Chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, David Laufman resigns for personal reasons.
What is the DOJ and FBI hiding?
To find out maybe We the People should take a class from this well paid “expert” that has so many contacts here and abroad.
WHAT IS AN EXPORT?
Any item that is sent from the United States to a foreign destination is an export. “Items” include commodities, software or technology, such as clothing, building materials, circuit boards, automotive parts, blue prints, design plans, retail software packages and technical information.
How an item is transported outside of the United States does not matter in determining export license requirements. For example, an item can be sent by regular mail or hand-carried on an airplane. A set of schematics can be sent via facsimile to a foreign destination, software can be uploaded to or downloaded from an Internet site, or technology can be transmitted via e-mail or during a telephone conversation. Regardless of the method used for the transfer, the transaction is considered an export. An item is also considered an export even if it is leaving the United States temporarily, if it is leaving the United States but is not for sale (e.g., a gift), or if it is going to a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary in a foreign country. Even a foreign-origin item exported from the United States, transmitted or transshipped through the United States, or being returned from the United States to its foreign country of origin is considered an export. Finally, release of technology or source code subject to the EAR to a foreign national in the United States is “deemed” to be an export to the home country of the foreign national under the EAR.
Certain job-related technical data is subject to U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 CFR §§730-774) which regulate the export of “dual-use” items. These items include goods and related technology, including technical data and technical assistance, which are designed for commercial purposes, but which could have military applications, such as computers, aircraft, and pathogens. In order for certain foreign nationals to access this technology/data, companies must apply for and be issued a deemed export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Any foreign national is subject to deemed export regulations except a foreign national who (1) is granted U.S. Permanent Resident status, as demonstrated by the issuance of a permanent resident visa (i.e., Green Card); or (2) is granted U.S. citizenship; or (3) is granted status as a protected person (i.e., Asylee or Refugee) under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3).
From 02 08 2018
From our friends at The Daily Caller:
DOJ Official Who Worked On Clinton, Russia Investigations Steps Down For Personal Reasons
By Chuck Ross
The Department of Justice official who interviewed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of the investigation into her emails is leaving the agency, he announced on Wednesday.
“I am getting aggravated at Laufman,” Strzok wrote in one March 23, 2016, text message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
“But he’s literally doing nothing other than sitting in on the big interviews,” he said in another dated April 9, 2016.
The timing of Laufman’s decision is sure to raise questions because of a Justice Department inspector general’s forthcoming report about the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Strzok’s texts were discovered during the court of that investigation.
“It’s tough to leave a mission this compelling and an institution as exceptional as the Department of Justice. But I know that prosecutors and agents will continue to bring to their work precisely what the American people should expect: a fierce and relentless commitment to protect the national security of the United States,” Laufman told The Post in a statement.
“I don’t know Craig Livingstone and I do not remember how many files there were…now or shenzthen…”
2009 was a very big year in more ways than one.
“In a Washington Post column posted late Thursday, Jonathan Winer detailed an extensive exchange of documents with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, a friend of his since 2009.
He said he shared “more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department” over a period of two years. These weren’t related to American politics – but he would later share information about the Trump dossier with the top levels of the Obama-era State Department.”
“Nunes: House panel looking at State Dept. involvement in Russia probe”
BY Max Greenwood 02/02/18 06:43 PM
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) revealed Friday that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee would examine other agencies, including the State Department, after releasing a controversial memo alleging surveillance abuses.
Speaking on Fox News just hours after Republicans on the committee released a memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), Nunes said the panel was moving to “phase two” of its investigation.
“We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” Nunes said.
“That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”
Nunes was asked whether his panel would be releasing additional memos as part of their probe after the White House declassified information to allow the release of a memo alleging that senior FBI and DOJ officials abused their powers to spy on members of President Trump’s campaign.
It’s unclear what role, if any, the State Department played in the law enforcement investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia amid Moscow’s efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election.
The decision to release the Nunes memo regarding the FBI and DOJ was highly controversial. Republicans on the Intelligence panel argued that it was necessary, because it shed light on the origins of the Russia investigation, as well as potential abuses of power by federal law enforcement officials.
Democrats and the FBI, however, voiced concerns about the memo’s accuracy, contending that Republicans omitted key facts that would have placed the information in the proper context.
The push to release the memo was largely driven by Nunes, who has been accused by Democrats of trying to undermine and discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling in order to protect Trump.
McCabe Resigns After FBI Director Wray Reviews House FISA Abuse Memo
By Sara Carter
January 29, 2017
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was forced to resign Monday, just as the House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on the public release of a classified memo this afternoon revealing extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse under the Obama administration, sources told this reporter.
McCabe apparently lashed out to his colleagues when he was told he would be asked to resign, according to sources. FBI Director Christopher Wray viewed the four-page memo on Sunday, sources familiar with the discussions said.
McCabe, who is facing three federal inquiries for conflicts-of-interest during his time at the FBI, is one of the numerous names mentioned in the classified memo detailing FISA abuse, according to sources who reviewed the memo.
The federal inquiries into allegations against McCabe, who was expected to resign in March, are based on documents and interviews conducted by this reporter over the past year and range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity.
McCabe, a central figure in the ongoing Russia investigation against Trump, is also part of the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s ongoing review into the FBI’s handling of former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information.
Current and former FBI officials said McCabe’s resignation is the beginning of more resignations to come.
“There are people lining up in the bureau to go after McCabe,” said a former FBI official, with knowledge. “There will be a clean up at the Bureau of his cronies.”
According to several U.S. officials, McCabe’s government communications were collected as part of the ongoing DOJ Inspector General investigation, which is expected to be completed by March.
FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty declined to comment on the resignation.
The process to declassify the document could take anywhere up to five days. President Trump is not expected to object to the memo’s release and the House Intelligence Committee is expected to pass it, stated White House officials in an earlier report.
“My understanding is they will proceed with the vote tonight,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “This memo is something I want every single journalist and American to see, I think it’s that important. If Wray saw the memo, there maybe something to McCabe’s resignation. Or it could also be something as innocent as him using his sick time or leave up until retirement.”
The classified memo is considered “explosive and shocking” and hundreds of Republican members and only a dozen or so Democrats have taken the opportunity to review the report in a secured area, according to congressional sources. The memo also contains information that suggests Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reauthorized warrants based in part on the unverified dossier to gather communications on former Trump advisor Carter Page, sources said.
House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R-NC, said that he is hopeful the memo will be released to the public and called its contents “shocking.”
“I think from my standpoint there are concerns about political interference by law enforcement and judiciary agencies,” said Meadows, as he prepared to board a flight back to Washington D.C. “These important issues require greater transparency ad it’s critical lady justice remains blindfolded and that the privileged do not have the upper hand in the judicial system.”
Democrat Adam Schiff, D-CA, who has long stated he believes President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia but has offered no proof, said the classified memo is “profoundly misleading” and asked that it not be released
Carter Page, who is one figure at the center of the memo’s revelations, filed his most recent libel lawsuit against Oath and Broadcasting Board of Governors, Radio Free Europe for the story “Report: U.S. Intelligence Officials Examining Trump Advisor’s Russia Ties” written Sept. 23, 2016. The report came a day after Yahoo published a report, which cited multiple sources that suggested Page was under investigation for his ties to Russia. Page has also filed libel suits against Yahoo News and Buzzfeed. Page asserts in the lawsuit that he was a victim of “swatting,” a term used when a group or person provides false information to law enforcement to provoke an emergency action to be taken against a target.
The dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign. The DNC and Clinton campaign had hired now embattled research firm Fusion GPS to compile the research. Fusion GPS had previously lobbied on behalf of companies closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin against the Magnitisky Act, a U.S. law prohibiting companies and people connected to the death of Sergei Magnitsky from owning property or conducting business in the United States. Magnitsky was an auditor at a law firm in Moscow who uncovered $230 million worth of fraud by Russian tax officials and police officers. After he reported the fraud he was detained by Russian authorities and then died in a prison under suspicious circumstances in 2009.
“By falsely and publicly identifying Dr. Page in the U.S., Europe and worldwide as the main accomplice in the most prominent crime story in recent history and simultaneously mischaracterizing the libelous articles as primarily stemming from slightly more legitimate leakers within USG (U.S. government) agencies rather than the opposition political research consultant Christopher Steele, BBG and RFE played an essential roles in the USG’s black propaganda campaign by branding him as the subject of completely outrageous criminal allegations instigated by earlier excerpts from Mr. Steele’s final report (the “Dodgy Dossier”),” Page states in his complaint filed on January, 19.
Page, who lists a number of previous ‘swatting’ cases, states in his complaint, “In these more benign and little-known swatting cases, defendants have been held accountable by courts…The alleged untruthfulness attached to the DOJ’s allegations in the illegitimate FISA warrant issued against Dr. Page and related abuse of process in 2016 based on the dodgy dossier helps to directly fulfill that burden.”
The Department of Justice and some leading Democrats attempted to stop the committee from releasing the classified FISA abuse memo, citing that the classified nature of the document could threaten national security. The DOJ argued in a letter written by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd that the department had not been given the document for review.
However, several members of the committee told this reporter that the information contained in the memo is lists extensive FISA abuse that occurred before and after the 2016 presidential election cycle.
“What’s important is that the American people will be informed and that the corruption by a few people inside the bureau and DOJ will be exposed,” said a former FBI source with knowledge of the situation. “We can’t move forward unless we as a nation are willing to come clean about what’s been going on and the first step is telling the truth.”
Sara Carter is a great friend and member of Stand Up America. She is an award winning National Correspondent and War Correspondent. She is a Fox News and Circa contributor and has been at the forefront of the ongoing nefarious events at DOJ and the FBI.
The Implementation of AmeriCHIstan: The Service Bureau for The Deep State “International”.
Original Headquarters for the Nazi Party of America
Original Headquarters for the Communist Party of America
Headquarters of the Nation of Islam
Home of Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground Movement
The New “Central”…Making Sure the Approved Decisions are Enacted…or else…
An interesting article from The Intercept.
NSA DELETES “HONESTY” AND “OPENNESS” FROM CORE VALUES.
By Jean Marc Manach
January 24, 2018
THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY maintains a page on its website that outlines its mission statement. But earlier this month, the agency made a discreet change: It removed “honesty” as its top priority.
Since at least May 2016, the surveillance agency had featured honesty as the first of four “core values” listed on NSA.gov, alongside “respect for the law,” “integrity,” and “transparency.” The agency vowed on the site to “be truthful with each other.”
On January 12, however, the NSA removed the mission statement page – which can still be viewed through the Internet Archive – and replaced it with a new version. Now, the parts about honesty and the pledge to be truthful have been deleted. The agency’s new top value is “commitment to service,” which it says means “excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission.”
Those are not the only striking alterations. In its old core values, the NSA explained that it would strive to be deserving of the “great trust” placed in it by national leaders and American citizens. It said that it would “honor the public’s need for openness.” But those phrases are now gone; all references to “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” have disappeared.
The agency previously stated on its website that it embraced transparency and claimed that all of its activities were aimed at “ensuring the safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens.” That has also been discarded. The agency still says it is committed to transparency on the updated website, but the transparency is now described as being for the benefit of “those who authorize and oversee NSA’s work on behalf of the American people.” The definition of “integrity” has been edited, too. The agency formerly said its commitment to integrity meant it would “behave honorably and apply good judgment.” The phrase “behave honorably” has now been dropped in favor of “communicating honestly and directly, acting ethically and fairly and carrying out our mission efficiently and effectively.”
The new list of values includes the additions “respect for people” and “accountability.” But the section on respecting people is a reference to diversity within the NSA workforce, not a general commitment to members of the public. Accountability is defined as taking “responsibility for our decisions.” The one core value that remains essentially unchanged is “respect for the law,” which the agency says means it is “grounded in our adherence to the U.S. Constitution and compliance with the U.S. laws, regulations and policies that govern our activities.”
In response to questions from The Intercept on Tuesday, the NSA played down the alterations. Thomas Groves, a spokesperson for the agency, said: “It’s nothing more than a website update, that’s all it is.”
“I do not know how the lights went on before he clapped.”
“How come the lights went on before he clapped.”
Many years ago Dr. Carroll Quigley realized that he would not be a permanent part of the inner sanctum of the world elite and decided to expose his work to the world. Years later, Admiral Mike Rogers pulls a Quigley “Deep Down Under” after realizing his Deep State Policy Planners and Implementers were setting him up as the fall guy for the Deep State surveillance atrocities and would lose his chair at the New World Order table. Rogers, like Quigley, was no innocent bystander as this is confirmed by subsequent events going on internally at N.S.A.
Faced with being thrown under the bus, Rogers alerted the newly elected President Trump immediately after he was elected in 2016. It should be noted that the N.S.A, the C.I.A., and the FBI National Security Division as well as other areas of our government administrative services have been weaponized against those that threaten the Deep State and it’s goals for worldwide control and the destruction of the Constitution of the United States. A review of the Prism, Hammer and other programs in which over 151 million Americans have been “snooped” confirm this.
Before reviewing the main information pieces found below please read the following:
“The Naked Capitalist” by W. Cleon Skousen is a review and commentary of Quigley’s book, “Tragedy and Hope” and is recommended reading to understand the blueprint of the Deep State.
A review and commentary on “Dr. Carroll Quigley’s book, Tragedy and Hope”, privately published in 1970, 144 pages, more than 1,000,000 copies sold. “The Naked Capitalist” was read by Pres. Ronald Reagan who wrote privately to Dr. Skousen, “Sad but true.”
“Dr. Quigley speaks as an insider of some twenty years standing. He approves wholeheartedly of the secret machinations of those who would destroy our nation and place the world under a socialist dictatorship. He sneers at those American patriots who are fighting Communism, stating that they have missed the right target — the secret group of insiders who would rule the world. He feels that it would be tragedy for the free enterprise, constitutional Americans to win. On the contrary he believes that our real hope lies in the victory of the secret operators. Hence the title of his book, Tragedy and Hope.”
William E. Fort, Jr. Author of “The Socialist Revolution”
Page 324 : A description of a major theme of the book:
“the powers of financial capitalism (the Elite) had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.
This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence (bribe) cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards (bribes) in the business world.”
This outline is the story of how the FBI Counterintelligence Division and DOJ National Security Division were weaponized. This outline is the full story of what House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes is currently working to expose. This outline exposes the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. This outline is also the story of how one man’s action likely saved our constitutional republic.
His name is Admiral Mike Rogers.
I’m calling the back-story to the 2016 FISA 702(16)(17) political corruption by the Obama administration “Operation Condor”. Those of you familiar with the film “Three Days of The Condor” will note how the real life storyline almost mirrors the Hollywood film. For the real life version, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers plays the role of “Condor”.
Editor’s Note: Rogers is no Joe Turner and certainly not a William Binney.
“SCIF” – a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. To understand the larger FISA 702(16)(17) issues in 2016 it is important to focus on the word “compartmented”.
Intelligence information is housed by compartments within the larger intelligence community network. Each intelligence unit holds intelligence unique to that compartment and task. The FBI Counterintelligence unit would hold the intelligence information specific to their task or assignment; the DOJ National Security Division would hold their own compartmented intelligence; again, specific to their task and objectives. So too would the DOJ, DoD (Pentagon), State Dept., or CIA.
This compartmented structure is what led to the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI. The 911 commission recommended the office to serve as a hub able to ensure intelligence sharing; that is – to ensure intelligence was not intentionally withheld from other compartments when needed.
In 2016 the ODNI for President Obama was James Clapper.
It is doubtful the 911 commission ever gave thought to what might happen when intelligence is weaponized as a political tool. The DNI is a political appointment, a cabinet member, of the President. If the executive branch, the President, wanted to weaponize intelligence as a political tool, he/she would have control over such weaponization as an outcome of their political appointees within the: FBI (Comey, McCabe), DOJ (Lynch/Yates), CIA (Brennan), DNI (Clapper), or DoD (Ash Carter), etc.
The civilian (representative) oversight into the compartmented intelligence falls to a very select group known as the Intelligence Gang of Eight.
Four Democrats and Four Republicans (four minority party and four majority party political leaders) for a total of eight. Four from the House and Four from the Senate. –Understand the Gang of Eight Here– The Gang-of-Eight can, if they choose, interact with the intelligence product with the same level of security clearance as the compartment being reviewed.
Only these eight members can interact with the intelligence product in this way. This ensures their ability to conduct oversight.
It is critical to understand the difference between the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Gang of Eight. Only two members from the House Intelligence Committee (chair and minority), and two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (chair and vice-chair) are participants. The other four are Speaker of the House, minority leader of House, Leader of Senate and Minority leader of Senate. The latter four are not part of any other intel committee.
On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.
FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*
I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail. Again, notice how Comey doesn’t use FBI Counterintelligence Director WH “Bill” Priestap’s actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch the first three minutes:
FBI Director James Comey was caught entirely off guard by that first three minutes of that questioning. He simply didn’t anticipate it.
Oversight protocol requires the FBI Director to tell the congressional intelligence “Gang of Eight” of any counterintelligence operations. The Go8 has oversight into these ops at the highest level of classification. In July 2016 the time the operation began, oversight was the responsibility of this group, the Gang of Eight:
Obviously, based on what we have learned since March 2017, and what has surfaced recently, we can all see why the FBI would want to keep it hidden that they were running a counterintelligence operation against a presidential candidate. After all, as FBI Agent Peter Strzok said it in his text messages, it was an “insurance policy”.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
FBI Director James Comey told congress on March 20th, 2017, the reason he didn’t inform the statutory oversight “Gang of Eight” was because Bill Priestap (Director of Counterintelligence) recommended he didn’t do it.
The originating intelligence agency agency, in these examples the DOJ National Security Division and/or FBI Counterintelligence Division, holds the proprietary intelligence they create in their SCIF. They may also receive intelligence products created for them, which they will also host in their unique SCIF. Thus, intelligence is compartmentalized.
In 2015 Sally Yates blocked any inspector general oversight of the DOJ National Security Division (SEE Pdf HERE). The Office of Inspector General. Michael Horowitz, requested oversight over the DOJ National Security Division and it was Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58-page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.
The White House -the executive branch- is also a host of intelligence information and consequently the White House has their own SCIF which holds intelligence products they would create (very little), or intelligence products created for them (the vast majority).
An example of a product created for the executive branch would be the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB).
The PDB as a whole product would only exist in the White House SCIF. Parts of the PDB would be hosted by the originating participant, ex. NSA, FBI, DOJ, DoD, CIA State Dept. etc., but only the White House would have the fully assembled product. After all, it’s assembled for the President.
Putting the “Oversight” structure together with the “Compartmented” intelligence security you will note that only a few people ‘could’ traditionally access the full PDB. However, under President Obama the President’s Daily Brief went to almost everyone at top levels in his administration. Regarding the Obama PDB:
[…] But while through most of its history the document has been marked “For the President’s Eyes Only,” the PDB has never gone to the president alone. The most restricted dissemination was in the early 1970s, when the book went only to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who was dual-hatted as national security adviser and secretary of state.
In other administrations, the circle of readers has also included the vice president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with additional White House staffers.
By 2013, Obama’s PDB was making its way to more than 30 recipients, including the president’s top strategic communications aide and speechwriter, and deputy secretaries of national security departments. (link)
Pay attention to that last part. According to the Washington Post outline Obama’s PDB’s were going to more than 30 recipients including: “Deputy Secretaries of national security departments”.
During an MSNBC interview about her unmasking U.S. citizens within intelligence reports, in April 2017, President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, defined the Obama national security departments to include: “State” – “Defense” (Pentagon includes NSA) and “CIA”….
So under President Obama’s watch Deputy Asst. Secretaries of Defense had daily access to the PDB. An example of an Obama Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense, Evelyn Farkas.
With dozens of people having access to President Obama’s PDB, Rice’s unmasking of names within the intelligence product gave dozens of people direct access to unmasked intelligence – including Obama officials who could, likely did, use the PDB for specific and intentional political purposes. This political outcome was essentially confirmed by Evelyn Farkas who was one of the downstream recipients of the unmasked intelligence.
If the House Intelligence Committee, or Senate Intelligence Committee, as a whole – wanted to see the President’s Daily Briefing, they would have to request the individual components from the individual intelligence agencies because the PDB product was not created for them; it was created for the Office of The President.
Only the Chairman and Minority leader from each Intel committee could go to the White House to see the PDB end product. [Remember, they alone are four of the Gang-of-Eight.]
This is why Devin Nunes, who is a Go8 member, has to request the intelligence from each department (NSA, DOJ, FBI etc.) in order to share it with the oversight committee. Nunes can review the ‘executive SCIF product’ but cannot export or import intelligence product he did not create.
The Congressional SCIF would then hold the compartmented information after delivery for the committee members to review under very tight controls. The intelligence is removed/deleted after review. No systems are connected.
Our research indicates that in February and March 2017 Chairman Devin Nunes, a gang of eight member, reviewed intelligence reports (most likely PDB’s) that were assembled exclusively for the office of the former President (Obama). That is why he went to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) Information Facility to review.
The intelligence product would be delivered to that SCIF system for his review, most likely by the ODNI (Dan Coats) or NSA (Mike Rogers). It would be removed from that SCIF system after Nunes review, (no systems are connected). It is important to note here that President Trump nominated Senator Dan Coats as ODNI on January 5th, 2017 – however, Democrats held up that nomination until March 16th, 2017.
It is not coincidental that immediately following DNI Dan Coat’s ability to provide that information Chairman Devin Nunes first reported his concerns. After Devin Nunes review the information March 22nd 2017, Nunes stated the intelligence product he reviewed was “not related to Russia, or the FBI Russian counter-intelligence investigation”.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, then held a brief press conference and stated he has been provided intelligence reports brought to him by unnamed sources that include ‘significant information’ about President-Elect Trump and his transition team.
1.) …”On numerous occasions the [Obama] intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”
2.) “Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration; details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
3.) “Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition members were unmasked.”
4.) “Fourth and finally, I want to be clear; none of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities.
“The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate surveillance and its subsequent dissemination, to determine a few things here that I want to read off:”
“Who was aware of it?”
“Why it was not disclosed to congress?”
“Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking?”
“Whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates?”
“And whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated?”
“I have asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15th (2017) letter -that you all received a couple of weeks ago- and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities.”
Again, this is why the intelligence reports seem likely to have been political opposition research -that was part of Obama’s PDB– unless it was a separate intelligence product, apart from the PDB, which was created for the Office of the President. [I view the latter as highly doubtful because it would be too risky for the President to be asking for specific ‘stand alone’ intelligence against political adversaries, ie candidate Donald Trump.]
…Here’s where all the dots connect:
Fast forward to 2018 – Aside from the larger Russian conspiracy narrative, up to now the controversial media story has been around the origin of the 2016 FISA warrant(s).
As previously stated by all reporting there was a June 2016 FISA application that was denied, and an October 2016 application that was approved. The current line of congressional inquiry surrounds the underlying content of the requested FISA warrant, and whether it was built upon fraud and manipulated content (the ‘Steele Dossier’) presented to the FISA Court (FISC).
Recently the media have been working frantically, against an entire year of prior support for the Steele Dossier, to distance the origin of the FBI counterintelligence operation from the dossier. The reason why reveals the bigger underlying story.
When Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes explained his concern in March 2017 about what he saw from a review of 2016 intelligence gathering, reporting and subsequent unmasking, the issue behind his concern was clouded in mystery. Indeed the larger headlines at the time were about demanding a special prosecutor and driving the Russia conspiracy narrative.
In hindsight, and with information from our assembled timelines of 2016 though today, we can now revisit that concern expressed by Chairman Nunes with a great deal more perspective and information. Understanding the latest information will help us all understand the totality of Nunes original frame of reference.
As many of you are aware, immediately following the 2016 presidential election NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers traveled to Trump Tower to meet with president-elect Donald Trump. The day AFTER the Rogers visit, President-elect Trump moved his transition team out of Trump Tower to Bedminister New Jersey.
We always suspected NSA Director Rogers gave President-elect Trump a head’s up of sorts.
Later, during the December 2016 and Jan, Feb, March, April 2017 Russian Conspiracy frenzy, when the entire intelligence community seemed to be collectively leaking against Trump’s interests, those suspicions gained even greater likelihood. However, what we learned in 2017 about the activity in 2016 almost guarantees that was exactly what happened. That back-story also ties into both the FISA issue and the Devin Nunes concern.
Admiral Mike Rogers became NSA director in April 2014.
Sometime in early 2016 Admiral Rogers became aware of “ongoing” and “intentional” violations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Section 702 surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance.
Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” is specifically the collection of emails, and phone call surveillance of U.S. persons.
The public doesn’t discover this issue, and NSA Director Rogers action, until May 2017when we learn that Rogers told the FISA court he became aware of unlawful surveillance and collection of U.S. persons. Put into context, with the full back-story, it appears that 2016 surveillance was the political surveillance now in the headlines; the stuff Chairman Nunes is currently questioning.
The dates here are important as they tell a story.
As a result of Rogers suspecting [FISA 702 (#17 – email and phone calls)] surveillance activity was being used for reasons he deemed unlawful, in mid 2016 Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.
Again, 702 is basically spying on Americans; the actual “spying” part is 702. Item 17 is “About Queries“, which allows queries or searches of content of email and phone conversations based on any subject matter put into the search field.
The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” that were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie. unlawful surveillance and gathering. Admiral Rogers was briefed by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016.
Admiral Mike Rogers ordered the “About Query” activity to stop, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court.
On October 26th, 2016, full FISC assembly, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations. Additionally, Rogers also stopped “About Query” permanently.
[Things to note: ♦Note the sequencing; ♦note that Rogers a career military person, followed the chain of command; ♦note the dates as they align with the Trump FISA application from the FBI and DOJ-NSD, (ie. early October 2016); ♦and note amid this sequence/time-line the head of DOJ-National Security Divsion, John P Carlin resigns.]
IMPORTANT – WATCH The first two and a half minutes of this video:
The DOJ National Security Division set Admiral Mike Rogers up to take the fall for their unlawful conduct. They preempted Rogers by filing a notification with the FISA Court on 26th September 2016 (look at the pdf). DOJ-NSD head John P Carlin was setting up Rogers as the scapegoat while knowing the NSA FISA compliance officer was still reviewing their conduct. Carlin wouldn’t notify the court unless he was trying to cover something. Carlin then announced his resignation. The NSA compliance officer did not brief Admiral Rogers until 20th Oct 2016. Admiral Rogers notified the FISC on 26th Oct 2016.
October 2016 is a very important month:
♦DOJ Deputy Attorney Bruce Ohr was “demoted” in the summer of 2017 after the Inspector General discovered unreported 2016 contacts between Ohr and Russian Dossier author Christopher Steele, as well as contact with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, in October 2016.
♦Also in October 2016 the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for the Trump FISA application; the head of the NSD, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. It would have specifically been John Carlin’s responsibility to ensure a valid legal basis for the FISA application submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
♦In October 2016 the NSA compliance officer completes a review and briefs Rogers of FISA(17) violations, email collection and phone surveillance. Rogers informs FISC – [FISA Court Ruling Link]
Now Look At This – October 2016: On Friday November 18th, 2016, The Washington Post reportedon a recommendation in “October” that Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position:
The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.
The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
[…] In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower. That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters. (link)
Important reminder. Remember, in 2015 Sally Yates blocked any inspector general oversight of the DOJ National Security Division (SEE Pdf HERE). The OIG, Michael Horowitz, requested oversight and it was Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58-page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.
There’s a pretty clear picture here.
Obama’s political operatives within the DOJ-NSD were using FISA 702(17) surveillance “about inquiries” that would deliver email and phone communication for U.S. people (Trump campaign). The NSD unit was working in coordination with the FBI Counterintelligence Unit (Peter Strzok etc.). In an effort to stop the activity NSA Director Mike Rogers initiated a full 702 compliance review. However, before the review was complete the DOJ-NSD had enough information for their unlawful FISA warrant which worked retroactively to make the prior FBI surveillance (began in July ’16 per James Comey) lawful. Rogers stopped the process on October 26th 2016. As a result of his not going along, Rogers became a risk; Clapper demanded he be fired.
Ten days after the election, November 17th 2016, Admiral Rogers travels to Trump Tower without telling ODNI James Clapper. Rogers likely informs President-elect Trump of the prior activity by the FBI and DOJ, including the probability that all of Trump Tower’s email and phone communication was being collected.
♦ On November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers went to see President-Elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower, New York. –SEE HERE– Director Rogers never told his boss DNI, James Clapper.
♦ On November 18th, 2016, the Trump Transition Team announced they were moving all transition activity to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. –SEE HERE– Where they interviewed and discussed the most sensitive positions to fill. Defense, State, CIA, ODNI.
It would appear Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is up to his eyeballs in this; though he denies participating. The FBI counterintelligence unit was monitoring Trump through FISA 702(17) upstream surveillance collected by a DOJ National Security Division that had no oversight.
The information the FBI collected, and the stuff Fusion GPS was creating via Christopher Steele, was used to create the Russian Narrative and also to manipulate the FISC into giving them a FISA warrant. ie. “The Insurance Policy”.
Ultimately, the people within all of these intercepts is what Devin Nunes discovered when he looked at the “unmasking requests” which were a result of those FISA 702(17) collections on Team Trump. That’s why Devin Nunes was so stunned at what he saw in February and March 2017.
This is why Chairman Devin Nunes is currently gathering evidence.
The House Intelligence Committee now has the bank records of Fusion-GPS. They were turned over Friday after a federal judge on Thursday shot-down a last-ditch effort by attorneys from Fusion to get an emergency injunction.
Chairman Devin Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee now have the records of payments made by Fusion-GPS to “journalists and media companies” during 2016 and early 2017 when Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby and Peter Fritsch were shopping the Christopher Steele ‘Russian dossier’ to enhance the “Insurance Policy”.
Perhaps we will find out which journalists and media companies were paid by Fusion-GPS. Perhaps those payments are part of the reason the media apparatus, writ large, made a concerted effort last week to distance the Steele Dossier from the origin of the FBI Counterintelligence operation against candidate Trump that began in July 2016.
Additionally, and I shall easily say ‘predictably‘, there’s been far less visible evidence of congressional or intelligence community leaks to the media. The Wolff book has provided a deafening cover for the media retreat; but the absence of IC leaks is also deafening. As we previously shared, this outcome was fully anticipated.
Most of the direct (“small group”) FBI (CoIntel), DOJ (NatSec Division) and Special Counsel co-conspirators are only able to talk amid themselves. They know by now they are being monitored and they have strong suspicion the size of the surveillance upon them. [Hi guys.] No-one else is willing to put themselves at risk now. Congressional allies now view the small group as carrying a legal ebola virus. Contact is now a risk.
All of the ‘Muh Russia’ co-conspirators, and the aggregate DC enablers, along with their media mouthpieces are nervous. The Wolff book noise is hiding a genuine trepidation that all of the scheming for the past 18+ months is about to come crashing down.
The larger American electorate have NO IDEA the scale and scope of the bigger storybehind the vast Russian conspiracy. The people involved are fully aware of the potential for their visible trail to become increasingly public.
The special FBI and DOJ unit that Rod Rosenstein put together, at the request of AG Jeff Sessions and DNI Dan Coats, is still hunting congressional and IC leak agents. Almost no-one in the media has discussed this ongoing reality, but their silence on the story doesn’t mean their behavior has not changed directly because of it.
WASHINGTON – […] Gaining access to Fusion GPS’s bank records marks yet another victory for the Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee, which earlier in the week secureddocuments and text messagesrelated to the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.
Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had pursued the information for months and threatened a contempt of Congress charge against both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray after they refused to turn over the information.
Two Republican senators earlier in the day Friday recommended that the Justice Department criminally investigate the author of the Trump dossier, which contains salacious and unverified claims about President Trump’s ties to Russia. Republicans are concerned the dossier may have been the impetus behind the federal inquiry looking into possible Russian collusion between that country and the Trump campaign.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a senior committee member, told the DOJ they believe Christopher Steele, the former British spy who helped put together the dossier, knowingly lied to federal authorities about his communications with U.S. journalists.
A lawyer for Fusion GPS lashed out at the senators, accusing them of making “another attempt to discredit government sources.” (read more)
All of these FBI personnel moves are a preliminary outcomes of the still ongoing Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation. All of this has been reported. None of these moves are speculative. All of these geese are cooked. However, this is just one side of the 2016 political “Trump operation”, the FBI investigative Counterintelligence Division side.
The other side, the legal side of the Trump operation, stems from the National Security Division of the DOJ. A FISA application is submitted from the DOJ-NSD for use by the FBI Counterintelligence team. Sunlight upon this side of the collaboration is the reason for all of the current distraction narratives.
The Department of Justice, National Security Division, FISC application(s) and the FISA 702(16)(17) wiretapping and surveillance collection, along with the unmasking that followed, is the focus of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. He is tackling the biggest scandal – OUTLINED HERE –
Sometime this month, after the initial Inspector General Michael Horowitz release, House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte and Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley will likely call for a Special Counsel to investigate the upper-level management of the FBI and DOJ.
We should support that approach. The SC can quickly put a Grand Jury together and start presenting the IG investigative evidence, as well as enforceable subpoenas for witnesses.
There’s a lot of different down-stream legal issues:
The unlawful exoneration of Hillary Clinton by political operatives in the DOJ/FBI.
The unlawful destruction of evidence; and the manipulation of investigative protocols to gain a specific and pre-planned political outcome. (Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe)
The unlawful use of the FISA court for political spy operations by the DOJ/FBI.
The unlawful use of the Dept of Justice National Security Division. For weaponized political benefit. (Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Bruce Ohr)
The unlawful use of the FBI Counterintelligence Division. For weaponized political benefit. (James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Baker)
The unlawful use of a Special Counsel (Mueller) investigation to hide the conspiracy; (James Baker, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Andrew Weissman, Jeannie Rhee, Aaron Zebley)
All of the origination details are part of the minutia that will surface in the next 30 days. Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte and Chuck Grassley using the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees to collect evidence and tell the public everything outlined HERE and more.
♦Release #2 outlined the depth of FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page’s specific history in the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton to include the changing of the wording [“grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”] of the probe outcome delivered by FBI Director James Comey.
♦Release #5 was the specific communication between FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page. The 10,000 text messages that included evidence of them both meeting with Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to discuss the “insurance policy” against candidate Donald Trump in August of 2016.
Byron York is reporting tonight the Big 8 in Congress (R and D leadership plus chairs and ranking members of House and Senate Intel committees have seen the DOJ FISA warrants. It’s in the national interest that this info be released to public.
– Paul Vallely, MG U.S. Army (ret.) January 10, 2018 From the Washington Examiner:
Byron York: Yes, Congress has seen Trump-Russia secret court surveillance documents. Now what?
by Byron York
January 10, 2018
Sources on both Capitol Hill and in the executive branch have confirmed that representatives of four committees — the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee — have had the opportunity to examine FISA documents in a secure room at the Justice Department. They were not allowed to take the documents out of the room or to copy them, but they could make notes. They thus know the answer to the was-the-dossier-used-for-spying question.
So what is the answer? For the moment, it’s classified. (Just for the record: I don’t know it.) There might be articles and commentary written on the assumption that the FBI did or did not use the dossier material with the FISA court, but right now it appears the information has not leaked, and those articles and commentary are based on assumptions rather than hard information.
The challenge for House and Senate investigators is to get the information to the public. One option is to ask the executive branch to declassify it. The problem is that simply getting the information out of the FBI and Justice Department has been like pulling teeth. Another option is to have the president himself declassify it. The problem is that it is probably a good idea for President Trump to stay out of a congressional investigative process that focuses on his campaign. Yet another option is for Congress to exercise its little-known authority to declassify. The problem is that it is a long and complicated process.
Maybe it would be better to just do an old-fashioned leak. The problem with that is that it would open the leaker to the legitimate charge of revealing classified information. Whether that happens could depend on how widely the information is disseminated inside Congress. The more members and staff who know, the more likely it will get out.
On June 27, 2017, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham wrote a letter to the FBI and Justice Department seeking “all proposed FISA applications that the FBI and Justice Department submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)” in the course of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. The request included “the FISC’s responses to such proposed FISA applications; all final, signed FISA applications that the FBI and the Justice Department submitted to the FISC; and the FISC’s responses to the final, signed applications.”
It’s not clear whether Grassley and Graham got everything they wanted. But it is clear that congressional investigators know some very critical facts regarding the dossier’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation, and it is time the public did, too.
“Fusion GPS Testimony Shows FBI Believed Dossier Without Verification”
by Kristina Wong
January 10, 2018
Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) may have tried to discredit Republican scrutiny of Fusion GPS and its dossier’s role in the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, but could have ended up justifying it instead.
Feinstein — against the wishes of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — on Tuesday morning released the full transcript of an interview in August with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to dig up dirt on Trump’s ties with Russia.
Trump critics immediately latched onto Simpson’s testimony that the FBI believed the dossier was credible because they had “other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source.”
“They believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization,” Simpson told the investigators.
Simpson said it was a “voluntary source” — someone who was concerned about the same concerns we had. “It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something.”
Notably, Simpson did not identify any other of the “pieces of intelligence” that the FBI might have had to back up the dossier.
However, shortly after the transcript was released, “a source close to Fusion GPS” told NBC News that Simpson was referring to an Australian diplomat, who had contacted the U.S. government after a night of “heavy drinking” with former low-level Trump foreign policy campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
The New York Times last month published a story that revealed the role of the Australian diplomat and appeared aimed at downplaying the salacious and unverified dossier’s role in the FBI’s decision to launch the investigation.
However, the Times‘ story also acknowledges that although a professor in London had told Papadopoulos, 28, that Russians had emails that would be embarrassing to Clinton, he did not appear to have shared that information with anyone on the Trump campaign.
The fact that the FBI believed the dossier was credible because of Papadopoulos — shows how little the FBI had to verify the dossier and its claims.
In addition, Simpson was asked whether he made any attempt to assess the credibility of Steele’s sources, which led to an odd exchange during the testimony where his lawyer jumped in and said Simpson could not comment out of concern that someone was killed because of the dossier.
Congressional investigators have zeroed in on dossier in recent months, to find out whether the FBI used it as part of the justification to launch their investigation, as well to obtain a surveillance warrant on another Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.
If the FBI indeed used the dossier as part of the justification to do either — it would raise questions over why an unverified political campaign document was used to investigate a presidential candidate and cast a cloud of suspicion that has continued to loom over his presidency.
Justice Department officials testified to the House intelligence committee in November, months after Simpson’s interview, that they could still not verify any of the dossier’s claims about collusion, according to the Washington Examiner.
Investigators have also uncovered evidence of deep animosity against Trump by some of the FBI officials assigned to the initial FBI probe into the Trump campaign and on the subsequent special counsel.
On Monday, there were new revelations that FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had texted messages to each other that suggested they were sources for news reports on the Russia investigation before the election.
Last week, Grassley and fellow committee member Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recommended a criminal investigation against Steele for lying to the FBI.
Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to distract from the issue of collusion and discredit the special counsel investigation.
SEAN HANNITY: I’m Hearing it was Either Jim Comey or Andrew McCabe who Paid for the Phony Dossier! (VIDEO)
by Jim Hoft
January 10, 2018
Sean Hannity tonight told his audience he heard either former FBI Director James Comey or FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe paid for the phony Trump dossier that was then used by US intelligence officials to spy on Trump.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released a semi-redacted transcript of testimony Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017. Simpson had called for release of the testimony in a New York Times op-ed proclaiming the importance of transparency. Simpson and other Fusion GPS principals have resisted invitations to testify from the committees investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. When faced with a subpoena, Simpson used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to negotiate for a closed-door interview in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The transcript of the testimony runs 312 pages. Feinstein excluded exhibits that were attached to the testimony and redacted highly relevant information about which FBI agents were working with Clinton-funded operatives to investigate the Trump campaign.
During the testimony, staff for Republican chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley alternated with staff for ranking member Feinstein, each group taking one hour at a time. The two followed different paths of questions. Republicans drilled down on Fusion GPS’s work for Russian company Prevezon Holdings before discussing the work on the Russia dossier. Democrats focused on the contents of the dossier before asking about other Russian contacts.
Fusion GPS is facing scrutiny about whether its work for Prevezon violated federal requirements to register as a foreign agent, whether people mentioned in the unverified and salacious dossier were defamed, and all sorts of unanswered questions about its work creating the dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
In his testimony, Simpson didn’t answer or carefully answered questions covering areas where he’s legally vulnerable while also defending the dossier product he commissioned. Here are key takeaways.
The Most Interesting Part Turned Out Not To Be True
While the testimony is full of details, far and away the most interesting revelation was Simpson’s claim that the FBI had a source within the Trump campaign. Simpson said that Christopher Steele, the freelance spy paid for dispatches about Trump, was told by an FBI official that they had a confidential informant in the Trump campaign. This “human source from inside the Trump organization” was acting in a “voluntary” manner. It was someone “who decided to pick up the phone and report something.”
Understandably, that was the big headline many media outlets put with their initial stories on the transcript, including USA Today: “Dossier author Christopher Steele told FBI had source inside Trump Org” and the Washington Post: “Ex-spy behind Trump dossier was told FBI had source inside network, testimony reveals.” The only problem is that it apparently is not true.
Ken Dilanian, the NBC reporter who frequently helps Fusion GPS disseminate stories for its clients, said that “a source close to Fusion GPS” had a correction to offer:
While Simpson used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to negotiate an interview that was not done under oath, it’s still a federal crime to give the committee false information. It is unclear if he corrected the false testimony with the committee or just worked through his collaborator Dilanian.
The Substance Of The Dossier Was Not Verified By Fusion GPS
Sometimes the dossier contained publicly known information, such as Carter Page’s trip to Moscow, or Vladimir Putin’s well-known dislike of Hillary Clinton. As for the salacious and substantive claims of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia, they remain salacious and unverified.
In their testimony on the Hill, various FBI officials have been unable or unwilling to cite anything that was verified from the dossier other than the Page trip or Russian animosity toward Clinton. The creator of the dossier himself told a British court that the information he collected was “unverified.” In his testimony, Simpson says his confidence in the dossier is based on his confidence in Steele, who he says has a history of providing good information.
He says that unlike actual evidence that can be introduced in a court of law, the gossip Steele provided is different. “So by its very nature the question of whether something is accurate isn’t really asked. The question that is asked generally is whether it’s credible,” he says. “You don’t really decide who’s telling the truth.”
When Simpson talks about having Sen. John McCain share the document with FBI leadership after the election, he still doesn’t know if it’s accurate, explaining, “we just wanted people in official positions to ascertain whether it was accurate or not.”
The Impetus For Going to the FBI Turned Out To Be Disinformation Or Misinformation
Another interesting tidbit from Simpson is that Steele contacted the FBI because of his belief that Russians had a compromising tape of Trump in a hotel room, referring to the dossier’s allegation that Trump had prostitutes urinate on a bed that President and Michelle Obama had slept on in the Ritz Carleton in Moscow. Amazingly, Simpson reveals this shortly after saying that Steele is a professional at knowing when he’s getting disinformation from a source. But not only is there no evidence that Russians have such a tape, or that such a tape would have any value against known perv Trump in any case, there’s substantial evidence that Steele was the victim of misinformation at best, if not disinformation.
The single most famous and salacious vignette from the dossier is this “golden shower” scene in the hotel room during a 2013 trip to Moscow. Yet this summer, President Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller told congressional investigators that on that trip someone offered to send five women to Trump’s hotel room. Schiller said he took it as a joke, and declined. He also testified that he told Trump about it when he escorted him back to his hotel room and that the two had a laugh. From this nugget of reality was spun a pornographic and difficult to believe scene of Trump using prostitutes to defile the Obama hotel bed.
The reality of the scene versus the unverified dossier’s version of events speaks to the credibility of everything that’s in the dossier. It also speaks to Steele’s ability to discern fact from fiction, and good intelligence from getting played. For that matter, it speaks to Simpson’s judgment about the quality of his researchers.
Yet when congressional investigators asked Simpson if Steele would know if he were being fed false information, Simpson is vehement. He says, “a trained intelligence officer can spot disinformation that you or I might not recognize, certainly that was Chris’s skill, and he honed in on this issue of blackmail as being a significant national security issue.”
The Dossier Author Was In a Relationship With The FBI
This has already been reported extensively, but Steele was sharing information with the FBI. As mentioned above, he immediately took the fantastical sex scene from his first dispatch to the FBI. Simpson details how that happened, asserting over and over that he had nothing to do with going to the FBI with the opposition research he was commissioned to produce for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He says that Steele said of the FBI, “they want everything I have.”
Simpson says that the FBI paid for Steele to travel to Rome to share the information, and that they talked about a further financial relationship that didn’t come to fruition. Simpson does reveal that the FBI was also sharing information with Steele. As mentioned in the first point above, the FBI told him they had a source who was corroborating their salacious allegations. It is unclear whether the FBI official was wittingly or unwittingly sharing FBI intelligence with someone being paid by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
Simpson also reveals that he told media outlets that the FBI and Steele were working together. He told congressional investigators that he viewed Steele’s chats with the FBI to be separate from the work he was hired to do by Clinton and the DNC. However, he did admit to highlighting the fact that Steele had interacted with the FBI when he was selling journalists on the dossier before the election.
It’s also worth noting that Congress was briefed on the contents of the dossier during the campaign by the FBI, not Steele or Fusion GPS. That’s according to a Fusion GPS-sourced story in September 2016 by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo! News. The relationship between the FBI and Steele, based on unverified information, was serious.
Russia Is Either Good Or Bad, Depending
Sometimes when Simpson is speaking about Russia, such as when discussing why he was investigating Trump’s ties there, he is unsparing. Simpsons says, “one of my interests or even obsessions over the last decade has been corruption in Russia and Russian kleptocracy and the police state that was there.” He says he’s well-versed on Putin’s consolidation of power.
But the other part of the testimony is about his work for Prevezon Holdings, a firm owned by the son of Pyotr Katsyv, a powerful Russian government official. It battled with the U.S. government over its handling of some of its money, settling a few months ago. Fusion GPS was tasked with digging up dirt on Bill Browder, a businessman who launched an international campaign for sanctions against Russia.
One of the key figures in the testimony is Natalia Veselnitskaya. She figures in both the questions about Prevezon, and the questions about the dossier. First, let’s look at how Simpson describes the infamous meeting Veselnitskaya had with members of the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in June. He first cites the dossier claim that Trump and his inner circle have “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his democratic and other political rivals.” Then he cites the Trump Tower meeting where Veselnitskaya was supposed to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton as proof of this:
So the issue with the Trump Tower meeting, as I understand it, is that the Trump people were eager to accept intelligence from a foreign government about their political rivals and that is, you know, I would say, a form of interference. If you’re getting help from a foreign government and your help is intelligence, then the foreign government’s interfering. I mean, you know, I think that also — of course, in retrospect we now know this was pretty right on target in terms on what [the dossier] says.
But when Simpson is talking about Prevezon, it’s entirely different. Asked about Veselnitskaya, Prevezon’s lawyer, he admits that she hired Baker Hostetler, which hired him. He acknowledges connecting Baker Hostetler with his former colleague Chris Cooper, who made a film to help fight the sanctions against Russia. He acknowledges meeting with all sorts of people who are lobbying to remove the sanctions against Russia. And he admits that his work was to find dirt on Browder, the man behind the sanctions against Russia. When asked if he understood who his work benefited, he says, “We did not believe that was being done on behalf of the Russian government.”
If Trump campaign officials meeting with Veselnitskaya was improper and treasonous, one wonders what working for Veselnitskaya is.
Despite Knowing Everyone At Trump Tower Meeting, Claims No Knowledge
In his testimony, Simpson says he had no idea that Veselnitskaya was going to meet with Trump, despite meeting with her both shortly before and shortly after the meeting. He tells investigators that some of Paul Manafort’s notes from the meeting “touch on things that I worked on” on behalf of Prevezon, but that he didn’t realize she was going to talk about it with them. And he acknowledges that he either worked with or knows of four attendees at the meeting: Irakle Kaveladze, Veselnitskaya, Rinat Akhmetshin, and Anatoli Samochornov. The last one also worked on the Prevezon case.
Simpson Misleads About Democratic Ties
In the lengthy testimony, Simpson skates in and out of privilege to share the content of the research he works on for clients. But when asked for specifics, or about the marketing of his work, he frequently declined to answer questions. He declined to answer dozens of questions, such as “Did you share that decision with anyone, that [Steele] was going to go to the FBI with this information?” and “Did Fusion disclose hard copies of the memoranda to any journalists?” and “Did Mr. Steele ever share with you who his sources were?”
At the time of his testimony, Fusion GPS was still fighting congressional requests to find out who paid for the opposition research on Trump. It turned out to be Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. His clients were literally the DNC and their nominee for president. Yet when asked if he had ties to Democrats, he denied it.
At a news briefing on August 1, 2017 White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Fusion GPS as a democratic linked firm. Is that an accurate description?…
I would not agree with that description.
I’ll add one more thing to the response to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which is her assertion that we are a Democrat linked opposition research firm. I think I addressed this earlier, but to be clear, we don’t have a business of — we’re not an appendage to the Democratic party.
Fusion Pushed Dossier During Campaign
One of the things that has helped Fusion GPS escape scrutiny or tough stories is the role they play in supplying stories to reporters around town. Simpson’s testimony frequently characterizes the relationship as if reporters come to him seeking information that he then shares. But asked if Fusion GPS’s business involves getting media outlets to publish stories, he says it is.
Some people believed that since the dossier was not published until January 2017, it was not used during the campaign. Simpsons says otherwise. He says part of the purpose of being hired for opposition research was to share information with journalists. He says, “some of it was gathered for the possibility that it might be useful to the press.”
And he says he did share it with the press. “I had spoken with reporters over the course of the summer and through the fall about the investigations by the government and the controversy over connections between — alleged connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Some of what we discussed was informed by Chris’s reporting.”
Simpson discusses briefing reporters from The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and others in both September and October of 2016. Simpson says the FBI was displeased with the chats with the media. “I remember Chris saying at some point that they were upset with media coverage of some of the issues that he had discussed with him.”
Simpson says he was deeply concerned by FBI Director James Comey’s letter announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. He says he had been asking reporters or encouraging reporters to ask the FBI about whether they were investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. It backfired.
On October 31, The New York Times published its report saying the FBI had found no problematic ties between Trump and Russia. “[I]t was a real Halloween special,” he said. Court filings say Steele briefed a reporter from Mother Jones on the contents of the dossier in late October. Late in the evening of October 31, David Corn published a piece at Mother Jones titled: “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump: Has the bureau investigated this material?”
Simpson also says Steele severed his relationship with the FBI at that point, “out of concern that he didn’t know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on.”
He also says Steele told him the FBI “mentioned that they didn’t like media coverage, that there was media coverage of, you know, FBI interest in Donald Trump. I don’t know what it was that they didn’t like.”
What Was Feinstein Thinking?
The testimony included interesting information about the dossier and the FBI’s handling of it. (As well as a claim someone had been killed over the dossier!) Despite Simpson’s refusal to answer many questions, it helps explain how opposition research gets into the mainstream media. And transparency is always nice.
But for a committee that had worked fairly well in a bipartisan manner, Feinstein’s decision to unilaterally release testimony against the wishes of the majority in the middle of an ongoing investigation was a curious one.
She may have been upset with her colleagues Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for not consulting her before making a criminal referral for Steele on the basis of false statements to federal authorities. But the committee still has to interview Jared Kushner, who may now consult Simpson’s testimony. If committees are simply deciding to be more transparent, the House faced a request to declassify information related to the dossier’s use by the FBI.
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway
National Security Agency head Admiral Mike Rogers is retiring in the spring, he reportedly told staffers in a “classified memo” Friday.
The memo has since leaked to NPR and Politico, among others. It’s a fitting end to Rogers’s four-year tenure at the NSA, which was marked by high-profile intelligence leaks and his efforts to prevent them.
Brought on in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s bombshell NSA leaks, Rogers was tasked with making sure nothing of the sort ever happened again. But he wasn’t successful.
Rogers later ran afoul of the Obama administration in the waning days of 2016 when he met with then-president-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. The Washington Post reported at the time that Obama administration officials were lobbying the president to dismiss Rogers over the “unprecedented” move. He held on to his job though, which includes running the U.S. Cyber Command in addition to overseeing the NSA.
The NSA has been steadily shedding staff ever since the agency introduced draconian internal rules to stop potential new Snowden-inspired whistleblowers, former NSA technical director William Binney told RT.
“The NSA has launched an internal program called ‘See something, say something,’” Binney, said, further explaining that the new internal code of conduct encourages agency employees to actually spy not only on their targets, but also on their fellow colleagues. The aim of this new measures were to prevent employees from becoming “another Edward Snowden,” he said.
However, the new draconian rules actually backfired as employees started leaving the agency in droves, with few people willing to fill the vacant posts. The new rules “create a very hostile, bad working environment,” Binney said. He added that the extreme precautionary measures taken by the NSA to prevent internal leaks after Snowden’s move “destroyed the moral of people doing work there.”
This new system also created a situation, in which some employees could exploit the new directives to settle old scores with their colleagues, the former NSA technical director said. Everyone, who “had a grudge” or was waging “a personal vendetta” against another employee could just “go and say something about their colleagues without giving their [own] names, report them for something just to get them into trouble.”
This new system is, however, not the only factor that has influenced the workforce exodus. Many NSA employees were also uncomfortable with NSA policies in general, as it involved “spying on US citizens and spying on everyone on the planet,” Binney pointed out. Heavy workload was another reason to quit, he said, adding, that the employees sometimes complained they just “could not figure the things out” or because they had too much data to analyze.
And as the NSA gets increasingly entangled into the anti-Russian witch hunt, which Binney described as a “fake Russia-gate thing,” public distrust towards the agency continues to grow. He went on to say the NSA continues to discredit itself with its political bias and “corruption.”
The former NSA technical director-turned whistleblower also said the agency was not visibly “succeeding in stopping terrorism in any way” but was increasingly “engaging in illegal activities” and “violating the US constitution.”
FISA court finds NSA violated search restrictions, spied on Americans.
Published May 25, 2017
Intelligence agencies under former President Barack Obama routinely violated privacy rights, conducted illegal searches and gathered information on US citizens, according to a FISA court that called their conduct “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
Earlier this month, the Director of National Intelligence released a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that found illegal searches of American citizens conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) may have violated privacy rights. The court order came from a hearing on October 26, just before former President Barack Obama left office.
Under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the intelligence community is authorized to target the communications of non-citizens located outside the US for foreign intelligence purposes. However, the agency is supposed to be kept in check by multiple layers of oversight.
In 2011, the court placed further restricted on the NSA by instating minimization procedures that prohibit the agency from targeting American citizens in their searches.
The recent court order revealed that NSA analysts had been conducting searches of American citizens that violate the minimization procedures “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”
In their 2016 hearing, the court said the NSA’s violations amounted to “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
The court found “significant” changes in the way the NSA intercepted communications, especially pertaining to their “upstream collection” – data the agency gathers from internet traffic as it flows through major telecommunications hubs. The NSA searches that traffic for “selectors,” such as a specific email addresses or keywords.
Along with other data, the NSA also gathered so-called “Multiple Communication Transactions” (MCT), which consists of several communications bundled together. MCTs were at the heart of the NSA’s illegal collection from 2008 to 2011.
The MCTs began to collect communications that were to, from or even contained a reference to a selector, known as “about” information.
“As a result, upstream collection could acquire an entire MCT for which the active user was a non-target and that mostly pertained to non-targets, merely because a single discrete communication within the MCT was from or contained a reference to a tasked selector,” the court said.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) told Fox News that the NSA’s searches of “about” information are really a “backdoor way to sort of get at Americans’ privacy without using a warrant.”
Just after the court order was released, the NSA issued a statement that claimed the agency would stop collecting communications that contained references to a foreign intelligence selector.
“NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target,” the agency said in a statement. “Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.
The NSA also promised it would “delete the vast majority of its upstream internet data to further protect the privacy of US person communications.”
The National Security Agency (NSA) collected more than 151 million phone records last year despite a 2015 measure designed to curb the agency’s ability to do so, according to a report released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The NSA collected the records even though it had only obtained warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for 42 terrorism suspects in 2016.
The 151 million records do not represent the actual number of people who had their phone data collected because it includes multiple calls made to the same phone number.
Tuesday’s report on data collection is the first since Congress passed the USA Freedom Act in 2015, which sought to limit the NSA’s phone records collections to individuals suspected of having ties to terrorism.
Congress is set to consider reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the NSA to collect information on foreign persons located abroad. But critics of the law argue that it can be used to surveil U.S. citizens without a warrant.
President Trump has accused the Obama administration of wiretapping his presidential campaign last year, and he has also said that former national security adviser Susan Rice may have committed a crime by requesting the identities of Trump aides caught up in surveillance of foreign targets.
Rice has denied any wrongdoing, saying in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria over the weekend that she never did anything “untoward” with the intelligence she received.
So far, congressional investigators have not seen evidence supporting Trump’s wiretapping claim.
From The Washington Times:
“Draining the national security swamp
Political bias across the government bears the fingerprints of the deep state”
By William Graham and Peter Vincent Pry – – Tuesday, January 9, 2018
One year into President Trump’s tenure, anti-Trump political bias in the FBI and Department of Justice is now so obvious that objective observers should fear for the future of our constitutional republic from the “deep state.”
Frighteningly, the deep state has been exposed as a real thing, with names and faces. Senior officials in FBI and DOJ are conspiring with the national liberal media and allies in Congress to delegitimize, criminalize and ultimately unseat a legitimately elected president.
Yet there is an even graver threat to the American people and the very existence of the United States.
Deep Staters dominating bureaucracies within the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and intelligence community, are undermining national security policies Mr. Trump was elected to implement.
The deep state thinks it knows better than Mr. Trump and the voters. They would “stay the course” on failed policies that are now reaching the point of crisis with North Korea, Russia, China, and Iran.
Mr. Trump’s national security administration so far comprises only a thin veneer of senior officials in DOD, DHS, DOS, and the intelligence community. Beneath relatively few Trump appointees are thousands of officials and the permanent bureaucracy inherited from the Obama and Clinton administrations.
One great mistake of President George W. Bush was failure to purge his administration of Clinton appointees, many of whom wormed into the permanent bureaucracy. Since President Clinton’s administration, the federal bureaucracy, including national security departments and agencies, has moved steadily leftward, pausing under the second President Bush, but rapidly accelerating hard-left during President Obama’s 8 years.
Today’s deep state, hostile to Mr. Trump, Republicans and conservative policies generally, has been in the making a quarter-century, or more. The left that so hated “the establishment” in the 1960s has today become “the establishment” in the government, media, and universities.
Today, “anti-establishment” enemies of the deep state are Reaganites, conservatives, and independent thinkers who have for years been exiled from government for “political incorrectness.” Our hope is that Mr. Trump, as the people’s “politically incorrect” and “anti-establishment” champion, would resume the Reagan Revolution to restore ideological balance and common sense to at least the national security establishment.
Alas, Mr. Trump’s administration is still largely manned by deep state Obama-Clinton apparatchiks hostile to his “America First” worldview and “Peace Through Strength” agenda.
The national security deep state is not only hostile to Mr. Trump — they are dangerously incompetent:
The Intelligence Community (which also wrongly claims Russia rigged elections favoring Mr. Trump) grossly underestimated North Korea’s ICBM capabilities and proximity to the H-Bomb. Yet former Reagan administration officials and independent experts have warned for years the intelligence community is underestimating North Korea’s nuclear missile threat.
Washington’s foreign policy establishment continues to seek denuclearization of North Koreathrough China, even though evidence is overwhelming that China and Russia helped build the North Korean nuclear threat to advance their geostrategic interests.
Even many Republicans mistakenly accept as gospel the narrative of the Department of State and intelligence community “professionals” that Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal stopped Iran from getting the bomb. Yet there is compelling evidence, ignored by the deep state, that Iran has already clandestinely developed nuclear weapons, as North Koreadid in 1994.
We have first-hand experience working inside government for the Congressional EMP Commission during Mr. Trump’s first year.
Dangerously, the national security deep state is undermining protection of the nation’s electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures from electromagnetic pulse (EMP), contrary to the president’s election promise in the Republican National Committee Platform and his recent National Security Strategy:
The Obama administration’s classified Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee report on EMP continues to inform White House and dominate DHS policy, even though the EMP Commission found the JAEIC report to be the worst and most erroneous study of EMP ever produced.
Sen. Ron Johnson’s excellent Critical Infrastructure Protection Act required DHS to report to Congressin December 2017 on a strategic plan to protect the nation from EMP. Yet this requirement was ignored for nearly a year. A DHS EMP Task Force formed only a few months ago. It excludes those analysts most expert on EMP, refused briefings from the EMP Commission, and is proposing to use for the baseline EMP threat the discredited JAEIC report.
The Obama administration’s “do nothing” policy on EMP continues at the Department of Energy where the Office of Electric Reliability plans to spend millions endlessly studying EMP in collaboration with the national labs and the electric power industry. Yet these studies are unnecessary. DOD has all the data needed to protect the national grid now, but has ignored the EMP Commission’s recommendation to share EMP data.
Obama-holdovers in DOD slow-rolled and sabotaged the EMP Commission, hoodwinking Congressinto terminating the EMP Commission in September 2017. That same month North Koreasuccessfully tested an H-Bomb they describe as capable of “super-powerful EMP attack” and released a report accurately describing a Super-EMP nuclear weapon.
Mr. President, drain the national security swamp.
William Graham was chairman of the congressional EMP Commission, White House science advisor to President Reagan and director of NASA. Peter Vincent Pry was EMP Commission chief of staff and served in the House Armed Services Committee and the CIA.