|Home Front: Politix|
|REPORT: Huber and Horowitz Investigations Deep State Cons Constructed by DOJ…|
|[ConservativeTreehouse] BLUF: General Counsel Boente, hired by Christopher Wray, ultimately concurred with Mueller and Rosenstein’s decision thereby blocking any internal investigative efforts under the auspices of protecting the integrity of the ongoing Mueller probe.|
A bureaucratic catch-22.
As a result of team Mueller’s moves, multiple people including John Carlin, Mary McCord, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Carter Page and any other inside official with knowledge of the FISA application and downstream issue, is off-limits for DOJ-OIG questioning.
This decision was stunningly ironic considering that Dana Boente was the ultimate arbiter inside the internal debate. Remember, Boente was "acting AG" after Sally Yates was fired.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|WSJ's Kim Strassel - Why the Justice Department Is Defiant|
|[WSJ] A House subpoena, another missed deadline. What is the department hiding?|
The feud that has simmered for months between Congress and the Justice Department erupted this week into a cage match. That’s because the House is homing in on the goods.
Until this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and fellow institutionalists at the department had fought Congress’s demands for information with the tools of banal bureaucracy‐resist, delay, ignore, negotiate. But Mr. Rosenstein took things to a new level on Tuesday, accusing House Republicans of "threats," extortion and wanting to "rummage" through department documents. A Wednesday New York Times story then dropped a new slur, claiming "Mr. Rosenstein and top FBI officials have come to suspect that some lawmakers were using their oversight authority to gain intelligence about [Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s ] investigation so that it could be shared with the White House."
Mr. Rosenstein isn’t worried about rummaging. That’s a diversion from the department’s opposite concern: that it is being asked to comply with very specific‐potentially very revealing‐demands. Two House sources confirm for me that the Justice Department was recently delivered first a classified House Intelligence Committee letter and then a subpoena (which arrived Monday) demanding documents related to a new line of inquiry about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump investigation. The deadline for complying with the subpoena was Thursday afternoon, and the Justice Department flouted it. As the White House is undoubtedly monitoring any new congressional demands for information, it is likely that President Trump’s tweet Wednesday ripping the department for not turning over documents was in part a reference to this latest demand.
Republicans also demand the FBI drop any objections to declassifying a section of the recently issued House Intelligence Committee report that deals with a briefing former FBI Director James Comey provided about former national security adviser Mike Flynn. House Republicans say Mr. Comey told them his own agents did not believe Mr. Flynn lied to them. On his book tour, Mr. Comey has said that isn’t true. Someone isn’t being honest. Is the FBI more interested in protecting the reputations of two former directors (the other being Mr. Mueller, who dragged Mr. Flynn into court on lying grounds) than in telling the public the truth?
It’s hard to have any faith in the necessity of the more than 300 redactions in the House Intel report, most of which the Republican committee members insist are bogus and should be removed. On every occasion that Justice or the FBI has claimed material must be withheld for the sake of national security or continuing investigations, it has later come out that the only thing at stake were those institutions’ reputations. Think the Comey memos, which showed the former director had little basis for claiming obstruction. Or Sen. Chuck Grassley’s criminal referral of dossier author Christopher Steele, the FBI’s so-called reliable source, whom we now know it had to fire for talking to the press and possibly lying.
The Justice Department is laying all this at the feet of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which technically oversees redactions. But ODNI consults with the agency that "owns" the material, and the FBI is clearly doing the blocking. Again, many pieces of the House Intel report that are being hidden happen to relate to FBI conduct during the 2016 election.
The increasingly poisonous interaction between Congress and the Justice Department also stems from a growing list of questions Republicans have about leading Justice Department officials’ roles in the events Congress seeks to investigate. Mr. Rosenstein’s name was on at least one of the applications for a warrant on Carter Page to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Dana Boente’s name is on another, and he’s now serving as the FBI’s general counsel.
We can’t know the precise motivations behind the Justice Department’s and FBI’s refusal to make key information public. But whether it is out of real concern over declassification or a desire to protect the institutions from embarrassment, the current leadership is about 20 steps behind this narrative. Mr. Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe ‐they have already shattered the FBI’s reputation and public trust. There is nothing to be gained from pretending this is business as usual, or attempting to stem continued fallout by hiding further details.
This week’s events‐including more flat-out subpoena defiance‐put a luminous spotlight on Speaker Paul Ryan. The credibility of the House’s oversight authority is at stake. Mr. Ryan’s committee chairmen have done remarkable work exposing FBI behavior, and they deserve backup. The quickest way to get Justice and FBI to comply with these legitimate requests is for Mr. Ryan to state strongly and publicly that he has zero qualms about proceeding down the road of contempt or impeachment if House demands are not met. This is the people’s government, not the Justice Department’s.
|Home Front: Politix|
|Exceptional Work by Sharyl Attkisson – Did FBI Violate Woods Procedures?…|
|[ConservativeTreehouse] Sharyl Attkisson picks up from there with her deep dive into exactly what protections are in place and the extraordinarily high-bar the DOJ needs to pass in order to gain Title I surveillance authority.|
The point is: There are strict rules requiring that each and every fact presented in an FBI request to electronically spy on a U.S. citizen be extreme-vetted for accuracy ‐ and presented to the court only if verified.
There’s no dispute that at least some, if not a great deal, of information in the anti-Trump "Steele dossier" was unverified or false. Former FBI director James Comey testified as much himself before a Senate committee in June 2017. Comey repeatedly referred to "salacious" and "unverified" material in the dossier, which turned out to be paid political opposition research against Donald Trump funded first by Republicans, then by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Presentation of any such unverified material to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to justify a wiretap would appear to violate crucial procedural rules, called "Woods Procedures," designed to protect U.S. citizens.
Yet Comey allegedly signed three of the FISA applications on behalf of the FBI. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe reportedly signed one and former Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each reportedly signed one or more.
To think that unverified claims, gossip, media reports, and generally salacious political opposition research could be included in an application to remove an Americans’ right to privacy and liberty is really the BIGGER story being clouded in this entire discussion.
....And keep in mind, amid all of this exhaustive FBI surveillance and DOJ national security division digging into every aspect of his life, Mr. Carter Page has never been accused of any crime, wrongdoing, or subsequent criminal conduct.
It appears the entire reason to label Mr. Page as a Title One "foreign agent" was so the DOJ National Security Division and FBI Counterintelligence Division, could use Mr. Page’s short contact with the Trump campaign as an excuse to monitor everyone else within the campaign before, during and after the election.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Victor Davis Hansen - The Ticking Memo|
|[National Review] The House Intelligence Committee memo is pretty simple. It should not have been classified and thus far withheld from the public. |
In fact, far more information now needs to be released. Despite the outcry, as Chairman Devin Nunes clarified, the memo can easily be in the near future supported or refuted by adducing official documents.
In other words, the memo makes a series of transparent statements and leaves it up to the criminal-justice system and the public to ascertain subsequent criminal liability. It is likely that the basic accuracy of the document will not be questioned, but rather opponents, some of them mentioned in the memo, will either ask why the resulting embarrassing information needed to be aired or insist that there are only minor possible crimes in the events it narrates, or both. Remember, officials from the FBI supposedly read the memo before its release to ensure that there were not factual errors or misrepresentations.
In sum, on four occasions during and after the 2016 campaign, the FBI and DOJ approached a federal FISA court ‐ established to allow monitoring of foreign nationals engaged in efforts to harm the U.S. or American citizens deliberately or inadvertently in their service ‐ to surveil Carter Page, a sometime Trump adviser. These requests also mentioned George Papadopoulos, apparently as a preexisting target of an earlier investigation by FBI official Peter Strzok, but according to the memo mysteriously there was not adduced any direct connection between the two individuals’ activities.
The basis of the requests was an anti-Trump dossier that the FBI and DOJ had purchased from a private concern. At the time of their various requests, FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, apparently knew that the document was the work of an opposition-research team, hired and paid, through a series of intermediaries, by the Clinton campaign.
The same knowledge supposedly was known to DOJ officials Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein, who variously joined the FISA requests. The FBI and DOJ requests to the court were also apparently bolstered by citing news accounts in the popular media about possible Russian collusion, which in circular fashion had been the result of efforts by the authors and purveyors of the dossier to leak its contents to the media.
|Home Front: Politix|
|The Memo Has Been Released|
|Direct access is here; it's straining under heavy load right now.|
[Washington Examiner] The House Intelligence Committee has released its controversial memo outlining alleged abuses of secret surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department in the Trump-Russia investigation. Here are some key points:
* The Steele dossier formed an essential part of the initial and all three renewal FISA applications against Carter Page.
* Andrew McCabe confirmed that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the FISA Court without the Steele dossier information.
* The four FISA surveillance applications were signed by, in various combinations, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein.
* The FBI authorized payments to Steele for work on the dossier. The FBI terminated its agreement with Steele in late October when it learned, by reading an article in Mother Jones, that Steele was talking to the media.
* The political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications.
* DOJ official Bruce Ohr met with Steele beginning in the summer of 2016 and relayed to DOJ information about Steele's bias. Steele told Ohr that he, Steele, was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected president and was passionate about him not becoming president.
|Home Front: Politix|
|The MEMO at link.|
|All the names in the memo and cover page:|
Devin Nunes, Egan, Donald F. McGahn II, Paul Ryan, Adam Schiff
Footnote: Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush
Carter Page, James Comey, Sally Yates, Dana Boente, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, FISA,FISC,FBI,DAG,DOJ,HPSCI
Carter Page, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, Perkins Coie, DNC, Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, Donald Trump, Clinton campaign, any party/campaign, DOJ, FBI, FISA, FISC, Yahoo News, Michael Isikoff, Mother Jones, David Corn
DOJ, FBI, FISA FISC, Steele, Bruce Ohr, General Yates, Rosenstein, Donald Trump, Ohr's wife, DNC, Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS,Bill Priestap, Comey, McCabe,
FISA, Trump, George Papadopoulos, Pete Strzok, Lisa Page, McCabe, insurance
|US seeks to extradite German al-Qaida member linked to 9/11|
|[DW] Christian Ganczarski was born in Poland and later converted to Islam. He allegedly had personal ties to former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and helped the organization carry out multiple terrorist attacks.|
The United States is seeking to extradite a German convict who allegedly gave al-Qaeda leader critical support before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York prosecutors said Wednesday.
Department of Justice officials accused Christian Ganczarski
Ganczarski, who was born in Poland and later converted to Islam, allegedly met multiple times with s of the terrorist organization between 1999 and 2001 and developed close personal ties with bin Laden.
He "had been aware that a significant event was about to occur" while he was in Germany shortly before the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Ganczarski also provided al-Qaeda "with the knowledge and technology to carry out attacks against the US military and its allies," US Attorney Dana Boente said, and lived in al-Qaeda camps while planning s against US embassies in Africa.
Ganczarski is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence in after a court found him guilty of plotting a 2002 that killed 21 people, including 14 German tourists, at a synagogue in Tunisia.
He injured three guards at a prison in northern last week with a pair of scissors and a razor blade after hearing he could be extradited to the US.
If convicted in the US, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
|Trump fires acting attorney general over defying to recognize his Muslim ban as legal|
"The acting attorney general, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States," the White House said in a statement on Monday. "President Trump relieved Ms Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as acting attorney general until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate."
In a letter she wrote to the department earlier in the day, Yates asserted that she is "responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right."
"At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful."
Trump initially responded to the letter by an expected tweet, in which he branded Yates an "Obama AG."
He further complained that "the Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons... They have nothing going but to obstruct."
|Home Front: WoT|
|Two Women Convicted in US of Financing Al-Shabab|
|Two women who U.S. prosecutors say led an online group in raising money to support the Somali insurgent group al-Shabab were convicted by a federal judge Tuesday following a trial in U.S. District Court in Virginia.|
“These women funneled money to a terrorist organization which was conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia,” U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said in a written statement.
“National security is the top priority in this office and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists,” Boente said.
It was not clear who represented the two women in the proceedings.
Jama, of Reston, Virginia, and Dhirane, of Kent, Washington, were arrested in July 2014, along with a third woman,
At the time of those arrests, two other women accused of being involved in the operation,
The Group of Fifteen included women from Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as Minneapolis, according to evidence at trial.
Prosecutors said recorded calls between the Group of Fifteen showed that they had close contacts with al-Shabab leadership and that its members were heard laughing about 2013 attacks on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi and the Boston Marathon.
Jama and Dhirane were each convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and face a maximum of 15 years in prison when they are sentenced in January.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Two jailed in separate trials for conspiring to support ISIS and Al Qaeda, another arrested for supporting ISIS|
|[AnNahar] A tech-savvy U.S. teenager from Virginia was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison on Friday for conspiring to provide material support to the group.|
Ali Shukri Amin, 17, from the small town of Manassas an hour's drive from Washington DC, will be subject to a lifetime of supervised release and monitoring of his Internet activities.
He is thought to be the first minor convicted in the United States of providing material aid to the group, which has declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
The prolific Twitter user, who sent more than 7,000 messages on the site in support of IS, pleaded guilty in June.
Under the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness, he provided IS supporters with instructions on using the virtual currency Bitcoin to conceal financial donations to the radical Islamist group and the best way to encrypt their online exchanges.
He also offered guidance to sympathizers seeking to travel to Syria to fight with IS, including another Virginia teen, Reza Niknejad, who traveled to Syria to join IS in January.
Niknejad, 18, was charged in June with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to IS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad.
U.S. prosecutors welcomed the sentence.
Assistant attorney general John Carlin said "more and more" IS propaganda is seeping into American communities "reaching those who are most vulnerable.
"The Department of Justice will continue to use all tools to disrupt the threats that ISIL poses," he said, using an alternative acronym for the group.
Those who use social media to support IS would be "prosecuted with no less vigilance" than those who take up arms for the group, said U.S. attorney Dana Boente.
Amin's lawyer, Joseph Flood, had described his client as a stellar student from a good family who was outraged by rights abuses under Syria's When Amin pleaded guilty, Flood said he was the first minor convicted in the United States of providing material aid to IS.
In Florida, a 27-year-old Kenyan was sentenced to 15 years for conspiring to support Al-Qaeda, and its affiliates in Syria and Somalia, Al-Nusra Front and the Shabaab, prosecutors said Friday.
Mohammed Hussain Said, who pleaded guilty in May, received wire transfers from a co-conspirator destined for Shabaab and recruited experienced Shabaab fighters to fight in Syria.
US prosecutors said he also tried to recruit others for attacks inside the United States.
On Thursday, another man was in Arizona and charged with providing material support to IS for allegedly helping a New York college student travel to Syria to train for jihad.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Fraud: Virginia County Finds 17 Repeat Voters From 2012 Election|
|[TOWNHALL] Virginia County officials have discovered multiple instances of voter fraud from the 2012 presidential election. Seventeen to be exact. The Virginia Voters Alliance and Election Integrity Maryland launched the investigation in Fairfax County, Va. and Maryland. Here's how they revealed the fraud and pursued a follow up inquiry:|
Officials from Fairfax and Montgomery County, Md., identified dual voters by matching first and last names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Brian Schoenemann, secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, said he sent letters and evidence to county Commonwealth Attorney Ray Morrogh, state Attorney General Mark Herring, U.S. Attorney Dana Boente and the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice requesting further investigation.
Oh yeah, and one of those people charged with fraud has reportedly been voting twice for over a decade.
In response to these findings, Reagan George, president of the nonpartisan VVA, criticized political progressives for insisting voter fraud is an unfair invention intending to keep minorities away from the polls:
George said the presence of dual voters demolishes the argument by political "progressives" that voter fraud doesn't exist.
"Their next point will be that voter fraud is such a small percentage that such voter fraud should be ignored. What percentage of the overall vote is tolerable for progressives?" George asked.
Cathy Kelleher, president of the nonpartisan Election Integrity Maryland, says that her group has not been asked to help find additional dual voters, presumably because election officials intend on keeping Virginia blue. Kelleher said EIM sent names of 164 alleged duplicate Virginia-Maryland statewide voters to Mary Wagner at the State Board of Elections.
"She passed them on to the State Prosecutor Emmett Davitt. We have not received any response to the inquiry," Kelleher said.
Illegal voting isn't an anomaly for Virginia. In last year's gubernatorial race, voting irregularities and several cases of intimidation at the polls were found in 13 districts across the state after Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the election. Some votes were found cast by people who had moved out of the district or were deceased.
Voter fraud is real. Who knows how many more illegal votes were cast throughout Virginia's elections and the country as a whole. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to progressives who often choose to look the other way.
|Last of Somali pirates sentenced in murders of Americans|
|The last of the Somali pirates convicted of killing four Americans aboard a yacht sailing off the Horn of Africa in 2011 have been sentenced in federal court to multiple life sentences, authorities said on Thursday. Prosecutors originally sought the death penalty, but the jury that found the men guilty in July of piracy, hijacking and murder recommended life sentences instead.|
Pirates boarded the yacht on February 18, 2011. Prosecutors said the hijackers intended to take their hostages to Somalia and hold them for ransom.
After getting a distress signal from the craft, the U.S. Navy dispatched vessels to the Americans aid. After four days, during which negotiations between the Navy and the pirates broke down, the pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade toward one of the Navy vessels, the USS Sterett. Gunfire broke out on the yacht, and Navy SEALs went aboard in an unsuccessful attempt to save the hostages. They died on February 22, 2011.
In U.S. District Court, Abukar Osman Beyle, 33, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 31, and Ahmed Muse Salad, 27, were each given 21 life prison sentences, plus 30 years, this week, according to a statement from Dana Boente, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The multiple, consecutive life sentences imposed today send a clear message that piracy, hostage-taking, and murder on the high seas will not be tolerated, Boente said in the statement.
Besides the three Somali men sentenced this week, 11 others who were captured aboard the sailboat have pleaded guilty and are serving life sentences as well.