OIG Report Summarization and Points of Interest: Questions Still Remain
Written by: Ronald F Owens Jr. June 15, 2018
I awoke at 3:30 this morning, sat down at this kitchen table with these colorful post-its and lavender pen, and started plowing through this highly-anticipated, much-touted and under-reported (by the mainstream media that is) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report.
Here are my impressions thus far after I started reading this massive “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election” document.
Point of information: Reporters keep telling us that this is a 500-page report. Well for the record, it’s more closer to 600 pages. There’s a 24 page Executive Summary, which is formatted like a two-column vertical newsletter.
Then there’s the actual boring appearing and sleep eliciting 500 page report, concluding with Attachment’s A through H, and two appendixes.
APPENDIX ONE is deemed as “Classified” and APPENDIX TWO is labeled “Law Enforcement Sensitive.” I’ve added it all up to 592 pages. So much for majoring on the minor.
Regarding methodology, OIG investigators poured through 1.2 million documents and interviewed 100 witnesses. Those interviewed witnesses included Attorney General (AG) Loretta Lynch, Deputy AG Sally Yates, FBI agents, supervisors, and even former President Bill Clinton.
There’s so much material stating so much information. But there’s still a lot of information missing.
Of what I’ve read thus far, the OIG report omits asking these six obvious questions:
- What prompted the FBI to open the investigation in July 2015?
- There were 31 days the seventh month of that year, precisely when was the investigation opened?
- Who referred this to the FBI?
- What was the referral based on?
- Why was the referral made?
- How was the referral made?
Another impression — then-FBI Director James Comey was more preoccupied with the “what” of Hillary Clinton’s handling —or more like mishandling— classified information. But Comey and his FBI subordinates didn’t ask nor investigate nor delve into the “why.”
Why did she want to keep her official State Department communiques off the grid? Who was she sending emails to and why? What was she and they and others copied —and presumably more blind copied— recipients hiding?
We, the American people, suspect we know why. Clinton was hiding something. I/we betcha she was hiding a lot of somethings. But they, who are charged to investigate — hence why the word “Investigation” is placed after “Federal Bureau of” — really didn’t want to know why, and they really don’t want us to know why, either.
Another irksome impression — the OIG report does not even explore the possibility that Lynch and Bill Clinton’s June 27, 2016 tarmac meeting at a Phoenix Airport was NOT accidental.
We’re no fools! We know it was a planned meeting. And we know that Lynch and Clinton talked more than about grandchildren.
You mean to tell us one of the most powerful men on the planet and the most powerful cop of the most powerful nation on earth only talked about grandchildren for 30 long yet 30 short minutes?
No, let me stop right here and right now! I’m beginning to sense that this 592-page report is intended to cover up lies, cover up liars lying about past and current lying, and cover liars lying about future lying.
Had it not been for a TV broadcast reporter we would not have known that a former President met with the AG, whose subordinates were investigating this former President’s wife, who was running for first woman President of the United States.
I’d like to know who tipped off Christopher Sign, the then-morning anchor at ABC15 in Phoenix, about the Phoenix tarmac meeting?
On July 1, 2016 Sign told Bill O’Reilly of FOX News that he received a tip from a “trusted source” about the Lynch and Clinton meeting, and then met with management at the station.
By the way: Sign is now with ABC’s affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. A second by the way: Sign is a member of The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association, according to his bio. That revelation slightly raised my right eyebrow. Is this even relevant? Who knows? And why did this “trusted source” even identify and choose Sign? That’s another rabbit hole I just don’t have time to descend…
…Okay, back to the OIG report. This Lynch/Clinton incident prompted Comey to make an announcement. But according to the OIG report, Comey did not tell Assistant AG Sally Yates nor did Comey inform AG Lynch that he was going to announce before the entire world that they were not going to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
Again, I don’t believe this, I really don’t. I don’t think you believe it, either.
It is hard to believe that the FBI Director did not give his two bosses a heads up prior to his July 5, 2016 press conference that he wasn’t going to indict Hillary.
It is hard to believe that Lynch and Yates of the Justice Department did not know beforehand the FBI decided not to prosecute Clinton for willfully mishandling, removing, retaining, concealing and mutilating classified material.
At this point I had an epiphany. I stopped reading on page vi of the Executive Summary. I asked am I —and are we — paying too much attention on minutiae?
I just don’t want to just grovel in the dirt with the rest of the punditry class. I want to raise up and look around. There are leaves on the ground. I look ahead. There’s the tree trunk. I look up. The are leaves attached to branches on that tree trunk! I hop on the tree trunk. I reach for a sturdy branch and climb that tree all the way to the top. I position myself securely and look around. As I look around some more I see other trees! My LORD — after I ascended I see that there’s an entire forest out there!
That epiphany caused me to ask what some of us know but most of us don’t know. There’s an entire forest shrouded in fog, but this report would have the reader and the mainstream media — if they properly cover it and they should report about it — fixated and focused just on the ground.
The tree is Anthony Weiner. The other trees in the forest are somehow connected to Anthony Weiner’s seedy and sinister tree.
So the fundamental question I ask: What was on Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer?
When I first heard of this OIG report in the first place way back last year —I don’t remember when or by whom —it was couched within the context of Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer.
So rather than plow through anymore (or grovel in the dirt) I perused through the report. I spotted, way on the bottom of page xx, chapter 9.
Dear Reader, I am not yelling at you. The OIG actually displays this in all caps: “CHAPTER NINE: DISCOVERY OF CLINTON EMAILS ON THE WEINER LAPTOP AND REACTIVATION OF THE MIDYEAR INVESTIGATION.”
Chapter 9 starts on page 273 and goes to page 376. Now this is interesting. There are 103 pages in this chapter. One hundred and three pages of 592 pages — doesn’t that tally to just under 20 percent?— of the entire report is devoted to the Anthony Weiner tree.
I went back to page vii of the Executive Summary that discusses CHAPTER NINE and read some more.
Here’s the timeline and the chronological events in said timeline. On September 26, 2016 a federal search warrant was issued for Weiner’s iPhone, iPad, and laptop computer.
I asked myself these three questions:
- “What prompted the federal search warrant?
- Who initiated it?
- Why was it initiated?”
Unfortunately the Executive Summary of Chapter 9 provides no answers.
I continued to read.
The Weiner Case Agent (who?) discovered that Weiner had 300,000 emails on laptop.
I’ll call this anonymous FBI agent “Mr. Weiner Case Agent.”
Okay — so “Mr. Weiner Case Agent” saw “about seven domain names.” Three of the seven domain names which “Mr. Weiner Case Agent” spotted were “clintonfoundation.org” and “clintonemail.com” and “hillaryclinton.com.”
Alarm bells had to ring so “Mr. Weiner Case Agent” deferred to his superiors. New York Office Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney was briefed. About 141,000 emails were relevant to investigation, that was initially started in July, 2015.
This problem was growing. More FBI people power was needed. According to the OIG report about 39 senior FBI executives would have participated in a September 28, teleconference to discuss this matter.
I asked myself: “Why does the OIG state ‘about?’” In other words, the OIG peeps didn’t know or the FBI peeps didn’t want the OIG peeps or us or the U.S. to know, okay?
“About 39 senior FBI executives?” Really? We’re not talking about rank and file FBI special agents, we’re talking about “39 senior FBI executives!”
Anyway, Sweeney told FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (he was fired earlier this year) that they — presumably “Mr. Weiner Case Agent” — now identified 347,000 emails on Weiner’s laptop.
I have another question, not for “Mr. Weiner Case Agent,” but for OIG Michael Horowitz: “What was on Weiner’s laptop that garnered the attention of so many (at least 39) of “Mr. Weiner Case Agent’s” FBI colleagues?
I continued on. There had to be some room-clearing directive issued from on high by who knows who. Why do I assert this? Well between September 26 and September 29 the “about 39 senior FBI executives” number was significantly narrowed down. Because at a September 29, 2016 conference call, five — yes, you read it: FIVE — unnamed participants discussed large volume of emails on Weiner’s laptop.
Oh — by then, Weiner’s emails had ballooned to a whopping 350,000!
So it seems like the more Weiner emails discovered the less FBI agents were involved investigating it.
More about the timeline and the chronological events in said timeline.
Additional discussions (involving whom?) took place on October 3 and on October 4, according to the OIG report.
And then something happened. Absolutely nothing happened! No action took place for 20 days! This failure to take action is rather curious.
That’s when I stopped.
It’s been more than eight hours since I sat down at this kitchen table with these colorful post-its plus lavender pen and started plowing through this highly anticipated, much touted and under reported Office OIG report. I gotta take a break.
Closing thoughts. There are a lot of people who really, really know what’s going on. And I’m not talking about low-level folks. I’m talking about at least “39 senior FBI executives!” They all know what’s on Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer. Some have seen it. Others have heard about it. Scores more know.
Federal bureaucrats can write all the reports. The chattering class can call for a second special counsel. Some can demand further investigations. Others can clamor for congressional hearings.
I hope and pray that “about 39 senior FBI executives” who really, really know what’s going on have the courage to step forward and tell us what’s on Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer.
(I am interested what happens in my beloved country and I like reporting about current events to inform all of you. But to see what I’m really passionate writing about, visit <ronaldfowensjr.com> Thank you.)
—Ronald F Owens Jr
To read full report go to link here: Justice.gov
Meet Randall Coleman, then-Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Counterintelligence Division.
This is a screenshot of Coleman in a 2:04 video commercial, published on YouTube on July 24, 2015. In that video, Coleman is promoting a FBI training film titled: “The Company Man: Protecting America’s Secrets.”
This 36:12 film is aimed at educating businesses, industry leaders, and anyone with a trade secret about the threat of economic espionage and how they can help mitigate it, according to the FBI.
This July 23, 2015 film “illustrates how one U.S. company was targeted by foreign actors and how that company worked with the FBI to resolve the problem and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the FBI described.
More than four months later —after Coleman was featured in that video promoting the FBI’s economic espionage training film— then-FBI Director James Comey named Coleman as the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.
In a December 1, 2015, news release announcement, Comey said that Coleman would oversee all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, international operations, critical incident response, and victim assistance.
Coleman, who was in the U.S. Army for nine years, served with the 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas. He also commanded in the 4th Infantry Division, in Fort Carson, Colorado.
One can conclude, after reviewing Coleman’s impressive military background and FBI resume, that he richly deserved this promotion. For the past 21 years Coleman dutifully, faithfully and honorably served the FBI in hot Phoenix, Arizona; muggy San Antonio, Texas; sultry Washington, D.C.; and humid Little Rock, Arkansas.
According to his FBI bio, Coleman entered the FBI in 1997, and reported to the Phoenix Division, Kingman Resident Agency. While there, he managed multi-agency criminal and domestic terrorism investigations and served as the on-scene commander for numerous fugitive investigations, kidnappings, and homicides.
- In 2002, Coleman was promoted to supervisory special agent in the counterintelligence division at FBI headquarters, where he served as a program manager in the counterespionage section.
- In 2004, Coleman transferred to the San Antonio Division to serve as the counterintelligence program coordinator and squad supervisor. In 2008, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the national security programs for the San Antonio Division. In this role, he provided management and oversight for the Fort Hood shooting investigation and the dismantlement of a terrorist smuggling operation along the southwest border.
- In 2010, Coleman returned to the FBI headquarters as the section chief of the counterespionage section. In this role, Coleman managed numerous investigations, arrests, and prosecutions of individuals on charges of espionage.
- In 2012, Coleman was promoted to special agent in charge of the Little Rock Division. During this assignment, Coleman established a public corruption task force responsible for significant arrests and prosecutions throughout the state of Arkansas, as well as a counterintelligence task force and cyber threat center.
- In 2014, Coleman served as assistant director of the counterintelligence division. Prior to April 2014, he was the division’s deputy assistant director.
Meanwhile in 2015, FBI special agents started investigating whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information.
Remember, this is the same year the FBI featured Coleman in this video promoting this FBI training film.
In 2016, Coleman’s impressive resume and his seemingly impeccable professional reputation became tarnished.
The tarnishing of resumes and the ruining of reputations happens to a lot of people directly associated with or indirectly involved with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
In this case Coleman became indirectly involved with the Clinton’s, thanks to former New York Democrat congressmember Anthony Weiner, the husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
- In 2016, Coleman then-18-year seasoned FBI veteran who had only been the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director (EAD) of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch for just about ten months, got sucked in the Weiner laptop investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned to the Weiner case were to review only evidence of crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children enticement and obscenity. They were limited, actually prevented, beyond scope of warrant. They were to stay completely out of Clinton email case.
As EAD, Coleman was involved in the Weiner sexting case. He discussed, met, teleconferenced with colleagues and drafted memos about all this.
According to page 294 of “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election” report, Coleman told Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigators that he kept regularly took notes in a journal about the Weiner sexting investigation.
Coleman’s notes from October 4 contained the following entry:
(1) Anthony Weiner (sic)
(3) Weiner [sic] — texting 15 yo — Sexually Explicit
9/26 — Federal SW —iPhone/IPAD/Laptop
Initial analysis of laptop — thousands of emails
Hillary Clinton & Foundation
Crime Against Children
(End Coleman notes on page 294 of the OIG report).
Coleman told the OIG that the notes would most likely represent information he was briefed on first thing in the morning by his subordinates in the Criminal Investigative Division.
Coleman then stated he may have passed this information to other FBI executives after the morning briefing with the Director, but he could not remember if that occurred here.
Meanwhile FBI Director Comey said he did not recall the briefing with Coleman.
Coleman doesn’t remember writing these notes in his journal. Coleman said he may have passed this information to other FBI executives after the morning briefing with Director Comey, but he could not remember if it occurred there.
Comey doesn’t remember talking to Coleman about this.
No one remembers — not Coleman, not Comey and not other FBI agents.
Recounting an analogy from my first OIG post, Coleman knew all about the Anthony Weiner tree in the forest.
But he doesn’t recall writing, on October 4, 2016, about “Anthony Weiner” and texting 15 yo” and “Sexually Explicit” and 9/26 — Federal SW —iPhone/IPAD/Laptop” and “Initial analysis of laptop — thousands of emails” and “Hillary Clinton & Foundation” and “Crime Against Children!”
He can’t remember why he wrote “Hillary Clinton & Foundation” and “Crime Against Children?” I mean, c’mon! The woman was running for President of the United States!
Well perhaps further on in the OIG report, Coleman begins to remember after all. I’ll have to read further.
It’s just hard to believe that a man with his 21-year law enforcement acumen and experience doesn’t remember something so significant.
Oh, by the way: The 39 senior FBI executives who participated in a September 28, 2016 teleconference to discuss this Weiner investigation seem normal after all, according to page 277 of the OIG report.
And FBI investigators discovered 675,000 emails on Weiner’s laptop computer. This 675,000 number (see page 295) had ballooned from what I initially thought a whopping 350,000 emails!
(Editor’s Note: I am interested what happens in my beloved country and I like reporting about current events to inform all of you. But to see what I’m really passionate writing about, visit <ronaldfowensjr.com> Thank you.)
—Ronald F Owens Jr
The Company Man: Interview With Randy Coleman, FBI Counterintelligence Division
The Company Man: Protecting America’s Secrets
Randall C. Coleman Named Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch