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It Is Not A Good Idea
To Act As If You Can Not Accomplish
What You Were Elected To Do


Friday, February 02, 2018

 THE MEMO full text

January 18, 2018
To: HPSCI Majority Members
From: HPSCI Majority Staff
Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee's ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.
Investigation Update
On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.
The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.
Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard- particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.
1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.
2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.
a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.
b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.
3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.
a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.
4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele's past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.
5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.


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posted by midnight rider at permanent link#


Anonymous thelastenglishprince said...

Thank you, Midnight Rider.

After a first reading, here are my thoughts:


Friday, February 02, 2018 6:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This the official confirmation of what we already knew, or rather suspected.

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:25:00 pm  
Blogger midnight rider said...

You're welcome LEP. Anon my thoughts as well. Almost anti-climatic

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:34:00 pm  
Anonymous thelastenglishprince said...

And the memo, while declassified, will present as a softer version of more classified (SCIF-read only) information.

Removal of corruption increases public confidence in governance. After a wobble in the global markets, this confidence will be reflected in the global markets. Expect the DOW to rise substantially next week.

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:37:00 pm  
Anonymous thelastenglishprince said...

Senator McCain is as bizarre and unhinged as Nancy Pelosi:


The "Discredit the Memo" campaign is in fulminating media bloom.

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:42:00 pm  
Blogger midnight rider said...

LEP I meant anti-climactic as far as those of us who actually pay attention to this stuff are concerned. To the Keeping up with the Kardashians crowd who knows? As for the markets let's hope so b/c breaking news is they have fallen 550 pts today due to increase in interest rates. As for McCain he no longer has any credit as far as I am concerned.

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it's released nothing new. The sad thing is besides a few no cares. President Trump has done an amazing job considering what he is up against. Even if he gets eight years he probably wont't even scratch the surface of the swamp

Friday, February 02, 2018 7:55:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Even if he gets eight years he probably wont't even scratch the surface of the swamp

I agree.

The tentacles are everywhere -- and have been operating for a long time. Decades, I think.

Friday, February 02, 2018 9:01:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

⦁ The FBI relied heavily on Democratic Party dossier to obtain three surveillance warrants before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The FBI did not tell the court the information came from a Democratic Party-financed opposition research. FBI knew source.

⦁ In one application to judges, FBI cited two sources, the dossier and a story by Yahoo News. But the Yahoo story was based on the dossier. Not really two sources.

⦁ Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said warrants on Trump volunteer Carter Page could not have been obtained without dossier.

⦁ Dossier writer Christopher Steele lied to FBI when he said he did not speak with media. He has said in libel case that he spoke to reporters repeatedly.

⦁ FBI fired Mr. Steele. He then continued to funnel information to the agency through former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr. Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research that paid Mr. Steele. She passed Fusion research to the FBI, which never disclosed source to FISA court.

⦁ Mr. Steele said he wanted to destroy Trump’s presidency with a dossier that remains discredited.

⦁ Former FBI director James Comey signed three surveillance warrants on Trump campaign aid Carter Page at the same time he told President-elect Trump that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”


Friday, February 02, 2018 9:58:00 pm  
Anonymous thelastenglishprince said...

Midnight Rider,

Yes, for those of us who pay attention to the news cycle, the memo is basically a confirmation of the truncated news we have followed for months now. But I am still disappointed to pull up CNN and the first words I read are "discredited memo".

Friday, February 02, 2018 11:06:00 pm  
Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Kinda anti-climatic.

No one went to jail today.

Meuller is still doing his thang.

What? Maybe 5 news cycles here.

The leftists in the FBI remind me Of That Scene

Saturday, February 03, 2018 12:44:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

First, even though I have been up on this story the whole time, I must admit that I STILL find this information stunning.

I was naive enough to believe Trump supporters were making a lot of it up.

i like Trump , but I do not put political shenanigans past him.

Even though all evidence points to the fact that Trump's shenanigans are all in the form of Tweets and harsh public pronouncements, I still thought ,maybe he and his buddies are making this shit up.

instead, we find the story is just as it has been laid out in pieces over the last few months.

AND it looks to me as if Devin Nunes ,or someone close to him must have been leaking to Sara Carter the whole time.

I don't think she got one thing wrong.

Saturday, February 03, 2018 5:10:00 am  
Anonymous thelastenglishprince said...

I do not personally have a problem with Trump tweets. He is leveraging a position. Twitter allows him to come in hot and then work with opponents in a "cool down" environment.

Saturday, February 03, 2018 1:21:00 pm  

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