FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant

November 22, 2019 – FBI lawyer referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz was primary FBI attorney on Trump-Russia case

Kevin Clinesmith (Credit: Facebook)

“A former FBI attorney reportedly referred for criminal prosecution by Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz—for allegedly altering an email connected to the surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—was assigned in early 2017 as “the primary FBI attorney assigned” to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russian election interference.

The lawyer, who has been identified as Kevin Clinesmith in media reports, had been incorrectly portrayed by many members of the media as a “low-level” or junior member of the FBI’s legal team.

Text messages obtained by Horowitz, covered in a June 2018 report, showed that Clinesmith had a strong bias against Trump, texting “Viva le resistance” following Trump’s election as well as: “my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”

Clinesmith worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. He would also later become a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and was one of the FBI officials—along with FBI Agent Peter Strzok—who was removed by Mueller after IG Horowitz discovered FBI text messages expressing political bias against Trump.

The New York Times reported on Nov. 22, that Clinesmith was removed from the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation in February 2018 and resigned from the FBI “about two months ago.”

Clinesmith has reportedly been referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz for altering “an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap”—also known as the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) renewal—on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the New York Times reported.

(…) According to the NYT article, the “paperwork associated with the renewal applications contained information that should have been left out, and vice versa.” Clinesmith reportedly altered an email that “was a factor during the wiretap renewal process.”

Clinesmith allegedly “took an email from an official at another federal agency that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.”

This altered email was then included in a package that was prepared for another FBI official to read in “preparation for signing an affidavit,” that was to be submitted to the FISA Court “attesting to the facts and analysis” in the application. ” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 11/24/2019)  (Archive)

November 21, 2019 – Former FBI lawyer allegedly alters document in Carter Page FISA application; Rod Rosenstein once testified to FISA alterations

Michael Horowitz (Credit: public domain)

“An FBI official is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN.

The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign.

The finding is expected to be part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Horowitz will release the report next month.

Horowitz turned over evidence on the allegedly altered document to John Durham, the federal prosecutor appointed early this year by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a broad investigation of intelligence gathered for the Russia probe by the CIA and other agencies, including the FBI. The altered document is also at least one focus of Durham’s criminal probe.

It’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document. The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources. (Read more: CNN, 11/21/2019)  (Archive)

October 30, 2019 – Andrew McCabe refuses to discuss FBI verification of the Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier

“Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe refused to say Wednesday what parts of the Steele dossier the FBI verified before using the salacious document in surveillance warrant applications to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

McCabe, a CNN analyst, appeared on a panel with former CIA officials John Brennan, John McLaughlin and Michael Morell to discuss the intelligence community’s role in the 2020 election.

A journalist asked McCabe during a Q&A session to describe what parts of the dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, the FBI verified before using it in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications to spy on Page.

“Would you be able to say with specificity what the FBI verified in the Steele dossier before using it in FISA applications?” Jerry Dunleavy, a reporter at the Washington Examiner, asked McCabe.

“Specifically, what was verified in the dossier before it was used?” Dunleavy added.

McCabe was succinct and abrupt.

“So the answer to your first question is ‘no,’” he said, “I will not go into specificity about what the FBI verified prior to the FISA or after.”

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/31/2019)

October 21, 2019 – Carter Page sues the DOJ for violating his right to privacy and demands a review of the IG report before it’s release

Carter Page in Washington D.C. on May 28, 2019. (Credit: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“A former Trump campaign associate who was wiretapped by the FBI sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 21, demanding that the government provide him with the opportunity to review, before it is made public, the forthcoming inspector general’s report on potential surveillance abuses in his case.

In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, Carter Page accuses the DOJ of violating his privacy rights by failing to grant him the opportunity to review the report before the document is published.

The DOJ Office of Inspector General is expected to soon release a voluminous report examining potential surveillance abuses tied to secret court warrants that the FBI obtained to spy on Page.

Page additionally alleges that the DOJ violated his privacy rights by disclosing copies of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to the New York Times prior to giving him an opportunity to review the documents.

In addition to requesting damages and the prosecution of the officials involved, Page is asking the court to order the DOJ to hand over all of the documents he has long sought to review and amend.

“The DOJ, its employees and officers, including those in the affiliated agency of the FBI under their jurisdiction, acted intentionally or willfully in violation of Dr. Page’s privacy rights,” the lawsuit states.

“As a result of the DOJ’s violations of the Privacy Act, Dr. Page has suffered adverse harmful effects, including, but not limited to, mental distress, emotional trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, and lost or jeopardized present or future financial opportunities.”

Page filed a formal Privacy Act request in May 2017. The request remains unfulfilled.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/27/2019)  (Archive)

September 14, 2019 – Senator Graham says U.S. officials received as many as six warnings about Christopher Steele’s reliability as a source

The London offices of Orbis Business Intelligence. (Credit: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Friday that U.S. officials received as many as six warnings that dossier author Christopher Steele was an unreliable source of information regarding President Donald Trump.

Graham discussed the assessment of Steele during a radio interview with host Sean Hannity, but he stopped short of describing all of the information regarding the former British spy because much of it is classified.

“There’s four events that I’m aware of, five actually, where the system was informed that Christopher Steele was an unreliable informant when it came to Trump,” Graham told Hannity.

“Some of them I can’t tell you yet until we get this stuff declassified. But I think it’s going to be five; it may be six,” the South Carolina Republican added later.” (Daily Caller, 9/14/2019)

August 25, 2019 – Carter Page: FBI wanted me to make false testimony about Russians

Former 2016 Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page joined FNC’s Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” for a conversation about his experience as a government witness:

CARTER PAGE: Great to be with you, Maria.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You had an esteemed career. I want to start there because our viewers know that we’ve covered this story very effectively from the get-go, poking holes in this whole idea of collusion, poking holes in the FISA court situation, but you had worked with the government for a long time before they actually turned on you. Tell me your career as a government informant after you worked at the Pentagon and after in the Navy tell us about it.

CARTER PAGE: Well I got out of the Navy in ’98 and I was on a research fellowship at a foreign policy think tank and that was actually the first time as a civilian (as you mentioned I spent a lot of time doing intelligence tasks in the military) but that was the first time when I actually did stuff as a civilian, and so one of the guys I worked closely with was Chris Stephens, [sic] who was the Iran desk officer at the State Department in ’98-99, and we had a long ongoing dialogue, and so a lot of similarities between what happened with him, and the lack of responsibility by these Democrat administrations. That was during the Clinton administration, but the loss of his life was really a continuation of that.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So the bottom line is you’ve worked as a government informant for what, two decades?

And somewhere along the line, they obviously turned on you, because they wiretapped you.

CARTER PAGE: Yeah.

MARIA BARTIROMO: And somewhere along the line, they obviously turned on you because they wiretapped you. Fast forward to 2013 or so when you are an informant for the government about a spy ring in New York, involving three Russians.

CARTER PAGE: Yeah, well listen. It was something where there was a lot, they did an indictment. I spent time with the FBI in 2013 giving them all of the information they needed.

MARIA BARTIROMO: This is under the Obama administration.

CARTER PAGE: It was under the Obama administration and then a number of top officials, Attorney General Holder, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and [former Assistant Attorney General] John Carlin in January of 2015, a year before the start of when I joined the– I was a volunteer on the Trump campaign, they had this indictment… of the three Russians. So I was one of the main sources on “Male #1.”

MARIA BARTIROMO: That’s interesting because you were “Male #1” — we’re looking at a timeline in 2013 you’re male number one and they indict these people and the indictment comes down in January 2015 and they name you as Male #1.

CARTER PAGE: Well there’s this big thing about masks and unmasking, and I was very lightly masked and there are a lot of problems in that indictment and they really kind of put me out on a limb.

MARIA BARTIROMO: That’s what I want to ask you because then you start getting death threats your life was in danger… We’re taking a pivot looking at how the government has treated government informants…

I’m back with former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page and you were telling us about this case that you helped the government with. Tell me what happened in 2015 after the indictment was handed down on the Russians.

CARTER PAGE: Well really, in March of 2016, they called me in to come to testify in the Southern District of New York on that case.

There were so many falsehoods and misrepresentations in their indictment the prior year. I said I am not going to lie in court. Similar to their false court filings, which the DOJ and the FBI has submitted in this case. So it was a long back and forth with them but I told them, I am a man of my word and I’m not going to, you know, provide false testimony like they’ve done. It is very similar between the false testimony which they did and that case against the Russians, and the false testimony which they did a few months later in October of 2016 with their start of the FISA abuse.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You never actually testified in the spy ring circus in terms of that, but this all goes to government informants and you could look at Patrick Byrne from Overstock.com, right?

CARTER PAGE: Well its basically, the government is taking control of people’s lives I mean, look, I’ve lost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and he lost a couple hundred million off his market cap just based on these falsehoods.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You mean the stock lost hundreds of millions of dollars, not you?

CARTER PAGE: Well I’ve lost, you know, massive amounts of money.

(RealClearPolitics, 8/25/2019)

August 12, 2019 – IC IG Michael Atkinson who forwards the hearsay whistleblower complaint against Trump, was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse

Michael Atkinson at his nomination hearing in May 2018. (Credit: public domain)

(…) “It should be emphasized the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community; the guy who accepted the ridiculous premise of a hearsay ‘whistle-blower‘ complaint, who was “blowing-the-whistle” based on second-hand information of a phone call without any direct personal knowledge, is Michael K. Atkinson.

Atkinson’s self-interest:  Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD). That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.

[Irony Reminder: The DOJ-NSD was purposefully under no IG oversight. In 2015 the OIG 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.]

Put another way, Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.

Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.

Immediately after the Carter Page FISA warrant is approved, in the period where DOJ-NSD head John Carlin has given his notice of intent to leave but not yet left, inside those specific two weeks, the National Security Division of the DOJ tells the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) they have been breaking the law.  The NSD specifically inform the court they are aware of contractors who have been using FISA 702(16)(17) database search queries to extract information on political candidates.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has looked into the FISA application used against U.S. Person Carter Page.  Additionally, U.S. Attorney John Durham is said to be looking at the intelligence communities’ use of systems for spying and surveillance.

If the DOJ-NSD exploitation of the NSA database, and/or DOJ-NSD FISA abuse, and/or DOJ-NSD FARA corruption were ever to reach sunlight, Atkinson -as the lawyer for the process- would be under a lot of scrutiny for his involvement.

Yes, that gives current ICIG Michael Atkinson a strong and corrupt motive to participate with the Schiff/Lawfare impeachment objective.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/22/2019)

August 12 – October 11, 2019: A look at IC IG Michael Atkinson’s activities surrounding the hearsay whistleblower

“Last week the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, testified behind closed doors to congress. Atkinson testified about his role in bringing the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint forward.  The details of that testimony are now starting to surface and thankfully congress is taking a closer look at the sketchy background of Michael Atkinson.

Michael Atkinson (Credit: public domain)

There are numerous aspects to the whistle-blower (likely CIA operative Michael Barry), and the complaint, that just don’t add up. One of the areas of focus is the backdating of changes made to the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint form.  As Sean Davis notes:

[…] Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, told HPSCI lawmakers during a committee oversight hearing on Friday that the whistleblower forms and rules changes were made in, even though the new forms and guidance, which were not uploaded to the ICIG’s website until September 24, state that they were changed in August.

Despite having a full week to come up with explanations for his office’s decisions to secretly change its forms to eliminate the requirement for first-hand evidence and to backdate those changes to August, Atkinson refused to provide any explanation to lawmakers baffled by his behavior. (read more)

The CIA ‘whistle-blower’ had no first-hand knowledge; everything was based on hearsay.  The CIA operative never informed the ICIG about prior contact and coordination with the House Intelligence Committee (Adam Schiff).  The CIA operative never disclosed congressional contact on the complaint form, and the complaint forms were changed specifically to accommodate this CIA operative.

On Sunday, October 6th, Ranking Member Devin Nunes also discussed his concerns with the testimony of Michael Atkinson.  Nunes noted the testimony “was a joke.”

Nunes told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday host Matt Boyle, “[The ICIG is] either totally incompetent or part of the deep state, and he’s got a lot of questions he needs to answer because he knowingly changed the form and the requirements in order to make sure that this whistleblower complaint got out publicly.”

“So he’s either incompetent or in on it, and he’s going to have more to answer for, I can promise you because we are not going to let him go; he is going to tell the truth about what happened,” Nunes added.  (read more)

ICIG Atkinson never reviewed the call transcript and facilitated the complaint processing despite numerous flaws.  Additionally, Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel that highlighted Atkinson’s poor decision-making.

President Trump announced Joseph Macguire as the Acting ODNI on August 8th, 2019. (link)  The CIA operative “whistle-blower” letter to Adam Schiff and Richard Burr was on August 12th (link).   Immediately following this letter, the ICIG rules and requirements for Urgent Concern “whistle-blowers” was modified, allowing hearsay complaints. On August 28th Adam Schiff begins tweeting about the construct of the complaint.

Given the nature of Atkinson’s background, it appears his prior work in 2016, during his tenure as the lead legal counsel for the DOJ-NSD, likely played a role in his decision.

Here’s Nunes Sunday Interview (audio):

The center of the 2016 Lawfare Alliance election influence was/is the Department of Justice National Security Division, DOJ-NSD. It was the DOJ-NSD running the Main Justice side of the 2016 operations to support Operation Crossfire Hurricane and FBI agent Peter Strzok. It was also the DOJ-NSD where the sketchy legal theories around FARA violations (Sec. 901) originated.

Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD) in 2016. That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were the former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.

Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.

Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/07/2019)

(Republished with permission)

August 8, 2019 – Bruce Ohr documents undercut FBI claims In Carter Page’s FISA applications

Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson (Credit: public domain)

“Transcripts of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI could open the bureau to new scrutiny over claims government officials made in applications to spy on Carter Page.

During a Nov. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Ohr discussed meetings between dossier author Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff, who two months earlier had published an article that alleged that Page was under FBI investigation for contacts in Russia.

The potential problem for the FBI is that the bureau said in four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against Page that investigators did not believe that Steele was a source for Isikoff’s story.

The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to argue to the FISA court that Page was working as an agent of Russia. The applications also cite Isikoff’s article and at least one other news report about Page.

“OHR met [redacted] in Washington, D.C. in late September, possibly close to the time when the Yahoo news article was published on September 23, 2016,” read the heavily-redacted Ohr notes, which were released on Thursday.

“Simpson and [redacted] could have met with Yahoo or Michael Isikoff jointly, but OHR does not know if they did.”

In four FISA applications — which the FBI submitted in October 2016, January 2017, April 2017, and June 2017 — the FBI “does not believe that Source #1,” who has been identified as Steele, “directly provided this information to the identified news organization that published the September 23rd News Article.”

It is unclear if the redacted portion of the footnote adds further context to possible contacts between Steele, Simpson and Isikoff.

July 20, 2019 – Schiff says Inspector General Horowitz’s work is ‘tainted’ ahead of report on surveillance abuses

Adam Schiff speaks with moderator Kristen Welker with NBC News as part of the Aspen Security Forum on July 20, 2019. (Credit: Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)

“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has pivoted from ‘deepfake doom‘ influencing the 2020 election, to downplaying an upcoming watchdog report by the DOJ’s Inspector General due sometime in September.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Conference (where he had a pow-wow with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson last July), Schiff claims that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was co-opted into a scheme to protect President Trump by instigating a “fast track” report last year at Trump’s behest, according to the Washington Examiner‘s Daniel Chaitin.

Schiff claimed the president wanted McCabe, who briefly took over as acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey in May 2017, investigated and his pension taken away and suggested someone such as former Attorney General Rod Rosenstein obliged the president by making a referral.

“The inspector general found that McCabe was untruthful. He may very well have been untruthful,” the California Democrat said, but noted that is not where main his concern lies.

The initiation of the inspector general’s inquiry in McCabe happened, Schiff said, “because the president wanted it politically.” He added, “Once you go down that road, it leads to disaster.” –Washington Examiner

“I have no reason to question the inspector general’s conclusion, but that investigation was put on a fast track. It was separated from a broader inspector general investigation, which is still ongoing,” said Schiff. “Why was that done? It was done so he could be fired to not get a pension. It was done to please the president when the initiation investigation is tainted. So are the results of that investigation.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/22/2019)