A government watchdog group announced Tuesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI, Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for documents and records related to a meeting in early January, 2017 attended by President Barack Obama, along with other senior Obama officials, regarding Michael Flynn.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that has been battling the DOJ and FBI for years for documentation on the FBI’s now debunked investigation into President Trump’s campaign and Russia, requested that the government provide all records regarding the Oval Office meeting on Jan. 5, 2017. The meeting was also referenced in an email that former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice sent to herself on that same day. Rice stressed in that email that President Obama wanted everything done by the book, which was a highly unusual as it raised many questions with lawmakers as to why she sent the email to herself in the first place.
“Obama’s infamous January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting is a key moment in the corrupt effort to smear and spy on President Trump and target General Flynn with a malicious prosecution,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release. “Rather than delay and stonewall, it is urgent the FBI, DOJ, ODNI release all records about this malicious, seditious conspiracy.”
During that meeting in the White House then Obama, Rice, former Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper allegedly discussed Flynn, as well as the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. Years long investigations by Congress, the DOJ Inspector General and journalists revealed that Steele’s dossier was filled with false information, as well as disinformation planted by Russia’s GRU to sow chaos in the United States 2016 election.
The dossier was also paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as well as the Democratic National Committee, which commissioned a pseudo research firm Fusion GPS to hire Steele. Moreover, the research firm, along with Steele, leaked the false information on Trump and his campaign through main stream media outlets.
Judicial Watch stated in their press release that “at least two records describing the meeting – a January 20, 2017, memo Rice sent to herself and a set of notes taken by FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok – have been declassified and made public. Sally Yates also detailed the meeting to Robert Mueller’s investigation.”
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ, FBI, and ODNI failed to respond to identical May 20, 2020, FOIA requests for:
- All records regarding the January 5, 2017, meeting at the White House between former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director James Comey, President Obama, and others. This request includes all records created in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the meeting, as well as any and all related records of communication between any official or representative of the Department of Justice and any other individual.
The meeting took place just two weeks prior to Trump’s inauguration. Judicial Watch last week released mails between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page which included a frantic exchange between top bureau officials in the days prior to and following Trump’s inauguration discussing a White House counterintelligence briefing that could “play into” the FBI’s “investigative strategy.”
In May 2020, Judicial Watch received the “electronic communication” (EC) that officially launched the counterintelligence investigation, termed “Crossfire Hurricane,” of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The document was written by Strzok.
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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap
President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.
According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.
In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were “wrongfully detained.” He said the American’s would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.
“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.
Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.
The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.
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