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“FRAUD, STEALTH, AND SUBTERFUGE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 12, 2020) — In a tweet on Sunday evening, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, currently host of the Sunday news magazine “Full Measure” and formerly of CBS News, tweeted a link to an announcement on her website of a new lawsuit she filed last week on behalf of herself and family members against former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and four other former government agents and up to 50 unnamed Justice Department employees as defendants.
Attkisson’s article, titled, “Former govt. agent admits illegally spying on Sharyl Attkisson, implicates govt. colleagues,” states that “A former U.S. government agent has admitted participating in the illegal government surveillance on then-CBS New [sic] investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. The insider has identified former U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein as the person responsible for the project.”
For two decades, Attkisson worked for CBS, and previous to that, for CNN, PBS and in local news production, her bio states. Her journalism awards are many and include two for her reporting of the “Fast & Furious” gunwalking scandal of the early Obama years. She is author of the New York Times bestselling books, The Smear and Stonewalled.
Rosenstein earned his law degree at Harvard Law School and in 2005 was nominated to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland by then-President George W. Bush. Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, retained Rosenstein in the position.
On February 1, 2017, newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as deputy attorney general under Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a prominent Trump surrogate during the 2016 presidential campaign and the first U.S. senator to endorse the Trump candidacy.
Having graduated from Harvard Law in 1989, Rosenstein spent his entire career in government positions through his resignation in May 2019. Last week, CBS reported that Rosenstein is entering private practice with King & Spalding. “The firm announced Wednesday that Rosenstein will work in its Washington, D.C., office and serve as a partner on its Special Matters and Government Investigations team, which helps clients in legal disputes with government agencies and states. The job is Rosenstein’s first outside of the federal government in more than 30 years,” CBS wrote on January 8.
The new lawsuit, which is Attkisson’s second against the federal government alleging unconstitutional and illegal surveillance against her family between 2011 and 2014, is styled Attkisson v. Rosenstein and can be opened and downloaded from Attkisson’s website.
Attkisson has documented that the surveillance began after insider sources provided her with information on the Obama regime’s “Fast & Furious” gunwalking operation, about which she issued a number of reports beginning in early 2011. Conducted by the ATF with the knowledge of the Justice Department under Eric Holder, Fast & Furious resulted in the December 2010 death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and possibly another American, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, about which Attkisson reported for CBS in February 2013.
On her website, Attkisson provided a summary of events concerning her first lawsuit, Attkisson v. DOJ and FBI, a year to the day of her announcement of the second legal action. On July 28, an update on the case stated, “If our lawsuit against the government’s bad actors is not successful, Judge James Wynn pointed out the government will have been handed a playbook to allow it to avoid accountability for all of its illegal spying on American journalists and other U.S. citizens. This is important.”
The suit was recently refiled, Attkisson reported Thursday, along with a portion of a press release issued by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) announcing a letter he wrote to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray “seeking answers to long-outstanding questions highlighted in a recently refiled lawsuit by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson.”
The 31-page suit announced Thursday states that the defendants’ “conduct included conducting surveillance inappropriately, illegally, and secretly; lying about it; concealing it; and refusing to disclose the truth, all of which amounts to fraud, stealth, and subterfuge. Here, the Plaintiffs first acquired the details regarding key individuals involved in the surveillance in August, 2019, from a person involved in the wrongdoing who has come forward to provide information. Prior to that time, the Government and its agents and representatives had denied that any such conduct had occurred, including denials in Court pleadings and argument. The discovery rule is a recognition that the Legislature never intended to close the courts to plaintiffs inculpably unaware of their nature of the injuries or wrongs committed.”
One of the defendants, identified in the legal brief as both “Sean” and “Shaun” Wesley Bridges, is currently serving time in federal prison for convictions on “corruption related to his government work,” Attkisson reported, spelling his first name “Shaun.” A November 8, 2017 report at The Washington Times, which also spells Bridges’s name “Shaun,” states:
A disgraced former Secret Service agent already serving time for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of digital currency from the federal government has been sentenced to spend an additional two years in prison for a separate heist.
Shaun Bridges, 35, was sentenced Tuesday in connection with stealing from a digital wallet belonging to the government currently valued at about $11.3 million.
Bridges had been a member of the federal task force that investigated Silk Road, an online marketplace responsible for facilitating hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illegal drug deals prior to being dismantled by U.S. authorities in late 2013. He later admitted stealing approximately 20,000 Bitcoin from its users during the government’s probe and was sentenced in December 2015 to 71 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to related counts of money laundering and obstruction of justice.
In closed-door testimony to members of Congress in 2018 and later publicly, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI General Counsel James Baker pointed to Rosenstein as having suggested “wearing a wire” to surreptitiously record any conversations he might have with President Trump.
According to McCabe and Baker, Rosenstein also reportedly floated the idea of attempting to remove Trump from office based on provisions of the 25th Amendment. Both allegations were initially reported by The New York Times and denied by Rosenstein. Approximately a year after The Times‘s report, Judicial Watch obtained DOJ documents indicating the crafting by Rosenstein’s staff of a strategy to deal with the media fallout from the story.
With Sessions recused from all matters pertaining to Russia, it was Rosenstein who hired former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III to act as “Special Counsel” for the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation. Mueller, who in July testified to members of Congress, appeared unaware of key elements of the report his office produced in March 2019.
Defendant “Shawn Henry was head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” Attkisson wrote in her announcement. “In 2012, Henry left the FBI and now is president of CrowdStrike Services, a company that seeks to mitigate targeted online attacks on corporate and government networks globally.”
Crowdstrike is the company which reported that in 2016, Russians breached the DNC server, yielding thousands of uncomplimentary emails published by WikiLeaks in the final weeks before the presidential election.
In testimony in January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that the FBI never directly examined the server. “We did not have access to the devices themselves,” Comey said. “We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high class entity, that had done the work but we didn’t get direct access.”
Updated 9:25 p.m.