TriggerFinger


Glenn Simpson: Steele dossier went directly to Obama

Another bombshell, and this one pretty clearly implicates Obama in everything that was based on the Steele dossier (or any of its component parts).

Be alert for the attempts to tie the beginning of the effort to Republicans, and keep in mind that desperate the feverish efforts of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Mueller, all of the Russian collusion was proven to be nonsense in Mueller's own report.

Categories Spygate

Thu Oct 17 16:13:24 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Boom? Does the FBI have possession of two Mifsud cell phones?

Mifsud is, of course, the "mysterious Russian agent" used to set up SpyGate; it's likely he's actually Western intelligence tasked with ... well, setting up SpyGate. He's been in hiding and seems to feel his life is in danger. Since he literally has information that could implicate both Clinton and Obama in the greatest abuse of government power in our national history, he's probably right. Just look at what happened to Epstein.

Now, Sidney Powell (representing Michael Flynn) files a motion stating that the FBI has two cell phones used by Mifsud to set him up. Potentially these could contain recordings of meetings, or potentially other communications.

This is not really a boom, yet; it's more like lighting the fuse. The boom will come if the FBI is forced to actually produce the phones.

Categories Spygate

Wed Oct 16 15:21:29 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch investigates monitoring of journalists

Judicial WatchThe prominent conservative figures — journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump — allegedly unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch include:
Jack Posobiec
Donald Trump Jr.
Laura Ingraham
Sean Hannity
Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)
Dan Bongino
Ryan Saavedra
Rudy Giuliani
Sebastian Gorka
John Solomon
Lou Dobbs
Pamella Geller
Sara Carter

If this list is even halfway accurate, this is huge news. This list is filled with journalists who have been heavily reporting on the SpyGate scandal. If they were monitored, and the monitoring ordered by the ousted Ambassador to Ukraine (who was likely involved in SpyGate itself)... "BOMBSHELL" has been a bit overused but certainly explosive.

UPDATE: More information.

Categories Spygate

Mon Oct 14 14:57:37 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Durham expands SpyGate investigation

Fox NewsJohn Durham, the U.S. attorney reviewing the origins of the 2016 counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, is probing a wider timeline than previously known, according to multiple senior administration officials.
[...]
However, based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.

Does this mean the operation of the special counsel itself will come under scrutiny? We can hope so. The special counsel's operation was certainly part of the whole "insurance policy".

Categories Spygate

Mon Oct 14 06:47:24 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Was Journalist John Solomon spied on? How many others?

His sources say yes, and based on his journalism about SpyGate, he has very good sources. He's far from the only person to be inappropriately spied on lately, too. According to a new report from the FISA court, the FBI/CIA/NSA did not stop abusing their surveillance capability in 2016. They continued to abuse it through 2017 and 2018, with illegal searches in the tens of thousands.

Categories Spygate

Wed Oct 09 23:37:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The shine is statring to wear off of IG Horowitz

"A finding that sounds tough, but in the end, 'no harm, no foul'", and that's from an FBI veteran.

I'm reserving judgment on Horowitz until we see his report on FISA abuse. He's generated referrals before, even if they were not actually acted on. His report on the Clinton email investigation did seem tough, but generated little in terms of consequences. (No, "bias training" for all FBI employees is not "consequences").

Disturbingly, the linked article reports Horowitz did not interview Page, which seems a major oversight. And seeing articles like this appear -- with people expressing doubts -- sounds to me like battlespace preparation for a nothingburger. Not because there's no meat, but because the chef was unwilling to fry it.

Categories Spygate

Tue Oct 08 06:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rep Ratcliffe: DOJ IG report on FISA abuse will be released within two weeks

AG Barr has the report, according to Rep Ratcliffe, and it will be released possibly by Friday.

Mon Oct 07 11:08:42 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Obama order Democrats to get dirt on Trump from Ukraine?

Daily WireTrump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested on Monday night that there was serious evidence that the Obama White House directed Democrats to work with Ukraine to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump.
“The reason why the president of the United States had an obligation to ask the president of Ukraine to follow up on these allegations because there is substantial — I don’t want to exaggerate it but pretty close to overwhelming evidence, including a finding by a Ukrainian court that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats cooperated with Ukrainians with the order coming directly from the White House … to dig up dirt on her political opponent, and they did,” Giuliani said.

Asking a foreign government to cooperate with an investigation of credible allegations of corruption with real evidence (even a video recording of an admission!) is legitimate, even if the suspect is running for the nomination to oppose you. You don't get a pass from corruption laws because you run for office -- or rather, you shouldn't, even though it seems to work that way for Democrats. Thatg's what Trump has been doing: asking for cooperation with legitimate investigations.

Giuliani seems to be saying Obama actually ordered Democrats to dig up "dirt" on an opposition candidate.

If true, there's a substantial difference between the two. A legitimate investigation versus a political hit job.

Now, we don't know yet what Giuliani is describing. We'll have to evaluate that when we see the evidence. But we do know what Biden admitted to doing -- conditioning US aid on firing a prosecutor investigating the company his son worked for. That seems corrupt on its face.

Mind you, we know a little about what came out of Ukraine in 2016 about Trump. This was the "black ledger" allegations against Manafort. There is speculation they might be straight up fakes. If that's what Obama ordered and what Ukraine delivered, it's election interference by fraud and abuse of office.

Obama has shown no reluctance to interfere in foreign elections himself, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him soliciting interference to help his party at home.

And of course we now have audio evidence.

Categories Spygate

Mon Oct 07 10:54:01 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Documents prove extensive Steele-State Dept relationship

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation today released 146 pages of State Department documents revealing that former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele had an extensive and close working relationship dating back to May of 2014 with high-ranking Obama State Department officials.

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show that, from May 2014 to November 2015, Steele filed dozens of reports with his close associate at State, Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, who would then pass them to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. The reports focused mainly on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The documents show that Steele’s work was also distributed to State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Daniel Fried and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Paul Jones, whose focus in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs was on Russia and Ukraine policy.

The documents are Orbis Business Intelligence reports that Steele provided to the State Department. Steele, a former MI6 spy, co-founded Orbis in 2009.

It seems that Steele had a much closer relationship with Obama's state department than was previously known.

Categories Spygate

Thu Oct 03 06:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

SpyGate: The Big Picture

The Hill For the first time in our nation’s history, an inspector general — one appointed by President Obama — has determined that at least two men who sat in the top spot at the FBI committed multiple violations that warrant possible prosecution. That in itself is a scandal with national implications deserving of headlines, congressional hearings and promises to overhaul a broken system.

Of course, the complicating factor in the whole mess is that the government entities responsible for addressing any wrongdoing are the same ones inextricably tied to the alleged wrongdoing.

So far, the FBI, DOJ, and intel community have proven completely incapable of policing their own. They had to lose an election before any of their malfeasance was revealed, only a few people have been fired, no one has actually been charged. The contrast with the charges filed against Michael Flynn and a years-long special counsel investigation into the President himself on trumped-up charges (pun definitely intended) along with surveillance and entrapment schemes conducted against other innocent Americans for political reasons is very sharp.

Categories Spygate

Wed Oct 02 06:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The last gasp? Or a sudden strike?

The first intelligence whistleblower plot failed. Now, it's becoming obvious that AG Barr has been talking to foreign leaders about their interference in our 2016 election: Italy, Australia, Great Britain... Mifsud, Downer, Halper. Probably that's what panicked the Deep State into trying such a rushed ploy to begin with. Now, caught without a plan in the tattered remains of their coup attempt, the Deep State throws up another IG to try to create a roadblock. Will the State Dept IG claim that Barr's legitimate investigation into election interference in 2016 is really an attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections? Will there be desperate attempts to spin real investigations into impeachable offenses? No doubt. Only the details are unknown.

The spin is being cranked up to 11.

Most likely, this means big stuff is about to drop.

Categories Spygate

Tue Oct 01 23:54:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another Deep State intel hit job on Trump

A so-called whistleblower claims Trump was speaking with a foreign leader and made some sort of promise the intel guy didn't like, so the intel guy ran to Congress and leaked the information. The Treehouse guys connect breadcrumbs and think the leaker is likely Sue Gordon, and her real motive is likely to get protections under whistleblower laws that would make it harder to fire her. There are also some suggestions that it may be an attempt to protect Biden.

Biden's quid pro quo here, protecting his son from a corruption investigation, was obviously corrupt itself. Undoing it and suggesting Ukraine restart he investigation we demanded them stop under a prior government seems legitimate. But the Democrats will try to spin it as political interference, gambling on no one knowing what Biden and his son were up to.

Categories Spygate

Sun Sep 29 06:47:35 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More evidence for the entrapment angle to SpyGate

It's now generally accepted, if not 100% proven, that the Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a mysterious Russian woman was set up by Fusion GPS. Among other evidence, the woman met with Fusion GPS both before and after the meeting. And, of course, Fusion GPS was working with the Hillary campaign and Christopher Steele to convince the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign for Russian collusion that did not exist.

But Judicial Watch appears to have identified another element to the setup operation. They are suing DOJ for documentation about Felix Sater, an informant for the FBI and/or CIA, who was pushing Trump to engage in Russian real estate projects.

Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for [Trump attorney Michael] Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners.

Though his proposal appears to have been rejected by the Trump campaign, Sater persisted. “Into the spring of 2016,” the Mueller Report notes, “Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow.” Sater emails Cohen that he is trying to arrange a meeting between “the 2 big guys,” Putin and Trump.

Sater’s re-emergence “suggests the possibility of a more sinister counter-narrative: that someone may have been trying to lure Trump into a trap—a politically damaging entanglement with Moscow money,” Morrison wrote.

As far as I know, this is new information, and it would be devastating to the FBI's narrative if they were directing Sater to encourage deals with the Russians while they were trying to investigate the Trump campaign for Russian connections. And, yes, the Russian building angle has been used in various Democrat attempts to smear Trump, most particularly with respect to Cohen's congressional testimony.

And, conveniently, Sater was mentioned in the Mueller report several times but not his status as an informant. That's not necessarily surprising (it's reasonable to put a high priority on protecting the names of sources) but when those sources are being used to entrap innocent people and conduct a political coup, the public interest outweighs the secrecy.

I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.

Wed Sep 18 13:24:10 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton judge dismisses DNC email lawsuit against Trump

Sat Sep 14 08:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who reviewed the classification status of Comey's memos?

Daily CallerIt appears that the main reason Horowitz concludes former FBI Director James Comey only violated his FBI Employment Agreement and DOJ/FBI “policies” was because the documents he kept, disclosed, and leaked to improper parties were not considered truly classified. That apparently keeps them from being serious enough to prosecute. So, who made the decision that they were not classified? The answer would be outrageous if it were not virtually farcical.
[...]
Horowitz tells us at page 42 and 43 that there were four people involved in that review and decisions, but the two of those four who were most experienced in making those determinations were named Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. If you will recall Horowitz, in his previous report, found basically hundreds of pages to document appalling bias against Trump, as well as monstrous love for and desire to see Hillary Clinton elected president.

How is it that these same people keep cropping up, clearing each other in investigations, and generally running rings around the people supposedly trying to investigate them?

It's not like these two weren't already known to be partisan hacks with heavy conflicts of interest before Comey was fired.

Fri Sep 06 07:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

UK disowned Steele before Trump inauguration, FBI likely knew

The HillMultiple witnesses have told Congress that, a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, Britain’s top national security official sent a private communique to the incoming administration, addressing his country’s participation in the counterintelligence probe into the now-debunked Trump-Russia election collusion.

Most significantly, then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant claimed in the memo, hand-delivered to incoming U.S. national security adviser Mike Flynn’s team, that the British government lacked confidence in the credibility of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s Russia collusion evidence, according to congressional investigators who interviewed witnesses familiar with the memo.

Before Trump's inauguration also means before Mueller's investigation and before at least one and possibly two of the FISA renewals. There are people who claim Mueller's team interview them about it, meaning Mueller provably knew about it. And yet it's not in his report, and his investigation continued.

Categories Spygate

Mon Sep 02 08:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI tried to verify Steele dossier -- 90% false

We've heard brief mentions of the FBI's "verification log", essentially a spreadsheet laying out the claims that Steele made and what had been found when those claims were looked into. But now, John Solomon is reporting on the details of that spreadsheet, and it's messy. It also proves exactly how much the FBI knew about Steele's credibility when they applied for the warrants.

Sat Aug 24 07:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bruce Ohr 302s released

Bruce Ohr acted as a go-between for the FBI and their "fired" ex-informant Steele. The firing was a sham, part of the coverup process. The FBI continued to use Steele as a source, through Ohr, until two days prior to the Mueller special counsel appointment (!!!!!). Given that I would be very surprised if Mueller's team did not have continuing contact with Steele by some mechanism as well.

Sun Aug 18 07:47:33 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Giuliani: Deliberate efforts to cover up wrongdoing

Meaning in History thinks Giuliani is pointing at Wray as the coverup artist. I'm not so sure that's what Giuliani is saying here, necessarily, but I do think Wray is neck-deep in covering up elements of SpyGate. What I think has been happening is that people in Europe (Ukraine, Italy at least, maybe in the UK) have been trying to reach the FBI to tell their side of the story, and the FBI has been ignoring those requests. That could be Wray, it could be underlings. As far as I can tell, it took these people (Mifsud in Italy, some elements of the Ukraine government) going to the media and getting media attention before they got officially noticed.

Categories Spygate

Sun Aug 18 06:47:34 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Has Lisa Page been cooperating?

Hannity thinks so. I think so, and I have for a long time, on a low-key way. Why? Some of the messages between Page and Strzok read, to me, like Page was very much not happy with Strzok towards the end. It sounded like a woman scorned and the end of an affair. (and, you know, having your "I had an affair with my coworker while plotting a coup" text messages published nationally seems likely to end an affair by itself). Not to mention she is still married (NOT to Strzok, but her original husband) which is not compatible with staying loyal to Strzok. And if that's the mindset she is in, cooperating is the logical course. Plus, trying to stay out of jail is a big incentive too.

So, yeah, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Lisa is cooperating. But this is the first time we're seeing people talk about it...

Fri Aug 16 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: Mifsud prepared to testify to setup operation

The HillMueller’s team alleges that Mifsud is the person who fed a story in spring 2016 to Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos about Moscow possessing purloined emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was the earliest known contact in the now-debunked collusion narrative and the seminal event that the FBI says prompted it on July 31, 2016, to open its probe into the Trump campaign.
[...]
Mifsud was a “longtime cooperator of western intel” who was asked specifically by his contacts at Link University in Rome and the London Center of International Law Practice (LCILP) — two academic groups with ties to Western diplomacy and intelligence — to meet with Papadopoulos at a dinner in Rome in mid-March 2016, Roh told me.
[...]
A few days after the March dinner, Roh added, Mifsud received instructions from Link superiors to “put Papadopoulos in contact with Russians,” including a think tank figure named Ivan Timofeev and a woman he was instructed to identify to Papadopoulos as Vladimir Putin’s niece.

Mifsud knew the woman was not the Russian president’s niece but, rather, a student who was involved with both the Link and LCILP campuses, and the professor believed there was an effort underway to determine whether Papadopoulos was an “agent provocateur” seeking foreign contacts, Roh said.

So here's the deal. Mifsud -- a man with extensive ties to Western intelligence agencies and politicians with documented photographic evidence -- says he was tasked with meeting Papadopoulos and feeling him information on Russian dirt about Hillary. Mifsud then says he was tasked with introducing Papadopoulos to Russians. Again, tasked. Later, Papadopoulos talks with Downer and mentions Russian dirt on Hillary. (No emails mentioned either time -- all three parties agree on this).

It seems certain now that this whole operation was a setup designed to give the FBI a deniable reason to get an investigation opened into the Trump campaign. And the deception continued past the election, past the inauguration, all the way into the Mueller report, which describes Mifsud as a Russian agent.

So who tasked Mifsud with setting up Papadopoulos? Let's follow that up the chain.

Thu Aug 15 20:57:03 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A SpyGate speculative epiphany

Daily CallerFormer South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy urged the release of FBI transcripts Sunday that he indicated were taken from conversations a bureau informant had during the 2016 presidential campaign with former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.

Gowdy, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, also said there are likely to be additional transcripts of FBI informant contacts with Trump aides.

“The one you referenced is a single transcript. There are going to be others,” Gowdy said in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.

So I think I just made an important implied connection here. Let me walk you through it.

Gowdy is urging the release of transcripts of Papadopoulos' meetings with Halper and some sort of agent whose nom-de-plume was "Azra Turk". But why does he have to urge the release of those transcripts? Why can't Barr, to whom Trump just delegated declassification authority, just release them?

Answer: there's a process, and even after Trump or Barr starts the ball rolling, the "owning agency" controls release to some extent. If it was the FBI's agent and the FBI's transcript, the FBI would control release. But the FBI's director (Wray, a Deep State ally) can be overridden by Barr as DOJ. So why are the transcripts still being held up?

They are not being held up by Wray -- they are were being held up by DNI Coates, who Trump just fired. This is probably why Coates got fired. And it's probably why the Deep State is pushing Sue Gordon or someone else who will protect them in the role. They want these transcripts (and other declass issues, too) in safe hands. Safe for them.

But... if Wray doesn't control the transcripts related to Papadopoulos and Halper and the mysterious Azra Turk, and if it's Coates who was controlling them, then which agency was controlling Halper and Azra Turk?

Hint: It wasn't the FBI.

Categories Spygate

Thu Aug 15 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does the FBI believe it's own bullshit?

Mark Wauck asks the question. I think the answer is no. The idea that the FBI honestly believed they were spying on Trump because he was a Russian agent is absurd. Remember, as just a few counterpoints among many, that Kavalec debunked at least three elements of Steele's claims before the FISA was applied for the first time: there is no Russian consulate in Miami, Michael Cohen has never been to Prague, there is no secret communications channel between Alfa Bank and Trump Tower; and the FISA application did not pass on any of this derogatory information about Steele and his story to the court. They were told directly it was BS and went ahead with it, swearing under penalty of perjury that the information was "verified" when it was not.

The idea that the FBI was fooled by Steele (and the story will eventually evolve into "and fooled by the intel agencies") is their version of an "Aw, shucks... but I meant well" cover story. It's a defensive posture that, if believed, paints them as good-faith actors who just got duped. And that gets them off scott-free of criminal charges.

Don't believe it for a second.

Categories Spygate

Sun Aug 11 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McCabe, Strzok sue ... alleging politically motivated firing

It's hard to believe these lawsuits (Strzok, McCabe) will have any merit after what the IG report has said about them and their behavior. McCabe already features prominently in one report that described him as "lacking candor" (ie, lying) to the IG, and both he and Strzok were major players in the Hillary email investigation (yes, another IG report on that topic) plus the currently unreleased report in progress on FISA abuse. These two should feel lucky they aren't in jail; instead they are suing...

But they have a reason, and I think I know what it is. If there are indictments coming down for them, as part of the IG's report, they'll need money for lawyers. Probably they have already found lawyers and have been prepping for this. Suing for unlawful termination is a useful move to prepare the battlefield in the media and invite a future jury to view any prosecutions through a political lens.

More importantly, with the lawsuits comes the ability to open up a gofundme account for "legal expenses" that will probably flow to the same lawyers preparing to defend them from criminal charges. And it's a lot easier to get people to donate to your lawsuit over "unlawful termination" than over your defense against criminal charges of lying, leaking, and spying.

It may also be useful as a shield against media inquiries when the IG report is released (as in "I can't comment on pending litigation").

Fri Aug 09 04:50:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sue Gordon out, and why

Sue Gordon is out of her position after an Oval Office meeting with Trump. She was Dan Coates deputy who will also be resigning. She was also the choice of many in the intelligence community and Congress to take over the role from Coates after he resigned... notably, though, she was the favorite of Trump's known enemies and weak friends.

So what's really going on?

We have active criminal investigations into the intelligence community's actions to spy on Trump. We have an IG report that is going through the review process before being released. We have a series of leaks in the media trying to frame the events of SpyGate. We have various other efforts to frame the narrative, including Strzok and McCabe suing for unlawful termination. There is, in short, a whole lot of activity by the Russia Hoax conspiracy.

They are the people who get to review and comment on the IG report before it is finalized and released. Dan Coates was the intelligence community member who would be required to authorize declassification of the contents of the report or its supporting documents. When he is removed, Sue Gordon takes that role until a replacement is confirmed.

So what's happening is this:
1) The IG report and related declassification requests go out
2) Coates refuses to declassify enough to satisfy Trump and/or Barr
3) Trump fires Coates and nominates a supporter from Congess
4) Under massive fire from the intel community, the nomination is withdrawn. The intel community practically demands Sue Gordon as the replacement. Given her posting as chief of station for CIA in London during the events in question, Sue is likely involved up to her neck in SpyGate and could be trusted to protect herself and other members of the conspiracy.
5) Trump calls Sue Gordon to a meeting and asks her to declassify. She refuses.
6) Trump fires Gordon based on her refusal.

What happens next? Trump finds out who is next in line after Gordon and asks them the same question until someone says yes. And then the IG report comes out.

UPDATE: Joseph Maguire is next in line.

UPDATE: No Oval Office meeting.

Categories Spygate

Fri Aug 09 04:25:53 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Looks like we're going to get declassification starting ... tomorrow?

... according to Joe DiGenova. The catalyst was removing DNI Coats, an Obama holdover. DiGenova also indicated in very strong terms that this is a criminal investigation of an attempted coup, not just an internal review.

UPDATE: Comments by Whitaker suggest Comey and his memos are also under criminal investigation.

UPDATE: Not yet. But lots of talk about how things take time. What changed between then and now?

UPDATE: Will we get to see Bruce Ohr 302s?

Tue Jul 30 02:09:46 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Graham to call Papadopoulos to testify

The way these things usually work, when Graham calls Papadopoulos to testify to the Senate about SpyGate, IG Horowitz and prosecutor Durham will ahve already interviewed Papadopoulos and gotten everything they think they need.

What they need is presumably information on Mifsud, and there are rumors Mifsud has suddenly come out of hiding and is willing to be interviewed (perhaps already has been). Reports are also that as the release of the Horowitz FISA report approaches, people are coming to him to be re-interviewed to make sure they tell him all the things they suddenly remembered...

Categories Spygate

Mon Jul 29 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This is about as shady as it gets

A former Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division describes the nature of the SpyGate scandal. People need to go to jail for this. And remember, as we talk about wrongdoing by Comey and the FBI, by figures in the DOJ and the State Department, by figures in the intelligence community who still remain somewhat enshadowed... in the end, it will all come to back a single text from Lisa Page: "potus wants to know everything we're doing."

Obama knew. Obama approved.

Categories Spygate

Sat Jul 27 06:08:48 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Weissman was desperately looking for dirt on Trump

So desperately, even early in the Mueller investigation, that he was offering plea deals with complete immunity to defendants in cases he had no authority over, and telling them what he wanted them to say. Apparently no one was willing to lie.

Categories Spygate

Wed Jul 24 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Biden threatens to use opposition research on opponents

Washington Examiner"I mean, I get all this information about other people’s pasts, and what they’ve done and not done. And you know, I’m just not going to go there. If we keep doing that -- I mean, we should be debating what we do from here," Biden told CNN in a Friday interview, referring to the crowded field of two dozen White House hopefuls.

The real question isn't whether Biden uses opposition research. The real question, given that he spent 8 years as Obama's vice president while Obama abused the FBA, CIA, and NSA as political tools, is: where did Biden get this opposition research?

Categories Spygate

Fri Jul 12 06:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI use of "black ledger" against Manafort suspect

John Solomon at The HillWhen the final chapter of the Russia collusion caper is written, it is likely two seminal documents the FBI used to justify investigating Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign will turn out to be bunk.

Well, we know the Steele dossier is bunk... wait, two documents?

John Solomon at The HillThe second document, known as the “black cash ledger,” remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump's campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

Once again, the FBI relied upon a document they knew was fake to open an investigation, obtain search warrants, conduct armed SWAT-style raids, and generally abuse their authority to violate civil rights under color of law.

And, in addition, it appears the FBI leaked information to reporters and then cited their stories in court.

John Solomon at The HillLiberal law professor Alan Dershowitz said FBI affidavits almost never cite news articles as evidence. “They are supposed to cite the primary evidence and not secondary evidence,” he said.

“It sounds to me like a fraud on the court, possibly a willful and deliberate fraud that should have consequences for both the court and the attorneys’ bar,” he added.

Meadows is asking the Justice Department IG to investigate. Good. But the courts need to get involved too, lest the requirement to testify truthfully become a dead letter.

Categories Spygate

Mon Jun 24 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Additional secret Mueller scope memos?

It certainly appears that Rosenstein was giving Mueller free reign to dig up pretty much anything Mueller wanted to dig up. Many of the elements of the additional scope memo(s?) remain redacted, but at least one concerned Manafort colluding with Russian officials to influence the 2016 election. Notably, Manafort was never even charged with that. And that was just in the expanded scope memo we knew about; it now appears a third secret scope memo exists, dated October 20th, 2017.

Categories Spygate

Sun Jun 23 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bruce Ohr got bonuses even after demotion

Sara CarterDepartment of Justice official Bruce Ohr —who was a backchannel for the former British spy who compiled the anti-President Donald Trump dossier — received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses from the Justice Department. He received those bonuses after being demoted for a conflict of interest and for not informing his superiors that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which hired former British spy Christoper Steele to compile the now debunked dossier.

According to documents unearthed by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, after Ohr’s removal from his position as Associate Attorney General in 2017 and then later after his transfer from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to International Affairs in 2018, he “received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses during the Trump/Russia investigation. Ohr’s bonus nearly doubled from $14,520 (received in November 2015) to $28,000 in November 2016.”

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch stressed that the documents “raise questions as to whether the conflicted Bruce Ohr, who the FBI used to launder information from Christopher Steele was rewarded for his role in the illicit targeting of President Trump.”

More likely, rewarded in an addition to keep him quiet about his role in the illicit targeting of President Trump.

Categories Spygate

Sun Jun 16 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The SpyGate task force

Remember all those separate individuals at the FBI, CIA, and State Department who keep insisting they were all hearing about Trump and Russia from Steele independently?

Turns out there was a task force. Under direct Presidential supervision.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jun 14 06:43:46 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More evidence of deception in the Mueller report

Mueller alleges Russian intel ties in a Manafort contact... but the Russian in question is actually a source for the State Department. Sure, still a Russian. But a helpful Russian, apparently. And as an established agent, if Manafort or Trump were actually colluding with Russians, he would probably have mentioned it. And it's certainly foul play to smear Trump by association with a Russian who happens to be one of our informants. Not to mention smearing Trump for receiving a peace plan that Obama also received, but only mentioning the delivery to Trump.

Categories Spygate

Tue Jun 11 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Steele agrees to be questioned by US officials ... right after Trump meets with Queen

If he is honest this could be a major break in the case. But what are the odds he will be honest?

UPDATE: The scope will be limited to his contacts with US intelligence. That means he won't be able to talk about anything he did purely for Fusion GPS or Hillary. It may still provide valuable information, as current US intelligence agencies are run by people who were likely involved. In fact, if Steele talks about operations in London, he might well implicate current CIA Director Gina Haskell.

Categories Spygate

Tue Jun 04 10:33:05 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What was it that made Mueller perfect for the special counsel coverup?

Aside from his own personal connections to everyone already involved, and his own likely corruption (see the Whitey Bulger case), Mueller also happened to be FBI direct from 2001 to 2013. During that time, the FBI and CIA likely entered into a memorandum of understanding allowing CIA to use FBI contractor access to spy on domestic targets. It was that access that, when Admiral Mike Rogers shut it down, likely prompted the Steele dossier and special counsel investigation of Trump as an "insurance policy" to make sure Trump could be read out of the programs and hopefully removed.

And that arrangement, starting sometime in 2012, is at just about the right time to have influenced the 2012 election... which would be especially urgent as Obama's IRS spying operating on the Tea Party was focused on that same election, and Mueller was working with Lerner to target the Tea Party.

So, in other words...

Mueller worked with the IRS to target the Tea Party (political spying, not just delaying applications), and was then asked to investigate the Tea Party scandal and found no wrongdoing. Then Mueller set up an arrangement with the CIA around the time the Tea Party scandal started to become a problem; the arrangement started in 2012 and lasted until 2016 and allowed the CIA to use FBI access authority for domestic spying (likely with political motives). When THAT got shut down, Mueller -- who had left the FBI -- was brought back in as special counsel to "investigate" (ie, cover up) what he himself had set up.

Categories Spygate

Fri May 31 06:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-Trump FISA application followed unusual approval path

Washington ExaminerIn front of a joint session of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees on Aug. 31, 2018, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson said she was normally responsible for signing off on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications before they reached the desk of her superiors for approval. Anderson said the “linear path” those applications typically take was upended in October 2016, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signing off on the application before she did. Because of that unusual high-level involvement, she didn’t see the need to “second guess” the FISA application.

So what is the takeaway here? Well, first, the FISA application clearly followed an unusual, top-down, very much not "by the book", dare I say political process. By the time it reached Trisha Anderson's desk, who would normally see it first, it had already been approved "informally" by McCabe and Sally Yates had already signed it.

McCabe is infamous for his pro-Hillary involvement in the Hillary email investigation, and for this anti-Trump involvement in the Trump investigation, and also for the $500,000+ in campaign donations his wife received from Hillary-linked donors while all this was going on.

Yates is infamous for getting herself fired over a relatively trivial policy position during the early Trump administration. It suffices to establish her anti-Trump bias.

Anderson clearly admits she didn't do her job to review the FISA because her superiors had already signed off on it.

Second point. Remember Susan Rice's last minute email to herself saying Obama said to do it all "by the book"? This is the last firewall before this scandal reaches Obama. "He said to do it all by the book!" This is clearly not by the book.

Third... whether we believe her that she didn't look at the application or not, she signed off on it. That makes her complicit. It's not the informal approvals that matter. It's her signature.

Categories Spygate

Thu May 30 06:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lynch throws Comey's FBI under the bus

She tracks the start of the investigations into Trump to spring of 2016 rather than the summer of 2016 when Papadopoulos spoke with Downer. She says it started with Page instead.

Categories Spygate

Wed May 29 06:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

"Russian Spy" sues Halper, media orgs for calling her a spy

Daily CallerA Russian-British academic is suing FBI informant Stefan Halper for defamation over what she claims is a conspiracy to smear her and former national security adviser Michael Flynn through the media, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The academic, Svetlana Lokhova, is also suing several news organizations she accuses of publishing false information provided by Halper, a former Cambridge professor.

Important side point: Halper was the one who invited her and seated her next to Flynn. Halper was also the one who reported Flynn's interactions with her as suspicious. That smells like a setup to me.

Categories Spygate

Sat May 25 06:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

SpyGate testimony

Wed May 22 08:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Italian government requests resignations of intelligence officials

Categories Spygate

Fri May 17 07:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok on the Spygate hot seat

The Kavalec email describing flaws in Steele's dossier went directly to Strzok well before the FISA warrant application was submitted. That means Strzok knew Steele's story had massive holes -- the most obvious being the routing of payments through a nonexistent Russian consulate in Miami.

Categories Spygate

Fri May 17 06:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Weissman knew about Papadopoulos entrapment scheme

The Conservative TreehouseRecently release FOIA documents into the special counsel team of Robert Mueller reveal the remarkable trail of a 2017 entrapment scheme conducted by Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to target George Papadopoulos.

Before digging into the details it is important to note this is a DOJ/FBI entrapment operation being conducted in 2017 by the special counsel; this is not prior to the 2016 election. The detail surrounds a series of events previously discussed {Go Deep} where George Papadopoulos was approached by a known CIA operative named Charles Tawil.

The entrapment operation against Papadopoulos has been known for some time now. It was obvious from the first accounts we heard from Papadopoulos that it was an entrapment operation. However, this is the first evidence we have seen that Mueller's team was the one definitively behind it and knew what was going on in advance. This is more than just a tip that Papadopoulos was flying into the US with an undeclared $10,000 cash from some guy in Israel who tried to recruit him -- it's evidence Weissman was preparing the groundwork before the events.

Categories Spygate

Wed May 15 07:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

AG Barr appoints US Atty Durham to review SpyGate

Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.

John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

Durham's history of prosecuting national security abuses seems promising. And that bit about FBI ties to a crime boss in Boston? Mueller kept 4 innocent people in jail to protect an FBI informant.

Alan Dershowitz on NewsMax"He's the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer. Those of us in Boston don't have such a high regard for Mueller because we remember this story. The government had to pay out tens of millions of dollars because Whitey Bulger, a notorious mass murderer, became a government informer against the mafia . . .

"And that's regarded in Boston of one of the great scandals of modern judicial history. And Mueller was right at the center of it. So, he is not without criticism by people who know him in Boston."

So Mueller in particular may have reason to be especially worried.

Unanswered question: What happened to Huber? He was appointed under AG Sessions to look into basically the same thing.

Categories Spygate

Tue May 14 18:58:56 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IG Horowitz: final three FISAs obtained illegally, first one still in doubt

... and not in much doubt following the Kavalec email, where the State Dept calls out Steele as a political hack doing opposition research and smear operations, points out that anyone at the State Dept engaging with him is in violation of the Hatch Act (prohibiting campaign activities by government officials with government resources), and notifying the FBI of those concerns before the first FISA was issued.

Note that the report from IG Horowitz has not yet been released; this is a characterization of its current conclusions from DiGenova.

Categories Spygate

Sat May 11 08:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Consequences and cutouts

Sara CarterFormer FBI Director James Comey admitted at a CNN town hall that the text messages between former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page made the entire agency look bad. It damaged the institution and it tarnished the Russia investigation.

“I think, given the standards that we have,” said Comey, “there should have been, and was, severe discipline around their behavior.”

“Everyone has opinions,” said Comey. “You can’t bring them to work and have them affect your work, there have to be severe consequences.”

Funny how Comey never applied those consequences when he was in a position to do so. It's only now, when AG Barr looks to be seriously investigating the whole of SpyGate, that Comey starts trying to feel Strzok and Page to the lion hoping he will be eaten last. Comey is hoping that Strzok and Page will act as cutouts -- a term of art in espionage whereby the cutout is caught and exposed as a spy, but doesn't or can't reveal anyone else involved in their operations. Especially not anyone higher up the chain.

But the evidence suggests Comey is not the only one feeding people to the lion. Comey himself is being fed to the lion. His FBI investigation itself -- the FISA warrant, the obstruction of justice, the special counsel, all of it -- is merely smoke and mirrors to cover the spying performed by the Obama administration on political opponents by the CIA and NSA. Not just on Trump and his campaign, either.

This stuff goes all the way back to 2012, which, as you will recall, is roughly when the Tea Party IRS scandal was exposed, which also involved... spying on political opponents.

Categories Spygate

Sat May 11 07:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Mueller pay Fusion GPS as part of his investigation?

Real Clear InvestigationsSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller spent more than $732,000 on outside contractors, including private investigators and researchers, records show, but his office refuses to say who they were. While it’s not unusual for special government offices to outsource for services such as computer support, Mueller also hired contractors to compile “investigative reports” and other “information."

The arrangement has led congressional investigators, government watchdog groups and others to speculate that the private investigators and researchers who worked for the special counsel’s office might have included Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS, the private research firm that hired Steele to produce the Russia collusion dossier for the Clinton campaign.

That's a hell of a lot of money for an "unverified, salacious" dossier. Read the whole thing, and then more analysis at Conservative Treehouse.

Categories Spygate

Fri May 10 06:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Steele admitted to FBI his work was political -- just 10 days before FISA application

The HillIf ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

That elements within the FBI are still covering this up by redaction indicates the FBI is still a compromised institution.

Categories Spygate

Wed May 08 07:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So, about the idea that the CIA wasn't spying on Trump...

Daily CallerPeter Strzok suspected CIA employees were behind inaccurate leaks to the press regarding possible Trump campaign contacts with Russia, according to an email the former FBI counterintelligence official sent to colleagues in April 2017.

“I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us. Might explain all these weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some of the leaks,” Strzok wrote in an email to FBI colleagues on April 13, 2017.

Strzok sure seems to have thought they were in it up to their necks.

Categories Spygate

Wed May 08 06:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McCarthy catches on to the coverup

National ReviewDowner’s report enabled the Obama administration to cover an investigative theory it was already pursuing with a report from a friendly foreign government, as if that report had triggered the Trump-Russia investigation. In order to pull that off, however, it was necessary to distort what Papadopoulos had told Downer.

To repeat, Papadopoulos never told Downer anything about emails. Moreover, the Mueller report provides no basis for Papadopoulos to have known that Russia was planning the anonymous release of information damaging to Clinton in order to help Trump; nor does the Mueller report allege that Papadopoulos actually told Downer such a thing.
33

The State Department’s report to the FBI claiming that Papadopoulos had “suggested” these things to Downer was manufactured to portray a false connection between (a) what Papadopoulos told Downer and (b) the hacking and publication of the DNC emails. That false connection then became the rationale for formally opening the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already under way.

... that was already underway with no legitimate lawful predicate. In other words, spying, without even the legal figleaf of a warrant.

Categories Spygate

Tue May 07 06:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

All 8 Russia-Trump contacts in Mueller report were entrapment schemes

Gateway PunditOne simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

Read the whole thing.

Mon May 06 08:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Strzok and Page use Trump campaign briefings to spy?

Fox NewsText messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page indicate they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could "develop for potential relationships," track lines of questioning and "assess" changes in "demeanor" – language one GOP lawmaker called “more evidence” of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.

Just another abuse in a long chain of abuses at this point.

And yes, it seems likely they had a source inside the campaign.

Categories Spygate

Mon May 06 07:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lynch "appeared to have amnesia" on Spygate

Sara CarterFormer Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Congressional lawmakers in closed door testimony that despite the DOJ having approved the FBI warrant and renewals to spy on Carter Page, she did not recall the applications, did not remember the details contained in the applications or the circumstances surrounding conversations about the warrant, according to testimony reviewed by SaraACarter.com.

Lynch “appeared to have amnesia” during her testimony that she delivered in December before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, said one congressional official, who had knowledge of the hearing. The official said Lynch’s closed-door testimony on Page, a former Trump campaign volunteer, left lawmakers with more questions than answers.

If she's claiming memory loss that blatantly, she was involved up to her neck -- we just don't know exactly how yet.

Categories Spygate

Sun May 05 08:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Listening device discovered at White House

Yeah, Rosenstein, about your "sarcastic" proposal to wiretap the President?

I get the feeling your usefulness is at an end.

Categories Spygate

Thu May 02 21:30:38 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ben Rhodes lies through his teeth about SpyGate

Sara CarterFormer deputy national security advisor to President Obama, Ben Rhodes said that Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice “will find nothing” on the Obama White House, according to PJ Media. Moreover, Rhodes said there is no evidence that the Obama White House was involved in the Trump campaign and Russian collusion investigation.

“No, no, I cannot be clear enough about this. We didn’t even know there was an FBI investigation of Trump. I didn’t. President Obama didn’t, like, we actually abided by the firewalls between – if there were any investigations that took place, those decisions were made in the Justice Department, in the FBI, not in the White House,” Rhodes said Thursday following a talk at Georgetown University about his book The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House.

On the dossier, Rhodes grew increasingly defensive saying,”We had nothing to do with this dossier. ”

Rhodes continued, “I’m not an investigator. I haven’t even read this whole dossier. You guys are focused on this. Have fun, have your witch-hunt. We did not initiate this.”

We have text messages from the Page/Strzok pair saying that the White House was running the investigation, or at least thinks they were. We have meetings between DOJ, FBI, and White House representatives. We have Rice's last minute "by the book" email proving that Obama knew at some point before the transition happened.

And we have allegations that the spying goes all the way back to 2012. Let me remind you that's about the same time the IRS spying stopped because they got caught.

When you start taking flak, you know you're over the target.

What did you know and when did you know it, Ben?

You know, if you have nothing to hide, you won't mind if Barr and Horowitz subpoena all of your emails and phone calls and meeting notes and go through them with a fine toothed comb, right? After all, the Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

The investigation into SpyGate should be at least as vigorous.

Categories Spygate

Mon Apr 29 11:47:31 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

James Baker SpyGate testimony released

Categories Spygate

Sat Apr 27 08:58:38 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Investigation into SpyGate heating up under AG Barr

The HillThough it didn’t happen on his watch, Barr told Congress he will investigate how the FBI came to conduct a counterintelligence investigation against Donald Trump, then the Republican nominee for president, starting in the summer of 2016.

But Barr made clear Tuesday that his review is distinct and more far-ranging than IG Horowitz’s investigation. It goes back to the moment when a probe code-named Crossfire Hurricane was opened on July 31, 2016, by Trump-hating FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok.

“The Office of the Inspector General has a pending investigation of the FISA process in the Russia investigation. I expect that will be complete in probably May or June, I am told,” Barr explained, giving the first concrete timetable for the IG probe to wrap up. “So hopefully we'll have some answers from Inspector General Horowitz on the issue of the FISA warrants.”

Then Barr volunteered his bigger news: “More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016.”

Indictments, prosecutions, convictions, prison terms.

Categories Spygate

Sat Apr 27 07:58:38 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

SpyGate goes all the way back to 2012

Biz Pac Review“It has been evident from day one that there was a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton illegally, and then if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump. This dossier was a knowing part of that. It was created by Hillary Clinton. It was created knowingly by John Brennan as part of a scheme to do everything they could to harm Donald Trump,” diGenova said Wednesday.

“The problem for Brennan and Clapper and Comey and Baker and all of them now is that the FISA court has already communicated with the Justice Department about its findings, and their findings are that for more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI contractors, four of them, to steal personal information, electronic information about Americans, and to use it against the Republican Party.”

Gosh. A political spying operation going on for more than four years before Donald Trump was elected, targeting Republicans? That would cover... Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012 against Mitt Romney.

Da-da-DUM.

Shoes are beginning to drop, folks.

Categories Spygate

Sat Apr 27 06:58:38 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Obama Administration's SpyGate involvement


Epoch TimesThe Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question: Was the 2016 election a one-time aberration, or was it symptomatic of decades of institutional political corruption?

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that’s become known as Spygate.

Read the whole thing. It's long, but worth it.

Categories Spygate

Fri Apr 19 07:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The arrest of Assange and SpyGate

So, Assange finally wore out his welcome in the Ecuadore embassy in London. This was probably inevitable, but the timing is interesting. Right after Mueller releases his report to Barr, Assange gets kicked out and immediately arrested? Timing does not seem coincidental, especially since the key Russian Collusion allegations are that Assange published the DNC emails which were allegedly obtained by Russian hackers. The alternative explanation -- as Assange tells it -- is that they were leaked to him by an insider within the DNC. Speculation is that the leaker was Seth Rich, who was subsequently murdered in what may -- or may not -- be a robbery gone wrong.

So we will have to wait and see what Assange is charged with. If he's charged with the DNC "hack" -- or more likely conspiracy with the DNC "hack" since he probably did not conduct it himself -- it means someone is trying to keep him locked up and under threat so he can't contradict the official story on those events... or else he actually did it.

If he's NOT charged with the DNC hack (and/or conspiracy), Russian Collusion is toast. No Russian hackers, no possible collusion, and Hillary's opposition research fairy tale goes up in smoke.

If he is charged with other hacking, especially Russian-linked espionage type hacking (eg his involvement with Bradley Manning) but not the DNC hacking, it may be a smokescreen to imply he was involved in the DNC hacking. There's another DNC-related hacked -- someone with an account there had their account phished via email -- and that would confuse the situation still further.

But the key thing to keep an eye on is whether Assange is charged with hacking the DNC in a criminal conspiracy to influence the 2016 election. If not, then not only is Russian Collusion dead, but so is Russian Hacking. It's all a hoax at that point.

At least so far, Assange has not been charged with hacking or criminal conspiracy with regard to the 2016 election. He's instead being charged with what appears to be a single count of helping Bradley (now calling itself Chelsea) Manning get someone else's password. That was a high profile case, but it has nothing to do with the DNC emails, the Russians, or Trump. And Assange's involvement in it appears trivial.

So unless more indictments appear later on, the idea that the Russians hacked the DNC emails and gave them to Assange can no longer be taken seriously. It, too, was part of the Russia Hoax. A DNC insider leaked them to Assange, probably someone annoyed that Bernie was being cheated out of the nomination.

Categories Spygate

Wed Apr 17 07:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How Obama Officials spied on Trump

Epoch TimesEven in the public domain, there has been an extensive body of information—such as court documents, media reports, text messages, emails, and congressional testimonies—that provide documentary evidence that the Trump campaign was spied on.

At this point in time, at least six different methods that the Obama administration used to spy on the Trump campaign have been made public:

If you were trying to ignore SpyGate until the Mueller report made it impossible, this is a quick way to catch up.

Categories Spygate

Wed Apr 17 06:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Page-McCabe texts show White House briefing

TownhallOn Oct. 14, 2016, Page again wrote to McCabe, this time concerning a meeting with the White House. “Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen’s view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case.” ("Cohen" is likely then-Deputy CIA Director David Cohen.)

McCabe responded within the hour: "Thanks. I will reach out to David." On Oct. 19, Page wrote to McCabe that the "meeting with WH counsel is finally set up."

That's not the only set of texts that refers to the White House wanting know everything they are doing.

Thu Apr 04 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A detailed accounting of media failures in the SpyGate case

It's a pity no one in the media will bother to read them. Their narrative bubble is apparently impenetrable.

Wed Apr 03 08:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dossier based on posts from "random individuals" on CNN website

American ThinkerThe dossier that launched several investigations into Donald Trump and his presidential campaign was based, in part, on posts from "random individuals" from a CNN website that allows the public to publish unverified information.

Christopher Steele made the admission in a deposition given in connection with a lawsuit against the dossier. The judge released portions of the deposition this week.

CNN is so tightly connected to the Clintons that it has been referred to as "Clinton News Network". Many commentators there are Clinton officials or campaign staff. If Steele was drawing "evidence" from random individuals posting to CNN's websites, what are the odds those "random individuals" would be connected to the Clinton campaign and/or researchers like Nellie Ohr or other people with access to intel databases who needed to covertly and deniably communicate their findings?

Of course, such "sources" don't exactly meet criteria for admissibility in court, either.

Tue Apr 02 08:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok: Mueller never asked about texts

PJMediaAfter the anti-Trump texts came to light, Mueller booted Strzok from the special counsel probe, but according to the FBI agent's testimony, Mueller's team never asked him whether the anti-Trump bias revealed in his text messages impacted his investigation of alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

In the June 2018 hearing, Strzok repeated over and over that Mueller's team never asked him about the anti-Trump bias in the texts or whether that bias impacted his work. This news seems particularly damning since it suggests the special counsel's team did not care whether Strzok's work was colored by anti-Trump bias.

Of course they didn't care. They were all equally biased, and they knew what they were there to do: keep the heat on Trump and sweep SpyGate under the rug.

Categories Spygate

Sat Mar 30 07:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fake News Russian Collusion out, real Ukrainian collusion in

The HillAfter nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
[...]
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian's release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton's campaign.

The parliamentarian also secured a court ruling that the leak amounted to “an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko told me. Lutsenko said the tape recording is a serious enough allegation to warrant opening a probe, and one of his concerns is that the Ukrainian law enforcement agency involved had frequent contact with the Obama administration’s U.S. Embassy in Kiev at the time.

To be fair, the Ukrainian collusion part is still alleged. But there's tape, a court ruling, an active criminal investigation, and contacts with the Obama administration via the US embassy in the Ukraine.

Sun Mar 24 20:06:10 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton cronies starting to see legal trouble from Mueller investigation

PJMediaFormer Obama White House counsel and Clinton impeachment attorney Greg Craig may soon be indicted by the Justice Department for engaging in illegal unregistered overseas lobbying, Fox News reported Tuesday. Craig appears to have been caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's long-running investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

If charged, Craig would be the first Democrat to face prosecution in Mueller's Russia probe, according to Fox.Mueller referred the Craig case to New York federal prosecutors, as it fell outside his mandate. New York prosecutors subsequently forwarded the case to the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., where a final decision on charges is reportedly imminent.

According to Fox, New York prosecutors are also mulling charges against another Clinton crony, Tony Podesta.

Interesting. I wonder why these were just sitting there until very recently?

Sun Mar 24 20:05:56 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Russian Collusion Propaganda machine

Real Clear InvestigationsKey Democratic operatives and private investigators who tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign by claiming he was a tool of the Kremlin have rebooted their operation since his election with a multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to persuade major media outlets and lawmakers that the president should be impeached.

The effort has successfully placed a series of questionable stories alleging secret back channels and meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies, while influencing related investigations and reports from Congress.

The operation’s nerve center is a Washington-based nonprofit called The Democracy Integrity Project, or TDIP. Among other activities, it pumps out daily “research” briefings to prominent Washington journalists, as well as congressional staffers, to keep the Russia “collusion” narrative alive.

Combine this story with Devin Nunes announcing he is suing twitter about shadowbanning and coordinated harassment campaigns, and you start to see what looks like a planned counteroffensive.

Sun Mar 24 20:05:30 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller report: No collusion

Barr reports to Congress (and the public) on the confidential Mueller Report. Bottom line, there was no collusion.

In his investigation, Mueller employed 60 people for 2 years, 3000 subpoenas (!!!!), 500 search warrants, 230 requests for communication records, 50 orders authorizing "pen registers" (wiretaps that only report who you talked to but not the content), 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed 500 people. It's not clear how many of those were focused on the process crimes and unrelated criminal matters Mueller was trying to use as leverage, but it's clear he left no stone unturned and found nothing regarding the central matter of his investigation.

The President and his 2016 campaign are completely vindicated.

The individuals whose prior criminal acts made them vulnerable are not, except to the extent their association with the President brought them under unprecedented and excessive scrutiny.

Mueller chose to examine the facts concerning allegations of obstruction of justice while leaving it to the Attorney General to decide whether those facts amounted to obstruction. The Attorney General determined they did not.

The letter suggests more information will be released when possible (ie, when the material that cannot be released, such as grand jury information, is identified and removed).

It's likely Congress will attempt to seize on the obstruction issue as grounds for impeachment, but this is very plainly a step too far that can only be taken due to political desperation at this point.

And now the tables turn. Prosecute those who abused the national security and law enforcement agencies of our government while seeking to dictate the results of an election. Drain the swamp. Lock Hillary up, and her little cronies too.

UPDATE: Wait a sec. Mueller asked for help from 13 foreign governments? That seems like a dangerous intrusion on the President's power to conduct foreign policy, especially in an investigation effectively (if not formally) targeting the President.

Sun Mar 24 18:29:32 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lisa Page's transcripts

Life is way too busy for me at the moment to be reading and trying to explain Lisa Page's transcripts, but that's ok, because someone else is.

Categories Spygate

Sun Mar 24 08:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Page: Russia investigation was insurance policy

Daily WireOne of the biggest revelations was that Page, who was having an affair with then-FBI agent Peter Strzok, said that the infamous "insurance policy" text message was referring to the Russia investigation.

"During her interview with the Judiciary Committee in July 2018, Page was questioned at length about that text — and essentially confirmed this referred to the Russia investigation while explaining that officials were proceeding with caution, concerned about the implications of the case while not wanting to go at 'total breakneck speed' and risk burning sources as they presumed Trump wouldn't be elected anyway," Fox News reported. "Further, she confirmed investigators only had a 'paucity' of evidence at the start."

Basically, in her testimony, Lisa Page admitted that both investigations were heavily political, that the Clinton investigation was swept under the rug (she says by DOJ's rules), and that the Trump-Russia investigation was started with no evidence and never managed to actually find any.

Tue Mar 19 06:47:32 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch sues for Rosenstein communications

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8 and May 17, 2017.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ failed to respond to a September 21, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00481)). Judicial Watch seeks:

Any and all e-mails, text messages, or other records of communication addressed to or received by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8, 2017, and May 22, 2017.

Again, the fact that a "friendly" DOJ has to be sued to get answers means they are simply trying to cover up as much as possible. And it calls into question how "friendly" DOJ really is. Hopefully, Barr will change things.

Sat Mar 16 08:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrat Adam Schiff met with Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson

LidBlogThe Hill’s John Solomon is reporting Congressional leaker-in-chief Adam Schiff (D-CA) had an undisclosed meeting with the Glen Simpson, the founder of FusionGPS which is the company that produced the infamous and unverified Steele dossier, the primary evidence for the FBI’s FISA court surveillance warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Schiff was the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and he is suspected of being the primary source of leaks about the committee’s non-public hearings. With the Democrats’ takeover of the House, Schiff is now the chairman of that committee.

The meeting occurred this past July at a Security conference held in Aspen Colorado. Solomon found pictures of the two together at the event. He didn’t publish the photos but he confronted the offices of the two using the images as proof of the meeting.

He also coordinated with Michael Cohen prior to his testimony. Plotters plotting to bring down the President.

Categories Spygate

Tue Mar 05 07:47:20 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Steele Deposition to be released

Daily CallerA federal judge in Florida on Thursday ordered the release of depositions given by former British spy Christopher Steele and a longtime associate of late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain in a lawsuit filed against BuzzFeed regarding Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.

U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro overruled requests by Steele and David Kramer, the former McCain associate, to keep depositions they gave in the BuzzFeed lawsuit under seal. Ungaro dismissed a lawsuit filed against BuzzFeed on Dec. 19, 2018, by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman accused in the dossier of using his companies to hack into DNC computers.

It will be interesting to see what new information is contained within.

Categories Spygate

Mon Mar 04 06:47:21 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Is this real?

Daily PunditLATEST: Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tells Cuck Todd that lawmakers have found “enormous evidence” of possible collusion between President Trump’s orbit and Russians during that election on #MTP. #IfiItsSunday https://t.co/kcRI51TrWr pic.twitter.com/ZNg3ulD1wt

Bill Quick asks if this is real. Pretty sure that's a negative. Telltales are all in the keywords: "Trump's orbit", rather than Trump, and "possible" collusion rather than simply collusion.

If they had anything on Trump directly, they would say that. They did not.

If they had evidence of actual collusion, they would say that. They did not.

In both cases, they used language to imply as much as possible while weaseling out of making the actual accusation. So what do they have?

Cohen, a convicted liar, told Congress that he overheard a phone call between Roger Stone and Trump telling Trump that Wikileaks was about to release something on Clinton. Problems: Wikileaks denies ever talking to Stone, Stone denies ever talking to Wikileaks, and Wikileaks had already publicly teased their release before the phone call allegedly happened. Maybe Cohen is telling the truth and Stone was implying he was in contact with Wikileaks when he was not. Maybe Stone is telling the truth and Cohen is making things up that are impossible to disprove based on publicly admitted allegations. Trump's response: "Wouldn't that be great?" is not the response of a man with insider knowledge engaged in illicit collusion. If he was engaged in such, he would know it was coming.

Cohen, a convicted liar, also told Congress he heard Trump Jr tell Trump Sr that "the meeting is all set up". Cohen assumes and alleges this referred to the Trump Tower meeting. There is, I think, no reason to believe this; how many meetings must both Trumps participate in on a daily basis? Even if the assumption is correct, everyone at the meeting says it went nowhere. The evidence suggests the meeting was set up by Fusion GPS deliberately to give the impression of Russian collusion.

If they had anything else, it would have leaked already.

Categories Spygate

Sun Mar 03 19:18:17 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that phone call between Trump and Stone about Wikileaks..

Wikileaks had already publicly announced. And both parties to the call Cohen alleges deny it ever happened. And Cohen has credibility problems so big even CNN can see them, and has been referred to DOJ for perjury prosecution for the lies he told, and has been disbarred for his prior perjury conviction (and other ethical challenges like taping his clients).

Categories Spygate

Sun Mar 03 08:47:20 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should Mueller and Horowitz release their reports simultaneously?

Roger Simon argues yes, in the interests of transparency and fairness. There's one problem with that; Horowitz has apparently not been interviewing witnesses, meaning his report can't possibly be ready at the same time. I believe, based on various reports, that Mueller is probably using his "Don't interfere with my investigation" card to stop IG Horowitz and his colleague prosecutor Huber from actually investigating anything until Mueller is done.

That makes a simultaneous report a non-starter; does anyone believe the Mueller report won't leak long before Horowitz and Huber are done when they haven't even started yet? Hell, I'd bet on the Mueller report leaking within the day.

Categories Spygate

Thu Feb 28 07:47:20 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McCabe confirms: NatSec strategized removing the President

We're talking about a literal coup to overturn the results of an election they did not like. McCabe also claims Rosenstein's offer to wear a wire was serious, made more than once, and McCabe took it to FBI lawyers to discuss. Why is Rosenstein still in office? Never mind, I already know: because Mueller is threatening the President if Rosenstein is fired.

Thu Feb 14 08:55:02 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stone's attorneys file motion alleging Mueller's office leaked indictment to CNN

I reported on the allegation earlier, but now a motion has been filed with those same facts before the judge in Stone's case. The chances that Mueller will have to face the music for his leaking have likely gone up. Judicial Watch has also filed a complaint with the Justice Department IG.

Categories Spygate

Thu Feb 14 06:47:20 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This is what obstruction of justice looks like

Judicial Watch uncovered more emails and testimony from DOJ and FBI officials concerning the Clinton emails found on Weiner's laptop. Specifically, that Clinton lawyer David Kendall immediately (within hours) contacted FBI General Counsel James Baker when news of the letter to Congress notifying them of the email search broke.

The email contained "requests" and Baker conveyed a meeting within 24 hours to discuss it. The people Baker notified were: Comey, associate Deputy Director Bowdich, assistant director for national security Steinbach, assistant director for counterintelligence Priestap, Comey's chief of staff Rybicki, analyst Moffa, assistant director (acting) Herring, assistant director for public affairs Kortan, deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson, and of course the two lovebirds Strzok and Page. If I remember correctly, this was the week before the election.

There was in fact a conference call scheduled among those people as a result, and of course, Comey issued another letter two days before the election "clearing" Clinton. There are multiple lies documented, including Strzok lying that no new classified emails were found on the laptop. A lie by omission, as well, as they had only examined approximately 3,000 of the 340,000 emails on the laptop.

The emails obtained also document an offer of a quid pro quo: more funding for FBI positions in return for downgrading the reason for redacting released material to "from classified to something else."

We don't know what happened in that conference call, but we know the results: Comey's second letter falsely claiming to exonerate Clinton two days before the election, the examination of the laptop was halted pretty much immediately (long before the contents could be properly examined), and, of course, the return of Strzok, Page, and the rest of the conspirators to looking desperately for dirt on Trump as an insurance policy.

More analysis here.

Tue Feb 12 07:47:19 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ukrainian Collusion

Daily CallerA member of the Ukrainian parliament accused in his home country of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was identified in congressional testimony in October as a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Hmm. "They were mentioning" is a rather weak and passive way to answer.

Categories Spygate

Mon Feb 11 08:47:19 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mystery calls before Trump Tower meeting were not to Trump

Sat Feb 09 06:57:36 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Priestap's testimony leaks, contradicts Comey

The Epoch Times has the leak, and Meaning In History points out the contradiction. Comey claimed Priestap advised him not to brief Congress.

A reminder: Priestap was head of FBI's counterintelligence during the time this was going on, and he's generally considered to be a cooperating witness with the investigation into SpyGate. But for some reason, he can't talk about some of the trips he took to London during the same timeframe; supposedly they are connected to the Mueller investigation but he claims he didn't meet the known London players. So who did he meet and why was he there? And why can't he tell Congress?

Categories Spygate

Fri Feb 08 07:57:36 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FISC called on Mueller to explain surveillance abuses

The HillRobert Mueller, the former FBI director and current special prosecutor in the Russia case, once was hauled before the nation’s secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances in which the FBI cheated on sensitive surveillance warrants, according to evidence gathered by congressional investigators.

For most of the past 16 years, Mueller’s closed-door encounter escaped public notice because of the secrecy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

But thanks to recent testimony from a former FBI lawyer, we now have a rare window into documented abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and how the courts handled the matter.

In other words... Mueller has a pattern of covering up for FISA abuses, specifically involving omission of relevant information, and he's successfully covered up those abuses for the past 16 years. That likely puts the abuses in 2003 or 2002. And it highlights his involvement now in covering up similar FBI abuses that violated the Woods procedure he promised then would prevent future abuses like those he covered up.

Why, then, aren't the current FISC judges willing to enforce the laws in the way that the earlier ones were? Why aren't FBI and DOJ supervisors?

Categories Spygate

Fri Feb 08 06:57:36 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Nellie Ohr admits investigating travels of Trump family

Daily Caller Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, told Congress in October that she investigated President Donald Trump’s children on behalf of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the Steele dossier.
Nellie Ohr, who worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS, looking into Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump’s business dealings and their travel.

This is confirmation of a theory long pushed by the Conservative Treehouse: Nellie Ohr, working for Fusion GPS, almost certainly used her access to the NSA databases to investigate Trump and his children. (Where else could she research their travel? She was a contractor and had access.)

This is also significantly -- hugely significant -- because it confirms that the investigation targeted the Trump family all along. She frames her research as being superficial and into the children's travel and Trump's real estate dealings, which are topics suitable for opposition research, but not for a federal contractor using intelligence databases.

It also confirms the timing of the investigation (as contractor access to the NSA databases was cut off before the election, on April 18th, probably by Mike Rogers, which forced the FBI to seek a warrant from the FISC).

It is shocking to me that this admission -- which took place in October, and has only recently been leaked to the press -- did not result in Ohr immediately being arrested for her crimes.

The only thing missing here, as I see it, is that Nellie is not quoted as using her access to NSA and other law enforcement/intelligence databases to do the research. In theory, as these are public figures, she could have used Google. But anyone could do that. You wouldn't need someone like Nellie, with her access, to do Google searches on the public net for press releases and news articles about semi-famous people traveling around.

Wed Jan 30 16:14:13 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller charges Roger Stone with process crimes

Power LineThis morning brings news that Roger Stone has been charged in a seven-count indictment handed up by the grand jury in the Mueller probe: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. Stone was arrested by the FBI in Fort Lauderdale this morning. The New York Times has just posted Mark Mazzetti’s story here (accessible here via Outline). I have posted the indictment below via Scribd. It’s all about WikiLeaks and a path senior officials in the Trump presidential campaign.

In all those alleged crimes, not a single one would exist without the Mueller probe. We already know Mueller is willing to basically make up false statements charges from whole cloth (based on interviews where the FBI interviewer didn't think there was any intention to deceive; see the Mike Flynn case). In this case we've seen the basic allegations before. Some of Stone's emails vaguely reference what WikiLeaks will release next, basically guessing what it might be, and Mueller is claiming that was actual foreknowledge that Stone is lying about when he says it was just a guess.

So the factual question is whether Stone was actually communicating with "Guccifer 2.0" or Wikileaks, or whether he was just bragging to puff himself up and give the impression he had inside information. Notably, Mueller has not charged him with hacking or conspiracy to hack, or anything related to hacking, and Wikileaks has denied communicating with Stone. Just to lying and "obstructing" (which probably translates to not cooperating and encouraging other people not to cooperate).

The media (CNN) was informed so they could be present at the arrest, which was a full tactical armed raid. That shows a certain amount of inappropriate public relations thinking on the part of whoever leaked the information. Did this guy really need a pre-dawn raid by a team of tactical FBI agents in armor, aired on CNN? No. The whole thing was staged for media impact.

Given the steady drip drip drip of incredibly damaging quotes from congressional testimony on this topic, and the failed attempt to refocus attention on Trump via the false Buzzfeed story alleging Cohen was ordered to lie, indicting Stone and arresting him in this very visible way feels like an attempt to redirect the narrative.

Another interesting question: Where did they find the money?

UPDATE: Borepatch has a good take on it.

UPDATE: Conservative Treehouse points out that someone above Mueller would probably be required to approve the raid. Who was that? They think it was Rosenstein, but Whitaker is Acting Attorney General and supposed to be the one supervising Mueller at this point. Finding out who approved a pre-dawn raid on Stone instead of just calling his lawyer, and the process that request took within the DOj and FBI, would tell us a lot about who is on who's side here.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jan 25 11:24:30 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Yates, McCabe read FISA application "line-by-line"

Meaning in History“The sensitivity level of this particular FISA resulted in lots of very high level attention both within the FBI and DOJ. The general counsel (Baker) … personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA, for example. The deputy director (McCabe) was involved in reviewing the FISA line-by-line. The Deputy Attorney General (Yates) over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line-by-line.”

“I would not say that this was a circumstance where there was any deference given to Jim Baker. In other words, when Andy McCabe looked at it, certainly when Sally Yates looked at it, I don’t believe they were simply relying on the judgment of Jim Baker having reviewed the application,” Anderson said. “My understanding and my impression at the time was that they very much gave it their own de novo independent review and that, you know, it was very carefully reviewed by those individuals.”

On the one hand, this shows them paying careful attention to what they signed -- a much better professional look than Rod Rosenstein's (paraphrased) "I don't really need to read the things I sign". On the other hand, it puts McCabe and Yates in the uncomfortable position of having still signed at least one FISA application based on Hillary's dossier, despite their careful review, and not including information about Steele's personal and financial partisan motives, despite being warned about them by Ohr.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jan 25 07:47:32 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller looking into Trump-NRA connections now

CNNSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's team has expressed interest in the Trump campaign's relationship with the National Rifle Association during the 2016 campaign.
"When I was interviewed by the special counsel's office, I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA," Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, told CNN.
The special counsel's team was curious to learn more about how Donald Trump and his operatives first formed a relationship with the NRA and how Trump wound up speaking at the group's annual meeting in 2015, just months before announcing his presidential bid, Nunberg said.
Nunberg's interview with Mueller's team in February 2018 offers the first indication that the special counsel has been probing the Trump campaign's ties to the powerful gun-rights group. As recently as about a month ago, Mueller's investigators were still raising questions about the relationship between the campaign and the gun group, CNN has learned.

The relationship is pretty simple. Trump ran as a Republican. De facto, the NRA supports Republicans nationally. (This is because the Democrats demonstrated they could not be trusted, as a whole, but individuals are evaluated as individuals when running for office). The NRA spent a lot of money on this election in particular because there was an open Supreme Court seat at stake, and it was previously held by a very pro-gun Justice. Of course the stakes were high.

But the implication here is insane.

CNNThe NRA had already come under scrutiny from lawmakers for its massive spending in support of Trump in 2016 and its ties to Russian nationals.
Maria Butina, a Russian national, pleaded guilty in DC federal court in December to engaging in a conspiracy against the US. As part of her plea, she acknowledged that she attempted to infiltrate GOP political circles and influence US relations with Russia, in part by building ties with prominent members of the NRA.

She also admitted she was working at the direction of a prominent former Russian central banker, Alexander Torshin, who was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department last year for his role in the Russian government. Torshin is also a lifetime member of the NRA.
Law enforcement has not accused the NRA of any wrongdoing.

Emphasis mine. This is just an attempt to smear Trump by association with the NRA by association with a single Russian possible agent.

CNNIn letters to Wyden, the NRA revealed it had received contributions from more than 20 Russian nationals in the US or people associated with Russian addresses since 2015. But the donations amounted to a little more than $2,500, according to the NRA's letter. The group also insisted it did not use foreign funds for election-related purposes.

So, an entirely trivial amount of money, no accusations of wrongdoing on the part of the NRA, no crime for Mueller to investigate, and yet he has a budget of millions to spend -- and will force his targets to spend even more defending themselves from baseless political charges.

Fri Jan 25 06:47:32 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Barr on Mueller

BreitbartGraham said Barr also told him about his longtime relationship with Mueller. Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr was Bush’s attorney general from 1991 to 1993 and Mueller oversaw the department’s criminal division. Graham said that the two men were “best friends,” that their wives attended Bible study together and that Mueller had attended the weddings of Barr’s children.

“So his opinion of Mr. Mueller is very, very high in terms of ethics and character and professionalism,” Graham said.

Graham listed a number of questions that he had put to Barr: “I asked Mr. Barr directly, ‘Do you think Mr. Mueller is on a witch hunt?’ He said no. ‘Do you think he would be fair to the president and the country as a whole?’ He said yes. ‘And do you see any reason for Mr. Mueller’s investigation to be stopped?’ He said no. ‘Do you see any reason for a termination based on cause?’ He said no. ‘Are you committed to making sure Mr. Mueller can finish his job?’ ‘Yes.’"

Given those answers -- especially Barr's long-standing personal and professional relationship with Mueller -- I cannot see how Barr can be expected to provide the restraint Mueller's special counsel role has so far been lacking.

I wonder if Trump knew that when he nominated Barr? Somehow, I doubt it.

Someone should tell him before Barr is confirmed, in case he wants to nominate someone without such conflicted personal relationship.

Categories Spygate

Tue Jan 15 06:47:20 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Huber not interviewing witnesses

Washington TimesTop Republicans on two House committees Monday demanded U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber provide an update on his investigation into allegations of bias at the FBI and Justice Department during the 2016 election.

The lawmakers say a refresher on the more than nine-month investigation is warranted because key witnesses said they had not spoken with Mr. Huber, according to a letter sent by Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Doug Collins of Georgia.

Huber is being blocked by Mueller's investigation. He can't see or do anything until Mueller is done. And Mueller will make sure that he doesn't end his investigation before he has make sure all evidence is thoroughly cleaned up.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jan 11 06:47:31 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Graham files legislation seeking to protect Mueller

Washington TimesRepublicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are renewing their attempt to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s job, sending a signal to President Donald Trump as he keeps up his criticism of Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The legislation, sponsored by incoming Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and three other members, is expected to be introduced this week. The same bill was approved by the panel in April but later blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said it was unnecessary and who allowed the legislation to expire at the end of the year.

Linsey Graham was a major McCain ally and well-known RINO until very recently -- specifically, he seemed to find his spine during the Kavanaugh hearings. Since then he seems to have lost it again. On Mueller specifically, remember that Graham is closely linked to McCain, and McCain was involved with retrieving a copy of the dossier, giving it to the FBI, and providing it to the media.

In other words, it is likely Graham's public statements are an attempt to get on Trump's good side in public while in official actions and legislation threatening Trump with Mueller to protect the Deep State and possibly his own involvement in SpyGate.

Categories Spygate

Thu Jan 10 06:47:31 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Spygate gets bigger

Remember the news about the Russian bot campaign that was supposed to discredit Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race? Turns out, the people who generated that campaign have links to the US military and intelligence community. There are also companies in the UK, also populated by ex-intel people, who are involved with similar efforts and -- yes -- have links to Christopher Steele, infamous dossier author.

Read the whole thing. Follow the links.

It seems to me the intelligence community has been picking winners and losers in the US elections for some time now, and Trump's surprise win has thrown a wrench in their election machine. We get this under control now -- in the next two years, before Trump's re-election campaign in 2020 -- or we lose the chance.

Categories Spygate

Mon Jan 07 06:47:31 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reason to believe the FBI 302s for the Flynn interview were altered?

We've heard before that the 302s from the Michael Flynn interview may have been altered. Power Line notices that the dates on the 302s were 7 months after the interview. That's strongly suggestive of alteration.

UPDATE: It turns out the 302s from seven months later were an interview of Strzok describing the interview of Flynn. The original 302s were filed under seal. (One marked draft, one not). The timeframe on the original 302s confirm that they were referred to by Strzok and Page in already released text messages discussing approval by McCabe. They are also redacted in significant portions, which makes it hard to evaluate Flynn's honesty closely without the matching transcript of the call.

Let's not forget that leaking the transcript of the call itself was a felony. No one seems to be looking into who leaked that.

Categories Spygate

Sun Jan 06 06:47:32 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Summarizing and Contrasting Spygate

National ReviewRobert Mueller’s legal team may write a damning report on Trump’s ethics, based mostly on flipping minor former business associates of Trump’s and transient campaign officials by threatening them with long prison sentences...

In the subsequent 18 months, Robert Mueller assembled a highly partisan team of lawyers and investigators that included a number of Clinton donors; lawyers who had represented either the Clinton Foundation, a Clinton aide, or an Obama official; and rank anti-Trump partisans such as Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Their task was to investigate the charges of Russian collusion as planted by those in government and Christopher Steele and his abettors.

Such skullduggery poses the question of whether Mueller’s investigation has been simply derailed by partisanship. Or has it effectively served as a deliberate distraction from the felonious behavior of dozens of Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — all determined to ensure, by any means necessary, that Trump would never be president?

If you can pin down a liberal over the holidays long enough to make them read one article about Spygate, this might be a good choice.

Fri Jan 04 07:47:18 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Red State thinks Trump will be impeached

The idea is that Cohen's payments to two bimbos were technically campaign contributions intended to influence the election rather than to shut them up to prevent generic reputational damage to Trump's marriage. Looked at objectively, that's somewhat flimsy, and charging a campaign finance violation like that as a felony is almost unprecedented. As potential felony charges, these could be treated as the basis of impeachment by the now-Democrat House. And of course there is huge demand for impeachment, stoked and stroked for two years now by the media and the Deep State on both sides of the political aisle.

But the Senate is extremely unlikely to convict and remove. Democrats would need 20 GOP votes in the Senate, and it seems unlikely they will get that. Any GOP member voting to remove a Republican president can expect enough of his base to stay home in the next election to doom him, even if they have to wait a few years. There would be dramatic losses among those up in the next election, even if they voted against, simply as a matter of getting to who you can get to. Within the Republican party it would mark the transition from a cold war of paperwork and politics for control of the party to an open party split.

So what's really going on?

(Read More...)

Wed Jan 02 08:47:18 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

All of their accusations are projection

Jennifer "Not really a conservative but I play one on TV" Rubin“I would predict here on MSNBC that when Trump leaves office he will resign the presidency 10 minutes before Mike Pence leaves office, allowing Pence to pardon him if there is not a Republican president to follow him,” Rubin said on “AM Joy” on Sunday.

You know who else tried a last-minute legal move to escape justice for their crimes while in office? Yes, that's right... Susan Rice wrote an email in the last 20 minutes of Obama's presidency to cover Obama's ass.

Categories Spygate

Mon Dec 31 07:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Is there an obstruction of justice investigation?

The FederalistAlthough the scope of the Mueller probe is unknown, during questioning Comey stated that he could not answer whether he believed Trump’s firing of him constituted evidence of obstruction of justice, “because I’m a witness, in a sense.” The FBI’s attorney seemingly confirmed that point when she interjected “to the extent that question goes — again, goes to Mueller’s investigation into obstruction, the witness will not be able to answer.”

When the FBI attorney again noted that Comey “also stated that he is also a witness in the investigation,” Gowdy caught the slip, and asked, “Which investigation? Is there an obstruction of justice investigation?” FBI counsel then realized her misstep and asked Gowdy to rephrase his question to Comey and then began calling Comey “a potential witness.”

Obviously there is. But Comey's answers appear to be the first public confirmation of it.

Categories Spygate

Mon Dec 31 06:47:19 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Comey lie to Congress?

The FederalistSolomon reported claims from sources that email exchanges from early- to mid-October 2016 showed the FBI was aware, prior to its first application to surveil former campaign advisor Carter Page, that Steele had contacts with the news media. The email exchanges also evidenced concerns by the intelligence community about the reliability of Steele’s dossier. If the sources are accurate, these facts provide strong evidence that the Obama administration’s DOJ and FBI intentionally withheld or misrepresented evidence to the FISA court.

Further, according to Solomon’s sources, the email chains included then-FBI Director “Comey, FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division.” Yet on Friday, in response to questioning by Jordan, Comey testified he didn’t know anything about those emails.

Maybe the sources were wrong. Or maybe Comey forgot. But if Comey was included on such an email chain, keeping him in the loop would be the exception because as Comey’s answers — or lack thereof — from Friday’s hearing make clear, the agents running Crossfire Hurricane intentionally cut Comey out of the information flow.

If, in fact, Comey was on those email chains, he's on the hook for lying -- or, the most favorable explanation for him, having a very selective memory.

Of course, for this to be prosecuted, the DOJ would have to either go after a past FBI Director, or appoint a special counsel to do it. The odds of that seem low at the moment.

Categories Spygate

Sun Dec 30 08:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A point of weakness in Comeys' testimony

He told Congress recently that when he was fired, the dossier had still not been verified, and the FBI was still trying to do so. But before that, he told Congress that when Trump asked him to investigate the origins of the dossier, he pushed back on that request. So which is right?

I don't think Comey necessarily lied to Congress here. I think he pushed back on Trump's request to investigate the origin of the dossier because he knew where it came from (and yes, he did probably lie to Congress about that). But his FBI was already trying to verify the dossier ... meaning, find out whether or not it was true.

I think the FBI's efforts to verify the dossier consisted of trying to get warrants on the four people named in the FISA warrant application. That is, instead of presenting the FISA court with verified information containing probable cause of a crime, they presented the FISA court with a line of bullshit and hoped their wiretap would be retroactively self-verifying.

That's not how it is supposed to work.

Sun Dec 30 07:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Will Trump be charged with campaign finance violations?

Andy McCarthy thinks so. I don't, but mostly because DOJ policy forbids indicting a sitting president. I think Mueller will write a report saying he would have indicted Trump if Trump was not the president. He will then pass it off to Congress and invite them to consider impeachment.

Will they? The Democrats just took the House. Of course they will at least consider it. They have the votes to do it if everyone votes straight party. They can even afford to lose quite a few weak seats if they want to try to protect them. On the other hand, trying to get Trump removed from the Senate is a political non-starter, needing 67 votes when they have only 47 or so. So, to the extent that they try to impeach, they will use it as a political weapon to damage his reelection chances.

Should they? Using very weak campaign finance charges combined with even weaker lying about sex and/or lying about Moscow hotel deals, all taking place before Trump became president, none of which at this point appears to involve Trump directly but merely his campaign, to try to remove a president is facially absurd. So far there's basically no proven personal nexus to Trump's actions; campaign finance violations are usually cured by fines not felonies; Trump has the "I trusted my lawyer to do it legally" defense; Cohen's cooperation and credibility have been destroyed by his admissions of lying and the violation of attorney-client privilege. You couldn't get a conviction in an ordinary court after the necessary cross-examination and tossing out of the tainted evidence.

Historically, lots of presidents have had various affairs, including payoffs, without facing impeachment. Clinton did face impeachment for lying about it, but not removed... and his impeachment was considered one of the biggest political mistakes in modern history. (I supported it, but mostly because of all the other crap he had done, ie, Waco, etc). Edwards, as a candidate in the primary, was charged with campaign finance violations for paying off his mistress in a similar but not identical scheme. He was not convicted, as I recall.

Mark Levin has convincingly argued that using personal money to make such payoffs is both legal and necessary as they are not "campaign expenses", which would negate any disclosure requirements. (Edwards used money from supporters to make the payoffs; the exact financial structure of Trump's payoffs is unknown).

As a layman, all I can tell you is that campaign finance laws are a legal morass that appears to be impossible to avoid violating. Politicians are regularly caught up in violations and pay fines. I can't recall any of them being removed from office over the matter.

Sat Dec 29 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI releases dossier briefing document

It's short -- two pages -- and practically all of them are redacted. Notably, though, the unredacted portions do not faithfully describe who paid for the dossier. The description is technically accurate, but does not mention the Clintons, the Democrats, or political opposition research. Instead, the funding is described as coming from "private clients" only.

Remember, the FBI and DOJ knew where this was coming from. There is no way to spin this briefing document, being presented to the President, as anything less than deliberately deceptive. It was a weasel move, by a weasel of a man who does weasel things.

This release takes on a certain new significance given that Comey recently testified to Congress that he only knew the funding came from "private clients", not specifically who those clients were. It could even be argued that the release was timed to tell Comey what the documents said, so he could claim not to know anything more than what was in the documents.

Fri Dec 21 12:54:48 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

State Dept disseminated Russiagate documents hours before Trump took office

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch today released two sets of heavily redacted State Department documents, 38 pages and 48 pages, showing classified information was researched and disseminated to multiple U.S. Senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).

The documents reveal the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.

We knew there was an effort to do this before, but we didn't know the details. Now we know more. It's noteworthy that Senator Corker, a Republican, is on the list of recipients. I seem to recall Corker was instrumental in getting the Iran deal through the Senate by pretending it wasn't a treaty (which would need a two-thirds vote). It's also noteworthy that this effort took place after Trump had won the election. In other words, rather than treating Trump as the incoming president due (at a minimum) respect, they conspired against him.

Categories Spygate

Fri Dec 21 06:47:19 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comey testifies, part 2

Transcript here. You may be interested in my take on the first day of testimony and Comey's media interview after talking to Congress.

Detailed comments below the fold. My overall impression is that we, again, lost out by having this held in a public forum. Comey can hide behind that to avoid answering important questions. He can also hide behind the Mueller investigation. I'd like to see this all public, but getting there requires investigators to be able to ask about classified things so the answers can then be declassified.

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Thu Dec 20 07:14:43 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sullivan throws a wrench into the Flynn sentencing, but for the wrong reasons

Because Judge Sullivan has previously seen some political schemes and machinations from the FBI (notably the Ted Stevens case), some people were hopeful that he would see through the FBI bullshit. Instead he seems to have latched on to the failure to register as a foreign agent charges (which Flynn got out of by way of the plea bargain with Mueller) and threatened Flynn into cooperating more. Disappointing.

Gotta wonder if the Deep State got to Sullivan.

UPDATE: For clarity, the failure to register charges involved Turkey, not Russia.

UPDATE: Conservative Treehouse has a more positive take on this.

Tue Dec 18 12:54:31 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why it's time to fire Rosenstein

The FederalistOn Thursday, Fox News reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein received prior notice of former Donald Trump private attorney Michael Cohen’s plea deal before Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker did.

Rosenstein seems like an affable guy who continuously demonstrates his wickedly dry humor with ironic speeches claiming fealty to the rule of law. But his mere presence in the Department of Justice is now demonstrably undermining its change in leadership. That the special counsel first checks in the deputy attorney general before the AG proves Rosenstein is still in charge.

Mueller cannot accept Whitaker as his boss and still complete the tasks he was given as special counsel. The real tasks, that is: keeping the attention on Trump and off of the Clintons' and Obama's malfeasance with our intelligence agencies and other crimes. So, of course he's going to report to Rosenstein first for as long as he can do so.

And that means Rosenstein has to go. Read the whole thing; there are 9 more reasons to fire Rosenstein immediately.

Tue Dec 18 08:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comey talks to the media following second testimony

Comey testified to Congress for the second time today. He talked to the media afterwards. We should get a transcript sometime soon.

He says he was asked about "which form people filled out". This is either a reference to the 302s about the Flynn interview, or the procedures necessary to initiate a sensitive political investigation (which he previously admitted to not knowing or following).

He admits that he "took a decision away from Sally Yates" to avoid the appearance of political bias, which is the same reasoning he used when announcing that he would not recommend prosecuting Clinton himself (because Lynch was compromised by the tarmac meeting and other, unspecified, information). He says he did this "to make it necessary for Trump to burn down the entire FBI to stop the investigation" and was shocked that Trump was willing to do just that. He seems to think he is acting in a completely non-partisan manner and all his actions, no matter how improper or obviously partisan, are above reproach. It's disgusting.

Asked if he takes any responsibility for the hit the reputation of the FBI has taken, he blames Trump for "lying". That's bullshit; Comey was at the head of the agency while it behaved in a nakedly partisan manner to influence the Presidential election in 2016. Blaming Trump for the actions in which Trump was a victim is absurd, and he wasn't in office for the Clinton investigation.

He blames others and says they should be ashamed for being silent. This is the man who said he couldn't remember or didn't know under oath over 200 times.

He's "proud" of the way the FBI interviewed Flynn, despite admitting previously he "took advantage" of the chaos in the incoming administration.

He won't comment on whether the memos he leaked were classified. Of course not. That would embarrass him.

Guess what, Comey? You are a weasel who does weasel things.

weasel

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Tue Dec 18 07:56:54 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that insurance policy...

Meaning In HistoryMr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

Read the whole thing. But at least part of this answer is explained by the Hillary campaign needing a reason to pay Perkins Coie for legal services rather than opposition research. Casting Steele's dossier as legal services is batshit fucking insane, but that appears to be what they are trying to do. Imagining that they could challenge Trump's election if they lost on the basis of phantom Russian collusion should be even more batshit fucking insane, but it seems to be working so far.

Categories Spygate

Tue Dec 18 07:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Original 302 of Flynn interview posted

Document here. Power Line analyzes it briefly, and finds that the denials that resulted in Flynn's guilty plea are actually pretty weak. Of the four things he supposedly lied about, two of them were more of a "I don't remember" than a lie, and the remaining two are still less than a firm denial. Given that Flynn was the incoming National Security Advisor and the conversations themselves were perfectly legitimate, I just don't see criminality here. Obviously a person will not remember his conversations with the perfect accuracy of a transcript. That's just how memory works.

If in fact Flynn did not accurately inform his superiors (Trump, Pence, etc) about the content of the conversation, that's a different question and possibly a firing offense regardless of intent. It's awkward, even potentially dangerous, to have your National Security Advisor talking to Russia and asking for things without passing that on. But that's a matter for Trump and Pence to consider, not something that criminal law really embraces. Especially not in a blatant perjury trap like this.

Actually, calling this a perjury trap seems inaccurate. A perjury trap is giving someone the opportunity to lie deliberately, knowing you can catch them in the lie. This was more like going to Flynn with the determination to manufacture a lie.

UPDATE: Did Flynn agree to plea deal to avoid being charged with failing to register as a foreign agent during his dealings with Turkey? Seems likely.

Categories Spygate

Mon Dec 17 23:43:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another motive to go after Flynn?

PJMediaI’ve been told, I believe reliably, that General Flynn had either ordered, or intended to order, a full accounting of decades of intelligence community malfeasance. This was likely to reveal vast sums of money that were never spent to carry out the missions for which they were appropriated. This would have intensified the IC’s desire to get rid of him.

We're already pretty sure that the dossier on Trump and the Carter Page FISA warrant came from a desperate attempt to get legal authority for spying that Mike Rogers, as NSA Director, had cut off (and initiated an audit of). If Mike Flynn had intended to order an even broader audit, and this became known, and if the abuses were as common and as significant as they seem to be, then this would represent a huge motive for the entire Obama administration to go after him. They could safely fire Flynn to block his audit while the Obama administration was in power, but when Trump hired him, the Obama administration would surely realize the audit was back on the table.

Categories Spygate

Mon Dec 17 06:47:19 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller refuses to turn over original interview notes for Flynn?

Note that Mueller is defying a court order on this. He was ordered to turn over the original 302 (FBI term for interview notes) and instead turned over a 302 of Peter Strzok being interviewed about the Flynn interview. We must see the original Flynn 302 likely written by Pientka.

Also -- the 302 on which they are basing the whole Flynn prosecution is an interview of Strzok after Lisa Page was fired and days before Strzok was fired. They were fired because the texts revealing their bias came out. Those texts came out at the same time. Therefore, Mueller know Strzok was compromised when he conducted this interview, and I can only assume Mueller kept Strzok on for a few more days solely or primarily to conduct this interview which he then used to charge Flynn. Why else keep him on for a few more days?

It seems the judge has noticed Flynn is being railroaded and hopefully is going to get the facts. I hope he does get them and throws out the charges. Better justice delayed than justice denied.

Categories Spygate

Fri Dec 14 22:27:54 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New emails reveal FBI knew FISA warrant on Page was fatally flawed

The HillJust before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

I used "flawed" in the headline to keep it short. We don't know exactly what the emails say, but read the article. It says the emails say the FBI knew pretty much everything we know now: the media contacts, the circular reporting used as evidence, Steele's bias and paid opposition research role, everything.

There is speculation this was leaked to allow Comey to prepare for his testimony (ie, to tip him off that Congress knew about the email chain).

Categories Spygate

Fri Dec 14 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Robert Mueller's Plan

Andy McCarthy reminds us that Mueller is planning to write a report not file charges. He intends to produce a narrative that implies collusion, even though his witnesses in a trial would have no credibility as convicted liars.

Categories Spygate

Fri Dec 14 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Grassley may want answers, but he won't get them

The FBI and DOJ bet the farm they could outlast two years of a Republican House by stonewalling and playing political games. They won that bet. But they made a similar bet with Trump about 2020, and that one is still in play.

Categories Spygate

Fri Dec 14 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller deleted text messages from Page, Strzok phones

Conservative TreehouseThe DOJ Office of Inspector General has filed a 35-page report (full pdf below) outlining the issues with recovery of text messages from devices belonging to FBI attorney Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Page and Strzok transferred to the special counsel team when Robert Mueller took over the counterintelligence investigation, ie. “muh Russia”. Within the report the IG notes that after the special counsels office was notified of the biased text messaging identified by Strzok and Page; and after Mueller removed them from the investigative team; the phones issued to Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok were reset removing any communication during their time on the special counsel team from discovery.

These were the phones used by Page and Strzok, now infamous for their thousands of biased text messages while they worked to exonerate Clinton and smear Trump, after the joined Mueller's team but before their texts were exposed. When those texts were exposed, they were forced to leave Mueller's team... and their phones were reset,destroying any text messages they had exchanged while working for Mueller.

The IG report proceeds to whitewash this clear destruction of evidence.

Categories Spygate

Thu Dec 13 18:13:15 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comey Interview (Part 1)

Transcript here. My comments below the fold.

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Sat Dec 08 21:22:08 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: Comey likely knew about the Trump tower meeting in June 2016

Why is this important? The meeting happened June 9th, and the investigation didn't open until the end of July, and Comey says he can't answer because the question touches on Mueller's investigation. But if he didn't know about the meeting he could answer that. If he knew, and can't answer, it's because it was related to the Mueller investigation -- which didn't exist at the time.

So Comey knew about the meeting before the investigation opened in July.

How? Did he get the information from Steele, or Perkins-Coie through Baker, or surveillance on Trump?

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Sat Dec 08 21:18:04 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: Comey stumbles on Baker's contact with Perkins-Coie

Baker, FBI general counsel at the time, has testified that he received information from Perkins-Coie and passed it on to others. He said this was unusual ("unique", even). Comey is claiming to have absolutely no knowledge of this. Would Baker have done that and never mentioned it to Comey? Seems unlikely. My gut tells me Comey is lying here, and that he knew it was going on. Comey is claiming tips like that happened all the time, and he wants to see what Baker testified to before he answers. This is serious stumbling by Comey.

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Sat Dec 08 18:43:39 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: Comey can't hold the end of July timeline!

Comey can't dance fast enough. He first denies any information gathering about Trump at the FBI before the last week of July, then walks it back and admits "it's possible I knew at the time." It was absolutely going on, and he absolutely knew about it (and still does, but he has to claim a memory lapse to avoid talking about it).

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Sat Dec 08 18:29:55 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: Comey's lawyers agreed believing the testimony would be essentially public

I've discussed before that Comey and others are hiding behind classification rules and the fiction of a continuing investigation exception to protect themselves from answering dangerous questions. That's why Congress insisted that this testimony be taken behind closed doors. But Comey's lawyers seem to think that the agreement between Comey and Congress precludes such topics, effectively making the setting public and defeating the point of a closed hearing.

The full exchange is below the fold. The whole transcript is here.

(Read More...)

Categories Spygate

Sat Dec 08 18:04:24 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comey claims William Barr is a friend of his

Transcript of Comey's testimonyMr. Comey, Congressman Jimmy Gomez from California.
A few questions. There have been a lot of discussion about bias here. I wanted to bring up the potential nominee for the next Attorney General of the United States, Bill Barr. Bill Barr has stated that he sees more reason for the Department of Justice to investigate Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State than investigate conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Do you think this is a useful and reasonable allocation of DOJ or FBI resources?
Mr. Comey. I don't. So it's hard for me to react, Congressman, to a statement. I don't know what he meant by that or what the full context was. Unless there are facts that I didn't see when I was Director of the FBI, I don't see a basis for continued investigation on the email front. I don't know what he -- I can't imagine he saw something as a private citizen, so I don't know what to think of that. And I think very highly of him. I mean, I used to work for him. I probably know him better than I know Bob Mueller. I probably just damned him by saying he's a friend of mine, but I respect him. I just don't know what he meant by that.

Was this nomination an own-goal by Trump? It's starting to look like it.

Earlier in the transcript, Comey was unwilling to describe Mueller as a friend of his despite working with him for years. But Barr is a friend? He knows Barr better than Mueller?

Categories Spygate

Sat Dec 08 17:34:38 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Manafort's passports do not show trips to meet Assange

Washington TimesPaul Manafort’s passports don’t show he entered London in all the years claimed by Guardian newspaper when it said he met secretly with WikiLeaks Julian Assange.

The Guardian said he met with Mr. Assange in London in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

A review of Manafort’s two passports shows he entered Heathrow Airport since 2008 on two occasions, in 2012 and on another time where the customs stamp year is blurred. It appears to be either 2010 or 2016.

So, maybe one stamp in 2016, but it might also be 2010. I imagine the date of that last stamp can probably be proven with other data. Even if Manafort was in London, it doesn't prove he met with Assange, but the lack of stamps relevant to all of the claimed meetings throws serious doubt on the accusations.

Fri Dec 07 07:47:19 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Nunes calls for more declassified emails

Sara CarterHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo yesterday that he wishes to see a “fourth bucket” of emails declassified, saying it would reveal evidence that the Department of Justice and FBI withheld information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

Nunes said the first of three “buckets” were Russia-related documents which President Trump–after calling for their release–had to backtrack on after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein intervened and suggested the Inspector General review them first.

“The new fourth bucket that we’re asking to be declassified now is — for months we have been reviewing emails between FBI, and DOJ, and others that clearly show that they knew about information that should have been presented to the FISA court,” he said. “So it is real evidence that people within the FBI withheld evidence from the FISA court.”

The more information we can get into the public domain about this the better.

Sat Nov 24 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lame-duck Congress subpeonas Comey and Lynch over Hillary probe

The fact that they waited to issue these subpoenas until after they lost the election is an indication that they weren't taking them seriously in the first place.

Comey demanded there be a public hearing -- which would of course prevent him for talking about anything related to classified information, a shield he could and would hide everything behind.

The dates are November 29th and December 5th.

Fri Nov 23 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A new tidbit about Alexander Downer, Australian 007

The Australian diplomat who spoke to George Papadopoulus in a wine bar about Russians and may or may not have spoken about emails turns out to be a former Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Australian counterpart to the CIA reports directly to that position.

Gee, that doesn't sound like a setup at all, does it?

Fri Nov 23 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

SpyGate shifting

Mifsud's lawyer is claiming he was instructed to remain in hiding. Who instructed him? It seems the Senate wants to talk to Mifsud. That seems like good news at first. The Senate is still controlled by Republicans. But he Senate and its Intel Committee Republicans have been less than helpful in investigating SpyGate.

Still, it's probably better than nothing. Now that the House has changed hands, perhaps the Senate will step up.

Categories Spygate

Wed Nov 21 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller witness accuses prosecutor of conflict of interest

Daily CallerAn attorney who appeared as a witness before the Mueller grand jury is accusing the special counsel’s office of a conflict of interest because one of the prosecutors involved in the special counsel’s case has worked for Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

The prosecutor, Jeannie Rhee, has questioned witnesses about Roger Stone, the Trump confidant who is one of the targets of the investigation, numerous sources tell The Daily Caller News Foundation. Rhee questioned Tyler Nixon, an attorney for Stone, just before his grand jury appearance on Nov. 2.

Let's not kid around. All of the prosecutors on Mueller's team have conflicts of interest. Those conflicts are why they were chosen.

Categories Spygate

Thu Nov 15 07:01:24 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A confrontation is about to take place

The Democrats are clearly terrified that replacing AG Sessions with acting-AG Whitaker will have dire consequences for their control and the dual sword and shield role he has played in preventing Trump from draining the national security swamp. They are openly threatening Whitaker should be exercise oversight over Mueller and his witch hunt. Given Mueller's utter lack of results related to the President and his campaign, that terror strongly suggests that Rod was covering for them and they know it. Without Rod and with Mueller neutered, their goose is cooked.

Luckily, Rod himself has already established the precedent for how the DOJ can handle subpoenas from the House of Representatives. Silence and counter-investigations.

What infuriates me is that Republicans held the House for years and held endless hearings without ever seriously taking the issues to court or otherwise seriously challenging the swamp creatures in DOJ and FBI. They had the chance to blow this thing wide open and they wimped out.

But this situation may not play well for the Democrats in 2020. When Republicans held the House, the Senate, and the White House, they were uneasy allies... a mix of true believers and swamp creatures surrounding Trump, a slugger with nothing to punch because they all pretended to be friends. If the Democrats give Trump something to punch for the next two years, they may end up regretting it.

Note: I don't endorse those tactics in general, but the Democrats badly need several large doses of their own medicine.

Categories Spygate

Tue Nov 13 06:34:56 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Explaining a puzzler

Over at Conservative Treehouse, there's a good explanation for something that has been puzzling me: the bizarre plea bargain of James Wolfe, which transformed the crime of leaking classified information to the media into a much lesser charge of lying to the FBI. The transition from a full-bore prosecution of leakers to a much reduced plea bargain now makes sense. What happened?

First, Sessions ordered a leak investigation, and that took place. It turned up (presumably among others) James Wolfe, who (as a staffer for the Senate intelligence committee) leaked classified information to (again among others) Ali Watkins. Everything was going swimmingly; he was arrested, charges were in the process, and so on.

Second, James Wolfe said he would go to trial, and that he would call Senators to testify in his defense. Presumably, he would say they ordered him to release the information, so it was not unauthorized. This became publicly known, and functions essentially as a blackmail threat, only in public. Suddenly, Senators are interested in helping with his defense.

Third, details of the indictment against Wolfe are leaked. The details basically prove that Wolfe leaked the unredacted Carter Page FISA warrant to the media.

Fourth, suddenly Wolfe gets a sweet plea deal and no need to call Senators to testify at his trial, which won't happen.

The question is, what happened between steps Three and Four?

The answer appears to be: The revelation that the leaked material was involved in the Russian Collusion investigation shifted supervision of the leak inquiry from AG Sessions to Rod Rosenstein due to Sessions' recusal from Russia matters. Rosenstein promptly plea-bargained with Wolfe to protect the Senators who participated in SpyGate.

That plea bargain demonstrates conclusively which side Rosenstein is on, and it isn't the side of Truth, Justice, and the Trump way.

Rosenstein must be removed from supervision of anything related to SpyGate. Removing Sessions, and his recusal bubble, is the simplest way the President can do that. And preventing a Senate-confirmed non-conflicted AG from taking over Rosenstein's current supervisory role is why Whitaker is under withering attack and the vote counts in Florida and possibly Arizona are being manipulated to keep the Republicans in the Senate from having a strong enough majority to confirm someone willing and able to properly cut this Gordian knot.

Mon Nov 12 04:24:45 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller begins writing his final report

The HillSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's team has started writing its final report after a months-long investigation into possible ties between President Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, multiple sources told CNN on Thursday.

Funny how a supposedly non-political investigation had to wait until after the elections to begin writing their final report. I mean, I could understand waiting until after the elections to release it. But if you start writing immediately after the elections, it sort of suggests that you needed to know the outcome of those elections to determine what you would write.

Fri Nov 09 06:02:35 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rosenstein removed from supervising Mueller, may resign

Sources say. This was prompted by Jeff Sessions resigning.

The new acting AG will take over. This is normal. (Sessions was recused from Russian matters because he helped Trump with his campaign; the new acting AG has no such potential conflicts). I don't think anyone has a feel for the Acting AG on this issue yet -- except presumably Trump. So Rosenstein losing his supervision of Mueller is normal.

Rosenstein resigning on the other hand is not.

Did Trump finally accept the resignation Rosenstein had reportedly offered? Did the new acting AG ask for a resignation? Did Trump?

It looks like Trump is moving fast following the elections.

UPDATE: Acting AG Matthew Whitaker has criticized the Mueller probe. A good sign that we may finally get some adult supervision at DOJ.

Categories Spygate

Wed Nov 07 15:58:08 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump Jr expecting to be indicted?

Sara CarterOn the heels of the Vanity Fair article reporting that White House staffers were “worried” about Donald Trump Jr. and the Mueller probe, Politico reported Wednesday that the president’s son is expecting to be indicted.

According to the report, Donald Trump Jr. “has told friends in recent weeks that he believes he could be indicted…”

In a sane world, taking a meeting in which nothing of substance was offered and no money changed hands would be less serious than paying myriad unidentified Russian intelligence sources to lie about your political opponent and enable your own government to spy on said opponent.

Apparently we do not live in a sane world.

If the Dems won the House, Mueller was always going to come up with something to keep threatening Trump and avoid the full declassification that would expect the FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc to full sunlight.

I guess this is it. Mueller can effectively threaten Trump Jr with prosecution for that meeting and keep the threat live for another two years while Trump has to run for re-election.

On the other hand, Sessions just resigned, meaning Mueller will have a new boss shortly.

Categories Spygate

Wed Nov 07 14:12:33 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bongino interviews Papadopoulos

Setup and background show
Interview

What follows is my own summary of key information from the interview, but I urge you to listen to the whole interview at a minimum.

George was working (unknowingly) for an CIA-FBI front group. His employers set up the meeting with Mifsud (the supposed Russian agent) in a facility in Rome used to train western intelligence agents. The person who set up the meeting is the FBI's chief legal counsel in the UK. The people introducing Mifsud's companion as "Putin's niece" (she's not) were Director-level positions at the center, meaning they are all in the scheme.

George speculates (based on two news sources contacting him to ask about it) that there was a FISA warrant on him. That would be an explosive bombshell revelation, because we have only heard about the FISA warrant on Carter Page so far.

George describes traveling to Israel and being arrested and interrogated about social media campaign influence in the US. "Arrested" is perhaps an understatement; he said he was afraid for his life. (These were the people who gave him $10K intended to entrap him on returning to the US; George also suspects the bills were marked).

George describes a number of people offering him money and introducing him to women ("honeytraps"). One of them offered him $30K/mo and an office in New York... if he worked simultaneously for the Trump administration. That guy set up a lot of behavioral red flags and was recording the conversation. Papadopoulos refused the offer.

One of the honeytraps is named "Azra Turk" (a Turkish national). George suspects she is a CIA or western intelligence asset rather than FBI, which would also expand the scandal.

George describes a number of times when he was probably recorded, at least one in a meeting with Halper, and refuses to cooperate and asks to be left alone.

George describes his meeting with Australian ambassador Downer. It also included Downer's "girlfriend" an Australian intelligence officer. It was not a chance meeting, it was orchestrated. And George thinks that conversation was being recorded, and says emails did not come up during that conversation at all. George says that is false. George also says neither of the participants were drunk (one drink each) and that it was not a friendly meeting.

George says there was someone inside the Trump campaign acting as a confidential source and probably feeding information out to the FBI. Congress knows who they are. Hopefully the rest of the world will find out soon as the truth of this whole operation comes out.

Mon Nov 05 10:26:12 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rosenstein declines to testify to Congress

Conservative Treehouse quoting the Washington Post Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s interview with a joint House panel reviewing the Justice Department investigation of President Trump’s alleged Russia ties will not take place this week as expected, according to congressional aides involved with the planning.

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees were expected to speak with Rosenstein behind closed doors Thursday as part of their probe into federal law enforcement’s conduct during the investigations of Trump’s campaign and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. But a dispute over the interview’s terms prevented the committees and the Justice Department from reaching a deal to hold the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

So what's really going on?

Without the threat of immediate declassification hanging over his head, Rosenstein is feeling his Wheaties. If he went before Congress and testified honestly, it would be a disaster for him and fuel continued leaks to the press about what he said -- leaks that would be very personally damaging. And if he went before Congress and testified falsely, he would face criminal liability. Rosenstein feels like he's worked something out with Trump that will let him thumb his nose at Congress temporarily. Probably only temporarily, because his position still sucks. But long enough, perhaps, to get past the midterms.

Categories Spygate

Thu Oct 11 04:36:18 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should Rosenstein be removed from Mueller investigation?

Sara CarterRosenstein’s suspected misconduct and malfeasance, compounded by clearly disqualifying blatant conflicts of interest, demand that he step aside from overseeing the Mueller investigation. No one can have confidence in the credibility and integrity of any report on the Mueller probe with Rosenstein at the helm.

The latest evidence that Rosenstein is appallingly compromised comes from former FBI General Counsel James Baker. Baker reportedly told Congress last week that Rosenstein was “serious” when he proposed secretly recording the president to try to gain damaging information about him.

I think Rosenstein is clearly conflicted in the investigation, and has mistakes of his own to cover up. At the same time, Trump's threat to declassify material that would reveal Rosenstein's role gives Trump a certain amount of leverage on Rosenstein -- and thus on Mueller. To restrain Mueller, is it worth allowing Rosenstein to manage to exposure and cleanup of the FBI and DOJ corruption?

Maybe.

I don't trust Rosenstein and I don't want him in charge of anything. I don't think Rosenstein is a friend of the President. But I'm suspicious of leaks from McCabe (a known hostile) and testimony from James Baker (not known to be friendly) implying Rosenstein was a part of their operation and should be fired. Why would those two suddenly be talking up the coup unless they are trying to get Rosenstein fired? And why would they be trying to get Rosenstein fired unless they felt he was inimicable to their current interests?

My take is this:

1) The coup discussion was serious. We've had lots of press leaks about 25th amendment being invoked, and the meeting where this all started was right after James Comey got fired and right before Mueller was appointed. The obvious conclusion is that they decided at the meeting to get Mueller in place, meaning they rejected the other options.

2) The "wear a wire" comment was probably sarcastic. Wearing a wire to spy on the president would be suicidally stupid even for a trusted cabinet member. So Rosenstein was probably being sarcastic (not quite the same as joking...) about this but not about the rest.

3) The situation has changed a lot since then. Rosenstein, like Comey, is a weasel. Unlike Comey, Trump knows Rosenstein is a weasel and has a firm grip. Rosenstein has incentives to be a good little weasel until Trump is done with him, which should be as soon as Trump has put Mueller to bed and found a confirmable replacement for Rosenstein.

Categories Spygate

Thu Oct 11 03:36:18 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Nunes: "Absolute proof of FISA abuse"

Washington Examiner"Numerous officials at the DOJ and the FBI have told us under oath ... nobody at FBI or DOJ knew anything about that the Democratic Party being behind the Clinton dirt," Nunes said. "Now you have one of the top lawyers for the Democrats and the Clinton campaign who was feeding information directly to the top lawyer at the FBI."

"Before even the FISA warrant," he continued. "Now you have absolute proof that that wasn't told to the FISA court. So you want your the evidence of FISA abuse? There it is right there."

Baker was a key player in successfully obtaining multiple warrants for Page. According to a Daily Caller report, Baker, who served as the FBI's top lawyer until May, told Congress on Wednesday that Michael Sussmann, of Perkins Coie, passed on documents to him about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. Baker said he did not read all the information provided by Sussmann, but described the meeting as "atypical."

We need to get these documents declassified already!

Categories Spygate

Wed Oct 10 06:35:37 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Susan Rice wants to be a Senator

That might be awkward for her, as people still remember her lies about what happened in Benghazi, and there are outstanding questions regarding her role in SpyGate unmasking.

Tue Oct 09 02:08:52 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BOMBSHELL: FBI met with DNC lawyers on dossier

The HillCongressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.

Sounds like James Baker is singing like a bird.

The HillBaker was interviewed by lawmakers behind closed doors on Wednesday. Sources declined to divulge his testimony, other than to say it confirmed other evidence about the contact between the Perkins Coie law firm and the FBI... “The interview was one of the most productive we had and it opened up many new investigative leads,” one source said.

"Confirmed other evidence", which we haven't seen yet. That's going to be interesting when it comes out.

The Hill“There’s a strong suggestion that confidential human sources actually taped members within the Trump campaign,” Meadows told Hill.TV hosts Krystal Ball and Ned Ryun.

Those tapes should be interesting to hear, too. They will likely answer the question of whether the spies approaching various Trump campaign staff actually got anything worth opening an investigation. I suspect they did not, and the tapes will offer proof of that.

Categories Spygate

Thu Oct 04 07:49:31 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who was the second source on the Page FISA?

Meaning in HistoryThe most important aspect of Baker's testimony today, which Rep. Jim Jordan characterized as "pretty explosive", appears to have been the new information that Baker provided about the sourcing for the FISA application. To this point it has been assumed that the probable cause for the FISA application largely rested on the so-called Steele "dossier"--both Comey and McCabe have confirmed that. However, today Baker told Congress that there was another source as well.

Who, or what, is the second source and why is it explosive?

We know about foreign intelligence helping out already, but we don't have official confirmation. And "key allies" practically begged Trump not to declassify, so something related to foreign intelligence is probably hiding behind the redactions. But what are the specifics?

Thu Oct 04 02:11:44 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House to interview James Baker about FBI, DOJ election meddling

The HillFormer FBI general counsel Jim Baker is expected to meet with congressional investigators next week as part of a joint probe examining the decision-making of FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) officials during the 2016 election, The Hill has learned.

Baker's appearance on Capitol Hill is slated to take place next Wednesday, a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee confirmed.

The meeting comes after House Republicans threatened this month to subpoena Baker if he did not agree to voluntarily testify before the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government and Reform panel, which are conducting a joint investigation.

I don't think we know much about what Baker did in this whole mess yet. It will be interesting to find out.

Mon Oct 01 03:02:27 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Brennan confirms my analysis: declassify or resign

Washington ExaminerIf Mr. Trump and the White House does not relent, well then I think they have some decisions to make, whether or not they are going to just not follow that direction and be fired, or to resign," Brennan said, name-checking FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Not the first place I would have looked to for confirmation, but hey...

Undoubtedly Brennan hopes they will resign instead of releasing the documents. That would create a distraction from the content of the documents.

Ironically, at the end of the article:

Washington ExaminerBrennan was stripped of his security clearance by Trump in August for "erratic" behavior. Brennan, an MSNBC commentator, has used his public platform to criticize Trump as being "abnormal. He has served a bipartisan collection of presidents over the course of his career.

"Abnormal" is a coverup. He claimed Trump committed treason.

Categories Spygate

Thu Sep 20 12:14:56 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Red Lines on the Spygate declassification

Fox NewsSchiff claims that the current FBI Director, Robert Wray, and Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, have proclaimed that the president’s declassification order “crossed a red line.”

While Schiff is notorious for hyperbole, his assertion of a “red line” is rather stunning. Does it mean Rosenstein and Wray will defy the president’s direct order and continue to obstruct lawful subpoenas issued by congress? If so, they should be fired for rank insubordination.

The public order to declassify without redaction is Trump's red line. A publicly issued order makes it impossible to delay, to obstruct, to #resist, without being exposed and giving the President cause to fire you for defying the direct order.

Fox NewsIn the alternative, they may endeavor to delay or “slow roll” the release of documents hoping that the political winds may shift or that control of Congress itself will change hands in the upcoming election.

That has certainly been the plan up until now. But Trump's order contains the word "immediate". And if they try to redact what they release, it also contains the words "without redaction".

Why would the DOJ defy such a Presidential order?

Fox NewsRosenstein has every reason to suppress the records. They may incriminate him. He affixed his signature to the final renewal of the FISA warrant application to continue spying on Carter Page. He vouched for the authenticity and veracity of the information contained therein. But if it was largely based on a “dossier” that was unverified and uncorroborated, Rosenstein may have been complicit in misusing his position of power in pursuit of a president who was wrongfully targeted by the FBI and DOJ.

Either way, the future does not bode well for Rod Rosenstein. He appointed a special counsel without proper authority.

He then refused to recuse himself as a key witness in the very case he oversees.

All along the way, he has been obstructing Congress by withholding records they are entitled to have.

He surely knows what the declassified documents portend for himself.

Rosenstein is toast. He incriminates himself by the public release of these documents, or he resigns in protest and they get released anyway, or he gets fired and they get released anyway. When you play the Game of Coups, you win or you go to jail, and it looks like Rosenstein is going to jail.

Categories Spygate

Wed Sep 19 13:56:56 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It's not just Brennan

PJMediaNo doubt the FBI/DOJ will do their best to slow-walk the release just as they have before. The solution is simple. Trump should give them a deadline. If they still delay, he should fire them. If they use the oh-so-tired-and-ridiculous "sources and methods" excuse, he should fire them nine ways to Brooklyn and shoot them through a cannon. That's the biggest piece of self-serving bull around. Enough of this Stasi-NKVD behavior.

Roger Simon also agrees that the public order to declassify is a prelude to necessary firings.

PJMediaThe greatest fear is that the actual provenance of this attempted coup will be revealed. Just how high did it go? There's a reason Susan Rice wrote that odd ex-post facto email saying Obama told the other officials to do things "by the book."

I'm afraid we already know this answer. As Lisa Page wrote to Peter Strzok, "potus wants to know everything we are doing". For those who don't know, POTUS is an acronym for President of the United States.

Categories Spygate

Wed Sep 19 12:56:56 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

President Trump orders declassification of FISA warrant, texts

White HouseAt the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

This is interesting. Obviously for anyone following SpyGate it's likely to be a gold mine of new information and confirmation of existing suspicions if and when it happens. But the manner in which is may happen seems interesting.

We're not just getting, say, leaks from Congressional staffers describing what they have seen in private, or yet another partial release of slightly less redacted material. The statement says "no redactions".

And we got it as a statement from the White House, not as an actual document release from DOJ. And we know Trump has been publicly (via Twitter and otherwise) pushing for this for some time, and (via less public channels) getting resistance and pushback. So what that tells me is that Trump is, publicly, through White House channels, issuing an order to his subordinates to declassify and release the documents.

Either those subordinates will follow the orders, or they will refuse and resign, or they will be fired.

That's why the order is public. It's to justify the firing if the order is refused.

We'll see what happens. But any of those three options lead to fireworks.

Categories Spygate

Mon Sep 17 17:53:54 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

SpyGate update

Bob Woodward found no evidence of Russian collusion, despite finding lots of other things people supposedly told him that they now deny telling him. I get the feeling he sold the book on Watergate 2 and then had to make up a lot of thinly sourced quotes when he didn't find shit.

We have confirmation from new Strzok text messages that he wanted to open a case and file charges within 2 hours of Comey being fired "while Andy is acting" (as in, presumably, while Andrew McCabe was acting as FBI director). More evidence the whole thing was planned out to target the President with an internal coup.

Lisa Page's deposition indicates that more than 9 months into their investigation of the Trump campaign, they had found no evidence of collusion, despite their use of national-security wiretap authority and multiple human sources. She frames it as "we still couldn't answer the question." A better characterization seems to be that they didn't like the answer.

Nellie Ohr will testify to Congress this week. If certain allegations about contractor access to NSA databases are accurate, and she is honest, her testimony could be significant.

Nunes expects to release 70 depositions in the next few weeks.

Categories Spygate

Mon Sep 17 14:18:52 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch sues for Bruce Ohr 302s

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice for details of the 302 interviews the FBI conducted with Bruce Ohr, who was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General in December 2017. The interviews could be key to understanding how anti-Trump dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele’s information was transmitted to the FBI.

It's amazing that it takes pressure from Congress, pressure from the President, and pressure from the legal system via groups like Judicial Watch to get these documents. It's almost like the FBI and DOJ, including the people making the decisions about what to release and what to withhold or redact, have something to hide.

Thu Sep 13 11:56:48 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Google openly opposed Trump, supported Hillary during campaign

ZerohedgeTucker Carlson just blew the cover off the 2016 election influence charade, after he read an internal email on Monday night's show from a senior Google employee who admitted to using company resources to make a "silent donation" to a liberal group that was creating ads and donating funds to bus Latinos to voting stations during the 2016 election in key swing states, in an effort to help Hillary Clinton win.

I'm honestly not sure what the rules are here. This is clearly a lot more campaign-related than paying off a bimbo eruption, and it's not a person but a corporation doing it. And we have email proof not only that it happened, but that it was motivated to help one candidate rather than being non-partisan. Does that matter?

Read the whole article for more, including hints of a smart-phone-based voter record that "aggregates all that is known about them".

I'm skeptical about campaign finance regulation as a matter of principle, but there are all sorts of other potential issues here, including user privacy and abuse of a dominant market position.

Wed Sep 12 09:17:26 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dan Bongino runs through the whole of SpyGate

Listen to the whole thing, especially if you haven't been keeping up. Dan covers the whole chain of events, from the NSA shutting down FBI contractor access to their database (were some of those contractors Fusion GPS and Nellie Ohr?), to the efforts to get a FISA warrant based on the dossier that likely came from that NSA database (due the Michael Cohen in Prague mistake), to the efforts to set up Page and Popadopoulos, to the Trump Tower meeting setup.

He picks up on a couple new points that I had missed. One is that Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS all the way back to 2015. That means she was working at Fusion GPS while the FBI contractors (still unspecified) were abusing the NSA database (85%!!! of the accesses to the database did not comply with the appropriate privacy procedures).

A second is that Andrew Weissman was being kept in the loop by Bruce Ohr during the investigation and was then hired by Mueller for his special counsel investigation. So, Weissman (along with, at least, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page), was effectively investigating events he was involved in and likely has criminal liability in. And Weissman is still on Mueller's team.

Finally, Bongino goes through the links Mueller has to practically every significant figure involved in this case. Mueller is linked to Comey, to Russian oligarchs who helped the FBI investigate, to Hillary lawyers... the list goes on and on. Mueller practically knows every key player personally.

Is he going to rat on his friends? Of course not.

He's going to sweep the whole thing under the rug by keeping the focus on Trump.

Except maybe he just realized he can't quite do that.

Categories Spygate

Sun Sep 09 14:29:49 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Congressman Meadows sends letter demanding Ohr investigation

Sara CarterCongressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) sent a letter Tuesday to Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that Inspector General Michael Horowitz and recently appointed DOJ attorney, John Huber interview now embattled DOJ official Bruce Ohr and investigate “critical violations” in connection with the FBI’s handling the Russia investigation and the bureau’s process to obtain a highly secret warrant to spy on a short term-volunteer for the Trump campaign.

Not much actual news here; a Congressman sending a letter happens pretty often. But the demand to investigate Bruce Ohr and his involvement in Spygate is significant, as it indicates growing Congressional discontent with AG Sessions and John Huber, the prosecutor Sessions appointed to investigate Spygate. We have heard basically nothing about Huber's investigation so far, which could be good or bad; hearing nothing could mean there are no leaks or it could mean there is no activity to leak. Finding out that Ohr had not yet been interviewed when he testified to Congress on these matters appears to indicate that the needle is pointing more towards no activity to leak.

Sun Sep 09 13:29:49 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller subpoenas Jerome Corsi

Apparently, it's because Jerome Corsi is connected to Roger Stone. Stone is an associate of Trump, apparently, and works with the National Enquirer. I assume this is Mueller following up on Cohen's guilty plea to "campaign finance" charges that involved shell corporations and payoffs to bimbo eruptions.

I use the term advisedly. Clinton was credibly alleged to have groped and even raped people, although his most famous affair with Lewinsky was consensual. Trump has been accused of having consensual sex and paying the women to keep quiet about it. When they don't, that's a bimbo eruption. Sorry, Stormy.

In any event, the odds that either Jerome Corsi or Roger Stone have anything to do with Russian collusion to influence the 2016 election -- which is Mueller's only area of authority -- seems very low. Mueller is likely looking for more "campaign finance" crimes he can use to coerce guilty pleas that purport to implicate Trump. And he wants those because he desperately needs leverage.

Here's how I see things.

We got a bunch of new information on Spygate earlier this week, probably in delayed response to the Cohen plea. We also got a hint that Trump may declassify some of the Spygate documents. Mueller responded to that by shifting his negotiating position on a Presidential interview. Now he's backing that up with a new threat to go after Corsi. By implication, if the President consents to an interview (which Mueller will undoubtedly seek to abuse), Mueller may wrap things up. If not, he'll go after Corsi, and probably Stone, and continue to coerce guilty pleas by using the his effectively unlimited resources against Trump friends and associates on trumped up charges. Classic carrot and stick.

One thing that is clear: there's no Russian collusion angle to this. Mueller is outside his mandate and needs to be shut down.

Fri Sep 07 09:16:55 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump may declassify requested FISA documents

I have a hunch that this declassification process is what prompted Mueller's public negotiation attempt. Mueller's job (his real job) is to protect Obama, the intelligence community, the law enforcement community, and the Clintons, probably in that order. (There's a non-zero chance Obama is actually just above the Clintons on Mueller's priority list; if that's the case Obama should be very worried). Mueller needs to protect them because they went way, way out on a limb to spy on Trump during the presidential campaign, and if the full extent of their interference is exposed, it could easily lead to outrage or even criminal charges.

Declassifying documents so the general public can see them renders the FBI attempt to protect those documents moot, and plants a massive egg on the face of everyone involved -- including the intelligence community actors who have so far received relatively little scrutiny, and possibly (if not in these documents, then in later batches) on the political actors. If Trump starts declassifying things, that opens a can of worms that probably can't be closed. All the schemes would be exposed and the information out in public.

That's good for Trump, assuming he's innocent of the Russian collusion charge. That's why Mueller has been desperately digging for something else he can use as leverage. He's nailed a few people for tax issues and rarely-used registration laws, flipped Michael Cohen for more tax issues and got him to plead to a probably-invalid campaign finance crime, but it hasn't given him any real leverage on Trump. And it's Trump he needs leverage on to avoid the declassification scenario.

Thu Sep 06 16:49:39 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why didn't the FBI ask Papadopoulos to approach Mifsud?

The FederalistIn addition to playing up the irrelevant, the press passed on the noteworthy: Papadopoulos’ sentencing memo reveals new evidence that further indicates the FBI’s goal in Crossfire Hurricane was to investigate Trump—not Russia’s interference with the presidential election.

In the memo, Papadopoulos’s lawyers detailed the FBI’s January 27, 2017, questioning of their client, explaining that for two hours, Papadopoulos answered questions about professor Joseph Mifsud, Carter Page, Sergei Millian, the “Trump Dossier,” and others on the campaign. According to Papadopoulos, “[t]he agents asked George if he would be willing to actively cooperate and contact various people they had discussed.” Papadopoulos said he would be willing to try.

Yet when Mifsud—the Maltese professor who in late April 2016 told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt on Hillary” in the form of “thousands of emails”—visited the United States just two weeks later to speak at a State Department-sponsored conference, the FBI didn’t even bother to have Papadopoulos reach out to his former colleague.

Of course, they didn't bother because Mifsud was working for western intelligence when he approached Papadopoulus. By that time they were in cover-up-and-shut-up mode.

Thu Sep 06 14:49:39 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The deep state will try to defend Ohr

They didn't put up much of a fight over firing Strzok, Page, and so on. But there's a very odd op-ed over at the Washington Examiner...

Washington Examiner
National security attorney Mark Zaid once represented a client who was at risk of losing his security clearance "because he stole pens from an embassy when he was 14 years old," or so the agency he was at odds with claimed. The "ludicrous" example, as Zaid described it, was used to block his client from accessing sensitive information, thus precluding him from performing the duties of his job after he fell "out of favor" with his boss.

It's that sort of thing — the stealing of pens as an adolescent or the failure to report meetings with foreign officials as set forth by guidelines — that President Trump could rely on to strip Justice Department official Bruce Ohr of his security clearance.

Yes, he's seriously going to compare what Bruce Ohr did to stealing pens from am embassy at 14.

(Read More...)

Fri Aug 17 13:45:25 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who assigned Ohr to work on Spygate?

Rosenstein said it wasn't him. The Federalist makes a good case it was Sally Yates, who resigned rather than defend Trump's travel ban in court. That decision may have made headlines at the time, but it may also have removed her from a position where she could influence ongoing events in the Spygate matter. Oops.

Categories Spygate

Thu Aug 16 15:28:03 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Well, isn't this interesting?

The Obama admin stripped a Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst of his security clearance after the analyst complained about contracts with one Stefan Halper.

Washington Times“Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money,” Mr. Bigley said. “Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper’s contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman. That was very unusual.”

We are now pretty sure what Halper was doing for the money. He was trying to rig the election. And the White House stripped his clearances to shut him up -- both in general, and to prevent him accessing anything Halper was doing with his clearances.

Never mind that the other person he complained about was Chelsea Clinton.

Thu Aug 16 09:28:10 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House revokes ex-CIA director Brennan's security clearance

PJMediaThis just in: The White House has revoked the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the CIA, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump:

I hope they ran a few canary traps across his desk before they cut off access.

UPDATE: This part reads like the velvet glove over the iron fist.

Politico "More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan's security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our nation's most sensitive secrets long after their time in government has ended," Sanders said.

If that isn't a veiled threat to Obama and Clinton, who are both "former officials" who presumably maintain their prior security clearances, I'll eat a MAGA hat.

Categories Spygate

Wed Aug 15 15:52:04 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI paid Steele for dossier

One of the other big revelations from this Friday's document dump was the fact that the FBI did in fact pay Steele for his dossier work. This was rumored before, but now we know. This raises some interesting questions (like, was he getting paid twice for the same work?), but the main impact of this fact is that the FBI was funding Clinton's opposition research and smear campaign. Almost certainly knowing about his political motives and source of other funding.

It's one thing to take in information passively about a political figure, and investigate it if there is some merit and the information can be confirmed. It's quite another to pay the opposition research out of FBI coffers while he is no doubt continuing to dig up dirt. By nature of his employment, you can't trust the oppo guy to give you good information, and you certainly can't fund his efforts to get (or make up) more for political purposes.

Categories Spygate

Sun Aug 05 09:57:54 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IG Horowitz is a coverup artist

Daily SignalGohmert asked Strzok about his meeting in 2016 with Frank Rucker and Janette
McMillan, an investigator and lawyer, respectively, for then-Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough (an Obama appointee).

McCullough sent them to see Strzok, who was the FBI’s deputy assistant director for the Counterintelligence Division, to brief him and three other FBI personnel about an “anomaly” that their forensic analysis had found in Clinton’s server.

According to Gohmert, the inspector general discovered that, with four exceptions, “every single one” of Clinton’s emails—more than 30,000—“were going to an address that was not on the distribution list.”

In other words, according to the information Gohmert received from the intelligence inspector general, something was causing Clinton’s server to send copies of all of her email communications outside of the country “to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

One of the other disturbing bits of information that came out of this exchange was that, according to Gohmert, the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General called Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Department of Justice, “four times” because it wanted to brief Horowitz about this forensic analysis and this security breach. But, according to Gohmert, Horowitz “never returned the call.”

The fact that Horowitz refused to take calls on this casts his entire report into doubt. His job wasn't to fix the problems, it was yet another modified limited hangout. Drop the information already known, but keep the remedies in-house and out of course by refusing to admit to bias actually influencing anything even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Sat Jul 28 10:45:03 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller now scrutinizing Trump's tweets

American SpectatorThe New York Times reports that special counsel Robert Mueller “is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former FBI director James B. Comey.” “Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets,” a line in the New York Times reads.

This is just getting absurd.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jul 27 13:04:59 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Articles of Impeachment introduced against... Rosenstein?

The only problem with the idea of impeaching Rosenstein is that the Senate will never vote to convict. That said, a vote to impeach in the House would give Trump political cover to remove Rosenstein without being credibly accused of obstruction of justice. ("I don't want anyone in my administration who has been impeached by the House" is an entirely justifiable reason for firing Rosenstein). Similar rules can be applied to lower level officials with a simple majority in the House; the Senate might need some fiddling but putting the rule in a reconciliation bill should let it through with a simple majority. And the principle would be a significant step towards accountability when the President is, unfortunately, politically hamstrung by a conspiracy against him among his own officials.

Fri Jul 27 11:05:05 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More Cohen data leaked in violation of attorney-client privilege

Details here. Fox says the tape came from Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, rather than the police who raided Cohen. Whether this represents Cohen being cooperative, or Cohen making a desperate cry for help from Trump (financial or otherwise), is unknown. As far as I am concerned, the contents of the tape are a nothingburger; it's Trump discussing whether and/or how to pay off a playboy playmate to keep quiet about an alleged affair from over 10 years ago. If there's a crime here, it's blackmail, and Trump is the victim, and then doubly so for Cohen, his attorney, violating attorney-client privilege to release the tape, never mind taping his client in the first place. I don't give a shit about an alleged consensual affair while Trump was a private citizen.

Categories Spygate

Wed Jul 25 12:40:02 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Buck Stops at the Obama White House

Investor's Business DailyHere's what Obama's Director of National Intelligence, the nation's former spy master, James Clapper, told CNN's Anderson Cooper:

"If it weren't for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of event which are still unfolding today, including Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller's investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place."

Remember Strzok's text: "The White House is running this."

Tue Jul 24 16:52:25 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Intel committee asks POTUS to declassify part of FISA app

Sara CarterIn a letter released Sunday night, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is requesting that President Donald Trump declassify roughly 19 pages of the fourth application of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Carter Page. The committee claims this effort is necessary to expose the irregularities in how the FBI and Department of Justice obtained the renewal warrants that lasted for nearly a year.

I sure would like to know what the House Intel committee thinks is under the redactions on those pages. You may also be interested in the broader summary of issues with the application. And they are serious issues. Andrew McCarthy, who spent some time defending the FISA application before he actually saw it, said this:

Andrew McCarthy at National ReviewIn my public comments Sunday morning, I observed that the newly disclosed FISA applications are so shoddy that the judges who approved them ought to be asked some hard questions.
[...]
It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong. The FBI (and, I’m even more sad to say, my Justice Department) brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information.
[...]
I am embarrassed by this not just because I assured people it could not have happened, and not just because it is so beneath the bureau — especially in a politically fraught case in which the brass green-lighted the investigation of a presidential campaign. I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards.

One of the questions that needs to be asked is "Is this the usual evidentiary standard for FISA cases?"

If so, the court needs to be shut down as a rubber stamp and the entire process redesigned and reformed.

If not, the judges who approved this application need to be examined for evidence of bias along with the FBI, DOJ, and intelligence community.

Categories Spygate

Tue Jul 24 09:52:25 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump considering revoking clearances of some Obama officials

TwitterPress Sec. Sanders: "Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan's security clearance, he's also looking into the security clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe...because they've politicized and in some cases monetized their public service."

With the exception of Hayden, whose name I don't recognize offhand, all of these people deserve to lose their clearances.

Comey: leaking to the press in an effort to impeach the president, lying to the president, being a weasel and doing weasel things.

Clapper: Involvement in the FISA abuse against the Trump campaign and administration, and leaking.

Brennan: Involvement in the FISA abuse against the Trump campaign and administration, and leaking. Plus voting for a communist party candidate.

Hayden: Unknown?

Rice: Unmasking and lying about it.

McCabe: Already fired for lying and leaking, participated in the FISA abuse, and his wife took political contributions from Clinton while he was running the investigation into her emails.

UPDATE: Hayden was a CIA director for Bush and has been outspokenly anti-Trump. I'm not sure if frothing at the mouth while calling the current president Hitler is outside the bounds people holding a security clearance, but this one still seems a little questionable to me. Given their involvement in abusing the intelligence agencies against Trump, however, the rest should lose their clearances immediately.

Categories Spygate

Mon Jul 23 15:11:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Judiciary Committee passes resolution demanding docs

Sara CarterThe House Judiciary Committee approved for the first time a resolution Tuesday demanding that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turn over all requested documents regarding the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation during the presidential election after seven days or face possible impeachment or contempt.

The decision to move forward with the resolution came after a year of battles with the Justice Department and FBI to turn over requested documents. The committee voted on party lines 15-11 to pass the resolution directing Rosenstein to comply within the next seven days or face the consequences.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has been one of the lawmakers at the frontlines of the committee’s investigation, said the resolution is the result of the frustration felt among lawmakers conducting oversight. He noted that it will be up to House Republican leaders to decide whether or not to take it to the full House for a vote...

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said last week they are not taking contempt charges off the table. He told reporters on Tuesday “we do expect full compliance very, very soon, and if we do not get that then we will keep every single option available to us.”

Speaker Ryan has been generally squishier than I would like on this, but he appears to be on board for the moment. Presumably the testimony from Wray and Rosenstein Thursday will be their last chance to make excuses.

Categories Spygate

Tue Jun 26 16:18:38 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump tower meeting a nothingburger, says translator for Veselnitskaya

Washington ExaminerOne person who was listening closely in the meeting and is thought to have an unbiased view of events was a man named Anatoli Samochornov, who was there as a translator for Veselnitskaya, who knew very little English.

Samochornov was in the room for the entire meeting and did not remember anyone bringing up Goldstone's original email promising dirt on Clinton. He did not remember Trump Jr., Manafort, or Kushner asking any of the Russians any questions. He did not remember anyone mentioning that any sort of information might be provided in the future. He did not remember anyone mentioning Hillary Clinton, or negative information on Hillary Clinton. He did not remember anyone discussing a future meeting. (Samochornov also testified about a lunch the Russian participants had before the Trump Tower meeting. He did not remember anyone mentioning providing negative information about Clinton, or anyone mentioning Clinton at all.)

Samochornov did remember one thing that Donald Trump Jr. said during the meeting. At the end, he testified, Trump Jr. said that "if or when my father becomes president, we will revisit this issue."

Investigators asked what Samochornov thought Trump Jr. meant by that. "Frankly, if you are asking for my reaction, it was a very polite way of saying, 'Thank you very much. It's time for you to go. The meeting's over.'"

We don't have to take just his word for it. Remember, Fusion GPS was taking money from Russians to lobby Trump about the Magnitsky Act even as they were taking money from Hillary to "investigate" Trump. They could kill two birds with one stone by setting up a meeting with Trump Jr under false pretenses of providing dirt on Hillary and using it to try to sell Trump Jr on the Magnitsky act changes they wanted.

Fri Jun 22 15:52:55 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reading between the lines

PJmediaSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there was "nothing particularly surprising" revealed in a classified briefing Thursday about oversight of the FBI's campaign-season investigation into Russia's influence operation and possible Trump campaign contacts...

Nunes did not comment after the meeting. CNN reported that he and Gowdy didn't get to see all of the documents they were wanting to view.

McConnell is one of the "gang of eight" Brennan briefed about the operation. Of course he wasn't surprised; he's heard it all before, at least assuming Brennan's individual briefings to each Gang of 8 member actually contained the same information. (I'm skeptical about that; why brief them individually then?)

So I'm not surprised that McConnell isn't surprised. McConnell is a swamp creature. The sooner he circles the drain, the better.

Despite the White House chief of staff showing up before the meeting to state the President's position that all possible information should be shared, the FBI and DOJ are still covering things up.

Mon Jun 18 10:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The special counsel as political tool

LifezetteTo media critics of President Donald Trump, suggestions that independent counsel Robert Mueller may “meddle’ in this year’s midterm elections were beyond the pale. But a trip through the history pages reveals just how impactful a special counsel can be on voting.

In 1992, special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh got a grand jury to return a high-profile indictment in the Iran-Contra affair days before the election. Many outside observers believe the timing was no coincidence.

“It may have cost George Bush the election, because he was making up a point a day (in the polls) … Those indictments just ruined Bush’s momentum,” presidential history Craig Shirley said.

Of course this is what Mueller is going to do. There was never any doubt. Right before the election, he delivers his big indictments (or his report, if he can't actually get anything solid enough to indict), setting up a "blue wave" in the House followed immediately by impeachment hearings that last two more years and culminate in an impeachment vote immediately before the 2020 presidential election.

Derailing that won't be easy, but throwing Clinton and Obama and their minions in jail for abusing the national security infrastructure to steal a national election might just do it.

Sun Jun 17 15:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rosenstein should recuse himself from Mueller investigation

Ace of SpadesWe have here an allegation by the former Deputy Director of the FBI that Rosenstein participated in a cover-up of Trump's alleged obstruction of justice (consisting of the firing of Comey). In McCabe's view, Rosenstein's memo was written just to justify an illegal act.

And Rosenstein went along with it.

And McCabe has passed this memo along to Mueller -- who is, technically, Rosenstein's subordinate.

That puts Rosenstein in the same position that Sessions was in when he recused himself -- overseeing an investigation in which he himself might become a subject, and whose presence in the chain of command would be read as a "back off' signal to any subordinate digging into his role.

Sessions recused himself.

Why hasn't Rosenstein?

Where is the call for Rosenstein's recusal?

I've got your call for Rosenstein's recusal right here.

Sun Jun 17 15:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The cover story changes once again

National ReviewWell, well, well. The bipartisan Beltway establishment has apparently had its fill of this “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative — the same narrative the same establishment has lustily peddled for nearly two years. The Obama administration recklessly chose to deploy the government’s awesome counterintelligence powers to investigate — and, more to the point, to smear — its political opposition as a Kremlin confederate. Now that this ploy has blown up on the Justice Department and the FBI, these agencies — the ones that went out of their way, and outside their guidelines, to announce to the world that the Trump campaign was under investigation — want you to know the president and his campaign were not investigated at all, no siree.

They are backpedaling frantically because they know they found nothing, and because their found nothing, their actions in Spygate open them to criminal prosecution. So, suddenly, they weren't investigating the Trump campaign at all, they were just trying to protect it from the Russians.

Bullshit.

Categories Spygate

Sun Jun 17 13:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Brennan was after Trump as early as 2015

The Daily CallerIt is now coming to light that the FBI was setting up Trump ever since he became a likely presidential nominee. In late 2015, Brennan embraced a false tip from Estonia that Putin was seeking to support Trump financially, and brought Comey into an ‘intra-agency” group targeting Trump. On March 21, 2016, candidate Trump met with The Washington Post editorial board, which asked about his foreign policy credentials. To bolster his team’s strength, perhaps inflationarily, he named lowly, clueless hangers-on George Papadopoulos and Carter Page as part of his team with Russian experience — literally true, but nonetheless a strenuous stretch. It was then that the entrapping forces of Comey, Clapper, and Brennan, partisans all, went to work.

Remember all the news stories about how Trump didn't have a foreign policy team and asking who his foreign policy advisers were? The questions from the media that prompted Trump to prepare a list of advisers hastily and get it out there?

I wonder how many of those news stories could be traced back to Hillary and her campaign?

Sat Jun 16 15:50:25 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

James Comey colluded with DOJ, FBI, Mueller prior to testimony before Congress

Victory Girls“I can’t rely on anything I see in the media because there are no leaks coming out of Robert Mueller’s operation, so I don’t know what he knows,” Comey said. “I really don’t know what he has. What I do know is that he and his team are an all-star team of pros.”

My god, the man ran the FBI for years and he is still that naive?

Victory GirlsDirector:

In response to your emails below we have consulted with executive management here, including the General Counsel, and recommend the following:

That your counsel convey any acceptance or declinations to invitations to testify directly to the Committees.

That your counsel consult with Special Counsel Mueller to determine the timing of any such testimony and,

The Office of General Counsel stands ready to discuss with you in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel, institutional privileges or prerogatives that may be presented by any such testimony.


Victory GirlsComey was in charge of the FBI when the entire Steele dossier thing started. He was the one who presented to Trump info regarding the dossier even while knowing a significant portion of it was completely fabricated. He was the one in charge of that investigation that used a top-secret source, and as Kimberly Strassel reports, that that critical information was kept hidden from a major Congressional investigation.

I'll just point out here that when Comey presented the dossier to Trump, he mentioned the most salacious parts, and left out the parts about, you know, collusion with the Russians.

Sat Jun 16 15:50:18 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did FBI embed spies in Trump campaign in December 2015?

Judicial Watch's Chris Farrel lays out the case. There's not much new here, but sometimes you have to say things over and over again until they start to sink in.

Sat Jun 16 13:50:18 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Spygate winning in the polls

BreitbartA majority of 51 percent of voters now believe “senior law enforcement officials are likely to have broken the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency,” according to a poll from Rasmussen Reports.

The media can choose what to report, but they can't choose what people think about it.

Fri Jun 15 16:31:28 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What about Avenatti's bank records?

The HillHe wants to make the discussion all about where Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, got his money but, to have clean hands, Avenatti needs to come forward with exactly who is financing his operation, who his sources were for detailed banking information, and whether he really is an attorney solely representing Stormy Daniels or just using her as cover to wage a political operation.

Of course he's using her as cover to wage a political operation. That's been obvious since day one.

Avenatti needs to come forward with his sources for the banking information because it was almost certainly obtained illegally and certainly was leaked illegally.

The HillThis week, Avenatti released to the media a report detailing consulting payments to Cohen, and much of it, despite a few errors, has been verified. AT&T, Novartis and a real estate firm acknowledge having hired the president’s personal attorney for insights on the incoming administration. Mueller appears to have investigated all of this months ago, and it is highly unlikely that the theory Avenatti is pounding away at — that Russians paid for Daniels — holds any water or Robert Mueller would not have passed the investigation on to U.S. attorneys in New York. Russia, actually, is the special counsel’s bailiwick.

I'm not sure on the ethics of anyone hiring Trump's personal lawyer for advice on the incoming administration. That seems an ethical minefield. But it seems like that's on Cohen's ledger, not Trump's, even if it's true. The payments may be true, though some involve the wrong Michael Cohen, but why should we believe the alleged reason for them without proof? Avenatti is just as much a paid Democrat operative as Fusion GPS.

And I doubt Avenatti or other Democrat operatives could stand to have their financial records subjected to similar scrutiny. They won't like the new rules when Trump's DOJ and FBI find excuses to raid their lawyers' offices.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jun 15 15:31:22 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A gate of water by any other name would smell as foul

Conservative TreehouseLast week, in an effort to target President Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, sketchy porn-lawyer Michael Avenatti received and released stolen financial records for a group of people who held the name Michael Cohen. At least two of the people who had their records released were the wrong Michael Cohen.

In a New Yorker article today, far-left playtime ‘journalist’ Ronan Farrow writes about his contact with the law-enforcement official who stole the Cohen financial records and gave them to the sketchy porn lawyer.

Fire them, reveal their name and crimes publicly, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. The raid on Cohen's offices -- the personal lawyer of the President of the United States -- is quite literally worse than Watergate, because it was done under color of law.

Categories Spygate

Fri Jun 15 13:31:22 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The discovery trap Mueller fell into

SpectatorAgainst all expectations, in April, lawyers for one of the Russian corporate defendants, Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, entered their appearances in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. They followed up by serving extensive discovery requests on Team Mueller seeking full disclosure of the government’s case and investigation including sensitive national security and intelligence information.

This type of discovery is called “graymail” (as distinguished from blackmail) in which the government is faced with having to disclose closely guarded state secrets in order to proceed with the prosecution. The alternative is to drop the charges.

Given that the maximum penalty against Concord is an uncollectable $500,000 fine or equally uncollectable compensation to anyone damaged by the alleged conspiracy, the choice is all the more bitter for Team Mueller. Should they litigate the discovery requests? If they lose and are faced with having to disclose sensitive intelligence information about the case and their investigation, should they withdraw the indictment against Concord? And, if they drop the charges, are they prepared for the resulting public mockery and howls of derision?

Technically, Mueller doesn't have to care about public mockery and derision. But being taken seriously is the only defense he has against Trump simply choosing to fire him. It seems likely being forced to drop the charges against the Russians would effectively end Mueller's probe, being an admission that he doesn't have anything related to his mandate. If he failed to do so, Trump would easily be able to afford the political cost of firing him.

Fri Jun 15 10:31:22 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fake, but accurate

Page: "Please, my love, caress me and reassure me that Trump will never be my president."

Strzok: "Don't worry, my petunia. We'll stop him."

IG: "Because Strzok did not write down how, exactly, he would stop Trump becoming president, we cannot link this clear and obvious evidence of bias to any specific investigative act, therefore, no harm, no foul. However, we recommend a banner on all FBI-owned mobile devices reminding users they have no expectation of privacy while using them, to ensure such an embarrassing incident is never again revealed to the public."

Thu Jun 14 14:55:25 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI agent who interviewed Michael Flynn found him honest and forthcoming

Sara CarterFBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, if subpoenaed, will provide testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding his interview with former National Security Advisor Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, sources with knowledge have been telling this reporter for more than a year.

So why won't Congress get off their collective ass and issue those subpoenas?

Wed Jun 13 14:57:11 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Andrew McCabe was writing memos too

His memo was about Comey's firing and what Rosenstein claimed Trump asked him to include in the memo. He gave the memo to Mueller. This appears to be part of a consistent pattern among the Obama administration holdovers and specifically the scheme team implicated in Spygate.

Wed Jun 13 14:57:05 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who was spied on? (that we know of)

The HillSecret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Most of the discussion of spying has been about Carter Page, because the FBI filed for a FISA warrant to spy on him based mostly on the Clinton-funded opposition research Steele dossier. But he's not the only direct individual victim. He's just the one we have the (obviously fraudulent and deficient) paperwork for. The others we know have been spied on via leaks, but not what legal justification was used.

Michael Flynn may have been intercepted talking to the Russian ambassador. It would be legal to wiretap the Russian ambassador pretty much constantly. But they waved BS Logan act violations around when he was the issue, which makes me think they got a warrant based on those allegations.

The rest we just don't know.

And don't forget the hundreds of "unmaskings" which are technically within the powers of some officials, but which were likely done in service of political motives.

Wed Jun 13 13:57:05 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McCabe sues DOJ over his firing

The Conservative TreehouseIn what can only be seen as a dubious political stunt, Andrew McCabe, through his attorney Michael Bromwich, is suing the DOJ and Inspector General for documents relating to his firing. Apparently the 39-page IG report, documenting the reasoning, along with the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) isn’t enough for McCabe.

I'm sure McCabe just hopes he can get a friendly lawyer to settle with.

Wed Jun 13 12:57:11 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller tries to delay collusion trial and hide evidence

The Conservative TreehouseMueller asked a federal judge in Washington for an order that would protect the handover of voluminous evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting LLC, one of three companies and 13 Russian nationals charged in a February indictment. They are accused of producing propaganda, posing as U.S. activists and posting political content on social media as so-called trolls to encourage strife in the U.S.

When you charge people in the US system, they have a right to see the evidence. Apparently Mueller doesn't want the evidence to come out. Oops.

Wed Jun 13 12:57:05 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sessions defends Rosenstein's subpoena threat

LifezetteAttorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself early on from the Russia probe, appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," also on Tuesday evening. Sessions defended Rosenstein, reiterating the DOJ's contention that the nature of the staffers' emails had been mischaracterized.

"I am confident that Deputy Rosenstein, 28 years in the Department of Justice, did not improperly threaten anyone on that occasion," said Sessions on the show, referring to the alleged threat detailed in emails from House Intelligence Committee staffers.

I'm starting to think Sessions may be a little soggy.

Categories Spygate

Wed Jun 13 09:30:58 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House resolution to compel Rosenstein to release SpyGate documents

LifezetteReps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced their intention Tuesday night to submit a resolution for a House vote compelling Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to produce requested documents — ones relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian interests.

Gowdy and Ryan have previously expressed support for the FBI's position here, but Ryan is part of the Gang of 8 who would see them anyway (and who was probably briefed on at least some of the investigation earlier than the rest of Congress, so is somewhat tainted by it). Gowdy is probably just a blowhard who is easily talked into supporting law enforcement.

But the article says Jordan and Meadows spoke with Ryan and Gowdy before this announcement, so I assume they are behind it.

If so, let's hold the vote ASAP and force the FBI to start submitting to oversight. They have slow-walked long enough.

Wed Jun 13 09:26:21 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rosenstein threatened to subpoena emails of Congressmen investigating Spygate

This explains Gowdy and Ryan's weak knees. Rod Rosenstein allegedly threatened to subpoena emails and phone records of Congressmen and staffers investigating origins of Russia probe. If Congress had the power to bring criminal charges, this would be obstruction of justice. As it is, I think it's actually simple blackmail, coated in chutzpah, with a cherry of contempt on top.

As for Ryan and Gowdy, both, apparently, have closets with flesh-challenged bones in them. Not really a surprise.

Fox News“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee's then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”

A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. ... Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to 'subpoena your calls and emails' was downright chilling.”

The committee staffer noted that Rosenstein’s comment could be interpreted as meaning the department would “vigorously defend a contempt action" -- which might be expected. But the staffer continued, "I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us.”

Note to Congress: start playing hardball. Appealing to Trump won't do much; he cant really interfere much while Mueller is active. It's up to Congress and oversight to get the information out there to help Huber.

Note to the DOJ: When you are denying that your official threatened Congressmen conducting legitimate oversight, it is not wise to repeat the threat:

Fox News“The Deputy Attorney General was making the point—after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)”

Further, the official said that when Rosenstein returns to the United States from a work trip, “he will request that the House General counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’ conduct.”

As far as I am concerned, this is clear and unambiguous grounds for Trump to fire Rosenstein, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is exactly why it leaked.

Tue Jun 12 17:23:02 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The truth that scares them

Washington ExaminerFox News contributor Katie Pavlich claimed Monday that Hillary Clinton "gave" money to Russians during the 2016 presidential election.

“We have seen the result of all of this boomerang on the other side, on the Clinton campaign, which was more directly connected to the Russians than we’ve seen any evidence of with the Trump campaign," Pavlich said Monday.

The remarks caused former Clinton communications director Adrienne Elrod, who was also a guest during the segment, to burst out laughing.

“They gave them money,” Pavlich exclaimed.

“I don’t even know where to start here,” Elrod said. “The Clinton campaign did not have any collusion with Russia, let’s just put that forward.”

“They paid someone working with Russians money for opposition research on Donald Trump,” Pavlich cut in.

Not said: the "someone working with Russians" is Christopher Steele, and he admitted paying Russians for the information compiled in the dossier. So, yes, Hillary (through several layers of cutouts) paid Russians to (probably) lie about Trump to produce opposition research. Probably the Hillary campaign, through Steele and Fusion GPS, were paying the Russians to cooperate in setting up the Trump campaign -- specifically the meeting with Veselnitskya.

The fact that Mueller, whose theoretical remit includes Russian interference in the US election, is not investigating this publicly known Russian collusion with the Hillary campaign is enough by itself to discredit his investigation.

Tue Jun 12 16:34:10 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI agents afraid to testify?

Daily CallerEven as a new Rasmussen poll shows a majority of voters believe senior law enforcement officials broke the law to stop Donald Trump from beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, rank-and-file FBI agents who want to testify against their superiors to Congress feel they can’t due to an ineffective whistleblower protection law.

These agents believe the sluggishness of the law exposes them to an inordinate risk of reprisal, so they have remained in hiding and afraid to speak the truth...

He continued, “You still have a ton of bad people in place. Unless that changes, and I haven’t seen any degree of seriousness on the part of ranking members nor staffers, I’m not meeting with anyone nor willing to be subpoenaed. I’m not coming forward until they get their act together. Right now, it’d be sacrificing a career for cheap political points.”

TheDC has learned that the bureau has already warned agents that the agency will come back viciously against all those “behind destroying their narrative, and will go after their families and friends, too.”

The Democrats are hoping they can keep a lid on this until November, then win the House and shut down the investigations. Agents are probably right to fear massive retaliation, both political and personal.

Tue Jun 12 15:34:16 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller and Rosenstein -- an unwritten agreement

Washington ExaminerSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's recent admission that the May 17, 2017, Justice Department order defining the scope of his investigation was just for show, and that the real extent of his probe is a secret, is reverberating on Capitol Hill.

In court before Ellis, Mueller lawyer Michael Dreeben revealed that the May 17 appointment order is not a "factual statement" of Mueller's assignment. "The regulations nowhere say that a specific factual statement needs to be provided publicly," Dreeben added. "The specific factual statement … was conveyed to the special counsel upon his appointment in ongoing discussions [between Rosenstein and Mueller] that defined the parameters of the investigation."

Dreeben explained that those discussions between Rosenstein and Mueller, incorporated in the Aug. 2 memo, established that Mueller had the authority to investigate Paul Manafort's financial dealings that Manafort contends are beyond the scope of Mueller's investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election.

What Mueller appears to be claiming is that he received his full mandate as special counsel from Rosenstein exclusively in verbal communications, meaning that only Rosenstein and Mueller together could agree on what was within or without the scope of the investigation.

I do not see how such a claim could possibly be valid or stand up to legal challenge.

Mueller is essentially claiming that, due to the lack of a written mandate, his authority derives from Rosenstein the man rather than the lawfully appointed (Acting) Attorney General. His unwritten mandate is fluid, and can change to meet the needs of the moment he finds himself in.

This is not consistent with the rule of law.

But of course, Rosenstein couldn't risk giving Mueller a well-defined mandate, because Mueller was going on a fishing expedition; he didn't know what he would find, but to be politically useful, he had to pursue whatever he found.

Tue Jun 12 12:34:10 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Review of Cohen's seized files not going well for prosecution

Legal InsurrectionBased on the wording of the recommendation, it appears that the Special Master upheld the challenges in all but three cases. So Cohen and/or Trump’s claims of privilege were upheld in 162 of 165 challenges.

These recommendations now go to the Judge.

There is a lot we don’t know about the challenges and recommendations. For example, of the 12,543 pages in the eight boxes, we don’t know how many of those pages were consumed by the 14 privileged documents; a document obviously could be a page, or hundreds of pages. As to the two phones and iPad, how many of the 291,770 “items” were system and other non-substantive files, and how many were substantive files; so we don’t know what percentage of the substantive items were privileged.

162 privileged and 10 “Highly Personal” files is very substantial, particularly keeping in mind this is just the first batch of documents reviewed from a much larger group of electronic records.

That means the federal government, but for Cohen’s lawsuit, would have been able to review and potentially use a total of 172 documents that the federal government never should have seen.

Remember, if it's privileged, the government should never have been able to see it at all. A warrant doesn't get around attorney-client privilege, the bar is much higher than that. And if it's not privileged, that doesn't mean it is in any way criminal. It just means the government got a warrant and can legally look at it and use the material.

Tue Jun 12 10:34:10 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI to share more details of informant with Congress?

Politico"The Department and FBI are prepared to brief members on certain questions specifically raised by the Speaker and other members," the DOJ official said. "The Department will also provide the documents that were available for review but not inspected by the members at the previous briefing along with some additional material."

I'll believe it when the members of Congress release the information publicly.

PoliticoRyan said Wednesday morning that he's seen "no evidence" to back up Trump's claim and endorsed the "initial assessment" of another senior GOP lawmaker — Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — who said the FBI appropriately used an informant to follow leads about suspect contact between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

If you want to see the evidence, Ryan, you have to actually look at it.

PJMediaThe source has been identified as a professor living in London who had been providing the FBI with information on a variety of cases for many years and did not work on the campaign.

President Trump has interpreted the existence of the source as the FBI planting a spy in his campaign, according to his many recent tweets on the subject.

So here's the catch: Halper didn't work on the Trump campaign. He only met with at least three members of the campaign, pumped them for information, and applied for a job with the campaign that he did not get.

So Halper -- who probably works for the CIA, not the FBI -- was certainly engaged in intelligence gathering from the Trump campaign. He was certainly spying on the campaign. If he was not "an informant within the campaign", it wasn't for lack of trying.

Mon Jun 11 16:47:28 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Report: Comey defied authority, Lynch rebuked in IG report

ABC NewsThe Justice Department's internal watchdog has concluded that James Comey defied authority at times during his tenure as FBI director, according to sources familiar with a draft report on the matter.

One source told ABC News that the draft report explicitly used the word "insubordinate" to describe Comey's behavior. Another source agreed with that characterization but could not confirm the use of the term.

Given the timing and the subject matter covered, that means insubordinate to Obama's officials. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but the examples given by the leaker seem to be pointing towards Comey's decision to personally announce he would not recommend charges and to inform Congress that he was reopening the investigation shortly before the election.

Frankly, that sounds like a pro-Comey spin calculated to appeal to both sides. On the right, it reads as, "Gosh, look at this upright moral figure defying Obama's DOJ to do what he thought was right!" On the left, it reads as, "It's all Comey's fault Hillary lost! He should never have defied authority!"

Supposedly the report cites Comey for failing to consult with Lynch before his announcement. I don't know if he consulted her or not. I know that Lynch had publicly said she would take his recommendation while privately refusing to recuse herself after the tarmac summit, and I also know (from Page-Strzok texts) that Lynch knew damn well Hillary would be exonerated. So I'm not sure I buy this part.

In fact, the whole article reads like spin doctoring. I don't trust it. I want the real report.

ABC NewsIn the draft report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz also rebuked former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for her handling of the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's personal email server, the sources said.

No details on exactly what she was rebuked for, aside from (obviously) the tarmac meeting, but we've heard enough hints that there are more things she did that deserve rebuking.

Remember as you read that the article is based on leaks, and the leaks are likely coming from people with a personal stake in softening the report or directing the attention it gets in one direction or another.

Categories Spygate

Thu Jun 07 10:47:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Caputo claims government contractor tried to pass him Hillary emails

This is at least one more informant, possibly two more, and this one involved someone in the US government trying to pass Hillary emails to the Trump campaign. It's a big deal, because it makes it very obvious that there was a setup attempt. If Caputo had accepted those emails, it would have been used to falsely link the Trump campaign to being involved in illegally hacking them.

And Caputo claims he raised the issue with Mueller's team, and they did not bother to reach out to the person who was offering Hillary's emails to Caputo.

Wed Jun 06 11:43:11 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McCabe requests criminal immunity in return for testimony

The Conservative TreehouseWait, what? We’ve obviously come a full 180° from the place where Democrats were proclaiming McCabe’s innocence; and we’ve entered the phase where McCabe is requesting criminal immunity in exchange for testimony about what he knows of the corrupt FBI operations in 2016 and 2017.

Should he get it? I will answer in six words. "The White House is running this." Except that McCabe has already been fired for lying to the FBI, so whether his testimony can be trusted is open to question.

I'd like to know what McCabe knows and who he can implicate, but this should be a plea bargain, not an immunity deal.

Wed Jun 06 09:13:28 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Papadopoulos was colluding with ... Israel?

Daily CallerGeorge Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante, said her husband was not involved in collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and that he pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation to avoid facing charges that he was an agent of the Israeli government.

Even assuming he actually was colluding with Israel -- which I don't actually assume, other than hypothetically -- this is a long ways away from colluding with Russia. And Mueller's brief only covers colluding with Russia.

At some point, you have to stop Mueller from charging people with made-up crimes unrelated to his limited special counsel mandate just to get leverage.

And before saying Trump should just start pardoning people, there's an argument that's what Mueller wants. While there's an active investigation Mueller can claim was being "obstructed", Trump would be wise to avoid any directly connected pardons. Not because use of the pardon power could be criminal obstruction of justice, but because Mueller would certainly describe it that way to Congress in an impeachment report.

I don't know if Papadopoulos was colluding with Israel, or Russia, or anyone at all. I do know that Dan Bongino's show from June 5th, 2018, floated the interesting idea that Papadopoulos was arrested in a hurry -- without even getting a warrant ahead of time -- on the same day the IG notified Mueller's team of the text messages from Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and also that Papadopoulos mentioned the "Maltese Professor" Mifsud before being very vigorously told to shut up. Bongino speculates that Mifsud was the push component, trying to put information about Hillary's emails from Russians into the Trump campaign, so that Halper and others could try to pull the information out and use it against Trump.

If that read is accurate, Papadopoulos was arrested to shut him up so that the information about Mifsud and the entrapment side of the operation would stay quiet.

I don't think it's going to stay quiet. I think it's out there now, and the effort to shut Papadopoulos up was too little too late.

Wed Jun 06 09:11:48 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comey, McCabe, Rybicki, others discussed CNN story about dossier

The FederalistHours before Comey briefed Trump, FBI chief of staff James Rybicki e-mailed staff that Comey “is coming into HQ briefly now for an update from the sensitive matter team.” Just as the same officials dubbed the Clinton e-mail investigation the “mid-year exam” and the anti-Trump counterintelligence investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” they also used various phrases using “sensitive” to refer obliquely to the dossier.

Two days after the briefing, on January 8, 2017, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who earlier this year was fired and then referred for criminal prosecution by the DOJ inspector general for repeatedly lying about media leaks, wrote an e-mail to top FBI officials with the subject, “Flood is coming.”

“CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” McCabe wrote to Comey, Rybicki, and two others. “The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.” He did not detail how he came to know what CNN’s “trigger” was for publishing the dossier briefing story.

McCabe was likely the leaker, or possibly others, but this ties Comey pretty closely to knowledge of the leaking.

Fri Jun 01 11:35:04 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When leaks are propaganda...

John Solomon, of The Hill, has two pieces of supposedly breaking news about Spygate. The only thing actually new in his breaking news is the justifications and excuses his sources are offering to try to spin the story.

The first is that the FBI began spying on the Trump campaign before the investigation had an official predicate:

PJMedia[T]he FBI began spying on members of the Trump campaign to gather the intelligence that ultimately justified the collusion investigation, weeks or even months before the FBI had a formal predicate.

"That's very important. The rules say you can't use sources until you have a predicated investigation. The predication is July 31, 2016," Solomon told Fox host Sean Hannity. The investigative reporter said he had sources and documents backing up his claim that he would be making public in his report in The Hill on Friday.

He stressed that informants were making contacts with the Trump officials and providing information to the FBI "much, much earlier than July 31."

That's not so much a scoop as an admission. We've known that the investigation, including the actions by the spy Halper, took place earlier than July, and that the investigation supposedly started in July. There have been efforts to try to push the date backwards, but those have now failed; Solomon's sources appear to be admitting the approaches by Halper started before the official investigation was opened, and that that was a violation of the the rules.

But it's also there to conceal the big admission: the Obama White House was involved.

PJMediaThe second part of his bombshell report, Solomon explained, deals with internal FBI communications between former counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, his mistress Lisa Page, and others discussing how the Obama White House was trying to take over the investigation.

"The words 'the White House is running this' are clear in the text message," Solomon told Hannity, adding that "the FBI agents who opened this case feared that Barack Obama was weak on national security and wouldn't do what they needed for Russia."

He said, "The political elements of the administration were trying to intrude on the FBI investigation."

Those words (bolded above) were redacted in the original release, if I remember correctly. And the spin is where Solomon says the White House was trying to take over the investigation. That's not what the message says. The White House is running this. Not trying to, and being rebuffed by loyal nonpartisan FBI agents. Is Running.

And it's not just two FBI agents speculating. We have Rice's self-justifying "by the book" memo to herself.

In other words, we have documentary evidence (and likely testimony from Page and Strzok as cooperating witnesses, at a minimum) that the political spying on Trump was run from the White House, and Rice's email to herself demonstrates that it was run right from the top -- Obama himself. Mind you, Rice was trying to cover for him by saying Obama told them to do it all "by the book". But the evidence is that the FBI, CIA, NSA, and others did not do it "by the book". The evidence makes Rice's email a transparently self-serving cover story. It also exposes as a lie Ben Rhodes' claim in his book that Obama did not know about the investigation until he left office. Oops; in their hurry to cover their own ass they forget to coordinate their stories.

Unless Obama left a paper trail of secret pardons on his way out the door, people will be going to jail for this.

Fri Jun 01 10:43:32 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why hasn't Mueller indicted the hackers?

The HillIn the year since the start of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, one thing has been notably absent: a public indictment of any Russians for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

My take is that the DNC was not "hacked." The emails were leaked by an insider, via USB device, to Wikileaks directly. The leaker may have been Seth Rich, who was found murdered in an alley, although the Awan brothers from Pakistan who were running IT for Debbie Wasserman Schultz are also good candidates.

But Mueller can't admit that (if he even knows) because it would destroy the Russian collusion narrative. The DNC email "hack" is the black hole that the whole scandal revolves around without ever shedding any light.

Fri Jun 01 09:35:04 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fusion GOS founder Glenn Simpson lied to Congress

When, exactly, will he be indicted for claiming he had no Trump-Russia client to continue his "investigation"?

This is the Mike Flynn standard, folks. Logan Act violations. Little white lies... or you know, $50 million dollar lies, especially to Congress.

Thu May 31 10:40:30 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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