The FISA Court and the Dossier

Mollie Hemingway has one of her outstanding “What You Should Know” posts up about the FISA dossier that dropped last Saturday night. As always, it was released then to avoid attention, well that no longer works. Mollie says:

Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, a former volunteer foreign policy advisor to President Trump. The highly redacted documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests show how the FBI was able to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant for a year of his life.

The wiretap was applied for and granted in October 2016, shortly before the end of the presidential campaign. Approved applications last for 90 days. The Department of Justice requested and received three renewals, for a total of one year of surveillance. Despite claiming to the court in 2016 that “the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government,” the government has yet to charge Page with breaking any of the serious laws it alleges he knowingly transgressed.

Here is what the highly redacted FISA applications show us thus far.

She lays out the salient points here with explanations. I’m not going to, read her article. I’m just going to bullet point it.

  • “The Dossier Provided an Essential Part Of Application
  • The Dossier Was Not Verified
  • The Applications Employed Circular Reporting
  • Cites Steele’s Credibility, Despite Overwhelming Evidence To Doubt It
  • The Applications Made Materially False Claims”

In other words, it was an amateurish, even clownish, put up job, that can’t stand the light of day.

As Sens. Graham and Grassley wrote earlier this year:

In Steele’s sworn court filings in litigation in London, he admitted that he ‘gave off the record briefings to a small number of journalists about the pre-election memoranda [i.e., the dossier] in late summer/autumn 2016.’ In another sworn filing in that case, Mr. Steele further stated that journalists from ‘the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker, and CNN’ were ‘briefed at the end of September 2016 by [Steele] and Fusion at Fusion’s instruction.’ The filing further states that Mr. Steele ‘subsequently participated in further meetings at Fusion’s instruction with Fusion and the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News, which took place mid-October 2016.’…

The first of these filings was publicly reported in the U.S. media in April of 2017, yet the FBI did not subsequently disclose to the FISC this evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI. Instead the application still relied primarily on his credibility prior to the October media incident. […]

That’s true. Donald Trump shows up in the application as Candidate #1 and Hillary Clinton shows up as Candidate #2. The Republican Party is identified as Political Party #1. So it would have been easy to note that the dossier was secretly bought and paid for by Candidate #2 and Political Party #2. Instead, a veritable word salad is deployed to hide that significant fact.

The court is told Source #1 was told “that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia” and that Source #1 wasn’t told about the motivation behind the research. The FBI surmises that Source #1’s boss — Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson — wanted information to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

On and on and on it goes. And as it does it becomes obvious, that everything Rep Nunes and his associates have said is the truth, and everything that these government functionaries have said is a lie, designed to undercut and remove the duly elected President of the United States.

The ‘Deep State’ in action. Careless, perfectly willing to lie, to do anything, in fact, to protect bureaucrats like themselves from the legitimate wrath of the people. And mind you, if Hillary had won, we wouldn’t know any of this and by the time she left office, we would not have a chance to reclaim our government.

It’s going to be a near run race as it is, but thanks to some very brave people, we do have a chance, so let’s take it in both hands and run with it.

Outside the Philadelphia Courthouse, Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government the convention had given us, here is his answer, as relevant as ever.

A Republic, if you can keep it.

Mind the Gap

Paul Mirengoff over at PowerLine called my attention to something that has rather slipped under the radar for most of us.

 

Rachel Brand, the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department has resigned. She will become Walmart’s “Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary.”

With Brand’s departure, here is what the top echelon of the Department of Justice looks like:

Attorney General – Jeff Sessions

Deputy Attorney General – Rod Rosenstein

Associate Attorney General – vacant

Solicitor General – Noel Francisco

Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division – vacant, nomination pending

Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division – vacant, nomination pending

Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division – vacant, nomination pending

Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division – vacant, nomination pending

Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Division – vacant, nomination pending

Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division – vacant

As a result of all these vacancies, Obama holdovers still exercise significant control over the Department. Indeed, Christian Adams argues that they “still run the show.” He writes:

Unfortunately, in important components of the Justice Department, the deep-state strategy of seeking to nullify the results of the 2016 election is being employed without garnering. . .much attention.

Consider the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, where a Senate-confirmed nominee for assistant attorney general has yet to be installed, 13 months into the administration. The Civil Rights Division wields enormous power over housing, banking, voting, police, education, immigration, employment, lending, prisons and more. . . .

Yet four Obama holdovers entirely sympathetic to the ideological agenda of the previous administration are still in absolute control of an entire layer of political oversight. There are four deputy assistant attorney general positions at the Civil Rights Division, and all are occupied by committed Obama holdovers.

(Emphasis added)

AG Sessions and President Trump have done their job, all but one of the nominees for the Assistant Attorney General slots, and done so many months ago.

So the problem is clearly in the Senate, Mitch McConnel bears full responsibility for one of the most important departments of government remaining under control of the Obama administration.

Frankly, whether it is true or not, and I think it is, it gives the appearance that the Republican Majority Leader of the United States Senate is colluding (see, I know the word!) with the Democrats against the Republican president elected by the people.

Time to get the people’s business done, Senator. Although the good people of Kentucky probably should have fired him long ago.

Worse Than Watergate

NBC News

Chris Buskirk at American Greatness:

The FISA Abuse Memo is out and now we know why the Democrats were desperate to keep its contents hidden from the public: it confirms the worst fears not just of President Trump’s supporters but of everyone concerned about the abuse of police power, government corruption, and the sanctity of our elections.
The memo shows interference in the 2016 presidential election by hostile elements within a United States intelligence agency. It wasn’t the Russians we had to worry about — it was rogue actors at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice. Left unanswered is to what extent the West Wing knew about or was complicit in this gross abuse of power. . . .
We now know that almost every accusation leveled against the president with regard to so-called “Russian collusion” actually reflects the actions of what amounts to a cabal of Democratic Party operatives working with FBI and Justice Department fellow-travellers. . . .

R.S. McCain adds:

There was no actual “Russian collusion” because the people who arranged the Trump Tower meeting weren’t working for the Kremlin, they were working for the Democrat Party.

It’s like what they used to say down South: If you ever go to a meeting of five Klansman, one of them will be an FBI undercover agent and at least two of the others will be confidential informants. In the case of the make-believe “Russian collusion,” it appears that practically everybody involved in trying to get the Trump campaign tangled up in this embarrassing mess was, in one way or another, working for FusionGPS, which was being bankrolled by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

That’s the size of it. Trump’s people come off as a bit credulous, they kept talking to stray people wandering in, but that’s not criminal, merely foolish.

Chris Buskirk again:

Nearly 50 years ago, the Watergate scandal forced a president from office. The Left thought it could do it again. But the Nunes memo—and the millions of documents and hundreds of hours of interviews behind it—makes clear that rogue elements within the FBI and Justice Department broke the law in an attempt to use the police power of the United States government first to throw the election to Hillary Clinton and then to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump.

This cannot stand. There must be consequences. And they must be swift, public, and severe.

Why is this worse than Watergate?

Because Watergate (the crime, not the coverup) was done by private individuals acting on their own. Foolishly, stupidly, and several other adverbs apply, but they were working for themselves and a private group.

However here we have high-level government law enforcement figures acting in an official capacity to corrupt the election process of the United States.

This is the problem that arises with any self-selecting elite (you may read experts if you choose), the time always comes when they conclude that they know better than the people they work for. Even if it is true, they have not the right to usurp their lawful superior (in this case the electorate). But almost always, it is not true, people have an innate sense of what is most likely to benefit them. And as we’ve seen in this matter, the experts are not acting in the people’s best interest, invariably they are acting in their own.

Indeed, this cannot stand, and the consequences must be swift, public, severe, and permanent.

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