Jason Leopold Profile picture
Senior investigative reporter @BuzzFeedNews I-Team. 'FOIA terrorist.' Band Tshirt hoarder. Punk. RISE ABOVE. jasonleopold@protonmail.com Signal 213-270-4334
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Sep 22, 2018 7 tweets 4 min read
Since last Oct, @a_cormier_ and I (with valuable contribs from @LoopEmma) have been on the #MoneyTrail, reporting stories abt suspicious financial transactions connected to all the key figures in the Trump/Russia probe whose finances are under scrutiny by Mueller/Congress 1/ We started with this story on Paul Manafort, published one day before he was indicted. 2/

Sep 21, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
For folks asking Q's about the #MoneyTrail as it relates to Mueller investigation, here's an explainer as we have noted in this and previous stories 1/

Last year, prior to the appt of Mueller as special counsel, multiple congressional committees investigating Russia's interference in election sent confidential letters to Treasury asking for any suspicious activity reports on dozens of people caught up in Trump/Russia probe 2/
Sep 14, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
On Nov. 21, 2016, Emin Agalarov’s checking acct received $165K from an account based in Russia belonging to his family. The following day, the account sent $107K to Corsy Intl, a company run by Ike Kaveladze, who also attended the Trump Tower meeting.
buzzfeed.com/anthonycormier… Bankers were suspicious for a number of reasons. For one, Kaveladze was an employee of the Agalarovs’ Crocus Group, based in Russia. Why, bankers wondered, would the funds start in Russia, briefly make a pit stop in Emin Agalarov’s NJ account, and finally be sent to Corsy Intl?
Sep 3, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
BREAKING from Reuters: Myanmar judge sentences Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo to seven years in prison LIVE: Verdicts/sentences for detained Reuters journalists in Myanmar : reut.tv/2PdT7co via @ReutersTV
Aug 31, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
The significance and implication of all of the suspicious financial transactions involving dozens of individuals caught up in the Russia probe that @a_cormier_ & I have been reporting on for the past 10 months can be found in Sam Patten's guilty plea today.

Investigators built their case, in part, by obtaining suspicious activity reports from banks on Patten's financial transactions and following the money. That's what investigators are now doing with Butina, the Russian Embassy, Kislyak, Peter Smith, and others 2/
Aug 29, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
UPDATE to UPDATE: USPS #FOIA office says it has no record in its logs of America Rising's FOIA request for Spanberger's personnel file, meaning it did not process the request. HOWEVER ... 1/

Just learned from USPS referral of America Rising's request from NPRC was directly to USPS Corporate Personnel Management. Right here: about.usps.com/handbooks/as35…

BUT and this is important: NPRC is actually agency that pulled Spanberger's personnel file! NPRC sent it to USPS! 2/
Aug 20, 2018 9 tweets 5 min read
Pull up a chair.

I want to tell you a story about my three year #FOIA squabble with CIA.

In early 2013, I filed a #FOIA request w/CIA for a list of inspector general investigations into waste, fraud, abuse, whistleblowing, crimes. It took 2 yrs for CIA to send me the list. Then I filed a separate request for the IG rpts on this list and then I sued CIA for it.

Aug 17, 2018 16 tweets 9 min read
JUST IN from DOJ Office of Legal Counsel in response to my #FOIA

191 heavily redacted pages of emails, other docs, involving Brett Kavanaugh (228 pages withheld in full) NEW via #FOIA: From 2003. Brett Kavanaugh shares his thoughts.
Aug 11, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Another VERY IMPT POINT from this late Friday #followthemoney scoop by @a_cormier_ & me about GOP operative Peter Smith and his attempts to buy HRC's deleted emails


The subpoena Northern Trust bank rec'd last Dec specifically sought info abt the $9K withdrawal from KLS Research’s acct on Sept 8 2016. That withdrawal took place 1 day after Smith finished his paper that laid bare his plans for obtaining HRC emails


Jul 17, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
Treasury IG confirms my scoop from May that suspicious activity reports banks sent to FinCEN on Michael Cohen, that someone leaked to Michael Avenatti, were NOT destroyed/missing. Rather, access to it was limited.

I've obtained Treasury IG's 7-page memo sent to @RonWyden 1/ Here is the letter Treasury IG sent to @RonWyden about Michael Cohen's SARs


And here is my report from May that says access was limited because the SARs pertained to an ongoing law enforcement investigation (involving Cohen) buzzfeed.com/jasonaleopold/… 2/
Jul 15, 2018 11 tweets 5 min read
I LOVE #FOIA (when it works). Here's a Sunday #FOIA thread/story.

Remember prior to the inauguration in Jan 2017 when James Clapper issued a statement after meeting w/Trump to discuss leaks to the media, Russia election hacking and dossier?

This was Clapper's statement 1/ I obtained emails from ODNI via #FOIA that provides a behind the scenes look at genesis of this statement and shows what the statement looked like in draft form prior to edits

For example, draft statement said dossier "was given to us." Final Clapper statement omitted that 2/
Jun 9, 2018 15 tweets 6 min read
Over the past couple of days, journalists have been reminded of steps we need to take to safeguard our comms and protect our sources while working on news reports

It's also impt to note what happens after news stories are published that are based on nonpublic/classified info 1/ Every government agency on a near daily basis scrutinizes news stories for classified, secret or non public information. 2/
Feb 9, 2018 8 tweets 5 min read

In my/@BuzzFeedNews ongoing #FOIA lawsuit against multiple govt agencies for documents on Mikhail Lesin, the founder of RT who authorities say got drunk, fell down numerous times in his DC hotel room and died, DOJ just sent me 32 pages of this.
Oct 26, 2017 9 tweets 3 min read
I'm very proud of this. More than 4 yrs ago, my #FOIA atty @_LightLaw & I filed a motion in USD Court to unseal pen register applications 1/ My case lingered for yrs before Chief Judge Richard Roberts. It got new life after Roberts resigned after being accused of sexual assault 2/