Transcript suggests Obama White House pressured intelligence agencies to blame Russia

Newly released documents from the FBI suggest that the Obama White House pushed intelligence agencies to publicly blame the Russians for email leaks from the Democratic National Committee to Wikileaks.

This afternoon I received an undated (and heavily redacted) transcript of an interview of James Rybicki, former chief of staff to former FBI Director James Comey, that includes this excerpt: “So we understand that at some point in October of 2016, there was, I guess, a desire by the White House to make some kind of statement about Russia’s…” and then the next page is omitted.

The comment is made by an unidentified prosecutor from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel or “OSC,” not to be confused with the office of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller (the OSC is a permanent office that investigates Hatch Act violations, and Mr. Comey was under investigation for trying to influence the 2016 Presidential election).

The context of the statement makes it all the more interesting, because the OSC prosecutors were noting that the FBI publicized its reactivation of the Clinton email investigation shortly before the 2016 election, and they were wondering why the FBI did not counterbalance that by publicizing the “Russian collusion” investigation into Donald Trump. In that setting, one of the prosecutors then commented that the White House wanted some kind of statement made about Russia. [Continued on page 2].