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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“Mistakes Were Made”, Video Outline to Explain History of FISA Court Abuse

With the jaw-dropping revelation of former DOJ-NSD head Mary McCord being enlisted by the FISA Court as an Amici Curiae (advisor to the court) it is worthwhile revisiting this previous video explanation of the FISA Court.

John Spiropoulos does a great job outlining the history of the FISC looking the other way when the fourth amendment protections against searching American citizens electronic communication are violated by the FBI.  “Mistakes were made”… and made, and made, and made, and made….

[embedded content]

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Prior to the December 9, 2019, inspector general report on FISA abuse, FISA Court judges Rosemary Collyer (declassified 2017) and James Boasberg (declassified 2019) both identified issues with the NSA bulk database collection program being exploited for unauthorized reasons.  Neither of them took any action against the FBI for warrantless searches of American citizen information.

So it should come as no surprise the 2020 report written again by James Boasberg, shows exactly the same issues still exist and the same unlawful abuses of the NSA database are still taking place.  Taking events at their face value it would appear the court is in alignment with the FBI and thus the abuses have continued.  Under that context Boasberg enlisting Mary McCord appears to be an institutional motive of covering-up the wrongdoing.

In order for corruption to continue advancing without consequence, those with institutional power have to pretend not to know things: “mistakes were made.”

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 identical 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) in April 2021. [pdf version HERE] – [SCRIBD pdf HERE]

[…] 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 Boasberg report seven FBI field offices were implicated in “these and a number of similar violations.”   That means 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”.

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It’s Official, The FISA Court is Compromised – Presiding Judge James Boasberg Hires Former DOJ-NSD Head, Mary McCord, as Amici Curiae to Advise The Court

The FISA Court is Compromised

I hate to write this, but there is just no good way to look at this. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, specifically Presiding Judge James Boasberg, has hired former DOJ National Security Division head, Mary McCord, as amici curiae advisor to the court. [LINK] The placement was first noted by an announcement from Georgetown Law ICAP.

Presiding Judge James Boasberg, is the decision-maker in the appointment of Amici Curiae to the FISA court. There is no way, NO WAY, Judge Boasberg does not know Mary McCord was at the epicenter of the fraudulent FISA application used against Carter Page. Remember, in addition to being the FISC Presiding Judge, Boasberg was also the trial judge in the case against Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer who lied about Page working for the CIA on the FISA application. {Go Deep}

Boasberg knows Mary McCord took over from former DOJ-NSD head John Carlin (October 2016); and it was McCord who guided the Carter Page FISA application through the court and across the finish-line (October 2016 and January 2017). That FISA application was built upon fraud and Mary McCord was at the center of it.

Mary McCord was also the DOJ-NSD official who went with Sally Yates to confront the White House Counsel, Don McGhan, about the Michael Flynn interview with the FBI. {Go Deep} It was also Mary McCord who had Michael Atkinson as the chief-legal-counsel for the DOJ-NSD -that’s her office attorney- when the FISA application was submitted in October 2016, and renewed in January 2017.

Michael Atkinson went from DOJ-NSD counsel to become the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG). {Go Deep} In that new role Atkinson changed the rules to allow an anonymous CIA whistleblower (Ciaramella on behalf of Vindman) to file the complaint that led to the Ukraine impeachment effort. {Go Deep} Who was the lead lawyer in the Jerry Nadler led House Judiciary Committee? Why Mary McCord of course. Judge Boasberg knows all of this… AND MORE.

[LINK to Source]

Boasberg knows the details of the fraudulent FISA application. Boasberg knows the details of the Inspector General Michael Horowitz report about the fraudulent FISA application; and all the DOJ and FBI participants… which included Mary McCord. Boasberg knows exactly who Mary McCord is, and what activity she has taken on behalf of the political resistance inside the DOJ and inside congress. FISC Presiding Judge James Boasberg also knows Mary McCord has broken the law….

…And yet Boasberg appoints McCord as amici curaie?

Let’s be really clear here. The FISA court is a small unit. The judges in/around Washington DC are also a small unit. They know everything that is going on in and around their DC network. A FISA judge inside that DC system knows every granular detail of everything that comes into their purview. All of it. Judge Boasberg even wrote the last two FISA court opinions (2019 and 2020) about the FBI abuses of the FISA-702 process and warrantless, illegal violations of the NSA database.

There is simply no other way to look at the placement of Mary McCord other than to see what it is. The FISA court is compromised; AND, McCord is being installed in order to coordinate any defensive measures that are needed to cover-up that compromise. [ex. if special counsel John Durham makes something public and Durham has been to the FISC with questions.]

There isn’t another way to look at this other than to see bad motives. There’s not a shred of possibility that Judge Boasberg does not know exactly who Mary McCord is, and what roles she played in the surveillance of candidate Donald Trump, President-elect Trump, President Trump and the House impeachment effort to remove President Donald Trump. Boasberg knows exactly who Mary McCord is.

There is no other way to look at this.

I hate to say it so bluntly, but the FISA Court is compromised.

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Mary McCord role in Spygate as DOJ-NSD head – SEE HERE

Mary McCord role in the Impeachment – SEE HERE

Devin Nunes discusses Mary McCord key role – SEE HERE

President Trump removes Michael Atkinson – SEE HERE

Boasberg only gives Clinesmith 12 months probation – SEE HERE

Boasberg knows deeply about FBI abuse of FISA-702 – SEE HERE

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FBI Lawyer Pleads Guilty To Altering FISA Warrant Could Face Up To Six Month Prison Sentence. You would Never Get This Deal.

The FBI lawyer who admitted to altering the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant that allowed the bureau to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal judge and will be sentenced to up to six months or less in prison in early December.

You would never get this kind of deal. This my friends is the DOJ throwing us a bone and hoping we forget the bigger picture. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who purposefully omitted information on Page from the 2017 warrant application submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISC, pleaded guilty to the altering the documents in a telephone call with his lawyers.

Judge James E. Boasberg of the federal district court in Washington, D.C.who oversees the case reminded Clinesmith that he had the right to a trial by jury, which Clinesmith declined. Boasberg accepted his guilty plea Wednesday and scheduled a Dec. 10, sentencing hearing.

Clinesmith’s lawyers reiterated that their client deeply regretted his actions which were not intentional but none-the-less were in violation of the law.

What? Let’s talk about what Clinesmith did and think about what would happen to you if you lied on a document like a FISA warrant? Wait, look at what happened to Trump friend and advisor Roger Stone who was accused of lying to Congress (by the way, former CIA director John Brennan, former DNI James Clapper and a litany of other blatantly lied to Congress and are now selling books on Amazon).

Clinesmith didn’t just tell a small lie, he specifically omitted information that allowed the FBI to spy on a presidential campaign for political reasons. He had worked at the FBI for four years and was a subordinate that was made the fall guy by FBI leadership.

He altered an email he received from the CIA in 2017 that showed Page was in no way a Russian asset and that he was an asset for the CIA.

The Judges at the FISC court approved the application to wiretap Page, according to court records and numerous investigations. He altered an official government email indicating that Page wasn’t “a source” for the CIA, when it originally said he was. WOW!

Folks, that is no small crime.

More than 100 participants listened in to the court ‘plea agreement hearing’ Wednesday and listened as Clinesmith waived his right to a trial by jury.

He is expected to get only six months or less for altering the FISA application, which is considered one of the most classified documents pertaining to national security and its contents must be validated thoroughly by the FBI before being submitted to the court.

“Mr. Clinesmith you understand we’ve already talked about your jury rights,” said Boasberg. He then said do you understand your decision to waive your rights to a jury?”

“Yes, your honor,” said Clinesmith.

What about all those above Clinesmith, who absolutely ordered him to operate the way he did and who tacitly approved his omission in the FISA application.

Clinesmith is nothing more than the fall guy. He’ll serve a short sentence for a massive crime against our nation and duly elected president.

I, however, won’t be satisfied until those above him pay for the malfeasance and attempted coup. It may never happen but at least we know now that the gig is up and that there will be two sets of rules at the Justice Department: one for the elite bureaucrats and another for the American people.

Carter Page: Corrupt FBI Attorney Kevin Clinesmith ‘Put My Very Life At Risk’

The actions of Kevin Clinesmith, the corrupt former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lawyer who was charged in federal court on Friday with falsifying evidence, threatened the life of Carter Page, the former Naval officer and Trump campaign affiliate told The Federalist. The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Clinesmith with deliberately fabricating evidence used to justify a federal warrant to spy on Page in 2017.

“Clinesmith, his organization, and their associates put my very life at risk, leading to abusive calls and death threats because of my personal opinions and support for President Trump,” Page told The Federalist. “There is a long way to go on the road to restoring justice in America, but certainly a good first step has now been taken.”

“After several years, Kevin Clinesmith is finally being held accountable and pleading guilty to committing a felony for his involvement in the plot to falsely portray me and by implication the Trump administration as traitors,” Page added.

“The actions by the full band of government officials and Democrat operatives involved in the creation of the false applications for my FISA warrants were entirely unconscionable,” Page said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

In 2016 and 2017, the FBI and DOJ falsely swore to a federal surveillance court that Page was a secret Russian agent who was likely in the process of committing crimes against the United States. Page was never formally charged with any wrongdoing.

The Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, authorized four separate warrants to spy on Page. What Clinesmith and the FBI failed to disclose in the application for the spy warrants, which were based primarily on false claims from a foreign agent working on behalf of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was that Page had actually worked on behalf of U.S. intelligence authorities from 2008 through 2013 to investigate actual Russian intelligence agents working to harm the United States.

The FBI was notified by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in August 2016 that Page, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, had officially worked as a source for the agency for years. According to a report by the DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) on the corrupt process used to obtain the spy warrants against Page, the FBI withheld the existence of documents confirming Page’s work for U.S. authorities from the spy court.

Once Page went public in 2017, after several false spy warrants had already been approved, Clinesmith took communications about Page’s CIA efforts and doctored them to make it appear as if the CIA had told the FBI that Page was never a CIA source. The FISA court later ruled that two of the four warrants against Page, including the final reauthorization that included the fake evidence doctored by Clinesmath, were illegal and invalid.

“Instead of including this information in the final renewal application,” the OIG report stated, Clinesmith “altered an email from the other agency so that the email stated that Page was ‘not a source’ for the other agency, which the FBI affiant relied upon in signing the final renewal application.”

In his new book “Abuse and Power: How an Innocent American Was Framed in an Attempted Coup Against the President,” which is set to be released on August 25, Page discloses brand new details about Clinesmith’s interactions with him throughout 2016 and 2017.

Clinesmith falsely told Page’s attorneys in spring 2017, long after the FBI had repeatedly sworn under oath to a federal court that Page was illegally operating as an agent of the Russian government, that Page was merely a witness that the FBI wished to interview as part of its investigation into so-called Russian collusion.

“Both [my attorney] and I noted to Clinesmith that every flurry of publicity about my purported treason often led to another round of abusive calls and death threats,” Page writes in his book. “As if I weren’t already concerned enough about becoming the apparent target of several investigations, I now had perpetual worries about my own safety.”

“It was all part of a broader campaign by the Democratic Party and their allies to set me up for prosecution and prison,” Page writes. “The first majestic paragraph from H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds came to mind: ‘Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic…slowly and surely drew their plans against me.’”

“The only difference was that one would be hard-pressed to find much intellect among the sorry cast of characters that helped advance this plot.”

Clinesmith, who is expected to plead guilty, could serve up to five years in prison for his crimes.

Kevin Clinesmith, Corrupt FBI Attorney Who Falsified Carter Page FISA Warrant, Expected To Plead Guilty

A top FBI lawyer who fabricated evidence in a federal spy warrant against Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page is expected to plead guilty to federal charges brought by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Kevin Clinesmith, who is expected to admit to deliberately fabricating evidence in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application, used to spy on a former campaign affiliate of President Donald Trump, was a top attorney in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) and a key agency attorney under fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Clinesmith is the first individual to be charged as part of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the efforts in 2016 and 2017 to spy on the Trump campaign and Trump administration. Both Durham and Attorney General William Barr stated at the conclusion of the OIG investigation of the Page FISA warrants that they had reason to believe the entire investigation of Trump, which allegedly began in late July of 2016, was not legally predicated. Durham was tapped by Barr in May of 2019 to investigate the Russian collusion hoax and determine whether any criminal charges against those who perpetrated it were warranted.

Clinesmith’s deliberate falsification of a federal spy warrant was first revealed last December following a lengthy investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), headed by Michael Horowitz. Horowitz and his team wrote in a 434-page report that Clinesmith — identified in the report as “OGC Attorney” — altered an email from a separate U.S. federal agency, believed to be the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to falsely state that Page had never worked with the CIA to investigate suspected Russia agents operating within the U.S. In fact, as Clinesmith was told by the operative, Page had worked with the CIA previously, as well as with the FBI.

According to the OIG report, Clinesmith “[o]mitted Page’s prior relationship with another U.S. government agency, despite being reminded by the other agency in June 2017, prior to the filing of the final [FISA warrant] renewal application, about Page’s past status with that other agency.”

“Instead of including this information in the final renewal application,” the OIG report stated, Clinesmith “altered an email from the other agency so that the email stated that Page was ‘not a source’ for the other agency, which the FBI affiant relied upon in signing the final renewal application.”

Following the completion of the OIG investigation into the abuse of the FISA process by Comey and his lieutenants, the federal court that reviews FISA warrants ruled that at least two of the four applications against Page were illegal, including the application that included Clinesmith’s fabricated claim that Page never previously assisted the CIA. Page’s previous work for the federal government was a key issue given that each of the FISA warrants used to spy on him falsely claimed that he was an illegal Russian agent working on behalf of the Kremlin. Page was never formally charged with any wrongdoing.

Clinesmith’s name first made national news after his anti-Trump text messages to another FBI attorney, Sally Moyer, surfaced following a separate OIG investigation of anti-Trump bias from top FBI attorneys and investigators.

“I’m just devastated,” Clinesmith texted to Moyer shortly after Trump won the presidential election in November of 2016. “Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” Clinesmith wrote.

“Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” Moyer later asked Clinesmith, ostensibly referring to Clinesmith’s plan to remain at the FBI after Trump’s inauguration.

“Hell no,” Clinesmith responded. “Viva le resistance.”

The full federal charging document detailing Clinesmith’s crimes can be found here.