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.
BREAKING: Trump ordered to pay over $350M, barred from operating his business in NY in civil fraud case ruling
Former President Donald Trump and his business empire faced a significant setback as a New York judge ruled against them in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The 92-page ruling, handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron, barred Trump from operating his business in New York for three years and imposed over $350 million in damages.
The case, which unfolded over months of trial proceedings, stemmed from allegations that Trump inflated his assets and engaged in fraudulent practices. Engoron’s ruling cited a litany of charges, including persistent fraud, falsifying records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Moreover, the judge imposed restrictions on key figures within the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, barring them from serving in certain corporate roles in New York for a specified period.
Engoron’s scathing assessment of Trump’s testimony during the trial further undermined the former president’s credibility. The judge criticized Trump for evasive responses and irrelevant digressions, highlighting the detrimental effect on his credibility.
In response to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, lambasted the court’s decision, alleging political bias and a disregard for established legal principles. Kise argued that the evidence presented during the trial failed to support the allegations of fraud and emphasized Trump’s substantial net worth.
Kise’s assertions were echoed by Alina Habba, another attorney representing Trump, who denounced the verdict as a “manifest injustice” resulting from a politically motivated witch hunt.
Throughout the proceedings, Trump consistently dismissed the trial as politically motivated, accusing both Engoron and James of partisan bias. His legal team also criticized the absence of a jury in the trial, questioning the fairness of the proceedings.
Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Trump and his organization, portrayed the ruling as a victory for accountability and transparency in business practices. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent conduct and sought substantial financial penalties, a portion of which would contribute to the state treasury.
The fallout from the case extends beyond Trump and his business interests, with implications for the broader business community and the rule of law. The contentious nature of the trial and its outcome underscored deep divisions and raised questions about the integrity of the legal system.
Trump vows to appeal the decision.
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