Former senior FBI official and acting director of the Counterterrorism Division, Michael Steinbach, “had dozens of unauthorized contacts with members of the media before he resigned” reports The New York Post.
Among the “number of high-profile investigations in the lead-up to the 2016 election” that he oversaw, the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server was one of them. Steinbach had “27 in-person meetings with reporters from 2014 to 2017 and also attended two black-tie dinners in Washington as a guest of a reporter, according to the report from DOJ’s Office of Inspector General obtained by The Post.”
The OIG report was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and states Steinbach was “soliciting” a reporter from an unspecified outlet for a ticket to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in 2015. That same night he attended the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner.
The New York Post reports on the OIG report obtained through the FOIA:
“Lots of [redacted] reporters here. May have to branch out!” Steinbach wrote to the unidentified reporter in a text message on the night of the 2015 dinner.
“Absolutely not!!! But curious to know who you’ve met so far?” the reporter responded, adding: “well they will never be as good as me! and don’t you get the big head! ;)”
“But they are promising the WH Correspondents dinner,” Steinbach responded.
A year later, Steinbach attended the White House Correspondents’ dinner and a reception party as a guest of a reporter — and boasted about it in a text to an unidentified CNN reporter.
“I put you on the map and now you’re cheating on me with [redacted],” the CNN reporter wrote in a text message to Steinbach.
“I kept waiting for my invite from you,” Steinbach responded.
After the $300-a-ticket event, Steinbach sent an email to a reporter with the subject “Great Night” that included a photo of an unidentified person standing with the journalist in front of the White House Correspondents’ Association banner.
“Thanks for hanging out with us last night [redacted] and I had a great time. And also thank you for giving us a lift. That was nice. I know it has been [sic] very busy year but when it slows down and as the weather gets nicer, we would love to grab [sic] or drinks with you and [redacted] either in the city somewhere or at our house,” the email read, in part.
In addition to the dinners, Steinbach had numerous lunches with journalists in Washington from 2014 to 2017, including at restaurants Asia Nine, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Elephant & Castle and Oyamel Cocina Mexicana.
“The OIG notes that it was unable to determine who paid for the drinks or meals during these social engagements,” the report states.
As part of the investigation, the Inspector General’s Office interviewed an “FBI senior official” regarding policies for contact with the media.
The official told investigators that Steinbach told them that then-Director James Comey “was trying to change the way the FBI dealt with the media.”
The senior official said, “I think Director Comey, more than any director I ever heard, fully understood the concept that we’re only as good as our ability to listen to information with people,” the report states.
“And when you take your credentials out, it needs to mean something. And the only way to do that is to have the trust. And the only way to get the trust is to have good will and the media is part of that, right?” they added.
Steinbach, who did not respond to a request for comment, resigned from the FBI in February 2017 and declined to be interviewed in the OIG probe.
The report notes the watchdog concluded that Steinbach violated federal regulations and FBI protocol and its findings would be delivered to the FBI.
“Prosecution was declined,” the report adds.
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Biden’s Email Controversy Deepens: A Saga of Aliases, Whistleblowers, and Shadowy Communications
In a bombshell revelation, new records released by the House Ways & Means Committee expose a labyrinth of email aliases and private addresses used by then-Vice President Joe Biden to communicate with his son Hunter and key business associates, according to metadata obtained from IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.
Furthermore, according to reports from Fox News, the data, covering the span of nine years from 2010 to 2019, reveals an astonishing 327 exchanges between Biden and his son, notably during Biden’s tenure as vice president.
The majority of these clandestine communications were exclusively with Eric Schwerin, a pivotal figure described as “the architect of the Biden family’s shell companies.” The emails were conducted using aliases such as “robinware456,” “JRBware,” and “RobertLPeters.” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer had previously hinted at the existence of Biden’s email aliases earlier this year.
According to reports, the whistleblowers, still actively employed as IRS investigators, ran a search for Biden’s email aliases in their existing files, revealing the 327 exchanges with Hunter Biden and Schwerin. The metadata access, however, falls short of scrutinizing email content, requiring a search warrant for deeper investigation.
Schwerin, former president of Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca Advisors, has found himself under the spotlight. In a March 2023 meeting with the House Oversight Committee, Schwerin claimed he was unaware of any transactions related to Biden family business in the then-Vice President’s bank account.
This assertion aligns with the White House narrative, pushing back against Republican scrutiny and an impeachment inquiry.
Amidst the rising scrutiny, House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer has subpoenaed Schwerin for a deposition on Nov. 9, indicating a deepening probe into the financial intricacies of the Biden family.
The data also reveals a spike in emails between Biden and Schwerin during the vice president’s travels to Ukraine, a period significantly coinciding with Hunter Biden’s board membership at Burisma Holdings.
The information underscores the increased communication between the two during crucial junctures, raising questions about the nature of their discussions and the potential intersection of official government business with family interests.
Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, spearheading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden, asserts that the evidence points to Joe Biden’s use of private email accounts with aliases while conducting official duties on international trips.
The broader investigation by Smith, alongside House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer, delves into foreign money received by the Biden family and whether President Biden was involved in their foreign business dealings.
As the House intensifies its scrutiny, Hunter Biden’s scheduled deposition on Dec. 13 promises further revelations, with House Republicans pledging transparency by releasing the transcript and advocating for a public hearing. The saga of Biden’s emails unfolds against a backdrop of denial from the White House and Justice Department officials, creating a complex narrative.
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