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June 14, 2018

DoJ OIG Final Report – FBI & DoJ Interference in 2016 Election

06-14-2018 OIG Report CoverThe long-awaited US Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General’s report concerning the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference in the 2016 election was released Jkune 14, 2018.  Here is a link to the 568-page (some pages blank) report.

I’m sure some readers will disagree with my characterization “the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference.”  Read the report and come to your own conclusions.  My opinion, a conclusion, is that they interfered, and that inteference seems to be continuing even now by the FBI’s and DoJ’s unlawfully withholding information Congress needs to perform its Constitutionally-required oversight.

Spontaneous statements can be valid indicators of state of mind.

The text messages between two high-up FBI employees, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, were spontaneous, not scripted.  One (see page 402 headed August 8, 2016) that was particularly chilling.  It read:

“In a text message on August 7, 2016, Page stated, “[Trump’s not ever going to become president, right?  Right?!”  Strzok responded, “No.  No he’s not.  We’ll stop it.” [emphasis mine]

Keep in mind that Peter Strzok was not some hump brick agent — he is an FBI Deputy Assistant Director.  Lisa Page was the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.   It’s fair to wonder just how far they would be willing to go to stop Donald J. Trump from being elected President.

And yet in a press conference Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated what was asserted in the report:  There was nothing in the FBI’s conduct of the investigation that indicated political bias.   (more…)

May 25, 2018

House Conservatives Call for Another Special Counsel

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:10 pm

House of Reps logoSeveral members of the US House of Representatives introduced a House Resolution today calling for the appointment of a second Special Counsel to look into alleged wrongdoing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its parent department, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Specifically, the resolution calls on the Attorney General of the United States to, “…appoint a Special Counsel to investigate misconduct at the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, including an investigation of abuse of the FISA warrant process, how and why the Hillary Clinton probe ended, and how and why the Donald Trump-Russia probe began.”

Today’s House Resolution, even if passed, will have no effect in law but is only an expression of opinion or intention.  Its 57 recitals form a useful synopsis of the reasons offered by the Resolution’s signers to support the appointment of another Special Counsel.

(ADDENDUM/UPDATE:  The original post on 05-21-2018 included the unsigned draft of the resolution.  Today’s update replaces that draft with the resolution formally introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary  today including the names of all sponsors.)

May 20, 2018

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 11:39 am

COSI-TopSecret-Today’s Washington Times online is running an article headlined  Top Democrat deems claims Trump campaign was spied on ‘nonsense’.

Sadly, even with mounting evidence to the contrary, there are people who refuse to believe that employees of the FBI and DoJ, acting under color of law, would spy illegally on political organizations.  History proves their disbelief to be misplaced.

Google COINTELPRO

Even the FBI’s own website acknowledges that COINTELPRO “…was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.”

The aphorism in the title of my post is most often attributed to George Santayana.

May 18, 2018

‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Left J Warren-Commission-Composite-NYTWhen I read The Sulzberger Slimes online article headlined Code Name Crossfire Hurricane:  The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation on Wednesday, my first reaction to this 3800+ word piece was:   Somebody at Main Justice got a preview of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s long-overdue report regarding the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, called up their favorite Slimes stenographer, and planted a pre-emptive fluff story out ahead of an expected ‘Bad Moon Rising’.

Later in the same day I learned that the Department of Justice Inspector General had finished his long-awaited report of the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.  The draft report has not yet been released publicly, but it has been (or will be by COB Friday) made available to multiple subjects of the report for their review.

Judging from the nervous tics suddenly afflicting the Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac swamp rats in the respective Mahogany Rows at Main Justice and the FBI, John Fogerty* may have been foretelling some more career ending moves when he wrote:

Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Two other writers have prepared read-worthy articles for their respective online publications.  These two articles are decent counterpoints to the Slimes’ effort to soften the blows expected to be inflicted by the DoJ IG’s report.

Mollie Hemingway has written 10 Key Takeaways from The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense of FBI Spying on Trump Campaign.  It was published online in The Federalist on May 17, 2018.

Andrew McCarthy has written Spinning a Crossfire Hurricane:  The Times on the FBI’s Trump Investigation.  His article was published online in National Review on May 17, 2018.   (more…)

May 11, 2018

Just Who Is Our Enemy Here?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:05 pm

COSI-TopSecret-If you haven’t yet read Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel’s column posted on May 10, 2018, please take the time to read it.  It was entitled About That FBI ‘Source’.

Strassel asserts that Rosenstein and the US Department of Justice are stonewalling the House Intelligence Committee’s most recent subpoena because, “… the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.”

Strassel’s column implies that the FBI inserted  a highly-placed human intelligence source or recruited one already inside the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.  She also says, “… we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe.” [emphasis mine]  In other words, she suggests the FBI was running an intelligence collection operation inside the Trump campaign.

Assuming Strassel and her competitors at the Washington Post have the straight scoop, it raises a few  questions.

  • Was the Trump Campaign the only presidential campaign targeted or were other presidential candidate campaigns targeted as well?  If so, which ones?
  • Who made the final decision to allow the FBI to run a collection operation inside the Trump campaign?  Who had the authority to okay ‘a top secret intelligence source of the FBI and CIA’ to collect information about or exert influence on a candidate or nominee for President of the United States?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ a human being or technical device(s) or combination of both?
  • Who or what was the actual target of the collection operation?  If it was only for collection, what were the essential elements of information sought?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA an information collector or was s/he an agent of influence (or both)?
  • Who was the human source’s handler/case officer?  To whom did the ‘top secret intelligence source’ report?
  • When?
    • When was this operation first proposed and by whom?
    • When was the operation finally approved?
    • When did the operation launch?
    • When will Congress subpoena the Case Officer’s contact reports and source?
    • If the operation began and continued after Trump had officially become the Republican nominee and was therefore receiving national security briefings, when was the Secret Service notified of this operation as it should have been?
    • When did this operation end (assuming it has!)?
    • When was candidate/nominee/President Trump first notified of this operation and by whom?
  • Was the collection operation limited to personal observations and recollections of the ‘top secret intelligence source’ or was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ allowed or directed to spot, assess, and recruit other human sources within the Trump campaign?

The actions of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to resist the HPSCI’s subpoenas only adds to the plausibility of the Washington Post’s and Wall Street Journal’s articles.  President Trump can if he chooses declassify everything DoJ and the CIA have on this matter.  Whether he should or not must be based on legitimate national security considerations, not political expedience or advantage.

April 27, 2018

Final HPSCI Report – Russian Interference in 2016 Election

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:32 am

HRPT-115-1 Cover

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has just publicly released its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Here is a link to the redacted report entitled Report on Russian Active Measures.

ADDENDUM:   04-28-2018 – Here is a link to the 96-page Minority Views commentary about the HPSCI final report linked above.

February 24, 2018

Schiff (HPSCI) Memo Released Today

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 2:13 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceToday the Democrat Minority on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released its own version of events concerning the FBI’s alleged misuse of a FISA warrant to intercept Trump campaign conversations.  Here is a link to the 10-page memorandum released today.

The Republican Majority on the HPSCI released its version of events in a memorandum on February 2, 2018.  Our OpenCdA post on February 2, 2018, entitled Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released includes a link to the Republicans’ memorandum.

As you would expect, the Democrats and Republicans have differing accounts of how the FBI obtained the FISA warrant and renewals to intercept Carter Page.

The best information about the representations made to the FISA Court by the FBI would be in the applications and supporting documentation and, if available, transcripts of those FISA Court hearings.  That information is being sought by Judicial Watch in the lawsuit cited and linked in my February 2, 2018, post Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released.  It is likely that the House Committee on the Judiciary would also be interested in reviewing the FISA applications material.

February 16, 2018

Special Counsel Issues Indictment of Russians – 2016 Election Interference

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 12:10 pm

svr logo|

On Friday, February 16, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a federal grand jury indictment naming 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies as defendants.  The indictment alleges the defendants interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Here is a link to the 37-page indictment issued today.

The indictment itself is a far more reliable and complete information source than the news media for the details of when, how, and by whom the offenses against the United States were allegedly committed.

 

February 13, 2018

Appoint a Presidential Commission

Warren Commission Composite NYTWith  American citizens finally becoming more aware of  the scope and gravity of the institutional corruption involved in and around the 2016 election, members of Congress are receiving increasing demands to appoint another Special Counsel.

As I opined in my OpenCdA post on January 12, 2018, entitled So It Never Happens Again …,  merely appointing yet another Special Counsel to look into the allegations of apparent criminal wrongdoing associated with the 2016 national general election would be an incomplete approach.

I don’t dispute there are grounds for such a Special Counsel.  However, I believe the job of rehabilitating corrupted and crippled agencies whose missions are critically important to the national security is too much for a Special Counsel.

Before you conclude I’m overstating the scope of work required for rehabilitation, consider this:

Credible evidence released by diligent House and Senate committees has provided solid reasons to believe that the following government bodies have some involvement either as alleged violators or as victims in the numerous and various statutory and administrative rule violations:

  • Central Intelligence Agency (alleged violator)
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) (victim)
  • Department of Justice (alleged violator)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (alleged violator)
  • Department of State (alleged violator)
  • Federal Election Commission (victim)
  • Former President Obama and his Executive Office of the President (alleged violator)
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (victim)
  • Internal Revenue Service (alleged violator)
  • National Security Agency (alleged violator)
  • US Congress (victim)

Very arguably the most important objective of  rehabilitation has to be to restore the public’s confidence in our federal agencies to perform their duties honestly and diligently.  (Lest we forget, the honest and diligent employees of all the alleged violator agencies are ‘the public,’ too.)  Thus far, the Mueller Special Counsel effort has produced  little or nothing to accomplish that objective.

There is another objective that no Special Counsel will have the courage to touch:  An open and frank discussion of the miserable failure of our First Amendment-protected news media to provide timely, accurate, and complete reporting of verified information (not opinion) to We, the People.

That discussion must include but not start with the performance of reporters or editors or news directors.  It must start with media owners’ lack of understanding the importance of timely, accurate, complete news reporting.  Then these owners must be questioned about their lack of commitment to that same reporting.

In part the failures of federal agencies have apparently been aided and abetted by the First Amendment-protected news media’s decisions to ignore or under-report those failures.   The media owe We, the People, some answers for their seemingly aiding and abetting alleged crimes that have been committed against all the people of the United States.

If the public’s confidence in the integrity of some critical agencies and their employees is to be restored, we need a Presidential Commission with far more horsepower, moral courage, and integrity than we are likely to ever see from another Special Counsel like Robert Mueller.

February 9, 2018

It’s Called ‘Sanitizing’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:23 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceToday the President determined that the Democrat response to the Republican HPSCI memo could not be properly declassified and released to the public as written.

The letter from White House Counsel Don McGahn to the HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes was released today.   The unclassified letter offered the Executive Branch’s assistance to the HPSCI Minority in making revisions which would allow public release of the minority’s memo.

The process of rewording classified information to permit the information to be released to the public is called “sanitizing.”

Sanitizing is a very common practice,  and when done honestly and diligently by knowledgeable, skillful writers, their desired message can be conveyed without revealing sensitive national security information.

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