Elder Patriot – FBI agent Joe Pientka’s name first came up in connection with Peter Strzok and the initial interview of President Trump’s then-National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
He was the other agent in the room during the interview. Efforts by Congressional Republicans to have him testify were squashed by the DOJ that was under the direction of Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
On January 18, Pientka’s name again surfaced in an article written by The Epoch Times Jeff Carlson.
Carlson had come into possession of a series of leaked transcripts of FISA-Gate participants and was focusing on the testimony of the FBI’s former top attorney, James Baker.
Carlson has been doing yeoman’s work uncovering the corruption that engulfed Obama’s intelligence community during the FISA-Gate scandal.
During Carlson’s discussion of Baker’s testimony regarding his role in the scandal and whether he was aware of Bruce Ohr’s warning that the Steele Dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign and likely little more than unverified propaganda, Agent Pientka’s name came up again:
When asked whether he was aware of Bruce Ohr’s warning to the FBI, Baker responded, “I don’t recall ever hearing that before just right now.” Baker told lawmakers he was aware Ohr served as Steele’s back-channel to the FBI, but said he was unaware, however, that Ohr’s FBI handler, agent Joe Pientka, funneled the intelligence to FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.
That’s worth a re-read. Christopher Steele’s point man for seeding his Clinton-funded opposition research to the FBI after he was ostensibly fired by the Bureau for leaking to the media was Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Ohr’s handler at the FBI was Joe Pientka.
The significance of this escaped me when I first read it but Brian Cates writing at The Epoch Times recognized the importance of that snippet of testimony:
To continue receiving Trump-Russia collusion propaganda from opposition research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele—who had been hired by Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC—the FBI established a backchannel through former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr at the Department of Justice. After every meeting with Steele, Ohr would sit down for an interview with FBI Special Agent Joseph Pientka, who would fill out official FD-302 interview forms to pass on the information within the FBI.
Why, if the the FBI trusted the evidence enough to include it in a series of FISA applications would a back channel be necessary?
Will the FD-302’s match Ohr’s handwritten notes? Cates’ theory is that they won’t which would mean Pientka was laundering his records to hide the origin of Steele’s information.
If Cates is correct then the FBI, which had already terminated Steele, had moved from evidence gathering to information laundering. The back channel, according to Cates, offered at least a modicum of cover.
At the time Team Clinton operatives – Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson, Cody Shearer, as well as Clinton acolyte Jonathan Winer at the State Department, were busy “flooding the zone” to add heft to the flimsy, unverified Dossier.
They were seeding the media so that the plethora of reporting – all originating from one source aka circular reporting – would convince the FISA judge that when there’s that much smoke a warrant would be appropriate to find the fire. Except it was all based on the same opposition propaganda.
If Cate’s theory is correct then he expects:
“it’s highly likely that when Bruce Ohr’s personal notes from his meetings with Fusion GPS are compared with the official FD-302 interview forms that Agent Pientka filled out following his interviews with Ohr, they are not going to match when it comes to what the stated source was for the Trump-Russia information.”
Cate’s article was circulated on January 23rd. Less than forty-eight hours later the splashy, “over-the-top” arrest of Roger Stone was dominating the news.
Funny how that always seems to be the case whenever anything breaks President Trump’s way.