Who would think that escaping beheading by Al Qaeda could lead to a confrontation with the Mueller Russia Probe? Snug and secure in their south Texas home on a prairie 12 miles from the nearest grocery store, Jimmy and JoAnne Moriarty had their peaceful day interrupted by a knock at the door. FBI Special Agent Michael Carroll was there to ask the couple a few questions about their involvement with the Trump-Russia collusion scandal.
Jimmy and JoAnne Moriarty’s story began seven years earlier when they were in Libya doing oilfield remediation consulting work. Working in Libya for several months, the Moriartys developed a close relationship with the various tribal leaders in the country, the real leaders of Libya after Muammar Gaddafi backed down from direct leadership. They realized that the situation in Libya was not portrayed correctly in western media, that the people there had a great deal of freedom, and that the true power of Libya rested in the hands of the various tribes rather than in Gaddafi.
Disturbed by what they read in the western press about conditions in Libya, Jimmy and JoAnne began communicating with whistle-blower author Jerome Corsi, author of Unfit for Command (2004) and The Obama Nation (2008). They hoped that Mr. Corsi could expose some of the misinformation about Libya. Corsi is a friend of Roger Stone, a person of interest in Mueller’s Russia Probe, and Corsi communicated some of the Moriaritys’ concerns regarding Libya to Stone. And there were a few emails on this subject between Stone and the Moriaritys.
But is that enough to suspect a connection between Trump and Russia? Between Russia and the Moriartys? There is a little more, another thread if you will, albeit a gossamer thread.
When the bombing started in Tripoli in 2011, Jimmy and JoAnne found themselves stranded. Roads became impassable, buildings lay in smoking ruins, the streets were littered with bodies and the homeless, and the roads leading out of town were choked with refugees fleeing the city. The city was now in the hands of Al Qaeda carrying AK-47s, M16s, and shoulder held rockets delivered to Libya in early 2010 by the U.S. State Department. The airport closed, and there was no way to get out of Tripoli. They hunkered down in a hotel and found other forcing nationals there seeking refuge. That’s when they met Maksim Maksimov, then the Minister-Counselor and Chargé d’affaires of the Russian Federation in Libya. Mr. Maksimov had made arrangements for the foreigners at the hotel to depart Libya by boat. That is also when they learned that both Jimmy and JoAnne’s name were on a list of people in Libya to be executed by “rebel” forces. The “rebels” were Al Qaeda and the list was obtained through sources at the U.S. State Department. The Moriartys later learned that their names likely ended up on the list because of their attempts to make public certain facts on the ground in Libya.
Not only had messages from Jimmy and JoAnne Moriarty regarding Libya been conveyed to Roger Stone, they had actually arranged with the Russian government by way of Maksimov their escape from Libya. Unfortunately, that rescue never happened, because gunfire, bombs, and rockets prevented the rescue ship from coming within three miles of shore. The Moriartys did not know this at the time, and when the left the hotel to meet up with the ship that never came, along with others in their group from the hotel, they were apprehended by Al Qaeda soldiers and taken to another hotel, the Corinthian, where they were held hostage.
After spending the night in the Corinthian Hotel, Jimmy and JoAnne were escorted to a white van. They learned that the van was taking them to a “killing zone,” where the rebels holding them would receive $2,500 for killing the Moriartys, and a bonus of $1,000 if the rebels hacked them into pieces. Jimmy and JoAnne scraped the last of their cash together, about $3,600, and gave it to their executioners to drive the other way. Fortunately for the Moriartys, the lure of American money was greater than the rebels’ loyalty to a cause.
Jimmy and JoAnne made their way to a short line freighter on its way to Benghazi, a two-day trip, where they were able to catch an airplane leaving the country. When the airplane landed, they observed several Qatari soldiers removing several crates of gold from the airplane.
A few years later, after the fighting ended, Jimmy and JoAnne returned to Libya as the American delegates to the Fact Finding Commission for Youth for Peace. While in back Libya, they met up with some of the tribal leaders with whom they were previously acquainted. These leaders wanted Jimmy and JoAnne to somehow deliver a message for them to Donald Trump. The only way they knew to get ahold of then candidate Trump was by way of Roger Stone. The message was simple. The people of or Libya endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States.
When Jimmy and JoAnne Moriarty told this story to Special Agent Michael Carroll and asked what any of that had to do with the Russian collusion investigation, according to Jimmy, the FBI agent responded simply, “This is supposed to be about the Russian probe, but it really isn’t.”