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James Rybicki, who served as chief of staff to former FBI Director James Comey, suggested in sworn testimony that the Trump-Russia collusion investigation was orchestrated by Obama’s White House in October 2016, according to newly released bureau documents.
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A heavily redacted transcript of Rybicki’s interview with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel includes an unidentified prosecutor’s summary of the former FBI official’s testimony.
“So we understand,” the prosecutor says, “that at some point in October of 2016, there was, I guess, a desire by the White House to make some kind of statement about Russia’s. … “
The next page is omitted.
The United States Office of Special Counsel, not to be confused with Robert Mueller’s special counsel, is a permanent independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency designed to protect federal employees from reprisal for “whistleblowing.”
Lawyer Ty Clevenger obtained the documents as part of a lawsuit on behalf of businessman Ed Butowsky, who claims columnist Ellen Ratner told him murdered Democratic National Committee worker Seth Rich and his brother provided WikiLeaks the DNC emails before the 2016 election, not Russia.
Clevenger explained that the OSC prosecutors were noting that the FBI publicized its reactivation of the Clinton email investigation shortly before the 2016 election. So, why, the prosecutors wondered, did the FBI not counterbalance that disclosure by publicizing the “Russian collusion” investigation into Donald Trump?
It was in that context that one of the prosecutors commented that the White House wanted some kind of statement made about Russia.
Clevenger said that almost certainly refers to the Oct. 7, 2016, joint statement of the Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of National Intelligence. The agencies said the “U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”
“In other words,” Clevenger said, “it looks like the Obama White House put its thumb on the scale, pressuring intelligence agencies to adopt the Democratic National Committee’s talking points, i.e., to blame the stolen emails on Russian hackers rather than an internal source (like Seth Rich).”
The lawyer noted that no federal agency has examined the DNC servers, relying only on a redacted report from a private security company, CrowdStrike, that has strong Democratic affiliations.
Crowdstrike was hired by Perkins Coie, the law firm retained by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC that hired Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS to produce the infamous anti-Trump “dossier.” The dossier of unverified claims by unidentified senior Russian officials was used by the Obama Justice Department and DOJ to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
Clevenger said CrowdStrike and the DNC are fighting subpoenas he issued on behalf of Butowsky for information about the servers and the purported Russian hacking.