“PROBABLY PAPERING A TRAIL”
by Sharon Rondeau
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The document release, which came about through a FOIA lawsuit filed by Jay Sekulow’s organization, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), occurred on the heels of Comey testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he did not recall many details or had little knowledge of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
The emails shown in the documents begin on September 30, 2016, Jay Sekulow said, and were “probably papering a trail” similar to the email former Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice sent to herself in the minutes leading up to Trump’s inauguration at noon on January 20, 2017. “The documents that we have show that this was a scheme that lasted well over a year and a half,” Sekulow’s assistant said, of placing “FBI spies” into the incoming Trump administration.
Former Obama White House Counsel Neil Eggleston sent the emails to Comey, Sekulow reported.
Despite his having approved, under oath, four surveillance applications on former 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter W. Page, Comey testified Wednesday that he was not privy to many aspects of the investigation, which encompassed the Page warrants and broader surveillance of other Trump advisers including Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret), George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, and possibly others.
The warrants on Page were found by the DOJ’s inspector general to have contained omissions and errors; in addition, exculpatory information was withheld from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which granted the warrants but later admonished the FBI for its submission of unchecked material as “verified.”
Comey additionally testified that the Obama White House was not involved in suggesting that Flynn be prosecuted under the Logan Act, a 1799 law which has never been successfully prosecuted and which many legal analysts believe violates the U.S. Constitution. Flynn was, however, prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which assumed Crossfire Hurricane from the FBI after Comey was unceremoniously fired on May 9, 2017.
On December 1, 2017, Flynn entered a “guilty” plea which he later affirmed, though under new counsel, early this year he moved to withdraw the plea. After a number of twists and turns, the case remains at the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan presiding.
More documentation associated with the ACLJ’s lawsuit has been pledged for release by the DOJ by “October 29,” Sekulow’s aide said.