Senate Intelligence Report – III. Counterintelligence Concerns - Influence for HIre

J. Influence for Hire

Introduction and Findings

Over the course of this investigation, the Committee identified an international marketplace for digital services to shape popular sentiment and electoral outcomes.
These services-many of which are based overseas-use an array of personal information to build targeted messaging profiles. During elections, campaigns can use these profiles to direct select political and narrative content toward specific audiences calculated to be most susceptible to the messaging. This practice of" micro-targeting'' is in tum designed to influence the thoughts and judgments of voters. The use of messaging to sway voter sentiment is not a new development. However, it is now enabled by advanced data analytics and algorithmic targeting, the globally expansive reach of social media, and user-generated data and personal information that is often unwittingly provided or illicitly obtained.

The Committee sought to learn more about the extent to which foreign-based influence companies played a role in shaping the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, either directly or through work with American counterparts.
Several companies engaged in this activity, including Cambridge Analytica, Psy Group, and Colt Ventures, exhibited some type of foreign ties. The Committee examined these specific companies and their activities related to the 2016 U.S. election to better understand how foreign influence, including the use of techniques and methodologies honed by foreign governments and intelligence services, may have been exerted in 2016. The Committee did not examine the effectiveness of the work these companies may have conducted.

All three companies either aspired to apply micro-targeted social media messaging techniques comparable to those employed by Russian information operatives with the Internet Research Agency, or actively engaged in the application of these techniques.
One of these entities, Cambridge Analytica, had a degree of intersection with and proximity to Russia, and specifically Russia 's intelligence services. Others had different types of foreign contacts. All of these entities were engaged with the Trump Campaign to some extent, but the Committee found no convincing evidence that Russia 's government or intelligence services worked with or through any of these companies in furtherance of Moscow 's 2016 U.S. election interference.

There are, however, limitations to the Committee 's understanding of this subject.
In particular, the Committee did not have access to numerous essential witnesses, including Alexander Nix, a non-U.S. citizen who generally disregarded the Committee 's requests for an appearance, and Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Additional individuals with potentially critical understanding of how these companies marketed or applied tools to influence electoral outcomes, either declined to appear before the Committee or were not sought as witnesses. Further, testimony specific to certain events and relationships is either inconsistent across witnesses, or appears to purposely minimize the witnesses ' knowledge or recollection. Finally, the Committee was unable to obtain the corporate communications of Cambridge Analytica or SCL Group, which had already been seized by U.K. authorities.

SCL and Cambridge Analytica

Now defunct, Cambridge Analytica was a U.K.-based data analytics firm and political consultancy founded in 2013 as an offshoot of an existing U.K. data analytics firm and consultancy, Strategic Communication Laboratories( SCL).
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Cambridge Analytica attempted to solicit business from a number of Republican Party candidates for president in 2016. Following the end of Ted Cruz 's candidacy and Cambridge Analytica 's work for his campaign, Cambridge Analytica shifted its focus to the Trump Campaign.

i. Cambridge Analytica 's Founding

According to Christopher Wylie, who worked at SCL from June 2013 through November 2014, SCL evolved from a single company with multiple divisions-Defense, Commercial, Elections, and Social-to a holding company with the divisions ultimately being spun off into subsidiary companies.
Nigel Oakes served as the chief executive officer for the holding company, SCL Group, which also entailed overseeing the operations of SCL-Defense, the corporate component responsible for 80 percent of SCL Group 's revenue.

Alexander Nix, a former financial analyst who joined SCL in 2003, served as Cambridge Analytica 's CEO.
Nix 's responsibilities with SCL Group were described by Wylie as the" odds and ends'' that comprised SCL Group 's non-defense work: SCL-Commercial, SCL-Elections, and SCL-Social. Nix began exploring the possibility of opening a data analytics division at SCL in 2010 after becoming intrigued by the applications for data analysis that Google Analytics was creating. Nix identified the Republican Party 's lack of a data analytics program comparable to that of the Democrat Party as a business opportunity, and began meeting with conservative donors in the United States.

Cambridge Analytica 's primary investor, the Mercer family, later introduced Cambridge Analytica to the Trump Campaign.
According to Wylie, a client of SCL-Defense had met with several associates of Steve Bannon, and Bannon 's associates then helped connect Bannon to SCL Group. Bannon subsequently introduced Nix to Robert and Rebekah Mercer as potential investors in SCL Group.

Bannon recalled that he met Nix between mid-2013 and 2014, in the context of doing investment due diligence for Robert Mercer.
According to Bannon, Mercer believed that SCL Group 's data analysis capabilities and relationship with Cambridge-University presented an investment opportunity and set about creating a U.S. entity that would be capitalized and in part operated by SCL Group data scientists, including Nix, on a contractual basis. Bannon recalled that Nix was the chief executive officer for the U.S. entity.

According to Wylie, a series of meetings between the Mercers, Bannon, and Nix preceded the eventual financial backing by the Mercers.
Although Robert Mercer wanted to invest directly in SCL Group; his legal counsel advised that his investment should entail a U.S. entity. This advice precipitated the creation of Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica was established with an initial$ 15 million investment by Mercer, who owned a corresponding 90 percent ownership share of the company. The remaining 10 percent ownership share belonged to SCL-Elections, in exchange for" assignment and deposit general'' of SCL-Elections intellectual property.

According to Wylie, Robert Mercer served as president of Cambridge Analytica, while Bannon was the vice-president, Jennifer Mercer was the treasurer, and Nix was named to the company 's board.
Wylie indicated that Cambridge Analytica 's foundational arrangement was designed to enable Cambridge Analytica 's use of SCL Group intellectual property without making Cambridge Analytica part of SCL Group. Moreover, this arrangement included an exclusive provision contract whereby all of Cambridge Analytica 's clientele would be serviced by SCL-Elections. Cambridge Analytica did not have any employees of its own, pursuant to this arrangement. Cambridge Analytica 's work was performed by employees of SCL-Elections, contractors, or through a company retained by Cambridge Analytica that hired subcontractors.

The precise character of Cambridge Analytica 's workforce vis-a-vis SCL Group was the subject of conflicting statements by witnesses to the Committee, and a matter not ultimately resolved in the course of the Committee 's investigation.
According to Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica was" totally independent'' of SCL Group. Bannon told the Committee that Cambridge Analytica had its own workforce separate and apart from SCL Group 's employees, and characterized the assertion that Cambridge Analytica employees essentially worked for SCL Group as" inaccurate.'' Bannon added that the appearance of Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group having the same workforce was a byproduct of Nix and some of the Cambridge Analytica data scientists episodically doing work for both companies. However, according to Brittany Kaiser, who opened the first U.S.-based Cambridge Analytica office in Alexandria, Virginia, in October 2015, at least initially, Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group" were one and the same company.'' Kaiser explained that as Cambridge Analytica grew," some people were only, Cambridge Analytica or only what we called` the rest of the world'... staff. But when I joined there were maybe twelve or fifteen full-time staff members and everybody worked on everything.'' At its largest, the company comprised 130 employees. At the height of its operations in the United States, there were approximately forty people working for Cambridge Analytica in New York City, and about another twenty in Washington, D.C.

Bannon described his own role with Cambridge Analytica as that of a" typical investment banker,'' conducting due diligence on behalf of principal investor Robert Mercer and taking a board position from which capitalization decisions could be overseen.
Bannon later introduced the Trump Campaign to Cambridge Analytica as a potential client.

International Operations of Cambridge Analytica and SCL

Both SCL and Cambridge Analytica personnel were engaged in election-related work around the globe.
Kaiser indicated that at the time of her employment by Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group was running" between eight to ten national elections every year for prime minister and president, all around the world.'' According to Kaiser, she offered Cambridge Analytica 's services to prospective clients in approximately 30 different countries, and worked on" seven to eight national projects'' during her tenure across" Africa, Asia, and Latin America.''

Cambridge Analytica and SCL engaged in a variety of efforts to influence the outcomes of elections abroad.
According to Wylie, he was hired by SCL Group to be director of research, based in part on his previous experience working on political campaigns and in developing micro-targeting strategies. Wylie alleged that Cambridge Analytica engaged in the" procuring[ of] hacked material for the benefit of its clients,'' the use of" specialized technologies and intel gathering services from former members of Israeli and Russian state security services,'' and the management of information operations on behalf of pro-Russian parties in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Kaiser stated that Cambridge Analytica had an office based in Skopje, Macedonia, from which political projects targeted at Macedonia as well as other regional projects were run. Kaiser described some of Cambridge Analytica 's work in Eastern Europe prior to her joining the company, including a program that sought to test the effectiveness of Russian propaganda, ostensibly in order to develop counter-propaganda strategies.

According to Wylie, in spring 2014, Steve Bannon approved proceeding with Cambridge Analytica-sponsored focus groups concerning Vladimir Putin and Russian expansionism, preparatory to the development of a predictive response model.
Wylie also indicated that Mr. Bannon and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian political operative with established ties to a Russian intelligence service and a protracted working relationship with Paul Manafort, were two of three individuals likely responsible for this idea. Wylie added that of the two hundred predictive response models Cambridge Analytica was developing in the United States, Vladimir Putin was the only world leader addressed, and Russian expansionism was the only foreign topic contemplated.

Sam Patten, a U.S.-based foreign political consultant, worked for Cambridge Analytica and SCL in at least Nigeria, Mexico, Kosovo, and the Czech Republic.
Patten had met Nix through Anna Miller, a mutual friend, in 2014, and was subsequently hired by Nix to do work on projects in the United States, before working abroad as a contract employee for the company. Bannon indicated he had no personal knowledge of Patten 's work as an employee or contractor of Cambridge Analytica or SCL and that he further had never worked on any projects with Patten.

Aleksander Kogan

Aleksander Kogan is a social psychologist who began working at Cambridge University in 2012 as a research associate and university lecturer.
In early 2013, Kogan began collaborating with Facebook on studies designed to elicit information on human connection and the expression of emotion. According to Kogan, to further these studies, Facebook provided him with several macro-level datasets concerning friendship connections and emoticon usage. In the context of this collaboration with Facebook, Kogan created a Facebook app named the" CPW Lab App,'' which was designed to collect individual Facebook users ' data in order to analyze it in conjunction with the datasets previously provided by Facebook.

According to Kogan, he was introduced to Christopher Wylie through a mutual connection in 2014.
Wylie, acting on behalf of SCL Group, asked Kogan to provide" survey-consulting services,'' to include collection of Facebook data and the generation of personality profiles. Kogan agreed to undertake the work and to do so, registered a company, Global Science Research, and repurposed-the CPW Lab App under a new billing-the" GSR App.'' The GSR App was intended to collect self-provided user data from survey responses, and additional information from the Facebook" friends'' of survey participants, whose privacy settings allowed the App to access their information. The GSR App was eventually revised and released as an interactive personality quiz named" This is Your Digital Life.'' According to Kogan, the GSR App ultimately collected approximately 30 million individual personality profiles, which were transferred to SCL Group. Kogan has indicated that he is unaware of any evidence that would support the contention that the Trump Campaign used this data to micro-target voters.

Wylie described Kogan 's work as consisting of research projects undertaken in Russia.
According to Wylie, the Russian government some of Kogan 's research, and Kogan traveled to Russia in this context to deliver presentations on the work he was doing at Cambridge Analytica, unbeknownst to his colleagues. A March 15, 2014, email from SCL Group employee Marcus Beltran to Nix, Wylie, and Kieran Ward referenced" the interesting work Alex Kogan has been doing for the Russians,'' in relation to its compatibility with" predictive crime-based CRM[ customer relationship management]'' and" criminal psychographic profiling'' analytics being applied elsewhere.

According to Bannon, he first met Kogan in 2013 or 2014 in the context of a presentation on SCL Group 's technical capabilities.
Bannon indicated that he had no awareness of work Kogan had ever performed for the Russian government. According to Bannon, while Kogan was an employee of SCL Group, Kogan performed services under contract on Cambridge Analytica 's behalf. Communications provided to the Committee indicate that at least between June and November 2014, Kogan was performing services under contract directly for SCL Group, and on at least some occasions for SCL-Elections, specifically.

In addition to Kogan 's acquisition of Facebook user data through the GSR App, Kaiser stated that Cambridge Analytica obtained data from at least two other applications on the Facebook platform: specifically, the" Music Walrus'' and" The Sex Compass'' applications.

Cambridge Analytica and Lukoil

According to Wylie, from spring 2014 through 2015 Cambridge Analytica representatives were meeting with representatives of Lukoil, a Russian multinational corporation headquartered in Moscow and the second largest company in Russia.
The publicly stated reason for the meetings was the potential design of a Lukoil customer loyalty card to be used in Turkey. Wylie indicated to the Committee that Nix 's presentations, however, entailed discussion of rumor and disinformation campaigns and undermining confidence in institutions. Kaiser, however, told the Committee that Cambridge Analytica engaged Lukoil for a prospective contract that would entail using the oil company 's data to create" customer experience programs'' for an application that would be used in conjunction with Lukoil 's gas stations in Turkey. In the context of these discussions, Kaiser was told the data could also be useful for political activities in Turkey, since Cambridge Analytica sought both political and commercial work simultaneously in most countries. Limited email records suggest that the project would initially entail modeling Lukoil 's" loyalty data'' to identify new customers and" create bespoke psychographic messaging for existing customers.'' Kaiser furnished a February 2015 presentation focusing on customer retention that SCL-Commercial prepared for Lukoil. Both Wylie and Kaiser did not believe a contract ever resulted from these discussions.

In May 2018 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christopher Wylie stated that" Lukoil has formal information sharing agreements with the Russian Federal Security Service(` FSB') and is known to conduct intelligence gathering on behalf of the FSB.''
Although the scope and nature of the work Cambridge Analytica attempted to pursue with Lukoil is unclear, the Committee did not independently corroborate allegations that Lukoil intended to use Cambridge Analytica to impact elections. However, the Committee is concerned about the role Lukoil may play in effecting Russia 's efforts to interfere in foreign elections generally.


[ REDACTED] The Moldovan election was ultimately won by pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon, whose campaign platform centered largely on pursuing closer ties with Russia in preference over relations with the European Union.

v. Cambridge Analytica 's U.S. Operations

According to Wylie, Cambridge Analytica aspired to use data-driven models for social change by identifying the subsets of a given population susceptible to particular messaging.
Rather than focusing on the core population segment at the center of an issue, Cambridge Analytica 's work was predicated on changing the minds of the 5 percent of the population on the fringes of that issue, on the rationale that 5 percent can be determinative of most voting outcomes. Wylie outlined for the Committee the active, hands-on role Bannon and Robert Mercer played in co-founding the company in order to compete for political clients in the United States. Wylie suggested that Bannon engaged SCL Group and became Vice President of Cambridge Analytica in order to" build an arsenal of informational weapons[ that] he could deploy on the American population.''

According to Kaiser, almost every client meeting she had during her time at Cambridge Analytica that involved a political figure was preceded by an introduction by Bannon, Rebekah Mercer, or Kellyanne Conway-an advisor to the Mercers at the time.
According to Kaiser, Conway was very involved in negotiating Cambridge Analytica 's transition from working for the Cruz Campaign to supporting the Trump Campaign, prior to Ted Cruz dropping out of the race.

Kaiser described the data sets purchased and licensed by Cambridge Analytica as" comprehensive'' and comprising anybody in the United States over the age of 18 with a financial history:''[ T] he database was built as a base off of the Experian credit file, and then on top of that was layered national data sets from Info group, Magellan, Acxiom, Label & Lists.
So it would cover basically anybody that was of age and had any sort of commercial activity.'' According to Kaiser, Cambridge Analytica attempted to purchase the Facebook group" For America,'' which was predicated on dissemination and sharing of politically conservative content, that Kaiser characterized as" the largest political group on Facebook.'' Explaining the commercial appeal of this Facebook group, Kaiser said it reached as many as 30 million people per day at the height of its activity.

Kaiser told the Committee that Nix cited lax personal data protections as a reason to pursue business opportunities in the United States.
As Kaiser described the vulnerability of personal data in the United States to unwitting collection,''[ i] n the United States, we 're by default opted in just by being in this country. So data can be collected and held and monetized and modeled without the opt-in of individuals, which allows you to do almost anything that you want, legally... he was wanting to build a data science company that was able to undertake large-scale data collection and modeling before the laws changed.''

Cambridge Analytica and the Trump Campaign

Throughout the Committee 's investigation, testifying witnesses associated with the Trump Campaign consistently minimized the role that Cambridge Analytica played in the execution of the campaign.
Nevertheless, the testimony of witnesses not attached to the Trump Campaign and materials produced to the Committee suggest that Cambridge Analytica 's data scientists and messaging specialists were intimately tied to the Trump Campaign effort.

According to Kaiser, discussion about engaging the Trump Campaign with a commercial offer began at Cambridge Analytica in May 2015, with the suggestion that Nix meet with Corey Lewandowski.
Kaiser indicated that Bannon had been advocating for a meeting between Cambridge Analytica and members of what would become the Trump Campaign, prior to the announcement of Trump 's candidacy. An actual meeting related to Cambridge Analytica 's possible work for the Trump Campaign did not occur until September 2015, when Nix and Kaiser met with Bannon in Washington, D.C.. According to Kaiser, then-candidate Trump called Bannon during the meeting, and instructed Bannon to have Nix and Kaiser come to New York City to meet with Lewandowski. A meeting took place the following day, and while" eight or ten weeks'' of contract negotiations followed, Cambridge Analytica 's offer to run a fundraising campaign for the Trump Campaign never materialized. Bannon indicated that he had no recollection of the September 2015 phone call with Donald Trump that Kaiser described.

Cambridge Analytica proposed offers of work to almost every one of the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaigns, including the campaigns of Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker.
During their respective 2016 presidential campaigns, Carson spent over$ 430,000 for Cambridge Analytica 's services, while Cruz spent approximately$ 5.8 million. Within a week of Ted Cruz dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination, all Cambridge Analytica employees working on the Cruz Campaign began transitioning over to work on the Trump Campaign.

Kaiser stated to the Committee that Cambridge Analytica was ultimately successful in contracting work with the Trump Campaign in part because some competitor data firms were unwilling to work with the Trump Campaign.
According to Rick Gates, a close business associate of Paul Manafort and eventual deputy chairman for the Trump Campaign, the Campaign made a determination shortly after the Republican National Convention to use Cambridge Analytica 's services, although views on using Cambridge Analytica varied. The Republican National Committee( RNC) did not want to use the company and Brad Parscale, a digital media strategist who had been working with the Trump Organization since 2011 and served as digital director for the Trump Campaign was reluctant to bring a new company into the Campaign 's operations. However, according to Gates, Kushner wanted to use Cambridge Analytica and ultimately negotiated a package of services, with payment slated to be delivered at the end of the campaign. Kushner told the Committee that the Mercers aggressively advocated for the Trump Campaign 's use of Cambridge Analytica, and in order to secure the Mercers ' support for then-candidate Trump, the Campaign engaged with Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica began work under contract with the Trump Campaign shortly after Trump became the Republican Party 's nominee.
Kaiser 's initial work for the Trump Campaign entailed helping to build Project Alamo, as the Trump Campaign 's digital operation in San Antonio, Texas, came to be known, including the database and the qualitative and quantitative research programs that underwrote the project. This involved working with Conway to continuously develop, administer, and refine nationwide polling models.

Parscale indicated that he made the decision to hire Cambridge Analytica to work for the Trump Campaign in June 2016, after receiving approval from Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.
Parscale characterized Cambridge Analytica 's work for the Trump Campaign as''[ m] ainly helping us raise donations, fundraising.'' Parscale also described Cambridge Analytica 's work supporting the Trump Campaign 's media and advertising purchases. According to Parscale, Cambridge Analytica 's team in San Antonio began with a presence of three employees, and eventually expanded to at least 12 by the end of the campaign.

Concerning Nix, Parscale indicated that he hired Cambridge Analytica to support the Trump Campaign" because I met Matt Oczkowski, who was the head of products for them,'' despite the fact that Parscale" did n't like Alexander Nix.
I did n't like anything about him. I told him to his face.'' Kushner told the Committee that although he had met Nix" a few times,'' he had very little interaction with the Cambridge Analytica employees working in support of the Trump Campaign.

Parscale told the Committee that Cambridge Analytica performed work in support of the Trump Campaign 's data efforts.
Parscale also told the Committee that he declined Cambridge Analytica 's offer to use the company 's" psychographic profiling'' services. However, the Committee obtained documents in the course of its investigation that suggest Cambridge Analytica 's data may have been used in support of the Trump Campaign, and the Campaign may have leveraged Cambridge Analytica 's" psychographic analysis'' capabilities. A presentation slide titled" Data Flow and Supported Programs''( see first image below) depicts bidirectional data flow from the Trump Campaign to Cambridge Analytica, with an intermediate step involving data held by the Republican National Committee. Additionally, the Cambridge Analytica node of the data flow depiction is titled" Digital Media Psychographic Analysis,'' and is connected directly to the Trump Campaign node by a directional arrow titled" Reporting,'' at least suggesting that the Trump Campaign was receiving the results of Cambridge Analytica 's analysis. A separate slide titled" Data Process Flow,''( see second image below) shows a bidirectional arrow from Cambridge Analytica 's" Psychographic Analysis'' to both the Republican National Committee 's" GOP Data Center'' and the Trump Campaign 's" ALAMO.''

Gates also told the FBI that Cambridge Analytica employees had made representations to him that that the company was based in the U.S., with operations that entailed multiple U.S. components.
Gates later learned and was concerned that Trump Campaign data was transmitted to and analyzed in the United Kingdom, component to Cambridge Analytica 's services.

In testimony to the Committee, however, Parscale stated he chose not to use Cambridge Analytica 's data during the campaign, opting rather to use Republican National Committee data in the alternative because it was" more accurate'' and performed better in field testing.
Parscale described Cambridge Analytica 's media and support to the Trump Campaign as consisting of a separate team based in San Antonio, Texas. This team worked in connection with the Data Trust database, according to Parscale. The work of this team consisted chiefly of creating visualization tools that communicated data trends relative to the electorate, which enabled more effective deployment of then-candidate Trump to election events. According to Parscale, Cambridge Analytica 's work for the Trump Campaign entailed access to the Campaign 's data stores and those of the Republican National Committee, but never involved Cambridge Analytica bringing in new data.

According to Kaiser, the representations of Cambridge Analytica employees working on Project Alamo to her indicated that data owned by Cambridge Analytica played no part in the work done for the Trump Campaign; to her knowledge," Project Alamo was built completely from scratch.''
Kaiser acknowledged this was atypical, in that" every other project'' Cambridge Analytica worked on was built off a copy of the company 's main database. Kaiser indicated that the data for Project Alamo came from the Republican National Committee 's Data Trust database and other data sets that were purchased and licensed to be added to the Data Trust data.

Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks

According to open source information, during the 2016 campaign, Nix emailed Julian Assange, the ostensible head of WikiLeaks, about the possible release of Hillary Clinton 's 33,000 deleted emails.
In particular, the reports indicated that Nix sought a searchable database of emails related to Clinton. In October 2017, Assange publicly confirmed" an approach by Cambridge Analytica'' and claimed to have rejected it.

The Committee obtained no additional information related to this alleged outreach.
Numerous individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign, including those likely to have been closest to the outreach such as Bannon, indicated that they had no prior awareness of Nix 's communication with WikiLeaks.

Declaration of Bankruptcy

On May 17, 2018," Cambridge Analytica LLC a/k/a Cambridge Analytica Commercial LLC a/k/a Cambridge Analytica Political LLC a/k/a Anaxi Solutions Inc....
and SCL USA, Inc.'' filed voluntary petitions for bankruptcy relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Emerdata was created as a new holding company for the purposes of owning the assets of Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group.
Media reporting indicates that upon Emerdata 's August 2017 incorporation, SCL Group 's chairman, Julian Wheatland, and SCL 's chief data officer, Alexander Tayler, were listed as the company 's original owners. On March 7, 2018, Firecrest Technologies Limited, a subsidiary of Emerdata, was incorporated. Alexander Nix was briefly identified as the director of Firecrest Technologies Limited, before being replaced by Alexander Tayler. On March 16, 2018, Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer joined Emerdata as directors. Nix also served as a director for Emerdata from January 23, 2018 to March 28, 2018. Emerdata characterizes its business as''[ d] ata processing, hosting, and related activities,'' but little is known about the actual activities of the company.

Psy Group

Psy Group, which was in bankruptcy proceedings in Israel as of December 2018, was an intelligence company specializing in social media manipulation and on-line reputation and perception management.
Psy Group representatives engaged with Trump Campaign senior officials in 2016 for a contract to perform work on behalf of the Campaign. These engagements, which included multiple proposals and presentations, purportedly never materialized into any Campaign work.

i. Psy Group 's Founding and Structure

Psy Group was founded in Israel on December 22, 2014, as a private intelligence firm specializing in collection and analysis of information, as well as online reputation management and targeted influence.
Joel Zamel, an Australian living in Israel, told the Committee that he founded Psy Group with Daniel Green and Elad Schaffer. Zamel indicated that Psy Group comprised two entities: a parent company named IOCO Ltd. in Cypress and a subsidiary company based in Israel named Invop Ltd.. According to Zamel, he was a majority shareholder in Psy Group, while Green and Schaffer were minority shareholders. Zamel said IOCO was responsible for business development, contracting, and marketing, while the Israel-based Invop, where the majority of Psy Group employees were located, performed in an operational capacity.

Royi Burstien, an Israeli citizen, was the chief executive officer at Psy Group.
Burstien had left the Israeli military in 2014 and established I2A(" Intelligence Influence. Analysis''), a private online influence and intelligence company that operated from approximately March to October 2014. Burstien was introduced to Zamel in 2014 by a mutual acquaintance, Itai Yonat. Zamel established Invop later that year, and hired Burstien as chief executive officer.

Zamel described Burstien 's background as including work in the intelligence field conducting influence operations.
The precise nature of Burstien 's work in the intelligence field is not known to the Committee. Burstien primarily communicated with Zamel using the encrypted application Wickr, communications on which automatically disappear after a period of time, and therefore were not produced to the Committee.

Zamel described Invop 's suite of client services as including intelligence gathering and influence campaigns that use avatars, websites, blogs, and other internet vehicles to target specific online audiences.

Psy Group Operations

The Committee reviewed several documents that described the suite of services offered by Psy Group.
One corporate overview, entitled" Shaping Reality through Intelligence and Influence, sent from Psy Group to American international political consultant George Birnbaum in May 2016, highlighted Psy Group 's capabilities in" influence'' and" intelligence.''

Psy Group 's" Influence +'' suite of services involved advertising, media, and public relations" to reach any target audience, including decision makers, influencers and the general public, to help deliver key messages, sway opinion and help highlight or tone down issues of relevance.''

Under a section titled" Influence Campaigns,'' Psy Group 's capability to conduct influence activities was described as" unique, actionable intelligence that is leveraged through influence activities.
By utilizing our covert capabilities in the campaign, we are able to reach each target audience credibly and effectively, including through the utilization of objective, trusted parties or proxies.''

Psy Group 's''[ i] ntelligence[ o] ffering'' included a" multi-level approach to intelligence collection'' that combined open source research, cyber operations including social engineering and" honeypots... to extract required information from the right sources,'' and" covert techniques and capabilities in the physical world.''

When asked about Psy Group 's services, Zamel testified that''[ t] he company had very clear boundaries... we do n't do hacking, we do n't break the law.''

Another set of Psy Group promotional materials the company 's" Influence Campaign'' capability and a suite of attendant services that included''[ o] nline reputation management,[ o] ffline campaigns,[ o] nline campaigns,`[ h] oney traps,' and[ d] edicated activities.''

In relation to employing" individualized avatars, fake accounts, influence operations,'' and" amplification'' of messaging through automated social media accounts, Zamel asserted to the Committee that Psy Group had the ability to conduct these activities, but" did n't do anything like that in the U.S. or in the[ 2016] elections.''

In relation to" honey traps,'' Zamel explained that this entailed" building a platform, a website, or online forum to encourage discussion about certain topics.
To obtain information about a target saying certain things, or having a certain agenda. To capture some information. Maybe conducting an avatar operation on that platform that 's controlled by the company.''

Describing Psy Group 's capabilities and personnel, Birnbaum explained:

These guys came out of the military intelligence army unit, and it 's like coming out with a triple Ph.D. from M.I.T..
The amount of knowledge these guys have in terms of cybersecurity, cyber-intelligence... they come out of a unit in which their minds in terms of understanding cybersecurity-the algorithms that they can create-it 's just so beyond what you could get[ with] a normal education that it 's just unique... there are hundreds and hundreds of Israeli start-up companies that the founders are guys who came out of this unit.

Birnbaum distinguished Psy Group from Black Cube, a separate private intelligence firm founded in 2010 by former Israeli intelligence officers: Psy Group" was a technology service that you just apply an algorithm to and it works.
It was n't setting up fake companies and fake employees and sending someone with a wire into a room and videotaping them. That 's more what Black Cube does...'' Zamel indicated that Psy Group never did any direct work on behalf of Black Cube, nor did Psy Group ever work as a sub-contractor to Black Cube.

[ REDACTED] Zamel indicated that Burstien and members of his team were involved in cultivating client opportunities, often through PR firms.
[ REDACTED] Apart from Psy Group 's pitches to the Trump Campaign, described below, the Committee identified three projects of note, including two involving Russian oligarchs:

Erik Prince: One project, alternately named" Black Jack'' and" Jack Black,'' was intended to improve the online reputation of American businessman and co-founder of the Blackwater private security services firm, Erik Prince, presumably in response to a request from Prince.
Zamel indicated that a contract for work never materialized. Zamel said that he was introduced to Erik Prince in 2016 by former CIA official Cofer Black. According to Zamel, several follow-on meetings with Prince occurred, at which Zamel and Prince discussed human rights work related to the Middle East.

[ REDACTED] Oleg Deripaska: According to Burstien, Psy Group undertook an" intelligence project''( codenamed" Project Starbucks'') in probably 2015 for Oleg Deripaska involving a business dispute with a large Austrian company, possibly connected to real estate.
It was unclear what specifically prompted the project, but Deripaska was" mad about it'' and wanted to find derogatory information on the Austrian company to expose their unscrupulous( and purportedly" fraudulent'') business practices. Deripaska hired Israeli national Walter Soriano, who subsequently put Deripaska or his unidentified representatives in touch with Psy Group. Psy Group did not find any derogatory information on the Austrian company. Burstien may have met with Deripaska once in Switzerland relating to this project. Although he was the CEO, Burstien did not know the value of the contract.


[ REDACTED] Dmitri Rybolovlev: Psy Group undertook a separate" intelligence project'' in 2016 for Dmitry Rybolovlev relating to a dispute with the art dealer Yves Bouvier.
Walter Soriano linked Rybolovlev with Psy Group to find derogatory information on Bouvier, possibly by suggesting that Bouvier, was using his art dealing to skim money from customers. The contract value was approximately$ 150,000, and entailed Invop 's conducting open source research on Bouvier. Burstien did not recall meeting Rybolovlev, though another Psy Group employee probably did and stated that Soriano would have been present for that meeting.


Psy Group 's Engagement with the Trump Campaign: Project Rome/D-Day

In the spring of 2016, Psy Group pitched an influence and intelligence project to the Trump Campaign through Rick Gates and Birnbaum.
Referred to as both" Project Rome and" Project D-Day,'' the proposal was developed over several months, but ultimately never came to fruition, as described below.

On March 23, 2016, Kory Bardash, the head of Republicans in Israel, emailed George Birnbaum and Eitan Charnoff, a project manager at Psy Group, to virtually introduce them to each other.
Bardash wrote:" I have spoken to both of you about the other. Hopefully you can have a mutually beneficial chat.''

Separately, on March 29, 2016, Birnbaum met with Rick Gates at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington, D.C., having been introduced to Gates by mutual friend Eckart Sager.
During this meeting, Gates referenced" the challenge of the delegates'' and" opposition research on Hillary Clinton'' and asked Birnbaum whether there was" any Israel[ i] technology that could help us with some of these goals? '' Specifically, Gates asked about using technology to identify Republican delegates as either" pro-Trump, anti-Trump, or` on the fence,''' and further, whether the last category of delegates might be influenced through social media. Gates also asked about using publicly available information to conduct opposition research against Hilary Clinton and" up to ten of her closest circle.'' Birnbaum indicated that this was his first and only in-person meeting with Gates.

The next day, March 30, 2016, Birnbaum contacted Charnoff to discuss Psy Group conducting work for the Trump Campaign.
Charnoff then sent an email to Psy Group employees Amon Epstein, Royi Burstien, and others, outlining a business opportunity for Psy Group with the Trump Campaign. Charnoff explained that he( Charnoff) and Epstein had been in contact with" a major American campaign consultant who[ had] been tasked by the[ T] rump campaign.'' Charnoff indicated''[ t] hey want us to[ use] social platform analytical tools as well as our Rublik department capabilities to identify who is truly with[ T] rump and who is n't and then run an influence campaign to impact their decision using avatars and creating third party assets and outreach.'' Charnoff closed his email noting that''[ b] y the end of today they want a rough estimate of what it will cost,'' and that within the ensuing three days, a timeline and more exact cost estimate were required.

In a follow-on email to the same recipients, Charnoff indicated that following Birnbaum 's consultation with" the campaign,'' the prospective work for the Trump Campaign would be divided into two projects.
The first project consisted of opposition research on" the female opposing candidate,'' and comprised" dig[ ing] up dirt as well as active[ information] gathering on associates.'' The second project was focused on U.S. state delegates voting in the Republican primary and entailed using social media analysis to index delegates as" pro[ T] rump, against and unknown.'' Charnoff further stated that the latter two categories of delegates would be targeted in an influence campaign" to support[ T] rump and not change the convention rules.''

In an email under the subject line" Project D-Day'' sent April 1, 2016, Amon Epstein indicated Psy Group had been authorized to" move to the planning phase of the activity,'' subsequent to" several conversations last night with George[ Birnbaum]( the contact to D 's team).''
Epstein included a screenshot of his purported conversation with Birnbaum( see image below). With respect to opposition research, Epstein noted that:

As for the intel on the lady and her team, he 's talking about up to 10 people in her inner-inner circle.
We told him an estimate of 10 people and her would be around$ 250K for passive work + very light active. We explained we suggest not to go heavy active at the moment because of the issues we discussed. We spun it a bit and said we are not concerned for us, but wish to prevent any blow back or flags raising pointing to him at this point.

A Psy Group project breakdown for" Project D-Day'' indicated that Psy Group 's efforts comprised four teams(" Team Black,''" Team Rubik,''" Team Blue,'' and" Team Red''), and contemplated the involvement of as many as 53 employees.

In an email sent April 1, 2016, George Birnbaum offered guidelines to Epstein and Charnoff for drafting the proposal.
Among Birnbaum 's suggestions were" run intensive influence campaigns on the unknown delegates themselves and on the influencers of the delegates,'' and''[ f] or the Clinton Proposal... run an intensive, deep open source opposition research campaign on Hillary and her 10 closest associates( names to be supplied by[ the] campaign). Depending on information found, apply a second layer of info gathering to make sure no stone was left unturned. Anything else you might want to add as well.''

On April 5, Epstein emailed the proposal, now called Project Rome, to Birnbaum.
The proposal included a project to conduct" influence services'' targeting the Republican convention delegates, a second project proposal to conduct" opposition intelligence research'' on Clinton, and a" sample report.'' The cost estimate for the" influence services'' proposal was$ 3.21 million, with an additional$ 100,000 for media expenses, with a cost estimate for" negative opposition'' of$ 400,000.

The sample report provided a background profile of a California delegate for the Republican Party.
The profile included biographical data including places of residence and employment, marital status, political and religious leanings, and personal interests. While it was noted that the delegate was already.'' a strong supporter of Donald Trump, and therefore no active influence is required at this point,'' the profile recommended" infrequent monitoring( monthly) to check whether any changes in opinions or sentiments towards Trump.'' The portfolio began with an overview description of the sourcing for the analysis, described the report as being based on" available OSINT( Open Source Intelligence),'' and noted that''[ i] n the event that additional information is required, Psy Group can carry out various active intelligence activities to extract additional information based on the needs and directions.''

According to Birnbaum, he informed Rick Gates that he had received the project materials from Psy Group.
In response, Gates instructed him to send Psy Group proposals to an individual named Scott Wilkinson. Birnbaum did not know who Wilkinson was, but sent him the proposals nonetheless.

In a later exchange of emails sent on May 8, 2016, under the subject line" campaign proposal,'' Psy Group employees discussed capabilities to make available to the Trump Campaign, including" psyop campaigns'' concerning" the opposition.''
The Psy Group employees also discussed the use of''[ h] undreds of avatars driving negative messaging,'' and" physical world ops like counter protests, hecklers, etc.'' as means of advancing the referenced" psyop campaigns.''

On the basis of the Committee 's investigation, however, it appears that Project Rome was never implemented by Psy Group.
Birnbaum recalled that" this just kind of disappeared and died, and nothing came of it.'' Burstien similarly did not believe that Invop or Psy Group ever actually performed work relating to Project Rome. Burstien and Psy Group ultimately abandoned hope of working with Birnbaum after he canceled several meetings in Israel to discuss the project with them.

Zamel Pitches the Trump Campaign

After the Project Rome proposal pitched by Psy Group through Birnbaum had fallen through, Zamel also approached the Trump Campaign for a similar project in the second half of 2016.
Zamel engaged the Trump Campaign with George Nader, an advisor to the United Arab Emirates, who had raised the possibility of his( Nader 's) financing a social media effort by Zamel targeting the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Zamel indicated that he first communicated with Nader in early 2016.
Zamel and Nader were introduced by John Hannah, an advisor of Zamel 's, and began communicating multiple times a week and sometimes daily. In June 2016, the two met in St. Petersburg, Russia, as Nader was attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in order to discuss business opportunities. According to Zamel, U.S. politics was never discussed during this meeting with Nader.

According to Zamel, he and Nader continued to meet a few more times in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
Sometime in July 2016, Nader expressed an interest in meeting with someone affiliated with either the Trump Campaign or Donald Trump 's family. To broker such a meeting, Zamel contacted Erik Prince, who he understood to be involved in the presidential campaign. Erik Prince was in the process of cultivating his own access to the Trump Campaign and indicated that if successful, he might be able to assist in Zamel ' s efforts to connect Nader with the Campaign.

In the midst of that discussion, on August 1, 2016, Royi Burstein sent Zamel a document describing Psy Group 's capabilities relating to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The two-page summary document was titled" Project Rome'' and dated May 2016, but differed from the similarly-named proposal created for Birnbaum. The document outlined a suite of services Psy Group would make available to a client, including" generat[ ing] influence through various online and offline platforms, assets and techniques,'' and the creation and promotion of" tailored third-party messaging directed toward optimizing impact and acceptance within the target audience( s).'' The proposal overview noted that Psy Group 's services" focus on select voter groups/segments that may not be susceptible to campaign messaging originating from the candidate or organizations known to be affiliated with the candidate.'' The proposal also identified minority communities, suburban female voters, and undecided voters as being among the prospective targeted voter segments. Burstein did not believe he ever heard back from Zamel about the summary document.

Shortly thereafter, in early August 2016, Zamel, Erik Prince; and George Nader met with Donald Trump Jr. at the Trump Tower building in New York.
According to Zamel, Prince led the meeting. Prince and Trump Jr. discussed issues pertaining to the Campaign. Later in the meeting, Nader raised issues pertinent to the Middle East, specifically ISIS and Iran. Zamel indicated that Stephen Miller joined the roughly 25-minute meeting at about the half-way point. Zamel did not recall Russia being mentioned at any time during the meeting.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, Zamel explained" very briefly'' the work of his private intelligence firms, Wikistrat and Psy Group.
In relation to Psy Group, Zamel asked Trump Jr. whether Psy Group 's conducting a social media campaign paid for by Nader would present a conflict for the Trump Campaign. According to Zamel, Trump Jr. indicated that this would not present a conflict. Trump Jr. also indicated that a Psy Group social media campaign would not conflict with the Trump Campaign 's own efforts.

In testimony to the Committee, Donald Trump Jr. indicated that he remembered George Nader from the August 2016 meeting, but was familiar with Joel Zamel 's name only from preparing for Committee testimony.
According to Trump Jr 's. recollection of the August 2016 meeting, Erik Prince visited Trump Jr. 's office on relatively short notice, and was accompanied by Nader and Zamel. Trump Jr. did not recall any conversation concerning Middle East extremist groups or Iran sanctions, or organized efforts to assist the Trump Campaign, but he did remember talking to the individual later established to be Zamel about" combatting fake news.''

Zamel indicated that in the weeks after the August meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Nader" circumvented'' Zamel and began to communicate directly with Trump Jr., leaving Zamel" cut out.''
Asked whether Erik Prince ever encouraged Nader to pay Psy Group to undertake the project Zamel and Nader were considering, Zamel responded affirmatively and indicated that Prince made a statement along the lines of''[ y] ou should pay him.'' Zamel quoted a price of" five to ten[ million dollars]'' to Nader for the work and in response Nader indicated he would be willing to pay five million dollars to begin the work. The Committee did not find or receive information probative of the source of the five million dollars referenced by Nader.

Zamel told the Committee that Psy Group performed no work relative to the 2016 U.S. presidential election;''[ n] ot a tweet, not a character, nothing.''
Nonetheless, as described below, Zamel engaged in work on behalf of Nader, for which he was paid in excess of$ 1 million.

After the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Zamel indicated that in mid-November 2016, Nader contacted him seeking to obtain" a lot of documents on extremist groups,'' and" something that shows social media 's impact on the election.''
Zamel described the desired analysis as" a reflection on what social media 's effect on the election was as seen by different sources.'' Zamel indicated that Nader never explained why he wanted the social media analysis.

Zamel never communicated the request for the social media analysis to Psy Group, opting instead to bring the request to Daniel Green, despite Green 's lack of relevant experience or proficiency in data analytics, polling, or political analysis.
According to Zamel, Green" Googled a bunch of articles'' and summarized the content in a presentation that was prefaced with the disclaimer:" This is an academic study based on open source materials.''

Zamel presented the social media analysis to Nader in New York in January 2017.
Zamel · stated he never provided a copy of the presentation to Nader, either in hard copy or electronically. The presentation was brought from Israel to New York on a thumb drive, presented on a single laptop computer, and transported back to Israel by Zamel. According to Zamel, Nader indicated that he intended to show the social media presentation to" the young man.'' Based on his familiarity with Nader 's use of such descriptors, Zamel understood" the young man'' to be Donald Trump Jr.. After viewing the presentation with Zamel in January, Nader never again asked about the requested analysis. Zamel asserted that the presentation was deleted from the laptop computer and the thumb drive upon his return to Israel, adding that" at some point,[ Nader] said:` I do n't need it.'''

Zamel indicated that he was paid" over a million dollars'' for the presentation and an accompanying analysis of the" Muslim Brotherhood and extremism.''
According to news media reporting, an associate characterized the amount of money paid to Zamel as" up to$ 2 million.'' Zamel indicated that payment for these materials from Nader came directly" from his personal account to a business entity related to me,'' and was made prior to the presentation of the requested analysis.

In a November 28, 2016 email, Psy Group employees discussed" creating avatar armies to offer a service which could offer a similar effect the way Trump used masses of fake accounts on social media to create trending hashtags and create buzz around certain hot topics.''
It was noted in this exchange that" due to FB 's[ Facebook 's] anti-fraud we could only do this small scale on FB[ Facebook] but on[ T] witter there was still opportunity to develop an automated system.'' The exact meaning of the reference to Trump in this email is unclear. The Committee 's investigation into Russia 's use of social media to conduct foreign influence operations documents Russia 's employment of fake online personas, often in support of the Trump Campaign, but the Committee did not find sufficient evidence to support the assertion that the Trump Campaign itself engaged in these practices.

A breakdown of anticipated Psy Group revenue for work performed in Washington, D.C. was forwarded as an attachment to a February 11, 2017, email sent from Scott Mortman to Royi Burstien.
Among the prospective revenue sources was a project for General Electric that Psy Group was expected to support through a subcontract with Cambridge Analytica.

An email from February 5, 2018, detailed a series of Psy Group business development meetings.
One such meeting was with David Eichenbaum, identified as a campaigner and" media expert for political campaigns, working for the Democratic party.'' Among the opportunities discussed was Psy Group 's potentially working with Eichenbaum in support of his effort to" raise funds from West coast high tech HNWIs[ high-net-worth individuals] to open a Super Pac that will focus on these new capabilities for the coming Congress/Senate/Governor races in 2018- as a proof of concept for the 2020 national elections.''

According to Burstien 's proffer, to capitalize on what was anticipated to be an expanded market for Psy Group 's services following the Trump Campaign 's victory, a" look-back'' presentation touting the company 's capabilities vis-a-vis social media was prepared by Invop.
Burstien indicated that this presentation was not prepared at Zamel 's request.

Zamel stated that Rudy Giuliani introduced him to Jared Kushner" months after the inauguration'' when he met with Kushner at the White House to discuss human rights issues in the Middle East, Iran, and" counter-extremism.''

v. Additional International Activity




Zamel co-founded Wikistrat, a global crowd-sourced consulting firm, in approximately 2009.
Zamel indicated that he spoke over the telephone with Lieutenant General Michael Flynn about Wikistrat 's work in either 2014 or 2015, but the conversation never materialized into a personal or business relationship. Zamel indicated to the Committee that he had never actually met Flynn in person.

According to Zamel, retired U.S. intelligence officer David Shedd served as an advisor to Wikistrat.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Shedd indicated that he was in contact with Jeff Sessions and asked Zamel to prepare a policy paper on hosting a conference of Muslim leaders from around the world for the purpose of collectively condemning the practice of suicide bombings as an illegitimate form of violence. In September 2016, Zamel accompanied Shedd to a meeting with then-Senator Jeff Sessions in his Senate office. The meeting concerned using social media to delegitimize ISIS. The Committee did not further explore this meeting. 4. Colt Ventures and VizSense

i. Initial Efforts to Work with the Trump Campaign

Venture capital firm Colt Ventures was formed in 2003 by Darren Blanton, a Dallas-based investor who served as an adviser to the Trump Transition team.
Colt Ventures is an investor in VizSense, a Dallas-based social-media and" micro-influencer'' company co-founded by Jon Iadonisi and Timothy Newberry in 2015. Colt Ventures was paid$ 200,000 by the Trump Campaign for" data management services,'' a portion of which was remitted to VizSense for work it performed as part of the agreement between Colt Ventures and the Trump Campaign.

In July 2016, Iadonisi discussed with Flynn the role" influencers'' would play in determining the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Flynn connected Iadonisi with the Trump Campaign, in the ambition of connecting him to" whomever is running these operations for the Trump campaign.''

Emails from August 18, 2016, indicate that Iadonisi spoke with Brad Parscale and another Trump Campaign staffer about VizSense.
Iadonisi sent examples of VizSense 's work the following day, including a" persuasion campaign using organically created content to drive a conversation... using influencers to spread the message.'' Iadonisi noted that this" same technique can be used in politics, where the content and influencers are surgically designed to deliver a political message to a specific audience, creating a digital bonfire of conversation.''

In mid-September 2016, Iadonisi sent a proposal to Bannon, titled" Trump_Campaign_Proposal_9_9_16.pdf.''
Bannon requested that Blanton, Bannon 's longtime friend who had recently sought to become involved in the Trump Campaign, meet with Iadonisi and review the proposal. Iadonisi, in tum, connected Blanton to Flynn, in connection with Bannon 's request that Blanton review the proposal.

On September 14, 2016, Iadonisi sent a draft statement of work to Darren Blanton that broke the notional work to be performed by VizSense into three deliverables: installation and set-up, analysis and tasking from Trump Campaign, and conducting of operations-with daily updates provided.
The statement of work contemplated a fee of$ 769,000, and included services such as''[ d] etermine critical voting districts... to focus the voter support team... efforts,''''[ a] ssess online sentiment/narratives according to each[ critical voting district],'' and''[ p] rovide an executive summary about prominent narratives and proposed offensive operations needed to mobilize Trump voters in each[ critical voting district].'' That same day, in a separate email, Iadonisi described an operational concept that could" be used by the wider campaign effort( polling) to direct Trump advertising dollars with precision.'' On September 18, 2016, Iadonisi sent a contract services agreement to Bannon, Flynn, and others.

VizSense 's efforts to contract directly with the Trump Campaign were unsuccessful.
On September 22, 2016, Iadonisi informed Flynn that he had heard through Blanton that" Steve Bannon is basing the campaign strategy on Brad Parscale and his team. They have declined our offer.'' Iadonisi further stated that in the alternative," they asked if we could do it for free and focus on Trump fundraising. We would be able to keep 25 % of what we raised.'' Iadonisi indicated that he declined the offer.

Blanton, however, continued to pursue a contract.
In an email exchange from September 27, 2016, Blanton indicated that Oczkowski''[ h] as a team of data scientists and they sit right outside of[ Dan Scavino 's] door. I spoke to them and think that they have a good grasp to work with us if Steve[ Bannon] is ok with that? '' In response, Bannon told Blanton to" just listen to'' Oczkowski, but not commit to him. Blanton 's overtures to Bannon continue with a subsequent email that same day, with the subject line" Did call on foreign voters this is the week they request ballots. Got to act quick.'' Blanton indicated that he" spoke to Jesse at[ GOP] about foreign voters and have a strategy. He 's getting me as many digital addresses as he can find. We need to send out a video request from[ then-candidate Trump] via social[ media] to ask for their votes.''

The following day, in a September 28, 2016 email, Blanton made a protracted appeal to Bannon about" the content strategy and GOTV[ Get Out The Vote] plan.''
This exchange preceded a series of communications involving work Blanton performed on behalf of the Trump Campaign, leveraging targeted social media messaging to advance campaign-friendly messaging for overseas voters.

On September 30; 2016, Blanton emailed deputy manager to the Trump Campaign David Bossie that''[ a] ccording to our expert in the UK these are some sample tweets that will move the needle to get votes with the millions of American citizens living overseas,'' adding that''[ w] e can also monitor how they are resonating with influencers once we get approval to use our tools.''

In an October 2, 2016 email to Bannon, Parscale, and Flynn, with the subject line" Re: Give us the go ahead and we will start feeding you intel on what the Chatter is on social and infographics to feed through our campaign funnels,'' Darren Blanton asked about messaging via" other mediums like Facebook,'' and whether" any of those tweets on[ o] verseas voters got launched? ''

In an exchange of emails from October 3, 2016, Blanton and Bannon communicated about a proposal that Blanton and Flynn were promoting.
Bannon instructed Blanton to''[ g] et with[ David Bossie].'' In responding, Blanton asked Bossie about his availability to discuss the proposal, and noted that" Flynn can tell you about[ the proposal] when y' all are with Trump today.''

[ REDADCTED] and Overseas Voters







Colt Ventures Work on Behalf of the Trump Campaign

On October 8, 2016, Flynn forwarded to Parscale a contract relative to work to be performed by Colt Ventures LP, as well as bank account and wire transfer routing information.
Flynn indicated that" we have already begun work on the priorities'' previously identified by Parscale. Flynn added that the" first priority is to immediately... support the influence component of the upcoming debate, learn from it and continue to provide value by helping to increase voter awareness and sentiment in support of[ then-candidate Donald Trump].''

In an October 8, 2016 email, Blanton asked Flynn whether he had obtained" any more feedback or updates from[ the Trump] campaign? ''
In response, Flynn indicated that there had been" no feedback from Brad[ Parscale] yet.''

Blanton identified the Big League Truth Team, which appears to be a" fact checker site'' associated with the Trump Campaign, as" one of the things we are going to help[ the] campaign on.''
On October 9, 2016, Blanton forwarded an email to Flynn and Iadonisi with the subject line" Instructions,'' containing information on the" Big League Truth Team.'' The forwarded message instructed recipients that''[ b] efore, during and after each debate we will send you messages we need you to spread online. Use Twitter, Facebook, Email and any other tool you have to spread what we send you.''