Today Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham released a set of talking points [full pdf below – AND here] from the FBI during a briefing on February 14, 2018 to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The unknown FBI briefer is informing the SSCI about the reliability of Chris Steele’s primary sub-source, and whether he agrees with the Dossier content & conclusions:
At first blush the impression from the release; and indeed the expressed position as outlined by Graham in the release; is that some unknown entity from the FBI was misleading the SSCI in February of 2018 about Christopher Steele and the perspective of his primary sub-source. However, there’s a deeper story.
Within the release it must be noted the date of the briefing material is February 14, 2018. The unknown FBI briefer is saying, in essence, the primary sub-source doesn’t dispute the Dossier material. Obviously this position is demonstrably false given how the PSS said the Dossier was full of “rumor”, “gossip”, “innuendo” and “bar talk”.
The FBI briefer is misleading the Senate and so today we see the angry position expressed by Graham as he reveals this misleading briefing. However, five days prior to this briefing, on February 9, 2018, the text messages between SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner and Chris Steele’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, were released. This frames the accurate context to consider the position of the SSCI and FBI briefer on Feb 14, 2018.
Yes, the FBI briefer was misleading the SSCI… However, the SSCI wanted to be mislead. This is how plausible deniability is built into the process. The SSCI was conducting an investigation of Trump-Russia; if we are honest the SSCI was participating in a process to weaponize the committee to advance a narrative against the interests of the Trump administration; therefore the SSCI and FBI briefer were aligned in common interest.
Lindsay Graham’s outrage over the misleading briefing is nothing more than an attempt to retroactively cover for the SSCI as they continued their role in the plot to remove President Trump throughout 2018 and 2019. Graham is taking the purposefully built plausible deniability, assembled in 2018, and using it as a distraction today in 2020.
Graham knows the FBI lied, this is not a revelation. The FBI supported the DOJ letter July 12, 2018, that mislead the FISA Court five months after this misleading SSCI briefing. The current level of Graham outrage is ridiculous when considering he could have asked these same questions in April when the DOJ-NSD letter was released.
Who was the FBI official who reviewed the July 12th letter and supported its conclusions? The most likely answer is the same FBI official who did the SSCI briefing on Feb 14th. This is not rocket science dot-connecting.
The FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) conducted the interviews with Steele’s primary sub-source in Jan, March and May 2017. Yet I’ll bet you a donut it was not the FBI-WFO who was briefing congress…. there’s another layer of plausible deniability. This is how the system is set-up. Today, Lindsay Graham is playing an outrage game. Where was this outrage in April?
Here’s the full briefing material [Original pdf Here]
This is all connected back to FBI SSA Brian Dugan’s work. The briefing was a way for the SSCI to establish plausible deniability five days after Vice-Chairman Mark Warner’s covert text messages were made public.
This is why the focus on the story behind SSCI Security Director James Wolfe is critical. All of these granular machinations are connected to the objective to remove President Donald Trump. The SSCI was supporting and coordinating with the special counsel.
It is all one team effort.
Let’s look at how the IG report frames the primary sub-source, and specifically notice the FBI contact and questioning took place in January 2017 (we now know that date to be January 12, 2017):
Those interviews with Steele’s primary sub-source took place in January, March and May of 2017; and clearly the sub-source debunked the content of the dossier itself.
Those interviews were a year before the Feb 14, 2018, FBI briefing outlined by Lindsay Graham today.
Those interviews were also 18-months, 16-months and 14-months ahead of the July 2018 DOJ letter to the FISC. The DOJ-NSD says the sub-source was “truthful and cooperative” but the DOJ doesn’t tell the court the content of the truthfulness and cooperation. Why?
Keep in mind this activity to support the Dossier and by extension the FISA application to the SSCI and FISC was written by AAG John Demers in July 2018 and briefed to congress in February 2018. Jeff Sessions was Attorney General (firewalled), Rod Rosenstein was Deputy AG (providing no special counsel oversight); Christopher Wray was FBI Director, David Bowditch is Deputy, and Dana Boente is FBI chief-legal-counsel.
Why would the FBI mislead the senate intelligence committee? Why would the DOJ-NSD not be forthcoming with the FISA court about the primary sub-source?
This level of disingenuous withholding of information speaks to an institutional motive.
In February and July 2018 the DOJ clearly knew the dossier was full of fabrications, yet they withheld that information from the SSCI and FISC and even went to far as to say the predicate was still valid. Why?
It doesn’t take a deep-weeds-walker to identify the DOJ motive.
In Feb-July 2018 Robert Mueller’s investigation was at its apex.
This SSCI briefing and FISC letter, justifying the application and claiming the current information would still be a valid predicate therein, speaks to the 2018 DOJ needing to retain the validity of the FISA warrant.
My research shows it was the full control by the special counsel at play. They needed to protect evidence the Mueller team had already extracted from their fraudulent FISA authority. That’s the motive.
In February of July 2018 if the FBI, DOJ-NSD or special counsel had admitted the FISA application and all renewals were fatally flawed Robert Mueller would have needed to withdraw any evidence gathered as a result of its exploitation.
The FBI and DOJ in 2018 was protecting Mueller’s poisoned fruit.
If the DOJ had been honest with the court, there’s a strong possibility some, perhaps much, of Mueller evidence gathering would have been invalidated… and cases were pending. The solution: mislead the court and claim the predication was still valid.
Remember, in December 2019 the FISC received the IG Horowitz report; and they immediately noted the disparity between what IG Horowitz outlined about the FBI investigating Steele’s sub-source, as contrast against what the DOJ told them in July 2018.
Both the February FBI briefing and the July DOJ letter are transparent misrepresentation when compared to the information in the Horowitz report. Hence, the FISA court ordered the DOJ to release the July letter so that everyone, including congressional oversight and the public can see the misrepresentation. Unfortunately the “congressional oversight” aspect was/is aligned with the scheme.
The FISA court was misled; the SSCI was willfully mislead; now everyone can see it.
The content of that FBI briefing and DOJ-NSD letter, and the subsequent disparity, points to an institutional cover-up; and as a consequence the FISC also ordered the DOJ to begin an immediate sequestration effort to find all the evidence from the fraudulent FISA application. The proverbial fruit from the poisonous tree…. And yes, that is ongoing.
Lindsay Graham is still playing cover-up to protect the Senate. Nothing more.
Graham could have demanded these same answers in April of this year. He didn’t.