Obstruction of Justice: Seth Rich, Mikhail Lesin, and the Comey Memos

It was as obvious as the hand in front of your face, or so I thought.  A comment the President had made, or a comment by James Comey pertaining to the President’s remarks, had been redacted.  The subject:  Vladimir Putin and murder.

But that’s not what the press reported.  CNN wrote “The 11 must-read moments from Comey’s private memos.”  The New York Times:  “6 Takeaways From the James Comey Memos.”  Neither contained any reference to the redaction, or even the nature of the subject.  The Washington Post at least touched on the subject in “What the Comey Memos Say.

I suppose that if you’re managing a huge corporate media outlet, deductive logic is a pretty thin basis to point out that the President of the United States was obstructing some type of investigation into the murders of Mikhail Lesin and/or Seth Rich. You might get sued.  Unlike Jeff Bezos, I’m not worth $110 Billion, so here goes.

Mikhail Lesin was brutally murdered in a Washington D.C. hotel room November 5, 2015, before he was scheduled to interview with the Justice Department, who wanted to know about the inner workings of Russia Today, which Lesin founded.  On no less than three occasions shortly after Lesin’s murder, and one after he was inaugurated, then-candidate Donald Trump played defense attorney for Putin when asked questions by reporters about Putin’s track record on murder, on December 12, 2015; December 20, 2015; January 26, 2016; and February 6, 2017.

It was Trump’s fourth defense of Putin, to Bill O’Reilly in the 2016 Super Bowl, that became a topic of conversation between Trump and Comey on February 8, 2017, in the White House, which Comey documented in a memo.    

Trump’s comment in the exchange with Bill O’Reilly that he wanted Comey to agree with:

“O’Reilly said: ‘He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.’”

“’There are a lot of killers,’ Trump replied. ‘We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?'”

And here is Comey’s account of the conversation which Comey and Trump had on Trump’s remarks to O’Reilly.

An entire sentence is redacted here. The subject matter throughout the entire paragraph, both before and after the sentence, are on the same topic. What reasons could there be for this redaction? 

This is a good link explaining redactions. It was made to explain the redactions made to the “Mueller Report.” There are four reasons for redactions listed in this article: 1. “Potential harm to an ongoing legal matter.” In other words, an investigation; 2. “The need to conceal investigative techniques.” This is commonly referred to as “sources and methods;” 3. “Personal privacy.” This appears to be a reason added by William Barr after he became Attorney General on February 14, 2019, and would not have been applied to the redaction of Comey’s memos before their publication on April 19, 2018; 4. “Grand jury testimony.”

I don’t see how the sentence I referenced could have been redacted for any reason other than an investigation, whether it was Grand Jury, FBI, CIA or whoever. If you can think of one, please put it in the comments section below.

Speaking of Grand Jury murder investigations, that’s another thing the media didn’t tell you about- other than Buzzfeed, which broke the story that the rest of the media ignored.  

“Now BuzzFeed News has learned that federal prosecutors called witnesses before a grand jury during 2016 to compel them to testify under penalty of perjury about Lesin’s death, and they amassed more than 150 pages of material from the proceedings. The use of a grand jury, not previously reported, was discovered in documents released after BuzzFeed News launched a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel the Justice Department, the FBI, and other agencies to turn over records related to the Lesin investigation. That lawsuit is ongoing.”

“Citing grand jury secrecy, two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case declined to say what witnesses were called or describe their testimony. They said that prosecutors used a sitting grand jury, rather than empanelling one specifically for the Lesin case, and that they were investigating the media baron’s death as a homicide.”

Notice the part in Buzzfeed’s article where they said the Grand Jury investigating Mikhail Lesin was a sitting one, not one empaneled for Lesin, and that this Grand Jury was doing work sometime in 2016. Buzzfeed didn’t give a more specific date range on this Grand Jury. There was another notable Grand Jury investigating a murder, probably around the same time, one that was empaneled specifically for a murder.

Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich, filed suit against Ed Butowsky, Matthew Couch, and some media outlets on March 26, 2018. In his suit, Aaron reported that a Grand Jury had investigated his brother’s murder.

“He (Aaron Rich) has provided law enforcement officials with access to all of Seth’s property, followed up regularly with the officials regarding their investigation, and voluntarily testified under oath as a witness before a grand jury convened to investigate Seth’s murder. “

Comey reported that the President seemed upset that he did not agree with Trump’s assessment on the subject of murders and Putin.

He then said, ‘You think my answer was good, right?’ I said the answer was fine, except the part about killers, because we aren’t the kind of killers that Putin is. When I said this, the President paused noticeably. I don’t know what to make of it, but he clearly noticed I had directly criticized him.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on April 15, 2018, a few days before his memos were declassified and released to the public, Comey did not back off any implication he had made in his February 8, 2017 memo.

JAMES COMEY: Yeah. In fact, he was telling me it was a good answer and then said– gave me an opening by saying, ‘You think it was a great answer. You think it was a good answer.’ And then he was starting to move on. And I jumped in and I said, ‘Mr. President, the first part of the answer was fine, not the second part. We’re not the kind of killers that Putin is.'”

And when I said that, the weather changed in the room. And like a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look. And I thought in that moment, ‘I’ve just done something unusual maybe.’ And then (SNAP) it passed and the meeting was over. And, ‘Thanks for coming in,’ and– and Priebus walked me out. It was like–

If you’re writing a movie script, when the subject of murder comes up with one of the main characters and you write in “a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look,” there’s only one way to take that. James Comey is a former prosecutor and FBI Director and I think he knows exactly what he is implying. He did it twice.

This was the first time Comey pushed back against Trump. Comey had been concerned about having a conflict with the President in his previous meetings. He told Stephanopolous about his January 6, 2017 meeting with President-elect Trump in Trump Tower:

Well, I’m about to meet with a person who doesn’t know me, who’s just been elected president of the United States. By all accounts, and from my watching him during the– the campaign, could be volatile. And I’m about to talk to him about allegations that he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians taped it and have leverage over him.

And so I worried– I’m going to not only ruin any relationship I might have with the president, but more importantly, create a situation where the president and the– and the F.B.I. are at war even before he becomes president.

Again on January 27, 2017, Comey and Trump meet in the White House, and Comey is all about conflict avoidance once again. This section starts off with Comey’s reaction to Trump’s request for a “Loyalty Oath,” which he made twice to Comey.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not say no?

JAMES COMEY: That’s a fair question. I think because I was caught totally by surprise. And again, I’m operating in an environment where I don’t want– I’m going to be director for another six years. This man’s the new president of the United States, I do not need a war with him.

Then Comey bent just a little bit on the “Loyalty Oath.”

JAMES COMEY: The second time was later in the conversation. He said, again, “I need loyalty.” And I said, “You will always get honesty from me.” And he paused and then he said, “Honest loyalty,” as if he was proposing some compromise or a deal. And I paused and said, “You’ll get that from me.” And, of course, in between those two– the loyalty sandwich, in between those two, I had– I had an opportunity to explain to him the F.B.I.’s role and how important it was for the F.B.I. to be independent and how I thought about it.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But did you cross a line there– did you cross a line when you promised him honest loyalty? Did– would it be fair for him to think, “Wait, I have a deal here.”

JAMES COMEY: Yeah, I– I don’t think so. Given the context and the other things I’d said, I thought– and look, it was a compromise on my part to try and avoid a really awkward conversation, get out of an awkward conversation.

Trump’s answer to O’Reilly is where Comey stood his ground.

And so the president was, as I said when I described the dinner, just in a monologue talking about how that was a great answer, what was he supposed to do, it was a hard question, he gave his best answer. And just going on and on and on. Basically we’re all agreeing with this if we don’t speak.

And having seen it happen during the dinner I thought, “I can’t let that happen,” ’cause I don’t think it was a hard question…

JAMES COMEY: Yeah, I did. Although in that moment I was thinking, “I just succeeded,” although I hadn’t intended to, in ending any personal relationship between me and the president by th– by interrupting him and also criticizing him to his face. And I went back and told my staff that it happened, and then I thought– and told them, “That’s not a bad thing, because it will help us keep a distance that we need to keep from him.”

Let’s pause here for a moment. So far I’ve developed the mindset of both Comey and Trump in the conflict that they had over Trump’s comment to O’Reilly. I’ve shown that there were at least two murders that could involve Russia under a Grand Jury investigation prior to this conflict. I’ve shown that a comment on this subject was redacted for what seems could only be a reason related to an investigation.

Comey would be fired three months after this February 8, 2017 conflict with Donald Trump. The press has reported that Mueller investigated Obstruction of Justice issues with Trump related to firing Comey over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, the request for a “Loyalty Oath,” and pressure on Comey to look to the other way on an investigation of Mike Flynn. The Mueller Report was intelligence without conclusions, and was largely redacted. Could Obstruction of Justice of murder investigations be in the Mueller Report somewhere, redacted??

I’m going to “zoom out” with a timeline and show the bigger picture of the Obstruction- Trump’s Obstruction of murder investigations. I’ll start with Mikhail Lesin’s murder, and finish shortly after Mueller was appointed Special Counsel. This will necessarily be a long timeline, but I tried to be brief. I’ll use several indictments, the Mueller Report, and other sources. In places I edited the content for ease of reading. If you want to quote anything, please use the original sources provided.

NOVEMBER 5, 2015. Mikhail Lesin murdered.

DECEMBER 18, 2015. Donald Trump defends Putin’s record on murder to Joe Scarborough. (1)

DECEMBER 20, 2015. Donald Trump defends Putin’s record on murder to George Stephanopoulos.  (2)

JANUARY 26, 2016. Donald Trump defends Putin’s record on murder to Maria Bartiromo. (3)

MARCH 10, 2016. GRU officers also sent hundreds of spearphishing emails to the work and personal email accounts of Clinton Campaign employees and volunteers.

MARCH 14, 2016. Joseph Misfud met with George Papadopolous in Italy.

MARCH 19, 2016. LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators sent spearphishing emails to… individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, including John Podesta.

MARCH 24, 2016. Joseph Misfud met again with Papadopolous, this time bringing along a Russian national who was introduced as a relative of Putin.

APRIL, 2016. The Conspirators installed X-Agent malware on the DCCC network.

APRIL 10, 2016. George Papadopolous emailed the Female Russian National, who responded… April 11, 2016, that she “would be very pleased to support your initiatives between our two countries.”

APRIL 18, 2016. Joseph Misfud introduced George Papadopolous to an individual he said had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

APRIL 19, 2016. The Conspirators registered the domain dcleaks.com.

APRIL 20, 2016. The Conspirators test the X-Agent malware connection from the DCCC to a middle server in the U.S.

APRIL 22, 2016. The Conspirators compressed gigabytes of data from DNC computers, including opposition research and later moved the compressed DNC data using X-Tunnel to a GRU-leased computer located in Illinois.

APRIL 25, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “The Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet him when he is ready.”

APRIL 26, 2016. Joseph Misfud again met with Papadopolous in London.  At this meeting, Misfud told Papadopolous that the Russians had “thousands of emails” that could harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 

APRIL 27, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”

APRIL 28, 2016. The Conspirators used X-Tunnel to steal additional documents from the DCCC.

APRIL 30, 2016. George Papadopolous thanked Joseph Mifsud for his “critical help” in arranging a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government, and remarked: ” It’s history making if it happens.”

MAY 4, 2016. Russian MFA and George Papadapolous exchange more communications about proposed meeting between Trump and Putin.

MAY 13, 2016. The Conspirators cleared the event logs from a DNC computer.

MAY 14, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “Russian government[] ha[s] also relayed to me that they are interested in hosting Mr. Trump.”

MAY 21, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump.” The email included the May 4 MFA Email and added: “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss.”

MAY 25, 2016. The Conspirators hacked the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server and stole thousands of emails from the work accounts of DNC employees.

JUNE, 2016. The Conspirators gained access to approximately thirty-three DNC computers. By in or around June 2016, Crowdstrike took steps to exclude intruders from the networks. Despite these efforts, a Linux-based version of X-Agent, programmed to communicate with the GRU-registered domain remained on the DNC network until in or around October 2016.

JUNE 1, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “I have the Russian MFA asking me if Mr. Trump is interested in visiting Russia at some point. Wanted to pass this info along to you for you to decide what’s best to do with it and what message I should send (or to ignore).

JUNE 8, 2016. The Conspirators launched the public website dcleaks.com, which they used to release stolen emails.

JUNE 14, 2016. Crowdstrike publicly announced that it had been hacked by Russian government actors. In response, the Conspirators created the online persona Guccifer 2.0 and falsely claimed to be a lone Romanian hacker to undermine the allegations of Russian responsibility for the intrusion.

JUNE 15, 2016. Online persona Guccifer 2.0 published its first post on a blog site created through WordPress. I’m very pleased the company (Crowdstrike) appreciated my skills so.  Here are just a few does from many thousands I extracted when hacking into network.

JUNE 16, 2016. Wikileaks tweets “DNC ‘hacker’ releases 200+ page internal report on Trump, says gave WikiLeaks the all rest,” and links Guccifer 2’s WordPress page. 

JUNE 19, 2016. George Papadopolous emails Trump campaign: “New message from Russia”: “The Russian ministry of foreign affairs messaged and said that if Mr. Trump is unable to make it to Russia, if a campaign rep (me or someone else) can make it for meetings? I am willing to make the trip off the record if it’s in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people.”

JUNE 20, 2016. The Conspirators deleted logs from the AMS panel that documented their activities on the panel, including the login history. On or about June 20, 2016, after Crowdstrike had disabled X-Agent on the network, the Conspirators spent over seven hours unsuccessfully trying to connect to X-Agent. The Conspirators also tried to access the network using previously stolen credentials.

JUNE 22, 2016. Wikileaks sent a private message to Guccifer 2.0 to “[s]end any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.”

JUNE 27, 2016. Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide “exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton’s staff.”

JULY 5, 2016. “Using a combination of copying and compression techniques, the “last modified” timestamps of all but 12 of the aged files was changed to 5 July 2016, just five days before (Seth) Rich was killed and 17 days before WikiLeaks published its first share of the DNC hacks.”

JULY 6, 2016. The Conspirators used the VPN to log into the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account. The Conspirators opened that VPN account from the same server that was also used to register malicious domains for the hacking of the and DNC networks.

JULY 10, 2016. Seth Rich, DNC staffer, shot in the back and killed in Washington, DC.

JULY 13, 2016. Russia’s SVR circulated a “bulletin” about the murder of Seth Rich.

JULY 13, 2016. Eight months after Mikhail Lesin’s murder, investigators receive the videos from the surveillance cameras at Lesin’s hotel.

JULY 14, 2016. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Wikileaks an email with an attachment titled wk.linkl.txt.gpg. The Conspirators explained to Wikileaks that the file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. 

JULY 18, 2016. Wikileaks confirmed it had the “1Gb or so archive” and would make a release of the stolen documents “this week.”

JULY 22, 2016. Wikileaks released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators. This release occurred approximately three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Wikileaks did not disclose Guccifer 2.0’s role in providing them. The latest-in-time email released through Wikileaks was dated on or about May 25, 2016, approximately the same day the Conspirators hacked the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server.

JULY 25, 2016. Roger Stone sent an email to Person 1 with the subject line, “Get to [Assange].” The body of the message read, “Get to Assange [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending [Wikileaks] emails . . . they deal with Foundation, allegedly.”

JULY 27, 2016. The Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.

JULY 27, 2016. Donald Trump, at a campaign event in Florida:  “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.  I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

JULY 31, 2016The FBI opened an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities. 

AUGUST 2, 2016. Corsi emailed Roger Stone. Corsi stated in part, “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”

AUGUST 8, 2016. Roger Stone attended a public event at which he stated, “I actually have communicated with [Assange]. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”

AUGUST 9, 2016Wikileaks offered a $20,000 reward for information related to the death of Seth Rich.

AUGUST 12, 2016. Roger Stone stated during an interview that he was “in communication with [Assange]” but was “not at liberty to discuss what I have.”

AUGUST 12, 2016. Messages between Emma Best and Wikileaks discuss how best to handle the information from Guccifer 2.0. Best had communicated with Guccifer 2.0 previously.

AUGUST 15, 2016. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress. The Conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.

AUGUST 15, 2016. Trump campaign told George Papadopolous that “I would encourage you” and another foreign policy advisor to the Campaign to “make the trip, if it is feasible.” The trip proposed by defendant PAPADOPOULOS did not take place.

AUGUST 16, 2016. Roger Stone stated during an interview that it became known on this program that I have had some back-channel communication with [Wikileaks] and [Assange].” In a second interview on or about the same day, STONE stated that he “communicated with [Assange]” and that they had a mutual acquaintance who is a fine gentleman.”

AUGUST 18, 2016. Roger Stone stated during a television interview that he had communicated with Assange “through an intermediary, somebody who is a mutual friend.”

AUGUST 19, 2016. Roger Stone exchanged written communications, including by text message and email, with Credico about Wikileaks and what Assange planned to do. On or about August 19, 2016, Credico sent a text message to STONE that read in part, “I’m going to have [Assange] on my show next Thursday.”

AUGUST 21, 2016Credico sent another text message to Roger Stone, writing in part, “I have [Assange] on Thursday so I’m completely tied up on that day.”

AUGUST 21, 2016Roger Stone predicted that damaging information about Clinton would be released, tweeting “it will soon (be) the Podesta’s time in the barrel.”

AUGUST 22, 2016. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of data stolen from the to a then-registered state lobbyist and online source of political news. The stolen data included donor records and personal identifying information for more than 2,000 Democratic donors.  

AUGUST 27, 2016. Credico sent text messages to Roger Stone that said, “We are working on a [Assange] radio show,” and that he (Credico) was “in charge” of the project. In a text message sent later that day, Credico added, “[Assange] has kryptonite on Hillary.”

AUGUST 28, 2016. Peter Smith sends email: “Just finishing two days of sensitive meetings here in DC with involved groups to poke and probe on the above.  It is clear that the Clinton ‘s home-based, unprotected server was hacked with ease by both State-related players and private mercenaries. Parties with varying interests, are circling to release ahead of the election.” 

SEPTEMBER, 2016. The Conspirators also successfully gained access to DNC computers hosted on a third-party cloud-computing service.

SEPTEMBER, 2016. Barbara Ledeen, to Peter Smith: (Leeden) “claimed to have obtained a trove of emails (from what she described as the “dark web”) that purported to be the deleted Clinton emails. Ledeen wanted to authenticate the emails and solicited contributions to fund that effort. Erik Prince provided funding to hire a tech advisor to ascertain the authenticity of the emails. According to Prince, the tech advisor determined that the emails were not authentic.”

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016. Peter Smith directed a business associate to establish KLS Research LLC… Peter Smith circulated a document stating that his initiative was “in coordination” with the Trump Campaign, “to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure organization.” The document listed multiple individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign, including Flynn, Clovis, Bannon, and Kellyanne Conway.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016. The Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen document posted online and asked the person, what do think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign. The person responded, ‘[p]retty standard.’

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016. Roger Stone texted Credico again, writing, “Pass my message . . . to [Assange].” Credico responded, “I did.” 

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016. Credico forwarded the request to a friend who was an attorney with the ability to contact the head of Wikileaks. Person 2 blindcopied STONE on the forwarded email.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016. Credico sent Roger Stone via text message a photograph of Credico standing outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange was located.

OCTOBER 1, 2016. …which was a Saturday, Credico sent Roger Stone text messages that stated, “big news Wednesday . . . now pretend u don’t know me . . .  Hillary’s campaign will die this week.”

OCTOBER 4, 2016. Assange held a press conference but did not release any new materials pertaining to the Clinton Campaign. Shortly afterwards, Roger Stone received an email from the high-ranking Trump Campaign official asking about the status of future releases by Wikileaks. Roger Stone answered that Assange had a “[s]erious security concern” but that Wikileaks would release “a load every week going forward.”

OCTOBER 7, 2016. Wikileaks released the first set of emails stolen from John Podesta. Shortly after Wikileaks’s release, an associate of (Bannon) sent a text message to Roger Stone that read “well done.” In subsequent conversations with senior Trump Campaign officials, Roger Stone claimed credit for having correctly predicted the October 7, 2016 release.

October 28, 2016. Peter Smith wrote that there was a “tug -of-war going on within WikiLeaks over its planned releases in the next few days,” and that WikiLeaks “has maintained that it will save its best revelations for last, under the theory this allows little time for response prior to the U.S. election November 8.” An attachment to the email claimed that WikiLeaks would release “All 33k deleted Emails” by “November 1st.” No emails obtained from Clinton’s server were subsequently released.

NOVEMBER 8, 2016. Donald Trump elected President of the United States.

JANUARY 6, 2017. Comey meets with Donald Trump in Trump Tower. (4)

JANUARY 10, 2017.   Buzzfeed releases “Steele Dossier.”

JANUARY 12, 2017. The Conspirators published a statement on the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog, falsely claiming that the intrusions and release of stolen documents had ‘totally’ no relation to the Russian government.

JANUARY 13, 2017. The chairman and vice chairman of SSCI announced the committee would conduct an inquiry that would investigate, among other things, any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, as well as Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” directed against the United States in connection with the 2016 election.

JANUARY 20, 2017. President Trump is inaugurated.

JANUARY 25, 2017. The chairman and ranking member of HPSCI announced that HPSCI had been conducting an inquiry similar to SSCI’s.

JANUARY 27, 2017. George Papadoloulos lies to the FBI.

JANUARY 27, 2017. James Comey has dinner with President Trump in the Green Room at the White House. (5)

February 2, 2017. The Senate Judiciary Committee announced that it too would investigate Russian efforts to intervene in the election.

FEBRUARY 6, 2017. Donald Trump defends Putin’s record on murder to Bill O’Reilly. (6)

FEBRUARY 8, 2017. James Comey meets with President Trump in the Oval Office at the White House. (7)

FEBRUARY 14, 2017. James Comey meets with President Trump in the Oval Office at the White House. (8)

FEBRUARY 20, 2017. Jack Burkman sends a letter to Jason Chaffetz, Committee on  Oversight & Government Reform, titled “RE: Seth Rich Murder – Russia  Connection Investigation,” and sends the same letter to Michael McFaul, Chairman Homeland Security Committee, US House.

FEBRUARY 23, 2017. Rod Wheeler received a text message from Ed Butowsky, asking Wheeler for assistance on an investigation. Wheeler called Butowsky, who explained that the investigation concerned Seth Rich.

FEBRUARY 28, 2017. Rod Wheeler met with Ed Butowsky at a restaurant on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. When Mr. Wheeler arrived, he was surprised to find that Butowsky was accompanied by Zimmerman. Butowsky advised Mr. Wheeler that Zimmerman was an investigative journalist with Fox News, and had been investigating the death of Seth Rich for several months. Following their lunch, Butowsky introduced Mr. Wheeler to the Rich family. However, before doing so, Butowsky warned Mr. Wheeler: “Make sure to play down Fox News, don’t mention you know Malia [Zimmerman].

MARCH 01, 2017. James Comey received a phone call from Donald Trump. “Just called to check in and see how I’m doing.” (9)

MARCH 02, 2017. Ed Butowsky asked Malia Zimmerman for Jack Burkman’s contact information and stated, “I need to shut him up.”

March 09, 2017. James Comey briefed the “Gang of Eight” congressional leaders about the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference, including an identification of the principal U.S. subjects of the investigation.

MARCH 14, 2017. The Rich family formally retained Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of Seth Rich. Ed Butowsky wired $5,000 to Mr. Wheeler as an up-front payment for the investigation. Rather than use his own bank account to send the wire, Ed Butowsky used an account in the name of “GOOGIE, LP.”VII.

MARCH 15, 2017. James Comey briefed the Senate Judiciary. I wrote in “The False Flag Murder of Seth Rich” on July 24, 2017: “The ashen looks on the faces of the Senators, the fact that Feinstein was the only one to say a word to the press with Grassley standing beside her, despite Grassley being the Chair of the Committee and Feinstein being in the minority party, and the subsequent facts and circumstances surrounding this briefing, lead me to believe the Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed on the murder of Seth Rich on this day.” I haven’t changed my mind.

MARCH 20, 2017. James Comey testified at a HPSCI hearing and publicly disclosed that the FBI was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links and coordination between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government.

MARCH 23, 2017. Immediately after the Rich family announced that Jack Burkman was involved in setting up a go-fund-me page to assist in investigating the Seth Rich murder, Ed Butowsky wrote to Rod Wheeler, “I am having a huge anxiety over Burkman today.”

MARCH 30, 2017. President Trump called James Comey. (10)

APRIL 11, 2107. James Comey calls President Trump. (11)

APRIL 18, 2017. Ed Butowsky sent a text message to Rod Wheeler that stated: “Are you in Washington DC area on Thursday afternoon? I am meeting Sean spicer and want you with me.” Butowsky’s purpose in meeting with Mr. Spicer, President Trump’s former press secretary, was to keep him abreast of his investigation of the Seth Rich murder. Indeed, on April 19, 2017, Butowsky sent the following text message to Mr. Wheeler: “Do you have summary done yet?[ ] Just bullet pointed. Just want to make sure we get point to Sean easily.”

APRIL 19, 2017. The day before Ed Butowsky and Rod Wheeler met with Mr. Spicer, Mr. Wheeler met with Sarah Flores, the Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). Although Mr. Wheeler’s meeting did not concern Seth Rich, unbeknownst to Mr. Wheeler at the time, Butowsky had already reached out to talk with Ms. Flores about the Seth Rich murder “investigation.” Butowsky sent a text message to Mr. Wheeler that stated: “She [Ms. Flores] knows me well. Tell her I said hello. Let her know why I was calling her, Seth Rich. Ask her to keep it quiet because we don’t know [ ] who the good or the bad people are anymore. But we know she’s one of the really good ones.”

APRIL 20, 2017. Ed Butowsky and Rod Wheeler did in fact meet with Mr. Spicer on April 20, 2017 to keep him informed about the Seth Rich murder investigation. Mr. Spicer was provided with a copy of Mr. Wheeler’s investigative narrative and asked Butowsky and Mr. Wheeler to keep him abreast of any developments in the case. Upon information and belief, Butowsky did just that.

MAY 1, 2017. Scott Christianson writes article in McClatchy DC on Robert Mercer’s $7 Billion tax bill and favors owed to him by Donald Trump. It is the first of two planned articles.

MAY 4, 2017. Peter Smith gave interview to the Wall Street Journal, the first of two planned interviews.

MAY 5, 2017. President Trump told close aides he was going to fire James Comey.

MAY 9, 2017.  President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey.

MAY 9, 2017. Robert and Diane Mercer make large donations to RNC headquarters and RNC legal proceedings that benefit Trump.

MAY 10, 2017. Ed Butowsky and Malia Zimmerman called Mr. Wheeler to inform him that they had supposedly secured a source at the FBI who confirmed that emails were sent between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks. This anonymous source was cited in Zimmerman’s May 16, 2017 article.

MAY 11, 2017. Malia Zimmerman sent Mr. Wheeler a draft of her story regarding the Seth Rich murder. The draft did not contain any quotes from Mr. Wheeler to the effect that Seth Rich had sent any emails to WikiLeaks, nor did the draft quote Mr. Wheeler as saying that the DNC, Democratic Party or Clintons were engaged in a cover-up.

MAY 13, 2017. North Korea launches missile.

MAY 14, 2017. Peter Smith dead.

MAY 14, 2017. Scott Christianson dead.

MAY 14, 2017. Ed Butowsky sends text to Rod Wheeler that stated: “Not to add any more pressure but the president [Donald Trump] just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. But don’t feel the pressure.” Ed Butowsky leaves voicemail to Rod Wheeler: “A couple minutes ago I got a note that we have the full, uh, attention of the White House, on this. And, tomorrow, let’s close this deal, whatever we’ve got to do. But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now.”

MAY 15, 2017. Malia Zimmerman informed Rod Wheeler that she would be publishing her story imminently. Mr. Wheeler explained to Zimmerman he was traveling and could not review the drafts of the story she sent to him throughout the day… At no point in time did Mr. Wheeler say that his investigation revealed that Seth Rich sent any emails to WikiLeaks, nor did he say that the DNC, Democratic Party or Clintons were engaged in a cover-up. In fact, the only purported source saying that Seth Rich sent any emails to WikiLeaks was Butowsky and Zimmerman’s supposed source within the FBI.

MAY 15, 2017. FOX 5 DC publishes a story that falsely claims Rod Wheeler said Seth Rich had contact with Wikileaks. (Original deleted link here).

MAY 15, 2017. A “bot swarm” on Twitter begins pushing the false story on Seth Rich. It is trending by the next day.

MAY 16, 2017. Malia Zimmerman published her article on the Seth Rich murder investigation, which contained two quotes falsely attributed to Rod Wheeler…

Very shortly after the article was published, Mr. Wheeler called Butowsky and demanded an explanation for the false statements about him in Zimmerman’s article. Butowsky stated that the quotes were included because that is the way the President wanted the article, referring to President Donald Trump. A few days later, Butowsky wrote to Zimmerman, “I didn’t tell you yet but the federal government is involved at this moment, behind the scenes and believe your story.”

Also on May 16, 2017, Mr. Wheeler called Zimmerman and confronted her about the use of false statements. Zimmerman told Mr. Wheeler that she would have the statements removed from the article. However, they were not removed and, later that day, Zimmerman told Mr. Wheeler that she had been instructed by her bosses at Fox News to leave the false quotes in the story.

Following Mr. Wheeler’s disclosures and in advance of Mr. Wheeler’s planned appearance on the Sean Hannity Show, Zimmerman sent a text to Mr. Wheeler that stated, “Reread the story we sent to you last night [with the false quotes] and stick to that script.”

MAY 17, 2017. SEAN HANNITY: “Explosive developments in the mysterious murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich that could completely shatter the narrative that in fact Wikileaks was working with the Russians, or there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Hannity said.  “Now if true, this could become one of the biggest scandals in American history, and could mean that Rich could have been murdered under very suspicious circumstances.  Now according to former homicide detective Rod Wheeler, who had been hired by the Rich family to investigate the killing, newly discovered evidence shows that the 27 year old-former DNC employee was, in fact, communicating with Wikileaks before he was gunned down in Washington, D.C.”

MAY 17, 2017. “I only got that from the reporter (Malia Zimmerman) at Fox News-“  Rod Wheeler

MAY 17, 2017. Robert Mueller named Special Counsel.

MAY 19, 2017. Russian Embassy in London tweeted an image featuring Rich and Hillary Clinton in the background, with text saying, “Who Killed Seth Rich?” The tweet also says, “#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM [mainstream media] was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.”

Some conclusions.  When I published The False Flag Murder of Seth Rich, I didn’t have the benefit of the indictments of the Russian hackers then, or Rod Wheeler’s lawsuit, or the Muller report, or a lot of other information.  The timeline with this new information shows that the narrative pushed by Wikileaks, the Russian SVR, and the Russian Embassy in London that Seth Rich was a “leaker” is disinformation.  Mueller’s report even said so in no uncertain terms.  “The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails.” 

Russia hacked the DNC, compressed the data, transferred the data out of the DNC, uploaded it to a dropbox, and sent Wikileaks a link with instructions on how to download the data.  That’s what happened.  Let me briefly address some of the disinformation that’s out there.

The VIPS crowd (The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) said that the bandwidth on the internet wasn’t strong enough to transfer the amount of data that was transferred in a reasonable time.  Roger Stone pushed this alibi.  This theory completely ignores that the hackers could have compressed the data first before they transferred it, which the Indictments clearly state is exactly what happened.  These VIPS guys are former NSA employees and didn’t even think about that?  Come on.

Craig Murray claimed that he had knowledge that the DNC data was moved via a “leak” and not a “hack.”  The Indictments show otherwise.  That’s just all there is to it.  It’s possible that Russia made an effort to create a parallel chain of custody of the DNC data as an alibi or disinformation about how Wikileaks got the data.  In other words, somebody may have told Murray that there was a “leak,” or even handed Murray a thumb drive which he transferred himself, and he may or may not believe that what he’s saying is true, but that’s just not the way Wikileaks got the data initially.  

Changing the timestamps on some of the data to July 5, 2016, days before Seth Rich was murdered, was obviously an effort to falsely imply that Seth Rich was involved.  That’s a “smoking gun.”  It shows intent to frame Seth Rich for the DNC breach. It’s disappointing to read about it in Computer Weekly instead of an indictment.

And the reason why Russia would want Seth Rich dead is pretty obvious- they wanted to use his death against Hillary Clinton, because they favored Donald Trump.    Russia also favored Bernie Sanders over Hillary, and the Sander’s campaign was heavily involved in the DNC breach.  The Sanders team, Josh Uretsky especially, basically opened up the door for the Guccifer team.  Guccifer explained it here.

I want to address something right here to the anti-Hillary, anti-Clinton crowd.  You’re right about a lot of things.  Unlike the others who talk about Seth Rich, I don’t play politics.  I’ve looked at some of the allegations against the Clintons closely, and here’s what I think.

At a minimum- a minimum- there is more than enough evidence to lock Hillary and Bill Clinton up for their roles in Obstructing Justice and Obstructing  Governmental Operations in the murders of Vince Foster, and Donald Henry and Kevin Ives.  I do also, however, think that a large number of the deaths in the “Clinton body bags” lists rightfully belong in a “Bush body bags” list because people don’t understand the nature of the relationship between the Clintons and George H. W. Bush. But in any case, there’s plenty of evidence just on those three murders to lock the Clintons up for the rest of their lives. I’m talking good, documented evidence.

So understand this is not a defense of the Clintons.  The next time you people in the Trump or Clinton camps start screaming at each other about how corrupt the other side is, start listening to the other side and put it all together.  You’re both right.  When those two stand on a national stage and call each other puppets, how obvious does it have to be, people?

In my opinion, Russia capitalized on the American public’s understandable and justifiable cynicism directed at the Clintons, which made it more believable that that Hillary Clinton was involved in Seth Rich’s death.

Another thing, my analysis here doesn’t include the solid reporting by Luke Rosiak on the DCCC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the Awans.  There’s something very rotten at the core of it.  I haven’t read your book yet, but I’ll bet $1 that some of Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails found their way onto this computer somehow.

And no, I don’t think it’s 100% “Russia, Russia, Russia” either.  Russia couldn’t pull all this off without help from the United States intelligence community, whether those people were “rogues” or “mercenaries” or whatever.  For instance, take the murder of Scott Christianson.  Now my qualifications are no greater than having watched a few dozen episodes of 48 Hours and The FBI Files, but when Scott Christianson writes about a $7 Billion tax bill that Robert Mercer is fighting, when Robert Mercer helped get Trump elected with assistance from his Cambridge Analytica, and when Robert Mercer just so happens to have a friend that used to run a CIA assassination program, that’s where I would start my investigation into the death of Scott Christianson.  Just sayin.’  In 2016, Prince was still looking for work in his specialty against ISIS, as he described in this interview with Breitbart, and in 2019 he is hoping to help out if a “dynamic event” were to happen in Venezuala. 

I refer you back to where Peter Smith said “mercenaries” hacked Hillary’s email.  Reuters had great reporting on former NSA employees (mercenaries) working for the United Arab Emirates– monitoring their “dissidents” and so forth using hacking techniques they learned at the NSA.   No it’s not just Russia.

North Korea.  Let’s talk about North Korea.  Does anyone take Trump’s version of America’s policy with North Korea at face value?  That we went from nuclear threats to a “love story” in this short of a period of time?  Along the way, North Korea just happened to fire a long-range missile that took over headlines critical of Trump’s firing of James Comey, the day before both Scott Christianson and Peter Smith died.  I don’t see how North Korea’s missile launch wasn’t coordinated as a distraction from events in the United States. 

So not only do I believe that Trump fired Comey to obstruct existing murder investigations, I think that people connected to Trump planned some “operations” that involved assassinations and media manipulation shortly after they had Comey out of the way, and I think there’s more nations involved than just Russia.

Footnotes below. END

(1). Trump to Joe Scarborough.

“Well, I mean, it’s also a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?” Scarborough asked.

“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader,” Trump replied. “Unlike what we have in this country.”

“But again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Scarborough said.

“I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know,” Trump replied. “There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on. A lot of stupidity. And that’s the way it is. But you didn’t ask me [that] question, you asked me a different question. So that’s fine.”

(2) Trump to George Stephanopoulos

“But, in all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t’ seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been — you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the name. Now, I think it would be despicable if that took place, but I haven’t’ seen any evidence that he killed anybody in terms of reporters.”

(3) Trump to Maria Bartiromo.

In an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump discusses the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian security agent, and the 2016 findings of a British inquiry that Putin “probably approved” his poisoning.

“Have they found him guilty?” Trump said. “I don’t think they’ve found him guilty.”

“If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it. You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Maria, in all fairness to Putin—I don’t know. You know, and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’ —the fact is that, you know, he hasn’t been convicted of anything.

(4) James Comey Memo, January 6, 2017

What follows are notes I typed in the vehicle immediately upon exiting Trump Tower on 1/6/17…

After others left the room, we sat at the table. He began by telling me that i had had one heck of a year but I had conducted myself honorably and had a great reputation. He said I was repeatedly out in impossible positions. He said you saved her and then they hated you for what you did later, but what choice did you have? He said he thought very highly of me and looked forward to working with me, saying he hoped planned to stay on. I assured him I intended to stay.  He said good.

I said the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. He interjected, “there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes.” He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn’t need to “go there” and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn’t need to pay for sex). He said “2013” to himself, as if trying to remember that period of time, but didn’t add anything. He said he always assumed that hotel rooms he stayed in when he travels are wired in some way. I replied that I do as well. 

I said I wasn’t saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or REDACTED REDACTED and that we were keeping it very close-hold.  He said he couldn’t believe they hadn’t gone with it.  I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports.

(5) James Comey Memo, January 28, 2017

I had dinner with President Trump in the Green Room at the White House last night at 6:30 pm…

He touched on my future at various points. The first time he asked so what do you want to do, explaining that lots of people wanted my job (“about 20 people”), that he thought very highly of me and had heard great things, that the people of the FBI really like me, but he would understand if wanted to walk away given all I had been through, although he thought that would be bad for me personally because it would look like i had done something wrong, that he of course can make a change at FBI if he wants, but he wants to know what I think.  There was no acknowledgement by him [or me) that we had already talked about this twice.

I responded by saying that he could fire me any time he wished, but that I wanted to stay and do a job I love and think I am doing well. I explained that i never expected to be back in government but had found this job hugely rewarding and wanted to serve out my term. I added that was “reliable” in one way but not in the way political people sometimes use the term. I explained that he could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves. But I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense, which I said i thought was in the president’s best interest. He asked whether the FBI leaks and I answered that of course in an organization of 36,000 we were going to have some of that, but I said I think the FBI leaks far less than people often say. I predicted he, like all Presidents, would discover the entire government leaks like crazy and explained that it often comes from the first or second hop out from those actually working on the sensitive thing. 

He replied that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty. I did not reply, or even nod or change my facial expression, which he noted because we came back to it later…

At about this point, he turned to what he called the “golden showers thing” and recounted much of what he had said previously on that topic. He repeated that it was a complete fabrication and “fake news.” I explained again why i had thought it important that he know about it. I also explained that one of the reasons we told him was that the media, CNN in particular, was telling us they were about to run with it. He said it bothered him if his wife thought there was even a one percent chance it was true in any respect…

He said he thought maybe he should ask me to investigate to the whole thing to prove it was a lie. I did not ask any questions. I replied that it was up to him. but i wouldn’t want to create a narrative that we were investigating him, because we are not and worried such a thing would be misconstrued. I also said that it is very difficult to disprove a lie. He said “maybe you’re right,” but several times asked me to think about it and said he would also think about it…

He then returned to loyalty, saying “I need loyalty.” I replied that he would always get honesty from me. He paused and said that’s what he wants, “honest loyalty.” I replied “you will get that from me.” (It is possible we understood that phrase differently, but I chose to understand it as consistent with what I had said throughout the conversation: I will serve the President with to the office, the country, and the truth. I decided it would not be productive to push the subject further.)

(6) Trump to Bill O’Reilly.

O’Reilly said: “He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

“There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

(7) James Comey Memo February 8, 2017.

I went to the White House today for a 4 pm “meet and greet” with COS Reince Priebus.  As I waited in the West Wing lobby, Mike Flynn stopped by and sat down. We chatted for about five minutes about his new job, the challenges in building a staff, and working with folks who had never been in government before, how he maintains fitness, etc. There was no mention by either of us of REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED

COS Priebus’s assistant came and got me and took me to his office. He greeted me and we sat with his desk between us…

We touched on a variety of subjects, including “how the REDACTED ended up in the report.” I explained that the from all three agencies agreed it was relevant and that portions of the material were corroborated by other intelligence.

He then asked me if this was a private conversation. I replied that it was. He then said he wanted to ask me a question and I could decide whether it was appropriate to answer. He then asked. “Do you have a FISA order on Mike Flynn?”  I paused for a few seconds and then said that I would answer here, but that this illustrated the kind of question that had to be ask and answered through established channels. I said the answer REDACTED then explained that the normal channel was from DOJ leadership to the WH counsel about such things…

Reince then took me to the Oval Office to greet the President on my way out. The President was seated behind his desk, speaking to Sean Spicer. He introduced me to Mr. Spicer, who shook my hand and departed. Reince stayed, seated to my right as sat I in a chair facing the President.

The President brought up the “Golden Showers thing” and said it really bothered him if his wife had any doubt about it. He then explained, as he did at our dinner, that he hadn’t stayed overnight in Russia during the Miss Universe trip. Twice during this part of the conversation, Reince tried to interject a comment about the REDACTED and “why it was even in there,” but the President ignored him. The President said “the hookers thing” is nonsense but that Putin had told him “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.” He did not say when Putin had told him this and I don’t recall REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED .

He then pivoted to the Russians wanting an apology from Bill O’Reilly. I said I had seen that and O’Reilly’s reply, which was to “call him in 2023.” The President then said that O’Reilly’s question about whether he respected Putin had been a hard one. REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED He said he does respect the leader of a major country and thought that was the best answer. He then said, “You think my answer was good, right?” I said the answer was fine, except the part about killers, because we aren’t the kind of killers that Putin is. When I said this, the President paused noticeably. I don’t know what to make of it, but he clearly noticed I had directly criticized him.

(8) James Comey Memo February 14, 2017.

I attended an Oval office homeland threat briefing for the President today.  

At the completion of the session, the President thanked everyone and said he wanted to speak with me alone. The AC lingered momentarily by my chair, but the President thanked him and said he wanted to meet with Jim. He repeated this at least one more time to usher people out. Everyone left except Jared Kushner, who stopped by my chair to shake hands and exchange pleasantries, including a few brief words about the challenges of the email investigation. The President joined in this brief exchange but then told Mr. Kushner that he wanted to meet with me. That left the two of us alone.

He began by saying he wanted to “talk about Mike Flynn.”  He then said that although “Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong” in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation because he misled the Vice President, whom he described as “a good guy.” He explained that he just couldn’t have Flynn misleading the Vice President and in any event, he had other concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go…

He then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn- saying that Flynn is a good guy, and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice President but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call. He said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied by saying, “I agree he is a good guy,” but said no more.

(9) James Comey Memo March 01, 2017

Subject: Call from POTUS

Just called to check in and see how I’m doing. I said I’m doing great, have a lot going on. I added that Jeff Sessions has hit the ground running with a great speech on violent crime. He talked about Sessions a bit, then last night’s speech. Said he heard I’m doing great. Hopes I take good care of myself and come by to say hello when I’m at WH. That’s it.

(10) James Comey Memo March 30, 2017.

The President called me on my CMS phone at 8:13 am today (March 30. 2017). The call lasted 11 minutes (about 10 minutes when he was connected). We were connected by Royal Crown switchboard.

He began by joking that I was getting more publicity than he. I replied that i hate it. He then said he was trying to run the country and the cloud of this Russia business was making that difficult. He said he thinks he would have won the health care vote but for the cloud. He then went on at great length, explaining that he has nothing to do with Russia (has a letter from the largest law firm in DC saying he has gotten no income from Russia), was not involved with hookers in Russia (can you imagine me, hookers? I have a beautiful wife, and it has been very painful), is bringing a personal lawsuit against Christopher Steele, always advised people to assume they were being recorded in Russia, has accounts now from those who travelled with him to Miss Universe pageant that he didn’t do anything, etc.

He asked what he could do to lift the cloud. I explained that we were running it down as quickly as possible and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our Good Housekeeping seal of approval, but we had to do our work. He agreed, but then returned to the problems this was causing him, went on at great length about how bad he was for Russia because of his commitment to more oil and more nukes(ours are 40 years old).

He said something about the hearing last week. I responded by telling him wasn’t there as a volunteer and be asked who was driving that, was it Nunes who wanted it? I said all the leadership wanted to know what was going on and mentioned that Grassley had even held up the DAG nominee to demand information. I said we had briefed the leadership on exactly what we were doing and who we were investigating.

I reminded that I had told him we weren’t investigating him and that Ii had told the Congressional leadership the same thing. He said it would be great if that could get out and several times asked me to find a way to get that out.

He talked about the guy he read about in the Washington Post today (NOTE: I think he meant Sergei Millian) and said he didn’t know him at all. He said that if there was “some satellite” (NOTE: I took this to mean some associate of his or his campaign) that did something, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything and hoped I would find a way to get out that we weren’t investigating him.

As the conversation ended, he said that he hadn’t brought up the McCabe thing because I had said he was an honorable guy (NOTE: I think he meant that he “hadn’t brought it up” in this conversation, but he could have meant smoothing else). I repeated that he was. He then said he hadn’t brought it up but that McAuliffe is close to the Clintons and had given him money but I had said he was an honorable guy. I repeated that he (Andy) was an honorable person. 

He finished by stressing that he was trying to make deals for the country, the cloud was hurting him (and mentioned going to G-7 with it hanging over him), and he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated.

I told him I would see what we could do and that we would do the work well and as quickly as we could.

10:05: I called the Acting Attorney General and relayed the substance of the above and said I was telling him so he could decide what guidance to give me, if any.

(11) James Comey Memo April 11, 2017

I returned the president’s call this morning at 8:26 am EDT. We spoke for about four minutes. He said he was following up to see if I did what he had asked last time — getting out that he personally is not under investigation. I replied that I had passed the request to the Acting AG and had not heard back from him. He spoke for a bit about why it was so important: He is trying to do work for the country, visit with foreign leaders, and any cloud, even a little cloud gets in the way of that. They keep bringing up the Russia thing as an excuse for losing the election. I explained that Dana Boente was now the acting AG on this after Jeff Sessions recused himself. He said maybe he would have his people reach out to Dana. I said that that was the way to handle it — he should have the White House Counsel call the Acting Attorney General and make the request. He said that was what he would do. 1

He then switched topics and be an to talk about and its leader, saying Obama didn’t like the guy. REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED He mentioned the Coptic church bombings and how horrible they were. He said that three Americans had been killed by an Egyptian soldier and the Egyptian leader had raised it with him. I interrupted to say that I thought he meant REDACTED REDACTED and an incident in Jordan. He agreed and said REDACTED REDACTED had told him he wanted to bring the soldier to justice quickly but that the FBI was in some way asking them to delay. He said REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED I replied that I would dig into it but that I did not believe it to be true that the FBI was delaying a Jordanian prosecution. In fact, we were working very closely with the American families and had told them that we wanted the Jordanians to bring justice and if they did not we would try to bring the killer to the United States. He asked me to follow up and make sure that we were working well with the Jordanians and helping them quickly bring the killer to justice. I told him I would. He then said that was doing a great job and wished me well. The call ended. 

1 I don’t know the President well enough to give a high-confidence read here from a phone call, but I perceived him to be slightly annoyed by my reply.

2 His use of these words did not fit with the flow of the call, which at that point had moved away from any request of me, but I have recorded it here as it happened.

3 I assumed when he said this that he was reaching back in his memory to our conversation about loyalty at our private dinner, which was sufficiently awkward to make it difficult for him to say I had promised to be loyal, which is where thought he was headed to the comment.

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