NEW: FBI agents were told that Trump/Russia collusion claim came from DOJ and not Hillary Clinton campaign

It turns out the FBI leadership lied to its agents investigating the phony Trump/Russia collusion about where the claims actually came from.

FBI leadership told the investigating agents that the white paper “evidence” of this so-called Trump/Russia collusion came from the DOJ and an anonymous source. There was no mention of Michael Sussman at all.

Via the NY Post:

FBI agents probing since-debunked claims of a secret back channel between Donald Trump and a Russian bank believed that the allegations had originated with the Department of Justice — when in fact they came from Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who had shopped them to the bureau’s then-general counsel days earlier.

In the latest revelation to emerge from Sussmann’s trial in DC federal court on a count of lying to the FBI, prosecutors revealed that investigators had received an electronic communication citing a referral from the DOJ “on or about” Sept. 19, 2016, the same day Sussmann met with James Baker, then the FBI’s top lawyer.

The document, written by agents Curtis Heide and Allison Sands and dated Sept. 23, 2016, did not mention Sussmann as the source of the allegations.

“In that referral, the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE provided the FBI with a white paper that was produced by an anonymous third party,” the communication said. before adding: “According to the white paper, a U.S.-based server that is owned by the TRUMP ORGANIZATION has been communicating with the Russian-based ALFA BANK organization in Moscow, Russia.”

The document was circulated to several top FBI officials — including Peter Strzok, who oversaw the probe of Clinton’s email server as well as the Trump-Russia investigation, and was famously fired from the bureau in 2018 after text messages he sent to his colleague and mistress Lisa Page that were critical of the 45th president.

Enter FBI agent Ryan Gaynor, who revealed that it was FBI leadership who decided to hide the information about Sussman…

Testifying for the prosecution Monday, FBI agent Ryan Gaynor revealed that bureau honchos shielded Sussmann’s identity from field agents who investigated the claims of a link between Trump and Alfa Bank as part of a longstanding practice known as a “close hold.”

Gaynor told prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis that the decision to hide where the information came from was made by top leadership at the FBI before the Alfa Bank material was given to the Chicago field office.

After the information was handed over to the Chicago squad, a more senior FBI agent at headquarters asked Gaynor, who had volunteered to “track” the investigation, to determine if the hold was affecting or hindering the investigation, he testified.

Gaynor determined he could “not make an argument that we needed to pull the hold [reveal Sussmann as the source] at the time” because they were waiting on information from the spam email company that was actually behind the supposed secret back channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, he testified.

Investigating FBI agents wanted to access to the ‘anonymous source’ so they could interview him and get to the bottom of this…

Prosecutors then introduced a series of emails from agents in the Chicago field office who were investigating or overseeing the matter and requesting they be given access to the source.

In one Oct. 3, 2016, email, agent Heide wrote to Gaynor, “We really want to interview the source of all this information. Any way we can track down who this guy is and how we’re getting this information?”

Supervisory Special Agent Daniel Wierzbicki followed up: “An interview with the source of info … may allow us to understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the white paper.”

Gaynor responded that it was being discussed at headquarters, but did not provide the identity of the source.

Gaynor claims that he didn’t know Sussman was working on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, and that if he had know it that would have changed the way he handled the ‘hold’.

However, and interestingly, Sussman’s lawyer points out that the FBI knew in the past that Sussman had been working on behalf of the DNC:

On Monday, he said he may have come to a different conclusion about the hold hindering the investigation if he had known Sussmann was acting as an attorney for the Clinton camp when he turned over the information.

According to Gaynor, that knowledge could have “impacted the way I viewed the close hold” and that it would have been more of “an issue on the close hold on the hinder side.”

Gaynor added that had he known the source was motivated by politics or someone with a business interest that overlapped with the bureau, he may not have ever volunteered to act as a point person at agency headquarters.

During cross examination, defense attorney Michael Bosworth repeatedly tried to poke holes in Gaynor’s previous statements to investigators, highlighting a number of instances in which the agency testified that he knew Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.

In sworn testimony before the grand jury in the case, Gaynor even conflated Sussmann and the DNC as the source of the information.

Honestly I could see this both ways. I could believe that Gaynor didn’t know about Sussman’s political connections because Sussman lied about it all. But I could also believe that Gaynor and the FBI did know that Sussman was a political operative and ignored it to see if they could find anything legit to stop Trump. Either one is plausible to me.

Whatever the case, it’s more than clear to me that Sussman lied and I hope they throw the book at him…and eventually Hillary Clinton.

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