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FBI Lawyer Says Page FISA Was Handled in an “Unusual Way,” Implicates Comey, McCabe, and Yates

Westlake Legal Group SallyYates-620x325 FBI Lawyer Says Page FISA Was Handled in an “Unusual Way,” Implicates Comey, McCabe, and Yates Unusual Trisha Anderson sally yates political misconduct james comey james baker Front Page Stories Front Page fisa warrant Featured Story FBI donald trump doj democrats corruption Carter Page Andrew McCabe

As we move closer and closer to the completion of the IG report on how the Trump-Russia investigation was handled, including the probable misuse of the FISA court, we are seeing more relevant Congressional testimony from top officials released.

One session revealed this week involves Trisha Anderson, an FBI lawyer who signed off on the Carter Page warrants. She testified in August of 2018 on her role and what she knew regarding how the process went down.

In her testimony, she alleges that the application process for the FISA warrant was handled in an “unusual” fashion and that numerous Obama era FBI officials were involved at the highest levels in pushing it through.

But Anderson stressed “in this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application.” She emphasized “this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”

Normally, a FISA application would go to the legal department first to confirm that it is indeed proper to press forward with. In this case, top officials informally “approved” the application first, signaling to Anderson that her signature was just perfunctory.

Anderson said that FISA approvals are typically “tracked in a linear fashion” and that someone in the Senior Executive Service “is the final approver on hard copy before a FISA goes to the director or deputy director for signature.” She said the Page FISA was approved outside regular procedures.

“Because there were very high-level discussions that occurred about the FISA,” Anderson said she believed that meant “the FISA essentially had already been well-vetted all the way up through at least the Deputy Director [McCabe] level on our side and through the DAG [Yates] on the DOJ side.” Yates had already signed the application by the time it made it to Anderson’s desk.

In other words, things were done completely backwards. Instead of going through the normal checks and balances, a bunch of political appointees at the top approved the application before anyone else got ahold of it. Sally Yates, representing the DOJ, had signed off on it before the FBI’s legal department had even done their analysis.

A major check on fraudulent FISA applications was simply skipped. Anderson stressed that this was not normal.

Anderson stressed that McCabe, Yates, and Baker all played key roles in reviewing the Page FISA. “My approval at that point was really purely administrative in nature. In other words, the substantive issues — the FISA had already substantively been approved by people much higher than me in the chain of command,” Anderson said.

Anderson said it “typically would not have been the case” that people such as McCabe and Yates would sign off on a FISA application before she did.

We also learn that James Baker had personally edited the application.

“The General Counsel [Jim Baker] … personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA, for example,” Anderson said. “The Deputy Director was involved in reviewing the FISA line by line. The Deputy Attorney General over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line by line.”

What all this does is firmly implicate James Comey, Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe, and James Baker. There can be no passing of the buck as they chose to ignore normal procedure and push forward a FISA application in a completely atypical way.

This gives us a clue as to why James Comey and James Baker decided to go on media tours the last few weeks, gnashing their teeth over any possible investigation into their wrongdoing.

I still expect no one to actually be punished here, but the more this stuff is exposed to the American people, the better.

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The post FBI Lawyer Says Page FISA Was Handled in an “Unusual Way,” Implicates Comey, McCabe, and Yates appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group comey-mccabe-300x169 FBI Lawyer Says Page FISA Was Handled in an “Unusual Way,” Implicates Comey, McCabe, and Yates Unusual Trisha Anderson sally yates political misconduct james comey james baker Front Page Stories Front Page fisa warrant Featured Story FBI donald trump doj democrats corruption Carter Page Andrew McCabe   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Details Show Obama Is Clearly Lying About His Involvement in the Trump-Russia Hoax

Westlake Legal Group obama-who-me-620x423 Details Show Obama Is Clearly Lying About His Involvement in the Trump-Russia Hoax Steele dossier Second Investigation scandal Politics Peter Strzok Partisan Investigation John Brennan james comey James Clapper Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption British Intel Barack Obama

For years, the Obama administration has claimed that they were completely hands off regarding the Trump-Russia investigation. They’ve worked hard to build a wall of deniability based on nonsensical assertions the they didn’t even know about it.

Ben Rhodes, the former President’s foremost Obama bro, tried this line out a few weeks ago.

“No, no, I cannot be clear enough about this. We didn’t even know there was an FBI investigation of Trump. I didn’t. President Obama didn’t, like, we actually abided by the firewalls between – if there were any investigations that took place, those decisions were made in the Justice Department, in the FBI, not in the White House,”

This was obviously a lie because a revealed text from Peter Strzok, the disgraced former FBI agent who was leading Crossfire Hurricane, admitted that the entire investigation was being running out of the White House. That would obviously make sense as there’s just little possibility that Clapper, Brennan, and Comey all just didn’t bother to brief Obama on what they were doing.

Aside from that text, we’ve got another piece of evidence that comes from an unlikely place. It involves a 2017 Washington Post article, which was full of anonymous sources that were obviously former Obama officials, trying to spin a narrative that Obama took Russia seriously in 2016. Details of a second, even more secret investigation into Trump and Russia form the basis of the article. This was all occurring in the context of trying to protect the former President from criticism he was receiving regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the election.

The Washington Post was of course happy to play along, as they are routinely used as stenographers for the Obama administration and FBI officials trying to protect themselves.

American Greatness dove into this issue earlier this week and pulled out several revelations which have somehow escaped the public eye to this point.

Details of the second, less-discussed investigation were leaked by senior Obama Administration officials for a June 2017 Washington Post story, “Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault.” That story hasn’t received anywhere near the attention it deserves…

…The article reads more like an Obama Administration press release than journalism. We’re informed that “Obama’s approach to national security challenges was deliberate and cautious,” and “often seemed reducible to a single imperative: Don’t make things worse” and of his “determination to avoid politicizing the Russia issue.”

Meantime, CIA Director John Brennan “moved swiftly to schedule private briefings with congressional leaders,” but “getting appointments with certain Republicans proved difficult.” The White House was “[s]tung by the reaction” of Republicans, having “hoped that a bipartisan appeal to states would be more effective.”

You may recall this excuse from several years back. It basically sought to blame Republican obstructionism for Obama’s impotency in dealing with Russia. Given that Congress has no law enforcement power, such charges never made any sense but the media were happy to run with them.

The important thing to note here though is that Brennan was going around briefing Senators on a second, secret investigation he was conducting directly out of the White House, which the White House would then claim was vindication of their toughness toward Russia.

The Post notes that Brennan received a “report” derived from “sourcing deep inside the Russian government” that formed the basis of his new, second investigation.

a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives—defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

Hmm, I wonder what that “report” made up of Russian sources could be? Any guesses?

If you read the entirety of the Post article, the timeline starts to give the game away. Crossfire Hurricane began on July 31st. Barack Obama was briefed on the “intelligence bombshell” in early August, meaning days later. We also know that Comey and Strzok were working directly with John Brennan on his second investigation.

But the Washington Post story also reports Rogers was “reluctant to view” the intelligence that Brennan used to justify his investigation “with high confidence” because it came from another country…

…According to a November 15, 2017 story in the Guardian, Brennan received the report used to justify his investigation from none other than British intelligence agency GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, who “flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan.”

You’ve probably figured it out by now. The “bombshell intelligence” that Brennan was using, in direct coordination with the White House, was obviously the Steele dossier. This is all but confirmed by the fact that the Steele dossier ultimately weighed heavily in the production of the 2017 ICA report on Russian interference that Brennan put out.

Paul Sperry also reported that Obama’s National Security Agency chief, Admiral Michael Rogers, “stated in a classified letter to Congress” that the Steele Dossier played a role in producing the January 2017 ICA. Indeed, according to Sperry, Rogers told congress “a two-page summary of the dossier” appears as an appendix to the classified version of the ICA.

That report was bandied about for years by anti-Trump forces as a “just the facts” assessment. In reality, as many of us pointed out at the time, it was a vague, nearly evidence free document simply meant to push the assertion that Russia helped get Trump elected.

Once again, even in regards to that ICA report, all roads lead to the garbage Steele dossier.

Was the dossier the initial genesis of the Trump-Russia investigation? I actually think it wasn’t if we are talking about early 2016 in regards to running of informants against Trump campaign members (i.e. Papadopoulos). The FBI, DOJ, and likely Obama himself had already decided to start sniffing around before they had the first piece of evidence in hand.

BUT, what’s fairly obvious is that the Steele dossier was used as the hook in the summer of 2016 to escalate the investigation and eventually build it into the monstrosity that we are trying to make sense of today.

What you see in the original Post article is Obama wanting to have it both ways. On the one hand, we are told that Obama knew nothing so as to protect him from charges of political motivation. On the other hand we are told he took Russia extremely seriously because he commissioned a second investigation run by Brennan, which we know involved the Steele dossier. He can’t have it both ways and it appears that Obama was briefed on the Steele dossier as early as August of 2016.

Given the revelations of interwork among the FBI, CIA, Brennan, Comey, etc. on the Trump-Russia issue, it belabors belief to think the former President wasn’t briefed on the Steele dossier but then knew nothing else about any of the investigations. Despite that, Obama and his officials have continued to lie about what they knew and when they knew it.

In the end, partisan actors, including Obama and his closest officials, were so desperate to go after Trump and prevent his election (and damage him after his election) that they happily fell for a Russian disinformation campaign in the process. The Steele dossier continues to appear at every juncture of this travesty of justice. It’s a testament to just how corrupt and stupid the people running our government were during the Obama years.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Details Show Obama Is Clearly Lying About His Involvement in the Trump-Russia Hoax appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group obama-comey-300x200 Details Show Obama Is Clearly Lying About His Involvement in the Trump-Russia Hoax Steele dossier Second Investigation scandal Politics Peter Strzok Partisan Investigation John Brennan james comey James Clapper Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption British Intel Barack Obama   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

To Maintain Secrecy During Trump/Russia Meetings, Obama Officials Cut Video Feed in Situation Room

Westlake Legal Group obama-comey-620x413 To Maintain Secrecy During Trump/Russia Meetings, Obama Officials Cut Video Feed in Situation Room william barr President Obama John Brennan james comey Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption collusion cia Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

On Oct. 28, 2013, President Barack Obama and James Comey participate in the installation ceremony for Mr. Comey as FBI director at the bureau’s Washington headquarters. PHOTO: CHARLES DHARAPAK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Breitbart’s Aaron Klein discovered some intriguing information buried deep inside a June 23, 2017 Washington Post story about the Obama administration’s handling of the Trump/Russia collusion.

The article described the extraordinary measures senior administration officials would take to ensure maximum privacy during their meetings. The most noteworthy was that they would routinely cut the video feed in the situation room, a rather Nixonian thing to do.

In an interview with Fox News last week, Attorney General William Barr said:

The thing that’s interesting about this is that this was handled at a very senior level of these departments. It wasn’t handled in the ordinary way that investigations or counterintelligence activities are conducted. It was sort of an ad hoc, small group — and most of these people are no longer with the FBI or the CIA or the other agencies involved. I think there’s a misconception out there that we know a lot about what happened. The fact of the matter is, Bob Mueller did not look at the government’s activities.

The Post’s article detailed the highly compartmentalized nature of the original Russia investigation and the manner in which other U.S. intelligence agencies were deliberately kept in the dark.

According to the Washington Post, in the summer of 2016:

CIA Director John Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI…It functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.”

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The article said that initially, only four senior officials were allowed access to the Russian investigation intelligence. This group included Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. (Not even their aides were allowed in the beginning.)

Adding that:

Gradually, the circle widened to include Vice President Biden and others. Agendas sent to Cabinet secretaries — including John F. Kerry at the State Department and Ashton B. Carter at the Pentagon — arrived in envelopes that subordinates were not supposed to open. Sometimes the agendas were withheld until participants had taken their seats in the Situation Room.

These meetings began in August 2016 and officials would cut the video feed. (There is no audio feed.) Klein notes that the video feed allows aides to know when a meeting is in progress.

So, aides saw only “blacked-out” screens which was highly unusual. This was “seen as an ominous sign among lower-level White House officials who were largely kept in the dark about the Russia deliberations even as they were tasked with generating options for retaliation against Moscow.”

The January 2017 Intelligent Assessment which we’ve been hearing about lately, was written by the CIA, the FBI and the NSA, instead of including input from all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Each of the three agencies assigned a rating to the “conclusion that Putin favored Trump and worked to get him elected.” The NSA had “moderate confidence” in this statement, while the FBI and the CIA had “high confidence.”

The House Intelligence Committee issued a report in April 2018 which noted the difference between the NSA’s rating and the “high confidence” ratings of the CIA and the FBI. The House Report found no evidence that Trump had colluded with the Russians and stated that the IC assessment did not employ proper analytic tradecraft, contained significant intelligence tradecraft failings that undermine confidence in the judgments, including the failure to be independent of political considerations.”

This was not business as usual for top level Obama administration officials. Intelligence agency chiefs were painstaking in their efforts to maintain secrecy. 

Additionally, it’s hard to imagine that Obama was not involved.

And judging from comments made in his interview last week, it appears that Bill Barr is onto them.

The post To Maintain Secrecy During Trump/Russia Meetings, Obama Officials Cut Video Feed in Situation Room appeared first on RedState.

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Loretta Lynch: I never told Comey to call the Clinton investigation a ‘matter’

Westlake Legal Group Lynch-Comey Loretta Lynch: I never told Comey to call the Clinton investigation a ‘matter’ The Blog loretta lynch james comey

Monday, a transcript of testimony former Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees in December was released. During her testimony, Lynch was asked about the claim that she once asked then-FBI Director James Comey to refer to an investigation of Hillary Clinton as “a matter” as a way of downplaying its significance. Lynch denied ever having said that which means either she or James Comey are lying about what happened. From Fox News:

“I did not,” Lynch responded when asked if she had “ever” told Comey to call the investigation a “matter.”

“I have never instructed a witness as to what to say specifically. Never have, never will,” Lynch continued. “In the meeting that I had with the Director, we were discussing how best to keep Congress informed of progress and discuss requesting resources for the Department overall. We were going to testify separately. And the concern that both of us had in the meeting that I was having with him in September of 2015 was how to have that discussion without stepping across the Department policy of confirming or denying an investigation, separate policy from testifying.

“Obviously, we wanted to testify fully, fulsomely, and provide the information that was needed, but we were not at that point, in September of 2015, ready to confirm that there was an investigation into the email matter — or deny it,” Lynch added. “We were sticking with policy, and that was my position on that. I didn’t direct anyone to use specific phraseology. When the Director asked me how to best to handle that, I said: What I have been saying is we have received a referral and we are working on the matter, working on the issue, or we have all the resources we need to handle the matter, handle the issue. So that was the suggestion that I made to him.”

Lynch claimed she was “quite surprised” by Comey’s characterization of her statements. She added that she was just trying to conform to department policy about not confirming or denying the existence of an investigation:

“I said that I had been referring to — I had been using the phraseology,” Lynch responded. “We’ve received a referral. Because we received a public referral, which we were confirming. And that is Department policy, that when we receive a public referral from any agency, that we confirm the referral but we neither confirm nor deny the investigation. That’s actually a standard DOJ policy.”

That’s Lynch’s story. Compare that to what Comey said about the encounter in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. From the NY Times:

“The attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me,” Mr. Comey said in response to questions during testimony, which focused mainly on President Trump’s decision to fire him last month. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.’”

The attorney general’s request, reported in The New York Times in April, came just before a congressional hearing in September 2015 where Mr. Comey was sure to be asked about the investigation.

“The Clinton campaign, at the time, was using all kind of euphemisms — security review, matters, things like that, for what was going on,” Mr. Comey said on Thursday. “We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to have to testify and talk publicly about. And I wanted to know, was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation?

“And she said, ‘Yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter,’” Mr. Comey continued. “And I said, ‘Why would I do that?’ And she said, ‘Just call it a matter.’”

The key part in Comey’s version is when Lynch answered that question in the affirmative: “Yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter.” That makes it sound as if she was okay with confirming the investigation but trying to downplay it. In Lynch’s version, she was trying to neither confirm nor deny the investigation.

It’s worth noting that Lynch point about “standard DOJ policy” is a sore spot for many people when it comes to Comey. Many on the left (including Hillary herself) believe his decision in late 2016 to alert Congress they were reviewing new material in the email investigation may have cost her the election. They also point out that the investigation of Trump campaign officials was not revealed by Comey. So there’s a sense in which Lynch’s description is both accurate regarding DOJ policy and also throwing daggers at James Comey.

Who to believe in this case? On one hand, Comey has revealed himself to be a political creature. On the other hand, Lynch always struck me as political and someone who would have been on board with the idea that Hillary would protect Obama’s legacy. And in this case, if Comey were giving in to his politics, including his evident distaste for Trump, he would have gone along with Lynch and never said anything. Instead, he suggested she was trying to help Hillary.

Ultimately, I believe Comey’s version for one reason: He announced the outcome of the Clinton investigation without warning Lynch what he planned to say in advance. There had to be some motive for that and the one that makes the most sense is the one he’s offered, i.e. he wasn’t sure Lynch was independent when it came to Clinton because of this interaction (among other things). I guess it’s possible Comey was wrong about Lynch but if so it seems he was sincerely wrong. He really believed something funny was going on and he acted on that belief.

The post Loretta Lynch: I never told Comey to call the Clinton investigation a ‘matter’ appeared first on Hot Air.

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Loretta Lynch Says James Comey Lied About Her Actions In the Clinton Investigation

Westlake Legal Group ap-comey-lynch-620x413 Loretta Lynch Says James Comey Lied About Her Actions In the Clinton Investigation republicans Politics loretta lynch james comey House Judiciary Committee hiillary clinton email scandal Georgia Front Page Stories Featured Story Doug Collins democrats Congress Allow Media Exception

Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens at left as FBI Director James Comey speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Seven hackers tied to the Iranian government were charged Thursday in a series of punishing cyberattacks on a small dam outside New York City and on dozens of banks _ intrusions that reached into American infrastructure and disrupted the financial system, U.S. law enforcement officials said. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

One of the enduring mysteries of the whole melodrama that was the 2016 election is the role of the Justice Department in preventing any real investigation into the alleged hack of the DNC server. Alleged, because there has never been an actual forensic examination of the servers, the evidence of a hack is based solely on the work of a Democrat affiliated consulting firm, Crowdstrike, and that work has never been verified by actual law enforcement officials. The other unanswered question is the degree to which the Justice Department put its finger on the scale of the FBI pseudo-investigation of Hillary Clinton’s penchant for storing Top Secret material on an unsecure server that foreign intelligence services used like a Blue Light Special at your local KMart.

This whole swirling maelstrom of #FAIL has one common feature. When the going gets tough, St. James Comey points his finger at someone else. Take this incident.

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): You mentioned before some news stories and news accounts, without having to go into the specific times… have there been news accounts about the Russia investigation, about ‘collusion,’ about this whole event, or accusations, that as you read the story, you were stunned about how wrong they got the facts?

JAMES COMEY: Yes, there have been many, many stories reportedly based on classified information about a lot of stuff, but specifically about Russia, that are just dead wrong.

LANKFORD: I was interested in your comment that if there were some satellite associates of his that did something wrong, it would be good to find that out. That the president seemed to talk to you specifically on March 30 and said he is frustrated that the word is not getting out that I am not under investigation, but if there are people that are in my circle that are, let’s finish the investigation. Is that how you took it as well?

COMEY: Yes, sir. Yes.

LANKFORD: And then you made a comment earlier about the Attorney General, previous AG [Lynch] asking you about the investigation on the Clinton emails, saying that you were asked not to call it an ‘Investigation’ anymore, but to call it a ‘Matter.’ And you said that confused you. Can you give us additional details on that?

COMEY: Well, it concerned me, because we were at the point where we refused to confirm the existence of an investigation –as we usually do– for months,. And it was getting to a place where that looked silly, because the campaigns were talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work.

The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, ‘security review,’ ‘matter.’ Things like that.

For what was going on. We were getting to a place where the Attorney General and I were going to have to testify and talk publicly about it, and I wanted to know if she would authorize us to confirm we had an investigation. And she said yes, but don’t call it that, call it a ‘Matter.’ And I said why would I do that? And [Lynch] said just call it a ‘Matter.’

And again, you look back in hindsight, should I have resisted more? I just said this wasn’t a hill worth dying on, so I said, okay, the press is going to completely ignore it, and that is what happened. When I said we opened a matter, they all reported the FBI had an investigation open. And that concerned me because the language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work, and that is concerning… It gave the impression that the Attorney General was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. We had a criminal investigation open… And so that gave me a queasy feeling.

In this telling of events Loretta Lynch told a morally offended but oddly quiescent James Comey to call the investigation into Clinton’s email server a “matter.”

Earlier today, Georgia Representative Doug Collins continued doing the work of liberty by releasing the remaining witness transcripts from the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation.

In them was Loretta Lynch’s testimony…included in there was this jewel:

According to Lynch, she said no such thing.

Here we have a Double Liar’s Paradox. We have two pathological liars telling diametrically opposed stories on the same event. What are we to do?

We’ve already seen James Comey and John Brennan start pointing fingers at each other over who ordered the use of the Steele Dossier (see Brennan And Comey Start Pointing At Each Other As Barr’s Prosecutor Closes In). What both of these events have in common is that James Comey tells a version of events that is contradicted by others. So either Comey is the only honorable guy in Washington and is surrounded by poltroons…or Comey is a ground zero in a wide variety of shady activities and is trying to blame others.

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The post Loretta Lynch Says James Comey Lied About Her Actions In the Clinton Investigation appeared first on RedState.

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If December 2016 Comey Email Is Accurate, Then Brennan Perjured Himself – Again

Westlake Legal Group ap-john-brennan-620x409 If December 2016 Comey Email Is Accurate, Then Brennan Perjured Himself – Again Trey Gowdy Mueller Investigation maria bartiromo Judge Napolitano John Brennan james comey Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption dossier donald trump Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2016, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Islamic State. Brennan said that the Islamic State remains “formidable” and “resilient,” is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for its territorial losses in the Middle East. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On Sunday, former Republican Congressman and current Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy appeared on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

In his capacity as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Gowdy had access to classified documents relating to the Trump/Russia collusion investigations. He has actually seen most of the material he discusses on Fox. However, it would be illegal for Gowdy to reveal specifics about any of them.

It’s been alleged that in December 2016, Comey sent an email to top-level FBI officials (said to include then-General Counsel James Baker, then-Chief of Counterespionage Peter Strzok, and then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe). Comey allegedly wrote that [CIA Director} John “Brennan insisted the crown material be included in the intel assessment charge.”

(Note: Bartiromo said that former FBI Director James Comey commonly referred to the dossier as the “crown material.”)

Pundits have been questioning whether or not the dossier was included in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. If so, this would be the fifth known use of it. It’s been established that the dossier was presented by the FBI as a serious document on at least four occasions.

Last week, Comey and Brennan were pointing at each other as to whose idea it was to include the dossier in the intelligence assessment. In an appearance on Fox last week, Gowdy said, “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.” My colleague, Streiff, posted here about this.

Gowdy told Bartiromo that Brennan, Clapper and Comey know full well the dossier was used in the intelligence assessment. He said:

What we’re trying to figure out is whether or not it was used a fifth time in the intelligence assessment. And you’ve got Brennan, Clapper and Comey, all three who know full well whether or not it was used in the intelligence assessment but… they’re giving you different versions, right.

So there is information that exists in December of 2016 and I hope anyone who has access to it… Senator Burr, Devin [Nunes], whoever is open minded. Go look at that.

And I think it will help you understand whether or not that dossier, that unverified hearsay, was used… five times or just four times by the United States government. It’s pretty bad if it was just four times, it’s really bad if it was five.

This morning, Fox News’ Judge Napolitano joined the panel on Maria Bartiromo’s show and said: I haven’t seen the e-mail obviously, but if the e-mail is correct, it directly contradicts what Brennan said under oath, which is another thing for the folks in Connecticut to examine  – whether or not the former director of the CIA perjured himself – in order to make himself look good.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Brennan has lied. The Washington Post published a July 2014 op-ed entitled, “Obama Should Fire John Brennan.” It was written after it became clear Brennan had lied about whether “the CIA had illegally accessed Senate Intelligence Committee staff computers “to thwart an investigation by the committee into” the agency’s past interrogation techniques.”

“In 2011, Brennan claimed that dozens of U.S. drone strikes on overseas targets had not killed a single civilian.” Even those who supported the drone program called this statement absurd.

I’m with Trey Gowdy on this one.

The post If December 2016 Comey Email Is Accurate, Then Brennan Perjured Himself – Again appeared first on RedState.

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FBI Attacks on Bill Barr Show That He’s On the Right Track and Getting Close to Home

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Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The more we have learned about the activities and role of the FBI in the so-called counterintelligence investigation the carried out on the presidential campaign of President Trump, the shadier and more disreputable it appears. We can say with some degree of conclusiveness that the FISA warrant obtained on Carter Page in October 2016 and subsequently renewed three times was done so on false pretenses and, at least the renewals, were done so with the knowledge of the entire FBI leadership that the premises were false. We know that FBI asset, Stefan Halper, was involved in operations aimed at Page and at Michael Flynn. We know that the FBI represented a long-time FBI informant as a conduit to the Russian government. We know that the hapless George Papadopoulos was targeted by one or more Western intelligence agencies and their product found its way to the FBI.

Attorney General Bill Barr has expressed some skepticism over the investigation of the Trump campaign and has appointed the US Attorney for Connecticut, John Durham, as what amounts to a special counsel to investigate the genesis of the Russia hoax. Needless to say, the FBI mafia is not happy.

This morning some former FBI goon and current NBC News/MSNBC analyst named Frank Figliuzzi launched an attack on Bill Barr in NBC’s opinion section.

As we all have learned, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, acting on classified data, allied intelligence, human sources and conduct occurring in plain view, opened a counterintelligence investigation to explore Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The Russian efforts were later detailed in over two dozen federal grand jury indictments involving Russian intelligence officers and Russian nationals.

The FBI inquiry also included connections between the Trump campaign and known or suspected Russian government affiliated individuals. Those connections are detailed in over 100 pages of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Mueller’s inquiry was predicated by the FBI’s initial Russia investigation. Now, President Donald Trump and Barr seek to undermine Mueller’s findings by fueling doubt about the FBI’s decision to open the initial Russian case that led to a special counsel appointment. Back at the Kremlin, the vodka is flowing.

Except that really isn’t the truth, even by the FBI’s own narrative. The FBI has claimed that a conversation between George Papadopoulos and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer started the investigation…or they did until that story stopped being tenable and then FBI insiders took to the pages of the New York Times to revise and extend that story. We know that candidate Trump was never briefed on any of the dodgey contacts by staff members and given the opportunity to fire them. Instead, inexplicably if one assumes the FBI was not operating as an adjunct of the Democrat Party and the Clinton campaign, they allowed the people they were targeting to have the activities remain hidden from candidate Trump. I think the reason for this is obvious. If they kept surveillance on these people they were able to use them as a gateway to carry out surveillance on the entire Trump campaign and, through them, the RNC. Essentially, this was Watergate but the burglars were the FBI.

As to the vodka flowing, if you think the Kremlin isn’t laughing about one of their information operations, by that I mean the Steele Dossier, being the cause of a special counsel investigation of a sitting president and an impeachment proceeding you really haven’t been paying attention.

Barr instructed John Durham, a veteran and respected prosecutor and current U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to examine the predication for the FBI’s Russia case. Choosing to use a hand-picked direct subordinate instead of simply tapping the more independent Department of Justice inspector general is suspicious on its own. When added to Barr’s other partisan conduct over the past few weeks, his decision is one more blow to a Justice Department and FBI that must function as independent, apolitical champions of the truth.

We’ve been told over and over that an innocent man has nothing to fear from a pack of feral federal prosecutors digging through their crap looking for evidence that a crime may have been committed at some point in the past, so I would think that if the FBI has nothing to fear from a US attorney having a look at their operation. And can we stop the nonsense about the Justice and the FBI being independent or apolitical. The senior FBI officials involved in the Russia probe were open Hillary Clinton partisans. The FBI director, after Comey was kicked to the curb, was serving in open and blatant violation of the Hatch Act. Robert Mueller’s deputy was at Hillary Clinton’s truncated “victory” bash and hired similarly partisan democrats to flesh out Mueller’s investigatory team.

But instead, our current attorney general would have us believe the myth that some kind of deep state resides within the corridors of our most trusted institutions, a conspiracy theory the president’s supporters have repeatedly echoed. Despite ongoing related investigations by a capable DOJ inspector general, Barr wants us to believe, as does his boss, that our system is broken and that the only fix lies outside the practices and policies that served our democracy for centuries.

We don’t know if Barr’s decisions are malicious, self-serving or simply ignorant. But by perpetuating the president’s falsehoods and eroding Americans’ trust in our institutions, Barr has become the kind of threat capable of doing severe harm; he has become a threat from within.

The more we see, the less doubt there is that within the Civil Service there is a strong stream of Democrat partisanship that is hard at work trying to block initiatives by this administration and trying to damage it by leaks. The IG’s investigation has already found that dozens of FBI agents accepted gifts of tickets, meals, etc. from reporters and it isn’t all that hard to connect the dots from there to the non-stop string of leaks about alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia–all of which were proven false–that decorated the front pages and lead stories of major US media throughout 2017.

If there is threat from within, it is the leadership of the FBI and of Justice that allowed federal law enforcement to act as hitmen for one political party. Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision to not close ranks and protect the FBI from its own malfeasance and hubris has upset official Washington more than anything President Trump has been accused of doing. His actions, and criminal prosecutions of some of the worst offenders, are a first step in rebuilding trust in those institutions.

The novelist Pat Conroy gave a great eulogy for his father, retired Marine Colonel Donald Conroy. Don Conroy was a Marine fighter pilot and the model for the father in Conroy’s novel The Great Santini. Part of that eulogy reminds me of what we’re seeing happen.

Let me give you my father the warrior in full battle array. The Great Santini is catapulted off the deck of the aircraft carrier, Sicily. His Black Sheep squadron is the first to reach the Korean Theater and American ground troops had been getting torn up by North Korean regulars. Let me do it in his voice: “We didn’t even have a map of Korea. Not zip. We just headed toward the sound of artillery firing along the Naktong River. They told us to keep the North Koreans on their side of the Naktong. Air power hadn’t been a factor until we got there that day. I radioed to Bill Lundin. I was his wingman. ‘There they are. Let’s go get’em.’ So we did.”

I was interviewing Dad so I asked, “how do you know you got them?” “Easy,” The Great Santini said. “They were running – it’s a good sign when you see the enemy running. There was another good sign.”

“What was that, Dad?”

“They were on fire.”

Barr has got them. Because they are running and they will shortly be on fire.

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Adam Schiff Sweats Profusely While Showing Off the Dishonest Hypocrisy of Democrats on Investigations

Someone should tell Adam Schiff to stop obstructing justice. At least by the standards he and other Democrats (and the media) have laid out.

We’ve been told continuously since the release of the Mueller report that criticizing investigators amounts to obstruction when it came to Trump’s tweeting about the Mueller probe. Now, all the sudden, it’s completely in vogue to go after the DOJ and bash not only their investigations, but the investigators directly by name.

Comey is doing it. Clapper has done it. Now Rep. Schiff, the guy who lied for two years about having evidence of collusion, is getting in on the act.

Does he sound nervous? He sounds nervous to me.

In Schiff’s case, his actions are almost certainly being probed as Barr has announced they have multiple leak investigations ongoing. No one has leaked more confidential material than Adam Schiff when it comes to Congressional members. At one point he was literally live leaking an ongoing testimony to CNN.

Also, by what basis is Schiff claiming that it’s not true that the Trump campaign was spied on? That’s already been confirmed. A female “cloaked investigator,” per The New York Times’ laughable choice of language, was used against Trump campaign officials. We also know the Page warrants, based on the false Steele dossier, were retroactive. It’s also been confirmed that multiple informants were run against the campaign. To anyone not playing semantics for political reasons, this all amounts to spying.

There’s also the hypocrisy on investigations in general to point out. Schiff himself is running a series of redundant, pointless investigations trying to re-cover ground that Mueller already covered. Why? Because he didn’t like the outcome. You’d think Schiff would love investigations. In fact, the perspective of Democrats going on almost three years has been to assert that 1) investigations are always good and 2) that you only attack them if you have something to hide.

Here’s Chuck Schumer making that very assertion not too long ago.

Good news kids. Slamming investigations is acceptable again, so get your shots in.

This is all comically hypocritical and shows the partisan nature of Democrat complaints. They love investigations until the investigators start sniffing around areas they don’t like. Then it’s no longer an “attack on the shield” to question the FBI or the DOJ. You see, Democrats are allowed to do it, but if you ever questioned the original Russia investigation, you probably obstructed justice and need to be arrested. Consistency and all that.

Bill Barr is obviously making a lot of Democrats and Obama officials sweat and that’s a good thing. Time for the truth to come out.

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Comey: Barr Must ‘Stop Sliming His Own Dept,’ Goads Trump With Astoundingly Hypocritical Words From His Communist Roots

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Fired FBI Director James Comey is feeling the heat.

On Friday, he fired off a tweet accusing Attorney General William Barr of “sliming his own Department.” He added, “If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found. An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.”

Jim, you know there are bad facts, and the Attorney General is searching for them professionally. And, when the investigation is over, he will tell us what he’s found. Here’s a word of advice: You are no longer in the driver’s seat. It may not be the wisest thing to continue lashing out at the man who may determine your fate.

Twelve minutes later, obviously in a state of high anxiety, he sent off a second tweet, this one directed at President Trump. He wrote: “The president claiming the FBI’s investigation was “TREASON“ reminds me that a Russian once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” That shouldn’t happen in America. Who will stand up?”

Kind of like how “salacious and unverified stories” from a bogus dossier become the truth if they are told often enough?

The Daily Caller’s Virginia Kruta notes that the quote, “”A lie told often enough becomes the truth,” which Comey said came from “a Russian,” has actually been attributed to both Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.”

Just saying, it’s funny that Comey would quote communist Vladimir Lenin. Guess he remembered it from the 70s when he was a communist. (I posted about that here.)

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The History of the ‘Steele Dossier’ Begins in April 2007

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Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia has returned to work. Christopher Steele said Tuesday he is “really pleased” to be back at work in London after a prolonged period out of public view. He went into hiding in January. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” this week to discuss the origins of the Steele dossier. He said it should really be called the “Simpson” dossier. Although Christopher Steele likely contributed “stories” to the dossier, and his years of experience in British intelligence lent credence to the document, Nunes believes that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson may actually have written the majority of it.

In his book “Spygate,” journalist Dan Bongino makes the same case. He points out the striking similarities between articles Simpson and his wife, Mary Jacoby wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 2007 and 2008 and the Steele dossier.

The Tablet’s Lee Smith promoted this theory in a lengthy, but fascinating, December 2017 article.

One of Simpson and Jacoby’s articles, entitled “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington,” was written on April 17, 2007. It discussed the growing trend of wealthy foreigners, Russians in particular, to hire influential Washington insiders as lobbyists, for help with legal troubles or simply to be introduced to the city’s rich and the powerful. Included in their list of American lobbyists and “fixers” is Paul Manafort.

Paul Manafort, a former adviser to Mr. Dole’s presidential campaign, has advised a Ukrainian metals billionaire and his close political ally, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich. Mr. Yanukovich, who favors closer ties with Mr. Putin’s administration, is embroiled in a power struggle with pro-Western Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

In May 2008, they discovered that Paul Manafort was working as a consultant for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Manafort’s business partner, Rick Davis, who was also charged by Robert Mueller, was McCain’s campaign manager. They reported this in an article entitled “McCain Consultant Is Tied To Work for Ukraine Party.” It began:

A consultant to Sen. John McCain [Manafort] hired a public-relations firm last year to burnish the U.S. image of a Ukrainian political party backed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to documents filed with the Justice Department.

Simpson and Jacoby wrote about Manafort’s lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, and it’s ties to Ukraine’s Party of Regions and mentioned that Putin campaigned for Yanukovich.

The pair cite a 2006 breakfast for journalists at the Willard Hotel at which Manafort appeared with the “pro-Kremlin” Yanukovich and wrote that Manafort was in his “entourage when Yanukovich spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington.

Also discussed are Davis Manafort’s connections to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Smith points out that in March 2016, three things were happening. Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign. Glenn Simpson consulted with the Clinton campaign’s lawyer, Marc Elias, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, to see if they had any interest in continuing the opposition research project against Donald Trump which Fusion GPS had begun for the Washington Free Beacon. And Ukrainian American DNC consultant and activist Alexandra Chalupa was warning the Clinton campaign about Paul Manafort’s strong ties to Yanukovich. She later told CNN, “I flagged for the DNC the significance of his hire.”

At this time, Fusion GPS was working with a Putin-linked group, represented by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, to assist in their efforts to repeal the Magnitsky Act. (For a full description of what led to this Act, please read Marc Thiessen’s article here.)

Smith then makes the case that Simpson either wrote most of the dossier himself, or at least a good chunk of it.

Once you understand that Simpson knew exactly who Paul Manafort was, it’s impossible not to spot the former journalist’s creative wit sprinkled throughout the dossier, which uses the tantalizing figure of “PUTIN” to draw attention to corruption that Glenn Simpson knew was entirely real from his own reporting. “Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised (sic) kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media,” the dossier relates. “Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail.”

It’s as if Simpson has hung a “Kick Me” sign on Manafort to encourage some prosecutor to find the “documentary evidence/trail” that did in fact exist. Sure enough, Special Counselor for the Russia investigations Robert Mueller found it. The October indictment charges Manafort with laundering millions that came from Yanukovich. Manafort’s relationship with Yanukovich was widely known inside Ukrainian political circles, as well as to Clinton campaign head John Podesta’s brother Tony Podesta, who worked directly for Manafort while he represented Yanukovich.

Simpson hired Christopher Steele in June 2016. According to Smith, Steele had been “identified as a British spy in 1999.” He had been chief of the “Russia desk when Russian assassins killed FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko in London and was hardly in a position to make discreet inquiries. Still, Simpson must have thought Steele’s name at a minimum would be useful in marketing whatever his firm pulled together. Reportedly, Steele had a good relationship with the FBI, and journalists love spies who spill secrets.”

Next, Simpson hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of Bruce Ohr (who at the time was the fourth highest ranking DOJ official, but was later demoted twice after his involvement with Fusion GPS was discovered).

Smith noted that, despite her impressive education and having lived in Russia decades earlier, “she was not a spy, or even a journalist. In this world, she was definitely an amateur.” He added:

Much of the reporting in the dossier is recognizably the kind of patter that locals in closed or semi-closed societies engage in to impress expats—the kind of thing you hear in a bar, or on the cab ride from the airport to the hotel. So you’re telling me this guy Carter Page, who almost no one in Moscow has heard of, was offered a 19 percent stake in Rosneft—worth around $10 billion—if Trump relieved sanctions on Russia? Da—some say even 21 percent.

In late April 2016, the DNC noticed unusual network activity and called in CrowdStrike. They were told they’d been hacked by Russians and their emails had been leaked to Wikileaks. After the emails were released the weekend before the Democratic Convention, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters, “some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”

Smith explains:

Which experts? The tech experts at CrowdStrike might be able to tell you who did something but not why. Mook doesn’t name the “experts” who had clued him in to Russia’s intentions—but the DNC and Clinton campaign did have an oppo-research firm under contract that was in the middle of putting together a file that would claim that the Russians were trying to get Trump elected. Since Steele authored the dossier’s first memo a month before Mook’s comment, on June 20, it seems fair to assume that Mook understood the thrust of the dossier, which the campaign had paid for, and that his claim regarding Russia’s intentions is the first public reference to the dossier.

On July 31, 2016, a week after the leaked emails, the FBI opened their counterintelligence investigation.

Then-CIA Director John Brennan was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic high-level Obama officials to push the dossier. It is highly likely he sent a copy to President Obama in June 2016.

According to a June 23, 2017, Washington Post article, “an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.”

The article said, “Inside was an intelligence bombshell.”

A report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives—defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump…

[The] “material was so sensitive that CIA Director John O. Brennan kept it out of the president’s daily brief, concerned that even that restricted report’s distribution was too broad.”

It’s unknown who leaked this information to the Washington Post. There were many similar leaks to the press. “If the CIA had a human intelligence source that close to Putin, publication of the Post article could have exposed that source—doing incalculable damage to American national security. He and many of his loved ones would then have presumably died horrible deaths.”

In August 2016, Brennan briefed then-Senate Minority Harry Reid (D-NV) about the dossier.

Brennan complained that “the CIA, focused on foreign intelligence, was limited in its legal ability to investigate possible connections to Mr. Trump.” Reid then wrote a  a public letter to then-FBI Director James Comey warning that the Russian “interference is more extensive than is widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results.”

Following Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation after her emails were found on a laptop owned by Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin, Reid sent another open letter to the FBI Director. He wrote:

In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community. It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government—a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public … and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.

(Christopher Steele had spoken to the media in September. Specifically, he told his story to journalist Michael Isikoff who published an article in YahooNews! at the end of September. I wrote about that here. Isikoff’s article was used by the FBI to corroborate the dossier in their FISA Court application.)

Steele had also spoken to Journalist David Corn who published an article on October 31, 2016 in Mother Jones. Corn wrote that Reid was referencing the findings of a “former Western intelligence officer—who spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and who now works with a U.S. firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients.”

According to Corn, Steele said that “in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump.”

It’s not clear if Corn received his information from Steele or from then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, who is a long-time friend, or perhaps both. (Baker is currently under a criminal investigation for allegedly leaking classified information to the press.)

A long and convoluted story, I agree. And this is just the beginning.

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