Why Did James Comey Issue "Stand Down" Order On Imminent Deal With Julian Assange?

A "stand down" order given by James Comey to kill an imminent deal between the US Government and Julian Assange preceded the largest leak in CIA history, known as "Vault 7," reports John Solomon of The Hill. Assange was willing to redact the names of CIA employees, and also offered to provide technical evidence which would rule out "certain parties" (such as Russia) in the DNC email hack.

In short, Comey killed advanced negotiations with the WikiLeaks founder that would have safeguarded the lives of CIA agents who are now at risk, while also providing key evidence in the ongoing Russia investigations. For the longer version, keep reading. 

In January of 2017, Julian Assange's legal team approached Clinton-linked D.C. lobbyist Adam Waldman to reach out and see if anyone in the Trump administration would negotiate with the WikiLeaks founder. 

Waldman, who acted as an intermediary from 2009 - 2011 between Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and the FBI, worked for Assange pro bono. Assange's bargaining chip was a massive trove of CIA technical documents known as "Vault 7," which detailed the agency's massive cyber-warfare arsenal. 

After Assange's team made contact, Waldman reached out to Bruce Ohr - a DOJ official who would later be demoted in December, 2017 for failing to disclose secret meetings with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Bruce's wife, Nellie Ohr was hired by Fusion GPS as part of an ongoing anti-Trump effort. Fusion also produced the 35-page "Steele Dossier," written by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele.

[As an aside, Waldman also promised Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) access to Steele in late March of 2017, which fell through weeks later after Steele got cold feet. So Waldman is a "deep-state middleman" of sorts.]

Waldman and Ohr would meet in person on Feb. 3, 2017 in Washington, while Waldman and Assange met three times in London.

After Assange made clear that he would be open to redactions at most to protect the names of exposed officials, Ohr took Assange's offer up the chain of command at the DOJ - which by and large held Assange in contempt

Although the intelligence community reviled Assange for the damage his past releases caused, officials “understood any visibility into his thinking, any opportunity to negotiate any redactions, was in the national security interest and worth taking,” says a senior official involved at the time. -The Hill

(To reiterate, James Comey killed a deal that would have protected CIA officials in the line of duty and ostensibly ruled out Russia in the election leaks.)

After Ohr ran Assange's offer up the flagpole, the DOJ assigned federal prosecutor David Laufman - an accomplished prosecutor and then-head of the DOJ's counterintelligence and export controls section. 

Waldman, Assange's lobbyist, then contacted Laufman - where he laid out the groundwork for a deal that would grant Assange limited immunity and a one-time "safe passage" to leave the London embassy and talk with US officials. 

The shuttle diplomacy soon resulted in an informal offer — known in government parlance as a “Queen for a Day” proffer — in which Assange identified what he wanted and what he might give. -The Hill

Laufman also "put an offer on the table from the intelligence community to help Assange assess how some hostile foreign powers might be infiltrating or harming WikiLeaks staff." 

Amid the negotiations, and perhaps to show the US government that he was serious, Assange released his first Vault 7 leak on March 7, 2017 - around 8,000 pages of documents concerning the CIA's cyber weapons. The talks continued since US officials were very concerned about the remainder of Assange's leaks.

“Dear David, I relayed our conversations to Assange and he had a generally positive view of it,” Waldman wrote Laufman in mid-March.

The shuttle diplomacy soon resulted in an informal offer — known in government parlance as a “Queen for a Day” proffer — in which Assange identified what he wanted and what he might give. -The Hill

Three weeks later on March 28, 2017, Waldman wrote Laufman with an advanced offer: “Subject to adequate and binding protections, including but not limited to an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement, Mr. Assange welcomes the opportunity to discuss with the U.S. government risk mitigation approaches relating to CIA documents in WikiLeaks’ possession or control, such as the redaction of agency personnel in hostile jurisdictions and foreign espionage risks to WikiLeaks staff.

Assange was also willing to discuss technical evidence which would rule out certain parties in the DNC leaks during the 2016 election - which the US Government believes were hacked by Russia - a charge Assange denies. 

“Mr. Assange offered to provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases,” Waldman told The Hill's Solomon. “Finally, he offered his technical expertise to the U.S. government to help address what he perceived as clear flaws in security systems that led to the loss of the U.S. cyber weapons program.”

Inside Justice and the intelligence community, confidence grew that perhaps the mercurial Assange might adapt how he released classified information.

“As we give continued consideration to the substance of your proposed proffer, please clarify a procedural point,” Laufman wrote Waldman in early April. The government wanted to know if Assange’s demand for “safe passage” meant him coming to America, or just leaving the London embassy for meetings there.

What U.S. officials did not fully comprehend was that an earlier event weighed heavily on the Assange team’s distrust of U.S. intentions. -The Hill

Several days after the negotiations with Assange began, Warner reached out to Senator Warner to see if Senate Intelligence Committee staff desired any contact with Assange as part of their investigations. 

Warner then reached out to James Comey - who ordered a stand-down.

“He told me he had just talked with Comey and that, while the government was appreciative of my efforts, my instructions were to stand down, to end the discussions with Assange,” Waldman told The Hill

In disbelief at the news, Waldman went back to Laufman - who said "You are not standing down and neither am I." 

Waldman couldn’t believe a U.S. senator and the FBI chief were sending a different signal, so he went back to Laufman, who assured him the negotiations were still on. “What Laufman said to me after he heard I was told to ‘stand down’ by Warner and Comey was, ‘That’s bullshit. You are not standing down and neither am I,’” Waldman recalled.

A source familiar with Warner’s interactions says the senator’s contact on the Assange matter was limited and was shared with Senate Intelligence chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). But the source acknowledges that  Warner consulted Comey and passed along the “stand down” instructions to Waldman: “That did happen.” -The Hill

And with that, Assange got cold feet and backed out of the deal - releasing the entire "Vault 7" trove of information for which the DOJ just indicted former CIA computer engineer, Joshua Adam Schulte. And the rest is history. 

Comments

otschelnik Tue, 06/26/2018 - 07:37 Permalink

Why Did James Comey Issue "Stand Down" Order On Imminent Deal With Julian Assange?

- That's easy.  A deal with Assange would have destroyed the 'muh Russia' narrative and forced the FBI to investigate the Seth Rich murder. Oh, and cyber security be damned. 

Robot Traders Mom Rothbardian in… Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:02 Permalink

One, they're not after him. Do you really think the US government has a problem getting to people they want to get to? If you say yes, we have nothing else to talk about because that is absolute lunacy. 

 

Julian Assange is the same guy that said "9/11 truthers annoy me," which I would say is the litmus test for truth/bullshit. 

 

How much has he given us that we already didn't know? We've known the government was spying on us for decades. All he does is add to this kabuki theater, nothing more. If the government didn't want you to know about him, he wouldn't be in the media every single day. 

 

In reply to by Rothbardian in…

bigkahuna Robot Traders Mom Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:23 Permalink

The deep state trying to deep six inconvenient facts.

Anyone with any tech background knows that the dnc can determine how their data was compromised and point conclusive evidence at who did it.

The evidence does not point to a "hack" - if it did, they would have released the forensic evidence and paraded it up and down the msm to get in Trump's face. There is NO EVIDENCE of any hack.

There IS evidence of an exfiltration where an insider walked up to a server, took a usb drive and copied data over and left the building with it. Then mysteriously not long after Assange ended up with the data - Seth Rich was murdered. That is pretty open and shut right there - and it is really nasty that the murder case evidence being so clear - Nobody has been charged or arrested for the Rich murder. These people get away with murder - even the sloppy job they did on Rich.

In reply to by Robot Traders Mom

Dickweed Wang Zerogenous_Zone Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

Assange was also willing to discuss technical evidence which would rule out certain parties in the DNC leaks during the 2016 election - which the US Government believes were hacked by Russia . . .

 

The US government knows damn well that Russia had nothing whatsoever to do with the DNC leaks.  In fact, there's a really strong probability that they know that information came to Wikileaks from Seth Rich.  The government hasn't acknowledged any of that, or acted on it, due to political reasons, and because to do so would open a huge can of worms they are not prepared to deal with.  That whole situation is really fucked up.

In reply to by Zerogenous_Zone

chubbar Rothbardian in… Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:22 Permalink

Gator said "he got nothing" not "he has nothing". Assange has proof that Russia didn't hack the Clinton emails, something everyone knows because IT professionals have said the download speeds are too big to have been done over cable, it was a thumbdrive.

The big news is that Comey essentially committed treason because he knowingly failed to safeguard the identity of CIA agents in order to further the aims of the deep state to implicate Trump in Russia collusion. I hope that motherfucker hangs!

In reply to by Rothbardian in…

bigkahuna chubbar Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:41 Permalink

Guys like comey are protecting the clinton murder racket. Thats what happens when dirtbags get into law enforcement. comey / muler got their positions as director by kneeling down before the deep state gods and swargling their schmegma - they will not let comey go down because they go with him.

There are only 2 options to deal with this particular infestation.

1 - Marines, though most know that the military is about as dirty as the deep state itself

2 - We have to send a few million people up there and haul the dirtbags out ourselves.

In reply to by chubbar

prymythirdeye Rothbardian in… Tue, 06/26/2018 - 09:19 Permalink

So they say and so you think.  How do you really know the "deep state" is after him?  Ever thought about the fact that they're all actors playing their parts?  WTF has Assange really released that has changed anything.  Anything about the bankers?  About filthy big pharma?  About Israel?  About the city of London?  Nothing has changed, and nothing will change.  How long has Assange been "on the run" now?

In reply to by Rothbardian in…

telemann gatorengineer Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

As usual, Julians got NOTHING........

 

Julian's got so much he can destroy them.  He exposed the DNC/Clinton/Podesta corruption.  From the original article in The Hill:

The U.S. government knew he had a massive trove of documents from classified CIA computers, identifying sensitive assets and chronicling the agency’s offensive cyber warfare weapons.

 

That was Vault 7. Assange is not only a threat to the establishment, he's a figurehead, a symbol.  To succeed in their totalitarian globalist objectives, the establishment must destroy not only Assange but the very notion that anyone can safely expose what they do behind the scenes.  Why is he still alive?  I don't know.  It may have to do with the so-far inviolate status of diplomatic missions (embassies).  Or perhaps secret negotiations we don't know about.  Or -- it quite possibly may have to do with Assange's "dead man's switch" which will reveal seriously damaging information about some of the top power players should anything ever happen to him.  They know it is prearranged, and they fear it.    

In reply to by gatorengineer

MilwaukeeMark bhakta Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:03 Permalink

Per usual the forensic facts which would lead to the truth and the DNCs dirt will go unacknowledged by the left. By now they are so "bought in" to their Trump hatred that even showing them 8x10s of DWSchultz shooting Seth Rich in the back would be met with denial and claims it's not true. My Trump hating friends and family simply will not roll back 2 years of spewed hatred to admit they may have been duped by the likes of Hillary and Obama.

In reply to by bhakta

Chief Joesph otschelnik Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

The problem was, the FBI didn't do much of an investigation into Seth Rich's murder.  They only declared it a homicide, (which, of course, any idiot could see that he was shot).  On top of that, they originally tried to blame it as a theft gone bad, but Seth Rich didn't have any money or personal items stolen, because the FBI and the police inventoried what they found on his dead body.  So, You can only conclude, one of two things:

1. Clinton's own little mafia operation killed him,

2. Or, the FBI was intimately involved in Seth's murder.

And let's not forget that there were also Joe Montano, Victor Thorn, Shawn Lucas, Ron Brown, who all died within 6 weeks of each other.  What stands out about these men is, not so much that they were all associated with the Democratic party, , but none of the investigations into those deaths netted anything either.  So, either the FBI is terribly incompetent, or they are involved, and intentionally misinforming the public, in hopes that the deaths will eventually be forgotten.

In reply to by otschelnik