(FreedomBeacon.com)- Just days after Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann brought the charges to the FBI, the bureau launched a full-fledged counterintelligence investigation into the since-discredited Trump-Russia conspiracy claims – with the launch document including “typos.”
The electronic communication signaling the start of the investigation incorrectly cited a nonexistent “referral” from the Justice Department rather than correctly stating that the Alfa-Bank allegations came from a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as revealed in the trial that is part of John Durham’s special counsel inquiry.
The inquiry began on Sept. 23, 2016, four days after Sussmann’s meeting with FBI General Counsel James Baker, according to the initial communication, “Alfa Bank,” written by FBI agents Curtis Heide and Allison Sands, who both testified this week in Washington, D.C.
Sands and Heide both called the obvious mistakes “typos,” and Heide speculated that they could have confused the FBI’s Office of General Counsel, which Baker commanded, with the Justice Department. In January 2017, the investigation’s concluding message incorrectly stated that the Justice Department, not Sussmann, forwarded the Alfa-Bank charges to the bureau.
Sussmann had previously worked for the Justice Department, and Baker said last week that he had a credential that gave him access to the FBI.
Deputy Assistant Director Jonathan Moffa, agent Joseph Pientka, now-fired agent Peter Strzok, and two other key FBI officials were copied on the faulty launch document. In July 2016, Strzok wrote the first electronic communication for Crossfire Hurricane. Heide was also involved in the Trump-Russia probe.
Supervisory Special Agent Daniel Wierzbicki of the Chicago Field Office and three other FBI officers also signed the opening paper.
Sands was a probationary agent, having just been on the job for 3 1/2 months, yet she was assigned to the Alfa-Bank investigation as the primary case agent. Heide was her training agent, and he referred to them as case co-leads. Sands claimed she first became aware of the Alfa-Bank accusations when Heide emailed her a white document and informed her that a lawsuit would be filed.
Sands wrote the closing communication for the Alfa-Bank inquiry, completed in January 2017. It also has a lot of mistakes in it.
Sands reported that Chicago had begun a preliminary investigation into suspected clandestine connections between Russian-based ALFA BANK and an email address linked with the TRUMP ORGANIZATION. On or about September 19, 2016, the FBI got a white paper from the US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE created by an unnamed third party. She understood that it came at least from the FBI from James Baker by January. It wasn’t a cursory inquiry; it was a thorough examination.
“That was just a mistake,” Sands explained.
“In hindsight, I would’ve fixed the mistakes in the ECs,” she remarked.
She said that it came from the Department of Justice, or rather, the fact that it appeared to come from the Department of Justice gave it a lot more weight and credibility.
Heide, according to Sands, gave her inaccurate information. She believed that material was sent to the DOJ by an “anonymous third party,” who subsequently passed it on to the FBI. She stated that she did not feel Heide or anyone else had lied to her and had not heard of any criminal inquiry into why the information was incorrect.
Durham prosecutor Brittain Shaw speculated that Sands may have mistakenly assumed the FBI’s Office of General Counsel as part of the Justice Department, but Sands maintained she had no idea.
“I’m not sure,” Sands responded. “In an EC, I would never be purposely ambiguous.”
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