Rudy Giuliani’s Scott Brady Interview Doesn’t Appear in His Warrant Affidavit

I’m about to do a larger post on some of the warrants targeting Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas, but first I want to make a point about the April 21, 2021 warrant targeting Rudy.

It doesn’t once mention Rudy’s January 29, 2020 interview with the Pittsburgh US Attorney’s office.

It sources Rudy’s own claims about his activities to a series of articles, interviews, and Tweets.

But the affidavit never once mentions that Rudy Giuliani sat for a 4-hour interview with the Pittsburgh US Attorney and nine other people on January 29, 2020.

NYT first disclosed the interview in this December 2020 article.

Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert J. Costello, asked the Justice Department for a meeting to discuss what he felt was explosive information about Hunter Biden that he had gathered from people in Ukraine and elsewhere, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

In response, Mr. Brady called Mr. Costello and offered to meet. Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Costello sent reams of documents to Pittsburgh, then traveled there on Jan. 29. They were picked up by F.B.I. agents and stopped for breakfast before meeting for nearly four hours at the local F.B.I. office with Mr. Brady and his top deputies on the inquiry, Stephen Kaufman and Ira Karoll, the person said.

Rudy described the interview at length in a letter claiming that the government should never have seized his devices (and revealing that SDNY requested, in both November 2020 and January 2021, to do so).

[I]n January 2020, counsel for Giuliani contacted high officials in the Justice Department, to inform them that Giuliani wanted to provide evidence for their consideration about the Ukraine. Within a day, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott W. Brady, contacted Giuliani’s counsel and offered to hold a meeting in Pittsburgh with both the United States Attorney’s office personnel and the FBI. Mayor Giuliani immediately accepted, and a meeting was scheduled for January 29, 2020.

On January 29, 2020, Mayor Giuliani and his counsel, flew to Pittsburgh at their own cost, where they were met by agents of the FBI and transported to FBI headquarters in Pittsburgh. Present at that meeting were the United States Attorney, the First Assistant United States Attorney, the Chief of the Criminal Division, and two additional Assistant United States Attorneys (“AUSA’s”) from the Western District of Pennsylvania. The FBI was represented by the Special Agent in Charge (“SAIC”) of the Pittsburgh FBI, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (“ASAIC”), and three other special agents of the FBI.

Prior to the meeting, Giuliani’s counsel had provided the Pittsburgh United States Attorney’s office with documents and an extensive outline of the subject matter to be discussed, so that the Government could be fully informed and prepared to ask probing questions. Giuliani began the meeting by making a presentation with handouts. During his presentation, and at the end of it, the Mayor and his counsel answered every question they were asked, to the apparent satisfaction of all of the Government officials in the room. In addition to the presentation, Giuliani provided the Government with the names and addresses of individual witnesses, both in the United States and in Ukraine, that could corroborate and amplify the information that the Mayor was providing. Subsequent to that meeting, and covering a period of months, counsel for Giuliani received a number of inquiries, discussions and requests from the First Assistant United States Attorney. All requests were granted and all inquiries were answered. [my emphasis]

At Scott Brady’s deposition before House Judiciary Committee, there was an extensive exchange about that interview — including regarding then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Seth DuCharme’s request that Brady sit in on the interview personally — which I first wrote about here.

And I’ll get copies for everyone. It’s very short. This is an email from Seth DuCharme to you, subject: “Interview.” The date is Wednesday, January 15, 2020. And, for the record, the text of the email is, quote, “Scott I concur with your proposal to interview the person we talked about would feel more comfortable if you participated so we get a sense of what’s coming out of it. We can talk further when convenient for you. Best, Seth.” And tell me if you recall that email.

A Yes, I do recall it.

Q Okay. And the date, again, is January 15, 2020, correct?

A That’s right.

Q So that was 14 days before the interview that you just described at which you were present, correct?

A Correct.

Q Does that help you recall whether this email between you and Seth DuCharme was referring to the witness that you participated in the interview of on January 29, 2020?

A Yes, it definitely did.

Q Okay. Just for clarity, yes, this email is about that witness?

A Yes, that email is about setting up a meeting and interview of Mr. Giuliani.

Q Okay. So the witness was Mr. Giuliani? That’s who you’re talking about?

A Yes.

Q Okay. And it was, in your judgment, important to get Mr. DuCharme’s opinion or, quote, “concurrence” about interviewing Mr. Giuliani. Is that fair to say?

A As I sit here, I don’t know if it was about interviewing Mr. Giuliani or just the logistics of where the interview would take place Pittsburgh, New York, D.C. It might’ve been about that.

Q So you needed Mr. DuCharme’s opinion about where the interview would be taking place?

A No, I didn’t need his opinion.

Q Oh. I’m just trying to

A Yeah.

Q understand, what was the reason, if you can recall, why you consulted with Mr. DuCharme about that particular decision, about whether or not you should interview Mr. Giuliani and any other aspect of that decision?

A Yeah, I I don’t know. I may have just been circling back to him, saying, “Hey, here’s the plan.” And he said, “Yeah, that sounds fine.”

Q Okay. Well, he also said that he would feel more comfortable if you participated, right?

A In that email, he did, yes.

Q Yeah. Was that consistent with what your experience with Mr. DuCharme was when you discussed interviewing Mr. Giuliani, or is there something unusual about the email?

A I don’t remember that there’s anything unusual. I would’ve sat in on that interview anyways, in all likelihood.

Q Okay. And just I don’t want to take this away from you, because I know you and I

A Oh, sure.

Q just have one copy. But just, again, what this email says is, “I concur with your proposal to interview the person we talked about.” And then he says, “Would feel more comfortable if you participated so we get a sense of what’s coming out of it.” Do you see that?

A Uhhuh.

Q Okay.

A Yes.

Q So what did he mean by “we”? Who was he referring to by “we”? Do you know?

A I don’t know.

Q Okay. Is it fair to infer that he is referring to the Attorney General and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General where he was working?

A I don’t know. Yeah, some group of people at Main Justice, but I don’t know specifically if it was DAG Rosen, Attorney General Barr, or the people that were supporting them in ODAG and OAG.

Brady would go on to concede there were a number of things — such as Rudy’s attempts to reach out to Mykola Zlochevsky and his possession of a hard drive of data from Hunter Biden — that Rudy never told the Pittsburgh US Attorney.

Q Okay. Then the other question I think that I have to ask about this is: This is a prior inconsistent statement of Mr. Zlochevsky that your investigation did not uncover, but it’s a statement that Mr. Giuliani was certainly aware of. Would you agree?

A Yes, if based on your representation, yes, absolutely.


Okay. And what I am asking you is, have you ever heard that during the course of your investigation that Mr. Giuliani actually learned of the hard drive material on May 30th, 2019?

A No, not during our 2020 vetting process, no.

Q Mr. Giuliani never shared anything about the hard drives or the laptop or any of that in his material with you?

Mr. [Andrew] Lelling. Don’t answer that.

Q Oh, you are not going to answer?

Mr. Lelling. I instruct him not to answer.

Q. He did answer earlier that the hard drive. That Mr. Giuliani did not provide a hard drive.

Mr. Lelling. Okay.

Mr. Brady. He did not provide it. We were unaware of it.

By his own telling, Rudy spent four hours telling a team of ten people about these matters, and yet this affidavit doesn’t mention that interview at all.

To be sure, in his book, Geoffrey Berman — who was likely fired for conducting this investigation — provides one explanation for why Rudy’s 302s wouldn’t be incorporated in any warrant affidavit targeting Rudy: because the FBI refused to share those 302s with the NY Special Agent in Charge, William Sweeney.

So in January 2020 he came up with a plan. He described this plan he had hatched as “an intake process in the field.” That made it sound almost normal. The Department of Justice, in order to deal with the large influx of evidence, was going to employ this tried-and-true method in order to keep it all straight! But in all my years as a prosecutor and defense attorney, I had never heard of “an intake process in the field,” and neither had my executive staff or Sweeney.

His plan was to run all Ukraine-related matters, including information that Giuliani was peddling about the Bidens, through two other districts. His choices were Rich Donoghue, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, who sat in Brooklyn; and Scott Brady, the US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh. Donoghue would oversee all Ukraine-related investigations, and Brady would handle the intake of information from Rudy and his lawyer.

This scheme, notably, did not include me or SDNY, which, as the office running the Lev and Igor case, was well versed in all things Ukraine. Barr’s implication seemed to be that with such a fire hose of material coming in from Rudy and his lawyer, we needed to spread the work out. And we had to have some kind of traffic cop to keep it all organized and flowing in the right direction—which was to be Brady in Pittsburgh.

All of this, of course, was utter nonsense. If somebody has information about an ongoing case, they typically hire a lawyer and approach the office that’s involved. Regardless of the quality or veracity of the material, I wanted to see it. We were the office with the background to determine its value. And we certainly would have had our own questions for Rudy, because he was a close associate of the two guys we just indicted. What’s more, our office was only a taxi ride away for Rudy and his lawyer—Pittsburgh was a 350-mile trip for them.

We could have handled whatever information Rudy had. With more than two hundred fully capable attorneys, I would have found a couple more to throw into the mix if it came to that. But that’s not what was driving the attorney general’s machinations. I believe it was really an effort by Barr to keep tabs on our continuing Lev and Igor investigation and keep us segregated from potentially helpful leads or admissions being provided by Rudy.

This became immediately clear to me and to Sweeney when we tried to access the information Rudy was providing. Rudy and his lawyer met several times with Main Justice and then with Brady’s team in Pittsburgh. There were FBI reports of those meetings, called 302s, which we wanted to review. So did Sweeney. Sweeney’s team asked the agents in Pittsburgh for a copy and was refused. Sweeney called me up, livid.

“Geoff, in all my years with the FBI I have never been refused a 302,” he said. “This is a total violation of protocol.”

Sweeney asked Jacqueline Maguire, his special agent in charge, to reach out to the acting head of the FBI’s office in Pittsburgh, Eugene Kowel, to request the 302s and related information. A few days later Kowel got back to Maguire and repeated what Brady had told him about the 302s: “It’s not my job to help the Southern District of New York make a case against Rudy.” [my emphasis]

Yet SDNY had to wait until Bill Barr was long gone before they got approval to serve this warrant. How is it possible that in the month and a half since Merrick Garland came in, SDNY had never gotten permission to read the 302s from Rudy’s “cooperation” in Pittsburgh?

Related: In related news, in a request for a delay in responding to Hunter Biden’s lawsuit against Rudy and his former attorney now creditor Robert Costello, it appears they are represented by the same firm.

57 replies
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  2. Upisdown says:

    It doesn’t add up. It was a full year before Trump left office. Trump’s official lawyer (Giuliani) knew what they had. Trump’s unofficial lawyer (Barr) knew what they had. If they possessed anything of value there is no way that Trump didn’t know about it. It is now almost a full four years later and there is nothing to use against either Biden?

    How is this not a cover-up of Trump’s corrupt investigation?

  3. Tony Daniel says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like someone at main justice was threading the needle to avoid obstruction?

    • emptywheel says:

      You mean when they did the interview, or when, under Lisa Monaco, SDNY didn’t include it in an affidavit?

      The email included in the Scott Brady deposition was NOT turned over to American Oversight in FOIA–at least not in the first response. And I think many of the comms between DuCharme and Brady were deleted on the OAG end (in the same FOIA, the copies turned over all came from USAO). But it would be astounding if someone simply destroyed that 302.

      That said, there are a bunch of interview reports that Barr tried to keep out of the system.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        The kindest possible interpretation of this is ‘Parallel Construction.” Someone at SDNY knew what Rudy had said, but couldn’t prove it, so they looked for a parallel proof in ordinary media, because they knew Rudy didn’t have a clue about zipping his lips. And does the interview over Bloody Mary’s sound like an ethical journalist, or someone who’s FBI-friendly looking to get a suspected lush liquored up to answer some questions?

        Also, if what you’re implying is true, it’s pretty much positive proof that HB’s prosecution is political.

      • timmer says:

        I will be tickled pink when it is ultimately “unearthed”, the knowledge BillyBarr has of bodies buried.

      • nanutetonydaniel says:

        Sorry for taking so long to respond. Happy New Year, EW.
        I think the whole “breakdown” of the process seems to have been an effort by Barr to compartmentalize information. We know there were (are) agents in NY’s FBI office that were sympathetic to Guliani and may have been providing him with information that he probably wasn’t entitled to. Only time will tell. Did the 302 get destroyed? More likely it was shuffled around as part of the effort to wall of one investigative agency against another. Is Garland looking at the inconsistencies and possible covering up of evidence? I hope so.
        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You have most recently published comments under “Tony Daniel” though you have published comments as Nanute, nanute, Anthony Daniel, and tony daniel (letter case matters). Please pick a name and stick with it for every comment; future disparities in username may not clear moderation. /~Rayne]

  4. Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

    Trump: Rudy’s back from Ukraine and he’s got the dirt. It’s probably all bullshit, but I want it kept away from Deep State FBI so it doesn’t get buried.

    Barr: Got it. I’ll create a… um… an “intake process in the field” so Rudy’s goods go only to siloed loyalists.

    Trump: Good. Make sure the shit also finds its way to friendly media. I need the heat off this impeachment hoax.

    Barr: I’m on it. And yes, I know, we never had this conversation.

  5. vigetnovus says:

    Not to be TOO OT, but did anyone see the CNN piece on Chesebro’s proffers and emails? It’s pretty explosive.

    • Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

      Heh, fake elector ballots were stuck in the mail and risked not arriving before Jan 6. Could it be Postmaster General DeJoy was to blame?

      • P’villain says:

        Who knew that when you fucked up the USPS to suppress mail-in votes, it would be Electoral College votes you suppressed?

    • emptywheel says:

      Most of it was know, in outline. IMO, the biggest new detail is that Matt Morgan was involved in the fake elector conspiracy until the end.

      • vigetnovus says:

        What about the campaign expenditures? I don’t believe that was known before…. Plus the emails are very very explicit about the plans. That at least wasn’t public.

        Wouldn’t that open up campaign finance violations as an avenue for charging? In addition, I would think mail and wire fraud would be on the table too….

        • Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

          At the very least I would think the campaign expenditures are more evidence against Trump’s absolute immunity arguments.

        • emptywheel says:

          One reason wire fraud may not be is that may be what was rejected before Garland came in and reexamined all this. There was a long prong of campaign finance investigation which seemed to either dry up or be put on hold — I’m not sure why, but there’s so much about this we don’t know.

          My other big question is why Chesebro is leaking all the stuff he’s sharing with investigations. One possibility is he wants **someone** to know what he’s not leaking.

          • says:

            if you listen to his Mich audio, AZ audio, Ga proffer / plea (leaked available audio) and read his filings to travel, I think he is sincerely pissed that campaign attorneys were “getting away with saying” they begged out when the plans got to the criminal stage (early december or even earlier), and that he was really blindsided by the multiple known-campaign-attorneys’ J6 Committee deposition testimony. Not saying Cheseboro outright accuses them of perjury in their J6 testimony, but it seemed clear to me he plans to be an open book and expose everyone involved at later stages, who had not yet been understood, publicly, to still have their hands in the cookie jar.

            Both Cheseboro’s Ga. court colloqui — and Jenna Ellis’s too — struck me as very sincere and thoughtful. Esp the lengths Cheseboro’s attorney went to thank the judge for putting up with his fiery delivery. Cheseboro wants to keep his law license and actually practice law, not representing crazies…. is what I gleaned. And genuinely wants to be helpful… taking the John Dean — not John Ehrlichman– path, so to speak.

            Perhaps I’m naive….

            • says:

              And Marcy, my hunch about the campaign finance investigations appearing to dead-end is that SCOTUS has been making those so tough to stick, and, since Citizen’s United, appears arguably disinterested in money-spent-on-politics cases in general, that I expected a slowdown in these prosecutions.

              I, personally, had expected DOJ to back off from charging sole campaign-finance-violation cases, and only investigate such cases to use as leverage elsewhere (or discover something more nefarious). So, unless George Santos-level, or gold-bars-in-shirt-pockets-level, of campaign crimes are occurring, we won’t know about the outcome of such investiagations unless other, bigger stuff, can also be charged.

              Just a theory though… The tossed case yesterday was on Venue, but those who don’t read closely will see this as “these type of convictions can get easily thrown out”, I think.

            • Savage Librarian says:

              My impression of Chesebro is the same as yours, He seems totally fed up with the Trump lawyers and all the lies in the Trump camp. Chesebro’s reactions and behavior seem similar to Michael Cohen’s and Lev Parnas’. Of course, I could be wrong. But I know in my own circumstances, I became totally disgusted with people who I had once respected. After that, I no longer felt any loyalty or need to protect their interests.

      • ShallMustMay08 says:

        I started reading the Matt Morgan J6 transcripts this morning and let go when he started to attempt to define his role between entities of paychecks and strategies and Rudy. I hope to finish in next few days but yes he was new to me.

        Withholding information. Peter Strzok had an interesting post today (via nitter for me) pointing out a J6 threat which was only mentioned in legal filings not press releases or media (which are off this week anyway and likely would only skim) but shame on them.

        People can not be an informed democracy if pissy political info is withheld (vs national sec).

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Any further hint about Strzok’s J6 threat for someone looking to track it down off X or nitter? For example, was it a pre-J6 warning or a red flag that day?

          • harpie says:

            Hi, Ginevra…Happy New Year!
            I think this is the Peter Strzok THREAD ShallMustMay was referring to:

            Dec 29, 2023 · 6:46 PM UTC

            ICYMI-the arrest of Michael Lee Tomasi for making online threats against FBI agents.

            You might have missed it because neither DOJ’s press release-nor the statements of senior DOJ/FBI personnel-detail the website & specific threats.

            So let’s do that. [Link] 1/ [THREAD]

            He seems to have gotten hold of the Indictment, because he has screenshots, but doesn’t link to it. [arrg]

            I think all the references to Tomasi’s very vile threats are post-J6.
            Strzok only mentions J6 in reference to the websites Tomasi used.

  6. VinnieGambone says:

    Surprising Barr would not have fed Trump info on Rudy’s interrogation, and possibly fed him the actual 302s. Perhaps they can reappear as easily as they disappear.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Interesting… Perhaps the feebs knew that the information contained in the 302s was pure dreck, but the otherwise expected prosecution of lying to investigators was buried as a favor for Rudy from his SDNY friends.

      However, when stuffing slime under rocks, some inevitably oozes out as noted by EW above. One wonders as well how Abbe Lowell will use this information since I’m fairly certain that he hasn’t been given the PGH interview or the 302s. Those docs would potentially show how the whole HB prosecution was orchestrated and hopefully to include evidence of links to the RNC, Comer, Gym and Defendant-1. IIRC, Comer and Jordan have been leading the charge about suppressed 302s tied to HB.

    • signal7 says:

      First time commenturd….longtime ….like longtime reader…I truly appreciate emptywheel and “some” of its commenters. Iam busy with a regular I dont give a fuck life. I try to keep up. Wholehartedly appreciate comments you make. Being on irc for almost 30 years, I understand internet comms gets heated…marcy’s indepth analysis and your input of reality…. keeps me grounded in these, unfounded and somehow exciting, times….both mean a lot to us all…thats all I got…happy new year
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  7. Savage Librarian says:

    Rudolph, the read, knows reign…Dear!

    Want ad: 302,
    Want ad: 302,
    Laundered around,
    Can it be found?

    Will somebody who
    could make it come through
    come out of the blue?

    Or even be glad
    just to be mad
    thinking it’s due?

    Some others we’ve seen,
    whatever they mean,
    might yet double cross,
    or try to be boss,
    So, what will accrue?

    And somebody else
    gave us a chill,
    With all his faults
    he hurts us still.

    Want ad: 302,
    Plunder fool, you,
    Bad 302,
    Want ad: 302.

    “Dean Martin – It Had to Be You”

  8. morganism says:

    (side loading…)

    Lev Parnas didn’t testify in Trump Ukraine scandal. Will he appear in Biden impeachment?

    Lev Parnas is telling his side of the story whether a congressional panel wants to listen or not.
    “The whole motive and the whole Biden stuff was never about getting justice, and getting to the bottom of Biden criminality or doing an investigation in Ukraine,” Parnas said. “It was all about announcing an investigation and using that in the media to be able to destroy the Biden campaign and have Trump win.”
    In the interview, Parnas said the Grand Havana Room meeting “was the beginning” of his transition from a Trump political donor and hanger-on seeking to jump-start a global business to a Nixon-era-like plumber tasked with digging up dirt on a prospective political opponent.

    His particular mission was to locate Shokin and “bring” the ousted prosecutor to Giuliani. The expectation was Shokin would be able to tell the whole story of Biden’s meddling in Ukraine, and torpedo the former vice president’s widely expected presidential run in 2020.

    The reality, Parnas writes in “Shadow Diplomacy,” is that Shokin was no star witness. He was “notorious” for inaction on corruption investigations and spent precious time sniping with his predecessor, Parnas writes.

    • emptywheel says:

      Interesting. The affidavits really do disclose he was hanging with the some gangster types from the start.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      I remember looking up and reading that PBP story at the time. IIRC, Parnas in his interview with Rachel Maddow also emphasized the point that the Ukraine mission was never about conducting an actual investigation into the Bidens, but rather merely about making a showy announcement of one.

      Trump has always understood his audience.

  9. Robt. P._18NOV2023_1041h says:

    Not sure if this is what the warrant if referring to, but this is the first thing I saw for Giuliani on 2019-09-29: (captured on 09-30, but the dateline is 09-29)
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      • Robt. P._18NOV2023_1041h says:

        perhaps from about 27:40 to about 36:01 (it matches with the still included in the Reuters article. doesn’t always capture videos)
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    • zscoreUSA says:

      This article says Rudy met Lutsenko in February in Warsaw, which would be 2/12/19 per New Yorker, Parnas and Truman present.

      Rudy claims they had a social exchange, such as cigars or dinner, without discussing business.

      But, per the New Yorker, Rudy asked Lutsenko if he was ready to meet with Barr who will be sworn in 2 days later, Lutsenko says yes. Rudy won’t help set up meeting but recommend Toensing and diGenova who Lutsenko says he declined.

      Parnas now says Lutsenko first tells BLT team about laptops in March 2019, rumors that Zlochevsky has copies of a hard drive.

  10. Local Oaf says:

    Just a nit: the longest quotation in this article seems to contain about a dozen repeated lines of text.

    • emptywheel says:

      I **think** I fixed it. It’s really long but there are few other long quotes from this transcript out there.

  11. freebird says:

    Zlochevsky would make a terrible witness for the defense or prosecution. Reading articles on him, especially in the Wikipedia synopsis, shows him to be an avaricious unprincipled crook just like all the oligarchs.

    The thing is that Zlochevsky was still being investigated in Ukraine after Biden left office and was charged with bribing another official and tax evasion. Admitting to bribing Biden would have put him in greater legal jeopardy.

    Zlochevsky went on the lamb while being investigated and his whereabouts are still unknown though he is thought to be living in Cyprus or Monaco.

        • phred says:

          Or anywhere else for that matter. I have read of instances where it makes up plausible sounding peer review paper titles that are totally fictitious even though the “authors” are real academics. I am not confident that the law will be able to keep up with the problems caused by AI-generated garbage.

        • RipNoLonger says:

          Ain’t going to happen. Every sentence written in this blog and comments are based on the writer’s experience and knowledge of language. We may not have the ability to research millions of sentence fragments as humans, but we rely on what we’ve already read before. The line between AI and you/me is not defined – and I hope it never is.

      • freebird says:

        To test the veracity of AI for my edification, I asked Chat gpt about a legal case regarding a serious assault and battery. The answer got some details right but concluded that the husband was convicted of murder and received a life sentence.

        The story was featured on American Justice, so the engine did not search all the available sources before it came up with its error.

        The wife is still alive and the husband is out of jail.

        • Matt___B says:

          I had a very similar experience with ChatGPT. I asked about a specific gun battle between LAPD and a crazy neighbor who lived 3 houses up the street from me when I was a kid. ChatGPT reported that it was drug-gang-related (it wasn’t) and that the main figure involved (my neighbor) was killed (he wasn’t). He was actually wounded, apprehended, and went to prison.

          When I offered that feedback to ChatGPT, it thanked me for the information and presumably would tell a more truthful story about this incident if anyone asked about it in the future, but the potential for producing authentic-sounding misinformation due to the incident being “old” and a seeming lack of available historical information (although it was a front-page lead story in the L.A. Times) is very high…and alarming.

          • P J Evans says:

            I’ve heard of people asking AIs about themselves, and being given a plausible-sounding bio with imaginary details (non-existent books, for example).

          • SotekPrime says:

            It absolutely will not tell a more truthful story about that incident in the future.
            Feedback given to ChatGPT has no impact on anything except that exact conversation – it cannot, as your feedback does not change the weights of the neural net, so unless your feedback is in the context window it is gone.

            It will thank you, and promise to do better, because it has lots of patterns of people thanking people and promising to do better when given corrective feedback. But it will not do better, because it fundamentally cannot change in the ways required to do better.

        • SotekPrime says:

          ChatGPT does not search any sources whatsoever, that is simply not how it works.

          It is effectively a very low-res summary of the state of the internet as of the time it was ‘baked’ and any information not in it is not in it and will never be in it. It doesn’t go look things up, it doesn’t do any kind of data search, it just consults that summary and gives you what that says.

          • RipNoLonger says:

            Thanks. There’s so much ignorance on how these models work. Of course, they can be updated and weights given to “trusted” content. But they’ll always be biased based on the millions of selected/thieved documents they’ve already consumed.

            • Matt___B says:

              The seeming plausibility of the generated content and the speed with which such content is produced seem to equate with “believability”. If we don’t live in “interesting times” right now, they’re about to get so much more “interesting”.

            • SotekPrime says:

              Yeah, newer versions can have data that wasn’t in the previous version, and all that. But feedback … only matters if that gets taken into the training, and that has a much longer turnaround time than people might expect.

              And then there’s the separate problem that the way it all works has little to do with accuracy, and a lot to do with frequency – popular misinformation will crowd out truth on these LLMs every time.

              • HikaakiH says:

                “… popular misinformation will crowd out truth on these LLMs every time.”
                Very much a problem of our time, but also true of previous generations.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        [begin AI rant]
        The single fact you need to know about Large Language Model (LLM) neural networks is that they are all bullshit. And I mean bullshit in the technical sense as described by Harry Frankfurt.

        … bullshit is speech intended to persuade without regard for truth. The liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullshitter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false.

        The output of these models in response to your prompts are, by definition, nothing but bullshit. There is no way to encode an understanding of truth in an LLM. LLM’s are text calculators. Given an input string (i.e. the prompt), an LLM will predict, based on a set of probabilities determined by its training data, what is the most likely text to come next.

        Even if all the training data is true (for whatever definition of true you choose), the output will be generated without regard for truth. It might be more convincing, but it won’t be truth even when the output happens to be true. Because the LLM doesn’t care about truth, it “cares” about statistical likelihoods. And those statistics aren’t connected to any meaning, only patterns. And those patterns don’t correlate in any meaningful way with truth.

        A better LLM is a better bullshitter. It sounds more persuasive without being any more truthful. When people say an LLM “hallucinates” they mean that the output is recognizable as bullshit. The hallucinations aren’t the problem. It’s the bullshit it is spewing that you don’t recognize as bullshit that’s the problem.
        [End AI Rant]

  12. Zinsky123 says:

    It really is astonishing to read now, with some distance, about a bumbling little alcoholic man, who worked essentially as a private detective for a President of the United States, stumbling and bumbling around Ukraine and Eastern Europe, looking for and manufacturing dirt on the sitting president’s biggest political rival. Future historians will have a hard time processing the sordid details and the incompetent sliminess of it all! It’s kind of like some weird mash-up of Inspector Clouseau meets John Grisham meets Tom Clancy on LSD.

  13. xyxyxyxy says:

    Off topic, would The Cheese be singing or when if ever would he have been, if Fanni hadn’t blown him up in her case?

  14. Spooky Mulder says:

    The dog that didn’t bark, the 302 written with invisible ink…I’m anxiously awaiting the larger post!

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