Steele Dossier Was Exclusively Used (UPDATED)

UPDATE BELOW

NEWSBUSTERS notes this about the Steele Dossier:

  • While CNN previously insisted that the FISA warrant against Page did not use the infamous and debunked Steele dossier, in a Senate hearing on Wednesday, IG Michael Horowitz confirmed that the warrant was “entirely” reliant on it. The report also showed that FBI investigators knew the dossier was bogus and presented it to the FISA court as a reliable source of information.

They link to this excellent article by THE FEDERALIST:

In an astonishing admission, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz conceded to lawmakers Wednesday that the FBI’s FISA applications used to continue surveillance on the 2016 Trump campaign were based entirely on sources for the widely discredited Steele Dossier funded by the Democrats.

“The FISA applications relied entirely on information from the Steele from the primary sub-source’s reporting to support the allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities. However, the FBI did not share this information from department lawyers, and it was therefore omitted from the last two renewal applications,” Horowitz said.

The Democrat-funded Steele Dossier was basis for the grand Russian conspiracy theory peddled by deep-state government officials and the media that lead to a two-and-a-half year special counsel investigation with unlimited resources that ultimately vindicated the president.

The Horowitz report illustrates how the primary sub-source’s information fed to the Steele Dossier undercut the dossier’s own claims….

BTW, for 2-years I was told that the Steele Dossier was only PART of the warrants. NOPE. I was right, others woefully wrong.


Some Additional Stuff


In an article noted by POWERLINE, Tucker Carlson notes how the media is partially responsible for the “cover-up” of facts regarding the spying on an American citizen – via JEWISH WORLD REVIEW:

Thanks to the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report, we now know for certain what has been, for those paying attention, fairly obvious. The Steele dossier played a central role in the genesis of the Russia hoax and was used to justify extensive spying on former naval officer and Annapolis graduate Carter Page.

The top two leaders of the FBI were closely involved in this fiasco. Other powerful people knew what was happening and lied to cover it up. That all was confirmed by the IG report. The report was a disaster for the credibility of top leaders in Barack Obama’s FBI, and it’s also a big problem for the American news media.

For example, in early 2018, Washington Post intelligence and national security correspondent Shane Harris lectured Kim Strassel of The Wall Street Journal about how little she knows about the story.

“Yes,” he wrote, “I am telling you the dossier was not used as the basis for a FISA warrant on Carter Page.” That’s false. And yet, Harris hasn’t apologized or even acknowledged his incompetence.

Or take NBC News’s so-called intelligence correspondent Ken Dilanian. In the summer of 2018, he smugly tweeted, “Trump is wrong about Carter Page, the dossier and the FISA warrant.” But it looks like Trump was right, and he was wrong.

CNN Newsroom anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto did admit the Steele dossier might have been used for the warrant. But don’t be impressed. He lectured readers that “the FBI would corroborate information in the dossier on its own before using such intel to justify the FISA warrant.” Of course, that didn’t happen. In fact, the FBI hid information showing the dossier was false. Did Sciutto issue a correction? Of course not. But it does seem a little unfair to focus on Jim Sciutto. He was merely following the lead of almost everyone else at CNN, all of whom were frantically trying to convince us that the dossier was irrelevant:

Evan Perez, CNN senior justice correspondent: “You know, a lot of people will focus on the dossier, a lot of people will focus on a FISA, of Carter Page, and they’ll say they were spying on a campaign. But at the beginning, this is all about what Russia was doing.”

Shimon Prokupecz, CNN crime & justice correspondent: “Now Republicans were trying to claim that the dossier was key to getting the FISA, the surveillance warrant for Carter Page. But the Democrats memo clearly shows it wasn’t key.”

James Clapper, CNN national security analyst: “Even the earlier version of the redacted FISA authorization to me had enough information in it to indicate that the dossier was certainly not used as the primary source.”

Everything you just read turned out to be wrong. Has CNN retracted the comments or apologized? That’s a rhetorical question. Apologies require introspection and integrity. At CNN, they’re doubling down. CNN’s Don Lemon explained that, by definition, everything CNN reported was true….

Back in September of 2017, the EMPTY WHEEL was already noting John Sipher’s defense of the dossier as indefensible: “John Sipher’s Garbage Post Arguing the Steele Dossier Isn’t Garbage” And my post documenting the hard work of MYRDDRAAL showing that almost nothing was confirmed as true or fitting reality is here: “Past CIA Head of Russia Clueless

CHUCK ROSS add to the media blame by noting that a Washington Post reporter is going back and doing a series on how the Steele Dossier was proffered as fact. In this latest article, Rachel Maddow is under the microscope: “WaPo Columnist Rips Rachel Maddow For Hyping Steele Dossier

According to the IG report, the FBI was unable to corroborate any of Steele’s allegations of collusion involving the Trump campaign. Steele’s primary source for the dossier also disputed key allegations in the document. Steele told FBI agents in October 2016 that one of the main sub-sources for the dossier was a “boaster” and “embellisher,” the report further stated.

Wemple laid out a timeline of Maddow’s coverage of the dossier, noting that she tended to hype developments that cut in favor of Steele’s reporting, while ignoring information that undermined the ex-spy.

“When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them,” wrote Wemple. “At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report.”

“She seemed to be rooting for the document,” he noted.

According to Wemple, Maddow touted reports from other news outlets that claimed parts of the dossier were corroborated. On May 3, 2017, she said on her show that “more and more” aspects of the dossier had been “independently corroborated.”

On Oct. 5, 2017, she said that “a lot” of the claims in the dossier were “dead to rights.” On April 16, 2018, she hyped a story published by McClatchy that the special counsel’s team had received evidence backing up the dossier’s allegation that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to meet Kremlin operatives. The IG report said that the allegation was “not true.”

Maddow appeared so convinced of the dossier’s accuracy that she aired an hour-long special report on Dec. 8, 2017 hyping Steele’s reporting.

[….]

Maddow has only mentioned the Steele dossier once on her show since the release of the IG report. But instead of discussing the report’s critique of Steele, Maddow asserted that the IG debunked a GOP theory that the dossier was the spark for the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

“She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings — a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry,” says Wemple.

And where is the full-court-press in discussing how Adam Schiff has been shown to be woefully wrong at best, and a liar at worst (THE LID):

….Schiff ‘s also lied when he claimed the Justice Department was truthful with the FISA court about “Steele’s prior relationship with the FBI.”

Page 364 of Horowitz report says the “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 FBI handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures”

[….]

Schiff claimed 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. But Horowitz disagreed on Page 383 and 384 of his report.

We determined that prior to and during the pendency of the FISAs the FBI was unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter

Page contained in the election reporting and relied on in the FISA applications, and was only able to confirm the accuracy of a limited number of circumstantial facts,\ most of which were in the public domain, such as the dates that Page traveled to Russia, the timing of events, and the occupational positions of individuals referenced in the reports.

In addition to the lack of corroboration, we found that the FBI’s interviews of Steele, the Primary Sub-source, and a second sub-source, and other investigative activity revealed potentially serious problems with Steele’s description of information in his election reports.
None of this was told to the court.

The Steele report also contended that the Russians had evidence that while staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow Trump hired a hooker to give him a “golden shower,” ignoring the fact that the POTUS is something of a germaphobe and would never do that with a stranger.  Page 188 of the Horowitz report explains the FBI knew the source who told Steele about the supposed incident was joking:

The Primary Sub-source explained that his/ her information came from “word of mouth and hearsay;” “conversation that [he/she] had with friends over beers; ” and that some of the information, such as allegations about Trump’s sexual activities, were statements he/she heard made in “jest.” 

The Primary Sub-source also told WFO Agent 1 that he/she believed that the other sub-sources exaggerated their access to information and the relevance of that information to his/her requests. The Primary Sub-source told WFO Agent 1 that he/she “takes what [sub-sources] tell [him/ her] with ‘a grain of salt.”

[….]

The Horowitz report proves that Adam Schiff, the man who is leading the effort to impeach President Trump, lied to America about the FISA report….

All this is a travesty to truth.

FISA Court Speaks Out (UPDATED!)

Wow… finally! People were wondering why the FISA Court was so silent. Well, not any-longer….

A secretive surveillance court issued a rare public order on Tuesday rebuking the FBI for its handling of warrant applications to wiretap Carter Page, a onetime Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser whose monitoring by the government has become the subject of significant public controversy.

Judge Rosemary Collyer, the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, wrote in the filing that a recent Justice Department watchdog report was “troubling” and described the behavior of the FBI as “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor” owed to the court by government agents.

“THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY FBI PERSONNEL TURNED OUT TO BE UNSUPPORTED OR CONTRADICTED BY INFORMATION IN THEIR POSSESSION, AND WITH WHICH THEY WITHHELD INFORMATION DETRIMENTAL TO THEIR CASE, CALLS INTO QUESTION WHETHER INFORMATION CONTAINED IN OTHER FBI APPLICATIONS IS RELIABLE. THE FISC EXPECTS THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE INFORMATION IN EVERY FILING WITH THE COURT,” JUDGE COLLYER WROTE.

The order could drastically reshape relations between the court and the Justice Department and could have ramifications for how some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence programs are run. The court has long approved the overwhelming number of the government’s warrant applications and signed off on most of its surveillance activities, but in recent years it has begun to scrutinize them more closely. The rift over the matter of Mr. Page could heighten the court’s scrutiny of government surveillance.

Because of the nature of the court’s work in approving secret surveillance of people suspected of spying and terrorism, it operates in near total secrecy and rarely releases its filings or orders to the public.

The order follows the release earlier in December of a watchdog report that found serious lapses in the FBI’s handling of the warrant against Mr. Page. In the report, the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the FBI had withheld exculpatory material about Mr. Page from the court and made misleading statements about his relationship with another government agency.

Judge Collyer ordered the Justice Department to explain by Jan. 10 what steps it was taking to prevent such lapses in the future. The judge’s order also indicated it planned to release more secret material about the case in the coming weeks on its public docket, offering the possibility of additional insight into the government’s most secret surveillance programs…..

(WALL STREET JOURNAL)

REMEMBER, judge Collyer signed off on a Carter Page warrant… (July 2018) DOJ Releases Carter Page FISA Applications – Critics Proven Right

RIGHT SCOOP notes the case presented to Judge Collyer 2-and-a-half years ago:

Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation filed a secret motion with the FISA court to act on application abuses all the way back in 2017, but just five days later the FISA court, via Judge Rosemary Collyer, denied their claim. Below is a statement from Mark Levin:

Over 2 1/2 years ago, a Landmark Legal Foundation asked Judge Collyer to act on the FBI abuses committed on the court and she denied our request. Now, she asserts she has the power to act. Better late than never, I guess, but the judge should have acted much earlier.

This is the same Judge Rosemary Collyer who rebuked the FBI today.

It just goes to show you how Landmark Legal was on this well before the OIG was ever asked to investigate the FISA abuses. Levin is right though, the FISA court should have acted then as some of this was known back in 2017…..

RIGHT SCOOP has the letter to the FBI. Devin Nunes had it right on Sunday…. shut down the FISA court!

ALL of this — however — shows that way, way back in March 2017, Mark Levin had it right. Even the 4-people being spied on… all of it confirmed by the IG Report (more at OBAMAGATE):

Which all goes to support the idea that #NEVERTRUMPERS and the Left are chasing people to the media they despise (the media, BTW, that called this all along):

  • This is the entire issue regarding our Intelligence agencies… They abused the FISA Court warrant process. I was told that the Steele Dossier was only a small part of the warrant. For two years by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, etc-etc. (BTW, the names represent Intel, the CIA, and the FBI). Turns out it was literally the only thing use as John Solomon, Kimberly Strassel, Sara Carter, Sean Hannity, Mollie Hemingway, Chuck Ross, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc — said. (MORE AT A PREVIOUS POST)

The bells are tolling…

 

Democrat Shenanigans (Conservative Media’s Windfall)

In a conversation on FACEBOOK I said the following for a point #2 out of three… I thought it worthwhile to pass along as a point others can use it in conversation:


More Facebook Meanderings


SECOND. This is the entire issue regarding our Intelligence agencies… They abused the FISA Court warrant process. I was told that the Steele Dossier was only a small part of the warrant. For two years by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, etc-etc. (BTW, the names represent Intel, the CIA, and the FBI). Turns out it was literally the only thing use as John Solomon, Kimberly Strassel, Sara Carter, Sean Hannity, Mollie Hemingway, Chuck Ross, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc — said.

The funny thing about this is for two years I have said that there will be some RICH people out of this. I have said for two years Flynn’s case will be ultimately thrown out. Carter Page is already setting up a large lawsuit.

(Here is a quick excerpt from a previous Facebook discussion)

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.

NowAdam 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)

(I also noted two-years ago that if police were to fraudulently come into a home using fake warrants, when the judge found out the case was based on them, would vacate the original warrants and throw the entire case before the court out…. So too Barr may descend the original warrants which would mean all the cases based on them would be overturned. So whether one thought that Manafort was a dirty SOB and deserved jail. It wouldn’t matter.)

NOW, the general public has seen Fox News as the only news org showing what the IG REPORT said, alongside the rest of the names I named. Much like the dirty warrants overturning cases (even if people are truly dirty)… So too has the Left emboldened media people they dispose as being the only truth tellers on important issues — at least in a growing segment of the public.

In other words, not only did Democrats with TDS reelect Trump. They increased the audience to sources of news they despise [who were correct in their summation of the whole “FISA/Russia” thing].

Here are some posts of mine detailing the failure of our “Intel community” (like the Intel community should be spying on an American candidate and later a President, rather than giving him defensive briefings)

Greatest Hits From The Mueller [Weissmann] Report

My FACEBOOK comments:

  • Two thoughts so far in listening to Mueller testify. One is that he should not have been put in charge of any investigation with the state of mind he has. My second thought is this is why he was put in charge of the investigation… So someone else could be in charge behind the scenes. Read here Weissmann.

After watching Mueller in the hearings and learning of McCabe’s assessment that Mueller performed as he expected, it leaves one to wonder whether Mueller’s passivity and lack of engagement might have been desirable for the get-Trump team assembling to nullify the 2016 election.  Unfortunately for the get-Trump crowd, Chairmen Nadler and Schift lacked the common sense to know better than to put Mueller in front of the camera in the state we all observed.  Nobody should rejoice in the humiliation of an elderly man.  But history owes a debt to the revelation of the probe’s original sin:  the appointment of an unqualified leader who let a band of Trump-hating partisans run amok.

(THE FEDERALIST)

  • For sometime people speculated Trump had Alzheimer’s or dementia. What’s ironic is that the Democrats and the Never Trumper’s got to see it in action.
  • [Mark] Levin is right. Thank you democrats for having this. You’ve killed impeachment. And in my opinion insured a 2020 victory for Trump

Another post of mine on FACEBOOK:

So there is a lot of information that the public probably heard for the very first time at the “Mueller” [read here: Weissmann] hearing. Which is a good thing! Remember, back in March, Glenn Greenwald noted the confusion among the watchers of MSNBC (and other news outlets) to the Mueller Report (RPT):

  • You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act (TWITTER)

Now many people have heard for the first time, and have seen what Barr was trying to prevent as an embarrassment to Mueller’s reputation. Even Michael Moore knows it:

  • MICHAEL MOORE: A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions…I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just STFU from now on. (GATEWAY PUNDIT)

Really, a win-win for the GOP and Trump.

DAZED and CONFUSED

MEDIA HOPES DASHED

MONTAGE FLASHBACK


CONGRESS



MISC


BEN SHAPIRO

TUCKER CARLSON

LINDSEY GRAHAM

SYDNEY POWELL

ooooooooooooooooooooooo

Andrew Weissmann’s Early Moves Reveal Animus

John Solomon was on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday with yet another great investigative journalism uncovering Wiesmann’s actions:

Last two paragraphs of SOLOMON’S article:

Weissmann long has been a favorite target of conservatives, in part because his earlier work as a prosecutor in the Enron case was overturned unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court because of overly aggressive prosecutorial tactics. Former DOJ official Sidney Powell strongly condemned Weissmann’s past work as a prosecutor in “Licensed to Lie,” a book critical of DOJ’s pressure tactics. 

It is now clear that Weissmann’s overture to a Ukrainian oligarch in the summer of 2017 is about to take on new significance in Washington, where Mueller is about to testify, and in Austria, where Firtash’s extradition fight has taken a new twist.

The Mantra of Sessions Recusal

Gregg Jarrett filled in for Sean Hannity, and I liked this snippet discussing the idea that Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself as Attorney General. Great refutation of a mantra.

James Comey Is A Felon! Period

This is an excerpt from Gregg Jarrett’s book, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump (hardcover | paperback). It is merely for showing that Comey broke the law. This breaking of the law by Comey — unlike the “witch hunt” against our President — is clearly explicit and in violation of law. Enjoy:


QUOTE


COMEY’S THEFT OF GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

For years, James Comey carefully cultivated a public portrait of himself as a grown-up Boy Scout—honest and morally straight. The truth is quite different. His actions belie the virtuous image he sought. It was all an illusion designed to mask the kind of conduct that most people find reprehensible. The record shows that he was less than honest, engaged in acts of questionable legality, and abused his power to further his ambitions.

One of the more stunning moments during Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 occurred when he confessed that he deliberately leaked to “a friend” the contents of the presidential memorandums memorializing his conversations with Trump.59 He directed that friend, Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School, to leak the information to the New York Times with the objective that it would trigger the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the man who had just fired him. It was a devious scheme, to be sure. Comey knew the media would be more than willing to trash Trump by contorting the memos’ contents and misconstruing the law to accuse the president of obstruction of justice. Journalists and pundits did not disappoint.

The opening sentence in the Times story on May 16, 2017, did not recite facts derived from the memos, but drew an unsupported conclusion that “President Trump asked the FBI director, James Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February.”60 Ipso facto, obstruction. The headline was nearly identical to the first line. Thus, anyone who did not read past the title of the story or the opening sentence was led to believe that Trump had probably committed a crime.

Of course, this is not what happened in the February meeting, according to Comey, who testified on June 8 about his conversation with Trump, narrating the encounter from his memos. Indeed, at the congressional hearing, Comey specifically quoted Trump’s vague comments about Flynn as “hoping” he would be cleared.61 That is not the same thing as “asking to shut down” an investigation, as the Times would have its readers believe. The Times story went on to raise the specter of obstruction and, sure enough, the next day Comey’s longtime friend and ally Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. For the fired FBI director, it was mission accomplished. His media leak achieved his desired purpose.

In defense of his actions, Comey offered an explanation that was, in equal parts, erroneous and obtuse. He claimed that the seven presidential memos he took with him when he was fired were his personal property. If he believed that, he is not much of a lawyer. The FBI’s policy manual states quite clearly that documents or records generated during official duties are government property.62 The FBI Employment Agreement, to which Comey was bound, mandates that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties remain the property of the United States of America.”63

Under both the Federal Records Act and the Privacy Act, any document or record composed by government employees during the course and scope of their employment is not the property of the person who authored the document, but the property of the government.64 This is especially true if the material was prepared on a government-owned computer and written during the normal work hours while the employee is on the job performing the duties of his job, as was the case with Comey’s presidential memos. His discussions with the president arose directly from his position as head of the FBI. These records laws apply to classified and unclassified documents alike. Furthermore, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, Comey admitted that he wrote the memos so that they could be “discuss(ed) within the FBI and the government.”65 This is an admission that these documents were not his personal property. Records that are composed for government use are automatically government property.

The fact that Comey did not want to leak the memos himself, but chose a conduit or middleman to do so covertly at his behest, is substantial proof that he knew what he was doing was wrong and illegal. By using a third-party to do the dirty work, Comey was trying to circumvent the law to insulate himself from criminality. He failed.

18 U.S.C. 641 makes it a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison to give someone outside of government an unclassified, but protected, record without authorization:

Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any recordof the United States or of any department or agency thereofshall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years.66

This is precisely what Comey appeared to have done “converting” to his own use and in conveying to his friend, without authorization, his presidential memos which were government records.

Having been fired, Comey stole government records with the intent to leak them for his benefit. In an obvious act of retribution, he wanted the documents to inculpate Trump in a special counsel investigation and, he hoped, generate a criminal charge of obstruction of justice. This scheme to benefit himself and harm the president also may have violated at least two federal regulations, including this one identified in the Code of Federal Regulations:

An employee shall not engage in a financial transaction using nonpublic information, nor allow the improper use of nonpublic information to further his own private interest or that of another, whether through advice or recommendation, or by knowing unauthorized disclosure.67

Under the law, it does not matter that Comey was an ex-employee when he leaked the documents because he maintained custody of them when he was still employed, then took them out of the FBI building to use for his own devices. This was a direct violation of FBI regulations which state, “FBI personnel must surrender all materials in their possession that contain FBI information upon FBI demand or upon separation from the FBI.”68 Comey did not do this. He converted government property to his own use, then disseminated it to the public.

Comey must have known that he was likely breaking several laws and committing felonies. As FBI director, he was legally obligated to adhere to the bureau’s standard nondisclosure contract in which all personnel promise not to disclose the very type of records and information Comey leaked. The agreement specifically warned that employees are subject to “criminal sanctionsand personal liability in a civil action at law and the disgorging of any profits arising from any unauthorized publication or disclosure.”69 Separation upon termination did not render the contract null and void. It was a binding, enforceable, and actionable contract regardless of job status. Under the terms, Comey agreed he could be sued and face criminal prosecution. Since his firing, Comey published a book quoting from the memos he filched. This enabled him to profit handsomely from his wrongful actions, pocketing millions of dollars. If the FBI contract were to be enforced, Comey could—and should—lose earnings derived therefrom.

The Comey-composed memos themselves recited discussions with the president that were both privileged and contained information involving an ongoing FBI investigation into Flynn’s contacts with Russia. This means Comey appeared to have broken yet another law, punishable by up to ten years in prison. 18 U.S.C. 793 makes it a crime to “willfully communicate or transmit national defense information,” even though it is not necessarily classified when written.70 While the full contents of the partially redacted memos made public so far do not deal directly with national defense matters, the overall Flynn investigation did.

Comey’s chicanery was laid bare in his congressional testimony when he told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he deliberately wrote some of his memos as “unclassified” documents. Making them classified, he told the committee, “would tangle them up.”71 In other words, he manipulated the classification system to exploit the political damage his documents might cause, while concomitantly attempting to shield himself from criminal charges. But this may be a moot point if any of the seven memos Comey took with him contained classified information, regardless of how he might have labeled them or, more aptly, mislabeled them. Under law, the content dictates classification, not the markings.

Sometime in late 2017 or early 2018, the FBI advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that the majority of the memos were, in fact, “classified.”72 Chairman Charles Grassley, one of the few people who gained access to the memos, revealed that four of them were “marked classified at the ‘Secret’ or ‘Confidential’ levels,” a fact that was confirmed when the memos were released.73 Richman told Fox News that he received four of the seven memos.74 This means that Comey appears to have given his “friend” at least one “classified” document.

Giving “classified” records to an unauthorized person and/or storing them in an unsecured venue constitutes several felonies—the same crimes Hillary Clinton surely committed. For example, 18 U.S.C. 1924 states as follows:

Whoever, being an officer, employee of the United Statesbecomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both!75

Comey appears to have done this. He admitted he knowingly removed presidential memos without authority from FBI headquarters, kept them in what must have been an unauthorized location, then conveyed at least four of them to his “friend,” Richman. As director of the FBI, he knew that at least some of their contents were both privileged and might well be classified. It would be folly for Comey to argue they were not classified since the FBI insists they are. If Comey deliberately mismarked them, he cannot use his own wrongful act to insulate himself from criminal prosecution.

In the alternative, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Comey’s handling of the documents was “grossly negligent,” instead of “knowing” or “intentional.” That would be the same crime for which Clinton should have been charged, 18 U.S.C. 793(f).76 The irony is lost on no one. Comey appears to have committed the identical felony as Clinton, and it was Comey who contorted the law to absolve her of this crime, as explained in chapter 2.

But the story of Comey’s machinations does not end there. Days after the presidential memos were released to the public, it was learned that Richman had worked for Comey at the FBI as an unpaid “special government employee.”77 Comey concealed this important information from Congress during his June 2017 testimony, later dismissing this fact as “irrelevant.”78 Moreover, Comey failed to disclose that another person, Patrick Fitzgerald, also reportedly received memos.79 Fitzgerald is a former U.S. Attorney and special counsel who, like Richman, is a friend of Comey. Both Richman and Fitzgerald have since been hired by Comey as his lawyers.80 And so, too, has another lawyer, David Kelly, to whom Comey gave one or more memos.81 This means that the fired director can invoke the attorney-client privilege to try to protect some or all of their communications about the memos.

The FBI was sufficiently concerned about Comey’s dissemination of classified information that agents conducted a search of Richman’s office to retrieve documents and contain the leak.82 It is unknown whether the same “spillage clean-up” occurred at Fitz gerald’s office and, perhaps, Kelly’s, as well. These corrective actions by the FBI suggest that classified information may well have been shared by Comey in violation of federal law.

When Comey was questioned by senators in a June 2017 hear­ing before the Intelligence Committee, he omitted these relevant and important details in his answers about his leak of the memos. Under 18 U.S.C. 1001, it is a crime to give false or misleading statements in a legislative proceeding.”83 Concealing material facts” in response to questions under oath before Congress would constitute misleading statements in violation of that statute.

Congress has been investigating Comey for a series of other suspected deceptions made during testimony before various congressional committees. In one instance, he told the House Judiciary Committee, under oath, that he decided not to refer criminal prosecution of Clinton only after she was interviewed.84 Yet, documents uncovered later indicated he made the decision well before the interview.85

Comey insisted that Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, never knew of his decision to clear Clinton in advance of his public announcement.86 Yet, text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggested that Lynch had been apprised in advance.87 Comey also testified that, while FBI director, he never authorized leaks to the media about the two presidential candidates.88 Yet, a subsequent statement by his deputy director, Andrew McCabe, appeared to contradict Comey.89

Finally, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general accusing Comey of “apparent material discrepancies” in his testimony about the FISA warrant applications, asking whether this was “a deliberate attempt to mislead.”90

There is substantial evidence that Comey did not tell the truth on several occasions and may have violated numerous federal statutes governing the theft of government documents, including classified material. He may also have obstructed justice in the Hillary Clinton email case and violated the law by deceiving the FISA court in a warrant to spy on an American citizen.

Days after Comey published his book and commenced his publicity tour, it was learned that the inspector general at the De­partment of Justice was investigating whether Comey mishandled classified information contained in the presidential memos he gave to his “friend” that was then leaked to the media.91 If he broke the law, he should be held accountable.

Former independent counsel and U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova was blunt in his assessment of Comey:

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Comey committed multiple crimes. If the Justice Department wants to pursue them vigorously and fairly like they would with any other citizen, he should be indicted for his false testimony on Capitol Hill and for his obstruction of an investigation.92

Far from the image of an honest and honorable Boy Scout, the evidence is compelling that James Comey sought to mislead, deflect, and deceive. He also appears to have abused the powers of his office to exact punishment on the president who fired him. His plan to convert presidential memos for his own use, then leak them to the media to damage Trump suggests a willingness to defy rules, regulations, and federal laws with impunity.

Perhaps Comey felt he could get away with it because he successfully engineered the appointment of his close friend Robert Mueller as special counsel to pursue potential charges against the president.


FOOTNOTES (I removed the URLS, they did not translate well with my OCR program)


59. Politico Staff, “Full Text: James Comey Testimony Transcript on Trump and Russia,” pp. 32 and 33, Politico, June 8, 2017.

60. Michael S. Schmidt, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation,” New York Times, May 16, 2017.

61. James B. Comey, “Statement for the Record,” Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, p. 5, June 8, 2017; Politico Staff, “Full Text: James Comey Testimony Transcript on Trump and Russia,” Politico, June 8, 2017.

62. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Manual of Investigative Operations and Guidelines (MIOG),” available at …

63. FBI Employment Agreement, Including Provisions and Prohibited Disclosures, FD-291, available at …

64. 44 U.S.C. 3101, “Records Management by Agency Heads, General Duties”; 5 U.S.C. 552a, “Records Maintained on Individuals”; 28 U.S.C. 1732, “Record Made in Regular Course of Business.”

65. Politico Staff, “Full Text: James Comey Testimony Transcript on Trump and Russia,” Politico, 16, June 8, 2017; available at …

66. 18 U.S.C. 641, “Public Money, Property or Records.”

67. 5 C.F.R. 2635.703, “Use of Nonpublic Information”; 29 C.F.R. 71.14, “Use of Non Public Information.”

68. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Records Management Division, 0792PG, p. 1, June 4, 2015.

69. FBI Employment Agreement, Including Provisions and Prohibited Disclosures, FD-291, available at …

70. 18 U.S.C. 793, “Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information.”

71. Politico Staff, “Full Text: James Comey Testimony Transcript on Trump and Russia.”

72. Letter from Charles E. Grassley, chairman of Committee on the Judiciary Committee, to Rod J. Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, January 3, 2018, available at …

73. Ibid.

74. Brooke Singman, “Comey Memos Reportedly Had Classified Info,” Fox News, July 10, 2017.

75. 18 U.S.C. 1924, “Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Material.”

76. 18 U.S.C. 793(f), “Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information.”

77. Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne, and Cyd Upson, “Comey Memos Shared More Broadly Than Previously Thought,” Fox News, April 25, 2018.

78. Transcript of “James Comey on Clinton Probe, Russia Investigation,” Fox News, “Special Report With Bret Baier.” April 26, 2018, available at …

79. Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne, and Cyd Upson, “Comey Memos Shared More Broadly Than Previously Thought.”

80. Ibid.; Sean Davis, “Comey ‘Friend’ Who Leaked FBI Memos Now Claims to Be His Attorney,” Federalist, January 23, 2018.

81. Transcript of “James Comey on Clinton Probe, Russia Investigation,” Fox News, “Special Report With Bret Baier.” April 26, 2018; available at …

82. Michael D. Shear and Nicholas Fandos, “GOP Push on Comey Files May Have Backfired,” New York Times, April 21, 2018.

83. United States Code, 18 U.S.C. 1001, “Statements or Entries Generally.”

84. Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Testimony of James B. Comey, September 28, 2016, available at …

85. Senate Judiciary Committee letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, August 30, 2017, available at …

86. Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal Email System, FBI National Press Office, July 5, 2016.

87. Brooke Singman, Alex Pappas, and Jake Gibson, “More Than 50,000 Texts Exchanged Between FBI Officials Strzok and Page, Sessions Says,” Fox News, January 22, 2018.

88. Washington Post Staff, “Read Full Testimony of FBI Director James Comey in Which He Discusses Clinton Email Investigation.”

89. CNN Staff, “Read: Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s Statement on His Firing,” CNN, March 17, 2018, available at ….

90. Letter from Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Sen. Lindsey 0. Graham, Judiciary Committee, to Michael Horowitz, Inspector General, Department of Justice, February 28, 2018, available at ….

91. Byron Tau and Aruna Viswanatha, “Justice Department Watchdog Probes Comey Memos Over Classified Information,” Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2018.

92. Interview with Joseph diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and former independent counsel, January 26, 2018.

  • Gregg Jarrett, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2018), 244-254, 325-327.

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham On Trump Declassifying

(Hat-Tip to WEASEL ZIPPERS): Looking at you, John Brennan and James Clapper.

Via Fox News:

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.”….

Another MSM Story Down in Flames

If there was one thing I have learned over the years of attacks against Bush over eight years, and now Trump… the rule of thumb is to wait about a week (or more) for the truth of the situation to come out. This is a prime example. Many who have a visceral hatred for Trump immediately jump on the band wagon [just like BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome — there is TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome]… and… the below meme is a prime example.

During conversation with a Facebook friend about a meme posted regarding the Dianne Feinstein with Attorney General Bill Barr, I linked the FULL exchange to the exchange. After some talk, the below meme was posted:

Not a day after he posted the above, a writer I check in with daily had this post, entitled: “NBC NEWS MAKES CORRECTION TO TRUMP-PUTIN STORY.” In it she notes:

After incorrectly reporting that President Trump had discussed former White House counsel Don McGhan’s potential testimony in the House with Russian President Vladimir Putin, NBC News was forced to issue a correction:

CORRECTION (May 3,2019, 1:51 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article incorrectly included one topic that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Presidents Trump and Putin discussed on Friday. They did not discuss the possibility of former White House counsel Don McGahn appearing before Congress. Sanders was answering a question from reporters about whether McGahn would testify before Congress.

HILARIOUS. I bet “unnamed sources” are at the center of this story. You can add this to the TRUMP IS CHUMMY WITH PUTIN conspiracy the Left and NeverTrumpers have:

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the U.S. has a full range of options available to help oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and didn’t rule out “ultimately” using military action on top of diplomatic, political and other pressure points.

“We’re preparing those for him so that when the situation arises, we’re not flat-footed,’’ Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week,” one of three scheduled appearances on Sunday morning political shows.

[….]

Trump on Friday said Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him he isn’t seeking to “get involved” in the crisis, although Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton both said earlier in the week that the Kremlin talked Maduro out of leaving Venezuela after U.S.-backed Guaido attempted to end his regime by calling for a military uprising.

“The president has made clear, we want everyone out, and that includes the Russians,” Pompeo said.

 

Chris Cuomo Gets A Civic Lesson from AG Michael Mukasey

Chris Cuomo Gets A Civic Lesson from Attorney General Michael Mukasey On TV:

NEWSBUSTERS notes:

Cuomo apparently didn’t know the attorney general of the United States had the authority to decide whether charges should be filed, or he was being supremely disingenuous. “[W]hat your friend did is not just by the book. He took it on himself to decide this rule. He didn’t have to do that,” he bitterly declared.

Continuing his crusade against Attorney General William Barr, Cuomo wrongly stated that the special counsel was “separate from the DOJ” and insisted Congress had the power to indict.

Mukasey had to undo the damage Cuomo was doing to his audience and called his host out for misleading people:

MUKASEY: Of course he had to do it.

CUOMO: Why?

MUKASEY: Who was going to decide if we were going to indict or not?

CUOMO: Congress, as a political matter. Leave it to them.

MUKASEY: They decide whether to impeach or not. They don’t decide–

CUOMO: And Mike, you’re skipping the big point, which you taught me about very early on.

MUKASEY: That is the big point.

CUOMO: They can’t indict him. That is the opinion from the OLC so there’s nothing to decide on that level. It’s purely political. It always would be.

MUKASEY: Congress doesn’t indict. Congress can impeach.

CUOMO: I’m using it as just a metaphor here.

MUKASEY: But you’re misleading a lot of people.

After Mukasey had to explain all the other ways Special Counsel Robert Mueller could have taken action against the President if he had the goods, Cuomo put on his rhetorical tin foil hat and accused Barr of being part of a cover-up:

CUOMO: AD Barr didn’t need to do it for that reason. He needed to do it to protect the President. That’s why he did it.

MUKASEY: Protect the President from what? When he can’t be indicted?

CUOMO: From criticism in the open question and giving Congress that kind of momentum. That’s why he did it.

MUKASEY: Oh, come on.

CUOMO:That’s why he did it. That’s why he wrote the letter the way he did. That’s why he gave the press conference the way he did. That’s why he misled us to what the report would look like the way he did…..