Trump campaign

December 20, 2019 – Adam Schiff says he has no sympathy for Carter Page, doesn’t regret writing memo defending FBI

Adam Schiff appears on PBS Firing Line with Margaret Hoover on December 20, 2019. (Credit: PBS clipping)

“Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview aired Friday that he has no sympathy for Carter Page and that he also has no regrets about writing in a memo released in 2018 that the FBI did not abuse the foreign surveillance process in order to spy on the former Trump campaign aide.

Schiff offered the remarks when asked in a PBS interview about the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report, which found the FBI withheld exculpatory information in applications seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page.

(…) “I have to say Carter Page came before our committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony,” said Schiff.

“It’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath. It’s also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin.”

The report stated the FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, which asserted Page was a Russian agent. But the IG found the FBI was unable to corroborate any of the dossier’s allegations about Page. The report also said a major source for dossier author Christopher Steele told the FBI in January 2017 that parts of the dossier were exaggerated and misrepresented.

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/21/2019)  (Archive)

UPDATE: Carter Page tweets a response to Adam Schiff the following day:

December 20, 2019 – The FISA Court orders a review of all FISA filings handled by FBI lawyer facing criminal investigation

Carter Page, petroleum industry consultant and former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential election campaign, in Washington on May 28, 2019. (Credit: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered a review of all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act filings handled by Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer who altered a key document about Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

The FISA court confirmed Clinesmith had been referred to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation. Judge Rosemary Collyer, who leads the FISA court, ordered the DOJ to bring it up to speed on everything it had learned about Clinesmith’s conduct and to explain why there was a delay between the conclusion of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation and the court being told what misconduct had been unearthed.

Specifically, the FISA court ordered the DOJ to “identify all other matters currently or previously before this court that involved the participation” of Clinesmith. The court also ordered the DOJ to “describe any steps taken or to be taken by the Department of Justice or FBI to verify that the United States’s submissions in those matters completely and fully described the material facts and circumstances,” unlike the Page FISA filings. Third, court ordered the DOJ to “advise whether the conduct” of Clinesmith has been “referred to the appropriate bar associations for investigation or possible disciplinary action.”

Several months before its first FISA filing against Page, the FBI was informed Page had been a source of information for the CIA in the past, a fact the bureau failed to include in its initial filing or any of its renewals. A liaison from the CIA reminded Clinesmith, who was a part of the team reviewing the Page FISA filings, about Page’s previous relationship with the agency. But instead of accurately informing the FBI supervisory special agent so that the FISA court could be properly informed, Clinesmith altered the email to falsely state that Page was “not a source.”

This public order follows a scathing letter from Collyer directed at the bureau released earlier this week.

“The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Horowitz] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above,” said Collyer, who approved the initial surveillance warrant against Page.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 12/21/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The DOJ IG report misses yet another lie from the FBI

“Left-leaning politicians and the press spent more than three years pushing the Russia collusion hoax. Yet, following the inspector general’s release of his 478-page report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse, after making quick mention of the top-line findings, the media moved on. As a result, much has been missed, including one significant misrepresentation contained in all four of the Carter Page FISA applications—an inaccuracy even the IG’s team overlooked.

Two passages, separated by more than 50 pages, when read together reveal an eighth significant inaccuracy and omission from the first FISA application, and one repeated in the later three renewals: Steele’s sources and sub-sources were not ones he used or developed during his time with the British intelligence service MI6, contrary to the impression created in the FISA applications.

This detail was dropped in a footnote in the IG report, following this text: “Steele told us he had a source network in place with a proven ‘track record’ that could deliver on Fusion GPS’s requirements. Steele added that this source network previously had furnished intelligence on Russian interference in European affairs.”

The relevant footnote, footnote 214, then read: “Steele told us that this source network did not involve sources from his time as a [redacted] and was developed entirely in the period after he retired from government service.” The redacted language undoubtedly referred to Steele’s British intelligence work.

That Steele’s “source network did not involve sources from his time” with British intelligence proves extremely significant when considered in tandem with the details the IG provided about the FISA application process in general, and the specifics of the Page FISA applications.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – IG FISA report footnote 474 – Confidential Human Source w/ Delta file was inside Trump campaign

“CTH was always curious why one specific member of the Trump campaign and transition team was abruptly departed (Nov 15, 2016) immediately after the visit by NSA Director Mike Rogers was scheduled, and two-days prior to their meeting.  It’s a weedy question, likely only considered by those who were watching closely at the time…

However, perhaps Inspector General Michael Horowitz has provided some background on the move. [Page 336, 337, fn #474]

Based on the arc of the post-election timeline described in the segment of the report that touches upon “non-tasked” Confidential Human Sources (CHSs), beginning page 336; and based on other information in/around the specific CHS described; there’s a very strong likelihood we can identify this one.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (l) and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (r), on October 8, 2012. (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

From Politico, November 15, 2016:

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has resigned from Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

“It was a privilege to prepare and advise the policy, personnel and agency action teams on all aspects of the national security portfolio during the initial pre-election planning phase,” Rogers said in a statement Tuesday. “Our work will provide a strong foundation for the new transition team leadership as they move into the post-election phase, which naturally is incorporating the campaign team in New York who drove President-elect Trump to an incredible victory last Tuesday.” (Politico, 11/15/2016)

As more Americans are now aware of how deep the intelligence community operates in/around DC politicians, it is worth remembering exactly how this happens.

The modern intelligence apparatus has a history of leveraging/turning compromised politicians into assets for an agenda most Americans are only now starting to grasp. Former HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers was in place during the 2012 joint CIA/State Department Benghazi operation controlled by Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta, code name: Operation Zero Footprint.

Congressman Rogers was part of the group who covered for Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta in the outcome of Benghazi. Rogers motives on both fronts (cover Benghazi and surveillance of Trump) are part of the old fashioned motive, money.  Mike Rogers’ wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a “security” defense contractor – and her connections delivered a $10 billion contract with the State Dept.

In the height of the scrutiny over Benghazi HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger authored a quick, and widely rebuked, intelligence committee report that provided the first line of defense for Clinton, Obama and Panetta.  The media seized on the Rogers/Ruppersberger report to set the narrative.

Immediately following their efforts, Mike Rogers and Dennis Ruppersberger resigned from congress.  Mike and his wife Kristi riding off into the sunset with multi-millions of wealth from the secured Aegis contract. [Oh yeah, and Kristi retired too]

This is how the deep state operates and the Rogers example is a typical highlight for how enmeshed interests of the intelligence community, politicians and the individual can resurface when needed.  With the background explained, you can easily see how the Deep State 2016 presidential election interests would merge with the interests of Mike and Kristi Rogers influence/affluence.

Oh yes, at the time…. the Deep State media was also fully engaged: (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/24/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report reveals James Comey and Loretta Lynch contradictions

James B. Comey and Loretta E. Lynch during a news conference in 2016. (Credit: Mandel Ngan/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

(…) “The IG report also stressed Comey’s lack of a security clearance in discussing inconsistencies between his and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s statements to the IG. The report noted that “Lynch told the OIG that after one of her weekly security meetings at FBI Headquarters in the spring of 2016, Comey and McCabe pulled her aside and provided information about Carter Page, which Lynch believed they learned from another member of the Intelligence Community.”

Lynch further stated that Comey and McCabe informed her that “Russian intelligence reportedly planned to use Page for information and to develop other contacts in the United States, and that they were interested in his affiliation with the campaign.” According to the IG report, Lynch’s “understanding was that this information from Comey and McCabe was ‘preliminary’ in that they did not state that any decisions or actions needed to be taken that day.”

Lynch added that “they discussed the possibility of providing a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign, but she believed it was ‘preliminary’ and ‘something that might happen down the road,’” but that “she did not recall receiving any further updates on this issue following this conversation.”

The IG report noted that “Lynch’s recollection of what Comey and McCabe told her is consistent with information referenced in connection with the 2015 [Southern District of New York] indictment and subsequent conviction of a Russian intelligence officer referenced earlier in this chapter.” However, “Comey told the OIG that he did not recall having such a conversation with Lynch and that he did not think it was possible for such a conversation to have occurred in the spring of 2016 because the FBI did not receive the [Friendly Foreign Government] information concerning Papadopoulos until late July.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/06/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – Sketchy changes to IG FISA report covers up major discrepancy in first version

“There was a major discrepancy in the Inspector General report on FISA abuse, that appears to have been overlooked and casts a considerable cloud upon the DOJ Office of Inspector General and Michael Horowitz.

In chapter ten of the report, on page #312 you will find the following information.  The claim is that no-one in the FBI initiated any use of “Confidential Human Sources” into the campaign prior to opening the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.  Read Carefully:

However, in the very next chapter (#11, page #400), in the original IG report as released on December 9th, 2019, you will find the following statement:

The two statements are completely contradictory.

Carter Page and George Papadopoulos started working for the Trump campaign in early March 2016.  The Crossfire Hurricane investigation began on July 28th, 2016.

If the FBI tasked CHS’s before and after they were affiliated with the Trump campaign, that was certainly before the opening of Crossfire Hurricane.   That statement was also included in the original Executive Summary (page xvi) as below:

The IG report was modified after publication to change this paragraph to:

“We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team tasked several CHSs and UCEs during the 2016 presidential campaign, which resulted in multiple interactions with Carter Page and Papadopoulos, both during and after the time they were affiliated with the Trump campaign”…

However, that still presents an issue with this statement:

“In our review, we did not find any evidence that the FBI used CHSs or UCEs to interact with members of the Trump campaign prior to the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.  All of the members of the Crossfire Hurricane team told the OIG that no investigative steps of any type were taken prior to receipt of the predicating information for the Crossfire Hurricane investigation on July 28, 2016, and we found no evidence to the contrary.

If no investigative steps “of any type” were taken prior to July 28th, 2016, then how does George Papadopoulos run afoul of meeting(s) being monitored in March 2016 with the “overseas professor” Joseph Mifsud (DOJ Statement of Offense – Papadopoulos):

Indeed the original IG report text would indicate that George Papadopoulos was subject to Confidential Human Sources (CHS’s) and/or Undercover Employees (UCE’s) during the earliest part of his activity with the Trump campaign (literally within a week), and would refute the claim “we did not find any evidence that the FBI used CHSs or UCEs to interact with members of the Trump campaign prior to the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation” (July 31st, 2016).

That revelation and conflict is likely why the IG had to modify the text of the report after publishing it.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/15/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report states John McCain continued to provide Comey with Steele reports after the British intel officer was terminated as a source by the FBI

David Kramer invokes the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying on Steele dossier in December 2018. (Credit: public domain)

“The controversial report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign revealed many concerning details. One was that Christopher Steele’s dossier was used in the case to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to secure a wiretap on former Donald Trump campaign official Carter Page after the DOJ found no probable cause to do so. The report also revealed that late Senator John McCain provided former FBI Director James Comey with reports from Steele after the FBI terminated the former British intelligence officer as a source, Breitbart reports.

McCain reportedly gave Comey five new Steele reports that were not previously in possession of the FBI, although it’s not clear if McCain knew at the time that Steele was no longer an FBI source. Regardless, the new reports were allegedly obtained by McCain from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Fusion GPS was notably hired for anti-Trump opposition research by the president’s opponents in the primary.

“Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Corney with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI,” the IG report reads. “McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.”

According to Breitbart, the unnamed McCain staffer is David J. Kramer, who reportedly gave the Steele dossier to BuzzFeed News, which published the document in full on January 10, 2017.

(Read more: The Inquisitr, 12/26/2019) (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report shows the Mueller team replicated FBI abuses

“Shortly after the release of the special counsel report last year, I posited that Robert Mueller’s failure to investigate whether Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election by feeding dossier author Christopher Steele disinformation established that Mueller was either incompetent or a political hack. Now, with the release of the inspector general’s report on FISA abuse, we know the answer: He was both.

(…) As the IG report noted, “on May 17, 2017, the Crossfire Hurricane cases were transferred to the Office of the Special Counsel,” and the FBI agents and analysts then began working with the special counsel. A little more than a month later, the FBI asked the Department of Justice to seek a fourth extension of the Page surveillance order. That fourth renewal obtained under Mueller’s leadership included the 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions the IG identified.

(Timeline editor’s note: It is our understanding there are not 17 individual significant inaccuracies that were found in each FISA application. Instead, it is a grand total of  significant inaccuracies in all of the Page FISA applications, combined.)

(…) Most significantly, in June 2017, the FBI’s office of general counsel falsely represented that Page had not been a source for another federal agency, when, in reality, Page had been approved as an “operational contact” and the FBI’s attorney had been told so in an email. Yet the final surveillance renewal application failed to inform the FISA court that, while Page had connections with individuals connected to Russian intelligence, he had provided information about those contacts to another agency as an approved source.

(…) Not only did Mueller’s team continue to push the same inaccuracies and omissions to the FISA court in the June 2017 renewal, the FISA court was not informed of the many mistakes and omissions for another year—even though the special counsel’s investigation should have uncovered many of the errors contained in the applications early on in the probe.

(…) Mueller’s team also knew, by July 2017 at the latest, that Joseph Mifsud—the Maltese professor who supposedly tipped then-Trump aide George Papadopoulos to the Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton—had denied telling Papadopoulos that the Russians could assist the Trump campaign by leaking negative information on Clinton. Prior to the special counsel’s appointment, the FBI had interviewed Papadopoulos and Mifsud, but it would be the special counsel’s office that indicted Papadopoulos in late July 2017, charging him with lying to the FBI.

(…) It also wasn’t mere incompetence on display: The special counsel’s office also engaged in much of the same misconduct the IG identified. For instance, emblematic of Mueller’s complicity in misconduct Horowitz identified is the fact that the special counsel continued to use Bruce Ohr as a conduit to feed “intel” to the FBI from Steele after Steele was terminated as a confidential human source.

(…) That the special counsel’s team engaged with Ohr without notifying to Ohr’s superiors shouldn’t surprise, though, as that was the M.O. of Mueller’s pit bull, lawyer Andrew Weissmann. The IG report exposed this reality, in detail. Specifically, the IG report explained that shortly after Trump was elected president:

…between November 16, 2016 and December 15, 2016, Ohr participated in several meetings that were attended, at various times, by some or all of the following individuals: Swartz, Ahmad, Andrew Weissmann (then Section Chief of CRM’s Fraud Section), Strzok, and Lisa Page. The meetings involving Ohr, Swartz, Ahmad, and Weissmann focused on their shared concern that the [Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section] MLARS was not moving quickly enough on the Manafort criminal investigation and whether there were steps they could take to move the investigation forward. The meetings with Strzok and Page focused primarily on whether the FBI could assess the case’s relevance, if any, to the FBI ‘s Russian interference investigation. MLARS was not represented at any of these meetings or told about them, and none of attendees had supervisory responsibility over the MLARS investigation….

On January 31, 2017, one day after Yates was removed as DAG, Ahmad, by then an Acting CRM Deputy Assistant Attorney General, after consulting with Swartz and Weissmann, sent an email to Lisa Page, copying Weissmann, Swartz, and Ohr, requesting a meeting the next day to discuss ‘a few Criminal Division related developments.’ The next day, February 1, Swartz, Ohr, Ahmad, and Weissmann met with Strzok, Lisa Page, and an FBI Acting Section Chief. None of the attendees at the meeting could explain to us what the ‘Criminal Division related developments’ were, and we did not find any.

Meeting notes reflect, among other things, that the group discussed the Manafort criminal investigation and efforts that the Department could undertake to investigate attempts by Russia to influence the 2016 elections. MLARS was not represented at, or told about, the meeting.

(Read more: The Federalist, 1/06/2020)  (Archive)

November 22, 2019 – Durham probe expands to Pentagon office that contracted FBI spy Stephan Halper

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Justice Department prosecutor U.S. Attorney John Durham is questioning personnel connected to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, which awarded multiple contracts to FBI informant Stephan Halper. Halper, who was informing the bureau on Trump campaign advisors, is a central figure in the FBI’s original investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, SaraACarter.com has learned.

(…) Multiple sources confirmed to this news site that Durham has spoken extensively with sources working in the Office of Net Assessment, as well as outside contractors, that were paid through the Pentagon office.

(…) In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, and George Papadopolous. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused at the time of being sympathetic to Russia. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.

(…) According to the DoD Inspector General’s report the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) “did not maintain documentation of the work performed by Professor Halper or any communication that ONA personnel had with Professor Halper; therefore, ONA CORs could not provide sufficient documentation that Professor Halper conducted all of his work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We determined that while the ONA CORs established a file to maintain documents, they did not maintain sufficient documentation to comply with all the FAR requirements related to having a complete COR.” (Read more: Sara Carter, 11/22/2019)   (Archive)

September 27, 2019 – Italian officials provide an audio recording of Joseph Mifsud’s deposition to AG Barr

(Credit: Communities Digital News)

“Attorney General William Barr reportedly listened to an audio recording of the mysterious professor at the center of the special counsel’s probe during a surprise trip last week to Italy.

Barr met with Italian intelligence officials during the trip, The Daily Beast reported citing Italian officials, and John Durham accompanied him. Durham is a federal prosecutor who is leading an inquiry into FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign.

A source in Italy’s Ministry of Justice said that Italian officials played a tape for Barr and Durham, according to The Daily Beast. Another source said the Italians showed the U.S. officials other evidence related to Joseph Mifsud, who was once a Maltese diplomat and has held university positions in the U.K. and Italy.

The tape was a deposition that Mifsud gave after applying for police protection explaining why he might be in harm’s way, according to The Beast. The report said Italian Ministry of Justice records show that Mifsud applied for police protection.

Mifsud was scrutinized in the special counsel’s investigation because of his relationship in 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. Papadopoulos said Mifsud told him during an April 26, 2016 meeting in London that he had learned from Russian government officials that Russia had “dirt” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.

(…) The special counsel portrayed Mifsud as a possible Russian agent; however, the Malta-born mystery man also has close ties to Western diplomats. He has visited the U.S. State Department and held a position at Rome’s Link Campus University, which has close ties to Western intelligence agencies.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/02/2019)  (Archive)