Skip to comments.NEW: Criminal Referral Confirms Nunes Memo’s Explosive Claims Of FISA Abuse
Posted on 02/07/2018 8:27:55 AM PST by markomalley
A criminal referral from top Senate investigators confirms explosive charges in last weeks House Intelligence Committee memo regarding abuse of surveillance authorities at the FBI and Department of Justice. It also reveals a host of problems arising from the bureaus cooperation with foreign investigator Christopher Steele, who was working on behalf of Hillary Clintons presidential campaign. The eight-page memo from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) includes underlying evidence to support the claims.
It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clintons presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steeles personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility, Sens. Graham and Grassley wrote.
The letter describes a verification effort before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) so inadequate it resembles a concerted effort to conceal information from the court. However, the senators blame Steeles apparent deception for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) failures by FBI and Justice, and refer Steele for investigation of violating federal law regarding making false statements to the U.S. government. The letter also reveals Clinton associates were feeding Steele allegations that he used in his reports.
Last weeks memo from the House Intelligence Committee reported:
Evidence supporting all of these claims is included in a less redacted version of the senators January 4, 2018, referral made publicly available late Tuesday evening. A highly redacted version of the referral was made publicly available the previous day, causing Grassley to ask the FBI to aim for more transparency. The FBI had previously attempted to keep the public from learning details of its relationship with Steele, leading Grassley to publicly decry a bureaucratic game of hide the ball by the FBI and DOJ.
According to the senators, the FBI relied on dossier author Steeles alleged credibility as opposed to corroboration or verification of his salacious and improbable claims for the initial warrant application and its three renewals. The application also mentioned a Yahoo News article, but not only didnt mention the article was sourced to an anonymous Steele, it positively claimed it wasnt.
Reporter Michael Isikoff recently confirmed that Steele was obviously his source for the article, and that Clintons Russia dossier project head Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS was a longtime friend. The FBI stated to the court that Steele had nothing to do with the article. Shopping his unverified allegations to the media was contrary to Steeles agreement with the FBI. Even after Steele publicly testified about his many media contacts, the FBI hid that part of his dossier operation from the court and continued to rely on his credibility for surveillance reauthorization.
The senators criminal referral confirms the details in the House Intelligence Committee memo, adding quotes and details from testimony by top officials at the FBI and source documents, including two FISA warrant applications provided to the committee. Here are some key excerpts from the criminal referral.
When asked at the March 2017 briefing why the FBI relied on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroborationand in light of the highly political motives surrounding its creationthen-Director Comey stated that the FBI included the dossier allegations about Carter Page in the FISA applications because Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.
Indeed, the documents we have reviewed show that the FBI took important investigative steps largely based on Mr. Steeles informationand relying heavily on his credibility. Specifically, on October 21, 2016, the FBI filed its first warrant application under FISA for Carter Page. [REDACTED] The bulk of the application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier.
The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page, although it does cite to a news article that appears to be sourced to Mr. Steeles dossier as well.
[T]he FBI noted to a vaguely limited extent the political origins of the dossier. In footnote 8 the FBI stated that the dossier information was compiled pursuant to the direction of a law firm who had hired an identified U.S. personnow known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS[REDACTED] The application failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpsons ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
[REDACTED], the application attempts to explain away the inconsistency between Mr. Steeles assertion to the FBI and the existence of the article, apparently to shield Mr. Steeles credibility on which it still relied for the renewal request. The application to the FISC said: Given that the information contained in the September 23rd news article generally matches the information about Page that [Steele] discovered doing his/her research, [REDACTED] The FBI does not believe that [Steele] directly provided this information to the press (emphasis added).
In footnote 9 of its January 2017 application to renew the FISA warrant for Mr. Page, the FBI again addressed Mr. Steeles credibility. At that time, the FBI noted that it had suspended its relationship with Mr. Steele in October 2016 because of Steeles unauthorized disclosure of information to the press. In defending Mr. Steeles credibility to the FISC, the FBI had posited an innocuous explanation for the September 23 article, based on the assumption that Mr. Steele had told the FBI the truth about his press contacts. The FBI then vouched for him twice more, using the same rationale, in subsequent renewal applications filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April and June 2017.
The FBI relayed that Steele had been bothered by the FBIs notification to Congress in October 2016 and the reopening of the Clinton investigation, and as a result [Steele] independently and against the prior admonishment from the FBI to speak only with the FBI on this matter, released the reporting discussed herein [dossier allegations against Page] to an identified news organization. However the FBI continued to cite Mr. Steeles past work as evidence of his reliability, and stated that the incident that led to the FBI suspending its relationship with [Mr. Steele] occurred after [Mr. Steele] provided the FBI with the dossier information described in the application. The FBI further asserted in footnote 19 that it did not believe that Steele directly gave information to Yahoo News that published the September 23 News Article.
In Steeles sworn court filings in litigation in London, he admitted that he gave off the record briefings to a small number of journalists about the pre-election memoranda [i.e., the dossier] in late summer/autumn 2016. In another sworn filing in that case, Mr. Steele further stated that journalists from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker, and CNN were briefed at the end of September 2016 by [Steele] and Fusion at Fusions instruction.The filing further states that Mr. Steele subsequently participated in further meetings at Fusions instruction with Fusion and the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News, which took place mid-October 2016.
The first of these filings was publicly reported in the U.S. media in April of 2017, yet the FBI did not subsequently disclose to the ISC this evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI. Instead the application still relied primarily on his credibility prior to the October media incident.
The FBI received similar information from a Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, who maintained contacts with Mr. Simpson and Mr. Steele about their dossier work, and whose wife also worked for Fusion GPS on the Russia project. REDACTED He also noted in the same interview that Mr. Steele was desperate to see that Mr. Trump was not elected president. None of the information provided by Mr. Ohr in his interviews with the FBI was included in the FISA renewal applications, despite its relevance to whether Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI about his contacts with the media as well as its broader relevance to his credibility and his stated political motive.
Whether Mr. Steele lied to the FBI about his media contacts is relevant for at least two reasons. First, it is relevant to his credibility as a source, particularly given the lack of corroboration for his claims, at least at the time they were included in the FISA applicdations. Second, it is relevant to the reliability of his information-gathering efforts.
Mr. Steele conducted his work for Fusion GPS compiling the pre-election memoranda [b]etween June and early November 2016. In the British litigation, Mr. Steele acknowledged briefing journalists about the dossier memoranda in late summer/autumn 2016. Unsurprisingly, during the summer of 2016, reports of at least some of the dossier allegations began circulating among reporters and people involved in Russian issues. Mr. Steele also admitted in the British litigation to briefing journalists from the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker, and CNN in September of 2016. Simply put, the more people who contemporaneously knew that Mr. Steele was compiling his dossier, the more likely it was vulnerable to manipulation. In fact, in the British litigation, which involves a post-election dossier memorandum, Mr. Steele admitted that he received and included in it unsolicitedand unverifiedallegations. That filing implies that he similarly received unsolicited intelligence on these matters prior to the election as well, stating that Mr. Steele continued to receive unsolicited intelligence on the matters covered by the pre-election memoranda after the US Presidential election.
One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges REDACTED as well as REDACTED Mr. Steeles memorandum states that his company received this report from REDACTED US State Department, that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who is in touch with REDACTED, a contact of REDACTED, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to REDACTED. It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steeles work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility.
These facts appear to directly contradict the FBIs assertions in its initial application for the Page FISA warrant, as well as subsequent renewal applications. The FBI repeatedly represented to the court that Mr. Steele told the FBI he did not have unauthorized contacts with the press about the dossier prior to October 2016. The FISA applications make these claims specifically in the context of the September 2016 Yahoo News article. But Mr. Steele has admitted publicly before a court of law that he did have such contacts with the press at this time, and his former business partner Mr. Simpson has confirmed it to the Committee. Thus, the FISA applications are either materially false in claiming that Mr. Steele said he did not provide dossier information to the press prior to October 2016, or Mr. Steele made materially false statements to the FBI when he claimed he only provided the dossier information to his business partner and the FBI.
In this case, Mr. Steeles apparent deception seems to have posed significant material consequences on the FBIs investigative decisions and representations to the court. Mr. Steeles information formed a significant portion of the FBIs warrant application, and the FISA application relied more heavily on Steeles credibility than on any independent verification or corroboration for his claims. Thus the basis for the warrant authorizing surveilance on a U.S. citizen rests largely on Mr. Steeles credibility. The Department of Justice has a responsibility to determine whether Mr. Steele provided false information to the FBI and whether the FBIs representations to the court were in error.
When Grassley announced the criminal referral in early January, he said, Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen [from Steele], but it seems unlikely. He told NBC News, In any event, its up to the Justice Department to figure that out.
Wow. No wonder black folks don't trust our legal system.
1. It’s about time the Judiciary Committees start looking at the FISA judge who approved these warrants. Any HONEST judge - no, don’t laugh - would look very skeptically upon an affidavit for a warrant that clearly targeted a political opponent.
2. On page 3 of the HPSCI FISA memo in item 3), the memo states that ...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. Steele was and is a British citizen, so what was his personal, passionate interest in not wanting Trump elected? Could it be that Steele was, in fact, acting not only on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the DNC, but also on behalf of the British government? If so, could it not also be that, in presenting what none other than Jim Comey called a salacious and uncorroborated report, the FBI and DOJ were acting as agents of a foreign government, whether wittingly or unwittingly? After all, Trump is NOT in good standing with the Brit globalists. Its a relatively sophisticated bit of tradecraft with a lot of risk (witness the FISA memo) and consider that the FISA memo is only the beginning - the first shot out of the barrel.
As I’ve said before, if anyone thinks that even our closest allies are not actively engaged in spying on us and we on them, think again.
FISA court judges were deliberately misled by socialist-democrat and RINO operatives in federal agencies for the sole purpose of attempting to throw a presidential election.
Their nightmare has come to fruition: The man that they sought to destroy, won, and then these people doubled down with an attempted coup to depose a sitting US President.
In short, Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal and Huma Abedin concocted this nefarious plan to bring down Trump by massive abuse of our legal system using law enforcement authorities. Reinhard Heydrich would be proud.
Excellent, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. t y 4 posting.
Mollie Hemingway is one of the very best reporters on the scene today. She’s absolutely superior.
She’s the epitome of integrity.”
I have to agree.
No where in this article do I see the major rolls played by the head snakes; the Obama bastard and the Lynch bitch.
Was the FISA judge a witting or unwitting participant? If unwitting, when will he do something about it? If he does nothing, a reasonable inference would be that he was part of the scheme. The same question applies if more than one judge was involved in the initial warrant application and renewals.
1. What British litigation?
2. FISA court is a rubber stamp court that really doesn’t want to ask a bunch of questions. Obvious process and oversight problem. So FISA court is broken. That’s a real shocker.
More than one judge was involved. I would think the FISC would be livid that they were lied to and anxious to nail the liars.
It seems Ft Marcy Park may need to be enlarged. Winning!
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