Discussion in 'Φ QANON & POLITICS' started by Rose, Jul 21, 2018.
The FISA court has temporarily banned FBI agents under disciplinary review in the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page from requesting surveillance authority from the court.
The ban was imposed in an opinion issued Wednesday by the secretive court’s chief judge, James E. Boasberg.
“FBI personnel under disciplinary review in relation to their work on FISA applications accordingly should not participate in drafting, verifying, reviewing, or submitting such application to the Court while the review is pending,” Boasberg wrote.
The judge also said in his 19-page opinion that the same restrictions apply to any Justice Department attorney under disciplinary review, as well as any DOJ or FBI personnel who are the subject of a criminal referral related to their work on FISA applications.
Boasberg also stated that the FBI had “omitted or mischaracterized” pieces of information pertaining to the credibility of former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and the now largely debunked dossier he produced.
The FBI’s FISA application implied that Page’s Russian contacts were secret and suspicious, though in reality Page has disclosed them.
The ruling also points out that, according to Michael Horowitz’s Inspector General report, someone in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel went so far as to add additional text to an email from another agency stating that Page was not a source, thereby falsifying FISA warrant evidence.
The temporary ban comes days before a March 15 deadline for Congress to decide whether to renew several post 9/11 FISA tools.
The Spygate scandal is shaping up to be the most significant political abuse of government power in history. And it may be even larger than people expect.
The investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation – or as President Trump prefers to call it, the witch hunt – continues to expand. Durham reportedly opened criminal investigations last fall. And unlike the narrow Justice Department Inspector General’s review of the abuse of the FISA process, Durham is looking into the questionable activities of other government agencies, in particular the CIA and its former director John Brennan.
The widening scope involves not only the agencies being investigated, but who was being targeted and why. Earlier last week Sharyl Attkisson reported that, based on her sources in the intelligence and law enforcement communities, the authorizations to spy on Trump functionaries such as Carter Page or former campaign manager Paul Manafort were actually pretexts for a much more expansive web of surveillance that could include anyone in contact with Page, or even anyone twice removed from the ostensible target. Hence, thousands of people could have been unknowingly caught up in the Spygate web and are still unaware that their privacy had been violated under the severely compromised FISA process.
This ties into the whirlwind of “unmaskings” during the 2016-17 transition period. Names of people inadvertently caught up in this expansive web, which ordinarily would be classified and their privacy interests protected, were revealed and information sent to Democratic allies in Capitol Hill for “safe keeping.” Judicial Watch has chronicled how Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, among others, colluded in this effort to bolster the “insurance policy” to hobble the Trump presidency.
There is also the matter of President Obama finalizing rules in the closing days of his administration that opened the raw, unedited information feeds collected by the National Security Agency to all of the 16 other agencies in the Intelligence Community before any privacy protections are implemented. This ill-considered and unnecessary rule change vastly expanded the potential for abuse in the system and was a curious move for Obama to make in the waning days of his presidency.
However, it makes perfect sense if you believe that Obama officials were doing their utmost to put in place a bureaucratic infrastructure seeking to undermine the Trump administration before it began. Also, factor in the distrust of NSA head Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who met with President-elect Trump in November 2016 and allegedly blew the whistle on the Trump Tower wiretapping.
Essentially, Obama’s rule change took Rogers out of the equation and gave other agency heads like Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper the freedom to spread around whatever information the NSA was scooping up, whether relevant to Russia or not.
Thus, the people peripheral to Donald Trump who were the initial targets served principally as gateways to justify a massive domestic spying operation. And the ultimate target of this illicit activity was clearly Trump himself. It says a lot that given this unprecedented abuse of domestic spying, with the coup cabal having unfettered access to the virtually unlimited information collected by the Intelligence Community, and after two years of brutal investigation by the Mueller team, the effort to show ties between Trump and Russia came up empty. But the insurance policy at least achieved part of its objective in severely damaging the Trump administration in its first years.
Hopefully the Durham investigation will reveal the true extent of the spying operation, and how many innocent Americans had their rights violated and their privacy compromised. Another important question yet to be resolved is when Spygate started. For example, George Papadopoulos was being targeted by foreign intelligence services like Australia, perhaps at Brennan’s behest, months before Donald Trump was the Republican nominee. This raises the question, were members of other then-still active Republican campaigns being targeted in this time frame as well? Was this part of a general push to begin weaving the Russian collusion story against any potential GOP 2016 nominee, and not just Trump? If the answer to that question is yes, then it will be clear that the entire enterprise was not an intelligence operation at all but a criminal political conspiracy of unprecedented scope and impact. It would indeed make Watergate look like a third-rate burglary.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog. Chris is a former military intelligence officer who specialized in human intelligence.
They’ve come slowly, drip by drip: the reluctant revelations of an FBI bureaucracy. But taken together, the body of evidence now amassed over two years of investigating the investigators explains why Attorney General William Barr last week declared there was never really a basis to probe Donald Trump’s campaign for alleged collusion with Russia.
"I think the president has every right to be frustrated, because I think what happened to him was one of the greatest travesties in American history," Barr told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
"Without any basis they started this investigation of his campaign, and even more concerning, actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president. to sabotage the presidency, and I think that – or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency,” the attorney general said.
Two years ago, those words coming from the top law enforcement official in the land would have been hard to imagine, or to support with public evidence.
But today, after countless open record lawsuits, congressional investigations, sworn depositions and declassifications, there is compelling evidence that the FBI did not have justification to sustain its nearly three year-long, now debunked, Russia collusion probe or to support Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting the Trump campaign.
Furthermore, the evidence shows, the false narrative was sustained by repeated leaks of information to the news media that was blatantly false, debunked in many instances by evidence sitting in the FBI's own files.
The latest revelations came Friday, when previously classified footnotes from the Justice Department inspector general were unmasked and showed the FBI had stunning reason to distrust Christopher Steele’s dossier when the former British spy first pitched it in July 2016.
Here are 13 of the most important revelations that undercut the FBI’s predicate for opening an investigation targeting the Trump campaign in July 2016, for obtaining a year’s worth of FISA warrants to spy on former campaign adviser Carter Page and for seeking a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, to take over and extend the probe.
Two powerful GOP Senators sent a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting all the records from the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team, which investigated the now debunked theory that President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.
Sen. Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the FBI’s investigation and alleged malfeasance in obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Warrants to spy on then Trump campaign official Carter Page, made the request in a letter.
The senators stated in the letter that “on January 28, 2020, we wrote to Attorney General Barr and requested the declassification of four footnotes in the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
“Since then, we received declassified versions of those and other footnotes, and they reveal disturbing facts about the FBI’s investigation: the Crossfire Hurricane team’s investigative file included at least two intelligence reports stating that key parts of the reporting from Christopher Steele—reporting that “played a central and essential role” in the decision to request FISA orders —were part of a Russian disinformation campaign,” the pair added.
The Senator’s noted that the information in the now-declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report investigating the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign “also directly contradicts statements provided by FBI officials in the OIG report.”