition of numerous aircraft and shows the locations of monitored Russian submarines.

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While all of this has been happening, “statesman” Rex Tillerson just came out and declared this at Stanford University on Wed., 1/17/18, as reported by RT News:

“The Japanese… have had over a 100 North Korean fishing boats that have drifted into Japanese waters. Two-thirds of the people on those boats have died.” 

“They [The fishermen] are being sent in the wintertime to fish because there are food shortages. And they are being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back. So, we are getting a lot of evidence that these [sanctions] are really starting to hurt.

Honorable Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Pure statesmanship, pure diplomacy? No: pure extortion. This coming from a country (the U.S.) that wanted to depose Assad for the “brutal human rights violations” against civilians…but when it involves the civilians of a country we want to crush…what are a few hundred starving North Korean fisherman’s lives worth? Hey, the sanctions work! We oust leaders for human rights violations, but our policies and sanctions are “humane,” and “altruistic.” Let them join the IMF and World Bank, become a vassal, then they can shop at Costco. Then: let them eat cake!

North Korea has the resolve to see through any paper-tiger sanctions initiated by a country that is a dying empire backed up by a “toothless” UN.

China and Russia have the resolve to be positioning their assets now…prior to the conflict…the war that is forthcoming. It has been reported that the Chinese have moved troops and radiation detectors along their border with North Korea.

Just about a week ago, the RAF had to scramble Typhoons to escort Russian bombers conducting practice runs along the Cold War routes that cover the UK.

A very in-depth article came out that reports Russia and China to be skeptical concerning the U.S.’s gold supply.

Economics is another form of warfare: should they prove the U.S. to not have on hand the gold reserves it claims to have, or (as it states) that the gold is of inferior quality to that traded by the rest of the world? This may very well be the final kicker to persuade nations to distrust the falling Petrodollar and remove the dollar as the World Currency exchange. Such would establish the positions of gold-backed Rubles and Yuan that also have oil to trade, to further bolster that worth on a global economy. For those who still watch television, enjoy your football and the upcoming Olympics.

But keep this in mind: the powers that be will not rest in their inexorable march toward global government.

It would not be the first time that bread and circuses were used to keep the mob entertained…and distracted from the sinister actions and purposes of their leaders and governments. In the meantime, other nations are preparing and positioning their forces, as well as conducting intelligence and surveillance on us…prior to the war that may come anytime.

If the politicians are any indicator of how we’ll fare…the prognosis doesn’t look good. All of it can be avoided with diplomacy, but war is a money-maker, and a game changer for an incumbent whose ratings are flagging. War is their solution. Why? Because they live off our labors and our tax dollars ensure they’ll be safe and sound in their bunkers. Their world: opulent feasts, riches, maintaining power, with armies and unlimited resources…it will remain intact. Ours will not.

The Price Of Freedom: MbS’s Corruption Crackdown Nets $100 Billion For Saudi State

After nearly three months of “enhanced interrogations” and at least one reported death, Mohammad bin Salman’s hired mercenaries have nearly finished the job. Bloomberg reported Monday that half of the roughly 180 royals being held at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton have agreed to pay a financial settlement in exchange for their freedom.

The total amount raised is $100 billion in cash, stock, real estate and other assets – enough to cover the state’s 2017 budget deficit, and then some.

Talks with suspects are expected to end by the end of the month and authorities will likely recover more than $100 billion in settlements, a senior official said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. Those who don’t reach deals will be referred to prosecutors, the official said.

Authorities have already agreed to drop charges against about 90 suspects who were released, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a separate interview at the Ritz-Carlton late on Sunday. About 95 people were still at the hotel, including five weighing settlement proposals, with the others reviewing evidence presented against them, he said.

“The royal order was clear,” Al Mojeb said, as Arabic music streamed through loudspeakers in the hotel lobby. “Those who express remorse and agree to settle will have any criminal proceedings against them dropped.”

That group reportedly includes Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men. Bin Talal was reportedly strung upside down and beaten by mercenaries during his interrogation. He eventually relented and agreed to a settlement. Back in November, we reported that Miteb al Abdullah, a prince accused of embezzlement and corruption, settled for $1 billion.

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Major General Ali Alqahtani was reportedly beaten to death by mercenaries after refusing the state’s offer of a settlement. Meanwhile, at least one royal, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, was killed during a gun battle with Saudi state security after refusing to surrender.

Several other high-ranking officials died in suspicious helicopter crashes around the time the purge was launched on Nov. 4.

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal was among those detained, as was former Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Adel Al Fakeih, who was removed as minister of economy and planning on the eve of the arrests.

The princes were detained in the 495-room hotel in Riyadh. Shortly after the crackdown began, images began circulating of royals sleeping on what appeared to be dirty mattresses in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton.

While 95 princes remain at the hotel, Bloomberg reported that only a handful are expected to reach a settlement. The rest will, presumably, serve lengthy prison sentences.

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Saudi officials have defended the crackdown, while foreign observers have complained about a lack of transparency and rumors of widespread human rights abuses.

The probe was conducted in a “pretty nontransparent way,” according to Moritz Kraemer, global chief rating officer at S&P Global Ratings, who appeared on Bloomberg TV Monday. The probe “could be a step in the right direction but it could also be a step towards more arbitrary ruling,” he said.

About 350 people have been summoned during the probe, but many came as witnesses or to provide information, with some spending only a few hours or less at the Ritz, the official said.

With the purge nearly over, the remaining guests will presumably soon be moved to their, uh, long-term accommodations, as the hotel has revealed that it will be taking bookings again as of Feb. 14.

According to Bloomberg, Al Mojeb denied the suspects’ rights were violated. All had access to legal council and some did retain lawyers, though many chose to settle voluntarily without outside representation, he said. Those released faced no restrictions on their movement, he said.