|Home Front: Politix|
|Rosenstein denies having ever proposed wearing a wire in the White House, Cruz blasts|
Cruz Blasts Rosenstein: "the Obama Administration Targeted Its Political Opponents"
|Home Front: Politix|
|Lindsey Graham: Comey, McCabe, Brennan and Clapper Will Be Called to Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee|
|[BREITBART] Thursday on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, Sen. (R-SC), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told listeners he planned to call a number of ex- officials to testify before his committee.|
Among those are former FBI Director , former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Graham added he did not know if former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes would be called to testify before his committee but said he was deferring to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to investigate matters pertaining to the period between the 2016 presidential election and inauguration.
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|New FBI Document Confirms The Trump Campaign Was Investigated Without Justification|
|[The Hill] Late last week the FBI document that started the Trump-Russia collusion fiasco was publicly released. It hasn’t received a lot of attention but it should, because not too long from now this document likely will be blown up and placed on an easel as Exhibit A in a federal courtroom.|
The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John Durham, will rightly point out that the document that spawned three years of political misery fails to articulate a single justifiable reason for starting the "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation.
Those of us who have speculated there was insufficient cause for beginning the investigation could not have imagined the actual opening document was this feeble. It is as if it were written by someone who had no experience as an FBI agent.
Keep in mind the FBI cannot begin to investigate anyone, especially a U.S. citizen or entity, without first creating a document that lists the reasonably suspicious factors that would legally justify the investigation. That’s FBI 101, taught Day 1 at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va.
To the untrained eye, the FBI document that launched Crossfire Hurricane can be confusing, and it may be difficult to discern how it might be inadequate. To the trained eye, however, it is a train wreck. There are a number of reasons why it is so bad. Two main ones are offered below (if you would like to follow along, the document is here):
First, the document is oddly constructed. In a normal, legitimate FBI Electronic Communication, or EC, there would be a "To" and a "From" line. The Crossfire Hurricane EC has only a "From" line; it is from a part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division whose contact is listed as Peter Strzok. The EC was drafted also by Peter Strzok. And, finally, it was approved by Peter Strzok. Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok.
On that basis alone, the document is an absurdity, violative of all FBI protocols and, therefore, invalid on its face. An agent cannot approve his or her own case; that would make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans. Yet, for this document, Peter Strzok was pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire.
In addition, several names are listed in a "cc" or copy line; all are redacted, save Strzok’s, who, for some reason, felt it necessary to copy himself on a document he sent from himself to himself.
Names on an FBI document are always listed in cascading fashion, with the most senior at the top and on down to the least senior. On this EC, Strzok is listed last, so the redacted names should be more senior to him. Those names could well include then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and then-Counterintelligence Assistant Director Bill Priestap. The document also establishes these redacted names as "case participants."
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|Graham Moves to Subpoena Brennan, Clapper and Other Major 'Obamagate' Players|
|[Townhall] Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham moved to gain subpoena authorization for a number of former Obama administration officials Monday evening. |
"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced that the Committee would debate and vote on a subpoena authorization related to the FISA abuse investigation and oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation," Graham's office released in a statement. "Graham’s subpoena authorization covers a number of documents, communications and testimony from witnesses, including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, John Brennan, Sally Yates, and others."
According to Committee rules, Graham must receive subpoena authorization approval from Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein or through a full vote from members. Once approved through one of these avenues, Graham can officially issue subpoenas to individuals he wants to testify. Democrats authorized subpoena power by party line vote in 2008 under then Chairman Patrick Leahy.
His authorization, if approved, will include the ability to subpoena the following individuals (bolding is mine). The list includes individuals who worked for Fusion GPS and authored the bogus Russian dossier about President Trump. That dossier was used by the FBI to investigate the Trump administration.
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|A Key Obama Meeting Was Held to Ensure FBI Russia Collusion Probe Wasn't Discovered by the Trump Administration|
|[Townhall] I mean, we shouldn’t be too shocked about this I guess, given the scale of the anti-Trump operation executed by the Obama administration. Then-President Obama had to have known. If not, then he wasn’t in control of the executive. Katie touched upon this earlier this week, noting that new documents from the Department of Justice in their motion to dismiss their case against ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was the victim of an FBI plot to entrap him on perjury charges. Flynn has been vindicated, and more light is being shed on the scope of this whole operation. |
The deep state does exist. They’re malicious. They’re ruthless. Just look at the mindset of Andrew McCabe and James Comey, who were determined to ensnare Flynn, department policy, and constitutional rights be damned. It’s chilling. And now we’re seeing how Obama was the starting quarterback for how to ensure the incoming Trump administration would be saddled with the Trump-Russia collusion allegations. It was coordinated chaos. Here’s what Katie wrote about what the new DOJ revealed regarding this angle:
Newly released documents from the Department of Justice show President Obama informed former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates of a phone call between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016. He did so in the Oval Office.
That January 5 meeting appears to be critical, as Obama also gave his marching orders. Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist has a lengthy post detailing the meeting, the ensuing timelines, and how all the stars aligned to what Barry wanted. He wanted to make sure the incoming Trump administration didn’t find out about the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russian collusion. With that mindset, Obama officials soon weaponized the Russia collusion nonsense to inflict damage on the new Trump White House. Remember, Obama and most of the Democratic establishment thought Hillary was going to win. Obama administration officials thought so as well, as did the intelligence apparatus probably. They thought this could be swept under the rug once Hillary was sworn-in, washed away as if it never happened. Well, that plan got punched in the mouth. It was scrambling time (via The Federalist) [emphasis mine]:
|Strzok Made Major Edits to Lost Draft of Flynn-Questioning Report, Texts Indicate|
|[The Epoch Times] Peter Strzok, former FBI head of counterintelligence operations, significantly changed an early draft of the official FBI report from its questioning of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, newly released texts messages indicate.|
To this day, the FBI hasn’t shown the early draft to Flynn. An eye-witness said the draft included exculpatory information, which was removed in the final version, Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, previously said.
Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to one count of lying to FBI agents during a Jan. 24, 2017, interview.
Agents are supposed to memorialize their interviews in an FD-302 form within five days, but the earliest 302 draft Flynn was provided was dated Feb. 10, 2017.
The new text messages suggest that an earlier version of the draft existed, either produced on Feb. 10 or earlier.
"Lisa you didn’t see it before my edits that went into what I sent you," Strzok texted after 10 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2017, to Lisa Page, his mistress and then-special counsel to FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Strzok said he was "trying to not completely rewrite" the document "so as to save [redacted] voice."
According to Powell, Strzok and Page were editing the Flynn 302 and Strzok was referring to the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) who co-conducted the interview with him. The Epoch Times and other media have identified the agent as Joe Pientka.
The texts show "that there in fact exists an original 302 document created by SSA," Powell said in an April 30 statement.
The FBI had no comment when asked to confirm or deny whether the texts pertained to the Flynn 302.
The failure to produce the draft 302 equals a violation of the court’s "Brady" order, which requires the government to hand over evidence helpful to the defense, Powell said.
"As repugnant as this conduct is on its face, the travel of this vital document establishes continuously—and until this day—the original FBI agents, the prosecutors, and FBI management’s determination to withhold exculpatory evidence required under Brady, among other violations of Gen. Flynn’s civil rights. They withheld it not only to try to convict an innocent man, but to hide their own crimes," she said.
|Home Front: Politix|
|FBI discussed interviewing Michael Flynn 'to get him to lie' and 'get him fired,' handwritten notes show|
[Fox News] Explosive new internal FBI documents unsealed Wednesday show that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 -- and openly questioned if their "goal" was "to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired."
The handwritten notes -- written by the FBI's former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told -- further suggested that agents planned in the alternative to get Flynn "to admit to breaking the Logan Act."
The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States abroad in an era before telephones.
"What is our goal?" one of the notes read. "Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"
"If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide," another note read. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called the document's implications "chilling."
The memo appears to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing those different paths. "I don't see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him," one note reads. Flynn did not ultimately admit to wrongdoing in the interview.
The document indicates that the White House was monitoring the situation: "If we're seen as playing games, WH will be furious."
The bombshell materials strongly suggested the agents weren't truly concerned about Flynn's intercepted contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, except as a pretext. Former President Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was "not a fan," according to multiple officials. Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
The Justice Department turned over the documents just this week, even though a February 2018 standing order in the case required the government to turn over any exculpatory materials in its possession that pertained to Flynn. Fox News is told even more exculpatory documents are forthcoming, as Attorney General Bill Barr continues to oversee the DOJ's investigation into the handling of the Flynn case.
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Flynn previously charged that top FBI officials, including McCabe, pressed him not to have the White House counsel present during the questioning with two agents that led to his guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities. Flynn was not ultimately charged with any Logan Act violation.
One of Flynn's interviewing agents was Peter Strzok, who has since been fired from the bureau after his anti-Trump text messages came to light.
Flynn has withdrawn his guilty plea and has been seeking exoneration, saying the FBI engaged in "egregious misconduct." Flynn, who has said more recently that he did not lie to the FBI, pleaded guilty in late 2017 as mounting legal fees pushed him to sell his home.
Flynn has since obtained new counsel -- and his old attorneys, it emerged this week, then failed to turn over thousands of documents to his new lawyer, Sidney Powell. Powell has maintained that Flynn's old lawyers at Covington & Burling had conflicts of interest and were otherwise ineffective, including by not focusing on Strzok's evident bias.
Strzok wasn't the only top FBI official who apparently bent the rules in targeting Flynn. Comey admitted in 2018 that the fateful Flynn interview at the White House didn't follow protocol, and came at his direction. He said it was not "something I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more... organized administration."
|Home Front: Politix|
|Times editor Dean Baquet admits that his paper is staffed by Democratic Party operatives with bylines — and airbrushes:|
| [instapundit] In a column headlined, “The Times Took 19 Days to Report an Accusation Against Biden. Here’s Why,” former BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith asks Baquet: |
I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” Why did you do that?
Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.
I’m pretty sure the 2020 Trump campaign won’t have the same veto power on Times articles.
It’s always nice to see major legacy media figures drop the mask of objectivity, usually inadvertently. Baquet’s admission today is reminiscent of CBS’s Scott Pelley’s 2017 interview with blogger and prolific tweeter Mike Cernovich, where to paraphrase Breitbart.com’s Ezra Dulis, Pelley lost a fight rigged in his favor:
As Matt Whitlock of the National Republican Senatorial Committee tweets, Baquet’s admission today “should be a major media scandal, but many of the major media watch dogs have ignored it entirely because it didn’t happen on Fox News.”
NY Times Editor Admits Editing Article on Biden Sexual Assault Allegation After Campaign Complained.
Cites 'very subjective' standard in defense of paper's aggressive reporting on Brett Kavanuagh accusations
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|After Major New Revelations of Russia Investigation Abuse, How Bruce Ohr Still Has a Job Remains a Mystery|
|[Red State] Yesterday, more major news broke in regards to not only FISA abuse, but also where the information for the Steele dossier came from. RedState reported on it here, citing Catherine Herridge sharing newly declassified documents requested by Sen. Ron Johnson.|
The implications of this are just stunning. Bruce Ohr, a DOJ official, was meeting with a partisan political operative in Glen Simpson who was then sharing information from a Russian intelligence officer. There wasn’t even any ambiguity here. Ohr knew exactly where this information was coming from. These supposed "professionals" who we are told we must trust were feeding Russian disinformation, not even attempting to verify it, into FISA warrants. It’s like something out of a movie.
But while others like James Comey and Andrew McCabe have rightly been fired for the malfeascence that went on, Bruce Ohr continues to garner a government check. In fact, Ohr was given a massive raise and a bonus throughout the Russia investigation scandal. I guess it pays to be a conduit for Hillary Clinton’s Russian disinformation.
Think about how ridiculous this all is. The entire basis of the investigation was based on the notion that Donald Trump was secretly communicating with the Russians. Yet, at the exact same time that allegation was being pursued with everything the FBI had, the DOJ themselves were colluding with a Russian intel officer. That bad information was then used to get an illegal FISA warrant, and Bruce Ohr, the guy at the center of facilitating all this bad information from hostile sources, only got "demoted."
Despite all of this, there are people who still insist the DOJ and FBI did nothing wrong, that this was all just an avalanche of "mistakes." To be frank, one would have to be an absolute idiot to believe that at this point. You don’t meet with and take information from a partisan operative by Glen Simpson by mistake. You don’t then use that unverified information in FISA warrants by mistake. You don’t continue to pursue the investigation after knowing it was Russian disinformation by mistake. All of this was purposeful. They were looking for something to use to take down Donald Trump and if it was garbage from the Russians, they were willing to use it.
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|John Durham investigation intensifies focus on John Brennan|
|[Washington Examiner] U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation is putting increased scrutiny on former CIA Director John Brennan, searching for any undue influence he may have had during 2017’s intelligence community assessment of Russian interference.|
Durham, selected by Attorney General William Barr last year to lead this inquiry, drove to Washington, D.C., in March to ensure the investigation stayed on track during the coronavirus outbreak. The top Connecticut federal prosecutor is looking into highly sensitive issues, including whether Brennan took politicized actions to pressure the rest of the intelligence community to match his conclusions about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Officials said Durham has been interviewing CIA officials this year, zeroing in on those at the National Intelligence Council, a center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which oversaw the collaboration between the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency in putting together the 2017 assessment, and looking at how the work product was finalized.
The 2017 assessment concluded with "high confidence" that Putin "ordered an influence campaign in 2016" and Russia worked to "undermine public faith" in U.S. democracy, "denigrate" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and "harm her electability and potential presidency," and "developed a clear preference" for Trump. The NSA diverged on one aspect, expressing only "moderate confidence" that Putin actively tried to help Trump win and Clinton lose.
"I wouldn’t call it a discrepancy, I’d call it an honest difference of opinion between three different organizations," former NSA chief Adm. Mike Rogers told the Senate in 2017. "It didn’t have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."
Durham has interviewed Rogers and is also reportedly reviewing Brennan’s handling of a secret source said to be close to the Kremlin. The prosecutor wants to know what role that person's information played in the assessment.
Durham is also scrutinizing Brennan in relation to British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier. In particular, the prosecutor is looking for answers on whether it was used in the 2017 assessment, why former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe insisted upon it being part of the assessment, how allegations from the dossier ended up in the assessment's appendix, and whether Brennan misled about the dossier’s use.
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|CIA, DOJ Refuse To Acknowledge Whether Eric Ciaramella Records Exist|
|[Judicial Watch] The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) each refused to either confirm or deny the existence of records related to Obama White House Ukrainian intelligence holdover Eric Ciaramella who is also charged with being the whistleblower at the heart of the Democrats’ recent impeachment proceedings kicked off last fall.|
Judicial Watch received two letters from the top government agencies that were sent in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed in December. Judicial Watch reports that both the CIA and DOJ failed to provide communications between Ciaramella and former deep-state FBI operatives Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, or former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The group also requested communications records between Ciaramella and the Special Counsel’s Office.
"The CIA can neither confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to the requests," the CIA wrote in a letter to Judicial Watch.
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|Ex-FBI unit chief blows whistle on Comey, McCabe over warrantless spying|
|[Just The News] The FBI agent who ran the bureau’s warrantless spying program said Wednesday he warned ex-Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe that the program was a useless waste of taxpayer money that needlessly infringed Americans’ civil liberties but his bosses refused to take action.|
Retired Special Agent Bassem Youssef ran the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit from late 2004 until his retirement in late 2014. He told Just the News he fears the deeply flawed program, which was started in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, was allowed to keep going to give Americans a false sense of security in the war on terror and possibly to enable inappropriate spying, such as that which targeted President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
"I have no doubt, or very little doubt, that it was used for political spying or political espionage," Youssef said during a lengthy interview for the John Solomon Reports podcast.
Youssef confirmed that the FBI performed an audit of the highly classified program (also known as the NSA program because it searched call records captured by the National Security Agency) after Edward Snowden leaked its existence.
The audit showed that while the program had generated two moderate leads for counterterrorism cases, it had not helped thwart dozens of terrorism attacks as officials had claimed, despite costing tens of millions of dollars per year.
In fact, the program was generating large numbers of "false negatives and positives," Youssef said.
The audit, he added, also showed "there was collateral damage in terms of civil liberties" of Americans whose phone records were unnecessarily searched or who were falsely identified as connected to terrorism.