Leadership Matters

Just the News posted an article today about Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before Congress.

The article reports:

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he was unaware that an FBI field office had recommended that Gen. Michael Flynn be dropped from its Crossfire Hurricane investigation, with the former deputy attorney general agreeing that it would have “mattered” had he been aware of that directive.

Rosenstein was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham if he knew that “in January of 2017, the FBI field office said, ‘we recommend General Flynn be removed'” from the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I did not,” Rosenstein responded.

“Would that have mattered?” Graham asked, to which Rosenstein responded: “Yes.

Maybe I don’t understand the workings of the Department of Justice, but that seems odd to me. Shouldn’t he have known?

The article concludes:

Noting the procedural errors found within the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Rosenstein told senators in prepared remarks that the Justice Department “must take remedial action” against any misconduct it uncovers within its ranks, a bracing statement made in reference to investigative reviews that found “significant errors” in official procedures related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Rosenstein noted that internal investigations had revealed that the FBI “was not following the written protocols” in its execution of Crossfire Hurricane.

The way I evaluate this is to look back at my husband’s days in the U.S. Navy. His squadron was being put aboard a different aircraft carrier. The carrier was being brought into its new port with great celebration. The Marine band was there, the governor was there, many important people were there. The ship ran aground on the way in and couldn’t get to the actual port. Eventually all the dignitaries simply went home. The next day, tug boats waited for high tide and brought the ship in. Keep in mind that the harbor pilot was steering the ship at the moment it ran aground. However, the captain of the ship was soon relieved of his duties. He was considered responsible. I believe Rod Rosenstein needs to be held responsible for the miscarriage of justice that occurred on his watch.

Judicial Watch Uncovers The Beginning Of Obamagate

Yesterday, in their weekly update, Judicial Watch posted the text of the memo that was used to justify the spying on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and later the administration. The memo is redacted to continue to protect the guilty, but there is enough left to see what was going on.

Here is the memo:

The document is dated July 31, 2016. Here is the text of the “electronic communication”:

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Electronic Communication

Title: Crossfire Hurricane Date: 07/31/2016

Cc: [Redacted]
Strzok Peter P II

From: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE
[Redacted]
Contact: Strzok Peter P II, [Redacted]

Approved by: Strzok Peter P II

Drafed by: Strzok Peter P II

Case ID #: [Redacted]

CROSSFIRE HURRICANE;
FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACT –
RUSSIA;
SENSITIVE INVESTIGATIVE MATTER

This document contains information that is restricted to case participants

Synopsis: (S/ / ) Opens and assigns investigation

Reason 1.4 (b)
Derived from: FBI
NSISC-20090615
Declassify On: 20411231

[Redacted]

(S/) An investigation is being opened based on information received by Legat [Redacted]         on 07/29/2016. The text of that email follows:

SECRET/
[Redacted]

Title: (S/ / CC/NF) CROSSFIRE HURRICANE
Re: [Redacted] 07/31/2016

BEGIN EMAIL

(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] information from [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission

Synopsis:
(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] received information from the [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.

Details:
(S/ /[Redacted] On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Legal Attaché (Legat) [Redacted] was summoned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the [Redacted] who will be leaving [Redacted] post Saturday July 30, 2016 and set to soon thereafter retire from government service, advised [Redacted] was called by [Redacted] about an urgent matter requiring an in person meeting with the U.S. Ambassador. [Note: [Redacted]. The [Redacted] was scheduled to be away from post until mid-August, therefore [Redacted] attended the meeting.

(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] advised that [Redacted] government had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President. One of the people identified was George Papadopolous (although public media sources provide a spelling of Papadopoulos), who was believed to be one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers. Mr. Papdopoulos was located in [Redacted] so the [Redacted] met with him on several occasions, with [Redacted] attending at least one of the meetings.

(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] recalled [Redacted] of the meetings between Mr. Papdopolous and [Redacted] concerning statements Mr. Papadopolous made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. [Redacted] provided a copy of the reporting that was provided to [Redacted] from [Redacted] to Legal [Redacted]. The text is exactly as follows:

(Begin Text)

(S/ [Redacted]) 5. Mr. Papadopolous [Redacted] also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama). It was unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer. We note the Trump team’s reaction could, in the end, have little bearing of what Russia decides to do, with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.
(End Text)

(s/ [Redacted]
[Redacted]
(s/ [Redacted] Legat requests that further action on this information should consider the sensitivity that this information was provided through informal diplomatic channels from [Redacted] to the U.S. Embassy’s DCM. It was clear from the conversation Legal [Redacted]
had with DCM that [Redacted] knew follow-up by the U.S. government would be necessary, but extraordinary efforts should be made to protect the source of this information until such a time that a request from our organization can be made to [Redacted] to obtain this information through formal channels.

END EMAIL

(S/ / ) Based on the information provided by Legat [Redacted] this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia.

The article includes Judicial Watch’s reaction to the memo:

No wonder the DOJ and FBI resisted the public release of this infamous “electronic communication” that “opened” Crossfire Hurricane – it shows there was no serious basis for the Obama administration to launch an unprecedented spy operation on the Trump campaign. We now have more proof that Crossfire Hurricane was a scam, based on absurd gossip and innuendo. This document is Exhibit A to Obamagate, the worst corruption scandal in American history. This document shows how Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham are right to question the predicate of this spy operation.

What was done during 2016 and into 2017 was a purposeful effort to undermine the principle of a peaceful transition of power in a republic. This is a serious matter despite the fact that the press is working very hard to ignore it. If we cannot depend on the peaceful transition of power, we no longer have a republic. On that note, I would like to say that people do need to be held accountable, but the only way forward is to temper justice with mercy.

If What You Are Doing Is Honest, Why Are You Hiding It?

On May 11, The Federalist posted an article with the following headline, “Why Did Obama Tell The FBI To Hide Its Activities From The Trump Administration?”

That is a very interesting question. President Obama was leaving office–his authority was over. Why would the FBI listen to him?

The article reports:

The FBI maintained that it opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, rather than providing Trump a defensive briefing on the report from a “friendly foreign government” that Russia had reached out to a member of his campaign to release damaging information on Hillary Clinton, because agents “had no indication as to which person in the Trump campaign allegedly received the offer from the Russians.” According to Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director E.W. “Bill” Priestap, “had we provided a defensive briefing to someone on the Trump campaign, we would have alerted the campaign to what we were looking into, and, if someone on the campaign was engaged with the Russians, he/she would very likely change his/her tactics and/or otherwise seek to cover-up his/her activities, thereby preventing us from finding the truth.”

Former deputy director of the FBI Andy McCabe likewise told Inspector General Michael Horowitz “that he did not consider a defensive briefing as an alternative to opening a counterintelligence case” because, “based on the [Friendly Foreign Government] information, the FBI did not know if any member of the campaign was coordinating with Russia and that the FBI did not brief people who ‘could potentially be the subjects that you are investigating or looking for.’”

McCabe further explained that “in a sensitive counterintelligence matter, it was essential to have a better understanding of what was occurring before taking an overt step such as providing a defensive briefing.”

While “there are plenty of problems with Priestap and McCabe’s rationale, as well as the entire predicate for Crossfire Hurricane,” a bigger problem arises if you take them at their word, because by the time Americans elected Trump president on November 8, 2016, the FBI had “a better understanding of what was occurring,” and had identified four individuals of concern. But still the FBI did not provide president-elect Trump a defensive briefing.

The article details what happened after the January 5th meeting in President Obama’s office:

While Comey found it important to tell the incoming commander-in-chief of the ridiculous “pee tape” “intel,” following Obama’s guidance the then-FBI director did not tell Trump that the FBI had an active investigation into Trump’s incoming national security advisor predicated on the idea that Flynn was potentially a Russian agent.

Even after Obama had left office and Comey had a new commander-in-chief to report to, Comey continued to follow Obama’s prompt by withholding intel from Trump. Recently released documents included as exhibits to the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn reveal this reality.

During that same January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting in which Obama counseled Comey to be cautious in sharing information about Russia with the Trump administration, Obama and Comey discussed Flynn’s late-December telephone calls with the Russian ambassador.

The article concludes:

The FBI, however, is not solely to blame for keeping this “important” information from Trump: They were only following the counsel of former President Barack Obama.

While a young Amy Carter can be forgiven for her juvenile vision of departing the White House “content with the picture of Nancy Reagan struggling to clean out the oven,” there is no excuse for an outgoing president to withhold “intel” on supposed Russian agents from the president-elect. And there is no excuse for an outgoing president to advise hold-over high-ranking officials to do likewise once the new president has taken office.

Or, rather, the only excuse is an equally scandalous one: Obama knew the Russia investigation was a hoax from the get-go.

So much for President Obama participating in the smooth transition of power in our republic.

Sometimes Justice Takes A Long Time

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News detailing some new information in the investigation of General Michael Flynn. People who have followed this story closely have had doubts about the charges against the General from the beginning.

The article reports:

A senior FBI official’s handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration expressed concern that the bureau might be “playing games” with a counterintelligence interview of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to get him to lie so “we could prosecute him or get him fired.”

The notes and other emails were provided to Flynn’s lawyers under seal last week and released Wednesday night by court order, providing the most damning evidence to date of potential politicalization and misconduct inside the FBI during the Russia probe.

The notes show FBI officials discussed not providing Flynn a Miranda-like warning before his January 2017 interview — a practice normally followed in such interviews — so that he could be charged with a crime if he misled the agents, the officials said.

The article includes a link to all of the FBI notes that were recently unsealed.

This is one of the notes:

“What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?,” the handwritten notes of the senior official say. The notes express further concern the FBI might be “playing games.”

The fact that they were even discussing the idea of getting General Flynn fired does not say good things about their motives.

The article includes other evidence that the interview with General Flynn might have been a set-up to frame him and have him removed from office:

Among the new evidence released Wednesday night is an email chain involving former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Strzok, the lead agent in the Russia probe known as Crossfire Hurricane. In the email exchange, the two and others discuss whether the FBI has to follow its normal rules and give Flynn the customary “1001 warning” at the start of his interview that if he misled agents he could be charged criminally.

“I have a question for you,” Page wrote in an email that included Strzok. “Could the admonition re 1001 be given at the beginning at the interview? Or does it have to come following a statement which agents believed to be false? Does this policy speak to that?

She added: “It seems to be if the former then it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in, Of course you know sir federal law makes it a crime to…”

A while later, Page gets an emailed response: “I haven’t read the policy lately, but if I recall correctly, you can say it any time. I’m 90 percent sure about that, but I can check in the a.m.”

The mere fact that FBI agents were using phrase like “slip that in” when talking about a warning designed to protect someone’s constitutional rights is certain to give Flynn’s lawyers more fodder to argue in court that his January 2017 interview was a set up as Powell has argued,

The people behind this operation need to be in jail. They have totally mishandled the trust the government placed in them to execute equal justice under the law.

Just for the record– so far none of this news has shown up on the Drudge Report. I am wondering how the mainstream media will report it (assuming they will report it).

This Was Definitely The Right Response

There are some people in Congress who have been exposed as liars as documents surrounding Crossfire Hurricane are being declassified. One of those people is Adam Schiff, who is desperately trying to prevent any further damage to his reputation. I suspect this damage is inevitable as more information is released. Adam Schiff’s lies have been exposed, and his efforts to cover up further damage are obvious in a recent letter he wrote to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the letter yesterday.

The article reports:

Grenell decided to declassify the IG footnotes revealing the FBI was knowingly using Russian disinformation to spy on Trump’s camp, and now this…

Adam Schiff on April 7 sent Richard Grenell a letter demanding answers on the agency’s personnel changes, including the firing of ICIG Michael Atkinson.

“President Trump did not nominate you for confirmation as permanent DNI, and it would be inappropriate for you to pursue any additional leadership, organizational, or staffing changes to ODNI during your temporary tenure,” Schiff wrote in an April 7 letter acting like he has authority over the executive branch.

And Grenell responded with fire.

“I must disagree with your proposals to divest the DNI of managerial competence and personnel decision-making authority, and to replace your committee’s mandate for Intelligence Community oversight with a mandate for IC administration,” Grenell said.

Grenell continued, “Going forward, I encourage you to think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests.”

OUCH!

“Diversity of the IC workforce should always be celebrated, and I am proud that we increased diversity within the ODNI’s senior ranks, to include more women and members of the LGBT community,” said Grenell, who is openly gay.

Well done, Richard Grenell.

As Declassification Of FISA Warrants Continues…

The Federalist posted an article today listing seven things that we have learned about Operation Crossfire Hurricane as documents are being declassified. None of these things make our intelligence-gathering communities look good. I am going to simply list the seven things. Please follow the link to the article to read the details. They are chilling:

Here is the list:

1. The FBI Always Intended to Spy on the Trump Campaign

2. FBI Failed to Brief Trump About Its Page Suspicions

3. The FBI Spied on the Trump Administration

4. Rep. Adam Schiff Is a Rotten, No-Good, Two-Faced Liar (his attacks on Devin Nunes were based on information he knew to be false).

5. FBI Relied Solely on Fake News to Support Portions of the FISA Applications

6. The Special Counsel Pushed Pathetic Intel Too

7. Oh, the Sweet Irony

As I previously stated, please follow the link to read the entire article.

Bucket Five Is Released

Those of us who have followed the investigation into Crossfire Hurricane closely have been waiting for the information in Bucket Five to be released. That is the information that investigative reporters have cited from the beginning as having the real story behind the surveillance on the Trump campaign and the early days of the Trump presidency. The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the documents the Senate Judiciary Committee has released today. The article includes links and screenshots of information and is very detailed. I recommend that you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will includes some of the highlights here.

The article reports:

The documents include more Papadopoulos transcripts from wired conversations with FBI confidential human source Stefan Halper; and also for the first time less redacted version of all three Carter Page FISA applications.  It’s going to take some time to go through this.

The declassification and release includes some seriously interesting documents the DOJ submitted to the FISA court, as far back as July 2018, which completely destroy the prior claims made by Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and their very vocal media and Lawfare defenders.   Here’s one example:

Lisa Page testified to congress, and claimed in media, that the FBI never had any contact with the Steele dossier material until September 2016.  However, the DOJ directly tells the FISA court that Chris Steele was funneling his information to the FBI in June 2016.

Obviously those involved in the surveillance never expected the truth to come out. They assumed that Hillary Clinton would be elected and their illegal activities would be buried in a sea of classified information. All Americans need to understand that if the Democrat party gains power in Washington, no one involved in this illegal surveillance will ever be held accountable and similar activities will continue in the future. Until the people involved in these activities are held accountable, there will be no guarantee that the civil rights of Americans will not be violated by our government in the future.

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.

How Soon They Forget

On Thursday, The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s naming of Richard Grenell as the new acting director of national intelligence. The political left is complaining about the nomination, claiming that Ambassador Grenell is not qualified. The article reports that when Leon Panetta was chosen by President Obama to lead the CIA, Panetta had no intelligence experience.

The article notes:

What’s wrong is Grenell is pro-Trump and he’s being appointed to head an agency with a deep state reputation filled with deep state resentments about this president. The left is panicked about the potential for light to shine on their anti-Trump — anti-American — covert activities.

So they’re pretending as if Grenell isn’t the right guy for the job based on his experience.

Grenell … is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience,” NPR reported.

And this, from ex-FBI agent Clint Watts, on Twitter: “Grennell as DNI can only be seen as a way for Trump to achieve confirmation bias for his conspiracies & block real analysis and true assessments of threats. Not a serious nominee. How much tax payer money will be used to run down nonsense?”

And this, interestingly enough, from Iran Press: “Trump names incompetent person as acting spy chief.”

The article concludes:

Grenell, at least, is an ambassador — somebody who has to deal with national security issues while navigating complicated, oft-conflicting waters, while calming and soothing and wheeling-and-dealing with a variety of personalities, all expressing a variety of interests. In other words: Grenell is somebody who at least has some hands-on experience doing exactly what intel folk do.

But Grenell is pro-Trump.

And that’s why the deep state and globalist elites deem him unqualified.

If Panetta was qualified as CIA chief, Grenell is more than qualified as acting director of national intelligence.

On Friday, The Conservative Treehouse reported:

Kash Patel previously worked as Devin Nunes’ senior staffer on the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI).  It was Patel who was the lead author of the Nunes memo exposing corrupt conduct of the FBI and DOJ officials during Crossfire Hurricane.

Patel joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate last February and was promoted to the senior counterterrorism role at the NSC mid-summer 2019.  According to recent reporting Patel is now joining Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell as a Senior Advisor and Catherine Herridge is reporting the objective is to ‘clean house‘.

I wonder how much of this ‘housecleaning’ is going to put some members of Congress in a very bad light. Bring it on!

The Truth Is Slowly Coming To Light

The Federalist posted an article today about the Inspector General’s (IG) report on Operation Crossfire Hurricane.

The article notes:

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson dropped that bombshell in a letter delivered to Attorney General William Barr that requested Barr declassify the information hidden in the redacted footnotes. While the declassified version of the Grassley-Johnson letter did not identify the four footnotes at issue, a detailed analysis of the IG report suggests the redacted information concerned Christopher Steele’s sources and potentially the FBI’s purported predication for the launch of Crossfire Hurricane. These conclusions come from a deep-dive into the IG report read in tandem with the Grassley-Johnson letter.

That letter noted that the senators had “reviewed the classified report of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) with regard to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and [were] deeply concerned about certain information that remains classified.” Their concern? “That certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes.”

The next sentence is the key, as it establishes that the redacted information concerns not just a few details addressed in the IG report, but goes to the heart of the entire Crossfire Hurricane investigation: “This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.”

The author of the article reads between the lines to list the contradictions within the report and provides the connections between the parts of the report’s footnotes that were redacted and areas of the report those footnotes contradict. The bottom line here is that the redactions are made to protect the intelligence community–not in the interest of national security.

The article concludes:

Without Barr declassifying the information contained in these footnotes, as well as other material, such as the complete FISA applications, we’ll just have to take Grassley and Johnson’s word that the redacted information contradicts other portions of the IG report, making “certain sections of the public version of the report” “misleading.” However, given the accuracy and honesty of Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo on FISA abuse, I’m inclined to trust the Republican senators.

It’s time for full disclosure. The people in the government who misused their power seem very comfortable with the idea that they will not be held accountable for their misconduct. I hope they are wrong.

Michael Flynn and FBI Misconduct

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the case of Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

“I did not lie to them.”

With those words in a declaration and supplemental motion filed Wednesday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn formally asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in the White House back on Jan. 24, 2017.

In a sweeping argument that took aim at the bureau’s “outrageous” conduct, Flynn’s legal team highlighted a slew of information that has come to light since Flynn’s plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to the agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials.

Moreover, Flynn’s team maintained he had no reason to lie about his communications with the Russian ambassador concerning how the country should respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, or a then-pending vote on Israel in the United Nations. After all, Flynn said, he knew federal officials “routinely monitor, record, and transcribe” conversations like the ones he had with Russian diplomats.

The article continues:

Horowitz further revealed that Pientka (FBI Agent Joe Pietnka) was part of an apparent undercover operation to essentially spy on the Trump campaign and Flynn during a routine intelligence briefing in August 2016.

Pientka’s “participation in that presidential briefing was a calculated subterfuge to record and report … anything Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump said in that meeting,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote. Morever, the FISA court itself has rebuked the FBI as a whole, the filing noted.

Pientka “bore ultimate responsibility for four falsified applications to the FISA court and oversaw virtually every abuse inherent in Crossfire Hurricane — including suppression of exculpatory evidence,” Flynn’s team added.

The FBI has repeatedly refused to respond to Fox News’ request for clarification on Pientka’s status, even as Republicans in Congress have sought to question him.

The article concludes:

In December, U.S. District Judge Emmitt Sullivan had seemingly crushed Flynn’s hopes for ditching his guilty plea, saying that Flynn had waived his constitutional rights to obtain exculpatory information by pleading guilty.

Then, earlier this month, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea for this first time —  just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

On Wednesday, the govenrment kept its recommendation of between zero and six months in prison, but specifically stated it would not “oppose” a sentence of probation. That walkback was notable, and signaled that Flynn likely will not serve time in prison.

Flynn’s lawyers, earlier this month, argued that “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” Flynn’s plea should be withdrawn. That led to Wednesday’s supplemental filing — and, perhaps, new life for Flynn’s defense team.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it includes a lot of significant details. I hope that Michael Flynn is not only exonerated, but reimbursed for the legal expenses he has incurred defending himself from a smear campaign.

Comments From Someone Who Would Know

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included the following comment by Charles S. (Sam) Faddis, Senior Partner – Artemis, LLC, a former CIA operations officer with thirty years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations:

The essence of a coup, which some might refer to as covert action, is the hidden hand. One does not announce that a foreign power is overthrowing the government and installing a new government. One pulls strings as if from behind a curtain, making events that are all part of a carefully orchestrated plan appear disconnected, spontaneous and serendipitous.

As I read through the recently released IG report for the second time, as someone with a great deal of experience in military and intelligence matters, I see that hand everywhere.

Per the IG report, a single report is delivered to the FBI in the summer of 2016. It concerns a meeting between a cooperative contact of a foreign intelligence service and a junior level employee of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos. The report relates what are frankly very amorphous comments by Papadopoulos concerning the Russian government and its alleged possession of information on Hillary Clinton.

On any other day this report would command no attention whatsoever. The source in question has no track record of any kind with the FBI. Papadopoulos has been employed by the Trump campaign for perhaps 90 days at this point, and there is no reason to believe he has contacts of significance in the Kremlin.

Not on this occasion. This one report from a foreign intelligence service goes directly to the top of the FBI. The Director himself, James Comey is briefed. A full investigation is launched. Multiple confidential human sources are tasked. Wiretaps are ordered. A task force is organized. Crossfire Hurricane is born.

…The FBI did not conduct an investigation of Donald Trump and his associates that ultimately proved to be based on false information and continue that investigation long past the time it should have been shut down simply because some people made some errors in judgment or some procedures need to be changed. That investigation was simply the most visible piece of a deliberate, covert attempt to overthrow the democratic process. The perpetrators of that crime have yet to be brought to justice and identified. Let’s hope that happens soon.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It provides further proof of the theory that this was an illegal coup.

I Guess They Did Take Him Seriously

In June 2015, real estate mogul Donald Trump announced that he was running for President. I must admit I wasn’t impressed. There was nothing in his record to indicate he believed in anything I believed in, and he was a totally inexperienced candidate. What I didn’t realize was that experience comes in many different forms–successfully doing business in a city known for corruption, creating a television show that ordinary people enjoyed, and navigating the social waters of the elite–attending Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, etc. (I guess the political left didn’t hate him until he was a Republican and ran for President.) I really didn’t take him seriously. I suspect a lot of other people shared that opinion. The White House was supposed to go to Hillary Clinton–that was her reward for stepping out of the 2008 Democrat primary election, so it really didn’t matter who the Republicans ran. However, the economy was stuttering, unemployment was high, and Americans didn’t seem to have a lot of spending money in their pockets.

Well, around the summer of 2016 the Democrats began to take Donald Trump seriously as a candidate. So seriously in fact that they decided to use the power of government (on an international scale) to keep him from being elected and to prevent him from doing anything if he was elected.

The Guardian posted an article on July 30 about those efforts.

The article reports:

Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns about “our strange situation” as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, the Guardian has learned.

Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a “wake-up call”, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While Russia had previously been viewed as a country that would seek to interfere in western elections, the Brexit vote was viewed by some within the FBI as a sign that Russian activities had possibly been successful, the person said.

Their exchanges offer new insights into the start of the FBI’s Russia investigation, and how British intelligence appears to have played a key role in the early stages.

In one exchange in August 2016, Fleming noted that members of the FBI and MI5 had “met on our strange situation”, a veiled reference to discussions about Russian activities, according to the source.

…The exchanges underscore a sensitive issue in the US – namely the role foreign intelligence services played in the FBI’s decision to initiate an investigation into the Trump campaign.

On 31 July 2016, the FBI opened a covert counterintelligence investigation codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane” into the then presidential candidate’s possible collusion with Russia.

The investigation was eventually taken over by the special counsel Robert Mueller, who has said there were “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election” by Russia.

Mueller’s 448-page report did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but it did identify incidents in which Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the investigation, and did not clear the president of wrongdoing.

US and UK intelligence agencies frequently share information, but the exchanges between McCabe and Fleming appear to reflect a desire for a direct line of communication given what was seen as a developing problem on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is the key paragraph:

In his text message about the August 2016 meeting, Fleming appeared to be making a reference to Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who travelled to London that month to meet the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer had agreed to speak with the FBI about a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the race. The meeting was first reported by the New York Times.

This is the context of these activities–the British ‘deep state’ wanted Brexit to fail, and the American ‘deep state’ wanted Donald Trump not to be elected. The FBI was using overseas sources to do spying on political candidates that would have been illegal if it had been done domestically. The Russians did not interfere in the 2016 election other than placing ads and fake comments on Facebook. The real interference came from the American intelligence community–something that is totally illegal. Those involved need to be held accountable.

What They Actually Did

Yesterday Sebastian Gorka posted an article at American Greatness about the recent dust-up about President Trump’s comments in an interview with George Stepanopoulos. The comments had to do with accepting information on an opposing candidate from a foreign source. Sebastian Gorka’s response to the dust-up is to list the offenses committed by President Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton that fit that description. I strongly recommend that you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will try to list the highlights.

The article lists what we know as fact so far:

  • Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with close ties to the Kremlin and an intense hatred for Donald Trump was paid by Hillary Clinton’s lawyers and the Democrat Party to compile a file of damaging information on candidate Trump. He did so without registering as an agent of a foreign power.
  • This file was replete either with unverifiable fabrications, old accusations that were already out in the open or which were deceptively repackaged to implicate Donald Trump, or outright propaganda Steele had “acquired” from his contacts associated with Russian intelligence.
  • Steele was deemed so unreliable and biased a political actor by the FBI and the State Department, that he was terminated as a source by the Bureau.
  • Senior DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, the company that hired Christopher Steele, and he funneled anti-Trump opposition research from his wife to the FBI.
  • The DNC dispatched a contractor to the embassy of Ukraine to collect proffered opposition research on Donald Trump from the government in Kiev with a plan to coordinate a smear campaign with officials from that non-NATO nation, foreign power.
  • As the Trump campaign grew in strength, Clinton’s allies in the Obama Administration initiated an unprecedented cross-agency operation code-named CrossFire Hurricane to target Donald Trump and his associates.
  • This involved the exploitation of foreign “liaison services,” especially in the UK (and possibly Italy and Australia as well) in order to circumvent constitutional protection that forbid U.S. intelligence agencies from spying on Americans citizens for political reasons. John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, was the pivotal actor driving these operations, which led in part to the sudden resignation of the director of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA, and included FBI Director James Comey as well.
  • On multiple occasions, U.S. intelligence assets were tasked with penetrating the Trump campaign to lure its representatives into what they believed were attempts to connect with the Russia government.
  • This included targeting George Papadopoulos, a minor figure in the campaign, via the offices of the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, and a female FBI “analyst” known as Azra Turk who no one has been able to locate. (Note: When Downer was Foreign Minister he funneled $25 million of taxpayer dollars to the Clinton Foundation).
  • The NSA’s massive database of surveillance intercepts was repeatedly accessed illegally, often by contractors with no authority to do so.
  • At a rate never seen before in the history of the U.S. Intelligence Community (I.C.), the identity of hundreds of American citizens innocently caught up in NSA intercepts were “unmasked” by senior Obama Administration officials. Some of the officials who authorized the unmaskings weren’t even members of the I.C. and who had no plausible reason for the unmasking, including Samantha Power, Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations.
  • The fabricated allegations provided by Russian government sources that Clinton and the DNC bought from Christopher Steele were used to obtain a secret FISA Court warrant to spy on Carter Page and the Trump campaign. The unverified quality of the “Steele dossier” and the fact that is was opposition research paid for by Donald Trump’s political opponent was hidden from the secret FISA court.

The article concludes:

In sum: Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party paid a foreign agent to collect or manufacture damaging information about the Republican candidate for president, information that was sourced from the Russian government. The subsequent propaganda file was used to surveil members of the Trump campaign, illegally, as NSA and British assets were also used to spy on those associated with Clinton’s political rival, and as human intelligence assets were deployed in an attempt to entrap Trump advisers and members of his staff.

The fall-out of the Stephanopoulos interviews is great. But not in the way George and his allies would like it to be.

With one sentence, the president has yet again turned the nation’s attention to the real scandal that should claim our focus: how the Democrats willingly colluded with a nation that remains our enemy in an attempt to win an election and defraud the will of the American people, in the biggest and most successful information operation Moscow has ever deployed against us.

Now it is up to Attorney General William Barr to uncover the rest of their crimes before our next election.

Much of America is waiting for equal justice under the law.

 

The Evidence We Need

Today The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following title, “Jay Sekulow: “Three” FISA Applications Were Denied in 2016 and What This Means…”

The article reports:

During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here – Note comment at 25:05]   The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed.

Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused.  This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.

The article continues, explaining why this is significant and the role the FISA court played in the undermining of the Trump campaign and transition team.

The most intriguing part of the article (at least to me) was the list at the end of the evidence needed to expose the misdeeds of the government during 2016 and beyond:

♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken  by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.

Hopefully this evidence will emerge soon.

How A Dishonest Investigation Works

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that Congressman Doug Collins released the transcripts from the testimony of George Papadopoulos before the House Judiciary Committee. The article includes a PDF File of the 239-page transcript. Oddly enough, the transcript was released on the day that Papadopoulos released his book, “Deep State Target.”

To me, this is the most telling part:

When Robert Mueller took over the Crossfire Hurricane operation, the FBI ran an elaborate entrapment string against Papadopoulos using a CIA asset in Israel and a payment of $10,000 in cash.  FBI Agents were waiting at the airport in Washington DC for Papadopoulos to return.  However, that part of the Mueller plan failed because Papadopoulos left the money behind.  So they applied pressure another way, from his book:

It gets even more interesting–the article cites an energy deal that George Papadopoulos was a part of in the Middle East.

The article concludes:

Here’s the interesting aspect…. Do you know who was the original energy policy consultant; the person who wrote the obscure -at the time- policy paper; a plan to avoid putting an EU pipeline through Turkey; and the person who put all of these regional heads together; that ultimately ended with this announced deal?

That would be the little known, generally invisible young energy adviser, who would eventually become the central figure in the “spygate” targeting, George Papadopoulos.

Yes, for those following the granules as they expose, that 2014 energy extraction strategy; a plan from a little known energy consultant; would have put Papadopoulos in opposition to the interests of President Obama, candidate Clinton, Turkey, Qatar and ultimately Iran and Russia.

Huh… Funny that.

It’s almost as if…..

Some Democrats have long memories, nasty tempers, and are willing to wait for revenge.

The Week To Come

Next week is shaping up to be an interesting week. On Tuesday we will hear President Trump’s State of the Union Address followed by a response given by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article about the choice of Ms. Abrams.

Some highlights from the article:

Abrams, who believes illegal aliens should be able to vote in elections, refused to concede to duly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and repeatedly accused him of racism.

Interestingly enough, in addition to scheduling President Trump’s address for the coming week, the Democrats have now scheduled February 7 as the date to vote on the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General, and scheduled acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee for February 8. There is a method to their plan. Part of the method is that the President’s speech is quite likely to be about the amazing economic achievements of his two years in office and he will probably talk about some of the problems on our southern border. The Democrats are looking for a way to blunt any positive impact of the speech.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about some aspects of the scheduling.

The article reports:

The committee’s vote is scheduled to take place one day before acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a number of topics, including the Mueller probe; Trump foes claim Whitaker should have recused himself from oversight of the investigation based on some of his past comments, even though a Justice Department ethics review cleared him of any conflicts.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.

The article notes a very interesting aspect of this whole Russian investigation:

A few days before Barr’s hearing, the New York Times reported that in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into the sitting U.S. president purportedly based on suspicions he was a Russian foreign agent. Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—whom the Times does not mention by name at any time in the 1,800 words it took to report this information—initiated the probe immediately after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey.

McCabe was fired last year and now is under criminal investigation for lying to federal agents.

The article concludes:

Other materials of public interest include the initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into four Trump campaign aides—which Comey claimed he never saw—and any details about who at the FBI started the unprecedented counterintelligence and criminal investigation into a sitting U.S. president.

And while he’s at it, and before Mueller’s team is finished, Barr should begin a formal inquiry into why the special counsel’s office scrubbed the iPhones used by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while they worked for Mueller for a brief time in 2017. The phones and the data contained on those devices are public property. Barr needs to find out why that information was not collected and archived since both FBI officials already were under scrutiny. Destroying potential evidence is a crime.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

Get out the popcorn, the show is about to begin.

A Disturbing Timeline

The Gateway Pundit posted a revealing timeline today showing that the deep state plan to undercut the presidency of President Trump was formulated about the time President Trump won the Republican nomination. This timeline illustrates the use of government agencies to prevent Donald Trump’s election to the presidency (obviously they failed at that) and if that failed, either drive him from office or discredit him to the point where he couldn’t get anything done. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit on, the idea of using government agencies (non-elected officials) to undermine elected officials should be disturbing to you. Please follow the link above to the article to read the entire timeline.

Here are just a few items:

Now through a review of information from April, 2016, related to the corrupt Obama Administration’s fake Trump – Russia collusion farce, we see that this was the exact same time that the fake Trump-Russia collusion story was created.

The following incidents are now known to have occurred in mid to late April, 2016 –

2016-04-15 Obama CIA Chief John Brennan assembles a multi-agency task force that served from April 2016 to July 2016 as the beginnings of a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. “The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently,” three officials told the NYTimes [source].  (Note that the Crossfire Hurricane team was not reportedly in existence until the end of July 30, 2016, so how could they play a part?)

2016-04-15 James Comey tells Sally Yates sometime around 04/16 that he’s considering a special counsel [see:June 2018 IG report p. 172]

2016-04-15 It’s reported that Victoria Nuland and other State Department officials became “more alarmed” about what the Russians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were authorized by then Secretary of State John Kerry to develop proposals for ways to deter the Russians.  [source]  Nuland stated that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the DNC, long before senior DNC officials were aware of it.

The article concludes:

By the end of April, 2016, the Deep State of Obama, Comey, Brennan, Kerry and others had already put in place spies on Trump team members, and allegations of a made up company, DCLeaks, that allegedly hacked DNC emails.  They also began their sinister Trump – Russia collusion fairy tale.

April 2016 will go down in history as the month that a sitting President (Obama) began his scheme using the intelligence community of the United States to spy on its competing campaign in the US election in an effort to prevent them from winning the 2016 Presidential election.

If the people responsible for this misuse of government power are not brought to justice, we can expect to see similar behavior in the future. These actions are not appropriate in a representative democracy–they belong in a banana republic.

The More We Know, The Worse It Gets

Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about the government spying on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Crossfire Hurricane was the name given to an operation that was so secret only a few in the FBI knew about it.

The New York Times reports on the operation:

…in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

The article reports:

Only about five Justice Department officials knew the full scope of the case, officials said, not the dozen or more who might normally be briefed on a major national security case.

That alone should set off alarms in the minds of those who worry about abuses of power in our government.

The article goes into a rather lengthy analysis of the investigation from The New York Times’ point of view. What it doesn’t say is more instructive than what it does say. The article fails to mention the very real possibility that Mr. Papadopoulos was set up to trigger the investigation or that the Comey briefing of the President was to make way for the media to report on the Russian dossier.

What the article does confirm is that spying on President Trump began during the campaign and continued after the election. The Inspector General’s report will be out at some time in the future and will confirm that Fourth Amendment rights were violated and that certain people within our intelligence agencies should go to jail.