“On September 1, 2020, journalist Sarah Carter broke a story based on confidential sources that in a briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the FBI and Department of Justice informed the committee that the “Woods File” for the Carter Page FISA application had been somehow “lost” at some unknown point in time. She reported that the Committee was told that the contents of the file had been “recreated” by the Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel office by “reverse engineering” — my words — through examining the application and determining what factual allegations would have required supporting documentation normally contained in a “Woods File”.
(…) Where to begin?
How about with the “disappearance” of an electronic file in a system where nothing disappears. The Woods File is a subfile in the investigation’s case file. It is created by the Case Agent by scanning in the documentary sources used as the basis to make a factual allegation in the affidavit.
The purpose of having the file is so that when third parties — supervisors, subsequent case agents, other agencies — who review the affidavit and have questions about a particular allegation, they can go to the Woods File and find the specific documents from which the allegation was sourced. The file is not intended to “prove” the allegation true — only that the allegation has a source, and what that source is.
A question that has never received enough scrutiny is the role of the Special Counsel’s office in seeking the third extension of the Page FISA warrant. That extension was requested on June 29, 2017. That is six weeks after Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, and responsibility for Crossfire Hurricane was transferred to the Special Counsel’s Office.
(…) How does the Woods File — stored electronically in the FBI’s Sentinel database — get “lost”? And at what point in time did the SCO decide it was necessary to “reconstruct” a replacement Woods File by reverse engineering it through analyzing the applications to determine the specific factual allegations needed source documentation — other than the Steele Memos — in order to justify their inclusion in the third application to extend.
Was the ACTUAL Woods File so lacking — or so dependent on the allegations of the Steele Memos — that someone in the SCO realized it was a “ticking time bomb” waiting to be uncovered once an authorized investigator was given the responsibility to sort things out?
We learn on page 220 of the IG Report that when time arrived for the third application, there were already concerns among the FBI personnel involved that the FISA warrant was “going dark” — it was yielding little of value in May and June 2017. In addition, Carter Page had been interviewed multiple times at that point, telling Agents who did the interview that he suspected he was under surveillance. Yet “Case Agent 6” and “Supervisory Special Agent 5” decided to proceed with the third extension according to the IG Report at page. 220.” (Read more: RedState, 9/04/2020) (Archive)