Paul Ryan

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.

Stuart Evans testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance on June 27, 2017. (Credit: CSpan)

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:

George Toscas (Credit: Fox News)

“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)

June 15, 2018 – Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ with ‘full arsenal’ If they ignore subpoenas

Trey Gowdy (Credit: public domain)

“House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy warned the DOJ and the FBI on Sunday that Republicans will come after them if they choose not to comply with subpoena requests.

Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with FBI and DOJ officials on Friday night and “made very clear there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request.”

“Paul Ryan led this meeting. You had Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, myself and everyone you can think of from the FBI and the DOJ, and we went item by item on both of those outstanding subpoenas,” Gowdy explained. “We’re going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray were present at Ryan’s meeting, according to Gowdy. (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/17/2018)

June 14, 2018 – FBI Director Wray commits to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials

(…) “FBI Director Wray lost all credibility in June of 2018 when he participated in a structured press conference intended to diminish the IG report on the institutional issues with the FBI.   It was then obvious Wray was committed to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials.

At the conclusion of that June 14, 2018press conference an earlier unscheduled meeting on January 3rd, 2018, between Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan then began to make a lot more sense.

During that January 2018 meeting FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan formed an alliance against HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes.

January 3rd, 2018 – WASHINGTON DC – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau’s Russia probe.

Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan’s office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes. (more)

(Credit: Eric Gay/The Associated Press)

(OIG Report on FBI)

(Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 5/08/2019)

May 10, 2018 – Opinion: About That FBI ‘Source’

Kimberly Strassel (Credit: Wall Street Journal)

By Kimberley A. Strassel

“The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.” (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 5/10/2018)

May 16, 2017 – Opinion: Robert Mueller did interview President Trump regarding obstruction case

With a larger portion of the U.S. electorate now beginning to realize there never was a Trump Russia-Collusion-Conspiracy case to begin with; and with people now realizing almost all of Mueller investigative time was spent gathering evidence for an ‘obstruction case’; and with new revelations from Andrew McCabe, John Dowd and Mueller officials overlayed on the previous Strzok/Page texts; we can now clearly reconcile a previous issue:

The May 16, 2017, Mueller meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

There has been a great deal of flawed interpretation of the May 16th meeting between President Trump, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.  Some people even mistakenly used that meeting as a cornerstone for a claim that Mueller and Rosenstein were working to the benefit of President Trump.  However, if you overlay the new information, there is considerable evidence that interview was for the purpose of Mueller determining if he could achieve an ‘obstruction’ goal.  Here’s how…

FBI Director James Comey was fired on Tuesday May 9th, 2017.

According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation the next day, Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

These McCabe statements line up with with text message conversations between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok – (same dates 5/9 and 5/10):

(text link)

It now appears that important redaction is “POTUS” or “TRUMP”.  [Yes, this is evidence that some unknown DOJ officials redacted information from these texts that would have pointed directly to the intents of the DOJ and FBI. (WARNING: Don’t get hung on it.)

The next day, Thursday May 11th, 2017, Andrew McCabe testifies to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines, Senator Marco Rubio asked McCabe: “has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”

McCabe responded: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”

However, again referencing his own admissions, on Friday May 12th McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the issues, referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before.  According to McCabe:

“[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)

Recap: Tuesday-Comey Fired; Wednesday-McCabe starts criminal ‘obstruction’ case; Thursday-McCabe testifies to congress “no effort to impede”; Friday-McCabe and Rosenstein discuss Special Counsel.

After the weekend, Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.”

Now, overlaying what we know now that we did not know in 2018, to include the John Dowd interview and McCabe admissions, a very clear picture emerges.

On Tuesday May 16th, Rod Rosenstein takes Robert Mueller to the White House to talk with the target of the ‘obstruction’ criminal investigation, under the ruse of bringing Mueller in for a meeting about becoming FBI Director.  This meeting was quite literally advanced reconnaissance.

The next day, Wednesday May 17th, 2017, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, ¹Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

(…) “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.”

(…) “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” (link)

Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.

According to President Trump’s Attorney John Dowd, the White House was stunned by the decision. [Link] Coincidentally, AG Jeff Sessions was in the oval office for unrelated business when White House counsel Don McGahn came in and informed the group.  Jeff Sessions immediately offered his resignation, and Sessions’ chief-of-staff Jody Hunt went back to the Main Justice office to ask Rosenstein what the hell was going on.

Now, with hindsight and full understanding of exactly what the purposes and intents were for Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to bring Robert Mueller to the White House, revisit this video from June 2017:

(The Conservative Treehouse, 4/04/2019)

(Republished with permission)

December 13, 2016 – Christopher Steele gives his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, left, and House Speaker Paul  Ryan. (Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call)

(…) “In his testimony, Comey again pushed the fiction that Republicans opposed to Trump first paid for the dossier. Congressional Republicans are right that Comey is trying to muddy the waters—the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Steele’s work.

But credit Comey for underscoring, and maybe not accidentally, a larger truth—the operation that sought to defraud the American voter had bipartisan support all along. Court documents released in December show that Steele gave his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

How is it possible that so many people knew and said nothing? Everyone knows it’s impossible to sustain a real conspiracy that size. People in the know talk and the press makes it public. But they did talk—all the time. But the conversations, implicit confessions, of FBI agents and other U.S. officials were hidden by colleagues who classified their talk, or deleted it, like FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages.

The press didn’t report it because the press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible, and it certainly wouldn’t have lasted for two years, had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives.

Starting with a relatively small group consisting of Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, and senior FBI, DOJ, CIA, and State Department officials, the dossier operation gained momentum and adherents, senior officials across the political spectrum, a large part of the press corps, then the many millions of Americans it wound into a frenzied madness. Thus, much of the dossier operation was improvised.

But the core component appears to be the result of a carefully constructed plan requiring technical and legal know-how. Interviews with current and former U.S. officials provide fresh insight into how Clinton-funded operatives and senior law enforcement figures orchestrated a media campaign and weaponized the dossier to obtain the October 21, 2016 warrant on Page.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2019)

Republicans applaud Comey’s announcement regarding the FBI’s discovery of new information relevant to the Clinton email investigation.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (Credit: Molly Riley / The Associated Press)

House Speaker Paul Ryan (Credit: Molly Riley / The Associated Press)

Prominent Republican politicians react to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the Clinton email investigation has been at least partially reopened due to the discovery of more emails in the possession of her aide Huma Abedin.

Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Reince Priebus says, “The FBI’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be. … This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) says, “Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.” He argues that she should no longer be allowed to receive classified briefings. (The New York Times, 10/28/2016)

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticizes the FBI for the timing of the release of their Clinton email investigation final report.

Paul Ryan (Credit: CNN)

Paul Ryan (Credit: CNN)

Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, complains how the report was released on the Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend. “It’s like the most buried time you could ever put out a story. I’m surprised. I can’t believe that they would do what is such a patently political move. It makes them look like political operators versus law enforcement officers.” (CNN, 9/6/2016)

One day later, FBI Director James Comey responds with a statement defending the timing of the release.

Paul Ryan’s attempt to block Clinton from getting intelligence briefings is denied.

160711JamesClapperJScottApplewhiteAP

James Clapper (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / The Associated Press)

A request from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) to prevent Clinton from receiving intelligence briefings after the late July 2016 Democratic National Convention is denied.

Just a few days after Ryan made the request, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells Ryan in a letter  that he “does not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate. … Nominees for president and vice president receive these briefings by virtue of their status as candidates, and do not require separate security clearances before the briefings. Briefings for the candidates will be provided on an even-handed non-partisan basis.”

The briefings given both major party candidates are intended to prepare them with the information they’ll need to run the country if they win the general election.

Ryan made the request after FBI Director James Comey said that Clinton and her aides had been “extremely careless” handling highly classified intelligence. Ryan wrote in the request, “There is no legal requirement for you to provide Secretary Clinton with classified information, and it would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation’s secrets if you choose to provide her access to this information despite the FBI’s findings.” (CNN, 7/11/2016)

Although Clinton’s aides won’t be indicted, they may lose their security clearances.

Bill Savarino (Credit: public domain)

Bill Savarino (Credit: public domain)

The New York Times reports that although the FBI has decided not to recommend the indictment of Clinton or her former aides, the FBI’s Clinton investigation has “cast a cloud of doubt over the political futures of a number of her top advisers, including some expected to hold high-level jobs in her administration if she is elected president.”

On July 5, 2016, FBI Director James Comey said that although there was no clear evidence that Clinton or her aides intended to violate national security laws, “there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” He also noted that people in similar situations “are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”

The Times suggests this could affect the security clearances of “several dozen State Department advisers who, records show, facilitated Mrs. Clinton’s unorthodox email arrangement or used it to send her classified documents.” Those facing the most scrutiny are her former top advisers Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Jake Sullivan, who continue to work closely with Clinton.

The State Department has restarted an internal investigation into Clinton’s email usage, and that could lead to some security clearances being revoked. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) has said that, based on the conclusions of the FBI’s investigation, Clinton should be denied the classified briefings normally given the major presidential nominees.

Bill Savarino, a lawyer specializing in security clearances, says, “I’ve never seen anything quite like this. You’ve got a situation here where the woman who would be in charge of setting national security policy as president has been deemed by the FBI unsuitable to safeguard and handle classified information.” He adds that if any of Clinton’s former top aides involved in the controversy were to ask him for help seeking a future security clearance, “I’d tell them that you’ve got a fight on your hands.'”

Sean M. Bigley, another lawyer specializing in security clearances, says his law firm has routinely defended clients who have lost their security clearances because of violations that were “much less egregious” than those described by Comey. “The folks who were involved with this, even on a peripheral basis, at least are going to be facing administrative action, or should be, based on the historical cases we’ve dealt with.” He says the threshold for administrative punishment is much lower than for criminal prosecution. (The New York Times, 7/6/2016)