The House Intelligence Committee’s memo detailing Obama Administration abuse of the FBI and the Justice Department to illegally surveil Donald Trump’s team both before and after the election was released on Friday. It was as we have reported before: a shocking display of abuse of power by Democrats who tricked judges into granting warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). They used a fictional account (the dossier) cobbled together by a British ex-spy who was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
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The memo is said to reflect only about 10 percent of the information that will soon be forthcoming from the House Intelligence Committee and other oversight investigations.
Here is a summary of that FISA memo:
Introduction – The Committee’s ongoing investigation into DoJ and FBI use of FISA during 2016 election cycle findings raise concerns about legitimacy and legality of certain DoJ and FBI interactions with FISA court and represent troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect American people from FISA abuses.
1. The FBI/DOJ sought a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a volunteer advisor to the Trump campaign. They started with an application certified by James Comey, then approved by the Attorney General (AG), the Deputy AG, or the Asst. AG for National Security.
2. They obtained the initial FISA warrant which had to be renewed every 90 days. Each renewal needs a separate finding of probable cause; of those, James Comey signed three, Andrew McCabe signed one, and Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more.
3. The dossier was compiled by Christopher Steele–an Englishman, not an American–on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign who paid him $160,000 to obtain derogatory information on Trump’s ties to Russia. None of the applications for a FISA warrant disclosed these ties, even though senior DoJ and FBI officials were aware of them.
4. The FBI had separately authorized payments to Steele for the same information.
5. The FISA application to spy on Carter Page extensively cited a Yahoo News article as justification. The article was written by Michael Isikoff, who got his information from Steele. [The FBI used information provided by Steele to verify Steele’s information]
6. The FBI fired Steele because he told the media of his relationship with the Bureau. He also lied to the FBI about his contacts with the media.
7. Steele maintained contact with a senior DoJ official named Bruce Ohr both before and after he was terminated. At one time he told Ohr he was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.
8. Ohr’s wife Nellie was employed by the firm that brokered the relationship between the DNC, Clinton, and Steele. She assisted in the “cultivation” of the opposition research provided by Steele which became the dossier. This fact was concealed from the FISA court judges.
9. The dossier was only minimally corroborated, and in early January 2017, James Comey told President-elect Trump that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.” Yet, a month before that, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified to the House Intelligence Committee that no surveillance warrant would have been sought without the dossier.
In other words, the dossier was central to the FISA warrant, yet little or nothing in the dossier has been verified or proved.
Chairman Devin Nunes was interviewed on Fox News and asked if the Committee coordinated with President or his lawyers, or conservative groups to get this information. Nunes stated an emphatic, “no.” He said they looked at FISA abuse only and kept FBI sources and methods out of their memo. The information was then reduced into a summary about FISA abuse and the only area they left out was the history of Carter Page, who should not have been a target of the FBI.
In a meeting three weeks ago, Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena the texts and emails of Chairman Nunes and members of Congress because he said he was tired of dealing with the Committee. This is according to an insider source cited by Fox News’ legal expert Greg Jarrett.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says the Committee cherry-picked information from the FISA application. He and other Democrats wrote a letter to the President threatening that if he fires either Assistant AG Rod Rosenstein or Special Counsel Robert Mueller, they would consider that an attempt to obstruct justice and it could result in a constitutional crisis. The Democrats are now calling for Speaker Paul Ryan to remove Rep. Devin Nunes as Chairman of the Committee.
The MSM spent all day Friday calling the memo a hack, a partisan sideshow, and a dud–which doesn’t quite square with their week-long protestations against its release.
Nunes said on Fox news that he considers their threats as proof he is over the target. “These guys tell so many lies you can’t keep track of them,” he said. When asked whether the dossier had any truth in it, Nunes replied, “Russia is a country and Carter Page is a person, other than that, there’s nothing true in that dossier,” and added that it was written by, and came from, Russians.
Where are we now? The Committee has completed phase one of their investigation which covers FISA abuse, and they are in the middle of phase two of their next investigation which targets the State Department.
This is just the beginning, about 10 percent of what’s to come. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are set to release another document. This one is an eight-page criminal referral that will be redacted to hide certain information.
There are other ongoing investigations, including that of the Inspector General with its 1.2 million pages, and more reports will be released.
Why this Matters: Other members of the President’s team, including Trump himself, were illegally surveilled. And the scheme to prevent him from becoming president was carried out by many federal agencies, including the NSA, CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury financial crimes division of DHS and the Department of Justice.
The “task force” of representatives from these departments was headed by CIA Director John Brennan, done with help from British spy agency GCHQ after two of the FISA warrants were denied.
GCHQ worked out of the NSA building in Ft. Meade, Maryland. The surveillance began months before the dossier was compiled.
Remember, these people never thought Hillary would lose. Therefore they could do anything and everything because it would never get exposed.
Pray for the continuing investigations and that the President will have wisdom in what to do about people such as Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and others who are still drawing a paycheck from the taxpayers.
Stock Market lost 666 points on Friday; however, it is still up 28 percent over the past 12 months. Many are asking if the “666” is merely a coincidence, suggesting there are people manipulating the market and telegraphing their displeasure with the memo’s release.
Prov. 28:28 – When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.