The Real Answer To The Mueller Investigation

Last night Tucker Carlson stated the following on his television show (posted at The Gateway Pundit):

Tucker Carlson: I just wanted to say this. We spoke to the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee a minute ago. Devin Nunes of California is an honorable person… He has read the whole text of the application for the FISA warrant by the government, the Obama administration to spy on Carter Page and the Trump Campaign. He says the parts that have been redacted do not in any way threaten American national security. It is merely butt-covering on the part of the bureaucracy. We ask the obvious question which is why don’t you just tell us what’s in it and let the public decide, let the public judge. In the commercial break I got an interesting text, I’m going to read it on the air from a very informed person in Washington. And I’m quoting, “Dianne Feinstein entered the CIA torture memos into the record of the senate and was protected by the speech and debate clause. Any Republican with access to the FISA warrant could do the same. Complete immunity awaits them. I believe that to be true… I will say one more time, if you know what’s in the redacted portions of that application please send it to us. The public has a right to know.

I believe transparency is the answer to the current corruption in Washington. The best way to deal with the ‘deep state’ is to expose it.

Sunshine Really Is The Best Remedy

Last night The Daily Wire reported the following:

House Republicans filed a resolution to impeach United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, citing the Justice Department’s lack of transparency and obstruction of congressional oversight.

“I just filed a resolution with Jim Jordan and several colleagues to impeach Rod Rosenstein,” Meadows wrote on Twitter. “The DOJ has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight–even defying multiple Congressional subpoenas.”

The lack of transparency is not the only problem–Rod Rosenstein signed one of the FISA warrants. He might be totally conflicted in deciding what documents to turn over to Congress.

The saga continues. Yahoo News reported today:

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday rejected a move by fellow Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, who oversees the federal probe of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” said Ryan, whose stance could make it easier for other Republican members to oppose the measure.

This is not a surprise. Paul Ryan will be stepping down from his role as Speaker and probably looking for a job in Washington. Although I believe the impeachment of Rosenstein would be appropriate (for conflict of interest as much as anything else), I don’t think Paul Ryan is willing to do anything that might rock the boat right now. He wants to stay friends with everyone. (That is probably why he should resign today!)

On Tuesday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner which outlined a solution to this whole sordid mess.

The article points out:

While the lawmakers support maximum declassification, they also gave the president another option: declassify two key sections of the application that Republicans believe are particularly revealing. In the letter, the GOP committee members made a very specific request.

“To enable the public to understand the DOJ’s and FBI’s basis for obtaining the FISA warrant and three subsequent renewals,” the lawmakers wrote, “we respectfully request that you declassify and release publicly, and in unredacted form, pages 10-12 and 17-34, along with all associated footnotes, of the third renewal of the FISA application on Mr. Page. The renewal was filed in June 2017 and signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”

So what is on pages 10-12 and 17-34? That is certainly a tantalizing clue dropped by the House Intel members, but it’s not clear what it means. Comparing the relevant sections from the initial FISA application, in October 2016, and the third renewal, in June 2017, much appears the same, but in pages 10-12 of the third renewal there is a slightly different headline — “The Russian Government’s Coordinated Efforts to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election” — plus a footnote, seven lines long, that was not in the original application.

As for pages 17-34, there appear to be, in the third renewal, new text and footnotes throughout the section headlined “Page’s Coordination with Russian Government Officials on 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Influence Activities.” (That is the same headline as the original application.) The Republican lawmakers ask that it be unredacted in its entirety, suggesting they don’t believe revealing it would compromise any FBI sources or methods.

Clearly, the GOP lawmakers believe pages 10-12 and 17-34 contain critical information, so it seems likely that the release of those pages would affect the current public debate over the FISA application. That would, in turn, lead to charges that the Republicans were cherry-picking the application and did not want the public to see information that undercuts their position.

Which is why the application should be released in its entirety, or as closely to its entirety as is possible. Will that happen? At the moment, it appears the only person who can answer that question is Trump.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Unraveling The Abuse Of Intelligence Gathering

Opposition research is part of any good political campaign. To some extent, dirty tricks also appear in political campaigns. Politics is a blood sport, and many of our politicians are extremely Machiavellian. However, when government agencies are used against a political candidate, we have ventured into something dangerous and illegal that must be stopped. That is the place we find ourselves with the FISA Warrants issued to spy on the Trump campaign.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the abuses of FISA during the 2016 presidential campaign. It is a very complex article, but I will attempt to post some of the highlights. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article and watch the video.

The article reports:

Way back when CTH first began the deep dive into the systems and processes that were deployed in the 2015/2016 election cycle we eventually came to the conclusion that everything of substance, within the larger intelligence abuses, revolved around DOJ and FBI abuses of the FISA process.

As an outcome of multiple research deep-dives we then focused on a specific foundational block of that usurpation, the fraudulent application presented to the FISA Court by officials within the FBI and DOJ-NSD (National Security Division).  The October 21st, 2016, application to the FISA Court for surveillance authority upon U.S. person Carter Page; and by extension the Donald Trump campaign.

Throughout all further inquiries this central component remains at the center of the issue.  Unlawful surveillance is the originating principal behind Operation Crossfire Hurricane; it is also the originating issue within the Peter Strzok “insurance policy”; additionally, it is the originating aspect to the Clinton/Steele dossier; etc. etc. the list is long.  Chase any of the corrupt threads back to their source of origin and you eventually come back to the surveillance authority within the FISA processes.

The article explains what is being done to prevent future FISA abuses:

FISA is a process, and when used appropriately, within all guidelines, is essentially a surveillance tool. However, it is a tool that is entirely subject to the honor of the user. If the user is corrupt, or holds corrupt intent, the tool easily becomes a weapon. That’s what happened in 2015, 2016 and likely long before that. The weaponization is so easy to initiate that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers admitted the intelligence community could not adequately prevent it. So Rogers went about eliminating massive aspects to it, completely.

…The movement of the U.S. Cyber Command, literally into another combatant command, essentially merging NSA into a functional branch of the U.S. military, is clear evidence that people like Admiral Mike Rogers took action, in hindsight, knowing the Obama administration weaponized data collection, a function of government, for political benefit. Now, in hindsight, the action they took in May of this year all begins to make sense.

The article includes a statement by Rod Rosenstein about the FISA warrant he signed:

…We sit down with a team of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All of whom review that and provide a briefing for us for what’s in it. And I’ve reviewed that one in some detail, and I can tell you the information about that doesn’t match with my understanding of the one that I signed, but I think it’s appropriate to let the Inspector General complete that investigation. These are serious allegations. I don’t do the investigation — I’m not the affiant. I’m reviewing the finished product, sir.

Loosely translated Rosenstein is saying that he doesn’t have the courage to take on the deep state so he is letting the Inspector General deal with it.

The article concludes:

Many of those DOJ-NSD officials who participated in the Rosenstein briefing, or assembled the underlying briefing material, left after the time-period in question (June 2017).  Additionally, almost all of the FBI officials left, retired, resigned after this time-period.  There was also massive exit of all of corrupt support officials from inside the DOJ-NSD and FBI when the Page/Strzok text messages surfaced (December 2017) and the evidence of the political operation became public.

However, as all of these *inside* officials left the DOJ and FBI, another entire set of *outside* DOJ and FBI officials replaced them; and the originating counterintelligence operation was rebranded and handed over to Robert Mueller.

The inside government usurpation operation became an outside government usurpation operation, essentially using contract agents hired by the inside group prior to exit.  The remaining fragments of the ‘insurance policy‘ are in the hands of Robert Mueller’s team.

We need to gather intelligence to protect ourselves from people in other countries who mean us harm. However, we also need to protect ourselves from people within our government who abuse our intelligence gathering capabilities.

 

 

Do You Believe That Any Of These Questions Will Be Answered?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about questions Representative Devin Nunes has submitted to a number of Obama Administration officials about the Clinton-Steele dossier.

The article lists the questions:

Get out the popcorn and stay tuned.

The Best Question Asked On The Sunday Morning Shows

The following video was posted at YouTube yesterday:

Most of the interview is a classic example of media bias and rehearsed talking points, but the question as to why the Democrats did not focus on the places the Russians knew to focus on is wonderful! Just for the record, there is no evidence that the Democrats were behind the hacking of the DNC. Remember that the DNC would not let the FBI examine their computers.

The Conservative Treehouse has a few relevant comments on this intervieiw:

Interesting interview. The Russians didn’t keep Hillary out of Wisconsin; the Russians didn’t make Hillary use personal email; the Russians didn’t hire Fusion-GPS; the Russians didn’t pay Christopher Steele; the Russians didn’t make a dossier or deliver work product to the State Dept; the Russians didn’t do the unmasking of campaign officials.

The Russians didn’t apply for a FISA warrant; the Russians didn’t lie to a FISA court; the Russians didn’t leak Mike Flynn monitored phone calls; the Russians didn’t use DOJ and/or FBI databases to download FISA 702(16)(17) queries and extract the data to private contractors; the Russians didn’t hire Nellie Ohr and Russians didn’t approach president-elect Trump and warn him of politically weaponized intelligence surveillance…

The… wait…. then again, THAT’S ENTIRELY THE MOTIVE to blame the Russians:

If the Russians were actually successful in influencing the 2016 election, it was because Americans were not paying close attention to what was going on. The Russians will always try to influence our elections. We will always try to influence elections in other countries. We live in the world of Spy v. Spy illustrated by Mad Magazine in the 1950’s. It is our responsibility as Americans to do our own research into what we see on social media. The best defense against foreign meddling in our elections is an informed electorate!

 

The Memo Is Released

The long-awaited memo put out by the House Intelligence Committee has been released. The news source you listen to may determine your evaluation of how important the memo is. There is enough nastiness, hand wringing, and shouts of triumph to provide a space for everyone.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the memo at Power Line. John Hinderaker is a lawyer from Minnesota who operates Power Line Blog. The blog includes a few lawyers as writers and can always be depended upon for logical, clear-headed analysis of any situation.

The article at Power Line reports a few items in the memo:

The FISA warrants that are the subject of the memo all relate to Carter Page. The original warrant was sought on October 21, 2016, and the memo says that there were three renewals, which apparently occur every 90 days. This would appear to take the surveillance well past the presidential election, and beyond President Trump’s inauguration. The memo does not explain this aspect of the timing. The FISA applications were signed by some familiar names: James Comey signed three, and Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein all signed one or more.

The fake “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele with the assistance of unknown Russians “formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. In fact, McCabe testified before the committee that no FISA warrant would have been sought without the fake dossier. Steele was paid over $160,000 by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to come up with derogatory information–true or false, apparently–on Donald Trump.

DOJ and FBI failed to mention in their FISA application that it was based on opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, even though this apparently was known to the FBI. The application apparently tried to mislead the FISA court by saying that Steele “was working for a named U.S. person”–the memo doesn’t tell us who that person was–but not disclosing Fusion GPS or Glenn Simpson, let alone Hillary Clinton and the DNC. This appears to be a deliberate deception of the court.

In addition to Steele’s fake dossier, the FISA application cited an article about Carter Page that appeared on Yahoo News. The application “assessed” that this corroborating account did not originate with Christopher Steele. In fact, it did: Steele himself leaked the information to Yahoo News.

The memo casually notes that “the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.” This is news to me. It has been reported that Steele sought funding from the FBI, but I believe prior reports have been to the effect that the Bureau refused. Was the FBI paying Steele, known to be working for the Hillary Clinton campaign?

Please follow the link to the article at Power Line to read the rest of the highlights.

So what does this mean?

This is the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The FISA act establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.

The FISA act states:

Approval of a FISA application requires the court find probable cause that the target of the surveillance be a “foreign power” or an “agent of a foreign power”, and that the places at which surveillance is requested is used or will be used by that foreign power or its agent. In addition, the court must find that the proposed surveillance meet certain “minimization requirements” for information pertaining to U.S. persons. Depending on the type of surveillance, approved orders or extensions of orders may be active for 90 days, 120 days, or a year.

It is becoming very obvious that the FISA applications were being used for political purposes. This is the kind of thing that goes on in a police state. All the people who knowingly engaged in this activity violated their Oath of Office to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. Everyone involved needs to be charged with a crime appropriate to their level of involvement. The decisions made from this point forward will determine whether we are a nation of equal justice under the law or we have become a nation where the powerful are exempt from the law.

Why Not Just Put It On Hillary Clinton’s Secret Server And We Can Get It From The Russians?

Sorry about the sarcasm. I couldn’t resist. The Hill posted an article today about the fight in Congress to keep the American public from finding out what actually went on behind the scenes during the 2016 presidential campaign and President Trump‘s transition team.

The article reports:

A growing number of Republicans are demanding the release of a classified report that they say reveals political bias at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the effort this week to allow lawmakers to view a top-secret report compiled by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Scores of Republicans have since viewed the document in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on Capitol Hill. They left expressing shock, saying the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s officials had improper contacts with Russia is based on politically motivated actions at the highest level of law enforcement.

Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called the memo “shocking.”

“I’m here to tell all of a America tonight that I’m shocked to read exactly what has taken place,” Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a speech on the House floor. 

“I thought it could never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy like this country. It is time that we become transparent with all of this, and I’m calling on our leadership to make this available so all Americans can judge for themselves.” 

As voters, we need to see this. We need to know exactly what happened–not what the media or the political parties choose to tell us. Why is it classified in the first place? For political purposes?

This is how the process of declassification works:

Meadows and his allies asked GOP leaders in the House to declassify the report as part of a short-term spending bill the House passed late Thursday night. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wanted to follow House rules on the matter and deferred to Nunes and the Intelligence Committee.

Nunes could call for a vote to release the report on his panel. If a majority on the committee agrees to declassify the report, the executive branch would just need to sign-off to make it public, said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), another Freedom Caucus member.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Jordan said.

The article includes the following statement:

Lawmakers were tight-lipped about the contents of the memo, as they are barred from unilaterally releasing classified information.

But the lawmakers who have long been claiming that FBI agents and DOJ officials launched a partisan investigation into Trump said the report vindicated their claims.

This story is currently being overshadowed by threats of a government shutdown. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Too Many Coincidences

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review today about the Mueller investigation. It’s a rather long and detailed look at the people participating in the investigation. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. The article includes a lot of very insightful observations.

The article states:

The investigation is venturing well beyond the original mandate of rooting out evidence of Russian collusion. Indeed, the word “collusion” is now rarely invoked at all. It has given way to its successor, “obstruction.” The latter likely will soon beget yet another catchphrase to justify the next iteration of the investigations.

There seems far less special investigatory concern with the far more likely Russian collusion in the matters of the origins and dissemination of the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier, and its possible role in the Obama-administration gambit of improper or illegal surveilling, unmasking, and leaking of the names of American citizens.

The article concludes:

Indeed, the only remaining trajectory by which Mueller and his investigators can escape with their reputations intact is to dismiss those staff attorneys who have exhibited clear anti-Trump political sympathies, reboot the investigation, and then focus on what now seems the most likely criminal conduct: Russian and Clinton-campaign collusion in the creation of the anti-Trump Fusion GPS dossier and later possible U.S. government participation in the dissemination of it. If such a fraudulent document was used to gain court approval to surveil Trump associates, and under such cover to unmask and leak names of private U.S. citizens — at first to warp a U.S. election, and then later to thwart the work of an incoming elected administration — then Mueller will be tasked with getting to the bottom of one of the greatest political scandals in recent U.S. history. Indeed, his legacy may not be that he welcomed in known pro-Clinton, anti-Trump attorneys to investigate the Trump 2016 campaign where there was little likelihood of criminality, but that he ignored the most egregious case of government wrongdoing in the last half-century.

I totally agree with his conclusions, but I also believe that the chances of Mueller doing the right thing are about the same as finding a needle in a haystack!

 

Slowly The Truth Comes Out

There are very few investigative reporters working in news media right now. I don’t claim to be one of them, but I truly appreciate the work they are doing, and when possible, try to share it. One internet site that I have recently become aware of is Circa. They have done a lot of investigating into illegal government surveillance of Americans.

Yesterday Circa posted an article about the sharing of spy data on American citizens by the FBI.

The article reports:

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

I have a friend who once worked for the National Security Agency (NSA). I year or so ago, he assured me that the agency was not spying on Americans. Recently, he told me that he had been wrong. The group he worked with was dealing with foreign issues and played by the rules. Since that time he has learned that not everyone played by the rules. He was heartbroken when he realized that. I say that to remind everyone that we have good people working in our investigative and security agencies. The challenge for the Trump Administration will be to get the people who have abused their positions out. FBI Director Comey was a good place to start. Criminal charges are also in order where laws have been broken.

The article further reports:

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed. 

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.

All of this is part of the ‘deep state’ that is being used to undermine the Trump Administration. All members of the deep state need to receive their pink slips as soon as possible.

Circumstantial Evidence

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today that explains why President Trump may be right in stating that he was wiretapped.

The article reports:

“As far as I know from people I’ve spoken to and sources that I’ve reached out to about this, it is entirely plausible that in fact Trump in some way or fashion was bound up in some sort of wiretap,” Kredo (Adam Kredo, senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon) said. “My understanding is that during an investigation into possible ties to Russia and business dealings that a FISA warrant reached this kind of stuff.”

Kredo then presented a question that he believes Clapper should answer to clarify what he knows about the issue.

“If there was no such wiretap and that did not exist as he says, where did the transcripts of the conversations that reporters at the New York Times and others were passed along about conversations between Michael Flynn and Russian officials, where did those come from?” Kredo asked. “I think it is very curious that, if in fact there was no sort of wiretap, there would be no record of those conversations, when in fact we all know there is.”

It is time for Congress to take a really good look at this. Who else was or is being wiretapped? Has privacy become a thing of the past for all Americans?