Small Clues, Sealed Cases, Future Shock
In the final weeks of the Trump Administration, the Justice Department attempted to seize the records of six journalists as part of a leak investigation. Small clues point towards Durham.
On or about January 21st of this year, Sergei Millian teased a “secret sealed SpyGate case” via a series of now deleted tweets. Shout out to The Washington Pundit Telegram channel for posting this screenshot of it.
Twitter user @mgEyesOpen searched PACER and found it. Sure enough, it exist and is sealed.
I searched the case myself, 21-SC-3164 (ZMF), and it was difficult to find. That is probably on me for being a bit inexperienced and/or lacking some knowledge in how best to use PACER’s query system. I kept at it and did eventually locate the sealed case just as @mgEyesOpen did. However, in my searches for the case that Millian had teased everyone with, I kept getting a return for a different case, with a slightly different name:
I didn’t find much on it, but the Case Title:
‘IN RE APPLICATION OF USA FOR 2703(d) ORDER FOR SIX EMAIL ACCOUNTS SERVICED BY GOOGLE LLC FOR INVESTIGATION OF VIOLATION OF 18 U.S.C….’
…was intriguing to me, so I bookmarked it.
About once or twice a week since, I have checked that bookmark and searched around again. Always coming up empty handed… until now.
The New York Times filed to have records unsealed (notice that the violations that are being investigated here are redacted) in the very case that I kept happening upon when searching for the case that Millian teased. If that makes sense…
Here, just for clarity’s sake:
21-SC-3164 (ZMF) = Super secret Spygate case that Millian teased (Filed ?)
20-SC-3361 (ZMF) = Six Email Accounts Disclosure Case (Filed January 5th, 2021)
1:21-MC-00091 (ZMF) = NYT Case asking for unsealing in the Six Email Accounts Case (Filed June 8th, 2021)
As I began to read the first filing in the Time’s suit, I was struck by a familiar name from page 3.
I’m sure many readers will recall that Special Counsel Durham added Small to his team back on August 1st of 2022. However, it is possible Durham may have been tasking Small to do work for the Special Counsel’s Office before then. And the court battle over this case played out just a couple months before Small was added.
Which begs the question:
Is this Six Google Email Accounts case connected to the Durham SCO?
Back to the filing…
Two orders. One for information, another to gag the NYT’s attorney.
Four New York Times journalists?
What 2017 news report?
(checks the footnote)
Eric Lichtblau… his name came up in the Sussman case. Sussmann’s defense team wanted to call him up to testify, but wished for the scope of that testimony to be limited. In the end, they decided against it.
What April 2017 news report?
I wonder who the other journalists are?
DOJ was seeking information from the email accounts of these four journalists plus two others because of this article!
They are talking about the Renteria Memo!
This is about the highly classified Renteria Memo and who leaked information about it to the New York Times!
I wonder… are Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett the other two journalists whose email accounts DoJ was interested in?
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At this point in the dig I decided to search around to see if anyone else had reported on this case. Something this significant has surely made waves somewhere.
This article is worth reading in full, but to summarize it…
In the last weeks of the Trump Administration the Justice Department seized the phone records of those New York Times journalist who are named in the filing and are the authors of that famous Comey piece — Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau and Michael S. Schmidt. They also seized the records of journalists at the Washington Post and CNN. I’m guessing the other two journos must work at those organizations. The order for this seizure was issued by Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui, hence the (ZMF) on the case titles.
DOJ also asked for and Judge Faruqui approved an unprecedented gag order on several executives at the Times to prevent them from alerting those journalists of the seizures. They specifically cited a concern that if the journalists knew of the order they may delete records.
There were some constraints on the records seizure. It was for “non-content information,” meaning only the order “covered… to whom the emails were sent and when they were sent and received.”
In early June of 2021, DoJ asked Judge Faruqui to quash the orders and he did, thus allowing the execs at the New York Times to inform the journalists of the seizure and the newspaper to then inform the public.
DoJ also informed the journalists “that it had obtained several months of their 2017 phone records and had unsuccessfully sought non-content information about their emails.” Google fought the production of the “non-content information” and delayed it over and over. Google’s efforts paid off.
Just days before the gag order was lifted, DoJ announced they would change their policy on seizing such records.
The Accidental Discovery.
The case I had accidently found while searching for the “super secret SpyGate case” was 20-SC-3361 (ZMF) , the Six Email Accounts Disclosure Case (Filed January 5th, 2021).
The case I found that is connected to it, 1:21-MC-00091 (ZMF), is the NYT Case asking for further unsealing in the Six Email Accounts Case. They wanted the Justice Department to unseal the Application for the seizure of records and everything else.
The Times was successful in getting unsealed much, not all but much, of the docket for the case titled APPLICATION OF USA FOR 2703(d) ORDER FOR SIX EMAIL ACCOUNTS SERVICED BY GOOGLE FOR INVESTIGATION OF VIOLATION OF 18 U.S.C. §§ 641 AND 793.
With the full title there, I want to now define the violations being investigated here.
18 U.S. Code § 641 - Public money, property or records
18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
Does this perhaps indicate that someone involved in the Renteria Memo leak sold that classified information?
Drawing the Line From Here to Durham.
I’ve already mentioned that Adam Small was on at least some filings in the case, but there is another connection I want to draw. It’s the “why it matters” now connection.
First though, just in case you don’t recall or did not click the links to read the Times’ Comey article or the WaPo article in this substack, I need to remind you, or perhaps inform you, of what the Renteria Memo is.
During the 2016 primaries, a document was given to the FBI that purported to be “Russian intelligence.” It revealed that there was an “understanding” between the Clinton Campaign and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
This document described an email in which AG Lynch “had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the [investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email server] would not push too deeply into the matter.”
The document is controversial and ultimately the FBI concluded it was unreliable.
However, that document was a major factor in FBI Director Comey deciding to himself announce in July of 2016 the closure of the investigation into Hillary’s Email Server, because, partially based on that document, he did not feel comfortable giving the investigation over to AG Lynch. Comey did not coordinate with the Justice Department when he did this. It was an extraordinary move and a very unpopular one with media, the administration, Democrats and Republicans.
To this day, media and Democrats are FURIOUS with Comey for doing this because in announcing the closure, he retained control of the investigation and then later reopened it 11 days before Election Day 2016. These two acts have media and Dems, likely Clinton as well, convinced that Comey cost Clinton the election.
The email described in the document (a copy of the email is not actually in the document) is between Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was at time the chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Leonard Benardo, an official at the George Soros owned Open Society Foundations. Wasserman Schultz informs Bernado that AG Lynch had privately communicated with Clinton Campaign staffer Amanda Renteria and told her that “she would not let the FBI investigation into Clinton go too far".”
Remember of all of this information, even the very existence of the document, was highly classified AND STILL IS. The Renteria Memo has never been released and the Comey article triggered a criminal referral from “an agency in the intelligence community.”
During testimony on Capitol Hill in December 2018, Comey said in regards to the Renteria memo,
“So far as I knew at the time, and still think, the material itself was genuine, which is a separate question, though, from whether it was what it said was accurate…”
“[I’ve] tried to be very careful in public comments about this. There was material that had not been verified that I believed if it became public, would be used to cast doubt on whether the Attorney General had acted appropriately with respect to the investigation… I don’t think I’m allowed to go beyond that in characterizing that material.”
So, why does it matter right now, in February of 2023?
This New York Times article from January 26th, 2023 is why.
This hit and spin piece on Barr and the Durham SCO, this smear piece, has one significant, never before revealed, very ‘dasting piece of information in it.
DOJ was investigating the Renteria Memo’s leak and now Durham is investigating the email described in it!
And notice what the Times doesn’t include:
That from June 2021 through December 2021, they were in court fighting the Justice Department over the seizure of the email records of four of their own reporters, THE SAME ONES WHO WROTE THE COMEY ARTICLE! THE ARTICLE THAT INFORMED THE WORLD OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE RENTERIA MEMO!
In the Sussmann case, Durham broke the Clinton Campaign’s attorney client privilege over a number of emails. This exchange from the transcript provided one of the most memorable, and for [them], foreboding exchanges.
“Not for this trial...”
Another possibility worth considering:
Might the issue Comey described with the memo, that the “material was genuine” but it’s accuracy was in question be due the fact that it may have come from a fake Debbie Wasserman Schultz email account like the one Imran Awan created and used?
It’s a darn good question and a strong possibility.
As detailed in this Daily caller article,
“Wasserman Schultz frantically fought to stop police from looking at the laptop’s hard drive. For more than two months, police had been telling her they suspected him of cybersecurity breaches, including what she called “data transfer violations,” but she maintained that she thought the police were picking on him and wanted to protect his “due process” — even though she knew how serious cyberbreaches can be because she was head of the DNC when its emails were released last year.”
The Durham Special Counsel’s Office ran at least two, possibly three, grand juries in 2022 while also putting on two trials.
We now know that one of those grand juries received documents from the Open Society Foundation and an appearance by Leonard Benardo.
I think we can be confident that Durham asked him about the Wasserman Shultz email.
And I think we can be confident that the Justice Department, in seeking the email records of the journalists who revealed the existence and some details of the classified Renteria Memo, are investigating that leak and did not give up on that effort because it was a dead end. Remember, they did seize the records. And look at this section from a filing that is STILL heavily redacted.
There’s a future shock to [their] systems under those black bars.
While taken separately, these seemingly-disparate nuggets of information appear as Small as the man this dig started on, by tying the various threads together, a tapestry begins to appear.
Or a web.
One that could tie the Media Industrial Complex together, and bind them in their own lies. Their complicity.
Keep those Saint Durham candles lit.
I don’t think he’s done quite yet.
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Kyle, you definitely have a God given talent, I confess, I see these legal documents and they are more affective than sleeping pills. I just don’t have the attention span for them. Your article, so perfectly written, assumed I wouldn’t read them so you outlined their meanings. Kind of like having the sauce on the side. This is what makes you and Burning Bright a great combo, he’s up on top looking down from 40,000 feet giving us a broad view of our troubled landscape, you’re like a dog on a bone uncovering hidden details, invisible to the naked eye. Excellent work, I know many hours went into this piece. Go Badlands team!!
Incredible talent Kyle. You never cease to make reading (your work)and trying to understand legalease while sharing it in a common sense way for us junkies of truth & making it so much fun! You make me smarter to my small circle who want to discuss these and many topics, including F1. Kudos and never stop. You do amazing work!