During that December 2018 hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy posed this question to Comey: “Late July of 2016, the FBI did, in fact, open a counterintelligence investigation into, is it fair to say the Trump campaign or Donald Trump himself?”
“It’s not fair to say either of those things, in my recollection,” Comey retorted. “We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference efforts. And those four Americans did not include the candidate.”
So, not only did the Obama administration’s FBI target the Trump campaign in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, but they used an intelligence briefing of candidate Trump to gather “evidence,” and even memorialized Trump’s comments in official FBI documents related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
The new report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed former CIA Director John Brennan lied to Congress about whether the dossier authored by Christopher Steele was used in the Obama administration’s Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).
An example of a lie by ADAM SCHIFF, which he KNEW was a lie when he said it:
FBI and officials did not “abuse” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.
In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government. DOJ met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet probable cause requirement, by demonstrating: contemporaneous evidence of Russia?s election interference;
Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016. In fact, the FBI’s closely-held investigative team only received Steele’s reporting in mid-September more than seven weeks later.
An example of a JOHN BRENNAN lie… which he knew was a lie when he said it:
Mr. Gowdy: Do you know if the Bureau ever relied on the Steele dossier as any — as part of any court filings, applications, petitions, pleadings?
Mr. Brennan: I have no awareness.
Mr. Gowdy: Did the CIA rely on it?
Mr. Brennan: No.
Mr. Gowdy: Why not?
Mr. Brennan: Because we — we didn’t. It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community assessment that was done. It was — it was not.
Except, on Page 179 of the FISA report we find that former FBI Director James Comey told investigators that he remembers being “part of a conversation, maybe more than one conversation, where the topic was how the [Steele] reporting would be integrated, if at all, into the IC assessment.”
Comey added that Brennan and other officials argued that the Steele dossier was found credible by intelligence community analysts, and that while they did not want to include it in the main body of the ICA, “they thought it was important enough and consistent enough that it ought to be part of the package in some way, and so they had come up with this idea to make an [appendix].
In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News’ Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr sits down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the information released within the IG report on FBI 2016 election surveillance against candidate Trump; and FISA exploitation for use therein.
As I was driving around today in slow or stopped traffic, I gave my thoughts about what I was hearing today:
Just a quick note here. The four U.S. citizens spied on by the government we’ll have a great case to make in court to sue set government (during the whole Russian Collusion conspiracy against Trump). So not only did the original investigation cost many millions of dollars, it is possible that many millions more is going to be doled out.
Now… Adam Schiff has himself (against proper procedure) gone and gotten metadata from phone companies and then matched it up with journalist an opposing political persons phones. Without a warrant. I assume another criminal case will start around this… And, much like the other case millions of dollars may be doled out to these individuals who had their metadata illegally seized by the government.
BY THE WAY, you can read here “Democrats” when I say government. Ultimately all the taxpayers will have to — and have paid for it. But these incurred cost come by way of Democrats alone. (As well as never Trumper’s)
So two articles of impeachment have been put forward. Bribery was what CNN says was the Crux of the case a few weeks ago. However, remember all the terms changed over time: quid pro quo, to extortion, to bribery, to obstruction of justice. None of these are part of the impeachment articles. One impeachment article is “obstruction of Congress” (read here Democrats). What a joke! I think a bulk of the American voters see through this sham/witch Hunt.
After another quick link of mine linked to thisREASON.ORGarticle, a friend said this on Facebook:
IG Report, Chapter 12: Conclusions & Recommendations (p. 411)–CHS refers to “confidential human sources”:
“We did not find any documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to conduct these operations. Additionally, we found no evidence that the FBI attempted to place any CHSs within the Trump campaign, recruit members of the Trump campaign as CHSs, or task CHSs to report on the Trump campaign.”
Yes, there were problems with some aspects of FISA, but those issues were later. The investigation began earlier, based on reports from a friendly government that there might be connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Bottom line: the Trump accusation that this was all a witch hunt with political motives has been debunked.
This was my response[s], and it is solid!
JIM G. — two things, well, three. The first is, Horowitz had no subpoena power. So, for instance, he wanted to interview Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS. Glenn simply declined. In other words, Horowitz had an incomplete picture. (Durham and Barr traveled to Italy and other places to talk to what we [not you] know were players involved in those countries.) That is number one.
Number two… and this is a common sense one. Of all the mistakes documented plus the Woods violation… Why didn’t a single one break in Trump’s favor? In other words, FBI director Wray is putting forward 40-changes to stop this from happening again. (Which wouldn’t have happened is Hillary were elected.) If Director Wray were to say, “wow, that was something from this whole thing that worked well. We should keep that.” Or if half, or even a quarter of the mistakes broke in Trump’s favor, I wouldn’t be skeptical.
And third, remember, the Steele Report (as I said in the past) was almost the exclusive bulk of the info to obtain the FISA warrants. Prior to this multiple voices in the FBI warned against Steele. The CIA warned the FBI NOT to use it. Yet:
…DOJ IG Michael Horowitz, who assumed his position during the Obama administration, and his team reported that “Steele’s handling agent” in the FBI “told us that when Steele provided him with the first election reports in July 2016 and described his engagement with Fusion GPS, it was obvious to him that the request for the research was politically motivated.”
In addition, the “supervisory intelligence analyst who supervised the analytical efforts for the Crossfire Hurricane team (Supervisory Intel Analyst) explained that he also was aware of the potential for political influences on the Steele reporting.”
The Horowitz report explained that the FBI was still able to use the Steele dossier even if it was clear that it contained opposition research connected to the Hillary Clinton campaign….
I also just found out that Horowitz wanted to speak to Comey (supporting point #1). But he couldn’t because Comey didn’t sign back up for his top secret clearance, so he couldn’t be interviewed in depth. Durham has the ability to compel testimony.
The memo from the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee reported:
A salacious and unverified dossier formed an essential part of the application to secure a warrant against a Trump campaign affiliate named Carter Page. This application failed to reveal that the dossier was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
The application cited a Yahoo News article extensively. The story did not corroborate the dossier, and the FBI wrongly claimed Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was not a source for the story.
Nellie Ohr, the wife of a high-ranking Justice Department official, also worked on behalf of the Clinton campaign effort. Her husband Bruce Ohr funneled her research into the Department of Justice. Although he admitted that Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” this and the Ohrs’ relationship with the Clinton campaign was concealed from the secret court that grants surveillance warrants.
The dossier was “only minimally corroborated” and unverified, according to FBI officials.
All of these things were found to be true by the Inspector General Michael Horowitz in his December 9 report. In fact, Horowitz detailed rampant abuse that went far beyond these four items.
The Democratic minority on the committee, then led by Rep. Adam Schiff, put out a response memo with competing claims:
FBI and DOJ officials did not omit material information from the FISA warrant.
The DOJ “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”
In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information that corroborated Steele’s reporting.
The Page FISA warrant allowed the FBI to collect “valuable intelligence.”
“Far from ‘omitting’ material facts about Steele, as the Majority claims, DOJ repeatedly informed the Court about Steele’s background, credibility, and potential bias.”
The FBI conducted a “rigorous process” to vet Steele’s allegations, and the Page FISA application explained the FBI’s reasonable basis for finding Steele credible.
Steele’s prior reporting was used in “criminal proceedings.”
Each of these claims were found by Horowitz to be false….
One of the many nuggets from ACE OF SPADES is this from MSNBC: National Review Writer On Why Nunes Should Step Down (March 2017). In the video from MSNBC we see David French retroactively go down in flames! ALSO:
Suffice it to say, ACE destroys David French and Adam Schiff!
Here is more regarding the IG REPORT with thanks to FLOPPING ACES!
The DOJ Inspector General’s report disclosed a multitude of FISA violations by the FBI. As noted by John Solomon, there were 51 Woods violations and nine false statements made to the FISA Court.
To understand just how shoddy the FBI’s work was in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant targeting the Trump campaign, you only need to read an obscure attachment to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report.
Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.
The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.
A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: “Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate.”
For those who don’t speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.
1. Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an “operational contact” for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;
2. Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;
3. Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a “boaster” and an “egoist” and “may engage in some embellishment” and (2) INFORMATION REDACTED
4. Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and Fusion GPS, his client; this premise was incorrect and contradicted by documentation in the Woods File- Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;
5. Omitted Papadopoulos’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like Wikileaks in the release of emails;
6. Omitted Page’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page’s emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Report 95 that Page was participating in a conspiracy with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and
7. Included Page’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made that were inconsistent with its theory, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton.
Do read the rest. 17 major “mistakes” and not one of them goes Trump’s way.
The FBI knew that the dossier was nearly 100% without substance, but acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe demanded it be used in the ICA. The CIA was reluctant….
INSTAPUNDIT notes the FBI campaign against Trump is not necessarily new:
“The FBI and the media joined together to launch an attack on me of unparalleled proportion in the history of his nation … It was all a lie … The Justice Department cannot be trusted to investigate itself.”
Howard is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Among other things, he is a corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, inventor, and corporate executive.
Howard faced down the government. The jury didn’t think much of the government’s case. It returned with a verdict of acquittal on all charges after a day of deliberations, and that includes the time spent electing a foreman.
Howard’s case is important in its own way. The crimes charged were bogus. The government procured testimony through serious prosecutorial misconduct. The prosecution represented fruit of the poisonous Yates Memo tree. Howard had the resources to fight the government’s case against him and his company, but it exacted an enormous toll. The case cries out for study and reform.
Howard has thus sought to engage prosecutors in discussion of the case in person before professional audiences of lawyers and businessmen for whom it holds immediate relevance. The prosecutors and their superiors in the department have sought to keep Howard from speaking to such audiences. When I wrote the Department of Justice to request its explanation for what it was doing, it declined to comment (a week after I asked the question).
Former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy was more forthcoming. He called out the Department of Justice’s behavior as “a disgrace.”
The Department of Justice declines to answer to Howard or me but it has at long last responded to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Utah Senator Mike Lee. Senators Grassley and Lee sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein seeking an update on the Justice Department’s inquiry into professional misconduct committed by prosecutors and higher-ups who brought the charges against Howard and have since sought to prevent him from being heard. I posted the Grassley/Lee letter in “Fear & loathing at the DoJ, cont’d.”
In their letter Senators Grassley and Lee noted that “reports suggest a pattern of threatened and actual retribution against defendants and witnesses borne out of the Department’s disappointment with the outcome of a particular case. This not only casts doubt on the Department’s ability to accept the results of judicial proceedings in a professional manner befitting the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency, but it significantly undermines our confidence in its commitment to hold government attorneys accountable for questionable actions that may have occurred in the course of this case or other cases.” …..
Larry Elder is in his prime on 870 and his growing affiliates. (If I had time I would do excerpts like this for an 870AM YouTube channel to grow their listener base.) Larry plays competing report outcomes by Robert Mueller and Ken Starr. John Eastman weighs in as well, and as usual, he is correct… I add Bill Barr at the end saying the same thing Mark Levin, John Eastman, Andy McCarthy, and others have been saying. But as usual, CNN and the MSM are way behind the curve… in fact they are off the track all together.
President Trump has authorized Attorney General Bill Barr to declassify all materials related to the Russia investigation, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is giving his full support.
Graham said that while Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was “not a witch hunt” like Trump has claimed, he wants to know exactly how and why it began, and expressed suspicion for those who do not support Trump’s decision to release the relevant documents.
“The people who are worried about this are worried about being exposed for taking the law in their own hands,”Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Graham was referring to the process the FBI used in applying for a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republicans have claimed that the FBI improperly relied on and misrepresented information from Christopher Steele’s unverified Russia dossier. Democrats have downplayed the role the dossier may have played in the process.
President Trump gave Barr the authority to declassify the relevant material in a memo Thursday night. A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president “directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election.”….
A little POWRLINE intro please: The Democrats’ hysteria over Attorney General William Barr is directly proportional to their fear of the damage they fear he might do, Kim Strassel explains in her Wall Street Journal Potomac Watch columnHERE:
The only thing uglier than an angry Washington is a fearful Washington. And fear is what’s driving this week’s blitzkrieg of Attorney General William Barr.
Mr. Barr tolerantly sat through hours of Democratic insults at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. His reward for his patience was to be labeled, in the space of a news cycle, a lawbreaking, dishonest, obstructing hack. Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly accused Mr. Barr of lying to Congress, which, she added, is “considered a crime.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said he will move to hold Mr. Barr in contempt unless the attorney general acquiesces to the unprecedented demand that he submit to cross-examination by committee staff attorneys. James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, lamented that Donald Trump had “eaten” Mr. Barr’s “soul.” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren demands the attorney general resign. California Rep. Eric Swalwell wants him impeached.
These attacks aren’t about special counsel Robert Mueller, his report or even the surreal debate over Mr. Barr’s first letter describing the report. The attorney general delivered the transparency Democrats demanded: He quickly released a lightly redacted report, which portrayed the president in a negative light. What do Democrats have to object to?
Some of this is frustration. Democrats foolishly invested two years of political capital in the idea that Mr. Mueller would prove President Trump had colluded with Russia, and Mr. Mueller left them empty-handed. Some of it is personal. Democrats resent that Mr. Barr won’t cower or apologize for doing his job. Some is bitterness that Mr. Barr is performing like a real attorney general, making the call against obstruction-of-justice charges rather than sitting back and letting Democrats have their fun with Mr. Mueller’s obstruction innuendo.
But most of it is likely fear. Mr. Barr made real news in that Senate hearing, and while the press didn’t notice, Democrats did. The attorney general said he’d already assigned people at the Justice Department to assist his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. He said his review would be far-reaching—that he was obtaining details from congressional investigations, from the ongoing probe by the department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and even from Mr. Mueller’s work. Mr. Barr said the investigation wouldn’t focus only on the fall 2016 justifications for secret surveillance warrants against Trump team members but would go back months earlier.
He also said he’d focus on the infamous “dossier” concocted by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and British former spy Christopher Steele, on which the FBI relied so heavily in its probe. Mr. Barr acknowledged his concern that the dossier itself could be Russian disinformation, a possibility he described as not “entirely speculative.” He also revealed that the department has “multiple criminal leak investigations under way” into the disclosure of classified details about the Trump-Russia investigation.
Do not underestimate how many powerful people in Washington have something to lose from Mr. Barr’s probe. Among them: Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities. The Democratic Party pooh-bahs who paid a foreign national (Mr. Steele) to collect information from Russians and deliver it to the FBI. The government officials who misused their positions to target a presidential campaign. The leakers. The media. More than reputations are at risk. Revelations could lead to lawsuits, formal disciplinary actions, lost jobs, even criminal prosecution.
The attacks on Mr. Barr are first and foremost an effort to force him out, to prevent this information from coming to light until Democrats can retake the White House in 2020. As a fallback, the coordinated campaign works as a pre-emptive smear, diminishing the credibility of his ultimate findings by priming the public to view him as a partisan.
That’s why Mr. Barr isn’t alone in getting slimed. Natasha Bertrand at Politico last month penned a hit piece on the respected Mr. Horowitz. It’s clear the inspector general is asking the right questions. The Politico article acknowledges he’s homing in on Mr. Steele’s “credibility” and the dossier’s “veracity”—then goes on to provide a defense of Mr. Steele and his dossier, while quoting unnamed sources who deride the “quality” of the Horowitz probe, and (hilariously) claim the long-tenured inspector general is not “well-versed” in core Justice Department functions.
“We have to stop using the criminal-justice process as a political weapon,” Mr. Barr said Wednesday. The line didn’t get much notice, but that worthy goal increasingly looks to be a reason Mr. Barr accepted this unpleasant job. Stopping this abuse requires understanding how it started. The liberal establishment, including journalists friendly with it, doesn’t want that to happen, and so has made it a mission to destroy Mr. Barr. The attorney general seems to know what he’s up against, and remains undeterred. That’s the sort of steely will necessary to right the ship at the Justice Department and the FBI.
I added some video of Ted Cruz, as well as James Evans Jr. (JJ from the CBS television series Good Times) — WHY YOU ASK — because when “the Sage” acted out Bill Barr calling Mueller, it reminded me of this. I add Stewie Griffin from Family Guy for good measure in my “video ‘added emphasis’.”
NEWSBUSTERS notes well how the current media blames the use of “spying” as a “right-wing” term. Except, just weeks ago they were using it handily…
Cable news talking heads suffered a collective conniption on Wednesday at Attorney General William Barr’s continued use of the word “spying” in reference to an FBI informant in the Trump campaign. Yet many of those melting down over this so-called “loaded language” had previously (repeatedly) used that same term in reference to the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
On the day of Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell did his best to explain precisely why everyone was suddenly treating “spy” like a curse word. “It’s only used to refer to what foreign governments do to us, for example when you’re trying to stop foreign spies, foreign threats,” he pontificated as the panel nodded approvingly.
Over at MSNBC, host Brian Williams was evidently appalled by Barr’s chosen terminology:
Obviously, what we just saw there was an attempt by [Senator] Sheldon Whitehouse to nail down this Attorney General on the charge of shilling for the President who appointed him. Spying, being a word preferred by the Trump right-hand side of the media to describe authorized surveillance techniques by the government the United States.
Andrew McCarhty was on Dennis Prager’s show today to discuss the investigations still going on regarding FBI/DOJ misuse of power. After these reports come in we will most likely see a Grand Jury conveigned and criminal cases started. But Andrew and Prager walk through the machinations that got us to this point as described in Andrew McCarthy’s peice in the NEW YORK POST: “Behind The Obama Administration’s Shady Plan To Spy On The Trump Campaign” (https://tinyurl.com/y6ms7h6r). Enjoy the conversation:
…Despite mounting evidence that the FBI pursued an array of efforts to gather intelligence from within the Trump campaign — and the fact that the FBI successfully pursued warrants to surveil a former Trump aide in 2016 — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told Fox News that Barr’s loyalties were compromised….
PRO-TIP:If the FOX video plays automatically, there is an off switch in the settings gear to turn it off
I commented on my Facebook about this on my Facebook, and it was in response to Chuck Todd (Chuckles) saying this (h-t, NEWSBUSTERS):
Let me just say that for Chuck Todd to call what Barr said a conspiracy theory when Mark Levin pieced it all together from leaks reported in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other mainstream (so called) sources in March of 2017, noting then that this operation had been going on a year — mentioning FISA warrants, spying, and the like…. shows just how out of touch Todd is with evidences he would normally accept (WaPo and NYT) if not for Levin (over 2-years ago) and Barr (today).
Here is the (March 5th2017) video of Mark Levin using MSM sources:
Chuckles should do some soul searching. The latest news of course is this — via SARA CARTER:
PRO-TIP:If the FOX video plays automatically, there is an off switch in the settings gear to turn it off
Svetlana Lokhova, the Russian historian at the center of Michael Flynn investigation for ‘alledge contacts with Russians’, told Fox News in an exclusive interview with Catherine Herridge, that she is not a Russian spy and that she thought “there’s a high chance that is was coordinated, and believe it needs to be properly investigated.”
Here is Hannity’s show from yesterday… And he spoke of the BAKER TESTIMONY a bit: