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Timeline of U.S. Political Transformation, 7a
§7a. A Higher Calling, Jan - June 2017
Few statements better epitomize official beliefs than Comey's 'higher calling', the notion that the spy agencies and other denizens of the Deep-State possessed moral authority superior to the democratic institutions put in place by the American Founders.
The sequence of actions and events, policies and programs that transformed the United States from a free society into one lacking the Constitutionally required ‘consent of the governed’. How this gap in governance is increasingly filled by force and violence, livelihood threats, mass surveillance, centralized control of messaging, censorship, distraction, and miscounting of electoral results. Updated by inserting facts often revealed years after the event into the record when they actually took place.
Jan 20, 2017: Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th President of the United States.
Jan 20, 2017: Wikileaks raises previous reward for information on murder of Seth Rich to $130,000.
Jan 22, 2017: Michael Flynn sworn in as National Security Adviser.
Jan 2017: FBI agent's handwritten note on purpose of interviewing Flynn 'to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired'. Source: DOJ documents released to Flynn defense attorney Powell.
Jan 2017: FBI Dir Comey places mole in White House, cybersecurity expert Anthony Ferrante, who retains FBI employment 'reserve' status, to report any incriminating info on President Trump to FBI. || Source
Jan 23, 2017: FBI places story in Washington Post stating, 'FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit' and 'Although Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were listened to, Flynn himself is not the active target of an investigation, U.S. officials said'. This reassures Flynn he is not under investigation, so that when interviewed by FBI the following day at the White House, he does not suspect an ambush.
Jan 23, 2017: UK GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan suddenly resigns. Hannigan had shared reports supporting the Russia-collusion narrative with U.S. spy agencies, and had cooperated with requests by President Obama to spy on and supply information about then-candidate Donald Trump in Aug 2016.
Jan 24, 2017: Noticing the case against Flynn is not formally closed, and it is therefore unnecessary to open a new case, Comey on his own initiative and without notifying his nominal superior at DOJ (Acting AG Sally Yates), sends Peter Strzok and Joseph Pientka to the White House for an ambush interview of Flynn about his phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, despite the fact these calls are unrelated to the previous case against Flynn. Comey does not ask White House Counsel because, as he later explains, he 'thought he could get away with it' since the new Administration was not yet organized. Flynn, reassured based on previous day's Washington Post article that he is not the target of an FBI investigation, answers questions in an unguarded way.
Jan 25, 2017: DOJ Chief Counsel James Baker, FBI Priestap, and other officials meet to consider options for removing Flynn. They reject Logan Act as inapplicable. Baker asks 'how could you prosecute Flynn for lying to FBI officials when there was no underlying crime because the contact with Kislyak was normal'. They settle on stirring up a conflict with VP Pence over Pence's assurances on Jan 15 CBS-TV interview that there had been no contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians.
Jan 26, 2017: DOJ Yates reinforces this narrative to White House Counsel McGahn by conflating Flynn's official contacts with Kislyak as normal transition planning, and campaign-type contacts (which had not occurred), implying these activities undercut VP Pence's TV assurances. When McGahn asks her whether Flynn should be fired, Yates responds 'that's not our call'.
Jan 30, 2017: Trump fires Acting AG Sally Yates for refusing to follow the president’s Executive Order limiting travel from certain terror-prone countries.
Jan 30, 2017: Attorney Mark Zaid, who later represents impeachment source Eric Ciaramella, writes on Twitter that '#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow'.
Jan 30, 2017: Internal DOJ document by FBI exonerates Michael Flynn of being 'an agent of Russia'; concealed until DOJ compelled by Court order to produce it for Flynn defense in Sept 2019. Source: Flynn Defense attorney Sidney Powell case filing 17-232-EGS Sept 11, 2019.
January 30, 2017: Foreign Policy magazine article by Law Prof Rosa Brooks titled 3 Ways to Get Rid of President Trump Before 2020 calls for Trump’s impeachment, his removal under the 25th Amendment, or a method 'that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup.'
Jan 31, 2017: Former FBI analyst and Feinstein staffer Daniel Jones incorporates Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) as advised by Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson, to reinforce Steele dossier allegations, obtain similar accusations against President Trump, and distribute them to media, Congress, and FBI. Later he registers it as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with tax-exempt status due to its claim of being nonpartisan. || Source
Feb 3, 2017: CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella and Sean Misko, both seconded to NSC, are overheard at the first NSC staff meeting openly discussing their plan to 'take out the president'. 'They weren’t just bent on subverting his agenda, they were plotting to actually have him removed from office'. Misko: 'Yeah, we need to do everything we can to take out the president.' A military staffer seconded to NSC: 'They meant removing him from office by any means necessary'. Military staffer, alarmed, reports Ciaramella-Misko remarks to his superiors, but nothing comes of it. || Source
Feb 9, 2017: DNI Clapper calls Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, tells him 'take the kill shot' on Flynn, using wiretapped Flynn-Kislyak call records. Washington Post publishes leak accusing Flynn of collusion with Russia in his calls and meetings with Ambassador Kislyak regarding sanctions: 'National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say'. Source for 'kill shot': DNI staff in car with Clapper during call to Ignatius, noted in Flynn defense attorney Sidney Powell's deposition.
Feb 9, 2017: DNC lawyer Michael Sussman informs CIA of allegations of secret communications between President Trump and AlfaBank, which he claims represents the Kremlin. These allegations repeat those previously made to FBI in Sept and Oct 2016, with additional data supplied by Rodney Joffe, whose firm had contracted with the Executive Office of the President to maintain dedicated communications servers. Joffe gathered data on President Trump's communications by surreptitiously spying on the Executive Office of the President, repackaging the data to interject the appearance of communications with AlfaBank which had not actually occurred. || Source
Feb 2017: FBI Flynn case agent William Barnett tells unit chief that he wants to be removed from the case, because the Flynn investigation 'is problematic and could result in an IG investigation'. || Source: Interview of William Barnett conducted Sept 17, 2020 by U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen
Feb 10, 2017: Clinton campaign manager and fund-raiser John Podesta meets secretly with Fusion GPS principals Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, who are seeking funding to continue their investigation of President Trump and alleged Russia collusion. Clinton foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan and Feinstein aide Daniel Jones, who had recently started TDIP) also participate in the meeting. Simpson asks Podesta to verify Fusion GPS's bona fides with donors and funding sources whom Podesta knows. TDIP hires Fusion GPS and Steele to update and expand the Steele dossier. Assisted by Podesta, TDIP raises more than seven million dollars during 2017, including one million dollars from George Soros, $2.1 million from Tom Steyer, and other payments from undisbursed Clinton campaign funds. Its operating methods closely track those developed by Simpson and Steele in 2016, simultaneously notifying media, Congressional committees, and FBI of 'research' supporting the Russia collusion narrative. Source1 , Source2 , Podesta testimony to House Intel Committee Dec 4, 2017.
Feb 10, 2017: FBI agent Strzok changes official records, called '302 notes', of Flynn interview to indicate discussion of sanctions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, when in fact no such discussion had occurred. Source: Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 129-2 Filed 10/24/19
Feb 13, 2017: Flynn is fired as National Security Adviser, removing him from a position where he could investigate the Obama Admin's espionage operations against Trump.
Feb 15, 2017: Page, Strzok, and McCabe revise FBI agent Pientka's '302' Notes purportedly made during the Jan 24 Strzok / Pientka interview with Flynn, to conform with the charge that Flynn lied to FBI agents in Jan 24 White House interview.
Feb 15, 2017: GSA asks FBI whether confidential Trump Transition records should be preserved. FBI responds that records associated with recently resigned National Security Adviser Flynn should be preserved. GSA preserves all Trump Transition records without informing President Trump or his counsel. || Source: Senate HSGA and Finance Majority Staff Report, 2018
Feb 23, 2017: Tim Trevan, a biosafety consultant, warns that China's authoritarian society may be incompatible with the free exchange of information required for biosafety. Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright warns that China's expansion of hazardous biotech research is 'inherently dual-use', meaning military applications are inevitable. || Source
March 2017: FBI grants Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko the status of Confidential Human Source (CHS), with compensation. This means that Congressional investigators' questions regarding the source of the Steele dossier can be deflected by asserting the necessity of keeping 'sources and methods' secret. Two months earlier, Danchenko had disavowed the information Steele had provided in his dossier. Danchenko's CHS status expires in Oct 2020.
March 1, 2017: Washington Post writes 'Sessions Spoke Twice To Russian Envoy: Revelation contradicts his testimony at confirmation hearing'. (One meeting was brief and inconsequential, the other was as Senator.)
March 2, 2017: AG Jeff Sessions recuses self from Russia investigation, per advice of ADAG Dana Boente. This forecloses the possibility that as AG Sessions would investigate Obama Admin operations against Trump. Both Flynn and Sessions, the two officials with the greatest responsibility to uncover illegal spying operations by FBI, CIA, and others, are thus removed, leaving a future Special Counsel effectively unsupervised.
March 2, 2017: Clear Force, Jim Jones (former NSA Dir) publish patent US2017/0061345 A1 to electronically monitor employee behavior by coordinating legal, financial, and social media databases, using AI to identify anomalous behavior.
March 4, 2017: Trump tweets 'Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!'
March 15, 2017: Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrel, a supporter of Clinton’s, casts doubt on the dossier and Steele’s sourcing.
March 15, 2017: FBI Director Comey testifies to Senate Judiciary Committee that FBI agents did believe Michael Flynn did not lie to them.
March 16, 2017: Former SSCI Feinstein staffer and former FBI agent Daniel Jones describes Fusion GPS as a 'shadow media organization helping the government', funded by a 'group of Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros'. Jones raises $50 million to continue paying Fusion GPS and Steele after Trump's inauguration, distributing a daily Russia-collusion briefing paper to Congress, 'resistors' in Trump Admin, and media. Steele wishes to have an official written bipartisan invitation to testify to Senate Intel Committee. SSCI Vice Chair Sen Warner, in order to keep all communications with Steele 'off the record', texts lobbyist Adam Waldman, an intermediary for Steele in London, 'we want to do this right private in London don't want to send letter yet cuz if we can't get agreement wud rather not have paper trail'. Waldman texts back '[I will] see if I can convince him [Steele] to speak w you directly. At the moment he seems spooked. No pun intended.'
March 16, 2017: Dan Coats confirmed as DNI, replacing James Clapper.
March 17, 2017: SSCI Vice-Chair Sen Mark Warner tells SSCI Security Director James Wolfe to give copies of Secret-classified Carter Page FISA warrant application to media.
March 20, 2017: FBI director Comey confirms to Congress that FBI is investigating President Trump, blames Priestap for previous failure to notify Congress as required by law. Comey claims to have known early on in the investigation that it was Vladimir Putin’s intention to help the Trump campaign, due to his [Putin's] hatred for Hillary Clinton. Comey also tells Congress there is 'salacious and unverified' material in the Fusion GPS dossier used by FBI, in part, to obtain Carter Page wiretap. (Under FBI 'Woods Procedures', only facts carefully verified by the FBI may be offered as evidence to obtain FISA warrants.) Source
March 22, 2017: House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes demands that CIA, FBI and NSA disclose nature of unlawful surveillance he had discovered. || Source
Early April, 2017: A third FBI wiretap on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is approved. FBI Director James Comey and Acting AG Dana Boente sign the application. CIA Director Mike Pompeo may or may not be aware of this application or its approval.
April 3, 2017: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice reveals in an interview, despite earlier denials, that she had requested to unmask names of Trump transition officials. The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, and Rice deputy Ben Rhodes. || Source
April 7, 2017: President Trump, advised by attorney McGahn, signs executive order 13787 enabling the third-ranking DOJ official (Dana Boente at the time) to sign FISA application renewals. The Carter Page FISA application renewal, based on the same fraudulent Steele dossier as the earlier ones, facilitates the FBI's continued spying on the Trump Administration.
April 10, 2017: FBI Strzok text to Lisa Page: need to speak 'about a media leak strategy with DOJ'.
April 13, 2017: Guardian headlines 'British Spies Were First to Spot Trump Team’s Links with Russia,' explaining 'US and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation'.
April 17, 2017: In response to concerns in Washington about Russian social-media influence efforts, Facebook's Alex Stamos investigates occurrences of fake news, targeted data collection, false amplifiers on its site, and reports actions the company is taking to combat these. Senator Mark Warner later visits Facebook in person to press for evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
April 25, 2017: Christopher Steele, in a UK court proceeding, admits the dossier is 'unverified' and says he is 'shocked' it was ever made public.
April 25, 2017: Adam Waldman in London texts SSCI Vice-Chair Sen Warner, 'I just talked to Chris [Steele] again. I can't convince him to do a call first. He is under a lot of duress FYI. He said Dan Jones [former SSCI Feinstein staff, current distributor of Russia-collution newsletter] is coming to see you. I suggest you explain to Dan why a call is the necessary first step rather than a letter from your perspective.'
Spring 2017: Chief FISA Court Judge Rosemary Collyer finds that the Obama administration had been abusing the NSA FISA 702 database since President Obama's re-election in 2012, by failing to minimize queries to the NSA database, 'unmasking' persons incidentally identified, and allowing their names and personal information (phone contacts, email, texts, banking and any other electronic information) to be provided to private contractors.
April 26, 2017: Rod Rosenstein is appointed as new Deputy AG.
April 26, 2017: A declassified top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court report reveals that 85 percent of the searches conducted by FBI, CIA, and NSA consist of nebulous 'about' data requests impermissible according to legal minimization requirements. The FISA Court report also reveals that FBI provides raw surveillance data to outside contractors such as Fusion GPS without supervising whose privacy is violated. Unsupervised outside contractors may have engaged in political spying on Trump campaign workers, in violation of law.
April 28, 2017: NSA has decided that its Section 702 foreign intelligence surveillance activities will no longer include any upstream internet communications that are solely 'about a foreign intelligence target. Instead, this surveillance will now be limited to only those communications that are directly 'to' or 'from' a foreign intelligence target. These changes are designed to retain the upstream collection that provides the greatest value to national security while reducing the likelihood that NSA will acquire communications of U.S. persons or others who are not in direct contact with one of the Agency's foreign intelligence targets. In addition, as part of this curtailment, NSA will delete the vast majority of previously acquired upstream internet communications as soon as practicable. || Source
May 2017: NSC staffer Rich Higgins writes and circulates memo on political warfare aimed at de-stabilizing and ousting the Trump presidency and disenfranchising Trump's constituency. He had also sought to declassify PSD-11, the secret blueprint for Obama's alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. || Source ; Higgins memo download
May 3, 2017: FBI Dir Comey in Senate testimony refuses to rule out anyone, 'including the president' as a target of criminal investigation.
May 9, 2017: Trump fires FBI Director Comey, based on memo from Rosenstein re 'Restoring public confidence in the FBI'. Rosenstein writes: 'The FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department…. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do…. the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then - if prosecution is warranted - let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte'. FBI mole Anthony Ferrante leaves joint WH/FBI employment to work for BuzzFeed, which had published the unverified Steele dossier in Jan 2017.
May 9, 2017: Andrew McCabe, as FBI Director upon the firing of Director Comey, immediately orders criminal obstruction and counter-intelligence investigation of President Trump, with the objective of having an ongoing investigation that would be 'difficult to quash without raising scrutiny'. CNN reports top FBI officials open investigation because Trump 'needed to be reined in'. McCabe informally surveys Trump Cabinet concerning willingness to declare Trump medically or mentally unfit, to force him from the Presidency under the 25th Amendment. Acting AG Rosenstein volunteers to 'wear a wire' to entrap President Trump into statements demonstrating mental incapacity. || Source: CBS 60 Minutes TV interview Feb 2019.
May 16, 2017: Comey publishes memo to self in NY Times, claiming President Trump asked him to drop investigation of Flynn. The accusation of improper presidential influence on an FBI investigation prompts calls for appointment of an independent Special Counsel to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
May 16, 2017: Rosenstein suggests to McCabe that he (Rosenstein) secretly record President Trump. Rosenstein denies the report.
May 17, 2017: Deputy AG Rosenstein appoints Mueller as Special Counsel under 28 CFR §600.8(c) to take over a pre-existing counterintelligence investigation, despite statutory limitation of Special Counsel appointments to criminal investigations.
May 2017: FBI's Flynn investigation becomes part of Special Counsel probe. Flynn case agent William Barnett informs Special Counsel team, including former Clinton Foundation attorney Jeannie Rhee, that there is 'no evidence of a crime' committed by Flynn.
May 2017: FBI reports about 50,000 Strzok-Page text messages between Dec 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 are missing, either because they were deleted or due to technical flaws in the FBI collection process. FBI Inspector General Horowitz later reports recovery of the missing messages. || Source
May 20, 2017: Tony Bobulinski, a business partner of the Bidens, is warned by another partner, James Gilliar, in an email: 'Don't mention Joe being involved, it's only when u are face-to-face, I know u know but they are paranoid'. || Source: Twitter post of Mike Emmanuel, Fox News
June 14, 2017: Left-wing Illinois activist James Hodgkinson shoots and critically wounds U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others during a charity baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooter dies in the ensuing shootout with Capitol Police. FBI Acting Director McCabe characterizes the shooting as 'suicide by cop'. Scalise notes the shooter came to the ballpark with a list of Republics to target, that he belonged to a 'Terminate the Republican Party' Facebook group, and that he had worked for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Iowa. Four years later on May 14, 2021, FBI re-classifies the shooting as 'domestic terrorism'.|| Source1 ; Source2 ; Source3 ; FBI-DHS Report
June 18, 2017: Hunter Biden sends letter to CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming extending 'best wishes from the entire Biden family'. Letter notes Tony Bobulinski had 'sent a request to Dong Gongwen [Gongwen Dong] and Director Zang for the funding of the $10 MM USD wire. I would appreciate if you will send that quickly so we can properly fund and operate Sinohawk.'
June 19, 2017: FBI Attorney Clinesmith falsifies a CIA memo to add that Carter Page was 'not a source' when in fact he had been a trusted CIA source; for the purpose of justifying a continuing FBI investigation of Page and any Trump campaign associates of his.
June 2017: Special Counsel team interviews Dep NSA KT McFarland on communications between Trump and Flynn during transition, with particular reference to the Flynn-Kislyak calls. SC team tries to prevent FBI Flynn case agent William Barnett from participating in McFarland interview. Barnett threatens to report this to Inspector General, believes Special Counsel is 'trying to get McFarland to change her story to fit the Trump collusion theory'. Barnett: 'There was always someone at SCO who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove the collusion only to have the information be a dead end'. Source: U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen interview of FBI Flynn case agent William Barnett on Sept 17, 2020.
The Special Counsel’s leadership is so certain that Trump had directed Flynn to call Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., that they assume all testimony to the contrary is false. Special Counsel attorneys are frustrated that K.T. McFarland, the incoming deputy National Security Advisor, doesn’t support their theory. 'Mueller describes McFarland as the ‘key to everything’ because McFarland was the link between Trump, who was at Mar-a-Lago with McFarland, and Flynn, who was in the Dominican Republic on vacation, when [REDACTED] were made,' the report of Barnett’s interview says. Because of Barnett’s contrary views, members of Mueller’s team even tried to prevent him from participating in interviews with McFarland, leading Barnett to threaten to go to the Inspector General.
During a proffer interview with McFarland, the special counsel team asks no follow-up or clarifying questions, which 'perplexed' Barnett. He begins asking direct questions, trying to get facts directly from the subject of the interview. He asks if she knew things for a fact or if she is merely speculating. He asks if she passed information from Trump to Flynn. These direct questions and their clear answers undercut their theory of the case led Special Counsel Attorney Andrew Goldstein to call a time-out and caution Barnett against asking them.
June 22, 2017: Christopher Steele asks Bruce Ohr by email 'any news on re-engagement yet?', reference to Steele's possible employment of Special Counsel staff.
Late June, 2017: FBI obtains a fourth FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page through late Sept 2017. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein sign the renewal application. Eric Ciaramella, who had objected to the new 'America first' direction at NSC, returns to NSC.
§7. Notes On A Higher Calling, January - June 2017
Previous: §6b. The Insurance Policy, Post-Election, November 2016 - January 2017:
§7b. The Sino-Sinecure and Secret Courts, July - Dec 2017: