Tag Archives: FBI scandal

FBI/DOJ redactions hid their misbehavior, not protect national security

The recent release of mostly unredacted FBI documents has revealed that the earlier redactions had nothing to do with protecting national security, but were done to hide misbehavior and corrupt actions by FBI and Department of Justice officials.

Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump’s top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges. [emphasis mine]

The article is detailed and well researched. It compares the redacted documents with what we now know those documents actually said. Repeatedly, the redactions either concealed bad behavior by the FBI, or were done to conceal information that discredited their prosecution of Michael Flynn.

The author, while condemning the FBI and the Justice Department, is even more condemning of Donald Trump.

It is simply ridiculous for President Trump to continue bloviating about this situation on Twitter and in friendly media interviews, and for congressional Republicans to continue pretending that the problem is Justice Department and FBI leadership — as if Trump were not responsible for his own administration’s actions. The president has not only the authority but the duty to ensure that his subordinates honor lawful disclosure requests from Congress.

What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.

While the author is right, politically it might have been a very wise decision for Trump to have done nothing. Mueller and the FBI have no case. Their effort to pin Russian collusion on Trump has always been laughable on its face. Letting them blow in the wind with this fake investigation allows the public to slowly recognize this fact, and thus discredit them in the public’s eye. If Trump were to shut the investigation down, however, he would lay himself open to accusations of obstructing justice.

This way, he lets them hang themselves, as the story above illustrates.

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Justice Dept Inspector General makes criminal referral against McCabe

While Robert Mueller desperately searches (without success) for some crime he can pin on Donald Trump, an actual criminal referral has been issued by the inspector general of the Justice Department (an Obama appointee) against fired FBI official Andrew McCabe.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has sent a criminal referral for fired FBI official Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington. The move follows a recent DOJ inspector general report that found McCabe leaked a self-serving story to the press and later lied about it to then-Director James Comey and federal investigators, prompting Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him on March 16.

A source confirmed to Fox News that the referral was sent.

This story follows yesterday’s where almost a dozen members of Congress called for criminal investigations by the Justice Department against Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and a number of other FBI officials involved in abusing their positions of power to spy on the presidential campaign of their political opponents. It appears that the some people in Washington are finally getting up the nerve to actually consider prosecuting these violators of the Constitution and the rule of law.

As I said yesterday, in a sane world the entire journalist world would go nuts covering the recommendation that a former Secretary of State and presidential candidate as well as the fired head of the FBI both be investigated for criminal activity. In the past this story would garner giant screaming headlines and wall-to-wall coverage. We no longer live in a sane world however.

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Republicans make criminal referrals for Clinton, Comey, Lynch, and others

In a sane world this would be big news: Eleven Congressional Republicans have made a criminal recommendation to the Justice Department against Clinton, Comey, McCabe, Lynch, and others in connection with a number of different scandals, including the misuse of the FISA court and the Uranium One scandal.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, along with nine other colleagues sent the letter Wednesday to Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray criminally referring former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for their involvement in the investigations into President Trump and alleged violations of federal law. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, were also included in the referral.

“We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes,” states the letter obtained by this reporter. “In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately.”

If you want to read the letter, go here.

I saw this story on these two sites about two hours ago, and have looked in vain for coverage elsewhere. This could mean that it is bogus, though I doubt it since both sites are generally very reliable. It could also mean that other news sources haven’t caught up. It could also mean that most mainstream media wants to ignore it, because (as operatives for the Democratic Party) they do not want the public to know about it.

Either way, it is very big news when a former Secretary of State and presidential candidate, the former Attorney General, and the former head of the FBI are suspected of crimes. I think we shall find out if this story is real by tomorrow.

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Sessions names US attorney to investigate FISA abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today informed Congress that he has tasked United States Attorney John W. Huber, based in Utah, to investigate the possible misuse of the FISA court by the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI during and after the presidential campaign.

From Sessions’ letter to Congress:

Mr. Huber is conducting his work from outside the Washington, DC. area and in cooperation with the Inspector General. …I am confident that Mr. Huber’s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts.

I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.

Huber is an Obama appointee, but appears to have avoided participating in partisan games. This will make it harder for Democrats to blast him should he recommend a special prosecutor is necessary. Meanwhile, some Republicans are complaining about Sessions’ decision to hold off appointing a special prosecutor, but I think this decision is smart. Huber will be under Sessions’ supervision and command. A special counsel would be uncontrollable (witness Mueller and every past special prosecutor). Considering the corrupt culture that now permeates Washington, keeping some control over this investigation to me seems wise.

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McCabe’s defiant response to his firing incriminates Comey

Working for the Democratic Party: The defiant response yesterday by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to his firing included information that appears to incriminate fired FBI director James Comey.

McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey. “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor,” McCabe stated. “As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general clearly saw this “interaction” as problematic in seeking answers from McCabe. If the inspector general considered this to be a leak to the media, any approval by Comey would be highly significant. Comey already faces serious questions over his use of a Columbia University Law School professor to leak information to the media following his own termination as director.

It must be emphasized that McCabe’s firing was recommended by FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, which is an independent division in the FBI made up of FBI officials. Moreover, his response clearly reveals McCabe’s own Democratic partisan leanings. It also links those leanings to Mueller’s investigation, which further taints it. So does this analysis: Mueller’s Investigation Flouts Justice Department Standards.

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Anti-Trump FBI officials colluded with recused judge

Working for the Democratic Party: The two anti-Trump FBI officials who were having an adulterous affair while exchanging emails on how they needed to stop Trump, also appear to have colluded with the judge involved in the Michael Flynn case, Rudolph Contreras, who was suddenly recused with no explanation only days after Flynn’s guilty plea.

The text messages about Contreras between controversial Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the top Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence official who was kicked off Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, were deliberately hidden from Congress, multiple congressional investigators told The Federalist. In the messages, Page and Strzok, who are rumored to have been engaged in an illicit romantic affair, discussed Strzok’s personal friendship with Contreras and how to leverage that relationship in ongoing counterintelligence matters.

“Rudy is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]!” Page excitedly texted Strzok on July 25, 2016. “Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago.”

“I did,” Strzok responded. “I need to get together with him.”

“[He] said he’d gotten on a month or two ago at a graduation party we were both at.” [emphasis mine]

I would not be surprised if Flynn’s guilty plea will soon be vacated. This story also acts to further discredit Robert Mueller’s witchhunt investigation, and increases the leverage to either end it, or start a separate investigation into the FBI, the Justice Department, and Mueller’s investigation itself.

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Robert Mueller’s political document

Numerous pundits have commented in great detail and with far greater expertise than I on the indictments (pdf) last week issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against thirteen Russians for wire and bank fraud, identity theft, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. (See here and here for two thoughtful conservative takes.)

As an American who cares about our democracy, however, I decided it was essential I read the indictment myself to form my own opinion about it. I advise every American to do the same, using the first link above to download it. My own personal take-aways are as follows:

1. It is a very good thing that Mueller indicted these Russians. Based on the evidence summarized by the indictment, they clearly committed crimes against Americans and the U.S. government. Moreover, those crimes were committed with the intent by foreigners to interfere with our political process, something we must never allow if at all possible, and punish if we can.

2. Still, I am very curious to learn how Mueller’s team obtained the evidence in these indictments. Reading the document suggests that they must have either had extensive wiretaps, or inside information. Unfortunately, as it is very unlikely that any of these Russians will ever go to trial (having apparently all fled back to Russia long before the indictment was announced), this is information we are likely never to get.

I am therefore also very puzzled by the timing of the indictment. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to issue it as soon as possible, and in a way that might have allowed the authorities to detain these individuals so they might be put on trial? Instead, the slow timing seems almost intended to allow them to escape, and thus prevent an actual trial from ever occurring. I wonder why, though I have my suspicions.

3. Despite the correctness of and the need for these indictments, Mueller’s indictment is first and foremost a political document. If you read it, it is quite obvious that its purpose was not to bring these Russians to justice, but to imply that Russia was working with Trump to get him elected, even though a careful analysis of everything the Russians did shows that this is not the case.

Why do I say this? The indictment spends numerous pages describing in incredible detail every single pro-Trump action taken by these Russians, from organizing social media campaigns to anti-Clinton protests to pro-Trump rallies, while providing only one or two very short summaries of the anti-Trump actions they took, thus giving the impression if you do not read the indictment closely that they were essentially a Trump operation. This however is false. Not only does the indictment lack any evidence of any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the details indicate strongly the non-partisan nature of the Russian strategy. While prior to the election it appears they favored Trump, once he was the candidate they shifted tactics to attack both him and Clinton. The goal was not so much to get Trump elected but to cause the most negative disruption to the American election process as possible. The indictment itself admits this, though almost as an aside. The first paragraph quote below shows the Russian strategy before Trump is the candidate, with the second showing their strategy afterward.
» Read more

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The Russian-Trump collusion story: a media disinformation campaign

Link here. The author does an excellent job reviewing, in detail, how the mainstream Democratic media reported the Russian-Trump collusion story, from its inception before the election and since, and how all reporters involved, seemingly terrified of a Trump-Putin partnership, had had zero concerns about similar and actual Obama-Putin deal-making — often against the interests of the U.S. — during his entire administration.

The key quote, however, is this:

The reason the media will not report on the scandal now unfolding before the country, how the Obama administration and Clinton campaign used the resources of the federal government to spy on the party out of power, is not because the press is partisan. No, it is because the press has played an active role in the Trump-Russia collusion story since its inception. It helped birth it.

To report how the dossier was made and marketed, and how it was used to violate the privacy rights of an American citizen—Page—would require admitting complicity in manufacturing Russiagate. Against conventional Washington wisdom, the cover-up in this case is not worse than the crime: Both weigh equally in a scandal signaling that the institution where American citizens are supposed to discuss and debate the choices about how we live with each other has been turned against a large part of the public to delegitimize their political choices. [emphasis mine]

Essentially, we have two very bad scandals unfolding here. First and foremost, the previous president abused the power of his office to spy on his party’s opponent during the campaign, and used that information as a weapon during the campaign. Second and almost as significant, the press teamed up with that president to help him spy and attack that opponent, and is now working to squelch any mention of that abuse of power that they participated in.

To put it mildly, the mainstream press has become an American version of the Soviet press when it was required to work for the communists or face prison. Here in the U.S. however there is no fear of prison. The press is doing this voluntarily. It is no longer looking for real scoops. It is only interested in advocating the election of Democrats.

As a journalist this makes me more than ashamed. It completely disgusts me.

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Grassley-Graham memo confirms allegations in Nunes memo

Working for the Democratic Party: A careful analysis of the Grassley-Graham memo [pdf], released this week as a follow-up to the Nunes memo released last week, has found that it confirms the allegations of the first, and adds a few more.

More important, it clearly shows that the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Obama administration, and possibly the FISA court itself, abused their power to go after their political opponents.

The Obama Justice Department and FBI used anonymously sourced, Clinton-campaign generated innuendo to convince the FISA court to issue surveillance warrants against Carter Page, and in doing so, they concealed the Clinton campaign’s role. Though the Trump campaign had cut ties with Page shortly before the first warrant was issued in October 2016, the warrant application was based on wild allegations of a corrupt conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Moreover, the warrant meant the FBI could seize not only Page’s forward-going communications but any past emails and texts he may have stored — i.e., his Trump campaign communications.

With its verification by the Grassley-Graham memo, the Nunes memo now has about a thousand times more corroboration than the Steele dossier, the basis of the heinous allegations used by the Justice Department and FBI to get the FISA warrants.

What the Grassley-Graham memo tells us is that the Nunes memo, for all the hysteria about it, was tame. The Grassley-Graham memo tells us that we need not only a full-blown investigation of what possessed the Obama administration to submit such shoddy applications to the FISA court, but of how a judge — or perhaps as many as four judges — rationalized signing the warrants.

We need full disclosure — the warrants, the applications, the court proceedings. No more games.

Read it all. It is damning, and shows that the FBI was out to get Trump, with the approval of White House, the Justice Department, and the FISA court. They had no evidence, they knew they had no evidence, but they got a warrant anyway, and got it renewed repeatedly, allowing them to spy on the Trump campaign as well as later after he took office.

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New anti-Trump emails: Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

Newly released emails between two anti-Trump FBI agents reveal that not only did they despise Trump, they had contempt for all Republicans and the “ignorant hillbillys” who voted for them, and most important, President Obama wanted “to know everything we’re doing.”

The timing of the texts reveal that Obama was not interested in any investigations of the Clintons, but in the work these agents were doing in trying to build a Russian collusion case against Trump.

More here.

Both links also provide video of Obama speaking just prior to this text’s date where he pointedly claims that he does “not talk to FBI Directors about pending investigations.”

Overall, the evidence here is building that these FBI officials, their superiors, and Obama himself, were conspiring to use the power of the government to attack a political opponent from the opposition party, a direct attack on our democracy.

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House memo describes misuse of FISA rules by Obama administration

The House intelligence committee memo released today reveals clear misuse of the FISA law and its rules for allowing spying on American citizens.

Essentially, the memo outlines how the Obama administration, the Department of Justice, and the FBI used sloppy, inaccurate, and unverified Clinton campaign material to get a FISA warrant, without revealing this fact to the courts, and then used that warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, during the campaign. Had they told the courts about the nature of that Clinton campaign material, the courts would never have allowed the FISA warrant.

This release essentially confirms what was already commonly known, that the Obama administration was misusing FISA to try to obtain campaign dirt on the Trump campaign.

I should note that, having read the memo, I can find nothing in it that threatens American security in any way. There was never any reason to keep it classified. In fact, the entire FBI investigation that is describes had nothing to do with the country’s security. Instead, it was clearly an effort by the FBI, the Justice Department, and Obama to abuse their power in order to sabotage the campaign of their political opponent.

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Anti-Trump FBI officials discussed ways to avoid transparency requirements

Newly released texts between the anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show that they discussed ways in which they could evade regulations that made their communications public records.

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page discussed getting new Apple iPhones, in lieu of their Samsung 5 government issued phones in text messages they exchanged in August 2016. They noted in the texts that the new phones would help keep their text messages from government collection after speaking with the FBI’s IT director, according to newly released August 2016 text messages.

“According to text messages produced by the committee, Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok make references to communicating with other FBI employees via text message, phone call, email, and voice mail,” stated Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, in a letter dated Jan. 31, to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Additional text messages suggest that FBI officials used non-official email accounts and messaging programs to communicate about official business.”

The article includes some texts, such as this juicy tidbit:

Strzok: “Hot damn. I’m happy to pilot that…we get around our security/monitoring issues?”

Page: “No, he’s proposing that we just stop following them. Apparently, the requirement to capture texts came from omb, but we’re the only org (I’m told) who is following that rule. His point is, if no one else is doing it why should we.”

Not only were these officials apparently conspiring to sabotage the election, they were eager to break basic transparency laws to do it.

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House committee votes to release memo on Justice Dept surveillance abuse

The House Intelligence committee today voted to release a memo the Republicans there have written that supposedly outlines the surveillance abuse committed at the Justice Department in connection with Special Counsel Robert Meullers Russian collusion investigation.

It is hard to say how much impact this much ballyhooed memo will have. Without the underlying original material (which they are likely to hold back because it is classified), the memo can easily be written off merely as Republican talking points, as the article notes Democrats are already doing.

It does appear however that it was connected with the removal of McCabe earlier today, as that event occurred after his boss, FBI Director Christopher Wray, was allowed to review the memo this past weekend.

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Another anti-Trump FBI official steps down

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe today officially stepped down from his post two months before he had planned to retire.

There have been numerous stories about McCabe (who has definite partisan connections to the Democratic Party) as a leaker and as maybe the instigator of the underground effort at the FBI to sabotage the results of the 2016 election.

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Forensic experts baffled about FBI claims about lost texts

They were lying: Forensic experts consider absurd the FBI claim that the texts between two anti-Trump FBI investigators were lost.

A former FBI special agent, who worked extensively on counterterrorism related cases, stated they were “dumbfounded” by the FBI’s original excuse that the text messages were irretrievable.

“Even though the servers ‘lost’ the text messages of Strzok they would still be on his actual device, even if he deleted them,” stated the former FBI special agent, who asked to speak on background due to the sensitivity of the case. “That’s how we catch bad guys, we forensically search their phones. Nothing disappears off the device, nothing… unless they take a hammer to it or microwave it. The question is, the FBI knows this, so why did the bureau say they couldn’t retrieve them – why did they mislead Congress.”

Makes sense to me. They are lying. They are trying to cover-up. And what they are lying about and trying to cover up is down-right treasonous.

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Justice Dept inspector general says he has recovered missing texts

The inspector general of the Justice Department has told the pertinent congressional committees that he has recovered the missing texts between two anti-Trump FBI investigators that the FBI had claimed were lost.

In a letter sent to congressional committees, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office “succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page that were sent or received between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017. …Our effort to recover any additional text messages is ongoing,” Horowitz said. “We will provide copies of the text messages that we recover from these devices to the Department so that the Department’s leadership can take any management action it deems appropriate.”

Fox News has learned from U.S. government officials that the inspector general recovered the texts by taking possession of “at least four” phones belonging to Strzok and Page.

This quick recovery is proof to my mind that the initial claim by the FBI that the texts were lost was a lie. The FBI was stonewalling, and also hoping no one would push them about it, as had been the case with the Lois Lerner IRS emails that were so conveniently lost. Here, however, the people under attack are the politicians doing the investigation. They are not going to let this slide.

Expect some shocking revelations to come out in the coming weeks.

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