Friday, June 21, 2019

Media bureaucrat phillosophical collusion

NYT reporter flagged Jared Kushner meetings with Russians to FBI

A New York Times reporter fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI, newly released emails show.
Journalist Michael Schmidt sent an email on March 24, 2017, to FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan, stating that his colleagues were reporting on the FBI's Russia investigation and had stumbled onto some information about President Trump's son-in-law and top adviser.
"Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They’re told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians," Schmidt said. "My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike."
Kortan forwarded the email to FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who was leading the bureau's Russia investigation, and Jonathan Moffa, an FBI counterintelligence officer.
The Washington Examiner has reached out to Schmidt for comment.
The email was obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, released in response to a May 21 court order by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to the FBI to process 13,000 pages of records. Thursday's release by Judicial Watch, which it claimed to show "FBI-media collusion," also revealed interactions between the FBI and other media outlets, including ProPublica asking for a fact check for an upcoming report.
An email exchange on April 10, 2017, involving Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and other bureau officials, appears to be about getting a preview of an upcoming Times report. "The editing is nearing completion and we have one last shot to hear what the end result is. Do you have time later today or tomorrow that is convenient for a listening session? Likely by phone in Mike’s office," said an email that was part of the thread with the subject line "NYT Last Shot."
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team focused on two meetings Kushner and his top aide Avi Berkowitz held with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank VEB.
Mueller's report, released this year, found no evidence that Kushner received Russian funding to cover a troubled New York City real estate loan, a press scandal that dogged the top presidential adviser despite his denials. Mueller's team also was unable to find sufficient evidence of any criminal conspiracy between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
In July 2017, Kushner sent a statement to Congress before he was to testify before the House and Senate intelligence panels that said he had just four meetings with Russian officials during and after the 2016 campaign. Kushner stressed he was never close to the Russians, and insisted there was no improper collusion with Russia in these contacts as Democrats had charged. "I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner said. "I had no improper contacts."

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