One of the hardest aspects of trying to analyze the events surrounding 2015-2017 in regards to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the amount of disinformation and opinions out there. In the end, most of this comes down to agendas and political bias taints the recollection of certain events. Over the course of my blog, I have started drifting away from the narrative of the right and looking at things with an alternative perspective. This has allowed me to not only be more critical of the motives inside Trump’s campaign itself, but in an effort to view things in more of a neutral setting, it leads me to believe that the actions of James Comey are completely inexcusable.
In case you missed it, the OIG Report on James Comey’s memos had dropped last week. I had read it and wrote about how he was leveraging Michael Flynn’s call to the Russian Ambassador over Trump’s head as a means of producing the obstruction of justice case. It was like ripping a page out of Watergate, only this time, we were able to see the obstruction in real time. Comey felt as if leaking the memos were the only way to obtain true justice, but that means from justice was only valid in Comey’s eyes as the IG Horowitz disagreed with the means of releasing the memos and the report even went on to say how he was keeping confidential material at his home. Although prosecution was declined, I was able to deduce that this is a fragment of the bigger picture which I wrote about in MemoGate.
Since I am a pattern based observer, I thought it was odd how Comey had allowed for his friend Daniel Richman to leak the contents to the media. This was amplified when it was found out that Richman had been given a Special Government Employee status by Comey on July 30, 2015 and his contract lasted with Comey until February 2017. It is interesting to note that the Mid Year Exam (MYE) opened officially on July 10, 2015, so 20 days into the investigation, Richman was brought on to handle PR. This allowed for Richman to have the proper security clearances, but since the memo leak was past the point of expiration in terms of Richman’s contract, what had been the use of Richman beforehand? When Richman was asked if he disclosed that he had been working as an FBI employee when giving material for press, he did not respond for comment. As a side note, what is the difference between this and state run media?
Usually when oddities like this occur, I try to take a closer look because it is where you find some diamonds in the rough. Per the Comey OIG report, the first leak in regards to the memo happened on May 11, 2017. The NYT had posted an article saying that Trump Demanded Loyalty, For full transparancy, I will post the entire excerpt since there are two sources involved and one is Richman. I don’t know who the other is, but the Comey memos were floating around FBI HQ so it could be one of them.
Going to the article itself, I was curious as to who the information was leaked to. Turns out it was Michael S. Schmidt. That makes things easy, only one person. Let’s check the May 16. 2017 leak of Memo 4 that Comey directed. Who did that go to? Same person. I also will post the excerpt from the OIG in regards to that leak as well because again, two sources.
It was also pointed out to me by fellow brain stormer @codyave that on May 10, 2017 Jake Tapper aired the loyalty comments on CNN. This was not indicated in the OIG Report which is a shame because it shows that the the leak coordination is both for print and air. If you remember, after Trump was briefed on the Dossier via the first one on one with James Comey, it was Jake Tapper who revealed the existence of the Dossier a few days later on January 10, 2017. Buzzfeed would then post the Dossier in full.
Seeing both Tapper and Schmidt as receiving Comey intel, I decided to check out one of the most outrageous claims that have transpired the course of both the MYE and Crossfire Hurricane (CH) – The Renteria Memo.
The memo itself is complicated as it is said to be false information, but within the OIG Review of the MYE, it is revealed that the memo itself has the highest levels of classification and there is a classified appendix in the report which fully outlines the story. Why all this secrecy over a memo that is fake? First let’s start with the MYE Report, what does it say about the Rentaria memo?
So when did we first learn about this memo? April 22, 2017 in a NYT article. Who helped write it? Michael S. Schmidt once again.
If you read the link that I provided under Renteria Memo, it has a pretty good breakdown on what the memo consisted of. The memo was said to have come from a fake document that was found when the FBI looked into Russia’s servers. The memo accused Comey working for the Republicans while having Lynch assuring Clinton’s campaign political director Amanda Renteria that there will be no prosecution. This had concerned Comey based on other biases he assumed with Lynch like her telling him to refer to the MYE as a matter and the Tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton which would come later that year. Comey would then decide to bump out Lynch and hold his July 5, 2016 press conference which recommended no charges for Hillary Clinton after listed out some potential crimes in a speech we would later find out was edited and softened.
This is where I started thinking to myself, this makes no sense. First off there could have been a Special Counsel appointed if Comey really thought both he and Lynch could compromise the investigation. As I will post below, our favorite love birds Strzok and Page even had recommended a Special Counsel in March 2016 which was the same time as the memo came in. The person was Patrick Fitzgerald who is the person I thought Comey would want for the CH Special Counsel after leaking the memos. Second, Lynch was never notified about the email until August 2016 and she had no objections to Comey’s press conference when they met the next day to close it out. Third, why would Comey leak the memo almost a year later? The OIG Review into the MYE started on January 12, 2017, perhaps Horowitz was starting to move into Renteria territory?
Anyway, quick review of the leak about the existence of the Renteria memo from a known Comey quantity generally falls in line with the narrative fixing and softening to paint Comey once again as a non-partisan hero. My first thought to this being a fake Russian Document being used to influence the result of an investigation was if James Comey would then be compromised by the Russians for having this fake document held over his head. I had discussed this somewhat in Inferred Influence. It is similar to the Justice Department arguing that Flynn lying to the FBI can make him susceptible to blackmail by the Russians. Thinking about it more, I was curious as to why Lynch essentially didn’t care and why he was worried about the influence over an investigation that he had already started drafting his July 5th speech exonerating. Add in all of Lynch’s immunity deals and this is beginning to smell even more.
Was this memo just a last minute cover yourself move by James Comey to fix the narrative that it was the right move and to throw Loretta Lynch under the bus once again? They were seemingly coordinating to drop this case, would the Rentaria Memo provide the cover for such a move? If you were observant, in a MYE excerpt I included footnote 127 saying that Obama and press secretary had suggested in October 2015, January 2016, and April 2016 that the case was not going to bring forward any indictments. Why would Obama be so involved? Also, why would Obama be publicly interfering in an ongoing investigation? How is that different than what Comey was accusing Trump of doing in MemoGate?
Then I remembered, Obama was involved. In 2015, he had claimed that he first found out that Clinton’s Email Server existed along with everyone else. It was later revealed that he shared emails with Clinton showing that he lied. Shocker. Then I remembered that Comey’s original draft had references to the president, but was later changed to “another senior government official” before being omitted altogether.
So personally, what do I think happened? If they found the email through a Russian server, it may have come from Dutch Intel who were watching the GRU hack the DNC and DCCC in real time using Fancy Bear. This lines up with the March 2016 timeline. The email from DWS to Bernardo could be true, but the additions about Comey and Lynch could have been added in as well. Either way it is moot, a document deemed fake was used to have Comey close out an investigation and protect the participants while everyone else was trying to figure out what happened. This isn’t the first time Obama would be bailed out by the Comey crew as Obama was specifically not involved with the Rod Blagojevich trial. That investigation was concluded by Patrick Fitzgerald who Strzok referenced for the Special Counsel. Instead, they decided to kill the case than fix it.
Looks like this case was too big to prosecute, an excuse I will most likely have to write about again.
Update 1: All things Renteria: