Former special counsel Robert Mueller is sworn in to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A tranche of FBI 302s (summaries of agent interviews) were declassified this week via a Freedom of Information Act request. Among them was a 302 from a July 12, 2017 interview with State Department translator Anatoli Samochornov, who attended the now infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
Fox News Contributor and investigator Dan Bongino explains the significance of this 302 in episode 1198 of his daily podcast. This single document proves that Special Counsel Robert Mueller knew in July 2017 nothing nefarious had happened during the meeting. Yet, he ignored the evidence and continued on with his bogus investigation – to protect his own. This was a pivotal month for the Mueller team as you’ll soon see.
In early July 2017, word was circulating through the intelligence community that the FBI would be interviewing the participants of a June 2016 meeting held in Trump Towers. Those who attended the meeting included Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (client of Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson), Samochornov (wife worked for State Department), lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military officer, and Rob Goldstone, an acquaintance of Trump Jr. who helped set up the meeting. Bongino explains that this meeting was a set-up intended to foster the Russian collusion story.
The story of the June 2016 meeting was leaked to The New York Times, and on July 8, 2017, the Times published a story entitled “Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign” triggering a media frenzy.
Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting because Goldstone had told him the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Who would pass up a chance to gather dirt on an opponent?
After the Russians arrived, they began discussing the Magnitsky Act, legislation which imposed sanctions on Russian officials found guilty of human rights violations. They strongly diapproved of it. Very quickly, Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner realized they were wasting their time. Kushner texted someone to call him to give him an excuse to leave. The meeting lasted 20 minutes.
The first question that enters Bongino’s mind when an article of this nature is published in The New York Times or a similar media outlet is, what are they trying to get ahead of?
Four days later, the FBI interviewed Anatoli Samochornov. The 302 states:
There was no discussion of the 2016 U.S. presidential election or collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign…There was no smoking gun. Samochornov did not believe there had been any mention of Hillary Clinton…Veselnitskaya did not offer any materials during the meeting and no papers were exchanged.
Samochornov was not particularly fond of Donald Trump Jr., but stated that Donald Trump Jr.’s account of the meeting with Veselnitskaya, as portrayed in recent media reports, was accurate. Samochornov concurred with Donald Trump Jr.’s accounts of the meeting. He added, “they” were telling the truth. Samochornov told the interviewing agents that he would have contacted the FBI if he thought the meeting was nefarious.
Bongino asks the obvious question and then answers it. Why didn’t they mention Hillary during the meeting? Wasn’t that the reason for the meeting? He says:
Because they didn’t have anything on Hillary. They weren’t there to give them fake information on Hillary. And if they gave the Trump team fake information that was later discovered to be fake, they would have figured out this was a scam.
The only purpose for them was to just show up. That’s it. The only thing they needed for the media story was the meeting…The meeting was the evidence. The optics. Soundbites and snapshots.
All they needed was the picture of them going in there or the soundbite, ‘Hey, Kremlin linked lawyer met with Trump, Jr.’ That’s all they needed.
So what does Mueller do? He suppresses the evidence and keeps the investigation going for two more years.
Then he does something else. (Hat tip to Techno Fog.)
The Mueller team obtains a search warrant for the “communications, records, documents, and other files involving all of the attendees of the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, as well as Aras and Amin Agalorov.” (Aras and Amin Agalorov are alleged to have helped set up this meeting.)
What else happens in July 2017?
The Inspector General gives Mueller the (FBI agent) Peter Strzok/(FBI Lawyer) Lisa Page text messages and now Mueller realizes that the real investigators have nothing either.
Not only does Mueller know that the whole Trump Tower meeting was total garbage, but he learns that the real case is against the FBI for illegally spying on Donald Trump, so what do they do? They draw up search warrants for all the participants in the meeting they know is garbage.
George Papadopoulos gets arrested at Dulles airport returning from overseas on a PC [probable cause] arrest. They didn’t even have a warrant for him.
Bongino says the following in a mocking tone, but his meaning is clear. ‘Better shut him up. Better shut up the people at the meeting too. If America finds out the real scandal, that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are targeting a presidential candidate based on a fake dossier, if this gets out, we’ll be in real trouble. I got an idea. Let’s just arrest everybody.’
Paul Manafort’s home is raided on July 26, 2017. (He attended the meeting.)
General Michael Flynn and his son are first contacted by the Mueller team.
Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen was placed under investigation.
Bongino’s final point is that the Mueller team ignores the real Russian collusion that’s going on before their very eyes. The Clinton campaign hired Christopher Steele to produce a dossier which by now they know is fake, because the FBI has interviewed his primary sub-source three times (January, March and May 2017).
In addition, Steele had met with State Department official Kathleen Kavalec in October 2016 telling her his sources were Vyacheslav Trubnikov, the former head of the Russian SVR, and Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s assistant.
Mueller knew two things the whole time:
1. It was actually the Hillary Clinton campaign who was allegedly colluding with the Russians to steal an election. Steele was using Russian intelligence to target a presidential campaign.
2. And he knows the case against Trump is an unquestionable hoax.
But he did it anyway.