How To Navigate The Media Spin

The Epoch Times posted an article yesterday about the report of the Justice Department Inspector General. The report found that the FBI failed to document facts correctly in 29 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications that were reviewed. A rational person would take that as an indication that all was not well at the FBI and that Americans were being unlawfully surveilled. However, the mainstream media did not necessarily see it that way.

Eli Lake posted the following comments at Bloomberg News:

In the twisted politics of the Trump Era, some of bureau’s defenders might actually view this report as good news: It shows that the investigation of the Trump campaign was not necessarily politically motivated. The bureau made the same kinds of mistakes with suspects who were not connected to the Trump campaign.

That’s hardly reassuring — and the malpractice that the report uncovers is a much larger problem than the FBI and its defenders may wish to admit. So far, the response to Horowitz’s December report has been a series of administrative reforms, such as a requirement that FBI field offices preserve their “Woods files” and a mandate for new FISA training for FBI lawyers and agents. That’s all well and good. But one need not go back to the bad old days of J. Edgar Hoover to see that the bureau has been careless in its monitoring of U.S. citizens.

The Woods procedures were issued in 2001 after Congress obtained a memo from the FBI’s counterterrorism division detailing surveillance abuse in the late 1990s. One target’s cell phone remained tapped after he gave it up and the number was reassigned to a different person. Another FBI field office videotaped a meeting, despite a clear prohibition on that technique in its FISA warrant. In 2003, an interim report from the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded that the 2001 memo showed “the FBI was experiencing more systemic problems related to the implementation of FISA orders” than a problem with the surveillance law itself.

Very little has changed in the intervening 17 years. That’s why it’s foolish to expect new and better procedures will work this time. A better approach would be an aggressive policy to prosecute FBI agents and lawyers who submit falsehoods to the surveillance court. The best way to prevent future violations is to severely punish those who commit them in the present.

Scott Johnson posted an article today at Power Line Blog that included the following quote (follow the link to the article for the audio of the answer to the question):

The New York Times is illustrative of “the twisted politics of the Trump era.” Daniel Chaitin covers the Times angle in his Examiner article “‘Biased and out of control’: Devin Nunes rips New York Times reporting on FISA memo.” Chaitin reports on Rep. Devin Nunes’s interview with Larry O’Connor:

Radio host Larry O’Connor read a passage from the [Times’s] report [on the Horowitz memo] to Nunes during the Examining Politics podcast on Tuesday. It said DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report “helps the FBI politically because it undercuts the narrative among President Trump and his supporters that the bureau cut corners to surveil the adviser, Carter Page, as part of a politically motivated conspiracy.”

“So, the good news for the FBI is that they trampled on people’s rights all over the place, not just people who worked with Donald Trump’s campaign,” O’Connor said. “Is that the takeaway we should have here congressman?”

I agree with Eli Lake–severe punishment for those guilty of illegal spying on American citizens is the only way to prevent future abuse by the FBI.

 

Refusing To Continue A Practice That Was Abused

Townhall posted an article this morning stating that the House Freedom Caucus will refuse to reauthorize the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court unless serious reforms are made. The FISA court was the vehicle used by the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign and the early days of the Trump administration. The authorization to spy was gained by misleading the court, specifically by omitting the fact that Carter Page was a CIA asset–not a Russian asset and omitting the fact that Joseph Mifsud was an American asset–not a Russian spy.

The article reports:

Members of the House Freedom Caucus released a statement Wednesday morning vowing to vote against any reauthorization of the FISA court unless serious and substantial changes are made to the spying program. 

“Members of the Freedom Caucus have long called for reforms to FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Recent revelations that FISA was severely and repeatedly used to spy on a presidential campaign are beyond the pale—if the government can misuse this system to spy on a presidential campaign, they can surely do it to any other American citizen,” members of the caucus said. “As Congress considers reauthorizing FISA, anything short of significant and substantive reforms would betray the trust of the American people. The House Freedom Caucus will oppose any bill that does not meet a Constitutional standard for the protections of American citizens’ rights. We will also oppose any ‘clean’, short-term reauthorization of the current, harmful version of FISA.”

Members of the Freedom Caucus include House Oversight Committee Ranking member Jim Jordan, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Chip Roy and other long time critics of FISA. 

The FISA court was misused by the Obama administration, and unless it is seriously reformed, could easily be used for political purposes again. There needs to be a limitation so that the court could only use surveillance on foreign citizens–not Americans. Unfortunately, FISA misuse was one of many traps set in place by the Obama administration to hinder the progress of the Trump administration.

The article continues:

“Enhanced penalties for abusing the system and additional layers of certification from the Department of Justice and the FBI are insufficient to gain our support, particularly when, to date, no one has been charged with a crime for previous abuses,” the statement continues. “A proposal for additional scrutiny when elected officials and candidates are the target of investigations similarly misses the point: politicians don’t need more protection from government spying than their fellow citizens. More fundamental changes to standards of evidence and process that mirror as closely as possible our Article III courts are needed to gain our support.”

Yesterday the House reached a compromise on how to move a bill, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, forward for reauthorization of the program. It does not reform the system that was used as a political weapon against President Trump in 2016 and well into his presidency.

Until people are held accountable for past abuses of FISA, it should not be reauthorized.

A Small Step Toward Justice

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that there have been some small steps taken by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court to insure that the civil rights of Americans will not be violated as they were in the case of Carter Page.

The article reports:

Substantively, it might not seem like much, but symbolically, this order will sting the FBI and Department of Justice. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court effectively barred any agents involved in the Carter Page FISA warrants from taking part in its proceedings as a consequence of the misconduct that took place in Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Also, the court will now require agents and attorneys to swear under oath explicitly that they have included all potentially exculpatory evidence in their presentations:

A secretive federal court on Wednesday effectively barred F.B.I. officials involved in the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser from appearing before it in other cases at least temporarily, the latest fallout from an internal inquiry into the bureau’s surveillance of the aide.

A 19-page opinion and order by James E. Boasberg, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also largely accepted changes the F.B.I. has said it will make to its process for seeking national-security wiretaps following a damning inspector general report about errors and omissions in applications to monitor the adviser, Carter Page.

But Judge Boasberg ordered law enforcement officials to specifically swear in future cases that the applications to the court contain “all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information or the reasonableness of any F.B.I. assessment in the application, or otherwise raise doubts about the requested findings.”

…The banishment of Crossfire Hurricane figures is almost certainly meant to be embarrassing, but that’s about as much teeth as FISC has in this situation. As the New York Times’ Charlie Savage points out, the court has limited authority to deal with FBI misconduct. It has no oversight over the Department of Justice at all, which is an executive-branch agency. Presumably the court’s rotating judges had already adopted a more skeptical approach to more recent surveillance warrant applications after reading the Michael Horowitz report, but unless Congress changes the FISA law, courts are still required to follow it.

Speaking of which, the law is due to expire, and Donald Trump has already declared he won’t sign an extension without significant changes. Given what happened in Crossfire Hurricane, few would be surprised to know that, of course:

Unless it it renewed, FISA sunsets on March 15th. There are recommendations on the table to reform the law. President Trump has stated that he will not sign an extension of the law without reforms. Considering how the law was illegally used against him and his campaign, I think that is a very reasonable approach.

Questions That Need To Be Asked

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article with the following headline, “A Letter to the 2,000 Anti-Trump Ex-DOJ Lawyers: Where’s Your Outrage to These 27 DOJ-FBI Crimes?” That is a very good question.

The article explains:

In response to the anti-Barr outrage letter, a legal assistant in Orange County, California, by the name of Selma Kerren, is demanding the lawyers in question release an equally outraged letter condemning the 27 crimes and frauds perpetrated by the FBI and DOJ against the American people; many of which were begrudgingly declassified by FOIA requests and exposed by the recent Horowitz Report.

Here is a partial list:

1. Judge Amy Berman-Jackson poisoned Roger Stone’s jury pool by:

a.  Throwing out a conservative juror because she worked for the Reagan campaign “30 years ago.”

b.  Accepting a juror who is MARRIED to one of the lawyers working on the Mueller case against Trump.

c.  Accepting juror, Tomika Hart, a well-known attorney and former Democrat candidate, who posted anti-Stone/anti-Trump statements on social media, before, during and after the Stone case. Hart lied on her jury questionnaire.

d.  Accepting juror, Seth Cousins, a well-known, Democrat activist whose anti-Trump rants were also easily found on social media.

(Suspicously, Berman-Jackson also seems to sit on every anti-Tump, wet-dream case!)

2.  U.S. intelligence agents, Halper and Mifsud were sent to Europe to target George Papadopoulos. They tell Papadopoulos the Russians have Hillary’s emails. Papadopoulos tells the Australian … but only George gets arrested.

3. FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page reportedly huddled with McCabe in his office to concoct “Andy’s Insurance Policy.”

4. The FBI interviewed the dossier Russians, who said … “We heard that stuff about Trump over beer at a bar! It was only meant in jest! We didn’t think the FBI would actually use it.”—Horowitz Report.

5. Obama State Official Kathleen Kavalec sent a memo to the et al, warning the dossier was fake but they used it, anyway.

6. Comey, Rosenstein and Yates signed four (4) FISA warrants using the dossier, which Comey admitted before Congress was ridiculous and never certified by Intel.

7. FBI Agent Kevin Clinesmith CONCOCTED an email to frame Carter page, which is tantamount to “planting evidence” on a defendant.

8. Although Clinesmith planted evidence against Carter Page, he was allowed to continue working for the FBI another 2.5 years, collecting a salary funded by tax-payers.

9. Bruce and wife Nellie Ohr funneled information against Trump to the DOJ and FBI, concocted by Fusion GPS.

10. Andrew McCabe was acquitted after admitting to lying under oath but Roger Stone may face 9 years in prison for a process crime?

11. Horowitz disclosed that Carter Page worked for the CIA, which the FBI willfully hid from the FISC, in order to get the Spy Warrants.

As you can see, at present we have a very skewed justice system operating in Washington. It is time to clean that up. Please follow the link above to the article to read the rest of the list.

An Attempt At Justice

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about lawsuits brought by Carter Page. It seems to be common knowledge that before being targeted by the Obama administration as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign, Carter Page had done a lot of work for three-letter government agencies and was regarded as a reliable source of information.

The article reports:

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the Democratic National Committee, law firm Perkins Coie and its partners tied to the funding of the unverified dossier that served as the basis for highly controversial surveillance warrants against him.

…“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” attorney John Pierce said Thursday. “Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state.”

He added: “This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high. … The rule of law will prevail.”

The lawsuit will be heard in the Federal District Court in Northern Illinois.

The article concludes:

Page could sue Steele, except that Steele is in England and has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to visit the U.S., ever again. Nearly all potential defendants other than Steele–Comey, Clapper, McCabe and the like–would try to erect a firewall by denying any knowledge that the Steele dossier was a fraud.

Whether such guilty knowledge could be proved is doubtful. At a minimum, Page will have to get far enough to conduct meaningful discovery against the existing defendants. Do the DNC’s or Perkins Coie’s emails contain evidence of a conspiracy to lie about Carter Page, for the purpose of damaging Donald Trump? Who knows? If the participants were careful, they don’t; then again, those who were talking to each other in 2016 and 2017 probably didn’t foresee that their actions might one day be exposed in court. So perhaps they were careless. Maybe, too, any such communications were deleted or destroyed long ago.

There is at least one obvious exception to the above analysis–the DOJ lawyer who misrepresented a CIA email to the FISA court. The email said that Carter Page was a CIA asset. The lawyer changed it to say that Page was not a CIA asset. That guy, who has been fired and I assume will be criminally prosecuted, has no defense other than causation. He likely would argue that he was just a cog in a giant wheel of lies, and that Page would have been equally defamed, surveilled and harassed even if he hadn’t lied about the CIA email. Which undoubtedly is true, although it is questionable as a defense.

What Carter Page is doing is noble. Let’s hope he succeeds in shedding light on the biggest political scandal, by far, in American history.

Finally, a fun fact: Page is represented by the same lawyers who are representing Tulsi Gabbard in her defamation case against Hillary Clinton, who called Gabbard a Russian asset. Which, of course, is what she and her minions also called Carter Page, an equally absurd lie.

Stay tuned.

The Wheels Of Justice Turn Very Slowly

The Gateway Pundit is reporting the following today:

It’s about time.  The FISA Court’s communication yesterday indicates that the Deep State’s Carter Page FISA warrants were illegal and the related indictments may be voided.

An individual with the Twitter name of Undercover Huber tweeted out some interesting tweets about the FISA Court’s document regarding handling and disposition of information this week.  After the recent DOJ IG report that showed that the four FISA warrants taken out on Carter Page and used to legitimize spying on candidate and then President Trump had numerous material issues, the FISA Court is finally taking action.

Undercover Huber started his account when Jeff Sessions asked US Attorney John Huber to look into the Clinton Foundation’s crimes in 2017. Huber eventually completed his efforts without investigating anything. It was a total head fake by Sessions and Huber to calm demands from conservatives. The only fortunate result from all this is the twitter account of Undercover Huber which often has some outstanding tweets. Yesterday was another example of this from Undercover Huber.

The FISA Court acknowledges that the last two of the four Carter Page FISA warrant applications were fraudulent. This means that the other two most likely are as well:

The article concludes:

We really don’t know if the Durham investigation is another head fake like the Huber non-action.  What we do know is that members of the Obama administration illegally spied on the Trump team before and after the 2016 election.

It’s about time the people within the government who broke the law and violated the constitutional rights of American citizens paid a price for their actions. If no price is paid, we are left with no choice but to declare that our government no longer practices equal justice under the law.

Refusing To Acknowledge Or Deal With The Problem

The Federalist is reporting today that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) presiding Judge James Boasberg  has chosen David Kris to review the FBI’s proposed changes to its surveillance application process.

The article notes:

Kris, who served as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, recently claimed the IG report that catalogued egregious abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) powers actually vindicated the FBI. He also smeared Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, saying his initial sounding of the alarm about those abuses was incorrect, threatened national security, and should be harshly punished.

Kris appeared in locations that pushed the false Russia collusion narrative, such as Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show, the Lawfare blog, and Twitter, to defend the FBI and attack President Trump and other critics of the harmful surveillance campaign. He once wrote that Trump “should be worried” that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into treasonous collusion with Russia meant “the walls are closing in.”

The appointment of a former official who served as an apologist for the FBI signals that the court isn’t particularly concerned about the civil liberty violations catalogued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the year-long surveillance of Carter Page. Page is the Trump campaign affiliate whose phone and email communications federal agents wiretapped, and who had confidential human sources and overseas intelligence assets placed against him. False claims that Page was a Russian spy were leaked to the media by government officials as part of a years-long campaign to paint President Trump as a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

This is not good news for our country. It shows that the deep state is still protecting itself and will continue to do so at least in the near future. Dirty cops will not be dealt with as long as they have the right political views. We are at a tipping point–either we are going to have equal justice under the law or we are going to live in a surveillance state. The only way to change this is for voters to vote anyone out of office who hindered in any way the investigations into the corruption that took place at the senior levels of the Department of Justice, FBI, IRS,  etc., under the Obama administration.

Some Perspective From A Former FBI Agent

Sometimes the people who have done a job are the most qualified to analyze how a job was done. Frank Watt, a former FBI Agent, posted an article at The American Thinker today about the surveillance of Carter Page. The title of the article is, “Two Possibilities in Trump Wiretapping, and Neither Is Good.”

Mr. Watt reminds us that because the surveillance of an American citizen violates that citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights, there has to be proven justification for that surveillance. We know that was not the case with Carter Page, in fact, some things were left out of the application for surveillance that would have immediately called into question the need for surveillance.

The article notes:

Based on what we are told by the I.G., there are only two possible conclusions that can be reached regarding the official conduct of those responsible for infringing on Carter Pages Constitutional freedoms: 

The first is that the hand selected team of investigators, attorneys, and Senior Executive Service officials with decades of law enforcement, administrative, and judicial experience were abject failures at a task that they were hired to perform. Speaking from personal experience, in FBI, DEA, and state and local wire tap investigations, the slightest omissions, misstatements, and clerical errors are routinely identified and corrected by the street agents and line prosecutors who do these investigations for a living. To believe that a “varsity level” team, with unlimited time, support, and resources, somehow inadvertently overlooked seventeen major omissions, misstatements, and/or outright falsehoods, is simply not believable. 

The second possibility is that nearly everyone who significantly participated in obtaining FISA coverage on Page knowingly and deliberately operated outside the law to one degree or another. The reasons behind the decision to do so are irrelevant. The particulars regarding the seventeen I.G. findings are startling, taken individually. It’s difficult to see how any of the individual omissions or misstatements could have happened accidentally. Viewed collectively, the apparent intentionality is nearly impossible to reconcile as anything but corruption. 

In light of the I.G findings, the presiding FISA court judge seems to have come down on the side of intentional abuse. In a recent court order, Judge Rosemary Collyer gave the FBI until January 10 to explain to the court why the FBI should be allowed to continue to utilize FISA. The statement that the FBI “withheld material information” and that “FBI personnel misled NSD” suggests that the judge isn’t buying the “series of unfortunate events” excuse peddled by prominent figures in defense of the indefensible. 

The article concludes:

Whichever explanation seems more likely, the end result should be infuriating to every American. Either your nations premiere law enforcement agency was breathtakingly incompetent when the stakes were the highest, or select officials in that organization made deliberate decisions to break the law, undermine the Constitution, and illegally spy on a fellow American. Either possibility has deeply damaged the reputation of the FBI and DOJ in addition to the reputations of thousands of honest FBI Agents and DOJ attorneys. Despite the legitimate concerns of civil libertarians, the FISA process has indisputably proved an invaluable resource in safeguarding the country from terrorism. If the heinous abuses documented in the I.G.s report result in a weakening or loss of FISA, we will all be the worse for it. If those responsible are not held to account, this will happen again. There is no happy face to put on this episode. 

It is time for those guilty of corruption to be tried and held accountable for their actions.

There Are A Few Honest Patriots Left In Washington

The Conservative Treehouse reported yesterday that former NSA Director, Admiral Mike Rogers, has been working with U.S. Attorney John Durham for several months during his investigation into the origin of the 2016 intelligence operation against candidate Trump.

Who is Admiral Rogers? In May 2018, I posted an article about him.

In the article I quoted The American Thinker:

The FBI is asked–way back as early as 2015, but who knows? — to be helpful to the Dems and they agree. What they do is they hire non-government consultants with close Dem ties to do “analytical work” for them, which happens to include total access to NSA data. Advantages? For the Dems, obviously, access to EVERYTHING digital. A gold mine for modern campaign research. For the FBI there’s also an advantage. They get to play dumb — gosh, we didn’t know they were looking at all that stuff! They also don’t have to falsify anything, like making [stuff] up to “justify” opening a FI [full investigation]on an American citizen and then lying to the FISC to get a FISA on the USPER [US person] and having to continually renew the FISA and lie all over again to the FISC each renewal. And the beauty of it all is, who’s ever going to find out? And even if they do, how do you prove criminal intent?

So everything’s humming along until a pain in the a** named Mike Rogers at NSA does an audit in 4/2016, just as the real campaign season is about to start. And Rogers learns that 85% of the searches the FBI has done between 12/2015 and 4/2016 have been totally out of bounds. And he clamps down — no more non-government contractors, tight auditing on searches of NSA data. Oh sh*t! What to do, just give up? Well, not necessarily, but there’s a lot more work involved and a lot more fudging the facts. What the FBI needs to do now is get a FISA that will cover their a** and provide coverage on the GOPers going forward. That means, first get a FI on an USPER [US person] connected to the Trump campaign (who looks, in [April] or [May] 2016, like the GOP candidate) so you can then get that FISA. That’s not so easy, because they’ve got to find an USPER with that profile who they can plausibly present as a Russian spy. But they have this source named Halper.

So they first open a PI [preliminary investigation]. That allows them to legally use NatSec Letters and other investigative techniques to keep at least some of what they were doing going. But importantly this allows them to legally use Halper to try to frame people connected to the Trump campaign — IOW, find someone to open a FI on so they can then get that FISA. However the PI is framed, that’s what they’re looking to do. It has legal form, even if the real intent is to help the Dems. And you can see why this had to be a CI [counterintelligence] thing, so in a sense the Russia narrative was almost inevitable — no other bogeyman would really fit the bill, and especially on short notice.

So that’s what they do, and Halper helps them come up with Papadopoulos and Page, so by the end of July they’ve got their FI. Problem. Their first FISA is rejected, but eventually, 10/2016, they get that.

And then Trump wins and Rogers visits Trump Tower. And the Deep State has a fit.

The Conservative Treehouse reports:

♦ On November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers went to see President-Elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower, New York. –SEE HERE– Director Rogers never told his boss DNI, James Clapper or anyone else in the intelligence community.

♦ On November 18th, 2016, the Trump Transition Team announced they were moving all transition activity to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. –SEE HERE– Where they interviewed and discussed the most sensitive positions to fill. Defense, State, CIA, ODNI.

The transition team was set up in Trump Tower. The very next day, November 18th 2016, Trump moves the entire transition team to Bedminister New Jersey?

The information the FBI collected, and the stuff Fusion GPS was creating via Christopher Steele, was used to create the Russian Narrative and also to manipulate the FISC into giving them a FISA warrant. ie. “The Insurance Policy”.

Ultimately, the people within all of these intercepts is what Devin Nunes discovered when he looked at the “unmasking requests” which were a result of those FISA 702(17) collections on Team Trump. That’s why Devin Nunes was so stunned at what he saw in February and March 2017.

Back to FISA Judge Collyer.

On October 26th, 2016, NSA Director Rogers wouldn’t know what Collyer knew about the FBI requesting a surveillance warrant on Carter Page and by extension the Trump campaign. However, Collyer would be putting the briefing about database searches together with her knowledge of the FISA application she authorized.

In her mind, those Trump Tower searches would likely be part of the arc of the FBI investigation. To FISC Judge Collyer everything may seem to be in the lane of legal, albeit stretched on the database (FISA-702) searches, up and until she is informed the underlying evidence for the FISA application was built on FBI fraud and misrepresentations to the court in 2019 by IG Horowitz.

Now, it’s all out in the open and no longer subject to opinion.

After the DOJ inspector general informs, positively affirms, Judge Collyer was purposely misled into cooperating with, and authorizing, a fraudulent FBI investigation…. well, now Collyer is also likely rethinking those Trump Tower searches Director Rogers told her about back in 2016.

There are a few honest men in Washington. Admiral Rogers is one of them.

Why Your News Source Matters

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about recent events involving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge Rosemary M. Collyer and the FBI.

The article reports:

A complete and total blackout. That was how ABC, CBS, and NBC reacted on their Tuesday evening newscasts when the top Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge, Rosemary M. Collyer blasted the FBI for misleading the court when seeking surveillance warrants for a former Trump campaign staffer. The order was damning, accusing an FBI lawyer of a criminal act in intentionally lying to the court. It added that the court’s confidence in the FBI’s evidence was so shaken they needed extra oversight for all cases.

Judge Collyer penned the four-page order declaring: “When FBI personnel mislead NSD [National Security Division] in the ways described above, they equally mislead the FISC.” Much of the order explained the application process for obtaining FISA warrants and what happened in the case of Carter Page; in order for the public to “appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications…

On page three of the order, the judge accused an unnamed FBI lawyer of intentionally lying to other FBI personnel and the FISC in turn, which was a criminal act:

In addition, while the fourth electronic surveillance application for Mr. Page was being prepared, an attorney in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) engaged in conduct that apparently was intended to mislead the FBI agent who ultimately swore to the facts in that application about whether Mr. Page had been a source of another government agency.

She added that the FISC couldn’t trust anything the FBI told them anymore:

The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.

From Fox News:

Please follow the link to the CNS News article to read the entire piece. Not only were the civil rights of American citizens violated, the mainstream media has refused to report what is going on.

 

Do Liars Ever Apologize?

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about what we now know about conflicting memos by Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff regarding FISA warrants.

The article reports:

When then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released his memo asserting that the FBI had improperly taken out FISA warrants on Carter Page, Ranking Member Adam Schiff responded with a memo of his own disputing it. The Nunes memo is accessible here and elsewhere; the Schiff memo is accessible here and elsewhere.

Both Nunes and Schiff had access to the same classified information for their memos, but Nunes was interested in disseminating the truth while Schiff sought to lie about it in the service of the Russia hoax. As has become all too clear, Schiff lies with the sangfroid of a pathological liar.

After the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse that was released last week, we now know to a certainty that Nunes was right and Schiff was wrong. We know that Schiff was lying.

Schiff is lying now about about his lying then. It’s a postmodern world after all. In an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday (beginning at about 5:30 below), Schiff allowed that there were indeed “serious abuses of FISA” — “serious abuses that I was unaware of.” He explained: “Had I known of them, Chris, yes, I would’ve called out the FBI at the same time,” Schiff said. “But I think it’s only fair to judge what we knew at the time.”

The article includes the memos. Scott Johnson reminds us that both men had the same access to the same information. Adam Schiff’s claim that he was unaware of the abuses is simply false. He is lying. And he continues to lie.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is discouraging to see a Representative who lies so easily and so frequently.

Why Is It Always The Same People?

Inspector General Michael Horowitz stated in his report that he believed that there was no political bias involved in the surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign. I guess he never read the emails that went between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page–particularly the one about an ‘insurance policy’ if Donald Trump became President. Wow. But there is another interesting character related to the Inspector General’s Report.

American Thinker posted an article today about Bruce Swartz. Who is Bruce Swartz?

The article reports:

The Inspector General’s Report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) features a heretofore unheralded costar by the name of Bruce Swartz, the assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division. Swartz was also the supervisor of the feckless Bruce Ohr, husband of Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr and frequent breakfast buddy of Christopher Steele of Steele dossier fame.

Unreported by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, however, was Swartz’s starring role in another DoJ drama some 15 years earlier. Given the scant media attention the case received in 2004-2005, it is possible Horowitz did not even know about Swartz’s yeoman effort to save Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger from a lengthy sojourn in a federal Supermax.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations,” reported Horowitz. Had the IG been able to compare Swartz’s protection of Berger to his pursuit of one-time Trump adviser Paul Manafort, the evidence would have kicked him in the teeth.

As Swartz himself acknowledged, he had a Javert-like zeal to bring Manafort to justice. “Ohr and Swartz both told us that they felt an urgency to move the Manafort investigation forward,” reported Horowitz,  “because of Trump’s election and a concern that the new administration would shut the investigation down.” This urgency translated into frequent semi-covert meetings with the FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok told the IG that Swartz wanted him to “kick that [investigation] in the ass and get it moving.”

Swartz continued to “weigh in” on the Manafort investigation even though it was clearly outside his jurisdiction. In December 2016, concerned that the DoJ’s money laundering division (MLARS) was not moving fast enough against Manafort, Swartz brought colleague Andrew Weissman into the act.

The article continues:

Swartz is the textbook swamp dweller. From all appearances, no matter who sits in the attorney general’s chair, these seemingly respectable subversives protect the progressive deep state and punish those who would threaten it. Supplied leads by a complicit media and shielded by that same media from exposure, people like Swartz have been perverting justice for decades.

If proof were needed, Swartz and his boys recommended a $10,000 fine for Berger and three-year loss of security clearance for a crime that would have put a Republican in prison for decades. Happily for the Deep State, Berger regained his clearance just in time to serve as a Hillary Clinton adviser in the 2008 campaign.

Manafort did not fare quite so well. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in a city that gave Donald Trump 4 percent of its vote. Then, to prevent President Trump from dangling a federal pardon, the New York friends of the Deep State prosecuted Manafort on state charges.

True, the Russia collusion fears that inspired the Manafort investigation were imaginary, but the federal and state charges are very real. Manafort has descended into a Kafkaesque legal hell from which the 70-year-old will likely not emerge alive.

Until the swamp is fully drained, we will not have equal justice under the law.

Actions Have Consequences

One American News posted an article today quoting a remark made by Senator Lindsey Graham during the Department of Justice Inspector General’s hearing today.

The article reports:

During the Department of Justice Inspector General’s hearing Wednesday, the senator said there needs to be more “checks and balances to make sure something like this never happens again.”

The Republican lawmaker also warned Inspector General Michael Horowitz against refusing to recommend charges against the bureau for mishandling the investigation.

Graham went on to say he has serious doubts the FISA court can continue working if nothing is done, adding that the court will “lose his support” if no corrective action is taken.

Meanwhile, Horowitz told senators the FBI maintained surveillance on Carter Page even when its investigation into him was winding down. While discussing his report Wednesday, Horowitz outlined 17 instances where the bureau intentionally “omitted or withheld” information in their application for FISA warrants.

People went to jail because of a third-rate burglary in the Watergate Building when they attempted to spy on an opposing political candidate. The FISA scandal involves using a government agency to accomplish what the Watergate burglars were attempting. Why is it being handled so differently by both the press and the political class? This entire situation shows the need for tighter controls on the government’s ability to spy on its citizens. There could easily come a time in the future when government surveillance is used against everyday Americans of a political party different than the one in power. That is the reason that the people who did the illegal spying need to face consequences.

Some People In Our Government Should Have Had The Grace To Resign When President Trump Was Elected

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some comments made by our supposedly neutral federal employees.

The article reports:

The WaPo reported this weekend and it was quickly uncovered that former Mueller gang members Kevin Clinesmith was involved in altering documents used to obtain a FISA warrant to legitimize spying on candidate and President Trump.  The WaPo claims that this will be coming out in the upcoming IG report in December.

We know Clinesmith was mentioned in the IG’s Clinton email report.  Attorney 2 from that report was identified by House member Mark Meadows as Kevin Clinesmith.  Meadows revealed his identity over the objection of the FBI during a hearing on the IG’s findings.  The FBI wanted to keep Clinesmith’s name anonymous claiming he was a counterintelligence specialist –

Horowitz testified that the FBI was withholding the names of the other rogue agents from Congress and the public because “they work on counterintelligence” and can’t be exposed.

But Meadows argued that other agents for the FBI’s office of legal counsel, and are no longer in “counterintelligence,” as the FBI claimed.

“They don’t work in counterintelligence,” Meadows said in an exchange with Horowitz. “If that’s the reason the FBI is giving, they’re giving you false information, because they work for the general counsel.”

Clinesmith was caught texting anti-Trump emails while working on the Hillary and Trump investigations –

Clinesmith sent a number of pro-Clinton, anti-Trump political messages over the FBI’s computer system, which the report said “raised concerns about potential bias” that may have impacted the investigation.

On page 445 of the DOJ’s IG report on Hillary Clinton’s emails, there is a discussion of what Attorney 2 (Clinesmith) from the FBI texted on October 28, 2016  –

Among the general discussion of political issues by FBI Attorney 2, we identified three instant message exchanges that raised concerns of potential bias.  The first of these exchanges was on October 28, 2016, shortly after Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress that effectively announced the reopening of the Midyear investigation.  FBI Attorney 2 sent similar messages to four different FBI employees. The timestamps of these messages are included below. The messages stated:

13:44:42, to FBI Employee 1: “I mean, I never really liked the Republic anyway.”
13:44:52, to FBI Employee 2: “I mean, I never really liked the Republic anyway.”
14:01:52, to FBI Employee 3: “As I have initiated the destruction of the republic…. Would you be so kind as to have a coffee with me this afternoon?”
15:28:50, to FBI Employee 4: “I’m clinging to small pockets of happiness in the dark time of the Republic’s destruction”

Notice that the IG’s report notes that this is the same time Comey initiated the second review of Hillary’s emails after finding them on pervert Anthony Weiner’s laptop.  But what the IG does not say (perhaps because they did not know it at the time) is that this was right after the initial FISA application to spy on Carter Page and then candidate Trump was initiated! 

I suspect we will see more of this when the IG report is released in the next few weeks. It is sad that a government employee thinks he is doing the right thing by bringing down the republic.

The Heart Of The Matter

In September 2018, The Western Journal reported:

President Trump ordered declassification of several documents and texts related to the FBI’s Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

Included among the documents are the 21 pages of the FISA court application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders added that the president has also directed the release of all reports by the FBI of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr in relation to the Russia investigation.

One of the people involved in the declassification process was Dan Coats. Evidently he has been something of a bottleneck in the process. Thus, he is resigning. President Trump is expected to nominate Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe to replace him.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported:

On May 23rd, 2019, President Donald Trump gave U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr full authority to review and release all of the classified material hidden by the DOJ and FBI.

Sixty-five days ago….

It has been 65 days since President Trump empowered AG Bill Barr to release the original authorizing scope of the Mueller investigation on May 17, 2017. A Mueller investigation now being debated and testified to in congress, and yet we are not allowed to know what the authorizing scope was…. Nor the 2nd DOJ scope memo of August 2nd, 2017… Nor the 3rd DOJ scope memo of October 20th, 2017.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit noted:

Ratcliffe, a pro-Trump GOP favorite grilled Mueller real good on Wednesday about his Constitutional abuses and according to Axios, Trump was impressed with his performance during the House Judiciary Hearing.

‘Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?’ Ratcliffe asked Mueller.

Mueller was left stuttering and could not answer Rep. Ratcliff so he mumbled something about this being a ‘unique situation.’

Ratfcliffe interjected and told Mueller the reason why he can’t find another example of this happening is because it doesn’t exist.

Dan Coats is a Deep State stooge and is causing a bottleneck for Barr and Durham in the declassification process in their Spygate investigation.

Stay tuned. The Inspector General’s report is due out in September. Some declassification may take place before then. I honestly don’t know if the media will report what actually happened or if many Americans will believe it. What appears to be the case is that we have watched Peter Strzok’s insurance policy against the Trump presidency in action for more than two years now. Hopefully that insurance policy will not only fail miserably but result in jail time for those who misused the intelligence assets of America.

Behind The Scenes–The Search For Roots

While Robert Mueller was making the headlines with his appearance on Capitol Hill, the internal investigation at the Justice Department was continuing as to the source of the charges of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.

Fox News posted an article today about that investigation. Before I go into the details, I think we need to consider why the internal investigation is important. Despite what the Democrats are trying to spin, Mueller, in the afternoon session and his opening remarks, made it clear that there was no evidence of collusion. His task was to look for collusion. The second part of his report, based on speculation by news sources, tried to imply that there was obstruction. That charge was based on conversations and thoughts–not actions. The President talked about firing Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller was not fired. Was talking about it a crime? Using that standard, you can pretty much find anyone guilty of anything. If I decide that I need money and say that I want to rob a bank, is that a crime? Not unless I follow through on it.

The internal investigation is important to determine the source of the charges against candidate Trump. If the source is questionable or political, then the same technique can be used against any future President. That does not bode well for our republic.

The Fox News article points out a few basic things the internal investigation has uncovered:

The Justice Department’s internal review of the Russia investigation is zeroing in on transcripts of recordings made by at least one government source who met with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos overseas in 2016, specifically looking at why certain “exculpatory” material from them was not presented in subsequent applications for surveillance warrants, according to two sources familiar with the review.

The sources also said the review is taking a closer look at the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, as some allege the probe began earlier than thought. Both components are considered key in the review currently being led by Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham –– an effort sure to draw more attention in the coming weeks and months now that Robert Mueller’s testimony is in the rearview.

The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

The story continues:

A source told Fox News that the “exculpatory evidence” included in the transcripts is Papadopoulos denying having any contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed “dirt” on Clinton.

But Papadopoulos did not only meet with Mifsud and Downer while overseas. He met with Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News back in May that he always suspected he was being recorded. Further, he tweeted during the Mueller testimony about “recordings” of his meeting with Downer.

…Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., now a Fox News contributor, first signaled the existence of transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos earlier this year.

“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” Gowdy said in May on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” acknowledging he was aware of the files and suggesting they included exculpatory information.

The article concludes:

The Barr-Durham review is likely to draw more attention following Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill. Republicans sought to focus their questioning on the origins of the Russia investigation under then-Director James Comey’s FBI—a topic Mueller repeatedly said was “out of his purview” due to the ongoing investigation being led by the Justice Department. Another review is being conducted by the DOJ inspector general.

“Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Wednesday. “Here’s the good news—that’s exactly what Bill Barr is doing and thank goodness for that.”

The fact that an investigation which began with the misuse of government agencies to spy on a political opponent has taken two years is a miscarriage of justice. Those responsible need to be severely penalized so that the country never has to go through this again.

What Does This Say About The Candidate?

Kamala Harris is currently considered the up-and-coming Democrat candidate for President in 2020. She achieved that status after an attack on Joe Biden that stretched the truth more than a little. Well, Ms. Harris is serious about her campaign. The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Harris campaign hired Marc Elias, who heads Perkins Coie’s political law group.

The article reports:

…Elias, who held the same position in Clinton’s campaign, is named in two pending Federal Election Commission complaints and in a recent federal lawsuit alleging that the Clinton campaign broke campaign finance laws when it used Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS went on to hire British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled an unverified dossier allegedly based on sources close to the Kremlin which was disseminated to the media and used by the FBI to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing alleged FISA abuse related to the dossier and Attorney General William Barr launched his “investigation of the investigators” earlier this year.

Clinton’s former presidential campaign manager Robby Mook said in 2017 that he authorized Elias to hire an outside firm to dig up dirt on Trump’s connections with Russia. “I asked our lawyer and I gave him a budget allocation to investigate this, particularly the international aspect,” he said.

Mook said Elias was receiving information from Fusion GPS or directly from Steele himself about the research into Trump and Russia in 2016, and that Elias then periodically briefed the Clinton campaign about the findings.

The article concludes:

Elias is a fixture in Democratic politics. Aside from working for Harris, Clinton, and the DNC, Elias has said that he and his colleagues at Perkins Coie have represented the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, various Democratic PACs, the pro-abortion EMILY’s List, dozens of Democratic senators, and more than a hundred Democratic members of the House.

Neither the Harris campaign nor Elias responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

I wonder if Mr. Elias’ name is going to come up during the release of the Inspector General’s Report or the questioning of Robert Mueller. Stay tuned.

Be Careful What You Wish For

CNS News posted an article today about the upcoming appearance of Robert Mueller before the House of Representatives.

The article notes:

Be careful what you wish for, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday night:

“Listen, it is not a good day for America, but Bob Mueller better be prepared. Because I can tell you, he will be cross-examined for the first time, and the American people will start to see the flaws in his report.”

Republicans have many unanswered questions about the scope of Mueller’s investigation, including the process leading up to the FISA warrant on Carter Page and when Mueller’s team learned that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Meadows said Democrats have courted Mueller “just so that they can harass the president” and keep the collusion/obstruction narrative going for political reasons.

Meadows predicted that Mueller’s testimony will “backfire” on Democrats.

Mueller, in his only public comment on the report, said it speaks for itself and he would have nothing to add beyond what is in it.

But “Congress has questions that go beyond the report,” Rep. Schiff told CNN Tuesday night:

“So we have any number of questions about the counter-intelligence investigation, and the role of the counter-intelligence agents within his team to questions about some of the prosecutorial decisions that were made. We have fact questions about some of the statements that are made in the report, so there are any number of issues that we wish to cover with him,” Schiff said.

So what about the questions some of the rest of us have:

  • How was the investigation team chosen?
  • Why was the investigation team composed solely of Democrat campaign contributors and in one case a lawyer who had worked for the Clintons?
  • Why was someone put in charge of investigating the President right after the President had rejected his job application? Was he expected to be objective?
  • Why did the Mueller Report totally ignore Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, etc.?
  • Why was an unverified dossier used as the basis for a FISA Warrant?
  • How many attempts were made to place undercover agents in the Trump campaign?
  • Why were charges against Paul Manafort that had been deemed not worth prosecuting more than ten years ago suddenly brought to life again?
  • Why did the investigation look equally into both campaigns?
  • Did the report include the fact that the Democrats never allowed the FBI to examine their computer servers that they claimed the Russians had hacked?
  • When did Robert Mueller realize that there was no collusion between President Trump and Russia?

Those questions might make for an interesting hearing. I would be willing to watch that on C-SPAN.

Telling Only Half The Story To Paint The Picture You Want

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the Mueller Report and the Russian collusion charges. Last week I posted an article about the misrepresentation of Konstantin Kilimnik, portrayed in the Mueller Report as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was a source for American intelligence. In May I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, also portrayed as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was training American intelligence agents in Italy. It seems that the Mueller Report spent a lot of time grasping at straws. There is also the matter of editing a phone message to make it appear as something it was not. The Mueller Report is not the objective document it is supposed to be.

The Townhall article deals with the charges that Carter Page was colluding with Russia.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice inspector general is said to be readying a scorching report on the alleged FISA abuses. It’s expected to be released this summer. At the heart of the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense is Spygate and the FISA warrant secured to monitor Page based off this dossier. First, there’s the allegation that FBI, or the CIA, tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign based on this Russian collusion hysteria. The second part is the FBI citing this dossier as credible evidence to secure a spy warrant on Page. It was renewed three times through 2017. Political opposition research was cited to secure a spy warrant on the rival campaign from the sitting presidential administration of the opposing party during an election year. Yeah, one could argue that’s weaponizing the DOJ to go after your enemies. How much did Obama know? Also, welcome to this circus, State Department. 

The officials in the Obama administration knew that this was biased trash days prior to securing the FISA warrant is bad enough. Another odd angle is that this very intelligence community knew Carter Page because he worked with the CIA, the State Department, and the FBI…before he became a Russian traitor or something (via RCP):

“I was asked various questions, not only by State, FBI, etc, but also the CIA,” he said. “I had a long-standing relationship with the CIA going back decades essentially, and I was always very transparent, open.”

“I had a longstanding relationship with the CIA, going back decades, essentially,” Page said. “I was always very transparent, open.”

The Mueller Report was an opportunity to provide a factual account of bad behavior during the 2016 election. Unfortunately the report turned a blind eye to actual foreign intervention and went on a witch hunt instead. It is my hope that the people involved in the misuse of government agencies and the witch hunt will be brought to justice.

Uncovering The Early Fraud

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article today that reveals that much of what the FBI has put forth about the spying on the Trump campaign is untrue.

The article reports:

Newly unearthed memos show a high-ranking government official who met with Steele in October 2016 determined some of the Donald Trump dirt that Steele was simultaneously digging up for the FBI and for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.

The concerns were flagged in a typed memo and in handwritten notes taken by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016.

Her observations were recorded exactly 10 days before the FBI used Steele and his infamous dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s contacts with Russia in search of a now debunked collusion theory.

The article points out one obvious lie in the dossier:

That’s a pretty remarkable declaration in Footnote 5 on Page 15 of the FISA application, since Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false.

In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”

She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

We are supposed to believe that the FBI is too stupid to pay attention to an obvious lie that was noted in the summary.

The fiction in the dossier continues:

Steele offered Kavalec other wild information that easily could have been debunked before the FISA application — and eventually was, in many cases, after the media reported the allegations — including that:

    • Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians;
    • Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort owed the Russians $100 million and was the “go-between” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump;
    • Trump adviser Carter Page met with a senior Russian businessman tied to Putin;
    • The Russians secretly communicated with Trump through a computer system.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released last month, dispelled all those wild theories while hardly mentioning Steele, except for a passing reference to his dossier being “unverified.” That’s significant, because the FISA request from October 2016 that rested heavily on Steele’s information was marked “verified application” before the FBI submitted it to the court.

It will be interesting to see if anyone is held accountable for misleading the FISA Court.

I suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. The misuse of our intelligence community for political purposes is totally unacceptable.

Why I Have Concerns About Our Justice System

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday about some of the information in the Russian investigation that should be made public.

The article reports:

If President Trump declassifies evidence in the Russia investigation, Carter Page’s summer bike ride to a Virginia farm and George Papadopoulos’s hasty academic jaunt to London may emerge as linchpin proof of FBI surveillance abuses during the 2016 election.

The two trips have received scant attention. But growing evidence suggests both Trump campaign advisers made exculpatory statements — at the very start of the FBI’s investigation — that undercut the Trump-Russia collusion theory peddled to agents by Democratic sources.

The FBI plowed ahead anyway with an unprecedented intrusion into a presidential campaign, while keeping evidence of the two men’s innocence from the courts.

Page and Papadopoulos, who barely knew each other, met separately in August and September 2016 with Stefan Halper, the American-born Cambridge University professor who, the FBI told Congress, worked as an undercover informer in the Russia case.

Papadopoulos was the young aide that the FBI used to justify opening a probe into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after he allegedly told a foreign diplomat that he knew Russia possessed incriminating emails about Hillary Clinton.

Page, a volunteer campaign adviser, was the American the FBI then targeted on Oct. 21, 2016, for secret surveillance while investigating Democratic Party-funded allegations that he secretly might have coordinated Russia’s election efforts with the Trump campaign during a trip to Moscow.

To appreciate the significance of the two men’s interactions with Halper, one must understand the rules governing the FBI when it seeks a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant such as the one secured against Page.

First, the FBI must present evidence to FISA judges that it has verified and that comes from intelligence sources deemed reliable. Second, it must disclose any information that calls into question the credibility of its sources. Finally, it must disclose any evidence suggesting the innocence of its investigative targets.

Thanks to prior releases of information, we know the FBI fell short on the first two counts. Multiple FBI officials have testified that the Christopher Steele dossier had not been verified when its allegations were submitted as primary evidence supporting the FISA warrant against Page.

Likewise, we know the FBI failed to tell the courts that Steele admitted to a federal official that he was desperate to defeat Trump in the 2016 election and was being paid by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to gather dirt on the GOP candidate. Both pieces of information are the sort of credibility-defining details that should be disclosed about a source.

To put it succinctly, the whole investigation into Russian collusion was based on false premises and was a distraction to avoid looking at the abuses of the Justice Department during the Obama administration. It’s time we put Russia aside and ask why Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, et al, are not under investigation. Using government bureaucrats to spy on an opposition party candidate is a new low in America. Those responsible need to be held accountable so that it will not happen again.

What An Amazing Coincidence

On Thursday, John Solomon at The Hill reported that the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, met with Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson at an event in Aspen last year. Maybe they were talking about their grandchildren.

The article reports:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Simpson ran the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party to find dirt on Trump in Moscow. He employed retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, whose infamous and unverified dossier became the main evidence for the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, particularly the surveillance warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

And by the time of the meeting, the House Intelligence Committee had already received evidence from a senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, that called into question Simpson’s testimony to lawmakers.

Specifically, Simpson claimed he had not begun meeting with Ohr until after Thanksgiving 2016, well after the FBI had begun investigating Trump-Russia collusion and after the presidential election in which Simpson’s client, Clinton, lost to Trump.

But Ohr provided compelling evidence, including calendar notations, testimony and handwritten notes, showing that Simpson met with him in August 2016, well before the election and during a time when Steele was helping the FBI start an investigation into Trump.

When confronted with the Aspen conference photos of Schiff, in sport coat and open-neck dress shirt, and Simpson, wearing casual attire, representatives for both men tried to minimize their discussion, insisting nothing substantive about the Russia case was discussed.

“In the summer of 2018, Mr. Simpson attended a media-sponsored social event where he exchanged small talk with Rep. Schiff and many other people who were in attendance,” Fusion GPS said in a statement to me. “The conversation between the two was brief and did not cover anything substantive. There has been no subsequent contact between Mr. Simpson and Rep. Schiff.”

The problem here is not the meeting–it’s the double standard:

There is nothing illegal or technically improper about a congressman meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, with a witness in an investigation. At least not under the law or the House Intelligence Committee’s rules.

But Schiff created a far higher standard two years ago when he demanded that his Republican counterpart on the committee, then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), be investigated for having meetings with national security council officials at the Trump White House without telling the committee. Schiff’s attacks led Nunes to temporarily recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Schiff assailed Nunes’s contacts with a source outside the committee confines as “a dead-of-night excursion” and said it called into question the impartiality of the inquiry because the committee wasn’t informed.

“I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman,” Schiff said at the time.

So how did Schiff meet his own standards? Boland (Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland) declined to say if his boss told the committee about his Simpson contact.

Democrats in Congress seem to have no concept of treating members of both political parties equally. I think that is one of the reasons people become disgusted with politics.

The Other Shoe

Now it’s time to talk about the other shoe some Americans are waiting to drop.

Let’s talk about the evidence for the government’s abuse of power in dealing with candidate Trump and later President Trump.

Yesterday Joe Hoft posted an article at The Gateway Pundit with the title, “HUGE REVELATION! DEEP STATE LIED! Investigated Trump Campaign with FOUR SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL PROBES – All With Separate Code Names!”

The article reports:

As has been suspected to date, the FBI had four separate investigations – one each on Flynn, Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Manafort. [This is why they were all targeted by Mueller – to attempt to find anything on these individuals to support their spying on them and Trump!]

The article includes documentation on the four investigations and notes that because of “the sensitivity of the matter,” the FBI did not notify congressional leadership about this investigation during the FBI’s regular counterintelligence briefings. So the FBI was purposely avoiding congressional oversight.

On Sunday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the title,””Backtracking Lies Worsening – REMINDER: The FBI Counterintelligence Operation into Donald Trump *DID NOT* Start After Comey Firing….

The article reminds us:

John Brennan realized someone has focused attention on Comey’s admission to congress that the FBI intentionally kept congress in the dark during the construct of the counter-intel narrative. Congress was kept in the dark during this phase because the narrative can only thrive with innuendo, rumor, gossip etc. The appearance of the investigation itself was the political need; the substance was non-existent and immaterial to the creation of the narrative.

If Comey notified congress, via the Gang of Eight oversight, the counter-intel narrative would have been harder to manufacture as details would have to be consistent. That’s the benefit to keeping any oversight away while creating the politically useful narrative.

John Brennan, facing the looming certainty of the underlying Russian ‘collusion evidence’ being non-existent, in 2017 was trying to give the appearance that he briefed congress on larger Russian election interference issues. However , the trouble for Brennan is his own admission that these issues were the underlying principle for the FBI counter-intelligence investigation. Brennan specifically says he gave his intelligence product to the FBI.

Additionally, “Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a ‘credible source,’ which is how they viewed Steele,” … “But they never corroborated his sources.”  (link)

The material within Obama’s PDB, placed by Brennan, is what initially set off alarm bells for Devin Nunes (early 2017) because the material underlying the PDB intelligence product was unmasked by Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Today Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the following headline, “Deep State: Did Justice, CIA And FBI Commit Crimes To Get Rid Of Trump?”

The editorial reminds us:

The actual investigation by the Justice Department and FBI began during the election campaign. Using half-baked and “unverifiable” intelligence about Trump’s purported links to Russia, officials used the so-called Steele Dossier four separate times for FISA court approval to spy on the Trump campaign.

The only problem is, the Steele Dossier didn’t come from the FBI or Justice Department. It came from Fusion GPS, an opposition research group linked to the Democrats. And Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for it.

“Ostensibly, the surveillance application targeted Carter Page,” wrote Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and himself a former federal prosecutor. “But Page was just a side issue. The dossier was principally about Trump – not Page, not Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, or other Trump associates referred to by Steele. The dossier’s main allegation was that Trump was in an espionage conspiracy with Russia to swing the election to Trump, after which Trump would do Putin’s bidding from the White House.”

So for all intents and purposes, the Deep State holdovers from the Obama administration were serving as an adjunct to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Early on in the investigation, CIA chief John Brennan convened multi-agency meetings about Trump. They included Peter Strzok, the head of the FBI’s counter-intelligence, and James Clapper, national intelligence director under Obama, among others.

The premise of the meetings, again, was that Trump possibly colluded with the Russians to hack our election and might even be an agent of Russia.

This is the shoe that has evidence attached. I can promise you that if the rogue members of the DOJ and FBI are not held accountable for their behavior, we will see more of this in the future. At that point, no candidate that does not reflect the values of the deep state will ever be elected.

Who Is James Wolfe?

Who is James Wolfe, and why does it matter? On Thursday, American Greatness posted an article about James Wolfe, a former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

The article reports:

Late Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Wolfe to two months in jail for one count of lying to the FBI; the prosecution had asked for 24 months. After a tearful apology to the judge, Wolfe essentially escaped with a slap on the wrist. Outrageous.

Wolfe, 58, was a key player in the leaking strategy employed by anti-Trump bureaucrats to seed bogus Trump-Russia collusion stories in the news media during the administration’s early months. Entrusted with safekeeping the committee’s most secret documents, Wolfe was caught passing off the information to four reporters. One of the journalists, Ali Watkins, was at least 30 years his junior; their three-year affair began when she was a college intern working for a Washington, D.C. news organization.

The first lesson here is don’t let your daughters be interns in Washington–there are a lot of older men walking around with evil intentions. The second lesson is more serious. James Wolfe was leaking classified information to newspapers with the intention of discrediting the Trump administration. He then lied about his actions when caught. He is looking at two months in jail. General Flynn has agreed to a plea of lying to investigators. He has lost his house, been financially ruined, etc. I realize that there is probably much more to that case than the public is aware of, but it seems to me that General Flynn’s actual crime was agreeing to be part of the Trump administration. His treatment by those in the ‘deep state’ was meant to send a message to anyone who was willing to be part of the Trump administration. The Mafia has been known to use similar tactics.

The article continues:

When confronted by the FBI about the affair and the disclosure of classified information to the other reporters, Wolfe repeatedly lied both during a personal interview and on a questionnaire. The investigation into Wolfe’s activities was so critical and risky that “the FBI’s executive leadership took the extraordinary step of limiting its notification to two individuals—the Chair and Vice Chair of the [committee]. Had this delicate balance not been achieved, this situation could easily have resulted in the possible disruption of information flow—an untenable degradation of national security oversight.”

Sounds a little bit more consequential than a phone conversation about Russian sanctions, right?

But here is the real injustice: While it was clear by both the original indictment and the sentencing memo that Wolfe was responsible for disclosing details about the FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he was not charged with that crime—a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The investigation into Wolfe began after the Washington Post published an explosive story in April 2017 confirming that the FBI had obtained a FISA order right before the election to spy on Page.

“There was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia,” the Post reported. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump associate was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.” The information was given to the reporters “on the condition of anonymity because [the sources] were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.”

James Wolfe belongs in prison for much longer than two months. Until we have equal justice under the law, we will not have our republic. The press is supposed to be holding elected officials and other bureaucrats accountable–not putting their thumb on the scales of justice.

Who Was Actually Running The Show?

On Friday, John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about the events that led up to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mr. Solomon reminds us of some of the investigative techniques used to gather information on the mafia.

The article reports:

Back in the mafia’s heyday, FBI and IRS agents had a set of surveillance rules.

If one mobster showed up in town, pay notice. If two arrived, be suspicious. If three or four were in the same vicinity, something was going down.

…Mobsters would always have the same calling card, or excuse, to be in town. Attending a funeral (the mid-1980s mob meeting in Chicago) or a vacation in the sticks (the infamous 1957 gathering in upstate New York) were some of the more memorable ones.

Early in my reporting that unraveled the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, tying it to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses, I started to see patterns just as in the old mob meetings: FBI or intelligence-connected figures kept showing up in Trump Town USA during the 2016 campaign with a common calling card.

So exactly who showed up where during the 2016 presidential campaign? The article continues:

  • At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016;
  • Campaign figures were contacted by at least two Russian figures whose justification for being in the United States were rare law enforcement parole visas controlled by the U.S. Justice Department;
  • Intelligence or diplomatic figures connected to two of America’s closest allies, Britain and Australia, gathered intelligence or instigated contacts with Trump campaign figures during that same period;
  • Some of the conversations and contacts that were monitored occurred on foreign soil and resulted in the creation of transcripts;
  • Nearly all of the contacts involved the same overture — a discussion about possible political dirt or stolen emails harmful to Hillary Clinton, or unsolicited business in London or Moscow;
  • Several of the contacts occurred before the FBI formally launched a legally authorized probe into the Trump campaign and possible collusion on July 31, 2016.

The people who were approached during that time–Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Sam Clovis and Roger Stone, to name a few. Obviously these are the names that form the crux of the Mueller investigation. Can you say entrapment? Can you say Peter Strzok’s insurance policy?

So who was controlling the people approaching members of the Trump team? The article has a few educated guesses:

At least two important bodies in Congress — the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees — demanded to be secretly briefed on payments to “undercovers.” They’ve been pretty tight-lipped since, except to express concerns that the public would be alarmed by what was divulged.

From those members of Congress, we can deduce that some of the contacts that occurred in 2016 were related to the political opposition, anti-Trump research funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign and driven by Steele and his Fusion GPS employer. That work became known as the Steele dossier.

Others of the contacts appear to have been instigated by Western allies, such as an Australian diplomat’s barroom conversation in May 2016 with Papadopoulos.

And the rest are likely to have come from the FBI itself, which clearly dispatched informers, agents and other operatives to gather evidence to bulk up the uncorroborated Steele dossier, so agents could get a FISA warrant in October 2016 to spy on Page, the Trump campaign adviser.

The article concludes:

If this were a mob case, agents would not stop until they knew why each character appeared and who sent them. President Trump can help answer many, if not all, unanswered questions by declassifying the documents as he promised months ago. Congressional leaders and the Justice Department can impose accountability based on what is disclosed.

The American people deserve to know how much of the Trump-Russia probe was the result of agent provocateurs and political muckrakers and FISA cheaters, and how much was legitimate law enforcement work. 

Rumor has it that there will be some answers coming and some justice served this coming week. Frankly, I am getting tired of waiting.