FISA warrant

June 24, 2019 – DOJ confirms Flynn defense team never received a transcript of Flynn/Kislyak phone call

“When General Michael Flynn entered into the seemingly coerced plea agreement with the special counsel team and prosecutor Brandon Van Grack (November 30, 2017), he gave up the right to defense discovery in his case.  In hindsight this will likely be viewed a mistake.

Lt. General Michael Flynn and his new attorney, Sidney Powell. (Credit: Megan Meneiro/Courthouse News)

(h/t Techno Fog) During a court appearance today by new attorney Ms. Sidney Powell, the topic of needing a classified security clearance -to review documents- was raised.  The DOJ responded to the assertion by saying no classified information was provided to the prior Flynn defense team, therefore Ms. Powell doesn’t need not carry that concern.

However, by admitting the DOJ provided no classified information to the defense, the prosecution is simultaneously admitting they never provided Flynn with a copy of the phone call transcript (December 29, 2016) between President-elect Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.  The content of that phone call lies at the heart of the FBI interview that took place on January 24th, 2017.

Judge Emmet Sullivan originally asked for the Flynn/Kislyak transcript; however, the prosecution said it was irrelevant to their case.  The judge accepted the non-production.

It is suspected Flynn may have been under a FISA surveillance warrant which seems confirmed by the Weissmann/Mueller report. The FBI intercepted, recorded, and later transcribed the December 29, 2016, conversation.

This is why the issue of how the FBI agents write the 302 summary of the Flynn January 24, 2017, interview becomes such an important facet.

On June 6, 2019, the DOJ released the FBI agent report (FD-302) written after their interview of Michael Flynn on Jan 24th, 2017. (Full pdf below) From prior testimony we know that FBI Agent Peter Strzok did the questioning and FBI Agent Joe Pientka took notes.

Lt. General Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

For some reason, within the DOJ release of the report they are continuing to redact the name Joe Pientka. [Could be due to ongoing employment]

It’s worth noting according to Mark Meadows the Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has interviewed Joe Pientka extensively; prior attempts by congress to gain testimony from Pientka were blocked by the FBI and Rod Rosenstein.

FBI Agent Joseph Pientka was never interviewed by the joint House judiciary and oversight committees (Goodlatte and Gowdy). The reason, as explained by Meadows, was simple; Pientka was on Weissmann and Mueller’s special counsel team. Congress was not allowed to interfere in the Mueller probe. In hindsight this looks like Weissmann, Mueller & Rosenstein strategically using the investigation as a shield from sunlight.

The interview took place on January 24, 2017. The report was written Jan 24th, 2017. The wording was then deliberated by the small group, approved by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and entered into the record on February 15th, 2017. (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse, 6/24/2019)

April 8, 2019 – Court filings indicate there are additional Comey memos that memorialize the entire anti-Trump operation

(Credit: Lazaro Gamio/Axios)

“In a very revealing filing last night (full pdf below) the lead FBI investigator for the Mueller special counsel, David W. Archey, informs the court that with the ending of the special counsel some of the memo material can be released, such as their existence; however, Archey also states much of the memo content and sealed background material from the FBI must continue to remain sealed and redacted.

The FBI will file a further declaration on or before April 15, 2019, to explain why the remaining redactions to the Third Archey Declaration continue to be necessary. (page 2)

Within the filing we discover the lead FBI agent was David W. Archey (background here). Archey was selected by Robert Mueller when the special counsel took over the counterintelligence investigation from Special Agent Peter Strzok. According to ABC: “Agent David Archey is described by colleagues as a utility man of sorts within the FBI”. However, until now his exact role was not known.

Following the conclusion of the Mueller probe, David Archey was moved.  Effective March 8, 2019, Archey became head of the Richmond, VA, FBI field office. (link) Due to the corrupt nature of the special counsel, this is somewhat concerning. I digress…

The first three pages of the filing consist of David Archey explaining to the court that some of the material can be released, but other material must be withheld.  He then goes on to reference two prior sealed attachments outlined as “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B”.

“Exhibit A” is a filing from the FBI on January 31st, 2018, essentially supporting an earlier “in camera ex parte declaration” requesting continuance of a prior court order to keep the background material sealed from public view.  In essence, the FBI didn’t want the public to know what was/is contained within the Comey memos (including the scale thereof).

“Exhibit B” is where the action is.

This is the original declaration outlining to the court on October 13th, 2017, why the Comey memos must be sealed.  It is inside this exhibit where we discover there are many more memos than previously understood, and the content of those memos is far more exhaustive because James Comey documented the FBI investigation.

In essence Comey created these memos to cover his ass. (pg 13):

FBI Agent Archey then goes on to explain what is inside the memos: It is in this section where we discover that Comey made notes of his meetings and conversations with investigators.

Along with writing notes of the meetings and conversations, apparently Comey also made notes of the sources and methods associated with the investigation.  Why would Comey generate classified information in these notes (sources and methods) unless he was just covering his ass because he knew the investigation itself was a risk…

The content of the memos seems rather exhaustive; it appears Comey is keeping a diary for use in the event this operation went sideways. (page #14, exhibit B)

(…) This is an October 2017 filing, Comey was fired May 9th. FBI Agent Archey is outlining Trump as the target who might adjust his testimony. Again, more evidence of the special counsel focus being motivated by the obstruction case they were hoping to build. [Reminder, Comey was still FBI director at the time these memos were written]

The next section gets to the heart of why the FBI wants to keep the Comey memos hidden and not released.

In this section Archey outlines how FBI Director James Comey wrote down who the sources were; what code-names were assigned; how those confidential sources engaged with FISA coverage initiated by the FBI; what foreign governments were assisting with their effort; and what the plans were for the investigation.”

(Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 4/09/2019)

January 21, 2019 – Lindsey Graham to continue oversight of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications

Lindsey Graham (Credit: Fox News Sunday)

“New tensions are flaring on the Senate Judiciary Committee over plans by newly minted Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to dig into Obama-era scandals.

Graham, a close ally of President Trump’s, has outlined several areas he wants to probe now that he has the Judiciary Committee gavel.

They include the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

(…) Graham told reporters earlier this month that he would do a “deep dive into the FISA issue” as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. And he told Fox News last month that he believed the FBI “phoned in” the Clinton probe and were “in the tank” for the Democratic presidential nominee.

“There’s a certain unevenness here about how you investigate campaigns,” Graham said, adding that he believed there was “100 percent” a double standard between how the bureau handled the investigation into Clinton compared to investigating the Trump campaign.

Graham also said late last year that he would “totally” investigate the FBI’s handling of its investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Clinton’s email. He added separately last month that he would “get to the bottom of” the FISA warrant applications against Page and that he wanted to have “an in-depth discussion” with former FBI Director James Comey.

Asked about his investigation plans and the criticism from Democrats, a spokeswoman for Graham pointed to a pair of tweets from the GOP senator on Friday where he doubled down.

Graham described as “stunning” a Fox News report that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr discussed his views on a controversial research opposition dossier on Trump with individuals now on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“These purported revelations will NOT get a pass in Senate Judiciary Committee,” Graham added.” (Read more: The Hill, 1/21/2019)

December 16, 2018 – Michael Isikoff, first to report allegations from the Steele dossier, says the salacious allegation are “likely false”

Michael Isikoff (Credit: public domain)

The investigative reporter who broke the first story based on allegations from Christopher Steele offered a surprising assessment of the former British spy’s infamous dossier, which alleges a vast conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

“Would you agree that a lot of what’s in the Steele dossier has been somewhat vindicated?” Mediaite columnist John Ziegler asked Michael Isikoff, a co-author of the book “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story on Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”

“No,” Isikoff responded in an interview released Saturday.

“You would not?” asked Ziegler.

“No,” Isikoff repeated.

Isikoff’s views about the dossier are significant because of his central role in advancing the narrative that the Russian government conspired with Trump associates.

Isikoff is the journalist who wrote the Sept. 23, 2016 article at Yahoo! News laying out Steele’s allegations that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page met secretly in Moscow with two Kremlin insiders. Isikoff’s co-author, David Corn, is the only other reporter to have written about Steele’s claims prior to the 2016 election.

Isikoff and Corn are two of a small handful of reporters who met during the campaign with Steele. The former British spy put the dossier together while working for Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that investigated Trump on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The FBI cited both the dossier and Isikoff’s article in four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on Page. Republicans have accused the FBI of abusing the FISA process by relying heavily on the unverified Steele dossier and failing to reveal that the Clinton team and DNC funded the salacious report.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/17/2018)

February 2, 2018 – The Nunes Memo reports crimes at top of FBI and DOJ

Devin Nunes (Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

“The long-awaited House Intelligence Committee report made public today identifies current and former top officials of the FBI and the Department of Justice as guilty of the felony of misrepresenting evidence required to obtain a court warrant before surveilling American citizens. The target was candidate Donald Trump’s adviser Carter Page.

The main points of what is widely known as the “Nunes Memo,” after the House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), have been nicely summarized by blogger Publius Tacitus, who noted that the following very senior officials are now liable for contempt-of-court charges; namely, the current and former members of the FBI and the Department of Justice who signed off on fraudulent applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court: James Comey, Andy McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Ro[d] Rosenstein. The following is Publius Tacitus’s summary of the main points:

  • The dubious but celebrated Steele Dossier played a critical role in obtaining approval from the FISA court to carry out surveillance of Carter Page according to former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe.
  • Christopher Steele was getting paid by the DNC and the FBI for the same information.
  • No one at the FBI or the DOJ disclosed to the court that the Steele dossier was paid for by an opposition political campaign.
  • The first FISA warrant was obtained on October 21, 2016 based on a story written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo News based on information he received directly from Christopher Steele — the FBI did not disclose in the FISA application that Steele was the original source of the information.
  • Christopher Steele was a long-standing FBI “source” but was terminated as a source after telling Mother Jones reporter David Corn that he had a relationship with the FBI.
  • The FBI signers of the FISA applications/renewals were James Comey (three times) and Andrew McCabe.
  • The DOJ signers of the FISA applications/renewals were Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein.

Even after Steele was terminated by the FBI, he remained in contact with Deputy Attorney General Bruce Our, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, a contractor that was deeply involved with the Steele dossier.

From what Michael Isikoff reported in September 2016 it appears that the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence (as well as the FBI) are implicated in spreading the disinformation about Trump and Russia. Isikoff wrote:

“U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue.

But U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News.”

Who were the “intelligence officials” briefing the select members of the House and Senate? That will be one of the next shoes to drop. We are likely to learn in the coming days that John Brennan and Jim Clapper were also trying to help the FBI build a fallacious case against Trump, adds Tacitus.” (Read more: Consortium News, 2/2/2018)