FISA 702 violations

April 14, 2019 – Release this material and the entire corrupt construct is exposed

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken  by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.

Yes, they were spying.

(Conservative Treehouse, 4/14/2019)

August 15, 2018 – Notes on Peter Strzok’s possible FISA application abuse and falsified FBI FD-302 report on Michael Flynn interview

“The media narrative surrounding FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s firing has been framed, almost exclusively, around his political text messages. Given the nature of the media participation in the events, this is not surprising.  However, Strzok’s text messages have no bearing on his firing.

In March 2018 the DOJ Office of Inspector General announced an ongoing review of how the DOJ and FBI used FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) as a weaponized tool against their political opposition.

“As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.”  (pdf link)

Two months later on Monday May 21st, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added a significant DOJ mandate to the Inspector General review.  Rosenstein expanded the original FISA review to include looking at whether officials within the intelligence community may have unlawfully used human intelligence assets to “spy” or “surveil” the Trump campaign:

“The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.” (link)

Part of that ongoing IG review surrounds FBI Affidavits presented to the FISA Court (FISC) and whether those affidavits were fraudulent; thereby misleading the court. FBI Agent Peter Strzok is the primary affiant swearing to the truthfulness and fullness of the information that underlines the FISA application (ie. Woods Procedures) . We know Peter Strzok lied and misrepresented information to the court.

In addition to violating the Woods Procedures, FBI Agent Peter Strzok likely falsified, manipulated and shaped FD-302 investigative notes in both the Hillary Clinton and Michael Flynn interviews. His own text messages with DOJ Special Counsel Lisa Page highlight that Peter Strzok was very familiar with manipulating evidence by the narrative he could/did write in his 302 submissions.

Senator Chuck Grassley and Christopher Wray (Credit: public domain)

On May 11, 2018, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. [Judiciary Link Here]

Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlined a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of James Comey and by extension Peter Strzok, regarding Michael Flynn, against recently known evidence.

Additionally, Grassley requested:

♦the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak;

♦the FD 302s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn;

♦testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.

The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason. This is a BIG shot across the bow.

Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator was outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.

Judge Contreras was presiding judge on the initial guilty plea, then “was recused”. Judge Sullivan took over and demanded the DOJ turn over all exculpatory evidence.

Judge Contreras was presiding judge on the initial guilty plea, then “was recused”. Judge Sullivan took over and demanded the DOJ turn over all exculpatory evidence. (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

Senator Grassley outlines the February 15th, 2017, briefing provided by James Comey to the committee:

(…) “Like the Flynn interview itself, that briefing was not transcribed. Also like the Flynn interview, there are notes taken by a career, non-partisan law enforcement officer who was present. The agent was on detail to the Committee staff at the time.

According to that agent’s contemporaneous notes, Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Our own Committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”

Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview. In the months since then, the Special Counsel obtained a guilty plea from Lt. General Flynn for that precise alleged conduct.”

It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.

There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.

The letter continues:

(…) “The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. With Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.

Additionally, while we are aware that the Special Counsel’s office has moved to delay Lt. General Flynn’s sentencing on several occasions, we presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s February 16, 2018 order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material. Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the Committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then Directory Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims.”

Then comes the hammer:

(…) “In addition, please make Special Agent Joe Pientka available for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents.”

Regarding the “widely held belief” that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative. As Nick Falco points out evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:

January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: “I can feel my heart beating harder, I’m so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails.” Weird!”

♦Strzok replies: “I know. I just talked with John, we’re getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy [McCabe] this morning. Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that “THIS” could go off the rails. (Strzok meets with Flynn the next day.)

♦Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about “THIS” potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?

BECAUSE IT WASN’T!

February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.

Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: “Also, is Andy good with F-302?”

Lisa Page replies: “Launch on F 302.”

And we know from their discussions of manipulating FBI reports a year earlier, inside the Hillary Clinton investigation – that Peter Strzok has withheld information, and manipulated information, through use of the 302 reports:

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/15/2018)

(Timeline editor’s note: With special thanks to Conservative Treehouse for allowing us to post their well documented research to the timeline. We have decided to post this piece in full. Please visit their website and read more of Sundance’s work. His team is an organized group of super sleuths who are putting this maddening puzzle together, piece by piece.)

April 26, 2017 – The FISC report reveals the Obama administration conducted political surveillance as early as mid-2012

“Former U.S. Attorney to the District of Columbia, Joe diGenova, discusses the declassification of intelligence documents relating to political surveillance; and the origin of the database abuses outlined by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer.

Given last weeks visit to Main Justice by congressman Mark Meadows; and considering the visit was specifically to review unredacted Page-Strzok-McCabe messages; it could be surmised the first series of declassified documents might be those communiques. Additionally, John Solomon has stated “Bucket Five” is likely the first release prior to the IG report:

Bucket Five – Intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court.  Presumably this would include the recently revealed State Dept Kavalac email; and the FBI transcripts from wiretaps of George Papadopoulos (also listed in Carter Page FISA).

Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years.

This is why there’s panic.

Working with a timeline, but also referencing origination material in 2015/2016 – CTH hopes to show how the program operated. This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016.

More importantly, research indicates the modern political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid-2012.

The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, was the primary process. We start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on; and explain the details within the FISC opinion.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report (full pdf below) because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court. In essence, the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information for multiple years.

Unfortunately, due to intelligence terminology Judge Collyer’s brief and ruling is not an easy read for anyone unfamiliar with the FISA processes outlined. The complexity also helps the media avoid discussing, and as a result most Americans have no idea the scale and scope of the issues. So we’ll try to break down the language. View this document on Scribd

For the sake of brevity and common understanding CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was.

Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

Here are some significant segments:

The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.

Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.

(…) Search an ip address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.

The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.

As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.

In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy:

But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.

Read this next excerpt carefully.

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

85% !! “representing [redacted number].”

We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000.

The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates. Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012. (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc. Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?

Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use; and I’ll explain why momentarily.)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

(Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.)

None of this is conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, if declassified, would be key.  Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

Summary of this aspect: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/24/2019)

April 26, 2017 – An unsealed FISC ruling reveals systematic abuses in accessing 702 data

“A damning 99-page unsealed ruling from the FISC, dated April 26, 2017, and issued by presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer, provided further insight into additional FISA abuse engaged in by the Intelligence Community in relation to Section 702 data and minimization procedures.

Section 702 permits the government to surveil foreign persons located outside the United States for the purpose of acquiring foreign intelligence information. Minimization procedures are intended to protect any U.S. person’s information that is incidentally acquired in the course of Section 702 collection.

The FISA court found that the government had been engaging in a long pattern of significant abuses that were revealed to the court by then-National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court,” the FISC ruling read.

The court noted the government’s failure to previously notify the court of these issues, referring to the government’s actions as exhibiting an institutional “lack of candor” while emphasizing that “this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

The litany of abuses described in the April 26, 2017, ruling was shocking and detailed the use of private contractors by the FBI in relation to Section 702 data. The FBI was specifically singled out by the FISC numerous times in the ruling:

“The improper access previously afforded the contractors has been discontinued. The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported.”

The FISA process has been the target of ongoing abuse from various elements within the intelligence community, and the processes and procedures that we have been told protect us appear to be routinely compromised at will.

As a result of the April 2017 FISC ruling, changes to the FISA process have been made. Nevertheless, a complete re-examination of the entire FISA system appears to be not only warranted, but perhaps necessary.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

October 20, 2016 – The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI

Dr. George Ellard (Credit: National War College)

(…) “On January 7, 2016, the NSA Inspector General, George Ellard, released a report on NSA Controls & FISA compliance. Starting on page ii:

Agency controls for monitoring query compliance have not been completely developed.

The Agency has no process to reliably identify queries performed using selectors associated with 704 and 705(b) targets.

The rest of the highlights are fully redacted. But more information lay within the report (pages 6-7):

We identified another [redacted] queries that were performed outside the targeting authorization periods in E.O. 12333 data, which is prohibited by the E.O. 12333 minimization procedures. We also identified queries performed using USP selectors in FAA §702 upstream data, which is prohibited by the FAA §702 minimization procedures.

Downstream collection involves the government acquiring data from the companies providing service to the user – like Google or Facebook.

However, some Section 702 collection is obtained via “upstream” collection.

In simple parlance, upstream collection means the NSA accesses the high capacity fiber optic cables that carry Internet traffic and copies all the data flowing through those cables.

The agency is then supposed to filter out any “wholly domestic” communications that are between Americans located in the U.S.

Data collected “incidentally” on U.S. Citizens is generally not destroyed. It is minimized. As we will see later, this became a problem.

Intelligence Agencies can then search the data using “To”, “From” or “About” queries on a target of Section 702 collection.

“About” queries are particularly worrisome.

They occur when the target is neither the sender nor the recipient of the collected communication – but the target’s selector, such as an email address, is being passed between two other communicants.

For more information see, FISA Surveillance – Title I & III and Section 702.”

(…) “About” queries were abruptly halted by NSA Director Mike Rogers on October 20, 2016. This was formally announced by the NSA on April 28, 2017.

The events leading to this decision are described in this post.

Which brings us to a table from the Inspector General’s Report.

Table 3 (page 7) shows four types of violations. The most frequent violation – 5.2% of the total – came from Section 702 upstream “About” queries.


The Inspector General’s Report is heavily redacted – but even a casual reading indicates there were significant compliance and control issues within the NSA regarding the use of Section 702 data.

It’s unclear if NSA Director Rogers discovered the 702 violations and reported them in early 2015, or if it was the Inspector General who found them. Either way, Rogers became aware of Section 702 violations sometime in 2015.

Admiral Mike Rogers (Credit: public domain)

Following NSA Inspector General Ellard’s report, Rogers implemented a tightening of internal rules at the NSA.

However, the NSA Inspector General’s report and Roger’s tightening of internal rules did not halt the Query Compliance Problems.

Outside Agencies – specifically the DOJ’s National Security Division and the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – were still routinely violating Section 702 procedures.

In 2015, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz (not to be confused with NSA IG Ellard) specifically requested oversight of the National Security Division. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded with a 58 page Memorandum, that effectively told the Inspector General to go pound sand.

As noted earlier, John Carlin was the Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division and was responsible for filing the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications.

This filing would be subject to intense criticism from the FISA Court following disclosures made by NSA Director Rogers. Significant changes to the handling of raw FISA data would result.

Bill Priestap remains the Head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – appointed by FBI Director Comey in December 2015. See: FBI Counterintelligence Head Bill Priestap – A Cooperating Witness.”

(…) “On October 20 2016, Rogers was briefed by the NSA compliance officer on findings from the 702 NSA compliance audit. The audit had uncovered numerous “About” Query violations (Senate testimony).

On October 21, 2016, Rogers shut down all “About Query” activity. He reported his findings to the DOJ (Senate testimony & inferences from Court Ruling).

On October 21 2016, the DOJ & FBI seek and receive a Title I FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court. At this point, the FISA Court is unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On October 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings (Page 4 of Court Ruling). (Read more: themarketswork, 4/05/2018)

(Timeline editor’s note: Jeff Carlson at themarketswork.com, has done a remarkable job of reading the fine print and highlighting key details from Senate testimony, the NSA Inspector General’s report, and the FISC report that followed NSA Director Mike Rogers disclosure of 702 violations. This is a snippet of Carlson’s very informative piece and he has been kind enough to allow me to post far more than what Fair Use would normally allow. Please don’t miss the rest of his easy to understand, in-depth report.)

October 20, 2016 – NSA director Admiral Mike Rogers requests a full NSA compliance audit of FISA-702 use

Navy Admiral Michael Rogers (Credit: Reuters)

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(17) surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance through the use of “About Query”.

Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” are specifically the collection of electronic messaging, emails and upstream phone call surveillance data of U.S. persons.

The public doesn’t discover this issue, and Director Rogers action, until May 2017 when 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) 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 user queries or searches of content (messaging, email and phone conversations) based on any subject matter put into the search field.

The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie searches, privacy violations, and surveillance without a warrant.  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 FISA court assembled, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations.  Additionally, and as an outcome of the NSA systems inability to guarantee integrity, 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:

At the same time Christopher Steele was assembling his dossier information (May-October 2016), the NSA compliance officer was conducting an internal FISA-702 review as initiated by NSA Director Mike Rogers.

The NSA compliance officer briefed Admiral Mike Rogers on October 20th 2016.

On October 26th 2016, Admiral Rogers informed the FISA Court of numerous unauthorized FISA-702(17) “About Query” violations.

Subsequent to that FISC notification Mike Rogers stopped all FISA-702(17) “About Queries” permanently. They are no longer permitted.

The full FISA Court Ruling on the notifications from the NSA is below. And to continue the story we are pulling out a specific section [page 83, pdfCRITICAL to understanding what was going on:

Pg 83. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.”

Please pay close attention to this section, pg 84, (Note the date April 18th):

 

Notice how it was FBI “private contractors” that were conducting the unauthorized FISA-702 Queries via access to information on FBI storage systems.

We have been tipped off that one of the FBI contractors in question was, unbelievably, Fusion-GPS.

It is almost certain this early 2016 series of FISA-702 compliance violations was the origin of NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers concern.

Mike Rogers discovery becomes the impetus for him to request the 2016 full NSA compliance audit of FISA-702 use.  It appears Fusion-GPS was the FBI contracted user identified in the final FISA court opinion/ruling on page 83.

Note the dates from the FISC opinion (above) – As soon as the FBI discovered Mike Rogers was looking at the searches, the FBI discontinued allowing their sub-contractor  access to the raw FISA information. Effective April 18th, 2016.” (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/11/2018)

(Republished with special permission.)

September 26, 2016: John Carlin, the former NSD head who enables the FBI’s Carter Page FISA warrant

John Carlin (Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal)

John Carlin was an Assistant Attorney General – and Head of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD).

On September 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation. He formally left the NSD on October 15, 2016. Carlin had been named Acting Assistant Attorney General in March 2013 and was confirmed in the spring of 2014.

Carlin had previously served as chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.

Carlin was replaced with Mary McCord – who would later accompany Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to see White House Counsel Don McGahn regarding General Michael Flynn.

Carlin announced his resignation exactly one day after he filed the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. His signature can be found on page 31.

This filing would be subject to intense criticism from the FISA Court following disclosures made by NSA Director Rogers. Significant changes to the handling of raw FISA data would result.

Section 702 is part of the broader FISA Act and permits the government to target for surveillance foreign persons located outside the United States for the purpose of acquiring foreign intelligence information.

Instead of issuing individual court orders, Section 702 requires the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) with annual certifications that specify categories of foreign intelligence information the government is authorized to acquire pursuant to Section 702.

The Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence must also certify that Intelligence Community elements will follow targeting procedures and minimization procedures that are approved by the FISC as part of the annual certification.

The National Security Division and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) are jointly required to routinely review all Intelligence Agency U.S. person queries of content to ensure the Section 702 queries satisfy the legal standard.

The NSD – with notice to the ODNI – is required to report any incidents of Agency noncompliance or misconduct to the FISA Court.

Again, John Carlin was Head of the NSD.

At the time Carlin’s sudden resignation went mostly unnoticed.

But there was more to the story.

Here is the official explanation as provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

After submitting its 2016 Certifications in September 2016, the Department of Justice and ODNI learned, in October 2016, about additional information related to previously reported compliance incidents and reported that additional information to the FISC. The NSA also self-reported the information to oversight bodies, as required by law. These compliance incidents related to the NSA’s inadvertent use of U.S. person identifiers to query NSA’s “upstream” Internet collection acquired pursuant to Section 702.

The FISA Court was more direct in a 99-page April 26, 2017 unsealed FISA Court Ruling.

On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court. Two days later, on the day the Court otherwise would have had to complete its review of the certifications and procedures, the government made a written submission regarding those compliance problems…and the Court held a hearing to address them.

Here’s what actually happened:
(Read more: themarketswork.com, 5/21/2018)

March 22, 2012 – The Obama administration announces new rules that will allow millions of U.S. citizens’ government files to be copied and analyzed for terrorism clues

(…) “Within the 99-page opinion from Judge Rosemary Collyer  she noted none of this FISA-702 database abuse was accidental. In a key footnote on page 87: Collyer outlined the years of unlawful violations was the result of “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, is key to peeling back the onion.

Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”.  This sentence exposes an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; and outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data. Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“.

We feel confident we’ve now found the source of the “memorandum of understanding” that lies at the heart of the issue.

Barack Obama and Eric Holder (Credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

In March 2012 the Obama administration through Attorney General Eric Holder made changes to the exploitation of intelligence databases as noted in this Wall Street Journal article later in the year:

(December 2012WSJ) Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.

Not everyone was on board. “This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.

The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans “reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information” may be permanently retained.

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.  (more)

The 2012 changes, instituted by Eric Holder, permitted files of specific Americans to be generated under the auspices of potential terror threats.  The NSA databases could be exploited by the National Counterterrorism Center to extract content that would be contained within these files on targeted Americans.

Keep in mind this is early 2012, John Brennan is Deputy National Security Advisor and Asst. to President Obama for Homeland Security.

When Attorney General Eric Holder empowered the National Counterterrorism Center with this new authority, the office assigned to the data-collection was the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC).  The founder of the TTIC was John Brennan:

On 1 May 2003, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) opened its doors. Led by its first Director, John Brennan, TTIC filled its ranks with approximately three dozen detailees from across the US Government (USG) and was mandated to integrate CT capabilities and missions across the government. (link)

Also note the date of this DOJ Memorandum is March 2012:

Under the new rules issued in March, the National Counterterrorism Center, known as NCTC, can obtain almost any database the government collects that it says is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information.”  (link)

The March 2012 date is right before the IRS scandal hit the headlines.

The IRS targeting scandal is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:

The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)

Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there’s a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in spring 2012.

Here’s how it looks:

♦ In 2010 Eric Holder asked the IRS to send him the records of 501(c) non profit groups and individuals representing conservative voters. [LINK] Lois Lerner sent the DOJ 1.1 million pages of 501(c)(4) tax filing data. Including a very specific set of “33 Schedule B attachment files”. The Schedule B’s were specific to Large Conservative 501(c)(4) groups operating and organized to oppose the agenda of President Obama. The Schedule B’s include the donor lists of specific people and sub-groups attached to the 501(c)(4).

The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)

♦ In 2012 Eric Holder authorizes the use of government databases to search records of Americans and assemble “files” on potential targets. [Link] “The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior.”

♦ In the period of 2012 through April 2016According to FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer, there were tens of thousands of illegal (“non-compliant”) search queries of the NSA database targeting Americans.  The search results were unlawfully “extracted” to unknown entities.  Eighty-five out of every hundred searches were illegal (85% non-compliant rate).

Consider purposeful actions, as a political targeting operation, by weaponizing the systems of government.  Steps:

  • First, identify the targets (IRS Database).
  • Second, research the targets (NSA Database).
  • Third assemble files on the targets (DOJ Authorization).
  • Fourth use the files to leverage/destroy your opposition.

We now have evidence of the first three steps; and my hunch is if we apply hindsight a lot of unusual activity will now make sense.  We have been living inside the fourth step for a few years.  We noticed the consequences… but we only had suspicions, until now.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/28/2019)

***

On December 12, 2012, the Wall Street Journal publishes a timeline of events regarding the National Counterterrorism Center controversy:

Dec. 25, 2009 – On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, boarded a flight to Detroit from Amsterdam wearing explosives sewn into his undergarments. His bomb didn’t properly detonate. He eventually pleaded guilty to terror-related charges.

Jan. 7, 2010 – The White House issued a report about the attempted bombing, citing the need to strengthen the watchlisting process.

May 18, 2010 – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the Christmas Day bombing concluded that “NCTC was not organized adequately to fulfill its mission.”

Feb 24, 2011 – In February 2011, Homeland Security staffers began corresponding about their concerns about the proposed NCTC guidelines, including issues with “oversight/compliance” and difficulty stripping down “what you need to focus on as the problems.”

March 4, 2011 – By March, Justice Department was on its “third round of edits” with NCTC. DHS Associate General Counsel Matthew L. Kronisch encouraged Homeland Security colleagues to submit their comments soon.

March 7, 2011 – In a heated exchange, an official at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – whose name was redacted – said that several Homeland Security comments “suggest a potential lack of understanding” and “would eviscerate the authorities” of the counterterrorism center.

March 11, 2011 – Homeland Security Associate General Counsel Matthew Kronisch expressed “little expectation of resolving our concerns” but requested a meeting with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice.

May 12, 2011 – Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Margo Schlanger elevated their concerns to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a memo titled “How Best to Express the Department’s Privacy and Civil Liberties-Related Concems over Draft Guidelines Proposed by the Office of The Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center.”

June 17, 2011 – Ms. Callahan expressed frustration with the process, stating that she “non-concurred” on “operational examples,” and that the examples were “complete non-sequiturs” and “non-responsive.”

November 8, 2011 – “I’m not sure I’m totally prepared with the firestorm we’re about to create,” Margo Schlanger wrote in an e-mail to Mary Ellen Callahan in November, referring to the fact that the two wanted to push for further privacy protections in the guidelines. Others in the department were willing to agree to the counterterrorism proposal.

March 7, 2012 – Staffers for the Homeland Security Privacy and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offices’ prepared talking points for the “Deputies Committee meeting” at the White House to discuss the guidelines.

March 22, 2012 – But right after the meeting the guidelines were finalized and quietly released with a statement from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who cited the Abdullmutallub failures. “Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” said Clapper, “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated Guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively than the 2008 Guidelines allowed.”

April 2, 2012 – Homeland Security staffers began preparing the terms under which they would hand over the “six DHS datasets associated with the revised NCTC AG Guidelines.”

(Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2012)