Justice coming for the ‘Dirty 51’ Hunter Biden laptop liars

The Bobster

Senior News Editor since 2004

Justice coming for the ‘Dirty 51’ Hunter Biden laptop liars​

Miranda Devine

May 18, 2022 10:56pm

Hunter Biden
Fifty-one former intelligence officials dismissed The Post's Hunter Biden reports as a "Russian information operation." CBS Sunday Morning/ZUMA Wire

One of the most galling aspects of the Hunter Biden laptop saga is that the 51 former intelligence officials who played such a critical role in suppressing The Post’s stories and giving Joe Biden cover before the 2020 election have never been brought to account.
The “Dirty 51” lied by painting our stories as Russian disinformation in an Oct. 19, 2020, letter they signed and delivered to Politico five days after The Post exposé and three days before the final presidential debate of the election campaign.
They used the institutional weight of their powerful former roles to legitimize partisan political propaganda designed to smear The Post and everyone associated with the story and dissuade the rest of the media from looking deeper into the laptop.
The letter, titled “Public Statement on the Hunter Biden emails,” and signed by former CIA Directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Mike Hayden, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other ex-spooks, claimed the material on Hunter’s hard drive “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” although not one of them had seen it.
Their lie “probably affected the outcome” of the 2020 presidential race, as former Attorney General William Barr has said, describing the letter as “partisan hackery,” “baseless” and signed by “a coterie of retired intelligence officials who had lost their professional bearings.”
Yet they have never apologized or retracted their lie. In fact, when The Post contacted the group in March, after the New York Times belatedly acknowledged the laptop was real, some, like Clapper, doubled down.
Former CIA director John Brennan Former CIA Director John Brennan has not commented on The Post’s Hunter Biden exposé.EPA
One former CIA officer who signed the letter, John Sipher, boasted that he took “special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump.”
“I lost the election for Trump?” wrote Sipher during a Twitter spat with a former Trump official. “Well then I [feel] pretty good about my influence.”
The arrogance of these Deep Staters tells you that they believe they will get away with lying to influence an election.
But there’s one person with a bee in his bonnet who isn’t going to let the story go: Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally in Greensburg, Pa., on May 6, 2022. Former President Donald Trump has tasked an attorney to go after the Dirty 51.AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File
The former president has sicced uber-attorney Tim Parlatore on the Dirty 51. On Wednesday, Parlatore launched the first stage of a multi-prong strategy to make those who signed the letter pay for the damage they have wrought to freedom of the press, election integrity and the welfare of the nation.
His goal is to uncover alleged communications between the Dirty 51 and the Biden campaign.
Parlatore began by filing five letters of complaint with the agencies that formerly employed the 51, including the CIA — which counted 43 of its former officials among the group — the National Security Agency, the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Defense.
Former CIA director Michael Hayden Former CIA Director Michael HaydenAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

‘Egregious breach’​

Each letter complains of “an egregious breach” by former agency employees “that appears to have been overlooked by your agency, as it has gone uninvestigated and certainly unpunished. Specifically, the unauthorized publication and dissemination of an intelligence assessment, purportedly based on classified information, that was used wrongfully to influence the outcome of an election.”
It points out that each of the Dirty 51 was “bound by the lifelong obligation” to submit the letter to their former agencies for pre-publication security review to ensure it didn’t contain classified information, a process that could take several months. The letter then would have been stamped with a disclaimer that the agency was not vouching for its accuracy.
“That would have destroyed the usefulness of the document,” says Parlatore, “plus the process would have delayed it so long, it would not be useful” because the election would have been over.
Edward Gallagher's Defense attorney Tim Parlatore speaks to members of the media before walking into military court on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 in San Diego, CA. Attorney Tim Parlatore is in the process of unraveling any alleged collaboration between the 51 former intelligence officials and President Biden.Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
Letters were sent to John Hoffister Hedley, chairman of the Prepublication Classification Review Board at the CIA; Gen. Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command; Christine Abizaid, director of the National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Caroline Krass, general counsel, Department of Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review; and Avril Haines, director of the Information Management Division in the Office of the DNI.

‘Russian information op’​

The letters state: “Leading up to the 2020 election, the New York Post published stunning revelations which were lawfully obtained from a laptop that formerly belonged to Hunter Biden, son of then-candidate Joe Biden.
“This information, which raises significant concerns about the financial dealings of a presidential candidate and his potential ties to our nation’s primary adversaries, China and Russia, threatened to undermine his candidacy.
US Attorney General Bill Barr holds a news conference to provide an update on the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on the 32nd anniversary of the attack, at the Department of Justice December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Former Attorney General William Barr was right to call out the “partisan hackery” of the 51 former intelligence officials.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images
“To undermine these revelations, 51 former intelligence officials … published an intelligence assessment in the form of a letter for dissemination to the American people through the news media. This letter purportedly relied on the combined and established credibility of these intelligence officials, through collective experience and knowledge of intelligence information, including classified material, to assess that the laptop was not authentic and ‘has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.’
“Over a year after the election, it is conceded that the laptop and its contents are authentic, and the judgement espoused by these 51 former intelligence officials is baseless and false. Yet, the implications of this breach continue. Media outlets used this purportedly credible intelligence assessment as a justification to not report on the story. Some polls show that up to 17% of people who voted for President Biden would not have if they knew about the contents of the laptop at the time.”
Parlatore urges each agency to “proceed immediately with legal action to [ensure] that such breaches of vital security provisions do not continue to go unchecked.”
The Post was the first outlet to uncover Hunter Biden’s scandalous laptop from a repair ship in Delaware long before The New York Times acknowledged it. The Post was the first outlet to uncover Hunter Biden’s scandalous laptop from a repair ship in Delaware long before the New York Times acknowledged it.ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
The same standard should be applied to the 51 as has been applied to other agency employees who have breached the prepublication review obligation: They should be stripped of their security clearances and never again allowed to work in the intelligence field.
The next step for Parlatore is to file a letter with the Federal Election Commission, requesting that the Dirty 51 letter be recorded as a campaign “in-kind contribution.”
Then will come litigation against the 51 and the Biden campaign in US District Court, in pursuit of any link between Democratic operatives and the letter.
Biden cited the letter in that final presidential debate of 2020 to dismiss as “garbage” and part of a “Russian plan” emails from the laptop that were published by The Post indicating he had met with Hunter’s Ukrainian paymaster in Washington, DC, when he was veep.
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) under President Barack Obama, Leon Panetta at the Panetta Institute, Seaside, California, 2015.  Former CIA Director Leon Panetta worked under the Obama administration.David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
Barr, who was AG at the time, recently told Fox News he was “very disturbed during the debate when candidate Biden lied to the American people about the laptop. He’s squarely confronted with the laptop, and he suggested that it was Russian disinformation and pointed to the letter written by some intelligence people that was baseless — which he knew was a lie …
“When you’re talking about interference in an election, I can’t think of anything more than that kind of thing.”
Justice might be slow, but it is coming.

The Bobster

Senior News Editor since 2004

How FBI bigwig aided and abetted Hillary Clinton plot​

Post Editorial Board

May 19, 2022 8:32pm

Attorney Michael Sussmann
Attorney Michael Sussmann is being charged with lying to the government. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Who needs to spend millions on television commercials or Facebook ads if you’ve got friends in the FBI who can pull off a political dirty trick for you?
Just look how cozy Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann and FBI general counsel James A. Baker are in text messages revealed in Thursday’s testimony at Sussmann’s trial.
Can you meet tomorrow, Sussmann asks the high-ranking government official. “OK, I will find a time,” Baker answers. Does he need help getting into the building? No, Sussmann answers, I have a badge to get into the Federal Bureau of Investigation. How convenient.
It was during this meeting that Sussmann peddled the false story that Donald Trump was secretly communicating with a Russian bank.
Sussmann obviously is guilty of the crime of which special counsel John Durham accuses him, lying to the FBI, despite his claims otherwise. He specifically says to Baker that he’s not coming in “on behalf of any client or company” when he was working for Clinton.
Former FBI general counsel James A. Baker Former FBI general counsel James A. Baker leaves the United States District Court following testimonies on May 19. Ron Sachs – CNP text messages DOJ released exhibits showing Sussmann’s texts to the FBI’s James Baker.DOJ Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Special counsel John Durham revealed text messages between Clinton and Sussmann. Andrew Kelly/REUTERS
But are we really to believe Baker didn’t know that Sussmann — a well-known Democratic lawyer who can drop by the FBI at the drop of a hat — was a biased tipster? Worse, when Baker passes Sussmann’s story to FBI agents, he doesn’t tell them where it’s coming from, allowing the lawyer anonymity even as an investigation finds his tale is garbage.
Durham is pursuing a narrow indictment, but what he’s exposing is far larger: an unethical Clinton campaign, a biased government bureaucracy, and an insouciant class of Beltway insiders who figured they could get away with anything.

The Bobster

Senior News Editor since 2004

‘Frustrated’ Clinton lawyer shopped phony Trump-Russia data to CIA in ’17: witnesses​

Ben Feuerherd and

Bruce Golding

May 20, 2022 9:15pm

Michael Sussmann
Michael Sussmann leaves the federal courthouse Monday, May 16. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

WASHINGTON, DC — Former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann denied he was “representing a client” when he gave the CIA faulty data linking Donald Trump to Russia — and appeared “frustrated” that officials weren’t taking the information seriously, two former agency employees testified Friday.
One ex-spy — identified in court only as “Kevin P.” — recalled that he and a colleague met with Sussmann at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in February 2017, shortly after Trump took office.
Sussmann gave the men two thumb drives that he said came from unidentified “contacts” and showed a secret, cyber back channel between a Trump Organization server and Russia’s Alfa Bank, Kevin P. said
“He said he was not representing a client,” the witness testified, adding that Sussmann also said he’d previously given “similar but unrelated” information to the FBI.
Sussmann, 57, is on trial in Washington, DC, federal court for allegedly denying that he was acting on behalf of a client when he gave two thumb drives and three “white papers” on the purported Trump-Russia ties to then-FBI general counsel James Baker on Sept. 19, 2016.
Sussmann is charged with a single count of lying to the government, with special counsel John Durham alleging that he was actually working for the Clinton campaign and another client, tech executive Rodney Joffe, who told Sussmann about the data.
Hillary Rodham Clinton Sussman worked as Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer. Andrew Schwartz / SplashNews.com
Following the meeting at CIA headquarters, Kevin P.’s colleague — identified as “Steve M.” — drafted a memo summarizing what took place and noting that Sussmann had been there on behalf of a client, according to evidence shown to jurors.
But Kevin P. edited the memo to take out the word “client” and replaced it with “contacts,” another exhibit showed.
Sussmann’s meeting in Langley appeared to be the result of an earlier sit-down with retired CIA official Mark Chadason, a former station chief in both Europe and North Africa, who testified that he met with a Sussmann at a hotel in northern Virginia on Jan. 31, 2017, at the request of a mutual friend.
Pedestrians walk past the branch of Alfa Bank Sussman gave the CIA faulty data linking the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank in 2017.NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images
Sussmann told Chadason that he wanted to give the CIA information about a national security issue and had previously reached out to the agency’s general counsel in an attempt to do so, Chadason said.
Sussmann said he got the information from a Republican client but added that he wasn’t “sure if he would reveal himself to the CIA,” the former spook said.

What do you think? Post a comment.

Sussmann also said he planned to go to the New York Times if the CIA didn’t pursue the matter, Chadason recalled.

Under cross-examination, Chadason said he didn’t view Sussmann’s remark as a threat but an act of desperation.

“I understood it as a frustration,” he recalled. “He [Sussmann] seemed frustrated throughout the meeting.”