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In the Mueller Report, Erik Prince Funds a Covert Effort to Obtain Clinton’s E-mails from a Foreign State

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Jane Mayer on how the redacted version of the Mueller report describes Erik Prince, the brother of the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as having provided some of the funding for a secretive effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails.

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prettylight

Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater, a former private-security company embroiled in controversy surrounding its use of lethal force against civilians in Iraq, makes a strange cameo appearance in the redacted version of the Mueller report, which was released on Thursday morning. Prince, who is the brother of Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, is described as having provided some funding for a secretive effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails from shadowy operatives working on the so-called dark Web.

According to the report, Prince “provided funding to hire a tech advisor to ascertain the authenticity” of e-mails that conservative activists had obtained. Prince, who was interviewed by the special counsel’s team, said that the cache of e-mails in question turned out to be fakes.

The report, however, details a strange effort by Trump-campaign associates to hack into Clinton and the Democrats’ e-mail accounts that paralleled the Russian plot. According to Mueller, the effort began as early as December, 2015, and ramped up after Trump publicly declared, on July 27, 2016, that he hoped Russia would “find the thirty thousand e-mails that are missing” from Clinton’s private e-mail server. Mueller and his team never interviewed Trump, but the retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, the campaign aide whom Trump later appointed his national-security adviser, told them that Trump repeatedly asked to get Clinton’s e-mails. According to the report, Flynn tried to do this by contacting multiple people who might be able to supply them, including two well-placed conservative operatives, Peter Smith and Barbara Ledeen.

Smith, an investment banker and Republican donor, had helped finance an investigation of Bill Clinton’s sexual relationships in Arkansas, leading to the 1993 Troopergate scandal. Ledeen, a Republican Senate staffer, worked for Chuck Grassley. Grassley was then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and one of the fiercest defenders of Trump and critics of the Russia investigation. Barbara Ledeen’s husband, Michael Ledeen, had co-authored a book with Flynn. A spokesman for Grassley’s office described Barbara Ledeen’s efforts as her private pursuit, rather than an official effort undertaken by the senator’s office.

In December, 2015, Ledeen e-mailed Smith a proposal to obtain Clinton’s private e-mails, which, she claimed, “were classified” and had been “purloined by our enemies.” According to Mueller’s report, the proposal claimed that the “Clinton email server was, in all likelihood, breached long ago,’ and that the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian intelligence services could ‘re-assemble the server’s email content.’ ” In an account of Ledeen’s efforts, the Guardian cited notes by federal investigators that said her motive was concern for the well-being of her children, who have served in the U.S. military, and whose safety, she suggested, could have been undermined if Clinton’s e-mails had fallen into hostile governments’ hands. But, in her e-mails to Smith, as revealed by the Mueller report, Ledeen appears more focussed on partisan politics. She writes, “if even a single email was recovered and the providence [sic] of the email was a foreign service, it would be catastrophic to the Clinton campaign.”

The report shows that, though Smith declined to participate in the project at first, Ledeen went ahead and obtained a cache of e-mails. After Trump publicly called for help in getting Clinton’s e-mails, Smith initiated his own effort and circulated information about it to members of Trump’s campaign. According to Mueller’s report, in August, 2016, “Smith sent an email from an encrypted account with the subject ‘Sec Clinton’s unsecured private email server’ ” to recipients including the Trump-campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis. Smith reported that he was involved in efforts “to poke and probe on the above,” and that the Clinton’s server had been “hacked with ease by both State-related players and private mercenaries.”

Smith set up an L.L.C. for the project and structured it as an “independent expenditure group” that, under campaign law, could not coördinate with the Trump campaign, yet Smith circulated e-mails saying that his initiative was “in coordination with” the Trump campaign “to the extent permitted” by the law. The New Yorker obtained a document from Smith, from September, 2016, in which he claimed that he was working with the Trump-campaign representatives Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, and Michael Flynn, and also with the Republican National Committee, Judicial Watch, Citizens United, and the conservative activist James O’Keefe. There is no evidence that any of these individuals were, in fact, working with Smith. But the Mueller report’s depiction of Smith, Ledeen, Flynn, and Prince’s efforts suggests that Trump and his immediate campaign orbit were deeply intent on obtaining Clinton’s private e-mails during the period when Russia was hacking into them.

In September, 2016, Smith and Ledeen rejoined forces, at which point Prince provided some of the funding for the operation. Mueller’s team obtained files from Smith’s computer showing that Smith had documents that WikiLeaks had stolen from the computer of the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, though Mueller found no conclusive evidence that Smith had obtained the stolen files prior to WikiLeaks’s public release of them. (Smith died in May, 2017, in what was ruled a suicide.)

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prettylight

^

In his remarks prior to releasing the report, Attorney General William Barr stressed that it is not criminal to disseminate stolen information, such as the e-mails that the Russians hacked from the Democrats during the 2016 campaign, so long as those spreading the stolen information were not involved in the initial theft. It appears that the Attorney General’s definition of the criminal law was narrow and careful for a reason—many Trump-campaign supporters were involved in tiptoeing right up to the line.

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grieker
2 hours ago, prettylight said:

^

In his remarks prior to releasing the report, Attorney General William Barr stressed that it is not criminal to disseminate stolen information, such as the e-mails that the Russians hacked from the Democrats during the 2016 campaign, so long as those spreading the stolen information were not involved in the initial theft. It appears that the Attorney General’s definition of the criminal law was narrow and careful for a reason—many Trump-campaign supporters were involved in tiptoeing right up to the line.

Uh huh and then there's the DNC and Shillery crossing the line.

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Farmer Vincent
17 minutes ago, grieker said:

Uh huh and then there's the DNC and Shillery crossing the line.

I think that's apples and oranges, but do you think it's okay?  If it's not okay for others, why would it be okay for Trump?  

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grieker
5 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

I think that's apples and oranges, but do you think it's okay?  If it's not okay for others, why would it be okay for Trump?  

No one is with clean hands here.  DNC interfering with an American election - not okay for ANYONE, just some tend to continue to do it and WILL always do it, just as RUSSIA and other foreign entities will continue to interfere. 

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Pastor of Muppets
1 hour ago, grieker said:

No one is with clean hands here.  DNC interfering with an American election - not okay for ANYONE, just some tend to continue to do it and WILL always do it, just as RUSSIA and other foreign entities will continue to interfere. 

You seem to be ok with Russia interfering with our elections. The DNC screwed Bernie over, not the election. Why are you complicit with Rusiia interfering with our elections? You seem to throw up your hands and say there is nothing we can do about it.

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grieker
3 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

You seem to be ok with Russia interfering with our elections. The DNC screwed Bernie over, not the election. Why are you complicit with Rusiia interfering with our elections? You seem to throw up your hands and say there is nothing we can do about it.

First and foremost - only a treasonous traitor would be okay with RUSSIA interfering in American elections.

Secondly - the DNC ALTERED THE OUTCOME OF an American election by interfering and meddling with an American election- PERIOD!

Thirdly - you circle back again - I am not complicit with RUSSIA fucking with our elections HOWEVER;  THERE IS NOTHING that can prevent them from spending a couple hundred thousand dollars and logging on to work their insignificant meddling. 

You are also correct in that with the all the in-fighting  there is no need for RUSSIA to physically fight us, as Van Jones said From the top down, bottom up and inside out.

So now comes the intellects in congress demanding Mueller face congress and answer questions.  What do they expect Mueller to say to enlighten them?  Something like - "oh yeah, I forgot during my haste in the last two years to mention yada, yada, yada..."

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Pastor of Muppets

So now come the intellects in congress demanding Mueller face congress and answer questions.  What do they expect Mueller to say to enlighten them?  Something like - "oh yeah, I forgot during my haste in the last two years to mention yada, yada, yada

No. The ultra heavy redaction that is going to get Barr charged with obstruction will expose the real Mueller Report.

#prediction

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Farmer Vincent
5 hours ago, grieker said:

No one is with clean hands here.  DNC interfering with an American election - not okay for ANYONE, just some tend to continue to do it and WILL always do it, just as RUSSIA and other foreign entities will continue to interfere. 

DNC didn't interfere with an election.  A party can and does promote or suppress candidates bidding for a spot on the ticket via the primary.  I'm not even sure a primary is even Constitutionally required.  There are different kinds of primaries and are mainly regulated by individual states. 

The RNC tried to suppress Trump but didn't succeed.  The Republican Party interferes with elections.  

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grieker
13 hours ago, Farmer Vincent said:

DNC didn't interfere with an election.  A party can and does promote or suppress candidates bidding for a spot on the ticket via the primary.  I'm not even sure a primary is even Constitutionally required.  There are different kinds of primaries and are mainly regulated by individual states. 

The RNC tried to suppress Trump but didn't succeed.  The Republican Party interferes with elections.  

Bernie disagrees with you Vince.  The DNC royally  screwed him over.  

you people have no concerns over our elections being manipulated.  IF you did you would ensure you know who is voting and how many times they are voting in American elections.

 

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Pastor of Muppets
5 minutes ago, grieker said:

Bernie disagrees with you Vince.  The DNC royally  screwed him over.  

you people have no concerns over our elections being manipulated.  IF you did you would ensure you know who is voting and how many times they are voting in American elections.

 

The DNC screwed Bernie over in the primary, not the election.

We do know who votes and it is not dead people, undocumented immigrants, or people voting multiple times.

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grieker
8 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

The DNC screwed Bernie over in the primary, not the election.

We do know who votes and it is not dead people, undocumented immigrants, or people voting multiple times.

If you believe that not allowing Bernie on the primary ballot did not affect the 2016 presidential election - you are woefully wrong my friend.

Dead people do vote, undocumented immigrants are voting and people are voting multiple times.  The information is out there - you just refuse to ignore it.

  1. Disturbing proof of U.S. voter fraud now documented - WND

    https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/disturbing-proof-of-u-s-voter-fraud...

    WND EXCLUSIVE Disturbing proof of U.S. voter fraud now documented Forging signatures just 1 method of changing results Published: 03/10/2019 at 4:24 PM

  2. No, voter fraud isn't a myth: 10 cases where it's all too ...

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud...

    Oct 17, 2016 · Here’s 10 examples documenting that voter fraud isn’t a myth and how Mr. Trump’s claims aren’t just speculation. 1. Dead people voting in Colorado. A CBS affiliate’s evidence of voter fraud in Colorado in September sparked an immediate investigation by …

    • Author: Kelly Riddell
  3. YIKES: Disturbing Proof of Voter Fraud Now Documented ...

    joemiller.us/2019/03/disturbing-proof-of-voter-fraud-now-documented

    Mar 11, 2019 · That’s forcing or intimidating voters – particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language – “to vote for particular candidates.” (Read more from “Disturbing Proof of Voter Fraud Now Documented” HERE) _____

  4. There have been just four documented cases of voter fraud ...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/01/0-000002...

    Dec 01, 2016 · There have been just four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election. By Philip Bump. Philip Bump. National correspondent focused largely on the numbers behind politics.

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Pastor of Muppets
Posted (edited)

World Nutjob Daily, the Washington times, and some guys random blog aren't legit news sights.

The Washington Post is legit and says there were 4 instances of voter fraud, 3of which voted for trump twice.

Edited by Pastor of Muppets

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grieker
22 hours ago, Farmer Vincent said:

Going back to this thread, the bottom line is that Trump and the Trump campaign knew about Russia interfering with our election and what did they do?  Did they alert the FBI and CIA to having knowledge of contacts being attempted by Russian operatives with their campaign?  No.  They sought to in some way assist and coordinate with Russia's efforts in order to gain an advantage in the election, although ultimately there wasn't a direct coordination with the Russian government itself.  Then after the election when the extent of Russian interference was found out, the administration did everything it could to deflect it's involvement with those efforts.  That resulted in a number of convictions for lying to Congress.  And those efforts to deflect extended to obstructing the investigation.  

All in all it was a betrayal of the American people and a betrayal of our democracy.  Trump and his clan shouldn't be rewarded with more years in office (golf course).   

All-in-all Obama AND the FBI knew about it before Trump did.

From the Muller OP ED:  "in mid-2016. In
June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that
Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Releases of hacked materials-hacks
that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government-began that same month.
Additional releases followed in July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases in
October and November.
In late July 2016, soon after WikiLeaks's first release of stolen documents, a foreign
government contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy
advisor George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had suggested to a representative of that foreign
government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that
it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That information prompted the FBI on July
31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign
were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities."

 

 

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Farmer Vincent
1 minute ago, grieker said:

All-in-all Obama AND the FBI knew about it before Trump did.

From the Muller OP ED:  "in mid-2016. In
June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that
Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Releases of hacked materials-hacks
that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government-began that same month.
Additional releases followed in July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases in
October and November.
In late July 2016, soon after WikiLeaks's first release of stolen documents, a foreign
government contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy
advisor George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had suggested to a representative of that foreign
government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that
it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That information prompted the FBI on July
31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign
were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities."

 

 

I don't dispute that.  But as we had gone over that a few times previously, I'll remind our readers that Obama sought the best way to handle the information about Russian interference.  Making a public speech on it would have very much appeared like an attempt to throw the election.  His mistake was assuming that Hillary had it in the bag.  He did seek a bipartisan effort with Congress but McConnell blocked that, threatening to call it an attempt to throw the election.  So he was stuck with fingers crossed.  And as you noted with that bit from the report, the Trump campaign went along with whatever Russia was offering by way of assistance.  More should come with the Roger Stone trial.  

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grieker
4 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

I don't dispute that.  But as we had gone over that a few times previously, I'll remind our readers that Obama sought the best way to handle the information about Russian interference.  Making a public speech on it would have very much appeared like an attempt to throw the election.  His mistake was assuming that Hillary had it in the bag.  He did seek a bipartisan effort with Congress but McConnell blocked that, threatening to call it an attempt to throw the election.  So he was stuck with fingers crossed.  And as you noted with that bit from the report, the Trump campaign went along with whatever Russia was offering by way of assistance.  More should come with the Roger Stone trial.  

Obama didn't say shit because all indicators were that Hillary was a shoe-in for the coronation and didn't want to disturb it.

"the Trump campaign went along with whatever Russia was offering by way of assistance." explain.

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Farmer Vincent
Just now, grieker said:

Obama didn't say shit because all indicators were that Hillary was a shoe-in for the coronation and didn't want to disturb it.

"the Trump campaign went along with whatever Russia was offering by way of assistance." explain.

Information was received that Russian hackers had damaging info on Hillary and would release it through wikileaks.  Stone was in contact with Assage and probably coordinated it.  Stay tuned.  

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grieker
7 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

Information was received that Russian hackers had damaging info on Hillary and would release it through wikileaks.  Stone was in contact with Assage and probably coordinated it.  Stay tuned.  

I'm tuned.

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prettylight

 

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