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Binney: NSA Has 32 Pages of Communications Between Seth Rich—Julian Assange

Bill Binney, one of the founding fathers of the NSA, and universally acknowledged to be one of the most brilliant people who ever worked for the U.S. government, has offered clarification on this issue in a brief interview with Ed Butowsky he gave two days ago.

In this interview, he offers a devastating rebuke of the fraudulence of the Mueller report's analysis of "Russian hacking". But the truly fascinating part occurs at about 6:40, where Binney discusses Clevenger's FOIA request.

Here's what Binney says:

"Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange.

And they responded by saying we've got 15 files, 32 pages, but they're all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can't have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that's the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices."
 link to medium.com

Bill Binney States that the NSA Has 32 Pages of Communications Between Seth Rich and Julian Assange, As Revealed by a FOIA Request

Mark F. McCarty
Apr 19

About six months ago, a blogpost by "Publius Tacitus" appeared regarding attorney Ty Clevenger's FOIA request regarding Seth Rich:

"But now there is new information that may corroborate what the human sources quoted in the Fox article claimed about Seth's role in getting the DNC documents to Wikileaks. Borne from a FOIA request filed in November 2017 by attorney Ty Clevenger, who requested any information regarding Seth Rich and Julian Assange. The NSA informed Clevenger in a letter dated 4 October 2018 that:

Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph © of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET.

If NSA had come back and said, "No, we do not have anything pertaining to Seth Rich," that would have been news. It would have been especially unwelcome news for those who believe that Seth was the source on the DNC emails. But now the opposite is true. The NSA says that it has documents that are classified TS and S. What do those documents say or prove? That remains to be seen."

DNC Emails--A Seth Attack Not a Russian Hack by Publius Tacitus

If Russia had actually "hacked" the DNC emails then the National Security Agency would have had proof of such activity...
turcopolier.typepad.com

At the time this appeared, I felt that it was of high significance, but I wasn't quite sure what it meant. What is meant by "any information regarding Julian Assange and Seth Rich?" Reports generated within the NSA that mention both? Communications in which either mentions the other? Direct communications between the two? What was the actual language of Clevenger's request?

The final sentence of the blogpost seems to muddy the waters even more:

Eighth, the NSA has confirmed that it has Top Secret and Secret documents responsive to a FOIA request for information concerning contact between Seth Rich and other people including Julian Assange.

"And other people"?

Although I was somewhat confused by the meaning of this revelation, I commented on its significance. At the very least, it meant that the view that Seth was the source of the Wikileaks DNC releases was more than the brainless and callous conspiracy theory that mainstream media were making it out to be.

So Why Does the NSA Have 32 Pages of Secret/Top Secret Documents on Seth Rich?

Most people probably missed this intriguing blogpost by Publius Tacitus which appeared yesterday.:
 link to medium.com

Fortunately, Bill Binney, one of the founding fathers of the NSA, and universally acknowledged to be one of the most brilliant people who ever worked for the U.S. government, has offered clarification on this issue in a brief interview with Ed Butowsky he gave two days ago.

In this interview, he offers a devastating rebuke of the fraudulence of the Mueller report's analysis of "Russian hacking". But the truly fascinating part occurs at about 6:40, where Binney discusses Clevenger's FOIA request.

Here's what Binney says:

"Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange.

And they responded by saying we've got 15 files, 32 pages, but they're all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can't have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that's the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices."

If Binney is interpreting this correctly — and bear in mind that, not only is he extraordinarily bright, but he is sometimes referred to as "the father of the NSA" — this provides strong support for the hypothesis that Seth was indeed Wikileaks' source for the DNC emails it published. Assange has strongly hinted at this, Sy Hersh claims to have a trusted informant inside the FBI who states that he has seen FBI documents verifying this, and Binney himself says that he has two sources inside the intel community vouching for this.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUoE8UecC0

(Go to the 8:30 mark — Binney inadvertently refers to "Seth" when he means "Sy".)

Consistent with the possibility that Seth (or some other DNC employee) leaked the documents, Binney and colleagues have recently demonstrated that the DNC documents passed through a thumbdrive prior to their publication. There would have been no obvious need for such a transfer if Russians had hacked them remotely.

Beyond that, as Binney makes clear, the Mueller report's tale of how Wikileaks received the DNC emails from GRU agents styling themselves as "Guccifer 2.0" is absurd on its face to reasonable people who will examine the pertinent evidence.
Mueller's New Indictment — Do the Feds Take Us for Idiots?!

According to Adam Carter's G2.0 website, on June 12th, 2016,
 link to medium.com

Astute cyberanalysts such as Adam Carter, the Forensicator, and Binney himself have presented compelling evidence that, far from being a Russian hacker masquerading as Romanian, G2.0 has operated in US time zones, down-loaded some of his "hacks" via thumbdrive, purposely implanted "Russian fingerprints" in the meta-data of some of his releases, made amateur attempts to impersonate a Russian using intermittently broken English, and never himself published any documents denigratory to the Clinton campaign. The GRU, if indeed they had hacked the DNC, would have had no need for such a ridiculous figure — but G2.0 functions wonderfully as a vehicle for incriminating Russia as the source of the DNC emails published by Wikileaks, tarring Russia and Assange with the same brush. G2.0's contact with Wikileaks shortly (too shortly!) before the Wikileaks DNC release was evidently an attempt to produce a false trail that investigators (i.e. Mueller) could point to as G2.0's hand-off of the DNC emails to Wikleaks.

And here's another intriguing point. Crowdstrike's co-founder Shawn Henry used to be Mueller's deputy at the FBI, acting as head of the counterintelligence division. Adam Carter informs me that, while Henry headed that division, it made an attempt to destroy Wikileaks' reputation by feeding it documents that had been purposely altered; fortunately, Wikileaks exercised its customary caution and refused to take the bait. G2.0 — very likely a creation of Crowdstrike — appears to have been another attempt to smear Wikileaks, one that has worked wonderfully well with much of the American public. Clinton's incompetence was expiated, Wikileaks was smeared, and the Russia was further defamed, all in one stroke — the Deep State's wet dream! Assange became, not a journalist working with an American whistleblower disgusted by the gross bias of the DNC against Bernie, but instead a tool of malign Russians intent on meddling in our democracy and saddling us with the ridiculous Trump.

And, as to Seth Rich's mysterious death, ask yourself this: who would have been in a perfect position to destroy the "Russian hacking" narrative that Clinton's campaign and Crowdstrike had decided to run with?

So let's push to get the real story out. And, if it turns out that Binney is right, we'll need to apologize to Russia, and then decide whom to send to prison for the rest of their miserable prevaricating lives.

homepage: homepage: http://medium.com/@markfmccarty/bill-binney-states-that-the-nsa-has-32-pages-of-communications-between-seth-rich-and-julian-54a2df5a0e5b


Bill Binney 21.Apr.2019 10:26

vimeo

In this interview, he offers a devastating rebuke of the fraudulence of the Mueller report's analysis of "Russian hacking". But the truly fascinating part occurs at about 6:40, where Binney discusses Clevenger's FOIA request.

Here's what Binney says:

"Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange.

And they responded by saying we've got 15 files, 32 pages, but they're all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can't have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that's the only business that NSA is in—copying communications between people and devices."

If Binney is interpreting this correctly—and bear in mind that, not only is he extraordinarily bright, but he is sometimes referred to as "the father of the NSA"—this provides strong support for the hypothesis that Seth was indeed Wikileaks' source for the DNC emails it published. Assange has strongly hinted at this, Sy Hersh claims to have a trusted informant inside the FBI who states that he has seen FBI documents verifying this, and Binney himself says that he has two sources inside the intel community vouching for this.


^ vimeo URL, 21.Apr.2019 10:27

again



Can Timing and Technology Shatter Russian Hack Fake News? 21.Apr.2019 11:08

with Special Guest Bill Binney

Streamed live on Mar 1, 2019

Bill Binney provides a forensic analysis of unauthorized DNC data access that led to Russian hacking allegations.


absolute nonsense 22.Apr.2019 09:22

.

if you actually read the mueller report, it is clear that, based on the established timeline, seth rich was already dead when the leaks happened. the fact that hannity and assange seized on rich was very obviously to distract from the actual source of the leaks, which has already been established in the previous indictments against the 12 GRU officers. nobody bothered to pay attention to that i guess

RE: "when the leaks happened" — You mean, were released by WikiLeaks? 22.Apr.2019 22:04

Nice Try / But You Lose

before WikiLeaks released them,

the information had to be obtained. Seth Rich was still alive, at the time of the obtaining/'stealing' (prior to it being actually 'leaked') of the information.


RE: "actual source of the leaks / 12 GRU officers" ??
Huh?
what _specific_ "leaks" are you talking about?

There was a lot of information leaked (not all of it via WikiLeaks either) about the 2016 campaign, DNC and related topics in the 2015-2016 timeframe. Here is specifically being discussed the information about the DNC emails [leaking of] which resulted in the immediately-following resignation of Deb Wasserman Schultz from her position as DNC Chairman.


*---> No supportable or documentable evidence is provided in Mueller's report about the *_actual_* source of the DNC email leaks.

Mueller's report is (as was long expected) a NOTHINGBURGER.

This goes back to last summer 23.Apr.2019 09:48

Clyde

There was a very thorough indictment laid out that specifically describes the leaks as having come from the actions of a group of GRU officers. I think people who are up on the Seth Rich conspiracy angle seem to forget this:  https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download

I still haven't read through the Mueller report yet but the parts I have seen are pretty far from a nothingburger. Destroying evidence, lying to investigators, it's a real rollercoaster ride! Weird stuff for someone innocent to be doing.

the "GRU officers" conspiracy theory courtesy of Mueller & WaPo 23.Apr.2019 21:30

_

THere is no proof of where the ( published-by-WikiLeaks ) DNC emails 'came from'.

the "GRU officers" theory is solely published by DOJ, Mueller, and Washington Post. Back in July 2018 (long prior to official release of Special Counsel's report) it was "news".

Please post another source for the "GRU officers" stuff (if you are able).


Seth Rich may ? remain a 'conspiracy theory' as well, but based on what William Binney states in the ^ originally posted videos here it is far more plausible, direct and obvious than the "Russian intelligence agents 'hacked' the 2016 Democrats" cold-war  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2019/04/437358.shtml spy novel trash.

Especially since much other evidence, particularly surrounding the famed 'piss dossier' and its creation/dissemination, points to a U.K.-U.S. intelligence agencies-and-contacts setup of the Trump campaign to self-incriminate for 'spying'. Aka a sting operation coordinated by the Obama adminstration DOJ, State Department and CIA/NSA along with U.K. intel groups for an "insurance policy" in case Trump won the 2016 election.

see Papadopoulos :  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2019/03/437316.shtml

I'll poke around 24.Apr.2019 07:22

Clyde

There is another document somewhere that lends a lot more weight to the GRU angle. I think the indictment itself is probably one of the most damning things to come from the entire Mueller investigation, honestly, especially if you have read more stuff from the computer security side of things. It's pretty thorough. I've unfortunately been taking care of a sick family member for the past few months so I've only been following this in the most casual way and not paying attention to this site too much, but I'll have a little free time later today (hopefully).

I don't really think the dossier should be considered in terms of the actual DNC hack. That is a different tentacle of this whole beast and doesn't necessarily relate (and I agree that some of the stuff in there is pretty wild and unlikely. That's what you get with RUMINT/HUMINT though)

Dossier _must_ absolutely be considered in terms of the DNC 24.Apr.2019 21:22

_

"hack" [ corporate media and U.S. DOJ terminology ],

when in fact the email security of various top Democrat officials was compromised by those same officials' lack of care in exercising basic everyday online security protocols (e.g. secure passwords).

Dossier was the predicate for what occurred during the summer of 2016 with Dem/GOP conventions; latter with Trump being the 'expected' nominee at that point, much to chagrin of top GOP officials, neocons, corporate leaders, corporate mass media, and other elite entities who spent millions $$$ to prevent DT from even being nominated; all while Obama administration DOJ/CIA/FBI/CIA/NSA along with U.K.-Australia intel operatives concocted the dossier-based international intelligence operations 'campaign' against Trump's presidential campaign.

Evidence trail for a 180-degrees boomerang effect from the Obama-adminstration-sanctioned spying on and 'honeypot trapping' of the Trump campaign into violation of campaign laws and other international espionage is now irrefutable. What remains is for 1) corporate media to actually publicize and investigatively report on these aspects, and 2) the DOJ and other elements of Trump administration to follow up on prosecution of these crimes (which has been hinted at, mainly via Trump's tweets, for at least a year now).

Issuance of the Mueller report in full, is only further confirmation and documentation ( see Dossier, actions of key FBI and DOJ officials, not to mention CIA and NSA agencies+top officials) of this massive U.S. government operation against the Trump 2016 run.



Here's the documented-annotated-REFERENCED 'Spygate' timeline ( with a helpful infographic ) :

 https://www.theepochtimes.com/spygate-the-true-story-of-collusion_2684629.html


More (from a computer security expert's angle) on the 'automatic' / default attribution of the DNC cybersecurity breach to "Russia" / Russian operatives :


Attributing the DNC Hacks to Russia — 24.Apr.2019 21:24

Schneier on Security

>


FBI Texts: Strzok/Page Discuss Recriuting WH Sources as Spies 25.Apr.2019 21:54

sc

FBI Texts Show Agents Discussed Recruiting White House Sources To Spy For Bureau

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 04/25/2019 - 21:55

Via SaraCarter.com,

Senior Republican chairmen submitted a letter Thursday to Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr revealing new texts from former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page showing the pair had discussed attempts to recruit sources within the White House to allegedly spy on the Trump administration.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson revealed the information in a three page letter. The texts had been obtained by SaraACarter.com Tuesday and information regarding the possible attempt to recruit White House sources had been divulged by several sources to this news site last week.

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House - Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock, whose wife was working as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server. A senior White House official told this news site that Pitcock's wife recused herself from the Clinton investigation as soon as Pence and Trump became the Republican nominees in July 2016. A senior law enforcement official also told SaraACarter.com that Pitcock's wife no longer worked under Strzok after she recused herself from the Clinton investigation.

However, the text messages uncovered from November, 2016 and have left questions lingering about the relationship between Strzok, Pitcock and his wife among congressional investigators and lawmakers.

"The course of our oversight work we have reviewed certain text messages that may show potential attempts by the FBI to conduct surveillance of President-elect Trump's transition team," the letter states. "In text messages exchanged between former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, the two discussed the possibility of developing "potential relationships" at a November 2016 FBI briefing for presidential transition team staff. Specifically, it appears they discussed sending "the CI guy" to assess an unnamed person 'demeanor' but were concerned because it might be unusual for him to attend."

The Senators are investigating if any "of these communications, and the precise purpose of any attempts to 'develop relationships' with Trump or VP Mike Pence transition team staff are not immediately clear."

"Were these efforts done to gain better communication between the respective parties, or were the briefings used as intelligence gathering operations? Further, did any such surveillance activities continue beyond the inauguration, and in the event they did, were those activities subject to proper predication," the letter states.

"Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed."

The Texts

A few weeks after the presidential election, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page discussed the logistics for the briefing. Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page said the following:

Strzok: Talking with Bill. Do we want Joe to go with Evanina instead of Charli for a variety of reasons?

(Strzok is referring to former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence division Bill Priestap. 'Joe is referencing FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in January, 2017. And Evanina is in reference to William Evanina, National Counterintelligence and Security Center.)

Page: Hmm. Not sure. Would it be unusual to have [sic] show up again? Maybe another agent from the team?

Strzok: Or, he's "the CI guy." Same.might [sic] make sense. He can assess if there [sic] are any news [sic] Qs, or different demeanor. If Katie's husband is there, he can see if there are people we can develop for potential relationships

Page: Should I ask Andy about it? Or Bill (Priestap) want to reach out for Andy (McCabe)?Strzok: I told him I'm sure we could ask you to make the swap if we thought it.

FBI Seeks Sources In White House

There was one major connection in the White House. According to documents, White House sources and the FBI one of FBI's top counterintelligence analysts who was personally working for former FBI Special Agent Strzok had a spouse working directly for Vice President Mike Pence.

The White House and the FBI told this news site that she had recused herself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server and working for Strzok as soon as Pence and Trump announced they were the candidates for the party.

The FBI asked that her name be kept private as not to reveal her identity. Her identity, however is revealed in the texts below. But this news site is withholding her last name for security reasons.

An FBI Intelligence analyst named Katherine, is married to Joshua Pitcock. Katherine's name is different from her husbands. Pitcock worked for Pence as his Chief of Staff from January, 2017 until he resigned in August, 2017.

Prior to accepting his then new role at the White House, he had served as a senior Trump campaign official and long time aide to Pence.

Katherine had been detailed to Strzok and according to sources was one of the top analysts in the investigation into Hillary Clinton, according to federal law enforcement sources and U.S. officials.

Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. He was fired after an extensive review by Inspector General Michael Horowitz's office into the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation and was removed from Mueller's team after the IG discovered his anti-Trump text messages to his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.

A senior White House official told SaraACarter.com that it is "our understanding that as soon as the President and Vice President accepted the nomination, she recused herself for the entire time after they were officially the nominees from anything that would have spill over to the White House."
FBI officials could not immediately respond for comment.

Trump announced Pence as his pick on July 15, 2016. They officially became nominees on July 21, 2016 at the Republican convention. This means, Katherine was working on the Russia investigation with Strzok prior to that time frame. Strzok's direct involvement and actions during the investigation will more than likely lead to criminal charges, a source with knowledge told SaraACarter.com.

A former senior intelligence official who spoke to this news-site said "my concern about this is the potential for information to flow from her to her husband to spin any information that the Vice President may or may not have heard during that time frame." The former intelligence source said the connection raises questions regarding information that may have moved from the FBI into the vice president's orbit "regarding former (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn)," they added.

The senior White House official responded saying, "she was recused from that investigation before he was ever sworn into office. That didn't happen."

However, "the texts leave many questions unanswered and appear to show that Strzok was in communication with Pitcock on some level," the intelligence official added.

During the time Pitcock served as chief of staff, Flynn became the highest profile target of the now debunked investigation into the campaign.

In the letter Grassley and Johnson refer to Barr's testimony "during your April 10, 2019, testimony before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, you stated that you are looking into the 'genesis and conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.' You further stated that 'spying did occur,' and that you believe it is your obligation to look into the question of whether surveillance activities by the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation (FBI) or other intelligence agencies were adequately predicated."

"We share your concerns about these activities, and are troubled by the apparent unauthorized disclosures of surveillance efforts and other classified information during the same time period," the Chairmen state in the letter. "We bring to your attention information that may assist your review.
Page Two of The Letter

Questions for Attorney General Barr April 25, 2019

Please describe the nature and extent o f your review o f FBI surveillance o f the Trump Campaign, President-elect Trump's transition staff, Vice President- elect Pence's transition staff, President Trump's staff, and Vice President Pence's staff, including your efforts to determine whether that surveillance was adequately predicated.

How many counter-intelligence briefings were provided to the Trump and Pence transition staffs prior to Inauguration Day? Please list the dates, all agencies involved, and each official that represented those agencies at the briefings.

Many of the FBI employees involved in these activities are no longer employed by the federal government. How will your review obtain information needed from these individuals?

Will you commit to providing the results of your review once completed?

What steps have you taken to investigate whether DOJ or FBI officials hadunauthorized contacts with the media during the Russia investigation?

We anticipate that your written reply and most responsive documents will be unclassified. Please send all unclassified material directly to each Committee. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to each Committee, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security. Although our Committees comply with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, they are not bound, absent prior agreement, by any handling restrictions.


Obama WH Engaged Ukraine For Early Boost To Russia Collusion Narrative 25.Apr.2019 21:58

The Hill

How the Obama White House engaged Ukraine to give Russia collusion narrative an early boost

By John Solomon, opinion contributor — 04/25/19 07:00 PM EDT

As Donald Trump began his meteoric rise to the presidency, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to coordinate ongoing anti-corruption efforts inside Russia's most critical neighbor.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine's top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama's National Security Council (NSC), the FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn't take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans' objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden's family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump.

U.S. officials "kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united," said Andrii Telizhenko, then a political officer in the Ukraine embassy in Washington tasked with organizing the meeting.

Telizhenko, who no longer works for the Ukraine embassy, said U.S. officials volunteered during the meetings — one of which was held in the White House's Old Executive Office Building — that they had an interest in reviving a closed investigation into payments to U.S. figures from Ukraine's Russia-backed Party of Regions.

That 2014 investigation was led by the FBI and focused heavily on GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort, whose firm long had been tied to Trump through his partner and Trump pal, Roger Stone.

Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin, and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying.

The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort.

Telizhenko said he couldn't remember whether Manafort was mentioned during the January 2016 meeting. But he and other attendees recalled DOJ officials asking investigators from Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could help locate new evidence about the Party of Regions' payments and its dealings with Americans.

"It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election," he said.

That makes the January 2016 meeting one of the earliest documented efforts to build the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative and one of the first to involve the Obama administration's intervention.

Spokespeople for the NSC, DOJ and FBI declined to comment. A representative for former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did not return emails seeking comment.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.

But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election. Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort — a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions — was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman: "Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious."

Kholodnytskyy said he explicitly instructed NABU investigators who were working with American authorities not to share the ledger with the media. "Look, Manafort's case is one of the cases that hurt me a lot," he said.

"I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort.

"For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial," he added.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general's international affairs office, said that, shortly after Ukrainian authorities returned from the Washington meeting, there was a clear message about helping the Americans with the Party of the Regions case.

"Yes, there was a lot of talking about needing help and then the ledger just appeared in public," he recalled.

Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures, such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych's party. But the Americans weren't interested: "They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else."

Manafort joined Trump's campaign on March 29, 2016, and then was promoted to campaign chairman on May 19, 2016.

NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU's release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine's parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The other case raised at the January 2016 meeting, he said, involved Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company under investigation in Ukraine for improper foreign transfers of money. At the time, Burisma allegedly was paying then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, as both a board member and a consultant. More than $3 million flowed from Ukraine to an American firm tied to Hunter Biden in 2014-15, bank records show.

Telizhenko said U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

The Ukrainian embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.

"Unfortunately, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., was not invited to join the DOJ and other law enforcement-sector meetings," it said. It said it had no record that the Party of Regions or Burisma cases came up in the meetings it did attend.

Ukraine is riddled with corruption, Russian meddling and intense political conflicts, so one must carefully consider any Ukrainian accounts.

But Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort probe as the 2016 election ramped up is supported by the DOJ's own documents, including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.

DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution.

"Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions' Black Cashbox," Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU's release of the documents.

Bruce Ohr and Steele worked on their own effort to get dirt on Manafort from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who had a soured business relationship with him. Deripaska was "almost ready to talk" to U.S. government officials regarding the money that "Manafort stole," Bruce Ohr wrote in notes from his conversations with Steele.

The efforts eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous.

Previously, Politico reported that the Ukraine Embassy in Washington assisted Clinton's campaign through a DNC contractor. The Ukraine Embassy acknowledges it got requests for assistance from the DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort but denies it provided any improper assistance.

Now we have more concrete evidence that the larger Ukrainian government also was being pressed by the Obama administration to help build the Russia collusion narrative. And that onion is only beginning to be peeled.

But what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report.