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….
DAVID FRENCH FODDER
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.” …..
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.
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)
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.
It is very simple. If the Trump campaign had been in an espionage conspiracy with Russia to hack Democratic email accounts, why would the campaign have needed Stone to try to figure out what stolen information WikiLeaks had and when it would release that information?
RED STATE does a BANG-UP job in the following list:
…A comparison of the carnage at the very highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ to the complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump following over two years of investigations should tell Robert Mueller that it’s time to extricate himself, as gracefully as possible, from this fraud. He needs to admit defeat in his attempt to undo the results of a fair election.
Seamus Bruner of The Epoch Times has just put together a list of 25 DOJ and FBI officials who have resigned in the last year. Some of them, Rachel Brand for example, have left to take positions in the private sector. Mike Kortan has said he was planning to retire anyway. But many on this list have been fired, or forced out (largely in disgrace) or demoted, because of the Trump/Russia investigation.
Joel McElvain, assistant branch director of the civil division (resigned)
As I look at this list, I know it includes only a fraction of those who have risked their careers and their reputations because they simply couldn’t bear to see Donald Trump in the White House.
Before this is over, others will be added to the list. Perhaps even Rod Rosenstein. And there will likely be former top-level Obama officials caught in the net as well. Perjurers John Brennan and James Clapper come to mind.
In addition to the men and women who have been working against Trump in the DOJ and the FBI, there were/are employees in the State Department and the CIA, holdovers from the Obama administration, who are complicit.
The mainstream media has played a huge role in perpetuating this hoax. They have breathlessly distorted events to influence public opinion. Instead of reporting the news, they have worked overtime to shape it.
For an example of how the mainstream media has aided and abetted the left’s attempt to impeach Trump, we need to look no further than their outrage over the revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance….
Even contention in the ranks of the upper echelon of SPOOKS is starting to maske it’s way to the public as people “cover their asses”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that he thinks former CIA Director John Brennan‘s rhetoric is becoming an issue “in and of itself.”
“John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself,” Clapper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “John is subtle like a freight train and he’s gonna say what’s on his mind.”
Clapper’s comments came in response to an op-ed penned by Brennan in The New York Times this week, in which he wrote that President Trumpcolluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Clapper said he empathized with Brennan, but voiced concerns for Brennan’s fiery rhetoric toward Trump and his administration.
“I think that the common denominator among all of us [in the intelligence community] that have been speaking up … is genuine concern about the jeopardy and threats to our institutions,” Clapper said.
Brennan’s claims drew criticism from some in the intelligence community who said the timing was suspect.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Thursday took aim at Brennan for “purport[ing] to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power.”
“If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the special counsel, not The New York Times,” Burr said……..
(BTW, they were saying McCabe would be fired, later in the day he was.) Sean Hannity has some guests on the show that are on the leading edge of breaking the illegalities open regarding the Trump witch hunt.
HOT AIR pulls out an excellent point/quote by Jonathan Turley:
….However, he points out another problem which isn’t getting nearly as much attention. What happened to the dire threats to national security we were told were contained in this memo?
My greatest concern is what is not in the [memo]: classified information “jeopardizing national security.” Leaders like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared that the committee had moved beyond “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security” and “disregarded the warnings of the Justice Department and the FBI.”
Now we can read the memo. There is a sharp and alarming disconnect between the descriptions of Pelosi and the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Minority Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the actual document. It clearly does not contain information that would reveal sources or methods.
The memo reaffirms concerns over the lower standards that apply to FISA applications as well as the misuse of classification authority. Most of this memo references what was already known about the use of the dossier. What was added was testimonial evidence and details to the publicly known information. Yet, the FBI vehemently objected to the release of the memo as threatening “grave” consequences to national security…
The FBI opposition to declassification of this memo should be a focus of both Congress and the public. The memo is clearly designed to avoid revealing classified information. For civil libertarians, this is a rare opportunity to show how classified rules are misused for strategic purposes by these agencies. The same concern can be directed toward members who read this memo and represented to the public that the release would clearly damage national security.
In that first paragraph above, Turley is quoting the statement Pelosi put out about the memo on Tuesday. However, she made a similar claim on CNN during that contentious interview with Chris Cuomo. “Putting this aside in terms of tit for tat, which you seem to—well, with all due respect to you—trying to make it look like Democrats vs. [Republicans]. It isn’t about that,” Pelosi said. She added, “It’s about our national security.” In the same interview, she said, “We’re not talking about some issue that we’re having a fight about, we’re talking about our national security.”
The point is, this was raised many times this week by Democrats eager to prevent the release of the memo. In retrospect, it’s difficult to see how anyone could have thought it represented a grave threat to national security. Maybe the subsequent release of the Democrats’ own memo will shed some additional light on whatever threat they see in it, but at the moment it looks as if those warnings were overblown. As Turley puts it, “it proved to be an empty ‘grave’ after weeks of overheated hyperbole.”