by Sharon Rondeau
In response to this writer’s challenges to Fanning’s inaccurate claims entered as comments below the video, Fanning termed this writer and Zullo “pathetic liars,” a clear example of the “slander and libel” of which she has accused us.
Interestingly, Fanning and Jones’s latest publication at CommDigiNews contains the disclaimer, “The above opinions and reporting are those of the authors.” They also now acknowledge that Zullo was the source of “The Whistleblower Tapes” upon which they base their many inaccurate and unproven claims.
Many of the claims made by businessman Tim Blixseth on the recordings are unproven, including that Montgomery, at the direction of government handlers, “hacked into” foreign embassies, and into private email accounts, whether or not at the request of the government (“Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,” Part 2).
A review of Westall’s “Part 1 of 2” broadcast reveals [Editor’s Note: Westall did not respond to The Post & Email’s requests for comment after we presented evidence that Fanning and Jones had misrepresented the facts in their August 9 interview]:
Mary Fanning (12:36): Those 47 hard drives, and by the way, they are not the same 47 hard drives that were brought to Kirk and to Bill by Mike Zullo – Dennis Montgomery did not – and you can understand why – did not trust Mike Zullo because he found, and Dennis said that Mike Zullo was recording him and these audio tapes, the Whistleblower Tapes, were recordings that came from Mike Zullo illicitly recording people. It was unbeknownst to those who were being recorded. But then Mike Zullo handed that over to Judge Snow, and you have to keep in mind that Dennis Montgomery was under the State Secrets Privilege and a government protective order…
Mike Zullo: This is the ever-changing narrative, an attempt to justify the unjustifiable. The 47 hard drives are not the same hard drives that the sheriff’s office brought to Kirk Wiebe and Bill Binney. I have publicly stated that. They are not the 47 hard drives Montgomery gave to the FBI. These are the original 47 hard drives which were turned over by Dennis Montgomery to the sheriff’s office investigators as his purported evidence of a crime that were later discovered to contain nothing of a classified nature. These worthless drives eventually were turned over to a federal court under order in 2015.
At the time, Montgomery was alleging to investigators he had evidence of a top-secret illegal spy campaign covertly perpetrated against American citizens by the U.S. Government and he was placing this digital evidence, including software and source code, on those 47 drives and turning them over to the sheriff’s office as evidence and for security reasons. For months he claimed the content could not be viewed by investigators due to the lack of a U.S. Government security clearance that only he possessed. Over the passing months Montgomery would refer back to the data, claiming its classified content, and coined the phrase “Data Trump’s Rhetoric.” However, it would later turn out this was all rhetoric and no data.
This justification narrative has gone from Montgomery supplying fictitious information on those drives for reasons of investigators lacking security clearance, to him being under a State Secrets Privilege so he could not give information to investigators to now the newest reason offered by Fanning, that Montgomery didn’t “trust” me, so this somehow justifies his fraud. Fanning offers up on behalf of Montgomery these different reasons; however, her assertions are proving to be very problematic for Montgomery.
By Fanning’s declaration, Montgomery intentionally deceived the sheriff’s office for months by providing investigators with 47 hard drives that he claimed were evidence and contained highly classified information when in fact they contained nothing but worthless junk. Who put that worthless junk on those fresh new drives? Dennis Montgomery. Who stated that there was classified evidence on those drives when there was not? Dennis Montgomery. Who told investigators that they could not view the drives’ content due to classified information and security issue? Dennis Montgomery. Who was paid to put evidence on those hard drives? Dennis Montgomery. Who now claims he deliberately put fraudulent information on the drives? Dennis Montgomery, as declared by Mary Fanning. This is the admission of the fraud.
Montgomery requested the sheriff’s office supply him with brand-new hard drives for this purpose; I was present when some of them were purchased. He was also being paid $10,000 per month to download the information onto those drives. All of this was done under the pretense of his representations that this was evidence of crime and of his claims and he was placing that evidence, including elusive source code and related software, on the drives purchased by the sheriff’s office. Those drives were taken into evidence and secured for months. All the while Montgomery knew he was putting worthless amounts of data on this drive to give the appearance of volume. It was all trash. Everything I am telling you here can be verified in emails created back in 2014 and tuned over to the court and referenced in my federal testimony.
From: Brian Mackiewicz To: Larry Klayman Cc: Michael Zullo; David Webb; Dina James
Subject: Re: DC Date: Friday, November 07, 2014 7:55:19 AM
Gentleman, Good morning. Wanted to update everyone on the progress of this investigation. Significant information was learned yesterday concerning the approximately 50 hard drives Dennis Montgomery provided as evidence to to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in April of 2014.
Dennis Montgomery represented the hard drives contained classified and sensitive information that he obtained while working at either eTreppid, or Blixware on behalf of federal government as a CIA contractor.
When our experts examined the information contained on the drives, not only did the numerous drives NOT contain any classified or sensitive information, they were instead contained data dumps of you relevant computer information hours off video feeds for Al Jazeera news feed.
After reviewing all the hard drives our experts concluded that Dennis Montgomery deliberately complied massive amounts of data on to these drives for the purpose of obfuscating the fact the data itself contained no evidence to support Dennis Montgomery’s claims. There was no sensitive information contained on any of these 50 hard drives.
In addition, our experts brought question in the validity concerning an number of emails Dennis Montgomery provided in the same hard drives.
Our experts also determined that much of the information that Dennis Montgomery has alleged that was harvested by the federal government in violation of the fourth amendment protections cannot be sourced for validity based on the information contained in the 50 hard drives Dennis Montgomery provided.
Two days worth of email correspondence and telephone calls to Dennis Montgomery advising him all is required of him is to cooperate and provide all source information supporting his allegations would remedy his situation immediately. He has refused. I should add he refuses while at the same time professing to want to cooperate.
At this juncture, after a 13 month investigation, Maricopa County Sheriffs office CANNOT validate the credibility of Dennis Montgomery and or his work without his full and candid cooperation in supplying the necessary evidence for our experts to substantiate his work and deem it authentic and creditable.
Dennis Montgomery is leaving us no other alternative but to take this investigation in a completely different course going forward.
It is extremely discouraging to learn most if not all the representations made by Dennis Montgomery to investigators, the State of Arizona Attorney General, and a Federal Judge have been less then truthful.
Mr. Klayman, if you can represent to me Dennis Montgomery’s intentions of cooperating fully, candidly, without obstruction or obfuscation, perhaps we can bring this this investigation to a successful conclusion for all parties concerned. Please advise me immediately.
Sent from my iPad
On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 8:16 AM, Brian Mackiewicz <email@example.com> wrote:
I guess I will take a minute and respond to some of the issues at hand. Dennis you have no problem defending the work because you truly believe your the only person on the face of the earth that knows what your talking about. It is easy to hide behind, “we have a lack of understanding of software development and programs” but do you really think we would ever take your word as gospel? I will admit we did take your word as gospel for some time time but that time ended when you grossly misrepresented the work that you said was completed.
It would have not been such a big deal Dennis but Mike and I represented the fact the work was complete and it wasn’t. Look I am not stupid you have lied to me several times over the past 12 months. I have caught you in you lies and chosen to move forward and look past the fact you lied. I always kept hope and believed when it came to your work product and your “STORY” you were always being truthful. The problem now is were do the lies end and the truth start. I am not even sure you know the answer to that Dennis.
From day one I thought we all had a common goal in mind when it came to this investigation. If your “STORY” was based on facts and the information you provided was all truthful Mike, I, and the Office was dedicated do anything in our powers LEGALLY to help bring your story forward and expose the TRUTH. I truly believe Mike, I, and the Office have lived up to out part of the deal. We have given you approximately 120,000 dollars plus in exchange for information. We brought you before the Arizona State Attorney General, we found you two different Attorneys, and we opened the door to a Federal Judge to give you as much protection as possible. Mike and I went to the Administration several times and asked for extensions to continue this investigation because we believed your “STORY” and the information you provided. When you had a stroke and you had NO one to turn you I was on a plane to assist you and you family. Not to mention the personal sacrifices Mike and I have made over the past 12 months to make sure you and you family were taken care of. Dennis if you don’t remember Mike and I even gave you 200.00 dollars a piece out of our own pockets so you could have a Thanksgiving with you family last year. Just to later find out you worked Tim for 500.00 dollars also.
And to address one other issue that has seemed to come up more then once. If I remember correctly it was you choice to get on a plane and fly to Washington DC. Mike, I, or the Office was not aware you were advised by your Doctor not to travel UNTIL after you flew back to Seattle. I remember Mike and I specifically told when you after you informed us of that information you would have to provide a doctors letter before we would let you travel again. I also remember you getting so intoxicated at dinner while in Washington DC I had to tell the waiter to start serving you cocktails with no alcohol. Mike, I, or the Office would have never let you flight to Washington DC if we knew it was against your Doctors orders.
You also mention, “I was forced to sacrifice my recovery to adhere to your ridiculous timeframes to further are agenda”. Dennis I want to be clear last time I knew you were an adult. As adults sometimes we have to make certain choices in life that might effect our future. Mike, I, or the Office did not hold a gun to your head telling you had to do anything.
Dennis for some reason I think you believe it is Mike, I, and the Offices responsibility to support you and your family’s lifestyle, and to fix all your problems. From the beginning we all agreed we had some obstacles to overcome based on what other people have said about you. I believe Mike, and I have and will continue to overcome those obstacles if you are truthful with us.
Dennis your not a stupid person. You know exactly what we need and want to be able to move forward. You know everything you provide us has to get verified by a third party. If I just believed everything people told me without verifying it by facts or evidence everyone would be locked up. If you CANT or WONT provide Mike, and I with what is necessary to prove and verify everything then be honest and tell us. There is more then one way to skin a cat.
As far is Larry Klayman is concerned his involvement in this investigation is non existent. we understand he is your attorney and he is representing you. BUT he has no bearing at all on how this case is investigated and what the outcome maybe. You might be able to play Larry for what you need for a little while but in the end you and Larry still need someone with CREDIBILITY to verify the information and your “STORY” .
And for my last and final point. Dennis I have been a Deputy Sheriff for almost 18 Years. When I graduated the Police Academy I took an Oath of Office which I still keep believe in. I know you have heard me say this more then once but this is one investigation of many in my Career. My job is to find the facts, verify the facts, and come to a logical conclusion that a reasonable person would believe based on those facts. I have no agenda is this investigation Dennis. When we decide this investigation is over I will look at all the facts, statements, and evidence that has been collected over the past year and ask myself what would a reasonable person would think. Remember that Oath I mention, it means no matter how I feel personally regarding the outcome of this investigation I am sworn to do the right thing Dennis. I truly hope in the end we all accomplish the same goal we all had in the beginning, but remember if not I am NOT AFRAID and I can promise you I will do the right thing.
Dennis it is a great possibility that your future depends on what you do from here. We have days not weeks, not months. Time is of the essence
Detective Brian Mackiewicz #1227
Sent from my iPad
From: Mike To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: OZ Date: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 5:28:00 PM
Dennis To answer the question, where we go from here, really is dependent upon you. A year-long investigation and tens of thousands of dollars invested, we have absolutely nothing to show for it. The 50 some odd drives we had in our possession shockingly turned out to contain nothing of any significance on any level whether Federal or pertaining to the Sheriff’s Office.
There was absolutely nothing of use on those drives. Overwhelming content of meaningless information does absolutely nothing to further your cause and obviously puts the Sheriff’s office in a very precarious situation. Dennis I think the bottom line is if you have the information this is the time to provide. We have an extremely short window of opportunity to work in and the choice is yours. All you have to do is produce what you said you were going to produce in exchange for the dollars you received. But I have to stress to you the time is of the essence. We have been instructed to write up our final report and be ready to hand it over to a different agency. I really don’t want to see it come to that but again the choice is yours
On Apr 20, 2015 7:10 PM, “Mike” <email@example.com> wrote: Larry, This is now my second request asking for a date set for the completion of the work Dennis Montgomery has been promising for over 16 months.. Mr. Montgomery’s behavior and lack of performance the face of his numerous promises pledging to complete the work.. This is especially concerning given the face that Mr. Montgomery needs validation like a drowning man needs oxygen. His behavior simply erodes whatever thread of credibility he may have left. In fact as of this date, our experience dealing with Mr. Montgomery mirrors what has been written about him.. It is apparent to us that this is just a game of running the clock in the hope Montgomery can position himself as a “Whistle Blower” with some jurisdiction and with your help get out from under his obligation to the us. In our opinion Montgomery does not qualify under Federal Whistle Blower protections. A risky game….
I would like a response by close of business on Wednesday April 22nd, 2015. If we do not here from you or your client we will complete final reports, close the matter and make the appropriate notifications.
Larry we have bent over backwards to help your client and you however, it appears that you have changed course and are no longer work to our mutual benefit.
Mike Zullo (cont.): All of this was done under the pretense of his representations that this was evidence of his claim and he was placing that evidence on the drives purchased by the sheriff’s office.
Now Montgomery’s newfound reason for perpetuating a fraud is that he didn’t trust me because he somehow mysteriously discovered I was recording him without his knowledge some five years ago. Here is the issue with that statement: the recordings happened in late 2013 or early January 2014; Montgomery didn’t supply the 47 hard drives for approximately another 8-12 weeks after that.
Is Dennis Montgomery or his surrogate, Mary Fanning, alleging that Montgomery discovered he was being taped before he gave us the hard drives? Yes. And that he was aware of this before the sheriff’s office spent thousands of dollars to purchase the new hard drives for evidentiary purposes? According to the claim, yes. By that logic, it is a clear admission of his intent to perpetrate a fraud by purposely misrepresenting what was on the drives he turned over one by one, week after week, to the office. This was not a one-time event; this went on for weeks, drive after drive, 47 times he handed investigators garbage. Let this sink in: 47 times, that ultimately grew to 60 worthless drives. This was a premeditated fraud and carried through to completion; that is, until he got caught.
The facts are that Dennis Montgomery was told he was going to be recorded intermittently before any recording was ever made. He had no issue. He was also on video numerous times being video- and audio-taped as he was conversing with both Det. Mackiewicz and me on video and audio, as I was holding up my cell phone. [Editor’s Note: The Post & Email has viewed one such video.]
Now, Montgomery wants to say he knew he discovered he was being taped without his knowledge, yet he never offers an explanation of how he came to discover he was being recorded. He never made any mention or protest then. He never made any mention before 2015 when the tapes were released to the public. In the hundreds of emails and hundreds of phone calls I had in dealing with Dennis Montgomery, he never raised “illicit” recording as an issue. And at a time of contention between Montgomery and the sheriff’s office, he makes a number of wild accusations. However, being secretly recorded is not one of them. The only time he raised it as an issue was when he started working with Fanning.
Prior to the Fanning/Jones interviews, Dennis Montgomery never made an accusation about being either audio- or videotaped without his knowledge in 2013, 2014 or 2015. In not one email in a number of heated exchanges did he level that charge back then. As a matter of fact, he gave us a three-hour videotaped interview in his garage with his computers running in the background and told us the same information, looking right into the camera. And he gave a two-day video interview with Fox News. Fox never ran the story because Montgomery, in typical fashion, never produced the evidence he said he had promised to Fox. This guy certainly was not camera-shy.
Now there is an attempt at a half-baked excuse to cover for his deceitful actions, and Mary Fanning is pushing this notion along, doing Montgomery’s bidding. Why? Because Montgomery got caught in a con. Who caught him? Zullo. Montgomery needs an excuse for this and Fanning just wants everything Montgomery says to be true because she is so heavily invested in the narrative. Are you beginning to see why Montgomery, with the help of Fanning, is trying to discredit me and erase his interaction in a two-year-long criminal investigation into his allegations? Montgomery has already been accused once of defrauding the United States Government and now he got caught defrauding the sheriff’s office. All of this does not bode well for his credibility.
Based on my first-hand knowledge and observation in working with Dennis Montgomery, it is my opinion, and I fully believe, that Montgomery intended from the onset to perpetrate a fraud against the sheriff’s office. It doesn’t matter what excuse he lays out; this was a concocted scheme from the beginning. It should also be noted that this fraud was discovered after Dennis Montgomery sat before a federal judge. Montgomery sat before a federal judge while we told the judge he had placed those drives in our custody as evidence of governmental crime. He sat there, the only person in the room that knew at that time the drives were junk and zero evidence on them. Dennis Montgomery knew there was garbage on those drives. So he sat in front of a federal judge, spilling his guts, knowingly pretending he gave us solid information when in fact he gave us garbage.
What Dennis Montgomery never counted on was investigators discovering the truth. He only learned about the plan to catch him because of courtroom testimony. Obviously he is a little perturbed, and again, in classic Montgomery fashion he will try to discredit and retaliate against me going forward. He is now going to attempt to project the blame for his misdeeds onto someone else (me), a typical “Montgomery” tactic that can be seen in his testimony in earlier court cases. He is always claiming someone else’s action caused him to do something maliciously. Had Fanning and Jones performed even the most amateur investigation, they would have discovered this fact. It is all in the public domain.
Either way you slice it, no matter the motive, secret recordings, State Secrets Privilege or security clearance or whatever else Fanning blurts out there, Mary Fanning, on behalf of Montgomery, has now made abundantly clear Montgomery purposefully, intentionally and knowingly placed junk on those drives. In doing so, she now validates the findings in Kirk Wiebe’s report. Fanning makes it clear Montgomery now admits, through a scheme of his own design, that he knowingly defrauded the sheriff’s office and took thousands of dollars in compensation to do it. This was a con through and through. Montgomery had every intention to deceive the police and a federal judge; no matter what type of story or made-up justification he loads Fanning’s lips with, this was intentional and the evidence is there for all to see.
Mary Fanning (13:08): “…illicitly recording people…”
Mike Zullo: The definition of “illicit” is “forbidden by law, rules or custom.” That’s the word she’s using.. My interactions with Dennis Montgomery were witnessed by Det. Brian Mackiewicz. We both were there together. We both discussed with Dennis Montgomery taping some of the interactions with him. He had no issue. There is nothing illegal about law enforcement taping a face-to-face interview, and there is certainly nothing wrong when you advise someone you’re going to tape them. Dennis Montgomery never once asked not to be taped, and as a matter of fact, the recordings, with the exception of the Blixseth recording, which was done in Arizona and perfectly legal, are snippets, anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes at best. None of that information is incriminating to Dennis Montgomery on any level. All we were trying to do was preserve what he was telling us because this was venturing into an area we weren’t really prepared for. We were going to have to relay this information to higher-ups at the sheriff’s office. He also stated he would die at any moment due to his brain aneurysm. This may come as a shock to Montgomery, but the job of an investigator is to seek out, gather and preserve information and/or evidence.
Mary Fanning (13:13): Then Mike Zullo handed that over to…
Mike Zullo: This is another Fanning misrepresentation. “Mike Zullo” was an investigator assigned to Montgomery by Sheriff Arpaio, not “Mike Zullo,” acting as a private person. “Mike Zullo,” as an agent of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office during the course of an investigation, and those recordings and other information were subpoenaed by a federal court. Actually, all information regarding Dennis Montgomery and the “Seattle operation,” as it was called, was subpoenaed by a federal judge not only of Mike Zullo but the Sheriff’s Office as well. As a matter of fact, “Zullo” attempted to contest the subpoena so that he wouldn’t have to turn over the information. The judge rejected his motion.
Mike Zullo: The judge denied all of it, obviously, but every attempt was made not to release that to the public, not for any nefarious reason, but because these were unsubstantiated allegations Montgomery was making, and we simply couldn’t substantiate them. Plus we weren’t sure if anything he was telling us was, on any level, privileged. But as the investigation unfolded, we realized almost nothing he was telling us was privileged. So this is a complete misrepresentation by Fanning to besmirch my character. It’s being done to cast me in a light of untrustworthiness and somehow make Montgomery the victim. Montgomery is always the victim…a victim he is not.
Mary Fanning (13:20): …you have to keep in mind that Dennis Montgomery was under the State Secrets Privilege and a government protective order, and had he said anything that could be construed as breaking that State Secrets Privilege, he would have been charged with treason and put in prison for life.
Mike Zullo: Another misnomer made by Mary Fanning, who has no conceptual working knowledge or understanding of the State Secrets Privilege and the protective order that she’s referencing. The protective order, issued in 2006 in a civil action involving Montgomery, and by determination of two federal judges, one as recently as 2016, concluded that SSP and the Protective Order is nothing more than a common evidentiary procedure. There was nothing in that protective order saying Montgomery’s software, source code or explanation, was, in fact, privileged, so he could be compelled to talk about it all. Furthermore, the State Secrets Privilege has a shelf life, and that shelf life is good only for the proceeding for which it was issued. Once that proceeding is over, the State Secrets Privilege is null and void and the protective order is of no effect.
The judge stated* what the protective order covered, meaning what could and could not be discussed, and it didn’t include the software. So this idea that Dennis Montgomery was restrained by this is completely false; it is a smokescreen Dennis Montgomery has used repetitively when he wants to evade certain parts of his narrative. The State Secrets Privilege and the protective order were issued almost a decade earlier. Mary Fanning has failed to perform any competent due diligence in an attempt to understand or verify Montgomery’s State Secrets Privilege or the protective order claim. Fanning and Jones’s blundering on this issue is grossly wanting and ultimately misleading to the public. Again, a little investigation would have served them and the public well. Mary Fanning and Alan Jones should stop using terms they are ignorant about. And just a heads-up, Mary: “Just because Montgomery says it does not make it true.” They are going to come to learn this the hard way.
*The P&E: In his 2016 opinion in Montgomery v. Risen in favor of Risen, Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote:
The Court also has serious reason to doubt that the software is, in fact, classified, and would not be subject to production. For one thing, orders issued in a Nevada case between Montgomery and eTreppid specifically noted that the government had not deemed the software classified or subject to the state secrets privilege in that proceeding. That privilege “is a common law evidentiary rule that protects information from discovery when disclosure would be inimical to the national security.” In re United States, 872 F.2d 472, 474 (D.C. Cir. 1989). The privilege “belongs to the Government and must be asserted by it; it can neither be claimed nor waived by a private party.” United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1,7 (1953) (footnotes omitted). In the Nevada case, the Government intervened and asserted the state secrets privilege over certain documents—but the Protective Order entered explicitly did not preclude the parties “from serving or taking any discovery from other parties or third parties relating to, or questioning . . . [t]he computer source code, software, programs, or technical specifications relating to any technology owned or claimed by any of the Parties.” See ECF No. 94-2. A magistrate judge handling that case subsequently rejected Montgomery’s claims that he could not defend the case without violating his “secrecy oath and compromising national security,” noting that the “clear understanding in drafting and issuing th[e] protective order was that the parties would be discussing the nature and capabilities of the technology, and the type of work each party performed for the government.” See Order Regarding Source Code Disc., ECF No. 94-3. The United States, which participated in aspects of that litigation, did not take a contrary position.
Sarah Westall (13:36): Well, let me ask you: What role does Mike Zullo have? Is he making himself out to be somebody bigger than he really is?
Mary Fanning (13:45): According to Dennis, absolutely, and I’ll tell you why.
Mike Zullo: “According to Dennis.” Mary Fanning is now indicating she is taking information first-hand from Montgomery. Fanning knows exactly my role in being commissioned by Arpaio, which actually can be heard in the last part, Part 2 of the Blixseth tapes, when you hear Arpaio commissioning Det. Mackiewicz and me to begin investigating this. Mary Fanning knows I was under the authority of the sheriff’s office and this was a law enforcement investigation based on the information as relayed by Tim Blixseth, but the original holder of the information is Dennis Montgomery. Arrangements were made to travel to Dennis Montgomery’s residence in that official capacity. Mary Fanning is being disingenuous, because she knows the background. In addition, Mary Fanning and Alan Jones had contact with me prior to, during and after the release of “the Whistleblower tapes” dating back to 2012 up until 2016. As a matter of fact, Jones flew out to meet with me in person in Phoenix back then. Fanning was advised of certain things by me as it relates to those tapes, The Hammer and Montgomery. I was a source of information, although I was very guarded on what I shared with them. She has every ability to contact me for clarification on anything. She has my number, the same one she used before, and she never has.
[Editor’s Note: This documentation is being preserved in writing for a number of reasons.]