Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg

-Lurid Crime Tales-
With Latest Trump Dossier-DOJ News, How Many Heads Are Going To Roll ?
2019-08-09
[Townhall] So, how many heads are going to roll in September? Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz is supposed to release his long-awaited report on Obama-era FISA abuses. The focal point centers on the DOJ’s FISA spy warrant against Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, which was secured thanks to the Clinton-funded opposition research project called the Trump dossier. It was compiled by ex-British spook Christopher Steele. It was unverified. It was biased. And the DOJ knew it. Not only that, former top DOJ official Bruce Ohr kept contacting Steele months after it was revealed his worked was biased (via Fox News):
The FBI formally documented the anti-Trump bias of British ex-spy Christopher Steele months before the November 2016 presidential election, yet used his unverified dossier in multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant application renewals, records obtained by Fox News show.

The documents, first obtained by Judicial Watch, also revealed that top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr maintained contact with Steele for at least six months after Steele was fired by the FBI for unauthorized media contacts in November 2016.

The summaries of FBI interviews with Ohr, known as 302s, showed that Ohr knew by September 2016 -- a month before the initial FISA application to surveil the Trump campaign -- that Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President."

A source close to the matter told Fox News "this had the effect of putting a senior DOJ official on notice that a witness/source had an extreme bias." Nevertheless, the FISA warrant application went through in October 2016 with multiple renewals.

While the FISA records are heavily redacted, it does not appear that the FBI's documentation about Steele's bias was ever shared with the FISA court.

The 22 pages of reports on interviews with Ohr also revealed his extensive contacts with Steele. The two communicated on the encrypted messaging app "WhatsApp," according to the records.

The FBI documents showed Ohr's contacts with Steele extended through May 2017, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed. Ohr then became a kind of backchannel linking Steele to the FBI after his termination.

So, it was used to renew warrants against Page. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for the research firm Fusion GPS, which was contracted by the Democrats to find dirt on Trump. GPS then reached out to Steele to compile the document.

Link


Home Front: Politix
Mueller's Ignorance Of Fusion GPS Proves His Investigation Was A Sham
2019-07-27
[The Federalist] Robert Mueller's testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees provided yet further proof that the entire special counsel investigation was a political witch hunt. While Democrats succeeded in eliciting affirmative responses from Mueller to their dramatic reading of the special counsel report at Wednesday's prosecution of President Trump in absentia, it was Mueller's ignorance when queried about Fusion GPS that exposed both the proceedings and the special counsel probe as a sham.

In what he surely saw as an introductory question, Rep. Steven Chabot asked Mueller to confirm that the name of the firm that produced the Christopher Steele dossier was Fusion. "I'm not familiar with that," the former special counsel responded. Taken aback by Mueller's ignorance, Chabot stressed, "It's not a trick question," before attempting to ask Mueller about Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier.

"This is outside my purview," Mueller testified. How is that even possible?

In his opening statement, Mueller stressed that he agreed to serve as special counsel because he thought "it was of paramount interest to the nation to determine whether a foreign adversary had interfered in the presidential election." "The order appointing me as special counsel directed our office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election," Mueller continued.

Yet here he was, telling Congress that Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier were outside of his "purview." But the Steele dossier built the entire case of Russia collusion. It justified the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance orders on former Trump adviser Carter Page. It detailed supposed connections between Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen and the Kremlin. Had anyone truly believed there was collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, they would have pulled every thread in the Steele dossier to see if something stuck.

Rep. Matt Gaetz knew this, and said to Mueller:
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Trump dossier author Steele gets 16-hour DOJ grilling
2019-07-11
[POLITICO] Remington Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the infamous "dossier" on President Donald Trump
...dictatorial for repealing some (but not all) of the diktats of his predecessor, misogynistic because he likes pretty girls, homophobic because he doesn't think gender bending should be mandatory, truly a man for all seasons......
’s ties to Russia, was interviewed for 16 hours in June by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The interview is part of an ongoing investigation that the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has been conducting for the past year. Specifically, Horowitz has been examining the FBI’s efforts to surveil a one-time Trump campaign adviser based in part on information from Steele, an ex-British MI6 agent who had worked with the bureau as a confidential source since 2010.

Horowitz’s team has been intensely focused on gauging Steele’s credibility as a source for the bureau. But Steele was initially reluctant to speak with the American Sherlocks because of the potential impropriety of his involvement in an internal DOJ probe as a foreign national and retired British intelligence agent.

Steele’s allies have also repeatedly noted that the dossier was not the original basis for the FBI’s probe into Trump and Russia.

The extensive, two-day interview took place in London while Trump was in Britannia for a state visit, the sources said, and delved into Steele’s extensive work on Russian interference efforts globally, his intelligence-collection methods and his findings about Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who the FBI ultimately surveilled. The FBI’s decision to seek a surveillance warrant against Page ‐ a warrant they applied for and obtained after Page had already left the campaign ‐ is the chief focus of the probe by Horowitz.

The interview was contentious at first, the sources added, but Sherlocks ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising. The takeaway has irked some U.S. officials interviewed as part of the probe ‐ they argue that it shouldn’t have taken a foreign national to convince the inspector general that the FBI acted properly in 2016. Steele’s American lawyer was present for the conversation.

Link


Home Front: Politix
Kamala Harris campaign lawyer hired Fusion GPS for Hillary Clinton
2019-07-02
[Washington Examiner] The former top lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign who hired Fusion GPS to carry out controversial opposition research against then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016 is now working for a top 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful.

Marc Elias, who heads Perkins Coie’s political law group, became general counsel for California Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential bid this year. Elias, who held the same position in Clinton's campaign, is named in two pending Federal Election Commission complaints and in a recent federal lawsuit alleging that the Clinton campaign broke campaign finance laws when it used Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS went on to hire British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled an unverified dossier allegedly based on sources close to the Kremlin which was disseminated to the media and used by the FBI to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing alleged FISA abuse related to the dossier and Attorney General William Barr launched his "investigation of the investigators" earlier this year.

Clinton’s former presidential campaign manager Robby Mook said in 2017 that he authorized Elias to hire an outside firm to dig up dirt on Trump’s connections with Russia. "I asked our lawyer and I gave him a budget allocation to investigate this, particularly the international aspect," he said.
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Emails Show Obama State Department’s Role in Anti-Trump Coup Cabal
2019-06-19
[BREITBART] John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, unsuccessful presidential candidate, and utterly failed Secretary of State...
, President Obama’s secretary of state, seems to be having trouble staying within the legal bounds of the Logan Act, so it’s not surprising that his State Department lieutenants were getting their hands dirty in the conspiracy to bring down Donald Trump
...dictatorial for repealing some (but not all) of the diktats of his predecessor, misogynistic because he likes pretty girls, homophobic because he doesn't think gender bending should be mandatory, truly a man for all seasons......
Judicial Watch now has received more evidence of this anti-Trump conspiracy. With The Daily Caller News Foundation, they just released 16 pages of documents revealing senior State Obama officials ‐ Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer ‐ coordinated with incoming House Majority Whip the mealy-mouthed Steny StinkyHoyer
... Nancy San Fran Nan Pelosi's second banana, or plaintain, or mango, or whatever he is...
’s (D-MD) national security advisor, Daniel Silverberg, to work on Russia dossier information provided by Remington Christopher Steele.

Steele was surreptitiously paid by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to create the infamous anti-Trump dossier used to justify a series of FISA spy warrants targeting Carter Page. Winer is a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary who was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to circulate the anti-Trump dossier.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on April 25, 2018, on behalf of ourselves and The Daily Caller News Foundation against the State Department after it failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Carter Page: FBI Informant 'Intensified' Outreach Before Spy Warrant Application
2019-06-10
[Daily Caller] Carter Page said Sunday that his contacts with Stefan Halper, an alleged FBI informant, "intensified" in the month before the U.S. government obtained its first spy warrant against the former Trump campaign aide.
Useful idiot and clandestine wanna-be at the graphic.
"My conversations with him intensified right, the month before my illegitimate FISA warrant, in September 2016, when all these defamatory articles were being placed by the DNC," Page said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Fox Sunday Futures."

The FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Page on Oct. 21, 2016. The application for the FISA relied heavily on information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the anti-Trump dossier on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.

Page’s remarks raise the possibility that the FBI also used information from Halper, a former Cambridge professor, in its efforts to collect information for the FISA application. Halper, who served in three Republican administrations and was reportedly an FBI informant for two decades, had contact during the 2016 campaign with Page and two other Trump advisers, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Made Contact With Trump Aide During Campaign, Beyond)

Halper and Page first met before a political event at Cambridge on July 10, 2016, three weeks before the FBI officially opened its investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible links to Russia.

Page has told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he and Halper spoke one-on-one at the event, which spanned several days. The FBI has yet to explain why an FBI informant met with Halper before the official opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the code name for the Trump-Russia probe.

Page and Halper met for the second time on Aug. 20, 2016, when Page visited the former professor at his farm in Virginia. They remained in contact through September 2017, the month that the fourth and final FISA warrant against Page expired.
Emphasis added
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
NYT reporter: Christopher Steele Worried He’ll Be ‘thrown Under The Bus’
2019-06-06
[DAILYCALLER] Remington Christopher Steele will meet with Justice Department Sherlocks out of concern he will be "thrown under the bus" in a probe of the FBI’s handling of the dossier, a New York Times

...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize...

news hound said.

"He is incredibly concerned, maybe obsessed, that this investigation is going to throw him under the bus," Matthew Rosenberg, a national security news hound for The Times, said on CNN Tuesday.
Gee whiz — why would he think such a thing about the painfully honest people he’s accustomed to dealing with?
Rosenberg was responding to reports that Steele has agreed to meet with Justice Department Sherlocks to discuss his interactions with the FBI regarding his work on the dossier, which accuses the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 election.

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, is close to wrapping up an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC. The FBI relied on Steele’s unverified report to obtain surveillance warrants against Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser.
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Joe DiGenova blows the lid off the real scandal: The Russia hoax was a cover-up effort for Obama's political spying since 2012
2019-05-29
[American Thinker] Hold on to your hats. At last, we are on the verge of getting to the bottom of the weaponization of the nation's top law enforcement and spy agencies to spy on political opponents, and it is far bigger than obtaining bogus FISA Court warrants to spy on Carter Page. Barack Obama's minions have been spying on his political opponents since before his 2012 re-election, and the entire Russiagate hoax was an effort to cover up that ongoing spying.

As I have stated before, the best sources for understanding the unfolding of the biggest political scandal in American history are D.C. super-lawyers Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, who have an unmatched track record in explaining the events we see in the media and predicting the forthcoming revelations. I am not in communication with them, but it does appear they have superb sources ‐ which would not be surprising, given their long history as key conservative players at the highest level of the D.C. legal and political circles.

Yesterday, Joe DiGenova made his customary Monday-morning guest appearance on WMAL radio's Mornings on the Mall radio show. (WMAL is the premier conservative talk station in D.C.). The 15-minute segment is jam-packed with must-listen insights. In addition to his revelations about the true nature of the Russiagate hoax, there is another quiet bombshell he dropped ‐ see the end of this blog post for the tantalizing perspective he revealed. You can listen on the YouTube version here.

The basic story is that Admiral Mike Rogers, who was head of the NSA in the spring of 2016, discovered that the NSA's comprehensive database collecting all electronic communications in the United States was being searched by unauthorized FBI "contractors" and moved to cut off that access. He also visited Donald Trump, after which Trump moved his campaign HQ out of Trump Tower. Trump's much derided claim that his campaign was "wiretapped" likely also was the result of gaining this insight from Admiral Rogers.
Joe and Victoria apparently follow the Burg. My emphasis added.
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Lindsey Graham: Obama Officials Worried About Being 'Exposed' by Declassification
2019-05-28
[Daily Caller] Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham asserted Sunday that the former government officials opposing declassification of Russia probe documents "are worried about being exposed."

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, Graham also argued Democrats are unconcerned with whether the FBI misled the federal surveillance court in order to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"I want all the documents around the FISA warrant application released. I want to find out exactly how the counterintelligence operation began," Graham said. "I think transparency is good for the American people. Not one Democrat seems to care."

"I wish some Democrat would come forward to find out if the FISA court was defrauded by the FBI and the Department of Justice."

On Thursday, President Trump granted Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify documents from the Russia probe. He also instructed the heads of several federal agencies, including the CIA and FBI, to provide documents to Barr as part of his review of the origins of the investigation. (RELATED: Ex-CIA Officials Fume About Declassification Order, Ignoring Previous Leaks Of Secret Sources And Methods)

Barr is looking into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation, as well as the surveillance activities carried out by the FBI and CIA against Trump associates.

Republicans have sought declassification of documents related to the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier. The bureau relied on the document, which was unverified and funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC, in applications for the Carter Page FISA warrants.

Trump’s order has prompted a backlash from numerous Obama administration officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan.

Related: EX-CIA OFFICIALS FUME ABOUT DECLASSIFICATION ORDER, IGNORING PREVIOUS LEAKS OF SECRET SOURCES AND METHODS
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Valerie Plame: Surveillance on Trump campaign not 'spying' [video]
2019-05-15
[The Hill] Former CIA operative and current congressional candidate Valerie Plame said Monday that FBI surveillance of President Trump's 2016 campaign was not spying.

"I absolutely do not [believe spying occurred]. These are professionals in our intelligence community, both in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and in the CIA. I have to believe that what happened was that there was real cause. And the bar is extremely high to collect information, particularly on a U.S. citizen," Plame, a Democrat running for a House seat in New Mexico, said on CNN's "New Day."

During congressional testimony last month, Attorney General William Barr called the FBI’s surveillance of members of Trump's 2016 campaign "spying." Trump has also used the term.

The Justice Department's inspector general is now reviewing whether the FBI followed correct procedures in applying for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Republicans have said the FBI improperly relied on details from the dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele when applying for the warrant.

"So I don't know all the details of what led to that, but I think Attorney General Barr's rather casual assessment that the FBI spied on candidate Trump is a little too loose with the facts," she continued.

Fairly extensive BIO on Plame found at this link.
Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Devin Nunes: Peter Strzok's 'insurance policy' was about getting into Trump campaign emails
2019-05-15
BLUF:
[Washington Examiner] "We believe that insurance policy is not just about investigating the Trump campaign," Nunes said. "We believe it's to ensure that they were able to get the FISA warrant on Carter Page so they could go in and look at the emails in the campaign."

Link


-Lurid Crime Tales-
DOJ inspector general found Carter Page FISA extensions were illegally obtained, Joe diGenova says
2019-05-12
[Washington Examiner] The Justice Department inspector general has determined the three Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant extensions against onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page were illegally obtained, attorney Joe diGenova said on Thursday.

In an investigation that began last year, Inspector General Michael Horowitz is examining the Justice Department's and FBI's compliance with legal requirements as well as policies and procedures in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to Page as part of a larger counterintelligence probe into Trump's campaign.

The inspector general inquiry is expected to be completed in either late May or June, and diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said Democrats on Capitol Hill are working overtime to investigate and discredit President Trump.

"They are doing that as a diversionary tactic away from the inevitable conclusions of the DOJ inspector general, Michael Horowitz, who, by the way, we have learned has concluded that the final three FISA extensions were illegally obtained," diGenova said on Fox Business. "The only question now is whether or not the first FISA was illegally obtained."

He pointed to memos, obtained by conservative group Citizens United through open-records litigation, that suggest the FBI might have misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the first warrant application about an unverified dossier.

Horowitz "apparently, as a result of those disclosures ... which he was unaware of ‐ the bureau hid those memos from Horowitz ‐ as a result of that they're doing additional work on the first FISA. It may be that all four FISAs will have been obtained illegally," diGenova said.
Link


-12 More