ObamaGate – explained.
1. DNC server is compromised during 2016 election leading to leaked political strategies and emails being published by Wikileaks.
2. DNC refused to allow FBI investigation of compromised servers claimed to be compromised by Russia. DNC instead hires security company CrowdStrike to conduct investigation.
3. Hillary Clinton loses the 2016 election. Many attributed this loss was related to Russian interference, primarily regarding the DNC server hack. Top US Officials claim Russia was responsible for the hack.
4. Details of the classified “Steele Dossier” prepared by foreign spy Christopher Steele (MI6) are leaked to Buzzfeed News by Senator McCain associate.
5. Christopher Steele, author of Steele Dossier, had been hired indirectly by the DNC/Clinton Campaign (through company Fusion GPS) to perform opposition research against Trump campaign during the 2016 election prior to Clinton’s defeat. The Steele research is based on Russian intelligence sources.
6. Using details of the Dossier, FBI petitioned the FISA court for a warrant against Trump campaign and volunteers to eavesdrop on phone calls and conduct other surveillance gathering techniques
FBI had serious concerns about the credibility of the Steele Dossier but had not disclosed credibility to the FISA court or the funding source of the Intel used to obtain the initial warrant. The FBI used unverified and non-credible source material in the Steele Dossier (believed to be part of Russian misinformation) yet continued surveillance and requested renewal at least 3 additional times. Among the evidence the FBI cited a Yahoo News article but failed to disclose the article’s source material being directly from the Steele Dossier.
Inspector General investigation later uncovers major violations and potential abuse of the FISA court by the FBI.
Inspector General investigation documents serious issues found in FBI investigation, FISA warrant attainment and 17 major mistakes discovered throughout the process.
Investigation reveals Comey personally leaked classified memo, however DOJ declines pursuing charges (Aug 2019).
7. General Flynn, the incoming National Security Advisor for the Trump administration, had communications incidentally intercepted by the NSA during a phone call with the Russian Ambassador to the US.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows spying of foreigners in national security matters, permitting eavesdropping and other techniques to gather intel. Instances where American citizens are on the other end of the gathered communication intel requires FISA court warrant order to “unmask” such Americans (as such communication is protected by the 4th Amendment.) Details of whom the citizen is and details of the communications are protected and confidential and the “unmasking” may be granted from the NSA to intelligence officials or other government officials. Details and identity of subject are considered highly classified.
8. Unknown Obama administration government official leaks General Flynn’s name unlawfully to the Washington Post prior to Trump’s inauguration (February 2017).
List of Obama Officials Requesting Flynn Unmasking – Declassified Document Senate.gov
9. Director Comey, days after the inauguration sends agents to the White House to interview General Flynn following media reporting of Flynn and Russian Ambassador phone call. Comey admits violating protocol sending in agents without coordinating with White House counsel.
10. Special Counsel Mueller is appointed following the leak of Flynn to the Washington Post in March 2017. Source
Investigation discusses DNC attributing the server hack to location in Moscow, RU while also asserting that maleware and other servers were hosted in Arizona were deployed by Russia’s GRU. Despite use of VPN and servers having infiltrated from around the globe, report asserts Russian interference, citing the DNC as its source from page 42:
On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as “Fancy Bear”) were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including “some hundred sheets,” “illuminati,” and “worldwide known.” Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146
10B. Flynn resigns after potential violation of the “Logan Act” passed in 1799, relating to his phone call with the Russian Ambassador. – The Atlantic
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
- Trump fires FBI Director Comey in May 2017** CNN
- Flynn pleads guilty to 1 count of lying to the FBI in December 2017.** CNN – Source
- Mueller concludes Russia investigation and finds no evidence of Trump or Trump’s campaign conspiracy with Russia to influence 2016 election.** Politico – Source
- Phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s newly elected President in July 2018 prompts whistleblower complaint alleging concerns that Trump was asking for politically motivated opposition research on Joe Biden and leveraging the withholding of US foreign aid following Politico article reporting in August 2018. Trump requests information regarding the Crowdstrike server (firm hired by DNC to investigate hacks) involved in the DNC hack from 2016 during the phone call.**
Politico reports Trump administration withholding foreign aid to Ukraine – August 2018 Politico – Source
Whistleblower complaint: NY Times
- President Trump proactively declassifies phone call and releases transcript to the public and media.
- Democrats launch impeachment investigation in House of Representatives (Sept 2019) – NY Times and later ratify two articles of impeachment in Dec 2019, for 1. Abuse of Power and 2. Obstruction of Congress CNN