Well, we finally have it.
The much bandied about memorandum that, analysts had previously concluded, would paint the FBI and DOJ in a damning light that proved they either knew about the unreliability of sources used to attain warrants in surveilling the president or did not properly vet their sources is here.
And, when ramifications and details are thoroughly considered, it is as big a bombshell as has been reported. Unfortunately, that is not good news for anybody, despite the exposure of the corrupt actors in the FBI and DOJ being unequivocally positive.
Here is what the memo says, and what it all means going forward.
Stated under the Purpose section of the memo, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence states outright that their findings ‘1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.’
These findings were based on evidence attained during the presidential campaign process, when Barack Obama was still in office. Because the issue in question is the surveillance of American citizens, specifically Trump campaign volunteer and foreign policy advisor Carter Page, the application for a FISA warrant would have necessarily had to have been reviewed by the FBI Director or Deputy Director, which would have been Jim Comey or Andrew McCabe. This means that in all the Committee’s findings of wrongdoing, either Comey or McCabe is directly implicated.
The application also required approval from the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division. Whoever approved the application also holds a level of liability in not properly vetting or confirming the legitimacy of the source(s) upon which the application relied, or exposing relevant material information that they did in fact know.
It was the obtaining of a probable cause order from the FISA court on October 21, 2016 for surveillance on Carter Page and three subsequent renewals of that warrant that is at the core of the misdoings. Each of the renewals after 90 days required new probable cause for substantiation, according to statute.
In fact, James Comey’s signature was on three of the warrant applications, with McCabe’s on another. It was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who each signed different warrant applications.
It is made clear that in order for the FISA rulings, which are kept classified, to be made accurately, all relevant facts must be presented to the court about the sources being relied upon to establish probable cause. That is the legal responsibility of the FBI and those in the Justice Department who approve the application. Despite this legal mandate, the HPSCI findings describe how ‘material and relevant material was omitted’ with respect to applications and renewals for surveillance on Trump volunteer Carter Page.
It’s made clear that the FBI’s reliance upon Christopher Steele, whose links to the DNC and Clinton campaign and the law firm Perkins Coie – which has significant ties to Obama for America and Crowdstrike, the service used to ‘verify’ that the DNC had in fact been hacked by Russians – was at the heart of the wrongdoing. Either the FBI and DOJ knew about Steele’s clear conflict of interest as a source, or should have known and did not properly vet him.
Per the memo:
‘1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the lawfirm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.’
So, as you can see, the FBI and DOJ officials who signed off on the FISA surveillance application did know about the many conflicts of interest that Steele presented, and knowingly omitted those details from their application, which was given under oath. They knew that the source was compromised and presented the evidence anyway, which suggests that they knew the entire narrative was almost certainly untrue.
This is the epitome of a weaponized FBI and DOJ complicit in manufacturing a scandal in order to go fishing for something that could truly be used against Donald Trump and thus, ruin his campaign for president or get him impeached.
The Clinton campaign, law firm Perkins Coie, and the FBI and DOJ leadership appointed by then-president Barack Obama were in search of, essentially, a general warrant, which meant they had to lie-by-omission to the FISA court to be granted one.
‘A general warrant refers to a warrant providing a law-enforcement officer with broad discretion or authority to search and seize unspecified places or persons. A general warrant lacks a sufficiently particularized description of the person or thing to be seized or the place to be searched. General warrants are unconstitutional because they do not meet the Fourth Amendment's specificity requirements.’ (US Legal)
While the initial FISA application does mention that Steele was being employed by an American person, it omits that the person was Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson, who was in turn being funded by Perkins Coie as a representative of the DNC, which we now know was essentially a front for the Clinton campaign (just ask Bernie Sanders). Further, the FBI actually paid Steele for the very same information.
You read that right: Christopher Steele was paid by the FBI to attain this unreliable, politically motivated information, despite the Bureau knowing that he was working on behalf of political actors. It’s simply more insult to injury for those that wasted any amount of time believing in/pursuing the Russia narrative or the notion that the FBI had not been thoroughly corrupted and politically weaponized.
The HPSCI memo does not make clear what information was used as new probable cause for the three times that the original application was approved for renewal. However, details of Steele’s thorough partisan motives, both personal and economic, are confirmed to have been known by FBI brass, yet kept secret from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
As it turns out, the Page application also used a Yahoo News report as corroboration of the Steele dossier’s validity. Yet, it was Steele himself who leaked the information used for the Yahoo News report to reporter Michael Isikoff. The Page application lied about this material fact.
‘The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News – and several other outlets – in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS.’
Remember that Fusion GPS essentially represents the DNC. The Fusion-issued order that Steele meet with news outlets proves intent that those news reports would be used as supposedly independent corroboration for the information in the FISA application. And, that’s precisely what occurred. As soon as it was known that Steele had come into contact with the media, he should have been let go as an FBI source.
‘b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling – maintaining confidentiality – and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.’
Though these contacts were not disclosed officially to the FBI, they had to have connected the dots based on Steele’s exclusive information being obviously disseminated. It wasn’t until nine days after the application’s approval, on October 30th, that Steele was terminated for detailing to the media aspects of his (untoward) relationship with the FBI.
So, not only did the FBI and presumably DOJ know that Steele’s own status as a source unreliable, but also that news reports with information known only by Steele were not truly corroborative of his findings. Yet, they proceeded as if the opposite were true.
It was only after Donald Trump’s election that the FBI began to seriously vet those who had been in contact with Steele, as they should have done before using him as such a critical source. Even though they already had ample knowledge that precluded Steele from being a source for a FISA warrant, revelations exposed after the election only illustrate more intensely just how compromised Steele was.
‘Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing (Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce) Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele…in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”’
This information was known by the FBI, yet they continued to apply for FISA warrant renewals without disclosing this information to the court. Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was also employed by Fusion GPS and is thought to have disseminated information directly between the two entities. This is a further comingling between the DOJ and the Trump-opposition research firm that a) precluded either from being involved with any application for a FISA warrant to be used against a Trump-linked person and b) proves just how intertwined the DOJ, FBI, Obama administration, and Clinton campaign were, and to some extent still are.
Even James Comey admitted that the dossier was “salacious and unverified” as he continued to sign off on applications that relied on that same dossier, and its thoroughly compromised source, as the basis for further intelligence gathering on the Trump campaign and presidency.
Conveniently, the application did include reports of “credible reporting on other unrelated matters” to falsely portray Steele as credible in the case of Carter Page. It’s a dereliction of the FBI and DOJ’s duties of the highest order.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe even admitted in his December 2017 testimony before the Committee that, without the Steele dossier, none of the warrant applications would have been possible. And they knew that the financial motivations, personal beliefs, and associations of Christopher Steele made it more than likely that much of his information was false (as it was proven to be) and that, without a shadow of a doubt, Steele’s information was never to be relied upon for any legal basis.
They knew that it was unreliable, but instead of dropping him as a source they chose to hide from the courts the information that made evidence of Steele’s partisan nature obvious. Those that signed off on the applications bereft of material facts that would have prevented their approval betrayed a sworn oath to the court and the American people.
That means that Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Yates, and Boente all perjured themselves by issuing their signatures. Now, the fact that they did so – assuming these charges are pursued and formally established – will be evidence of their own untrustworthiness. This means that the FBI and DOJ will likely face a mountain of re-trials and litigation pertaining to cases which were handled by or relied upon information provided by these individuals.
That is primary the reason why the FBI was so adamant that the memo not be released. None of the information contained within it can be credibly argued as a threat to national security. The narrative put out by the likes of current director Christopher Wray that the memo contained material omissions, in light of what the memo does say about omissions in FISA warrant applications, could not be more ironic.
And, we mustn’t forget that the Obama administration and Clinton campaigns are inextricably linked with all of this wrongdoing by the DOJ and FBI, the integrity of which relies upon being above partisanship. Who would have been the beneficiary of all of this career-risking, reputation ruining malfeasance by high-ranking members of the DOJ and FBI if not the Obama and Clinton camps?
We already knew that the DNC and Clinton campaign openly funded Christopher Steele through Fusion GPS, but this mind-blowing memo details how the FBI and DOJ were as complicit, if not more so, in illegally spying on members of the Trump campaign, hoping to come up with any form of evidence that could be credibly used against him.
Clearly, these intelligence agencies assumed that he would either be prevented from election or impeached based on evidence they came up with through these FISC-issued wiretapping warrants before the house of cards that they built those warrants upon was exposed. Had Trump not been elected, this information never would have seen the light of day.
It makes you wonder what else they’ve been hiding over years prior to Donald’s arrival.
Fortunately for the American people, we now know the extent to which skepticism is necessary, especially when it comes to the most powerful offices and institutions in our land.
This level of FBI and DOJ corruption and political collusion is unprecedented, and it’s as big a deal as it was made out to be. The details of the memo essentially serve as a Howitzer strike to anybody who points to the ‘findings of the intelligence community’ as any form of validation for their argument or opinion. Such claims are now darkly laughable, with respect to the countless agents and employees who now look on with disgust at the amoral behavior of their so-called superiors, and have done so for quite some time.
This case perfectly illustrates why government was never meant to be as powerful as it now is, and was to be limited to the greatest extent possible. Hopefully this marks the beginning of the end for the Big Brother faction in the intelligence community, though we now have a picture of just how deep the swamp runs, and it isn’t pretty.