Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier

December 20, 2019 – FISA Court Owes Some Answers

Kimberly Strassel

“Federal Bureau of Investigation for “misconduct” in the Carter Page surveillance warrant. Some would call this accountability. Others will more rightly call it the FISC’s “shocked to find gambling” moment.

Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her four-page rebuke of the FBI Tuesday, after a Justice Department inspector general report publicly exposing the FBI’s abuses. The judge blasted the FBI for misleading the court by providing “unsupported or contradicted” information and by withholding exculpatory details about Mr. Page. The FISC noted the seriousness of the conduct and gave the FBI until Jan. 10 to explain how it will do better.

The order depicts a court stunned to discover that the FBI failed in its “duty of candor,” and angry it was duped. That’s disingenuous. To buy it, you’d have to believe that not one of the court’s 11 members—all federal judges—caught a whiff of this controversy until now. More importantly, you’d have to ignore that the court was directly informed of the FBI’s abuses nearly two years ago.

On Feb. 7, 2018, Devin Nunes, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Judge Collyer informing her of its findings in his probe of the FBI’s Page application. He wrote that “the Committee found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information” that went to the court, “misled the FISC regarding dissemination of this information,” and “failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.” Mr. Nunes asked the court whether any transcripts of FISC hearings about this application existed, and if so, to provide them to the committee.

Judge Collyer responded a week later, with a dismissive letter that addressed only the last request. The judge observed that any such transcripts would be classified, that the court doesn’t maintain a “systematic record” of proceedings and that, given “separation of power considerations,” Mr. Nunes would be better off asking the Justice Department. The letter makes no reference to the Intelligence Committee findings. (Read more: The Wall Street Journal, 12/20/2019)  (Archive)

December 20, 2019 – The FISA court does not call for a review of all FBI FISA deceptions

Submitted to Zero Hedge by Twitter journalist Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog)

“This week, Presiding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) Judge Rosemary Collyer, released two stern Orders taking the FBI to task for its repeated failures, omissions, and misrepresentations in its application and subsequent renewals to surveil Carter Page.

And while one FBI employee has received a criminal referral for doctoring evidence in the scheme to defraud the court, key players with oversight responsibilities – under penalty of perjury – have been given a pass.

(…) While it’s laudable that Judge Collyer has ordered the government to double-check their submissions in the prior FISA applications that involved Clinesmith, what about the previous FISA applications verified by the FBI agents who lied – under penalty of perjury, we might add – in the Carter Page applications and renewals?

In other words, whether an FBI lawyer changes an e-mail about a target’s history of cooperation with the CIA or an FBI agent lies about the underlying intelligence, the goal is the same: secure the warrant through deception. Both these acts are criminal. Why is only one deserving of review?

Related: A Techno_Fog thread on Joe Pientka, and the FBI’s efforts to keep him out of the spotlight (click a tweet to read the rest):

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 12/22/2019)  (Archive)

December 20, 2019 – Adam Schiff says he has no sympathy for Carter Page, doesn’t regret writing memo defending FBI

Adam Schiff appears on PBS Firing Line with Margaret Hoover on December 20, 2019. (Credit: PBS clipping)

“Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview aired Friday that he has no sympathy for Carter Page and that he also has no regrets about writing in a memo released in 2018 that the FBI did not abuse the foreign surveillance process in order to spy on the former Trump campaign aide.

Schiff offered the remarks when asked in a PBS interview about the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report, which found the FBI withheld exculpatory information in applications seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page.

(…) “I have to say Carter Page came before our committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony,” said Schiff.

“It’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath. It’s also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin.”

The report stated the FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, which asserted Page was a Russian agent. But the IG found the FBI was unable to corroborate any of the dossier’s allegations about Page. The report also said a major source for dossier author Christopher Steele told the FBI in January 2017 that parts of the dossier were exaggerated and misrepresented.

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/21/2019)  (Archive)

UPDATE: Carter Page tweets a response to Adam Schiff the following day:

December 9, 2019 – The DOJ IG report misses yet another lie from the FBI

“Left-leaning politicians and the press spent more than three years pushing the Russia collusion hoax. Yet, following the inspector general’s release of his 478-page report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse, after making quick mention of the top-line findings, the media moved on. As a result, much has been missed, including one significant misrepresentation contained in all four of the Carter Page FISA applications—an inaccuracy even the IG’s team overlooked.

Two passages, separated by more than 50 pages, when read together reveal an eighth significant inaccuracy and omission from the first FISA application, and one repeated in the later three renewals: Steele’s sources and sub-sources were not ones he used or developed during his time with the British intelligence service MI6, contrary to the impression created in the FISA applications.

This detail was dropped in a footnote in the IG report, following this text: “Steele told us he had a source network in place with a proven ‘track record’ that could deliver on Fusion GPS’s requirements. Steele added that this source network previously had furnished intelligence on Russian interference in European affairs.”

The relevant footnote, footnote 214, then read: “Steele told us that this source network did not involve sources from his time as a [redacted] and was developed entirely in the period after he retired from government service.” The redacted language undoubtedly referred to Steele’s British intelligence work.

That Steele’s “source network did not involve sources from his time” with British intelligence proves extremely significant when considered in tandem with the details the IG provided about the FISA application process in general, and the specifics of the Page FISA applications.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report writes McCabe pushed the “Golden Showers” hoax and Comey approved its inclusion in the intel report

(Credit: Aaron Klein/Breitbart)

“An email proves disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey personally approved an FBI effort to have the wild and unsubstantiated “golden showers” claim about President Trump included in the material to be considered for publication in the U.S. Intelligence Community’s official report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Comey email, which has not received media attention until now, was revealed inside the Justice Department’s recently released 476-page Inspector General report on the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation.

The IG report further discloses a separate email in which Andrew McCabe, who served under Comey as the FBI’s deputy director, specifically wanted dossier author Christopher Steele’s unverified “pee” charges against Trump to be included in the body of the January 6, 2017, U.S. Intelligence Community report, known as the ICA, assessing alleged Russian interference efforts.

McCabe opposed a CIA compromise to only reference Steele’s controversial dossier in an appendix of the ICA report, with McCabe arguing for it to be included in the body of the report where it would clearly get more attention.

(…) In an email to Strzok, McCabe and others, Comey described a phone call he had with then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, writing that he told Clapper to include the Steele reports.

“Looks okay to me,” Comey wrote, approving of the FBI submission that encompassed Steele’s dossier charges.

Comey’s email continued:

FYI: During a secure call last night on this general topic, I informed the DNI that we would be contributing the [Steele] reporting (although I didn’t use that name) to the IC [Intelligence Community] effort. I stressed that we were proceeding cautiously to understand and attempt to verify the reporting as best we can, but we thought it important to bring it forward to the IC effort.

Comey went on to document that he vouched for Steele’s so-called sources while admitting that he didn’t tell Clapper about FBI efforts to verify the claims. The FBI at the time could not verify the charges.

Comey wrote:

I told him the source of the material, which included salacious material about the President-Elect, was a former [REDACTED] who appears to be a credible person with a source and sub-source network in position to report on such things, but we could not vouch for the material. (I said nothing further about the source or our efforts to verify).”

(Read more: Breitbart, 1/12/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report reveals Baker, Comey, Strzok and Bruce Ohr contradictions

(…) “For instance, according to the IG report, Baker said “he obtained more information regarding Ohr’s interactions with Steele during a Crossfire Hurricane leadership meeting with Comey and McCabe in spring 2017.” Baker further stated that “he learned that Ohr was providing to the FBI information that Ohr had received from Steele,” and, in Baker’s view, “this [was] not good.”

But Comey told the IG “he had no knowledge of Ohr’s communications with members of the Crossfire Hurricane investigative team and only discovered Ohr’s association with Steele and the Crossfire Hurricane investigation when the media reported on it.” Comey’s claims, though, conflicted with both Baker’s statements, and “notes taken by Strzok during a November 23, 2016 Crossfire Hurricane update meeting” that Comey attended.

Those notes referenced “a discussion at the meeting concerning ‘strategy for engagement [with Handling Agent 1] and Ohr’ regarding Steele’s reporting.” Strzok also told the IG that “he believed he informed FBI leadership that Ohr approached the FBI concerning his relationship with Steele and that Ohr relayed Steele’s information regarding Russia to the team.”

However, as the IG report explained, “because Strzok’s notes of the meeting were classified at the time we interviewed Comey, and Comey chose not to have his security clearances reinstated for his OIG interview, we were unable to show him the notes and ask about the reference in them to Steele and Ohr.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/06/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report reveals Glenn Simpson was paying Steele to ‘discuss his reporting’ with the media

Contained within Monday’s FISA report by the DOJ Inspector General is the revelation that Fusion GPS, the firm paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the Steele dossier, “was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media.” (P. 369 and elsewhere)

And when did Steele talk with the media (which got him fired as an FBI source)? September of 2016, roughly six weeks before the election.

One of the more damaging articles to result from these meetings was authored by Yahoo News journalist Michael Isikoff, who said in an interview that he was invited by Fusion GPS to meet a “secret source” at a Washington restaurant.

That secret source was none other than Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 Russia expert who fed the Isikoff information for a September 23, 2016 article – which would have had far greater reach and impact coming from such a widely-read media outlet vs. $100,000 in Russian-bought Facebook ads.

Isikoff’s article claimed that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page “has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials – including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president.”

This allegation was found by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be false. Moreover, the FBI knew about it in December 2016, when DOJ #4 Bruce Ohr told the agency as much.

(FISA Report, pg. 206)

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 12/10/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report reveals Brennan lied to the House Intelligence Committee

John Brennan (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“The new report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed former CIA Director John Brennan lied to Congress about whether the dossier authored by Christopher Steele was used in the Obama administration’s Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).

The ICA, a report conducted by intelligence officials in 2016 on Russian election interference, was used to brief President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017. According to the IG report, there was significant discussion by top intelligence officials as to whether the unverified Steele dossier should be included in the main body of the ICA report, summarized in an appendix, or even included at all.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said that “he felt strongly that the Steele election reporting belonged in the body of the ICA, because he feared that placing it in an appendix was ‘tacking it on’ in a way that would ‘minimiz[e]’ the information and prevent it from being properly considered.”

Ultimately, the ICA included a short summary and assessment of the dossier, which was incorporated in an appendix. “In the appendix, the intelligence agencies explained that there was ‘only limited corroboration of the source’s reporting’ and that Steele’s election reports were not used ‘to reach analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment,’” the IG report states.

A few months later, on May 23, 2017, when testifying before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Brennan categorically denied that the CIA relied on the Steele dossier for the ICA report. Here is the full exchange with former Rep. Trey Gowdy: (Video is cued to begin at the appropriate time)

(Read more: The Federalist, 12/11/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report states John McCain continued to provide Comey with Steele reports after the British intel officer was terminated as a source by the FBI

David Kramer invokes the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying on Steele dossier in December 2018. (Credit: public domain)

“The controversial report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign revealed many concerning details. One was that Christopher Steele’s dossier was used in the case to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to secure a wiretap on former Donald Trump campaign official Carter Page after the DOJ found no probable cause to do so. The report also revealed that late Senator John McCain provided former FBI Director James Comey with reports from Steele after the FBI terminated the former British intelligence officer as a source, Breitbart reports.

McCain reportedly gave Comey five new Steele reports that were not previously in possession of the FBI, although it’s not clear if McCain knew at the time that Steele was no longer an FBI source. Regardless, the new reports were allegedly obtained by McCain from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Fusion GPS was notably hired for anti-Trump opposition research by the president’s opponents in the primary.

“Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Corney with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI,” the IG report reads. “McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.”

According to Breitbart, the unnamed McCain staffer is David J. Kramer, who reportedly gave the Steele dossier to BuzzFeed News, which published the document in full on January 10, 2017.

(Read more: The Inquisitr, 12/26/2019) (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA Report reveals the main source of the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier is the subject of an “open FBI counterintelligence investigation” – FISA court is not told

Photo of John McCain with “Source D-Source E” of Steele Dossier — Sergei Millian. (Credit: Paul Sperry/Facebook)

“One of the more shocking facts from the FISA report is that there was only one person who supplied information to Christopher Steele and he said that the information he provided was all garbage.

“The primary sub-source stated that his information came from word of mouth and hearsay and a conversation he had with friends over beers.

Steele’s sub-source was Sergei Millian. Millian’s comments were used for three years to spy on candidate and President Trump and to put the country through corrupt investigations as a result. It all was garbage, Comey, Obama, Mueller, the whole lot knew it was.

Now we see that the subject of the entire Trump sham, Millian, was under investigation at the time he was used as the main source to spy on Trump.

He was “the subject of an open FBI counterintelligence investigation”. This was never shared with the courts.

The Daily Caller reports:

Steele’s claim rested in part on his belief that Deripaska had “no contact with any of his sources” for the dossier. But Deripaska did have contact with a businessman who Steele told the FBI was an unwitting source for most of the dossier’s most eye-popping claims.

Oleg Deripaska (r), CNBC anchor Julia Chatterley (c), and Sergei Millian,  June, 2017. (Credit: CNBC)

Deripaska and the unwitting source, Sergie [sic] Millian, were photographed speaking to each other on June 17, 2016 at an economic forum in St. Petersburg. Steele wrote the first memo of his dossier three days later.

Steele claimed that Millian, who is referred to as Person 1 in the IG report, unwittingly provided information to his main information collector, who is identified as Primary Sub-Source. Millian has long denied being a source for the dossier.

Steele’s primary source disavowed some of Steele’s reporting during an interview with FBI agents in January 2017. The IG report said that the source said that he shared “rumor and speculation” about Donald Trump and members of the campaign with Steele, who reported them as fact in the dossier.

The Crossfire Hurricane team failed to disclose the source’s derogatory comments about Steele in applications to renew surveillance against Page.

Priestap, the former counterintelligence official who oversaw Crossfire Hurricane, told the IG he saw “no indication whatsoever” as of May 2017 that Russia had funneled disinformation through Steele.

Steele’s sub-source was Sergie [sic] Millian.  Millian’s comments were used for three years to spy on candidate and President Trump and to put the country through corrupt investigations as a result.

(FISA Report – pg. 164)

(Read more: The Gateway Pundit, 12/16/2019)  (Archive)