By Ben Barrack
With regard to Rep. Mike Rogers’ upcoming radio career (look for it to be short-lived), one thing is increasingly certain; he will need one of the best call-screeners in the business. While he’s at it, he may want to have a five minute delay installed and a hired hand with a finger on the “dump” button at all times. Rogers, the outgoing head of the House Intelligence Committee, is entering the talk radio business at a time when the Select Committee on Benghazi could be dominating the news (especially in talk radio) and his wife should be introduced as a topic of discussion.
The same legal watchdog group that exposed the ‘Smoking gun’ Benghazi email – which was compounded by our discovery at Shoebat.com, that one of the names on the distribution list is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood – has zeroed in on another conflict of interest with Rogers.
This time, it involves his wife, Kristi, who quietly resigned from her position at Manatt, Phelps and Phelps law firm just two weeks prior to her husband’s announcement that he would be resigning from Congress after this year. Kristi’s time at Manatt law firm was barely more than a year:
“Her departure was not announced and her association with the firm has been scrubbed from its website.”
In 2011, Ms. Rogers was named vice chairman of the company’s board of directors. In December 2012, she left Aegis and joined the law firm Manatt as a managing director for federal government affairs.
As it relates to the Benghazi timeline, her departure was roughly three months after four Americans were murdered in the Libyan city on 9/11/12.
Question: Did Aegis have any business in Libya?
Answer: Oh, yeah.
In fact, when it comes to Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, there is an interesting confluence of events relative to their ladder-climbing in Congress and at Aegis respectively, as well as when relevant events unfolded in Libya. Libya was a focus of the Obama administration in 2011. In particular, Obama sought the removal of Muammar Gadhafi, which ultimately happened in October of that year.
The Arab Spring protests began in January and took root in Libya by February. Mike Rogers had just become House Intelligence Committee chairman and his wife had already been with Aegis since 2006. However, in 2011, Kristi’s rise with that company coincided with its very increased presence in Libya:
Libya also was an area of activity for Aegis, Ms. Rogers’ company. As Rep. Rogers assumed control of the Intelligence Committee, an Aegis subsidiary, Aegis Advisory, began setting up shop in Libya. “Aegis has been operating in Libya since February 2011,” noted an Aegis Advisory intelligence report aimed at corporate clients. The report, marked “Confidential,” notes the company’s ability to provide “proprietary information [and] expert knowledge from our country team based in Tripoli.” Security was part of the Aegis package, too.
Who was Aegis doing work for while in Libya in 2011? According to a statement, it was not the U.S. Government (unless it was covert / non-contract work):
“(No) member of the Aegis Group has ever entered into a contract with any department of the U.S. government to perform work in Libya.”
For those paying attention, when an entity in the “covert” operations business says it never “entered into a contract”, that would qualify as a statement made inside a wiggle room.
According to its website, Aegis Advisory does work…
…for a range of major clients, which include multinational corporations, investment banks, law firms, private equity houses and government organisations. The intelligence Aegis provides informs our clients’ strategic business decisions, mitigating risk and providing opportunity.
What is not known is who Aegis would have been doing work for in Libya at a time when the spouse of the company’s vice chairman of its board of directors also happened to be the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Aegis’ area of expertise is… intelligence. Based on Aegis’ statement, its presence in Libya was in no way connected to “any department of the U.S. government” (at least not with a “contract”).
That leads to the notion of covert operations in Libya. Publicly, Mr. Rogers was against them as of March of 2011, saying:
“Any covert action that happens would have to get the sign off of the intelligence chairmen, by statute. You won’t get a sign off from me,” Rogers said referring to National Security Act 47. “I still think arming the rebels is a horrible idea. We don’t know who they are, we only know who they are against but we don’t really who they are for. We don’t have a good picture of who’s really in charge.”
Indications are that Mr. Rogers didn’t feel the same way when it came to shipping weapons out of Benghazi. According to a very credible report, then CIA Director David Petraeus ran a covert operation out of Benghazi in early 2012. The purpose was to ship weapons to Turkey from the CIA Annex. From there, the weapons were then shipped to Syria.
The degree to which either Mr. or Mrs. Rogers knew about this operation at the time is not known but what is known is that the House Intelligence Chairman was one of eight members of Congress who allegedly received a classified annex to last January’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report. That annex laid out the details of this covert operation.
At a minimum, Mr. Rogers knew about this operation this past January. However, the notion that is the first time he learned of it simply strains credulity for one simple reason. House Speaker John Boehner – also one of the eight – demonstrated his own knowledge of the operation one year earlier, on January 24, 2013, during an interview with Laura Ingraham. Had Boehner not communicated with Rogers about what he knew regarding the operation, he would have been in violation of the law. Again, consider what Mr. Rogers said in March of 2011 about arming Libyan rebels:
“Any covert action that happens would have to get the sign off of the intelligence chairmen, by statute.“
We can therefore conclude that either Boehner was an accessory to obstruction of justice by not informing Rogers of the covert operation or that Rogers knew about it prior to Boehner’s interview with Ingraham last year. Frankly, the latter is far more likely. From there, it should be determined to what extent did Mr. Rogers communicate with Mrs. Rogers? We’re not talking about “True Lies” in which one spouse was in the business and one wasn’t. Both Mike and Kristi were very familiar with the intelligence business.
Here is the clip of Boehner with Ingraham on January 24, 2013:
Some might remember that a NATO presence in Libya at the orders of Barack Obama became controversial because it didn’t involve Congress. At issue was the 1973 War Powers Act, which required Obama to get Congressional authorization for hostilities involving U.S. forces after 60 days.
In June of 2011, Mr. Rogers was one of only eight Republicans who voted to authorize military action to remove Gadhafi in Libya. This was clearly an attempt to get the War Powers Act debate off the table. In essence, it sought to eliminate the issue of Congressional inaction in response to egregious Presidential action. An authorization to use force would have made everything legit.
In August of 2011 – as Gadhafi was about to fall – Mr. Rogers appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. In a moment of candor, Rogers argued that the U.S. must “aggressively” secure very dangerous weapons from the Libyan rebels.
This is clearly what the CIA Annex in Benghazi was all about and even further bolsters the case that said weapons were then shipped on to Syria via Turkey. Take note at the 2:30 mark, when Rogers says that a “surge of diplomatic efforts” would be necessary to secure the weapons:
Securing the weapons = CIA Annex.
Diplomatic efforts = Christopher Stevens.
In an interview with Megyn Kelly last year, Rogers reluctantly confirmed that Stevens met with his committee in the days before the Benghazi attacks. Here is an audio clip of that portion of the exchange.
As Shoebat.com has chronicled, when it comes to Rogers and Benghazi, the red flags are in abundance. One of them is another conflict of interest that involved his committee’s lead investigator taking a job with several Hillary Clinton allies and former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell.