June 20, 2019 – The Justice Department allows Congress to view the Rosenstein Scope Memos
Byron York has put down the crustless triangle sandwich and white wine spritzer long enough to finally discover the October 20th, 2017, scope memo written by Rod Rosenstein that authorized Weissman and Mueller to target Michael Flynn Jr.
(…) The Justice Department has recently allowed members of some congressional committees to view the scope memos, and out of that has come the news that there was a third scope memo to Mueller. Dated Oct. 20, 2017, its contents remain a secret. But its very existence suggests something was going on behind the scenes in the relationship of Mueller and his supervisors at the Justice Department. (read more)
York continues… “At the moment, the third scope memo, like most of the second scope memo, remains a secret.“… Good grief, seriously? Funny how AG Barr is now letting congress look at the scope memos, meanwhile -despite the authorization to release provided by President Trump- the public is blocked from them. I digress.
The October 20th, 2017, Rosenstein scope memo was specifically so that Weissmann and Mueller could target specific people for maximum political damage; including the targeting of Michael Flynn Jr. to generate leverage so that Flynn Sr. would have to accept a plea or see his family crushed under the weight of the weaponized special counsel.
The original authorization for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller was May 17th, 2017. However, the released Weissmann/Mueller report shows there were two additional scope memos authorizing specific targeting of the Mueller probe. The second scope memo was August 2nd, 2017, (outlined here), and is an important part of the puzzle that helps explain the corrupt original purpose of the special counsel.
The third scope memo was issued by Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller on October 20th, 2017. The transparent intent of the third scope memo was to provide Weissmann and Mueller with ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets, for specific purposes. One of those targets was General Michael Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr.
As you review the highlighted portion below, found on pages 12 and 13 of the Weissmann report, read slowly and fully absorb the intent; the corruption is blood-boiling:
This third scope memo allowed Weissmann and Mueller to target tangentially related persons and entities bringing in Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn Jr. Additionally and strategically (you’ll see why), this memo established the authority to pursue “jointly undertaken activity“.
With Paul Manafort outlined as an investigative target in the original authorization and the second scope memo, the third scope memo authorizes expansion to his business partner Richard Gates and their joint businesses. This memo also permits the investigation of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and all of his interests; and in ultimate weasel sunlight, Rosenstein authorizes an investigation of his boss, AG Jeff Sessions.
Before getting to more targets, notice the underlined passage about starting with a lot of investigative material because the special counsel was picking up a Russian interference investigation that had been ongoing for “nearly 10 months.”
I would also note that our CTH research indicates all of the illegally extracted FISA-702(16)(17) database search results would be part of this pre-existing investigative file available immediately to Weissmann and Mueller. However, in order to use the search-query evidence, Weissmann and Mueller would need to backfill some alternate justification; or find another way to “rediscover” the preexisting results….. I digress
The four identified targets within the original July 2016 investigation, “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”, were George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Carter Page. (See HPSCI report):
General Flynn was under investigation from the outset in mid-2016. The fraudulent FBI counterintelligence operation, established by CIA Director John Brennan, had Flynn as one of the early targets when Brennan handed the originating electronic communication“EC” to FBI Director James Comey.” (Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 6/20/2019)
- Andrew Weissmann
- Crossfire Hurricane
- electronic communication memo (EC)
- FBI counterintelligence investigation
- George Papadopoulos
- John Brennan
- June 2019
- Lt. General Michael Flynn
- Michael Cohen
- Michael Flynn Jr.
- Mueller Report
- Paul Manafort
- Richard Gates
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Roger Stone
- scope memos
- William Barr
May 4, 2019 – James Comey justifies FBI spy operations – More reason to release his “Spygate” Memos
Former FBI Director James Comey gave a radio interview to Los Angeles radio station KNX 1070-AM after the New York Times outlined FBI spies used in the 2016 election. When questioned about the FBI using intelligence assets to engage with Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos, Comey replied:
“Really? What would you have the FBI do? We discover in the middle of June of 2016 that the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to mess with this democracy to interfere in the election. We’re focused on that and at the end of July we learn that a Trump campaign adviser — two months earlier, before any of this was public — had talked to a Russian representative about the fact that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton and wanted to arrange to share it with the Trump campaign.”
What Comey is describing there is “Russian representative” Joseph Mifsud talking to George Papadopoulos. Mifsud allegedly told Trump aide George Papadopoulos in April 2016 that Russia had “thousands” of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
On May 6th, 2016, some unknown intelligence apparatus ran an operation using Australian aide to Ambassador Downer, Erika Thompson, to interview Papadopoulos; and on May 10th, Ambassador Downer interviewed Papadopoulos and recorded their contact.
Later, in July 2016, the May 6th meeting with Thompson was used by FBI Agent Peter Strzok to write an Electronic Communication memo, transferred from CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey, opening Crossfire Hurricane on July 31st.
It is worth remembering from a recent court filing by the FBI we are now aware that James Comey documented each intelligence decision in a series of multiple CYA memos that remain hidden. An additional court filing originally scheduled for April 15th, to determine the outcome of those memos, has been delayed until May 7th (next week).
The trail to understand the scale of the Comey memos surfaced as part of the FOIA case (Backstory Here) where DC Court Judge James E. Boasberg -an Obama appointee and also a FISA judge- asked the FBI to file an opinion about the release of Comey memos to the public. There were two issues: (1) can the memos be released? and (2) can prior sealed FBI filings, arguing to keep the memos hidden, be released?
In a very revealing filing April 8th, 2019, (full pdf below) the lead FBI investigator for the Mueller special counsel, David W. Archey, informed 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 stated much of the memo content and sealed background material from the FBI must continue to remain sealed and redacted.
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 multiple 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)
All of those investigative elements would likely be contained in official FBI files and notes by the investigative agents. There is no need for a contemporaneous personal account of meeting content unless Comey was constructing memos for his own protection. These memos appear to be motivated by the same mindset that caused Susan Rice to generate her email to self on inauguration day.
In the next section FBI Agent David Archey explains the scale of the memos. There are obviously far more than previously discussed or disclosed publicly. Additionally, look carefully at the way the second part is worded.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/04/2019)
- Alexander Downer
- Archey Declarations
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Clinton emails
- Comey memos
- Crossfire Hurricane
- David Archey
- electronic communication memo (EC)
- Erika Thompson
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- George Papadopoulos
- James Comey
- John Brennan
- Joseph Mifsud
- Peter Strzok
- Russia collusion
- Trump campaign
April 18, 2019 – Mueller’s own report undercuts its core Russia-meddling claims
“While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump’s victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred “principally” on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.
But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:
- The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.
- The report’s timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.
- There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.
- Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.
- U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.
- Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party’s legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.
- Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, “a private Russian entity” known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
- Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity.
- John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller’s investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party — in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.
Uncertainty Over Who Stole the Emails
The Mueller report’s narrative of Russian hacking and leaking was initially laid out in a July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and is detailed further in the report. According to Mueller, operatives at Russia’s main intelligence agency, the GRU, broke into Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016. The hackers infiltrated Podesta’s account with a common tactic called spear-phishing, duping him with a phony security alert that led him to enter his password. The GRU then used stolen Democratic Party credentials to hack into the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) servers beginning in April 2016. Beginning in June 2016, the report claims, the GRU created two online personas, “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” to begin releasing the stolen material. After making contact later that month, Guccifer 2.0 apparently transferred the DNC emails to the whistleblowing, anti-secrecy publisher WikiLeaks, which released the first batch on July 22 ahead of the Democratic National Convention.
The report presents this narrative with remarkable specificity: It describes in detail how GRU officers installed malware, leased U.S.-based computers, and used cryptocurrencies to carry out their hacking operation. The intelligence that caught the GRU hackers is portrayed as so invasive and precise that it even captured the keystrokes of individual Russian officers, including their use of search engines.
In fact, the report contains crucial gaps in the evidence that might support that authoritative account. Here is how it describes the core crime under investigation, the alleged GRU theft of DNC emails:
Between approximately May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, GRU officers accessed the DNC’s mail server from a GRU-controlled computer leased inside the United States. During these connections, Unit 26165 officers appear to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later released by WikiLeaks in July 2016. [Italics added for emphasis.]
The report’s use of that one word, “appear,” undercuts its suggestions that Mueller possesses convincing evidence that GRU officers stole “thousands of emails and attachments” from DNC servers. It is a departure from the language used in his July 2018 indictment, which contained no such qualifier:
“It’s certainly curious as to why this discrepancy exists between the language of Mueller’s indictment and the extra wiggle room inserted into his report a year later,” says former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. “It may be an example of this and other existing gaps that are inherent with the use of circumstantial information. With Mueller’s exercise of quite unprecedented (but politically expedient) extraterritorial jurisdiction to indict foreign intelligence operatives who were never expected to contest his conclusory assertions in court, he didn’t have to worry about precision. I would guess, however, that even though NSA may be able to track some hacking operations, it would be inherently difficult, if not impossible, to connect specific individuals to the computer transfer operations in question.”
The report also concedes that Mueller’s team did not determine another critical component of the crime it alleges: how the stolen Democratic material was transferred to WikiLeaks. The July 2018 indictment of GRU officers suggested – without stating outright – that WikiLeaks published the Democratic Party emails after receiving them from Guccifer 2.0 in a file named “wk dnc linkI .txt.gpg” on or around July 14, 2016. But now the report acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information: “The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.”
Another partially redacted passage also suggests that Mueller cannot trace exactly how WikiLeaks received the stolen emails. Given how the sentence is formulated, the redacted portion could reflect Mueller’s uncertainty:
Contrary to Mueller’s sweeping conclusions, the report itself is, at best, suggesting that the GRU, via its purported cutout Guccifer 2.0, may have transferred the stolen emails to WikiLeaks. ”
Aaron Mate’ addresses each of the bullet points above in much greater detail at: (RealClearInvestigations, 7/05/2019)
April 14, 2019 – Release this material and the entire corrupt construct is exposed
♦ 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.
- 302 reports
- Admiral Mike Rogers
- Bruce Ohr
- Carter Page
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Comey memos
- Counterintelligence investigation
- Crossfire Hurricane
- DOJ National Security Division
- electronic communication memo (EC)
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA 702 violations
- FISA application
- James Comey
- John Brennan
- John Carlin
- Joseph Pientka
- Lisa Page
- Peter Strzok
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- scope memo
- text messages
March 25, 2019 – Former CIA director John Brennan admits he received “bad information” that lead to conspiracy indictments
“Former CIA Director John Brennan’s recent admission he received “bad information” that led him to inaccurately predict conspiracy indictments in the Mueller probe is raising questions about claims he made to Congress about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.
Brennan told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May 2017 the CIA provided the FBI with information on contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign figures.
Brennan said he was “concerned” about the contacts because of known Russian efforts to “suborn” Trump campaign associates.
“It raised questions in my mind … whether or not the Russians were ever able to gain cooperation of those individuals,” Brennan said in the May 23, 2017 testimony.
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” he added, noting he had not seen evidence of collusion between the Trump associates and Russians.
Brennan did not identify the Trump officials or add any other details about the alleged contacts, other than that they occurred in 2016.
Whatever contacts there might have been did not involve a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election, as special counsel Robert Mueller has determined.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/27/2019)
Brennan was selling collusion from both inside the White House and out.
December 18, 2018 – Four major blows to the credibility of the Steele dossier…why the lies in the Steele dossier matter
(…) “The continued and proven failures of the Steele dossier matter. Not only was it used in obtaining the Page FISA warrant, but was also used in intelligence-community documents provided to Obama and his administration.
Former CIA Director John Brennan has claimed he never used the dossier in the Intelligence Community assessment. That claim was later disputed by his co-author, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who said on CNN that “some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community assessment from other sources in which we had very high confidence to it.”
Former NSA Director Mike Rogers was more specific:
“In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier—described as ‘the Christopher Steele information’—was ‘added’ as an ‘appendix to the ICA [Intelligence Community Assessment] draft,’ and that consideration of that appendix was ‘part of the overall ICA review/approval process.’”
In August, Brennan did an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that was discussed in an Epoch Times article, “Did Brennan Admit to Using Reverse Targeting to Spy on the Trump Campaign?” During that interview, Brennan repeatedly stated his knowledge of Russian contacts with U.S. citizens. Maddow pursued his conclusions from those contacts:
Maddow: While you were in office as CIA director, before you left on inauguration day, did you conclude that U.S. persons were successfully leveraged in that effort?
The look of shocked surprise on Maddow’s face was notable at Brennan’s denial that the Russians had successfully engaged Americans to obtain their goals.
The Steele dossier, written by a British national and former MI6 agent, was used by both the FBI and the CIA and a summary of the document was provided directly to Obama. And yet, for all the weight attached to this document, most of its assertions have never been proven to be factual, many have been proven to be false and it remains unverified to this day.
Which is perhaps fitting for a document that had its origination as something to be used by Hillary Clinton to challenge the election in the then-unlikely event she lost.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 12/18/2018)
October 3, 2018 – James Baker testimony reveals he met with Larry Klayman regarding CIA/NSA whistleblower, Dennis Montgomery, and played a role in his immunity deal
On the same day House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes gave a press conference disclosing that President Trump had been under “incidental surveillance,” attorney and FreedomWatch chairman, Larry Klayman, sent a letter to the same committee, imploring them to pursue the claims and evidence presented under oath at a Washington DC FBI Field Office by his client, CIA/NSA whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, who Klayman claims “holds the keys to disproving the false claims that there is no evidence that the president and his men were wiretapped.”
When Montgomery attempted to deliver this information through the appropriate channels, he was met with closed doors.
In a March 2017 Newsmax article, Klayman writes:
(…) “Montgomery left the NSA and CIA with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified, and sought to come forward legally as a whistleblower to appropriate government entities, including congressional intelligence committees, to expose that the spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump, and even yours truly. Working side by side with Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence (DIA), James Clapper, and Obama’s former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, Montgomery witnessed “up close and personal” this “Orwellian Big Brother” intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes.”
(…) “After Montgomery was turned away as a whistleblower, he came to me at Freedom Watch. With the aid of the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who I had come to respect and trust over the years of my public interest advocacy, we brought Montgomery forward to FBI Director James Comey, through his General Counsel James Baker. Under grants of immunity, which I obtained through Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis, Montgomery produced the hard drives and later was interviewed under oath in a secure room at the FBI Field Office in the District of Columbia. There he laid out how persons like then-businessman Donald Trump were illegally spied upon by Clapper, Brennan, and the spy agencies of the Obama administration. He even claimed that these spy agencies had manipulated voting in Florida during the 2008 presidential election, which illegal tampering resulted in helping Obama to win the White House.
This interview, conducted and videoed by Special FBI Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett, occurred almost two years ago, and nothing that I know of has happened since. It would appear that the FBI’s investigation was buried by Comey, perhaps because the FBI itself collaborates with the spy agencies to conduct illegal surveillance. In landmark court cases which I filed after the revelations of Edward Snowden, the Honorable Richard Leon, a colleague of Judge Lamberth, had ruled that this type of surveillance constituted a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
Deborah Curtis, the DoJ attorney who helped Montgomery receive a grant of immunity, also served on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation team.
Here is the relevant testimony in James Baker’s transcript release:
July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testimony on FISA briefings, Brennan, and White House knowledge
(…) “At several points, Page noted a frustration on the part of the FBI in relation to the speed with which the DOJ was moving in the FISA spy warrant-application process.
When questioned about the need to move swiftly, Page noted, “There was an operational reason that we were pushing to get the FISA up, which I am not at liberty to discuss.” Upon further questioning, Page tried to provide slightly more clarity: “We had an operational reason that we wanted to get this thing up quickly with respect to the subject himself.”
According to Page’s testimony, she first learned of plans to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page approximately a month before the FISA was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.
Page disclosed that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stu Evans was the person within the DOJ who was in charge of the entire FISA process, but notably, the FBI chose not to tell Evans that they had opened a counterintelligence investigation:
“We were so concerned about the fact that we were opening this investigation and we were so concerned about leaks that we were literally individually making decisions about who to tell and who not to tell, because we were trying to keep it so closely held.”
According to Page, the only DOJ official they told was Toscas, the deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division. Without forewarning to the FBI, Toscas informed Evans in August 2016—possibly earlier—of the FBI’s newly opened investigation.
The text in question was from Aug. 10, 2016, and was paraphrased by one of the congressional representatives:
“I remember what it was, Toscas already told Stu Evans everything. Sally called to set up a meeting.”
“Sally” is affirmed in the conversation as referring to Deputy AG Sally Yates.
Page was emphatic that this discussion didn’t have anything to do with the actual FISA but instead reflected the FBI’s concern that increasing numbers of people were learning of their investigation.
Notably, Toscas reported to Carlin, the head of the NSD, whose actions before the FISA court in relation to his presentation of the government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications, strongly suggest he was also aware of the FBI’s investigation. Carlin appears to have been aware of the FBI’s later FISA preparations, as well.
The congressional representative then asked the following question:
“What you’re saying is when the director briefed the White House 2 days prior to that, on August the 8th, or prepared for it, actually briefed him on the 10th, that it had nothing to do with any campaign. Even though George Toscas and Stu Evans knew about it.”
Normally, when a member of the FBI uses the word “director,” they would be referring to the FBI director. In this case, while not made absolutely clear in the transcript, it appears “director” refers to CIA Director John Brennan, who had been discussed in the preceding comments relating to Brennan’s briefing of Reid.
From Brennan’s congressional testimony, we know that he had briefed the White House at some point in early August 2016, prior to Aug. 11:
“In consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in election to congressional leadership, specifically Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to Representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devon Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11 August and 6 September.”
Page responded to the question: “Sir, I would be shocked. I would truly be stunned to discover that the director had briefed the president on the substance of our investigation or even the existence of our investigation. I would be—I can’t say it didn’t happen, I wasn’t there, but I would be stunned to discover that.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)
- Adam Schiff
- Barack Obama
- Carter Page
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Department of Justice
- Devin Nunes
- Dianne Feinstein
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA briefings
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- George Toscas
- Harry Reid
- John Brennan
- John Carlin
- July 2018
- Lisa Page
- Mitch McConnell
- Nancy Pelosi
- Paul Ryan
- Richard Burr
- Sally Yates
- Stuart Evans
July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies she was unaware of Brennan’s role in helping establish the FBI counterintelligence investigation
(…) “Page staunchly maintained that any briefings given to the White House were always about the “Russian active-measures effort” and were not in relation to “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s name for its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump–Russia allegations.
Brennan admitted during congressional testimony that his intelligence helped establish the FBI counterintelligence investigation:
“I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.”
This admission is important, particularly since Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had previously disclosed that no official intelligence was used to open the FBI’s investigation.
Brennan’s role was highlighted again during testimony, as one representative questioning Page questioned her in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message: “What are you doing after the CH brief?” CH almost certainly referred to “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Page was asked specifically about an event that occurred on the same day:
“It’s the same day that Director Brennan is briefing Harry Reid, is why I ask. And so what you’re saying is you were unaware that Director Brennan was briefing Harry Reid that same day?”
Page said she was unaware of Brennan’s briefing to Reid. She was then asked the following:
“You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It’s not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point. And it becomes apparent, based on your text messages and based on Director Comey’s emails, that you all are aware that that conversation took place. Were you aware that Director Brennan had a briefing with Harry Reid and that you expected a letter from Harry Reid?”
Page noted that she remembered the letter sent by Reid, but seemed confused as to Brennan’s involvement and possible knowledge of the Steele dossier. Worth noting is that while some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in July, the counterintelligence investigative team didn’t receive it until mid-September during a trip to Rome, where they met personally with Steele.
The representative, who was clearly aware of the disparity in timing, focused on precisely how Brennan might have been aware of the dossier in August:
Unidentified Representative: “So what you’re saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?”
Page: “That is correct, sir.”
Rep.: “OK. So on Aug. 30, you and Peter are going back and forth, and you go, ‘Here we go.’ If you’ll look at 9:44:50 on August the 30th, you go, ‘Here we go.’ And it’s referencing [the New York Times report] ‘Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in the U.S. Vote and Seeks FBI Inquiry.’ Now, what happens is, and what I guess gives me a little bit of concern is, if you drop down, that if you drop down to the same day, August 30th, 9:45, it says, ‘The D’—which I assume means director—’said at the a.m. brief that Reid had called him and told him that he would be sending the letter.’
Rep.: “So you get a brief that says, well, we got the letter, but it’s almost like it’s a coordinated effort between Harry Reid and the FBI director, because obviously, he’s briefing you.”
After a bit of back and forth, Page responded, “I don’t know what Harry Reid was told or why or what the purpose of Brennan [was.]”
The representative pressed on:
“Why would Director Brennan be aware of things that the FBI was not aware of at this particular point, when it actually would potentially involve, according to Peter Strzok’s word on January 10th of 2017, an unverified salacious set of memos?”
And then the big reveal:
Unidentified Representative: “We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we’re going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?”
Page: “Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan—so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did, because the first time we—”
Rep.: “We do know there are multiple sources.”
Page: “I do know that. I do know that the information ultimately found its way lots of different places, certainly in October of 2016. But if the CIA as early as August, in fact, had those same reports, I am not aware of—I’m not aware of that and nor do I believe they provided them to us, and that would be unusual.”
Rep.: “Were you aware that Christopher Steele had conversations or multiple conversations with Fusion GPS and others outside of just working special intel for you?”
Page: “As of August of 2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life. So let me just sort of be clear. When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated. We don’t know for what purpose.”
A bit later in the discussion, the representative asked another question:
Rep.: “So you don’t know whether it’s a coordinated effort to get you those documents or not at that point in September?”
Page responds, “Coordinated by whom, sir?
Rep.: “Anybody, other than a confidential human source saying, ‘Listen, I’ve got reason to be concerned and bring it to you.’ It could be coordinated by the CIA. It could have been coordinated by Fusion GPS. You don’t know.”
Page: “At the time that we received the documentation, no. What we have is the preexisting relationship with the source and the reliability of his prior reporting.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)
May 15, 2018 – Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan’s Denial of Reliance on Dossier
“Former CIA Director John Brennan’s insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.
Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA. And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.” Without elaborating, he maintained that “we were able to corroborate” certain allegations.
These accounts are at odds with Brennan’s May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on “Meet the Press.”
In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier — described as “the Christopher Steele information” — was “added” as an “appendix to the ICA draft,” and that consideration of that appendix was “part of the overall ICA review/approval process.”
(…) “The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that “Vladimir Putin ordered” the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails “to help Trump’s chances of victory” have driven the “Russia collusion” narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.
Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies — the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department’s intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.” (Read more: Real Clear Investigations, 5/15/18)