Jordan, Biggs demand answers from Wray on FISA abuses

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently declassified a November 2020 opinion memo raising concerns about the FBI’s “apparent widespread violations” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) are demanding that FBI Director Chris Wray answer to the opinion. The two lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday, which also asked Wray how he is reforming the FBI to ensure the process is being used in a constitutional manner.

In their letter, Jordan and Biggs note that the ODNI’s memo highlights the misuse of FISA’s Section 702, which states that the government can permit the surveillance of foreigners outside the U.S. for national security purposes, to spy on American citizens.

The two Republican lawmakers also cite Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December 2019 report showing abuse of the FISA process to illegally spy on members of the Trump campaign. The report revealed 17 “errors and omissions” and 51 incorrect points used as a basis for the surveillance.

Wray previously said the FISA warrant obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page wasn’t justified and he’s promised to reform the system, but Jordan and Biggs aren’t convinced that anything has changed.

The FBI declined to comment on the letter, in an email to this reporter.

The Republican Congressmen ask Wray to provide the following:

“The recently released FISC opinion only raises more questions about the FBI’s respect for the constitutional and statutory parameters of FISA. Given the seriousness of this matter for civil liberties, please provide the following information immediately:

1. Please explain why almost a year after the OIG’s report about FISA abuses, the FISC found the FBI to still be abusing its warrantless surveillance authority under section 702.

2. Please provide a detailed accounting of every instance since December 2019 in which the FBI has queried, accessed, otherwise used information obtained pursuant to section 702 for purposes unrelated to national security.

3. Please explain what actions you have taken in the wake of the FISC’s November 2020 memorandum opinion and order to prevent the FBI from using its section 702 authorities to surveil, investigate, or otherwise examine U.S. citizens.”

You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Four Connected Stories Last Week Indicate Rudy Giuliani Was Likely One of The 2019 Victims of FBI FISA Abuse, and Mary McCord is Needed as Insurance

There were four stories that broke in the past week; “broke“as in: were revealed, but not necessarily by media. Yet it doesn’t seem like anyone is putting them into their connected context.  I am outlining below (w/ citations) and hopefully everyone can see the connection:

♦(1)  The 2020 FISA review and opinion by presiding Judge James Boasberg was declassified.  The review is for year 2019 (written October 2020, declassified April 2021).  Notice the FISC review is for FBI conduct in 2019.

Within the outline Boasberg notes ongoing abuses by FBI officers of the NSA database.  Boasberg specifically called attention to the FBI use of that database for warrantless searches of public and private officials. {LINK}

♦(2) Judge Boasberg hires former DOJ National Security Head Mary McCord as an Amicus Curiae for the court.  McCord is a known corrupt actor within the DOJ with political motives and intentions.  Including her work and efforts with the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG Atkinson) during the first impeachment effort against President Trump.  Notice, Boasberg hired McCord for the role at the same time the 2020 opinion is declassified. {LINK}

♦(3) The FBI raids the home of Rudy Giuliani with a search warrant for his electronic devices.  Notice the reports of the search warrant highlight the FBI must have something of substance -or at least the appearance of something of substance- in order to get a judge to sign-off on a search warrant. {LINK}

♦(4) Rudy Giuliani reveals during an interview that the search warrant included a reference to supportive evidence obtained by the FBI in 2019.  Giuliani then explains that when his lawyer questioned the FBI they said they searched his iCloud account in 2019 WITHOUT a warrant. {LINK}

Put these stories together and what you realize is a likelihood the warrantless 2019 FBI search of Giuliani’s iCloud account is likely one of the 2019 violations noted by Judge Boasberg in his review…. which would explain the motive of the FISC to hire Mary McCord in the event this series of events goes sideways in front of the public.

McCord’s expertise is in defending the DOJ-National Security Division from exposure of wrongdoing in their use of FISA authorities to investigate their political opposition.  The FISC now needs that same level of skill to defend them in the event the FBI/DOJ’s warrantless search of Guiliani becomes a toxic issue.

McCord will argue that tips to the FBI about Giuliani acting as an agent for Ukraine (FARA 951 justification) formed the basis of the FBI exploiting the NSA database using FISA authorities; which they will claim didn’t need a warrant because the investigation was into Giuliani working as an agent for a foreign government.

All four stories are connected.

ps.  Don’t forget FISA Judge Boasberg previously ruled the James Comey memos, and the Archey declarations about them, should be kept secret.

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Declassified FISA Court Opinion for 2020 Shows Even More Warrantless FBI Abuses of NSA Database Including Search Queries for Government Officials and Victims

Once again the FBI is outlined by the FISA court using the NSA database for warrantless searches of American citizen information.  This is the fourth consecutive year the FISA court has outlined abuse of the NSA database by FBI workers, contractors and officials.

The latest 67 page FISA compliance review for the year 2020 was written by FISA Court Presiding Judge James Boasberg (same judge from Clinesmith trial).  The opinion was written in November 2020 and declassified (with lots of redactions) today. [pdf version HERE] – [SCRIBD pdf HERE and Below]

I’m still going through the report; however, understanding the issues in current politics, TechnoFog has a well written succinct encapsulation of the top-line issues [READ HERE] which includes:

[…] April 2019 – July 2019: An FBI technical information specialist was involved in “Compliance incidents” by conducting 124 queries of Section 702-acquired information on (1) Volunteers who had requested to participate in the FBI’s “Citizens Academy”; (2) Persons who needed to enter the field office to perform repairs; and (3) Persons who reported they were victims of a crime.

[…] In other words, the FBI is using FISA acquired information to investigate domestic crimes – not matters of foreign intelligence. These included investigations of “health-care fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists, as well as investigations relating to public corruption and bribery.”

[…]  “Public corruption and bribery.” I highlight that last part because it means the FBI continued to improperly use FISA-acquired information to spy on government officials.  (read more)

According to the Basberg report seven FBI field offices were implicated in “these and a number of similar violations.”  In other words, institutionally the FBI continues to perform warrantless searches of the NSA database that collects electronic information on every single American.  The FBI is exploiting a backdoor into this database using search queries that violate the fourth amendment.

The FBI is extracting this information for their own personal use; likely political use including surveillance and black files on politicians; and for routine criminal investigations that are supposed to require warrants.

Keep in mind this 2020 review and report encompasses a time-frame prior to October 2020, so we can only imagine how many times since the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protest the FBI reached into this NSA database to assist them with their investigation of “domestic extremists”.

Here’s the embed version:

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In Final Days, Trump Gave Up On Releasing Russiagate Files, Nunes Prober Says

After four years of railing against “deep state” actors who, he said, tried to undermine his presidency, Donald Trump relented to U.S. intelligence leaders in his final days in office, allowing them to block the release of critical material in the Russia investigation, according to a former senior congressional investigator who later joined the Trump administration.

Kash Patel, whose work on the House Intelligence Committee helped unearth U.S. intelligence malpractice during the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe, said he does not know why Trump did not force the release of documents that would expose further wrongdoing. But he said senior intelligence officials “continuously impeded” their release – usually by slow-walking their reviews of the material. Patel said Trump’s CIA director, Gina Haspel, was instrumental in blocking one of the most critical documents.

Patel, who has seen the Russia probe’s underlying intelligence and co-wrote critical reports that have yet to be declassified, said new disclosures would expose additional misconduct and evidentiary holes in the CIA and FBI’s work.

“I think there were people within the IC [Intelligence Community], at the heads of certain intelligence agencies, who did not want their tradecraft called out, even though it was during a former administration, because it doesn’t look good on the agency itself,” Patel told RealClearInvestigations in his first in-depth interview since leaving government at the end of Trump’s term last month, having served in several intelligence and defense roles (full interview here).

Trump did not respond to requests seeking comment sent to intermediaries.

Although a Department of Justice inspector general’s report in December 2019 exposed significant intelligence failings and malpractice, Patel said more damning information is still being kept under wraps. And despite an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel John Durham into the conduct of the officials who carried out the Trump-Russia inquiry, it is unclear if key documents will ever see the light of day.

Patel did not suggest that a game-changing smoking gun is being kept from the public. Core intelligence failures have been exposed – especially regarding the FBI’s reliance on Christopher Steele’s now debunked dossier to secure FISA warrants used to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But he said the withheld material would reveal more misconduct as well as major problems with the CIA’s assessment that Russia, on Vladimir Putin’s orders, ordered a sweeping and systematic interference 2016 campaign to elect Trump. Patel was cautious about going into detail on any sensitive information that has not yet been declassified.

‘Continuously Impeded’ in Public Disclosure 

Patel’s work on the House Intelligence Committee, under the leadership of its former Republican chairman, Devin Nunes, is widely credited with exposing the FBI’s reliance on Steele and misrepresentations to the FISA court. Yet congressional Democrats and major media outlets portrayed him as a behind-the-scenes saboteur who sought to “discredit” the Russia investigation.

The media vitriol unnerved Patel, who had previously served as a national security official in the Obama-era Justice Department and Pentagon – a tenure that exceeds his time working under Trump. Patel says that ensuring public disclosure of critical information in such a consequential national security investigation motivated him to take the job in the first place.

“The agreement I made with Devin, I said, ‘Okay, I don’t really want to go to the Hill, but I’ll do the job on one basis: accountability and disclosure,” Patel said. “Everything we find, I don’t care if it’s good or bad or whatever, from your political perspective, we put it out.’ So the American public can just read it themselves, with a few protections here and there for some certain national security measures, but those are minimal redactions.”

That task proved difficult. The House Intelligence Committee’s disclosure efforts, Patel said, “were continuously impeded by members of the intelligence community themselves, with the same singular epithets that you’re going to harm sources and methods. … And I just highlight that because, we didn’t lose a single source. We didn’t lose a single relationship, and no one died by the public disclosures we made because we did it in a systematic and professional fashion.”

“But each time we forced them to produce [documents],” Patel added, “it only showed their coverup and embarrassment.” These key revelations he helped expose include Justice official Bruce Ohr’s admission that he acted as a liaison to Steele even after the FBI officially terminated him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s false statements about leaks related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation; and the FBI’s reliance on the Steele dossier to spy on Page. “There is actually a law that prevents the FBI and DOJ from failing to disclose material to a court just to hide an embarrassment or mistake, and it came up during our investigation. It helped us compel disclosure.”

Assessing the ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’

For Patel, a key document that remains hidden from the public is the full report he helped prepare and which Trump chose not to declassify after pressure from the intelligence community: The House Intelligence Committee report about the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).

The ICA is a foundational Russiagate document. Released just two weeks before Trump’s inauguration, it asserted that Russia waged an interference campaign to help defeat Hillary Clinton. Despite widespread media accounts that the ICA reflected the consensus view of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, it was a rushed job completed in a few weeks by a small group of CIA analysts led by then-CIA Director John Brennan, who merely consulted with FBI and NSA counterparts. The NSA even dissented from a key judgment that Russia and Putin specifically aimed to help install Trump, expressing only “moderate confidence.”

The March 2018 House report found that the production of the ICA “deviated from established CIA practice.” And the core judgment that Putin sought to help Trump, the House report found, resulted from “significant intelligence tradecraft failings that undermine confidence in the ICA judgments.”

Along with that March 2018 report, Patel and his intelligence committee colleagues produced a still-classified document that fleshed out the ICA’s “tradecraft failings” in greater detail.

“We went and looked at it [the ICA], and looked at the underlying evidence and cables, and talked to the people who did it,” Patel says. According to Patel, the ICA’s flaws begin with the unprecedentedly short window of time in which it was produced during the final days of the Obama White House. “In two to three weeks, you can’t have a comprehensive investigation of anything, in terms of interference and cybersecurity matters.”

Patel said that still classified information undermines another key claim – that Russia ordered a cyber-hacking campaign to help Trump. The March 2018 House report noted that the ICA’s judgments, “particularly on the cyber intrusion sections, employed appropriate caveats on sources and identified assumptions,” but those were drowned out by partisan insistence that Russia was the culprit.

Constrained from discussing the material, Patel said its release “would lend a lot of credence to” skepticism about the Mueller report’s claim that Russia waged a “sweeping and systematic” interference campaign to install Trump.

That skepticism was bolstered in July 2019 when the Mueller team was reprimanded by a U.S. District judge for falsely suggesting in its final report that a Russian social media firm acted in concert with the Kremlin. (Mueller’s prosecutors later dropped the case against the outfit.)

“We had multiple versions, with redactions, at different levels of classifications we were willing to release,” Patel said.”But that was unfortunately the one report, which speaks directly to [an absence of concrete evidence] that’s still sitting in a safe, classified. And unfortunately, the American public – unless Biden acts – won’t see it.”

Confirming earlier media reports from late last year, Patel says it was Trump’s CIA Director Gina Haspel who personally thwarted the House report’s release. The report sits in a safe at CIA headquarters in Langley. “The CIA has possession of it, and POTUS chose not to put it out,” Patel says. He does not know why.

‘Outrageous’ Reliance on CrowdStrike

Another key set of documents that the public has yet to see are reports by Democratic National Committee cyber-contractor CrowdStrike – reports the FBI relied on to accuse Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee. The FBI bowed to the DNC’s refusal to hand over its servers for analysis, a decision that Patel finds “outrageous.”

“The FBI, who are the experts in looking at servers and exploiting this information so that the intelligence community can digest it and understand what happened, did not have access to the DNC servers in their entirety,” Patel said. “For some outrageous reason the FBI agreed to having CrowdStrike be the referee as to what it could and could not exploit, and could and could not look at.”

According Patel, Crowdstrike CEO Shawn Henry, a former top FBI official under Mueller, “totally took advantage of the situation to the unfortunate shortcoming of the American public.”

CrowdStrike’s credibility suffered a major blow in May 2020 with the disclosure of an explosive admission from Henry that had been kept under wraps for nearly three years. In December 2017 testimony before the House Intel Committee showed he had acknowledged that his firm “did not have concrete evidence” that Russian hackers removed any data, including private emails, from the DNC servers.

“We wanted those depositions declassified immediately after we took them,” Patel recalled. But the committee was “thwarted,” he says, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under Dan Coats, and later by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff once Democrats took control of Congress in January 2018. According to Patel, Schiff “didn’t want some of these transcripts to come out. And that was just extremely frustrating.” Working with Coats’ successor, Richard Grenell, Patel ultimately forced the release of the Henry transcript and dozens of others last year.

Still classified, however, are the full CrowdStrike reports relied on by the FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee. Patel said their release would underscore Henry’s admission while raising new questions about why the government used reports from DNC contractors – the other being Fusion GPS’ Steele dossier – for a consequential national security case involving a rival Republican campaign.

Doubting Reliability of CIA’s Kremlin Mole

The CIA relied on another questionable source for its assertion that Putin personally ordered and orchestrated an interference campaign to elect Trump: a purported mole inside the Kremlin. The mole has been outed as Oleg Smolenkov, a mid-level Kremlin official who fled Russia in 2017 for the United States where he lives under his own name. According to the New York Times, some CIA officials harbored doubts about Smolenkov’s “trustworthiness.”

Patel said he could not comment on whether he believes Smolenkov relayed credible information to the CIA. “I’m sort of in a bind on this one, still, with all the classified information I looked at, and the declassifications we’ve requested, but have not yet been granted.”

Patel did suggest, however, that those who have raised skepticism about the CIA’s reliance on Smolenkov are “rightly” trying to “get to the bottom” of the story. “But until that ICA product that we created, and some of the other documents are finally revealed – if I start talking about them, then I’m probably going to get the FBI knocking at my door.”

Will Key Documents Be Released?

On his last full day in office, President Trump ordered the declassification of an additional binder of material from the FBI’s initial Trump-Russia probe, Crossfire Hurricane. A source familiar with the documents covered under the declassification order confirmed to RealClearInvestigations that it does not contain the House committee’s assessment of the January 2017 that Patel wants released. Nor does it contain any of the CrowdStrike reports used by the FBI.

In addition to those closely guarded documents, Patel thinks that there is even more to learn about the fraudulent surveillance warrants on Carter Page. The public should see “the entire subject portion” of the final Carter Page FISA warrant, Patel said, as well as “the underlying source verification reporting” in which the FBI tried to justify it, despite relying on the Steele dossier.

By reading what the FBI “used to prop up that FISA, the American public can see what a bunch of malarkey it was that they were relying on,” Patel added. “The American public needs to know about and read for themselves and make their own determination as to why their government allowed this to happen. Knowingly.”

“And that’s not castigating an entire agency,” he continued. “We’re not disparaging the entire FBI because of Peter Strzok [the FBI agent dismissed, in part, because of anti-Trump bias] and his crew of miscreants. Same thing goes for the intelligence community. If they did some shoddy tradecraft, the American public has a right to know about it in an investigation involving the presidential election.”

This article is republished from RealClearInvestigations, with permission.

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Carter Page Sues DOJ, FBI, James Comey, And Others Behind Crossfire Hurricane FISA Abuse

In an eight-count complaint filed Friday in the D.C. District Court, Carter Page seeks damages of no less than $75 million from the U.S. government, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and individuals responsible for obtaining four illegal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders against Page.

Page’s 59-page complaint lists as defendants a veritable “Who’s Who” of the SpyGate scandal, including former FBI Director James Comey, Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, and the disgraced team of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Also singled out were Kevin Clinessmith, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to falsifying an email to hide Page’s past service as a source to the CIA, and FBI Agents Joe Pientka, Stephen Somma, and Brian Auten, with additional defendants identified merely as John Doe 1 – 10 and Jane Doe 1 – 10.

­The first four counts of his complaint allege claims under FISA, with one count seeking damages for each of the four FISA court orders the defendants obtained against Page. FISA provides a private right of action to allow “an aggrieved person. . . who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance or about whom information obtained by electronic surveillance of such person has been disclosed,” to sue those responsible.

In addition to stating a civil claim for damages under FISA, Page’s attorneys note in the complaint that FISA makes it a criminal offense to illegally “engage in electronic surveillance under color of law.”  While only the government can prosecute a criminal violation of FISA, the allegation is a stark reminder that other than Clinesmith, no criminal cases have resulted from the illegal targeting of Page and the Trump campaign—at least not yet.

Page’s fifth cause of action alleges a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act which provides that the United States is liable for civil wrongs “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances.” In other words, Page can sue the government and its agents for wrongful conduct, just as he could a private person.

This count seeks damages for the individual defendants who “committed an abuse of process because they acted with an ulterior motive in using the FISA warrant process to accomplish an end unintended and not permitted by law, to wit, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign by unlawfully invading the privacy of Dr. Page without probable cause.” And yes, contrary to the corporate media’s continued denial, the Obama-Biden Administration intended to, and did, spy on the Trump campaign, including by obtaining the illegal FISA orders to surveil Page.

In his sixth cause of action, Page alleged what is called a Bivens claim, after the Supreme Court case of the same name. In Bivens, the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff is entitled to damages from the individual government actors responsible for violating the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, when the defendants act willfully, knowingly, or with a reckless disregard for the truth—which describes precisely what the Crossfire Hurricane team did in submitting the four false and misleading FISA applications to the FISA court.

The final two claims seek a remedy for Page under the federal Privacy Act. The first Privacy Act complaint seeks to force the Department of Justice to update Carter Page’s “individual records” and states that the Department of Justice rejected Page’s request to correct Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, or even conduct a review as required under the Privacy Act, and accordingly Page seeks an injunction to compel the government to do so.  His final claim, also under the Privacy Act, seeks damages for the harm he suffered when “he was falsely portrayed as a traitor to his country,” as well as court costs and attorney fees.

Page’s D.C.-based attorney Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a principal with McAdoo Gordon & Associates, told me, “Carter’s life has been seriously damaged by the false accusation that he was a Russian spy.  It is high time that he receives compensation for the gross and deliberate violations of his civil liberties by government officials.”

In addition to McAdoo Gordon’s counsel, Page is represented by John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge P.C. from Los Angeles, California, K. Lawson Pedigo from the Dallas, Texas firm of Miller Keffer & Pedigo, and Timothy Parlatore, from the Parlatore Law Group in New York.

The next step will be for the defendants to be served with the complaint, for their attorneys to file their appearances, and respond. Then the fun will begin—discovery!

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Biden Nominates Former Obama Official And John Brennan Loyalist To Top Intelligence Post

Joe Biden announced Monday he plans to nominate Avril Haines, a former deputy to Obama CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, as his Director of National Intelligence. 

Haines is a certified swamp creature and veteran of the Obama administration. She worked at the White House starting in 2010 as a national security lawyer and In 2013, then CIA Director John Brennan appointed her deputy director for the CIA. In 2015, she became the principal deputy national security adviser. 

If confirmed, Haines will oversee the preparation and presentation of the president’s daily intelligence briefing.

Haines’s former boss, Brennan, is responsible for a hand-written, declassified note to James Comey and Peter Strzok, requesting that they investigate Russian knowledge of Hillary Clinton’s Russia collusion operation against Trump. The note proved that Brennan and the U.S. intelligence community knew months prior to the 2016 election that the operation was the result of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Even with knowledge from top officials like Brennan, the FBI sent “confidential human sources” to secretly spy on Donald Trump’s team during his 2016 campaign. A report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed how former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was surveilled thanks to falsified FISA applications which gave special permission for the intelligence community to spy on Page. The report also confirmed that the surveillance of Page was done to get access to the Trump campaign.

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5 Takeaways From Senate Probe Of Andrew McCabe On The FBI’s Faulty Russia Investigation

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was probed by lawmakers in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday about his involvement in the FBI’s failed Russia collusion investigation. McCabe admitted “unacceptable” errors were made throughout the investigation, yet he insisted that as second-in-command, he was wrongly fired.

Here are five major takeaways:

1. Admitted He Should Not Have Signed Spy Warrant

McCabe admitted he would not have signed the FISA warrant application to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page had he known it contained fabrications and inaccuracies.

“If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application in June 2017 against Carter Page?” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham asked.

“No, sir,” McCabe said.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz reported that he found 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI investigation of Page and that the FBI failed “to include exculpatory evidence in its four successful applications for surveillance warrants.”

2. Said Trump Was a ‘Danger to National Security’

In his opening statement, McCabe denied the existence of bias or political leanings within the FBI, despite evidence such as text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page promising to “stop” Donald Trump’s election as president.

“We didn’t open a case because we liked one candidate or didn’t like the other one,” McCabe said. “We didn’t open a case because we intended to stage a coup or overthrow the government. … We opened a case to find out how the Russians might be undermining our elections.”

McCabe insisted that Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey was an obstruction of justice and that it was just one of many reasons the FBI believed “the president might himself pose a danger to national security.”

“He might have engaged in obstruction of justice,” McCabe testified, “if the firing of the director and those other things were geared towards eliminating or stopping our investigation of Russian activity.”

3. Denied ‘Leaks’ to the Press

In a heated exchange, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed McCabe on whether he went behind Comey’s back to leak information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation to the press.

In 2018, the Horowitz report claimed that McCabe authorized leaks to the media with the intention of clearing his name of any supposed conflict of interest in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.

“We concluded that McCabe’s decision to confirm the existence of the [Clinton Foundation] Investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior Department official in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception,” Horowitz wrote.

When Cruz asked if McCabe was authorized to leak to the media, McCabe responded, “I didn’t need James Comey’s authorization.”

“I didn’t ask if you needed it. I asked did he authorize you to disclose it. That’s a yes or no question,” Cruz pressed. McCabe said he himself authorized the disclosure, but also admitted that Comey was aware of disclosure to the press as well.

“You’re aware your testimony is 180 degrees opposite from Mr. Comey’s sworn testimony to this committee in which he insisted he has never authorized anybody to leak to the press?” Cruz asked.

“Your characterization of a leak is not accurate,” McCabe replied.

4. Insisted ‘There Were No Discussions of the Logan Act’

Cruz also brought up the recent news that former Vice President Joe Biden is already having conversations with foreign leaders, asking McCabe whether this qualified as a violation of the Logan Act, a 1799 law criminalizing political speech by American citizens that was used to justify investigations of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“[The Logan Act] was your flimsy political basis to go after a decorated war hero because you disagree politically with President Trump,” Cruz said, after McCabe said he would not “opine” on the Biden campaign’s actions.

McCabe denied Cruz’s characterization of the FBI’s investigation into Flynn, saying they “were not concerned he violated the Logan Act.”

“It is your testimony that the Logan Act was not a predicate for the FBI and DOJ investigation into General Flynn? Really?” Cruz asked.

“There were no discussions of the Logan Act,” McCabe doubled down.

As Cruz pointed out, there is indeed an abundance of evidence that the FBI conspired to pin their questioning of Flynn on potential Logan Act violations, despite the fact that no American has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law. According to Strzok’s handwritten notes, Biden mentioned the Logan Act at an early January 2017 meeting in the Oval Office. Documents and emails show that a few weeks later, FBI agents internally discussed using the Logan Act as a basis to continue their investigation of Flynn.

5. Believes He Did Nothing Wrong

Under questioning from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Tuesday, McCabe doubled down on his belief that he did nothing wrong, despite his earlier statement that had he known then what he knows now about the fabricated FISA warrants, he would not have signed off on it.

McCabe also cited the IG report, saying it “failed to find any evidence, documentary or testimonial, to indicate that the other mistakes in the FISA package were the result of intentional misconduct,” aside from FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who deliberately altered emails used to obtain the FISA warrants.

“Do you think you were wrongly fired?” Blackburn asked.

“Yes, I do think I was wrongly fired,” he said.

“And you think you did nothing wrong?” Blackburn asked.

“That’s correct,” McCabe replied.

“Even though the IG pointed out that you did. And even though you had a culture of corruption and cover-up, that you thought it’s OK to spy on Carter Page. It was OK to mislead Michael Flynn,” Blackburn said.

McCabe responded by saying he categorically denied Blackburn’s assertions. “No one that I’m aware of in the FBI conducted any activity that should leave them susceptible to criminal prosecution … including myself,” McCabe said.

McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after an IG report found he misled investigators about leaking to the media on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email servers. He is currently suing over his termination, claiming the firing was politically motivated retaliation driven by Trump.

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60 Minutes Anchor Lesley Stahl Was WRONG, and Flat Out Lied…Here is The Truth

president trump stahl 60 minutes interview

Last week President Trump sat down with reporter Lesley Stahl for an interview on 60 Minutes. During the interview, Stahl accused the President of lying about the Obama-Biden administration spying on his campaign in 2016. Trump insisted that it was true, and the mainstream media is “fake news” for not reporting these facts to the American people.

Stahl an enemy of the people

Over the years, President Trump has repeatedly called the mainstream media “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” for pushing Left-wing talking points and shielding Democratic candidates from controversy. They show open disdain for our great President and some of their childish behavior shows complete disrespect for the office he holds.

Regardless, the President never backs down from an interview and he continues to tackle all of their malicious questioning head on, unlike some other candidates out there. I’m looking at you Sleepy Joe. In the clip below, you will see Lesley Stahl call out the President after he accuses the Obama-Biden administration for spying on his campaign. Stahl claims that is “unverified.”

Maybe Lesley Stahl and her team over at 60 Minutes didn’t get the memo about Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The FBI investigation took place between 2016 and 2017 using electronic and human surveillance to gather information about Trump campaign staff to determine whether or not they had links to Russian officials.

President Trump was right

The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General has confirmed that the Obama-Biden administration spied on the Trump campaign. The 478 page report documenting the operation was released almost a year ago. So either 60 Minutes is completely ignorant, or they have a clear anti-Trump agenda.

I suspect it’s the latter of the two. Inside the report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz verified that investigations uncovered abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that was used to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI had access to Carter Page’s electronic correspondences, which contained sensitive Trump campaign information. The report went on to specifically state that the FBI had accessed Trump campaign communications.

Lesley Stahl also claimed Joe Biden is not a part of any ongoing scandal. Wow, the mainstream media really are hoping that Hunter Biden’s laptop from hell will just magically disappear. Trump rightfully called out the media’s hypocrisy.

As soon as the Hunter Biden laptop scandal broke, reporters caught up with Joe Biden on the campaign trail. Their first question for the presidential candidate in the middle of a huge scandal was, “what kind of ice cream did you order?” Wow. That’s some hard hitting journalism there.

joe biden eats ice cream presidential campaign 2020

Breaking: Sleepy Joe loves ice cream

Twitter took their Left-leaning sentiments a step further. When the New York Post first broke the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, the tech giant blocked all links to it. They even went so far as to suspend any accounts that shared the story, including the account belonging to the New York Post.

This censorship is clearly a desperate attempt to save Biden’s campaign in the final days before the election. The contents of Hunter’s laptop has been independently confirmed to be authentic.

Besides the pictures of Hunter’s drug use and sexual misconduct, the hard drive also contains emails between Hunter Biden and business associates, tying Joe Biden to multiple deals with foreign companies where he leveraged his position as Vice President to secure millions of dollars.

The presidential election is just days away and Trump is fighting harder than ever to win his second term. He’s been holding three rallies a day in key swing states.

Joe Biden has been mysteriously quiet, dodging any questions about his million dollar deals with Ukraine, China and Russia. Meanwhile, reporters like Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes continue brushing these critical stories under the rug and lying to the American people.

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Mifsud Notes Provide More Proof Crossfire Hurricane Was An Excuse To Spy On Trump

Last December, in response to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse, U.S. Attorney John Durham released a statement informing Americans that, “based on the evidence collected to date,” his team had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

The release earlier this week of the FBI’s 302 summary of the agency’s interview of Joseph Mifsud confirms Durham’s statement and proves what many Americans have long surmised: The purported basis for the launch of Crossfire Hurricane was a pretext for spying on the Trump campaign.

On July 31, 2016, former FBI Agent Peter Strzok opened (and approved) Crossfire Hurricane, what he classified as a “counter intelligence investigation” into “Foreign Agents Registration Act-Russia.” The “synopsis” of the “Electronic Communication” that officially opened Crossfire Hurricane, which has since been released in redacted form, claimed the government had “received information” “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.”

Strzok then summarized in the electronic communication that supposed intel, which consisted of information received from an unnamed representative, now publicly known to be Alexander Downer, a then-Australian diplomat. Downer had relayed “statements Mr. [George] Papadopoulos made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

The opening document then asserted that Papadopoulos “also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama.).” “It was unclear,” however, according to the opening communication, “whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of [sic] through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer.”

The opening document then concluded that, “[b]ased on the information provided by Legal [redacted] this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia.”

While the opening Electronic Communication framed the information received by the FBI as evidence “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server,” as the remainder of the Electronic Communication made clear, the information received made no mention of the DNC hacking. In fact, it was “unclear” whether the material referred to “publicly acquired” information.

No wonder, then, that following the release of the IG report, Attorney General William Barr criticized the FBI for launching “an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that . . . were insufficient to justify the steps taken.” “From its inception,” Barr continued, “the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” yet “the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.”

So Many Questions

The release of the FBI’s 302 summary of its interview with Mifsud, however, indicates that the FBI’s suspicions weren’t just thin, they were pretextual. Mifsud, after all, is the individual who supposedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. But as the FBI’s 302 summary shows, the Crossfire Hurricane team did not even bother to interview Mifsud until February 11, 2017, when Mifsud was in D.C. at a State Department-sponsored convention.

For the last four years, the FBI company line has been that it didn’t even know Mifsud’s identity until late January 2017, when the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos and he told agents that Mifsud had been the source of the “Russians have dirt on Hillary” tip. This line is unbelievable on so many levels—if, that is, that tip truly represented the basis for launching Crossfire Hurricane.

First, why would the FBI wait six months before questioning Papadopoulos? They had tried tasking Stefan Halper with eliciting compromising information, but Halper’s efforts failed. They had already ruled out obtaining a FISA warrant on Papadopoulos. So why wait until late January 2017 to quiz Papadopoulos on the source of the supposed inside information coming from Russia?

Second, if the FBI really believed Russia had conspired with the Trump campaign to hack and release the DNC emails, agents would have immediately scoured Papadopoulos’s London-based connections and discovered he was associated with the London Centre of International Law Practice around the time he met with Downer. From there, the FBI could have easily fingered Mifsud as a possible source for the information, since he was listed as a board advisor and public source searches would show Mifsud had connections to Russia. (The intelligence community would have also hit on Mifsud’s many connections to Western intelligence agencies.)

Another Failure to Inform the FISA Court

Beyond the inexplicable delays in investigating Papadopoulos’s supposed Russian-connected source, the 302 summary from the FBI’s questioning of Mifsud in February 2017 established there was no evidence that Mifsud was a Russian asset.

To the contrary, the 302 first detailed Mifsud’s meeting with Papadopoulos in Rome at the Link Campus University. Later, Mifsud met Papadopoulos for the second time when the two had coffee in the UK while Papadopoulos was transitioning to the Trump campaign. Mifsud told agents that Olga Polenskaya, an MBA student from the Links Campus, was also present. “Mifsud did not believe Polenskaya was related to Vladimir Putin or any other Russian government officials,” the 302 summary read.

Mifsud also told agents “he had no advance knowledge Russia was in possession of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and, therefore, did not make any offers or proffer any information to Papadopoulos.” Rather, Mifsud explained, “they spoke about cyber security and hacking as a larger issue” and “Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation.”

The only other connection to Russians mentioned in the 302 concerned Mifsud’s email introduction of Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, who works at the Russian International Affairs Council. Then, in a follow-up email Mifsud wrote the agents, he confirmed “that the only official Russian person that I introduced Mr. Papadopoulos to was Dr. Ivan Timofeev.”

Yet, as Horowitz noted in his report on FISA abuse, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform the FISA court of Mifsud’s denials. Equally troubling was Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts to paint Mifsud as a Russian agent, even though the evidence did not support that premise.

More Special Counsel Deception

The 302 summary of Mifsud’s interview also suggests Mueller’s team played fast and loose with the truth in the sentencing memorandum it filed in the Papadopoulos criminal case. Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning Mifsud during one of several interviews they conducted. In the sentencing memorandum filed with the court in Papadopoulos’ case, the special counsel’s team represented to the court:

[T]he defendant’s lies to the FBI in January 2017 impeded the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most immediately, those statements substantially hindered investigators’ ability to effectively question the Professor when the FBI located him in Washington, D.C. approximately two weeks after the defendant’s January 27, 2017 interview. The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States. The government understands that the Professor left the United States on February 11, 2017 and he has not returned to the United States since then. The defendant’s lies also hindered the government’s ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on Clinton.

Had the defendant told the FBI the truth when he was interviewed in January 2017, the FBI could have quickly taken numerous investigative steps to help determine, for example, how and where the Professor obtained the information, why the Professor provided the information to the defendant, and what the defendant did with the information after receiving it.

But, as the 302 statement makes clear, Mifsud outrightly denied having any advanced knowledge of Russians’ possession of the DNC emails and he told the agents he “did not make any offers or proffer any information to Papadopoulos.” Instead, Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation about cyber security, Mifsud maintained.

Given Mifsud’s denials, nothing Papadopoulos said to the FBI could have impeded the FBI’s investigation into the tip supposedly given to Papadopoulos about the Russians’ dirt on Hillary. Of course, if the FBI were being honest, it would also have to admit it had no real investigation into that supposed tip about Russian dirt—that was merely a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign. Mifsud’s 302 is yet more proof of that reality.

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Lindsay Graham Kept GOP Judiciary Committee Senators In The Dark About Interview Of FBI Agent Joe Pientka

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and his staff kept Republican members of that committee in the dark about a pivotal interview of key Russiagate figure Joe Pientka, multiple sources familiar with Thursday’s proceedings told The Federalist.

Graham and his committee investigative staff, helmed by chief investigative counsel Zach Somers, did not inform Republican members of the committee about the interview, multiple Judiciary Committee sources told The Federalist. Even Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has sought an interview with Pientka since 2018, was not told about Thursday’s interview, according to a spokesman for his office.

“Sen. Grassley’s staff was not aware this interview was happening,” a spokesman for the Iowa senator said. He added that Grassley and his staff had been “interested in speaking with Pientka for a while.”

“We were not informed” of the interview of Pientka, another top aide to a Republican senator on the Judiciary Committee told The Federalist.

Pientka, a career FBI agent who voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by Senate investigators on Thursday, is at the center of multiple investigations of FBI abuses during the course of the bureau’s anti-Trump investigations both before and after the 2016 elections. Pientka was the agent who in August of 2016 used a fake so-called “defensive briefing” to spy on Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, and Chris Christie during the heat of the presidential campaign. Pientka, along with fired former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, was also part of the illegal ambush interview of then-White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in January of 2017.

A sprawling Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation of the FBI’s behavior in signing illegal spy warrants against former Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page excoriated Pientka for his actions during the FBI’s investigation of Trump. According to a 434-page report summarizing the results of the OIG investigation, Pientka knew several key claims made in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to spy on Page were false, but never informed the federal court that examines FISA applications of those facts. The OIG found that Pientka also knew that claims in the bogus Steele dossier, compiled by former foreign agent Christopher Steele and funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, were false, but similarly did not inform the FISA court of those errors.

The OIG also admonished Pientka for setting up a fake “defensive briefing” on counterintelligence threats to instead spy on a presidential candidate and his top staff.

Sources on the Judiciary Committee who spoke to The Federalist were baffled as to why Graham and his staff did not inform all committee members and staff of the Pientka interview, given that it might be their only bite at the apple to interview him and get answers about what happened in 2016 and 2017. One senior Senate aide told The Federalist that their biggest concern was that the lack of full staff and member participation, especially from those with the most detailed knowledge of the FBI’s behavior during its investigation of Russian collusion, might leave key investigative stones unturned.

Another source familiar with the interview said that no documents were introduced as exhibits or shown to Pientka as part of the interview, which was reported to go on for several hours. A spokesman for Graham did not respond when asked whether Graham’s Judiciary Committee staff entered any of the reams of documents about Pientka’s work on the Russia case for the FBI into the record during the interview. Because The Federalist does not have access to the transcript of the interview, it is unable to independently confirm whether Pientka was confronted with any documents or exhibits during the course of his questioning by congressional staff.

Current and former staff for the committee said the failure to inform the full Judiciary Committee of the interview ran afoul of previous committee precedents regarding notification. While Republican members of the Judiciary Committee were not given the opportunity to ask questions of Pientka, staff for two senators who are not on the committee — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) — were invited to attend the interview of Pientka.

A long-time Senate aide said the practice under previous chairmen of the committee was to invite all members of the committee to attend.

“The Ranking Member didn’t determine who participated and off-committee Democrats definitely didn’t get priority over on-committee Republicans,” the aide told The Federalist.

Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Graham, told The Federalist that its reporting about the interview of Pientka was “flat wrong.”

“If you go with it you will end up with egg on your face,” Bishop wrote.

When pressed for specific claims that were inaccurate, Bishop did not respond. Bishop also did not respond when asked to provide evidence of any formal notice to all committee members and staff informing them of the scheduling of the Joe Pientka interview.

Taylor Reidy, a spokeswoman for Graham on the Judiciary Committee, did not dispute that Graham and his staff failed to inform the full committee about the interview of Pientka. Instead, Reidy wrote in an e-mail to The Federalist that “[t]he Committee will not confirm that it interviewed Pientka.”

Graham “stays in contact with his fellow committee members regarding the status of the investigation,” she wrote.

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