Bizarre interview implicates Obama higher-ups in political espionage

Less than 6 minute read

August 23, 2019

“You know, Martha, this may have been the craziest interview I’ve seen in my life.”

That’s what former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Thursday to Martha MacCallum on her show THE STORY after a (yes) crazy and convoluted interview she’d just had with former Overstock.com founder Patrick Byrne. What Byrne told her about participating in, as he characterized it, political espionage may have turned the investigation of FBI spying during the 2016 election upside down.

RELATED READING: Overstock CEO resigns after disclosing romance with Russian agent

On the other hand, it’s hard to know how seriously to take it. Lewandowski told Martha that as close as he was to Trump’s campaign, testifying before both the House and Senate as well as the Mueller team, he has never heard of Byrne. “There seems like a lot of black helicopters flying around this guy’s world,” he said, “things that he can’t talk about...I think we should dig deeper on him.”

With that in mind, on to the interview. This was an exclusive for Martha, obviously a hastily arranged segment, and she’s to be commended for trying to keep Byrne’s convoluted narrative on track. She asked all the right questions, but Byrne seemed intent on trying to condense everything that’s happened to him since the fall of 2015 into mere minutes, zipping forward and back in time, jumping from thought to thought, all the while steering clear of answering the most important questions.

Byrne had resigned that very day as CEO of Overstock.com, the company he built 20 years ago, claiming he had to do it for the good of the company because of his involvement now in this. He said he’s already provided documents to U.S. Attorney John Durham as part of the investigation into the origin of the “Trump/Russia” probe. “The bottom line is,” he said in a statement, “it’s a big cover up that was political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton, Rubio, Cruz and Donald Trump...I was a part of it. I thought I was doing law enforcement. Sorry.”

Byrne reportedly told FOX Business News that “I have all the answers” and “Attorney General Barr is about to sneak up and ram the Deep State submarine.”

Remember Maria Butina, the Russian gun-rights activist who is currently serving 18 months in jail for acting as a Russian agent? Byrne said he had a romantic relationship with her; first in 2015 (she approached him, he claimed) but that he started the relationship up again at the FBI’s request in early July of 2016, just when Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. The story of their relationship, as he told it to Martha, is sketchy, so for now I’ll focus not so much on that as on other aspects of Byrne’s dealings with the FBI.

Byrne described himself as a “flag-waving hippie” who had assisted the FBI a couple of times in the past, first to help solve the murder of his friend 17 years ago and then to “fight Wall Street” and “take down about a couple hundred people” about 12 years ago. He called it “an honor” to be asked to help. But in 2015, he said, the FBI got back in touch with him and gave him “some fishy orders.” He wouldn’t go into what they were, but he said he carried them out, thinking he was “conducting law enforcement.”

Whatever it was they asked him to do, Byrne said it wasn’t really the FBI running it, but people “at the top.” It wasn’t until last summer, he said, while he was watching the congressional hearings, that he realized the person who’d given him his orders must have been Peter Strzok, and that “Bill Priestap, Carlin, McCabe, Comey” were also involved.

He told Martha that for three years, he’d been watching the country being torn apart over “Russia,” and so he went to Warren Buffett (his “rabbi”) for advice. He said Buffett told him, “Patrick, you have to come forward.”

So he did, to confess that he was definitely involved in political espionage, and that it had been conducted against Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. He said he had to wait “until there was a return to a rule of law in our country” –- a reference to the appointment of AG Barr –- and then he went to the DOJ.

We’ve heard from John Solomon that people have been coming out of the woodwork at the eleventh hour to talk with Barr, Durham and Horowitz; perhaps Byrne is one of those.

One of Byrne’s most stunning claims was that some in law enforcement were “setting [Hillary] up to be blackmailed.” He said he couldn’t go into detail about that. He also said acquaintances warned him last fall that if he came forward, the entire town of Washington D.C. would destroy him and turn him “into dust.”

The upper-echelon FBI were so adamantly pro-Hillary, it’s hard to imagine what Byrne was talking about. Why damage Hillary? Not that there wouldn’t be something to blackmail her with: something even worse than what we already know about her, though that would have to be pretty bad, heaven knows. But perhaps someone even higher up had wanted something to hold over her to control her in the Oval Office. I’m just trying to make sense of Byrne’s “blackmail” claim; this is pure speculation on my part.

Byrne said Betina told him she’d been given instructions (he wouldn’t say by whom, except that “it wasn’t by the men in suits here”) to approach the campaigns of Clinton, Cruz, Rubio and Trump. In December of 2015, she said she’d checked off meeting someone in Clinton’s “circle” and was moving on to just the other three. At that point, “the interest of the United States government in doing anything about this went to zero.” He would tell the FBI what she had on her calendar, and they just said for him to leave it alone.

He insisted that “the FBI got hijacked from the top.” Three names were mentioned to him by FBI officials. They were in the Obama administration, but he would not say if Obama was one of them. He stressed that the people at the FBI were “men and women of honor.” But if he’s including the likes of Strzok (an “errand boy”), Page and Comey in his glowing assessment, that makes it hard to take him seriously.

But it’s in Barr’s hands now, and Durham’s. Mostly this tells me there’s much more to this story than we know. More names will emerge, some we’ve never heard before. I think it was Solomon who said we know about 30 percent of the story right now. The biggest mystery surrounding this interview is why Byrne would’ve been given the green light by AG Barr to come forward at this particular time.

For now, it’s impossible to know what to make of this. But here’s a parting thought: Byrne said that in December of 2015 –- which, remember, is seven months before the official investigation started –- “it was starting to seem like they were just deliberately letting this grenade develop on the Republicans; are they just gonna pull the pin on it someday?”

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Comments 1-25 of 29

  • Ricky Ledford

    10/31/2019 05:44 PM

    Are you asking about impeaching the US Oresident or Congress. Give it a thought!

  • Patricia Reffo

    08/25/2019 04:13 PM

    I have a question -- I just got an email from a man named Chris Kelley who wants to run against Ilhan Omar in Minnesota. He says he is a Minneapolis cop and an Iraq War Veteran. He is looking for help to defeat her in the next election, but I would like to know more about it. Is this something that your staff could check into and let people know about? If he is for real, I'm guessing that A LOT of folks would love to see him defeat her! Thank you for all the insight and information you provide!

  • Alan Doud

    08/25/2019 06:12 AM

    Whistle blowers and witnesses seem to die mostly suicided. They certainly ruin any future career.

  • Janis Tobin

    08/24/2019 10:40 PM

    Is Byrne a set up for FOX by the deep state? He was very coy throughout the interview and spent the entire time thinking out loud as if he was making up the whole story. Time will tell if this is a fairytale.

  • Thomas Rundall

    08/23/2019 10:25 PM

    This government is so corrupt. I’m glad we have Trump at the helm and AG Barr . I think we will see many of the corrupt black state players go down in flames.

  • Verlyn Steinbach

    08/23/2019 09:28 PM

    curioser, curioser , curioser

  • Dawn Street

    08/23/2019 07:38 PM

    Not too sure about his mental stability. He was all over the place. Residuals from his days as a hippie and smoking funny cigarettes and popping those pills??

  • JOYCE F BIRCH

    08/23/2019 07:36 PM

    This was one of the most bizarre interviews I've ever seen. I thought that he might have been on some type of medication. Another investigation!! Sounds fishy, but I'm sure he'll be the subject for a while. I just heard Sara Carter on Martha's show tonight say there is some truth to what he had to say & that he is a very intelligent person. I trust Sara's reporting, but I'll be interested in hearing more.

  • Rodney Salisbury

    08/23/2019 05:57 PM

    This sounds like someone trying to float a cover story to draw attention away from Hillary Clinton as a perpetrator of a crime to repainting her as a victim.

  • Maris K Hodges

    08/23/2019 05:30 PM

    I just read a headline regarding the trade war with China and the dip in the Dow. I have something to say and would like to put it in all caps. Corporate America WAKE UP. China has been ripping you off royally and some of you have lost face with the American people because what the Chinese have shipped with your company name on it is so far inferior it's a disgrace. I am tired of all the things that I buy that work for about a month and then die or clothes that portions lose color etc. Corporate America better wise up. Don't blame Trump--blame yourselves for selling out and moving your business to China. We The People are fed up with Chinese made EVERYTHING. Also do you realize that once you get a bad name because an appliance etc. gets a horrible rating that sticks with the people and we don't trust you anymore.

  • Paulette J Reecer

    08/23/2019 05:07 PM

    I agree. Where has this guy been and what is his objective. I don't think Mr. Barr would let this information out or this guy left to his own devices if this information is as sensitive as Mr. Byrne is trying to make out.

  • stephen mitchell

    08/23/2019 04:54 PM

    My God ! Who is this guy ? How do you keep track of all these nut cases ? Warren Buffet ? " The Warren Buffet " ?? I'm sure you're checking his credibility !

  • Myrtis Wilmoth

    08/23/2019 04:47 PM

    I have the same problem as Byrne, I think way faster than I can talk, especially when I'm under a time constraint. He wants to get the info out, but it's really hard to decide (especiallly if Byrne had as much going on as it seems), what to say to make it understandable in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, it can make one scattered.

  • Robbie Mize

    08/23/2019 03:43 PM

    Please, please do not call the varmint control...let the creeps keep coming out of the woodwork! He sounds crazy, but then isn't that a requirement?

  • Ruth D. Spiering

    08/23/2019 02:52 PM

    Fascinating! God is working. In this Laodicean age we're getting closer to departing to our eternal home. God is giving Satan a long, long rope. Scary but interesting to watch. "He ruleth the seas...: :All power and honor and glory unto Him who loves us..." The USA belongs to God. The eschatological puzzle pieces are falling into place...just a few random thoughts -- believers are praying! We shall soon "see Him as He is..." Keep up the good work, brother

  • jack macdonald

    08/23/2019 02:51 PM

    Something I have not seen mentioned concerning the trade wars and the upcoming recession. I think what makes America exceptional and why it has the standard of living it enjoys is our wage scale. We are the greatest consumers in the world which is what gives us the ability to enjoy the luxuries even our lowest earners have. China assemblers make $3.15 per hr and American workers make $13.02 per hr or 4 times the Chinaperson. If not for our wage scale we would have a hard time affording the prices charged in this country. Our wages and consumerism make our standard of living the highest in the world. Isn't it an obvious correlation? We get the highest pay, we pay the highest prices and as a result the USA is the most prosperous economy in the world. Seems so obvious to me that I'm astounded that economists don't make this connection.

  • Chuck Walter

    08/23/2019 01:50 PM

    Mike,

    With the suggestion of buying Greenland fell flat a friend in Calgary had a better idea..the U.S. but Alberta and Saskatchewan. They are sick and tired of the extreme liberal eastern Canada. They have excellent farm and ranch land, good oil & gas reserves, love America, know our constitution as well as we do, and fully support our way of doing things. Eastern Canada wants to get rid of Alberta and Saskatchewan any way. Win-win for everyone

    Chuck

  • Harold Levi

    08/23/2019 01:16 PM

    As I read this, I thought of other similar articles and can only think of two words: Treason, Traitor, Treason, Traitor, Treason, Traitor, Treason, Traitor, ad nauseam.

  • Jacqueline Johnson

    08/23/2019 12:39 PM

    It sounds to me like Patrick Byrne will be the next one to die mysteriously.

  • Elisabeth Nancarrow-Baer

    08/23/2019 12:27 PM

    I had watched the program by accident and was struck by his comments- Think the interview raised more questions than gave answers. I agree with your comments- he and his allegations need more investigations.

  • lloyd sanders

    08/23/2019 12:18 PM

    This is very troubling indeed. It depends on where it goes from here.

    I note the Obama home investment with respect to the dims crying foul. What did they expect him to do with all his filthy lucre? Give it back to them? They keep voting the giveaway artists into office expecting different results and always get burned. Nothing new under the sun. The world is full of P. T. Barnum believers and the democratic party definitely has a monopoly on the gullible followers.

  • mike wilson

    08/23/2019 12:14 PM

    He made comments that seemed to indicate HRC was a victim(?!) of the whole Russia Collusion hoax when for the last few years, very credible people of have testified that she, along with Fusion GPS, the State dept., the FBI, et. al. orchestrated the whole thing. That makes his revelations seem more like a government disinformation/obfuscation/diversion promulgated by HRC's operatives. Look, if Dan Bongino ( or anyone else who's done exhaustive research into this) never heard of this guy (at least he hasn't mentioned him), I really gotta question the veracity of his story. He did, however, date Buttina(sp), so there is that....

  • Sheldon K Larsen

    08/23/2019 12:11 PM

    This does seam weird to say something, but nothing. I believe this might be just another approach to saying "Hillary should have one" and keeping it in the news through the elections.

  • Marykate Brittian

    08/23/2019 12:09 PM

    I believe patrick Byrne, why would anyone make this up. Say hello to your daughter.

  • Joe Analco

    08/23/2019 12:08 PM

    When do we finally get a cure for this anti-America virus that is spreading throughout America's culture? We know that political correctness is not it because it only spreads the virus to victimize more Americans. We know that the disease has infected a lot of our government leaders because they would rather not acknowledge that there is a virus and don't want to be the one to suggest we need a cure or just an inoculation of good old American pride to slow this virus. No, I fear it will be all the Americans who are not infected that will finally say, ”That's Enough!” The cure for this disease will be the United States Constitution that will be once more used and fought for by God-Fearing Americans, who will stand strong for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The viruses of Dictatorship, Communism, Socialism, the antithesis of Freedom will be diminished until we find the cure to kill it!
    ”WAKE UP AMERICA!”