Florida Congressman Ron Desantis, along with nine other colleagues, have sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice naming senior level Obama officials as well as FBI officials connected to the Steele dossier. The criminal referral is addressed to both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Ron Desantis announced on Fox News the decision to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice regarding a number of Obama era officials including James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates. Also named in the criminal referral are disgraced former Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe as well as FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI attorney Lisa Page.
“We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes,” reads the referral. “In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of the law outlined below are vetted appropriately.”
The lawmakers make note that James Comey “engaged in questionable conduct vis-à-vis President Donald Trump,” in which they refer to a New York Times Article from May of 2017, which highlighted FBI memos, also known as FBI 302s that Comey leaked to a friend who subsequently gave them to the Times.
There are seven memos in all, four of which are classified at the “Secret” or “Confidential” levels. According to FBI policy, the bureau forbids any release of ongoing or sensitive investigations without express written permission to do so. It is also understood that all materials created by an agent acting in their official capacities of the FBI is to be considered government property of which unauthorized removal is a criminal offense. “In light of the fact that four of the seven memos were classified, it would appear that former Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos with Professor Richman. Accordingly, we refer James Comey to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 18 USC 641, 18 USC 793, and 18 USC 1924(a),” read the referral.
Desantis said James Comey testified before Congress that he did not make any decision regarding Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed. Desantis claims Director Comey was specifically asked if he had made decisions surrounding the Hillary Clinton investigation prior to her being interviewed, Comey responded in the negative.
Desantis says evidence has come to light since that testimony which illustrates James Comey and Sally Yates drafted an exoneration letter months before interviewing Hillary Clinton and a number of her key aides. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok interviewed Hillary Clinton in July of 2016, the exoneration letter was drafted in May of 2016. This revelation is a direct contradiction to his congressional testimony.
This past October it was revealed through an FBI document dump that James Comey, in fact, drafted a letter exonerating Hillary Clinton months prior to her being interviewed. This set off a firestorm in the political arena as accusations of breaking FBI protocol and perjury started to be leveled against the embattled former director.
More recently, James Comey has admitted to drafting the exoneration letter in his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which hit book stores Tuesday. Many have speculated that the up-and-coming May release of the full Inspector General’s report regarding the FBI’s mishandling of the Clinton investigation was deliberately tailored around the release of Comey’s book. It is quite possible the Inspector General has also issued a criminal referral to the DOJ in light of the admission in the former director’s book. It does appear that Comey has inadvertently acknowledged he perjured himself before Congress in publishing his memoir.
The criminal referral includes former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Party Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, regarding the campaign’s actions in disguising payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Elections Commission. The referral alleges that payments for the Steele dossier were made to Fusion GPS through the law firm Perkins Coi. Desantis is alleging that Perkins Coi was used as a go-between in order for Clinton to hide payments to Fusion GPS in commissioning the Steele dossier. This claim is further bolstered by Fusions GPS’ refusal to identify who paid for the Steele dossier without being forced to do so under Congressional subpoena.
“A lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid Washington firm Fusion GPS to conduct research that led to the Steele dossier, according to an October 24, 2017, report in The Washington Post,” says the referral. “Accordingly for disguising payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Elections Commission, we refer Hillary Clinton to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 52 USC 30121 and 52 USC 30101,” stated the referral.
Lawmakers also referred Loretta Lynch to the DOJ regarding her focus on a decision to threaten the reprisal of the former FBI informant who attempted to come forward with information regarding the Uranium One deal. Lawmakers claim the informant testified before Congress as well as numerous congressional committees, that he was threatened by Lynch’s Justice Department had he come forward with his information. The criminal referral for Loretta Lynch requests investigation into her potential violations of 18 USC 1505 and USC 18 1515(b),” as stated by the letter.
Disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was also listed in the criminal referral. The recently released Inspector General report found that Andrew McCabe had lied on four separate occasions to various FBI investigators as well as under oath. Desantis suggested to Fox news, if General Michael Flynn has been indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI then Andrew McCabe should be subject to the same rules, “or do we have two separate sets of rules for people.”
Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have also been listed in the criminal referral. The letter accuses the duo of obstructing the congressional investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private e-mail server. Lawmakers claim Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were texting back and forth with regard to withholding FBI memos, also known as 302s from Congressional oversight due to the explosive nature of the information therein.
“They were basically going back and forth acknowledging that they were not fully complying with Congress,” said Desantis. “So we need to look at that and obviously a host of other issues that came out of these text messages,” concluded the Congressman. In the referral, Lawmakers have pointed to a January 22 article from The Wall Street Journal in which text exchanges between Strzok and Page “show the FBI also eliminated evidence that Mrs. Clinton compromised high-level communications.”
The criminal referral does not name Rod Rosenstein specifically however, it does refer “all DOJ and FBI personnel responsible for signing the Carter Page warrant application that contained unverified and/or false information for possible violation(s) of 18 USC 242 and 18 USC 1505 and 1505(b).” It has been reported by the New York Times that Rod Rosenstein approved and signed an application last year which extended the surveillance of former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.