Inspector General finds former FBI senior official Michael Steinbach had “numerous” inappropriate contacts with the media


WASHINGTON, D.C.- According to a report released by the Department of Justice (DOJ), a top Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official repeatedly violated federal law and bureau policy in inappropriate interactions with members of the media while overseeing the controversial investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

Former FBI official Michael Steinbach was named the FBI’s executive assistant director of its National Security Bureau in February 2016, which was just five months before the FBI launched the investigation into the Trump presidential campaign.

He played a leading role in overseeing the investigation and then abruptly resigned from the FBI in February of 2017.

According to a redacted DOJ Inspector General report obtained by the New York Post through a freedom of information act request, Michael Steinbach “had numerous unauthorized contacts with the media” before his ascension to executive assistant director and continuing after.

The “hundreds of contacts” reportedly included “soliciting” an unidentified reporter for a $300 ticket to the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Association gala after already getting invited by a different reporter to the 2015 Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner.

On the night of the 2015 dinner, Steinbach texted the unidentified reporter saying, “Lots of [redacted] reporters here. May have to branch out!”

The reported responded by saying:

“Absolutely not!!! But curious to know who you’ve met so far? … well they will never be as good as me! and don’t you get the big head! ;)”

Steinbach responded:

“But they are promising the WH Correspondents dinner.”

The following year, in 2016, Steinbach attended the White House Correspondents’ dinner and a reception party as a guest of a reporter and then boasted about it in a text message to an unidentified CNN reporter. The unidentified CNN reporter wrote in a text to Steinbach:

“I put you on the map and now you’re cheating on me with [redacted].”

Steinbach responded by texting:

“I kept waiting for my invite from you.”

According to reports, 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. The email read, in part:

“Thanks for hanging out with us last night [redacted] and I had a great time. 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 Post reported that 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 DOJ report states:

“The OIG notes that it was unable to determine who paid for the drinks or meals during these social engagements.”

Steinbach’s correspondence with reporters outside of the bounds of FBI policy continued for several years. According to a report from Politico:

“Steinbach had hundreds of contacts with the media for several years. This media contact included social engagements outside of FBI headquarters without any coordination from Office of Public Affairs (OPA), involving drinks, lunches and dinners.”

The report stated that the FBI’s policy on media was “unambiguous.” An FBI official interviewed by the inspector general said that the policy as espoused by former FBI Director James Comey was much more flexible.

The official told the inspector general, Comey “was trying to change the way the FBI dealt with the media. 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 official added:

“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?”

The report added that “prosecution was declined.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

“Deep corruption”: Rep. Gaetz breaks silence on DNC law firm Perkins Coie and its “FBI workspace” in its D.C. offices

June 1st, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.- According to a report from Fox Metro News, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where he broke the news that DNC law firm Perkins Coie has an “FBI workspace” in its D.C offices. On Twitter, Gaetz wrote:

“BREAKING: In response to a letter sent by Rep. Matt Gaetz and @Jim_Jordan, Perkins Coie, the legal arm of the DNC and Hilary Clinton, admits they have been operating an FBI workspace in their Washington, D.C. office since 2012.”

According to reports, Gaetz said that he and Jordan received information that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has maintained a secure work environment inside Perkins Coie. This is the same law firm that Michael Sussmann used to be a partner at. Gaetz said:

“The Democrat Party’s law firm, the law firm that received $42 million from the Democratic Party has this co-located workspace that they operate in concert with the FBI. Why in the world would that be the case? Why would Christopher Wray allow this to continue?”

He added:

“Then you would also have to ask yourself why in the last 12 months was the person on behalf of Perkins Coie operating that worksite, Michael Sussmann himself? … What reason would there be for that and what leverage would the Perkins law firm have over the FBI give this work they are doing together? …”

Fox News reported that on Tuesday, May 31st, a jury found Michael Sussmann not guilty of making a false statement to the FBI in September of 2016 when he said he was not working on behalf of any client.

Two weeks of trial and over a day of deliberations led the jury to find that Special Counsel John Durham’s team had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussmann’s statement was a lie. In remarks following the verdict, Sussmann said that he had been falsely accused. He said:

“I told the truth to the FBI and the jury clearly recognized this in their unanimous verdict to day. I’m grateful to the members of the jury for their careful thoughtful service. Despite being falsely accused I believe that justice ultimately prevailed in my case.”

Durham released his own statement, expressing his office’s disappointment in the verdict:

“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service. I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case.”

While speaking with Gaetz, Carlson was blown away by the special arrangement between the FBI and the Democrat law firm. Carlson asked Gaetz, who is a lawyer:

“This is not normal, correct?”

Gaetz responded by saying:

“I have spoken to former federal prosecutors on the Judiciary Committee and throughout the country, and I’ve not heard any describe a relationships like this with a private law firm. And especially because Michael Sussmann was an election lawyer! Why in the world would an election lawyer be operating out of this facility in this way?”

He added:

“Our concern is that politically motivated dirt was being converted into politically motivated investigations. That’s why Jim Jordan and I are making demands for answers from Christopher Wray immediately.”

Gaetz said that it is his hope that the facility will soon be shut down. He added:

“The Democrat party shouldn’t have this special access, this special portal to the FBI, especially knowing what we do now – that they were often trying to take this opposition research and use that for law enforcement counterintelligence purposes.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Newly released notes show FBI in panic after Trump revealed he knew about Obama spying

May 15th, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC- Newly released notes taken by officials within the Department of Justice in 2017 show a high level of panic among members of the FBI after former President Donald Trump revealed he knew he and his campaign were being spied on, a report in the Epoch Times says.

According to newly released notes taken by high-ranking DOJ officials during a March 6, 2017, meeting with FBI leadership, there was a high level of concern about Trump finding out and it revealed the level of effort taken by the FBI to cover up its spying on the 2016 Trump campaign.

The notes were released in conjunction with the upcoming trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, requested by his attorneys as part of efforts to clear him on charges of lying to the FBI. Unfortunately for Sussmann, the notes appear to do little to aid in his defense, however, provide a great deal of information about the FBI.

The meeting referenced in the notes occurred only two days after a March 4, 2017, tweet in which Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. That led to panic within FBI leadership, uncertain if Trump was blowing smoke or indeed had information about the Obama administration’s efforts to tie him into the Russian collusion allegations.

By that time, leadership within the FBI already were aware that the Trump-Russia collusion claims were a hoax. They further knew that the Clinton campaign had a scheme to portray Trump as a Putin-favoring stooge. Further, the FBI was well aware that the Steele dossier, the primary source of allegations against Trump which tried to paint a collusion scheme, was bogus.

By the date of that March 6, 2017, meeting, the FBI had already been interrogating Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko, for three days. Danchenko debunked almost every allegation made within the Steele dossier.

In addition, the FBI knew that another story, that involving a Russian bank, Alfa Bank, in which a story was leaked claiming a server at Trump Tower was in communication with that institution, information that was brought to the FBI by Sussmann. In sum, the FBI knew that all claims of Russia collusion involving Trump had been shown to be false.

The whole narrative began to collapse on the FBI on March 4, 2017, when Trump made the claim that he knew Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, doing so in public which set off alarm bells within the FBI and DOJ leadership. In fact, that tweet got leadership’s attention to the point it was a dominant topic at a meeting two days later, a meeting which included FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the acting U.S. attorney general, Dana Boente.

The whole thing presented something of a quandary for the FBI, since they had no idea how much Trump in fact knew about what had been occurring within the agency. Only a day earlier, radio talk show host Mark Levin reported the Obama administration had obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants what involved Trump and several of his campaign advisers.

Levin also reported that an off-the-cuff joke Trump offered in July 2016—“Russia, if you’re listening I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing”—had become the basis for the Russia collusion accusations. Those 30,000 emails referred to the “missing” emails from Hillary Clinton’s server.

However seeking bogus FISA warrants wasn’t all the FBI was involved in. They were also actively spying on the Trump campaign and the incoming Trump administration’s transition communications, information that was revealed in the new notes. They revealed not only had the FBI spied on FBI campaign adviser Carter Page, but had also spied on another aide, George Papadopoulos, which included getting him over to London in order to set him up in an elaborate sting.

The scheme also involved false accusations fomented by Sussmann that Trump was using a version of a “burner” phone—a Russian Yota phone. Also, a man named Rodney Joffe, a tech executive with deep ties to the FBI who was using access to non-public data to spy on Trump at both the Trump Tower and at the White House.

The March 6 meeting was focused on Trump’s tweet, with McCabe saying the FBI was trying to find out what was behind the president’s tweets.

The notes were taken by three officials of the DOJ—Tashina Gauhar, Mary McCord, and Scott Schools. The release of the notes came about because one showed McCabe saying that McCabe stated Sussmann represented clients when he brought the Alfa Bank allegations forward to the FBI. Sussmann told the FBI he didn’t represent anyone, but was only acting as a “good Samaritan.” That lie is what led to Sussmann’s indictment.

It is unknown if the notes will help Sussmann; however the notes were written six months after Sussmann told the FBI the opposite, amounting to hearsay evidence.

However Sussmann ignored the more damning pages of notes which show the true extent of the FBI’s panic over Trump’s tweet. It appears, the Epoch Times reports, that FBI leadership’s first reaction was to tell the acting attorney general a plethora of lies about their investigation.

The scheme went so far as the FBI attempting to trump up the veracity of Steele’s dossier, referring to it as “Crown reporting,” giving the appearance it was official UK government intelligence. The truth was, most of it was information made up by Steele and Danchenko, which the FBI was already well aware of.

The notes also show that former FBI agent Peter Strzok had lied to his DOJ superiors about what led to the Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, to come forward to the FBI with information relative to his meeting with Papadopolous.

The FBI has long claimed it was Downer who initiated the Trump-Russia investigation; however the newly released notes seem to lay that as false. In fact, the notes show Strzok claiming it was Trump’s joke about Russia about Russia discovering Clinton’s emails that triggered Downer. The truth is, however, that Downer came forward before Trump made the joke.

Another lie perpetrated by the FBI in which they deceived the DOJ regarding the Carter Page FISA warrant was where they claimed it was “fruitful” when in fact it was nothing of the sort, and the FBI knew it, with the Justice Department Inspector General finding “significant errors” in the applications.

The FBI also appears to have tried to misrepresent and further the Alfa Bank allegations claiming that the Trump Organization had solicited Alfa Bank, when in fact the FBI knew within days of Sussmann giving them the Alfa Bank information that it was bogus.

As of Sept 23, 2016, the FBI’s IT team had rendered the Alfa Bank allegations false. Instead of acknowledging that, the FBI kept the Alfa Bank story alive through misrepresenting the allegations.

All of these facts—exculpatory in nature—were not only kept from interim DOJ officials but FBI leadership attempted to prop up the facts in order to give the appearance of a strong case against Trump even though they knew no such case existed.

The inside DC swamp apparatus immediately went into action the day after Trump’s tweet, with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper going on state-TV CNN and claimed there was “no wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.

Ten days later on March 15, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about the FISA application for Carter Page, which FBI leadership believed Trump knew about. Simultaneously, Comey began briefing the so-called Gang of Eight in Congress regarding the Page FISA.

Less than a week later, Clapper reversed course, suddenly going from denying the existed of spying on the Trump campaign to denying abuse of the FISA process.

That same date, Comey testified before Congress and acknowledged the existence of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign.

All of this—the bogus schemes hatched by the FBI and Obama intelligence officials—led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which derailed the first two to three years of the Trump presidency, an investigation which turned up nothing.

While that delayed progress in finding the real perpetrators of the Russia collusion hoax and bringing them to justice, that will hopefully change with the Durham probe, with Sussmann possibly being the first in a line of dominoes to fall.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

Submit a Correction
Related Posts