The evidence we obtained shows email chains to and between Power and her Counselor, Nikolaus Steinberg, just three days after the election in which Power actively discusses an “idea to seek maximum amplif[ication]” of her politically biased messaging. Steinberg first raised the idea of “a useful (and somewhat cathartic) vessel to Channel some post-Trump messages about who we are.” Minutes later Power responds, “Need to move out on 60 mins idea to seek maximum amplif. [sic] I can write Charlie or bill Owens if he’s still there.”
After a brief discussion ensued over who would reach out, later that evening, Steinberg sent Power a “Draft pitch email” for her to send to 60 Minutes, yet that draft is completely redacted. Subsequently, he suggested doing the pitch to 60 Minutes or CBS Sunday Morning on the issue of refugees, stating, “with the hook being the foreshadowing that Trump and company may try to undo all of this.” Minutes later, Power sent an email to Bill Owens, the Executive Editor of 60 Minutes: “We’re still reeling here, as you might imagine. . . . Not withstanding this, Tuesday’s results have given us an even greater sense of urgency to get our work done in our last few months. 70 good long days left!”
In one of the more disturbing emails, on December 14th, Steinberg replies to an email Power sent under the subject line “tom friedman today – see last para quote by larry diamond” (this email appears from the production to contain no other information). However, Steinberg’s reply to Power contains a December 9th article from The Atlantic by Larry Diamond entitled, “Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy,” which furthers a narrative questioning the legitimacy of the election.
His commentary with the article simply states, “Indeed. Saw it and read Diamond’s piece Monday when doing some research. It’s a solid piece. Pasted it below and will have it added to your book.” This occurred during the height of Power’s “unmasking” and calls into question what “research” and “book” he was putting together for her.
Four days later, on December 18th, Power replied to an interview request from Univision reporter Jorge Ramos – who had been repeatedly and publically critical of the incoming President – with an underhanded snub: “If we do something, we will make it good. Ptsd in retreat – Trump has vanquished it. Let’s see!”
Enter Russia, with just days to go before then-President elect Donald Trump’s inauguration:
Finally, and maybe most significantly, the day she delivered that speech – again just three days before the inauguration – an email chain under the subject line, “Russia speech 1am version,” between Power, Rice, Rhodes, and others is almost completely redacted. The flurry of email activity occurs between 1:25 a.m. and 1:45 a.m., and demonstrates that the three key players in the unprecedented “unmasking” were literally working around the clock in the final days of the Obama Administration.
Then, just hours later, after the speech, in an email chain under the subject line, “Russia,” between Halie Soifer (Power’s Policy Advisor), Steinberg, and Power sent her “as delivered” remarks to two USUN listserves. However, each of the subsequent replies, including two from Power herself, are completely redacted.
Further, and of critical importance, is that nothing in the unredacted portion of either email chain that day is responsive to our FOIA request. That means, that something in those redacted email chains – sent just 3 days before the presidential inauguration – is responsive to our FOIA request.