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October Surprise 2016

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October Surprise 2016

October Surprise 2016: Did Kallstrom, McGonigal, and the New York FBI fix the Election 2016 for Trump? – News Review - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com

Senate Judiciary to Question AG Garland - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com

Election 2016 Investigations – News And Selected Articles – thenewsandtimes.com – 2.25.23 - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com

October Surprise 2016 – thenewsandtimes.com – 2.24.23 - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com

The News And Times – October Surprise 2016 – thenewsandtimes.com– 3.5.23: Front Page copy and links - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com

“A severe blow to America’s faith” – Robert Morton – News Review – RSS Pages – thenewsandtimes.com – 3.12.23 - The News And Times - thenewsandtimes.com
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The failures of counterintelligence: McGonigal of FBI and Carsten Linke of BND - Google Search

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1 day agoThe failures of counterintelligence: McGonigal of FBI and Carsten Linke of BND ... The whole leadership of the BND needs to be dismissed ...

Counterintelligence - FBI

Federal Bureau of Investigation (.gov)
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The FBI is the lead agency for exposing, preventing, and investigating intelligence activities, including espionage, in the U.S..
Missing: failuresMcGonigalCarstenBND

Former senior FBI official accused of working for Russian he ...

Washington Post
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Jan 23, 2023Charles McGonigal, a former counterintelligence chief, is charged with money laundering and other counts connected to Russian oligarch Oleg ...
Missing: Carsten ‎| Must include: Carsten

Former high-level FBI official pleads not guilty in alleged ...

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Jan 24, 2023The former head of counterintelligence for the FBI's New York ... and Germany, McGonigal failed to disclose on US government forms that he ...
Missing: CarstenLinke

How a Russian Oligarch May Have Recruited the F.B.I. Agent ...

The New York Times
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Jan 28, 2023The charges unsealed this week against Charles McGonigal — who ran the counterintelligence unit at the bureau's New York field office and ...
Missing: CarstenBND

Jan 30 Buonasera Mag - by Monique Camarra - EuroFile

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Not only is Linke a senior intelligence official, but the BND, ... News that a senior FBI official Charles McGonigal has been indicted for taking payments ...

Former FBI agents shocked at fall of one of their own

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Feb 6, 2023McGonigal was promoted to handle some of the most sensitive counterintelligence cases in the FBI's files, including a high-stakes investigation ...
Missing: CarstenBND

Russian intelligence agency

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The arrest of a former top FBI counterintelligence agent is Every known Russian ... can today be identified as volunteer football coach Carsten Linke.

VelvetBIade on Twitter: "Latvia detains a Russian propagandist for ...

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Arthur E, Carsten Linke's Russian born courier of German & ally state secrets to Moscow, has been arrested by joint BND/FBI effort.

OIG Special Report: A Review of the FBI's Handling and ...

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We interviewed much of the hierarchy of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division. In addition, we interviewed DOJ and Intelligence Community personnel who had ...
Missing: McGonigalCarstenBND

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Russian spy network operates actively in Europe

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Andrii Cherniak, representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, has stated that a Russian spy network continues operating actively in European countries.

Source: Cherniak in an interview with the Greek outlet Iefimerida; Defence Intelligence of Ukraine

Quote: "One of the Russians’ main goals is to make an impact on separate respected people in European countries and on public opinion. Therefore, the Russians put a lot into working with the media.

Those are both their open propaganda mouthpieces, such as Russia Today, and other more hidden methods of influence.

There are cases when journalists of foreign media outlets, recruited by the Russians, have the only purpose while doing their job – talking to their colleagues in order to change their mind to Russia’s benefit."

Details: Cherniak has said that the Russian spy network has been focused on neutralising the supply routes of the Western weapons that the partners provide Ukraine with recently.

Quote: "Russia is interested in the entire Europe as ‘an influence zone’. If it conquers Ukraine, it will not stop there. It will go further. And we know that Putin had such plans before invading Ukraine. It is possible that they have not changed now."

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!

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9 days ago
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In wake of Ukraine war, U.S. and allies are hunting down Russian spies

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Among the slumbering passengers on an overnight flight from Miami to Munich last month were two travelers on opposing sides of an espionage takedown.

In one seat was a German citizen who would be arrested upon arrival and charged with treason for allegedly helping Russia recruit and run a Kremlin mole in the upper ranks of Germany’s intelligence service. Seated nearby was an FBI agent who had boarded the flight to surreptitiously monitor the suspected operative, according to Western security officials, and make sure that he was taken into custody by German authorities.

The Jan. 21 arrest of Arthur Eller — based largely on evidence that the FBI had assembled during the suspect’s stay in Florida — was the latest salvo in a shadow war against Russia’s intelligence services.

Over the past year, as Western governments have ramped up weapons deliveries to Ukraine and economic sanctions against Moscow, U.S. and European security services have been waging a parallel if less visible campaign to cripple Russian spy networks. The German case, which also involved the arrest of a senior official in the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, followed roll-ups of suspected Russian operatives in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Poland and Slovenia.

The moves amount to precision strikes against Russian agents still in Europe after the mass expulsion of more than 400 suspected Russian intelligence officers from Moscow’s embassies across the continent last year.

U.S. and European security officials caution that Russia retains significant capabilities but said that its spy agencies have sustained greater damage over the past year than at any time since the end of the Cold War. The magnitude of the campaign appears to have caught Russia off-guard, officials said, blunting its services’ ability to carry out influence operations in Europe, stay in contact with informants, or provide insights to the Kremlin on key issues, including the extent to which Western leaders are prepared to continue stepping up arms deliveries to Ukraine.

If so, the fallout may add to the list of consequences that Russian President Vladimir Putin — a former KGB officer in East Germany — failed to anticipate when he ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

“The world is quite different for the Russian services now,” said Antti Pelttari, director of Finland’s foreign intelligence service. Because of the expulsions, subsequent arrests and a more hostile environment in Europe, he said, “their capability has been degraded considerably.”

A trip to Florida

Russia has sought to compensate for its losses by relying more heavily on cyberespionage, Pelttari and other European officials said. Moscow has also tried to take advantage of border crossings and refugee flows to deploy new spies and replenish its depleted ranks, officials said.

But these new arrivals would be without the protection and advantages of working out of Russian embassies, officials said, and may lack the experience, sources and training of those who were declared persona non grata.

In a possible sign of Russian desperation, officials said, Moscow has attempted to send spies who were expelled from one European capital back to another, probing for vulnerabilities in coordination across the continent’s patchwork of security services.

“We have no illusions that the Russians will keep on trying” to reconstitute networks in Europe, said a senior Western security official who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operations. The official said his country and others have shared the identities of those they expelled with other members of the European Union. Of the Russian attempts to reinsert spies, the official said, “None that we are aware of were successful.”

The German case has heightened anxieties about lingering vulnerabilities in Europe, showing that even amid the post-Ukraine crackdown, Moscow was getting a steady stream of classified files from inside one of Europe’s largest intelligence services, Germany’s BND. Berlin has downplayed the damage in conversations with allied services, but the alleged mole had access to highly sensitive data, security officials said.

A month before Eller’s arrest in Munich, German authorities had also arrested Carsten Linke, 52, who was in charge of a unit responsible for internal BND security with access to the personnel files of agency employees, officials said. He had previously spent years working at a sprawling facility in Bavaria responsible for technical collection operations targeting global information networks.

Germany discovered the penetration only with the help of an allied Western service that BND officials have refused to identify. In September, a joint operation revealed that Russian intelligence agencies had gained possession of classified BND documents, setting in motion a mole hunt that quickly focused on Linke.

A lawyer for Linke did not respond to requests for comment.

The severity of the breach prompted the United States, Britain and other governments to curtail intelligence-sharing with Berlin, officials said.

“Every single service is doing their own damage assessment,” said a senior intelligence official in Northern Europe. “You think, ‘What information did we share with them? Was that information available to [Russia’s agent]?’”

The Germans also confronted other difficult questions, including whether there was an accomplice. German officials began scrutinizing Linke’s relationship with Eller, a 31-year-old gem and metals trader who was born in Russia and lived in the same region of Bavaria where Linke had spent much of his career.

German media reports have said that Linke and Eller met in 2021 at a social event. But in recent interviews with The Washington Post, officials said there are indications that the two were introduced by a member of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party, raising the prospect that Linke may have been motivated by radical political views.

Eller’s work seemed to require near-constant travel — 110 trips last year alone, according to a person familiar with the investigation — with records showing that he had frequently traveled to Moscow.

Eller was “pretty fast identified as a possible co-conspirator,” said a senior German security official involved in the investigation. But by early November, he had departed to Florida with his wife and young daughter for a lengthy visit with his wife’s relatives in Miami, the person familiar with the investigation said.

Eller returned to Germany in December as part of an international business trip. When Linke was arrested on Dec. 21, Eller received a call from a contact in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) — the main successor to the KGB — warning him that he was in danger and urging him to fly to Moscow, the person said.

Instead, Eller departed again for Florida on Christmas Day, the person familiar with the case said. Remarkably, German authorities made no attempt to prevent him from leaving. “The evidence we had gathered was not enough to arrest him,” the German security official said.

A crash investigation by the FBI changed that.

After learning that Eller was under scrutiny in the BND breach, the bureau kept him under near-constant surveillance. Agents monitored Eller’s movements and communications, while German authorities provided a stream of information about their own unfolding investigation, officials said.

Eller’s hectic travel schedule came to an abrupt halt on Jan. 12, when he sought to board another flight to Munich and was intercepted at the Miami airport by FBI agents, said the person familiar with the case. A senior FBI counterintelligence official described the contact as an “overt approach,” a potentially risky maneuver that paid off unexpectedly.

Eller agreed to undergo questioning by FBI agents at a nearby facility, and to surrender devices including a laptop and cellphone, according to the person familiar with the investigation. He cast himself as affiliated with the BND, the person said, and proceeded to reveal startling details, including that he had carried classified BND files to Russia and returned with envelopes that he believed contained large sums of cash for Linke, and that he had been in contact with officers from the FSB.

Eller’s attorney declined to comment. It is not clear why Eller volunteered so much information, but he has been casting himself as a victim of Linke’s manipulation, according to the person familiar with the case. That person said Eller claims he thought he was working for the BND, and Eller has said his cooperation with the FBI reflected his desire to help investigators. Agents also spoke with Eller’s wife and her brother in Florida, the person familiar with the investigation said.

German officials reject any characterization of Eller as being duped. Eller admitted to the FBI and German investigators that “he had been the one who asked Linke to commit the espionage acts,” the senior German security official said.

A senior U.S. official said the Justice Department weighed whether to file charges against Eller but officials saw no evidence that he had committed a serious crime in the United States and opted to have him return to Germany, where the case against him was stronger. Eller was ordered to leave the country, and FBI agents escorted him to the gate for his departure, according to the person familiar with the investigation, who said that Eller’s laptop and phone were not returned to him.

Armed with the information gleaned by the bureau, German authorities were waiting at the Munich airport on Jan. 21 with an arrest warrant issued two days earlier.

Linke is accused of abusing his BND authority to help Eller cross German border checks with classified files and cash. The person familiar with the investigation said that a separate BND official, apparently acting on orders from Linke, would assist Eller through the Munich airport by helping him bypass customs inspections.

Investigators have uncovered at least four payments that Eller brought to Linke, totaling about $100,000, officials said. Other aspects of the case remain a mystery, including the purpose of repeated trips Eller made between New York and Moscow. Attempts by The Post to reach Eller’s wife or her relatives in Florida were unsuccessful.

Brazilian covers

While the German case centers on a European accused of betraying his country for the Kremlin, others have involved Russian nationals seeking to infiltrate the West.

Among them are so-called “illegals” sent abroad not as diplomats — with accompanying legal protections — but under more elaborate cover arrangements designed to conceal any connection to Russia.

Authorities in the Netherlands last year confronted a passenger who presented a Brazilian passport when he arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, having accepted a position as an intern at the International Criminal Court. In reality, he was a Russian military officer named Sergey Cherkasov who had been sent overseas more than a decade earlier by Russia’s GRU spy agency, its main military intelligence service, according to officials and court records.

Cherkasov had spent years living in Brazil and constructing an identity as Victor Muller Ferreira using fraudulent documents. He went on to earn degrees at Trinity College in Dublin and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington before securing an internship offer from the international court now investigating allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Turned back by the Netherlands, Cherkasov is now serving a prison sentence in Brazil after being convicted of charges including document fraud. Russia has denied he was a spy, but has sought his return by claiming he is a wanted drug criminal and asking Brazil to extradite him.

In October, authorities in Norway arrested an accused Russian spy under similar circumstances. The suspect had posed as a Brazilian researcher focused on Arctic security issues at a university in northern Norway, credentials that enabled him to gain access to European experts and officials. Like Cherkasov, Mikhail Mikushin was a Russian “illegal” who had spent years abroad developing an elaborate cover for his GRU assignment, according to Norwegian authorities.

The pace of arrests and exposures has been driven in part by increased cooperation among European services, officials said, as well as a post-Ukraine shift in mind-set in countries, including Germany, long criticized by some of their European neighbors as too complacent about the threat from Moscow.

“February of 2023 is not the same as February of 2021 or 2019,” said a senior Western intelligence official. After’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “there just isn’t as much tolerance or as much space” in Europe.

Senior officials described whack-a-mole-like efforts to keep Russian services from restocking European embassies with spies. In a speech last year, Ken McCallum, director of Britain’s MI5 domestic service, said the British government had “refused on national security grounds over 100 Russian diplomatic visa applications” since 2018, when Britain expelled 23 suspected Russian spies in retaliation for the poisoning of a defector in Salisbury, England.

As a result of such pressure, Western officials said they have also seen signs that Russia’s intelligence services are making decisions they would have avoided in the past — making operatives more vulnerable to detection.

“Our work has revealed Russian agencies raising their risk tolerances,” said the senior FBI counterintelligence official, though he declined to provide specifics. In some cases, he said, “their actions to me show desperation.”

The crackdown has also been fueled by U.S. intelligence. Seeking to take advantage of Moscow’s vulnerability, the CIA and FBI have stepped up flows of intelligence to services across Europe to root out Russian penetrations, officials said. Even before the arrests in Germany, authorities in Sweden, Norway and other countries had cited contributions from U.S. intelligence in their arrests of GRU illegals and disruptions of related networks.

The full impact of the damage to Russia’s spy networks in Europe is difficult to assess.

Security officials in Finland and Sweden, for example, said they have been surprised at how little effort Russia put toward disrupting those countries’ applications to join NATO.

“It was remarkably quiet in the springtime” as Finland submitted its paperwork, said Pelttari, the Finnish spy chief.

To some, it was a sign that Russia’s capabilities had been degraded and that its services were preoccupied with the Ukraine war effort, which has exposed major failings by the FSB and other agencies. But officials said it may also reflect recognition by Moscow that public support for joining NATO was so overwhelming that seeking to shift opinion or disrupt the process was a lost cause.

Russia was suspected of involvement in other cases that raised anxieties in Europe last year, although evidence of direct links to Moscow has so far proved elusive.

Norwegian authorities made multiple arrests in cases of suspicious surveillance activity involving drones last year, raising fears that Russia was targeting critical infrastructure. But those who were detained have since been released, and authorities now believe many were innocent hobbyists.

Mail bombs sent late last year to government officials and other targets in Spain, including one that injured a Ukrainian Embassy official, triggered fears that Russia was mobilizing a network of far-right militants to sow terror. Last month, however, Madrid announced the arrest of a 74-year-old Spaniard who opposed his country’s support for Ukraine but appears to have acted alone. A statement issued by Spain’s investigating magistrate said there was “no indication that the person under investigation belongs to or collaborates with any terrorist gang or organized group.”

There are more recent signs, however, that Russia’s spy agencies continue to meddle in Europe.

Over the past month, Lithuania has endured a wave of online operations targeting Ukrainian refugees. The first involved “phishing” emails that were sent out to local agencies, nonprofits and even hotels with attachments seeking the names and addresses of Ukrainians they had encountered.

The messages were falsely sent under the guise of Lithuania’s migration authority, prompting a scramble by public officials to disavow the emails and reassure Ukrainians there was no government effort to track them.

A follow-on email campaign involved phony messages purportedly from the Ukrainian Embassy asserting that Lithuania was helping to locate military-aged males to send back into the conflict. Lithuania’s security services attributed the attack to an unidentified “Russian cyber actor.” Data on refugees could be used to harass them or even blackmail those with relatives trapped in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia.

But a senior Lithuanian official said the more likely goal was to sow distrust between refugees and host governments. The messages were intended to make Ukrainians worry “that they are not safe and secure here,” the official said, with a possible secondary goal of “tying up the resources of our institutions.”

Cate Brown in Washington and Gabriela Sá Pessoa in São Paulo, Brazil, contributed to this report.

One year of Russia’s war in Ukraine

Portraits of Ukraine: Every Ukrainian’s life has changed since Russia launched its full-scale invasion one year ago — in ways both big and small. They have learned to survive and support each other under extreme circumstances, in bomb shelters and hospitals, destroyed apartment complexes and ruined marketplaces. Scroll through portraits of Ukrainians reflecting on a year of loss, resilience and fear.

Battle of attrition: Over the past year, the war has morphed from a multi-front invasion that included Kyiv in the north to a conflict of attrition largely concentrated along an expanse of territory in the east and south. Follow the 600-mile front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces and take a look at where the fighting has been concentrated.

A year of living apart: Russia’s invasion, coupled with Ukraine’s martial law preventing fighting-age men from leaving the country, has forced agonizing decisions for millions of Ukrainian families about how to balance safety, duty and love, with once-intertwined lives having become unrecognizable. Here’s what a train station full of goodbyes looked like last year.

Deepening global divides: President Biden has trumpeted the reinvigorated Western alliance forged during the war as a “global coalition,” but a closer look suggests the world is far from united on issues raised by the Ukraine war. Evidence abounds that the effort to isolate Putin has failed and that sanctions haven’t stopped Russia, thanks to its oil and gas exports.

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Biden and Scholz: US, Germany in 'lockstep' on Ukraine war

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met privately in the Oval Office for more than an hour Friday after declaring themselves in “lockstep” on maintaining pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Even their top advisers were left out of the conversation. When the meeting ended, Biden and Scholz walked across the hall to the Roosevelt Room, where the American and German officials had been mingling. Biden joked that the two leaders had solved all the world's problems by themselves, according to a senior administration official, who requested anonymity to describe the closed-door discussions.

If any agreements were reached or plans made, the White House wasn't saying. The official readout of the meeting provided little additional detail, except to say the two leaders discussed the war and “exchanged perspectives on other global issues.”

The conversation came at a delicate moment in the conflict. Ukraine and Russia are preparing for spring offensives, meaning a steady flow of Western weapons will be important for Kyiv's success on the battlefield.

However, there are fresh concerns that public support for ongoing military assistance may be waning. In addition, U.S. officials have warned that China could step off the sidelines and begin providing ammunition to Moscow, a decision that would change the trajectory of the war by allowing Moscow to replenish its depleted stockpiles.

China is Germany’s top trading partner, and European nations have generally been more cautious than the United States in taking a hard line with Beijing. However, there are signs that may be shifting as global rivalries grow more tense.

In a speech to the German parliament on Thursday, Scholz called on China to “use your influence in Moscow to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia.”

During brief public remarks Friday, Scholz said Western allies would support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

“This is a very, very important year because of the dangerous threat to peace that comes from Russia invading Ukraine,” he said.

Biden thanked Germany for providing “critical military support.”

“And I would argue, beyond the military support, the moral support you’ve given Ukrainians has been profound,” he said.

Biden said, “Together, we worked lockstep to supply critical security assistance to Ukraine,” and Scholz also described the U.S.-German effort as “lockstep.”

The White House announced $400 million more in U.S. assistance as their meeting began. The U.S. and Germany have worked closely together to supply Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance. But there has also been friction over issues such as providing tanks, and Washington has occasionally grown frustrated with Berlin's hesitance.

Scholz last visited the White House a little more than a year ago, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Unlike formal state visits, such as when French President Emmanuel Macron came to Washington last year, there was no pomp and ceremony. Scholz's trip lacked the customary press conference where the two leaders take questions from reporters representing both countries.

John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, described it as a “true working visit between these two leaders."

In an interview with German broadcaster Welt, opposition leader Friedrich Merz accused Scholz of being secretive about his trip to Washington, which was taking place without the customary press pack in tow. Merz suggested that Scholz had to smooth ruffled feathers over the deal to provide tanks to Ukraine.

Scholz dismissed any notion of discord between allies before he left on his trip.

Asked by The Associated Press about the circumstances of his visit, Scholz said he and Biden “want to talk directly with each other," and he described “a global situation where things have become very difficult."

“It is important that such close friends can talk about all of these questions together, continually,” he said.

Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser, hinted at some tension between the two countries on Sunday when appearing on ABC's “This Week.”

He said Biden originally decided against sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine, believing they wouldn't be immediately useful for Ukrainian forces. However, Sullivan said, Germany would not send its Leopard tanks “until the president also agreed to send Abrams.”

“So, in the interest of alliance unity and to insure that Ukraine got what it wanted, despite the fact that the Abrams aren’t the tool they need, the president said, ‘OK, I’m going to be the leader of the free world,’” Sullivan said. “'I will send Abrams down the road if you send Leopards now.' Those Leopards are getting sent now.”

Scholz's government has denied there was any such demand made of the U.S.

Max Bergmann, a former State Department official who leads the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the U.S. has often wanted Germany, the world's fifth-largest economy, to be more forceful on the global stage.

“There’s a hope that, instead of us having to push all the time, that Germany would take a leadership role," he said.

Bergmann said Germany has gone a long way toward strengthening its defense, but added that there's more work to do.

“The German way of seeing the world doesn’t always align with the U.S. way of seeing the world,” he said.


Jordans reported from Berlin.

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Did Kallstrom and McGonigal fix the Election 2016 for Trump? Who and HOW inserted Clinton's emails into the Abedin-Weiner's laptop? - Google Search

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter: "#FBI FBI #DOJ DOJ Did ...

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Feb 12, 2023... DOJ Did Kallstrom and McGonigal fix the Election 2016 for Trump? Who and HOW inserted Clinton's emails into the Abedin-Weiner's laptop?

Emails in Anthony Weiner Inquiry Jolt Hillary Clinton's Campaign

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Oct 28, 2016The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told Congress that the emails “appear to be pertinent” to the investigation of Mrs. Clinton's use of a ...
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Clinton's Emails, Weiner's Laptop and a Falsehood

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Claim: Hillary Clinton's emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop were "never reviewed" until after 2016 election.
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