Tag Archives: Nunes Memo

Fmr. Fed Prosecutor Claims Democratic Memo Blocked Due to Internal “Criminal Investigation” of FBI and DOJ

Washington, D.C.— Former Federal prosecutor Joe DiGenova, who was previously appointed as a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Teamsters, claimed during a radio interview with station WMAL that the reason the Democratic memo was blocked on the recommendation of the DOJ and FBI is that both agencies are conducting active internal investigations into politically motivated actions, carried out by certain individuals which the release of the memo without redactions could compromise.

During the radio interview with WMAL, featured below, DiGenova stated:

We’re going to see the [Democrat memo]. It will be heavily edited by the FBI and the Department of Justice and the CIA. The most important part of this story is that on Friday, February the 9th, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray wrote a letter to the White House counsel Don McGahn that they could not agree to the publication of the Schiff memo because it contained national security and law enforcement concerns. It was actually the FBI and the Department of Justice says no [to releasing the memo]. The most important part of that letter is when it says… law enforcement concerns. What does that mean? It means, that there is a criminal investigation underway and release of some of the information in the memo by Mr. Schiff will affect that criminal investigation. I wonder who they are investigating? And the answer is pretty clear. They are investigating the people at the FBI and the DOJ who provided false information to the FISA court over a number of years, including, involving Carter Page.

Last month during an interview with The Daily Caller, DiGenova alleged that the Obama Administration engaged in a “brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton,” and that the attempt to “frame an incoming president with a false Russian conspiracy” was unraveling.

“The FBI used to spy on Russians. This time they spied on us. what this story is about – a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton from a clear violation of the law with regard to the way she handled classified information with her classified server. Absolutely a crime, absolutely a felony. It’s about finding out why – as the Inspector General is doing at the department of justice – why Comey and the senior DOJ officials conducted a fake criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton. Followed none of the regular rules, gave her every break in the book, immunized all kinds of people, allowed the destruction of evidence, no grand jury, no subpoenas, no search warrant. That’s not an investigation, that’s a Potemkin village. It’s a farce.”

In the interview, the former federal prosecutor condemned the FBI’s close relationship with Fusion GPS, which he described as “a political hit squad paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign to create and spread the discredited Steele dossier about President Donald Trump.” DiGenova went on lay out the breadth of the conspiracy against Trump, saying that the FBI, without a justifiable law enforcement or national security reason “created false facts so that they could get surveillance warrants.”

“Those are all crimes,” said DiGenova, noting that using official FISA-702 “queries” and surveillance was done “to create a false case against a candidate, and then a president.”

Trump Halts Declassifying Democrat Memo; Revisions Underway

Washington, D.C.— On Friday evening, President Trump declined to release the Democratic House Intelligence memo, noting that he was “unable” to declassify the memo, citing the “significant concerns” of both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to releasing the memo, due to “longstanding principles regarding the protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations, and other similarly sensitive information,” according to a written statement from White House Counsel Donald McGahn.

According to a report by The Hill:

White House counsel Don McGahn wrote a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) explaining that “although the president is inclined to declassify” the Democratic memo, the administration believes it would create “especially significant concerns” for “national security and law enforcement interests.”
Trump’s legal team insists that it came to that conclusion at the behest of senior officials at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The letter from McGahn to Nunes specified that certain information could not be released without compromising “sources and methods, ongoing investigations, and other similarly sensitive information.” A separate letter to McGahn from FBI Director Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein referenced information identified within the memo holding “national security or law enforcement concerns.” The FBI had previously echoed similar concerns about the release of the Nunes memo prior to Trump’s approval of the release.

The Democratic memo is reportedly ten pages long and is written in part as a rebuttal of the recently released GOP House Intelligence Committee memo, which claimed to have exposed politicization of the FBI and DOJ and lying by omission to the FISA court in an effort to attain surveillance warrants on Trump campaign staff.

McGahn wrote that in the name of maintaining transparency, President Trump had directed the DOJ to give technical assistance to the committee to a help revise the memo based on the “significant concerns” of the FBI and DOJ.

“The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity,” McGahn’s letter declared.

On Saturday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to accuse the Democrats of playing politics with classified information, claiming that Democrats knew that inclusion of “sources and methods (and more) would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency.”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/962330457886076928

Democrats including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have criticized Trump for approving the release of the Nunes memo while blocking the release of the Democratic memo.

Chairman of the House committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, who ran point on the GOP’s FBI/FISA memo, said Democrats should follow the guidance of the DOJ’s recommendations and “make the appropriate technical changes and redactions” in order to allow their memo into the public domain.

Congressman and House Intelligence Committee member Jim Himes (D-CT) said on Saturday that the Committee plans to apply redactions to the memo, according to the New York Times. On Sunday, Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that “we’re going to sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have, and any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact.”

Reality Check: GOP Memo and FISA Problems

Should the FISA court be more transparent? Vote in our poll.

Friday, the White House released a controversial memo meant to provide some context to the whole Trump/Russia investigation.

The Nunes memo is four pages long, and it explains many of what seem to be very questionable actions by the Department of Justice and the FBI in how they got their hands on FISA warrants on Trump campaign officials.

But more than just this case, this memo backs up what civil libertarians have been screaming about for years. And begs the question—can the FISA court system actually be trusted?

Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

First, let’s start with the Nunes memo. It was long anticipated. So what did it show?

The memo focuses in part on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants that authorized the surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

First, The memo claims that, “On Oct. 21, 2016 the DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Page.”

According to the memo, “The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant tareting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC.”

“…Then-FBI Director James Comey signed three FISA applications on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one.”

The memo also says, “Then-DAG [Deputy Attorney General] Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the DOJ.”

Now, where things get interesting is when you bring in that infamous Trump dossier.

It was created by former British Spy Christopher Steele on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

The memo states that, “Neither the initial application for the warrant in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding of Steele’s efforts.”

That’s despite the fact that we know Steele was paid more than $160,000, and even though the memo states that both the DOJ and the FBI were aware of the Democratic Party funding of the dossier.

The memo claims that in the Carter Page FISA application a Yahoo News article was cited extensively. But the memo states that the article did not corroborate the Steele dossier because “it was derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.

In fact, the memo says that the FISA application “incorrectly asses 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.”

The memo also claims that, “before and after Steele was terminated as a source,” which by the way was, according to the memo, because of unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI, Steele “maintained contact” with the DOJ through then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr.

Ohr, who worked closely with Yates then Rosenstein, eventually spoke with the FBI about his communications with Steele.

In September 2016, Steele apparently told Ohr he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” according to the memo.

And the memo also notes Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS to help with the opposition research against Trump, something the memo claims was—once again—not disclosed.

The memo also claims that McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 “that no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the Steele dossier information. But there is no direct quote from McCabe’s (behind-closed-doors) testimony.

Finally, the memo ends with information about George Papadopoulos—who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI—and claims the FISA application mentions information about Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of a counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok.”

(Strzok was removed from Mueller’s probe after anti-Trump texts between him and his mistress, former FBI agent Lisa Page, were discovered.)

For her part, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN that this memo is all a lie.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported, “FISA court was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, but that the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.”

But there is actually a larger question here. Larger than this memo, larger than the Trump/Russia question. It is a question civil libertarians have been asking for years.

How does anyone in America trust the FISA court system?

What you need to know is that this story is much bigger than just President Trump. If the Nunes memo holds up as true, what does that mean for those who have been charged or arrested under the other 38,000 plus FISA warrants?

The President shouldn’t be above anyone else and if transparency is deserved in his case, shouldn’t transparency be deserved in all FISA cases?

Lets talk about that tonight on Twitter and Facebook.

Poll: Should the FISA Court Be More Transparent?

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5 Critical Facts the FBI Reportedly Withheld from FISA Court About the Trump Dossier

Washington, D.C. — The recently released FISA memo, compiled by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republican lawmakers, made a number of claims, with one of the most significant claims being that the FBI and DOJ officials utilized unverified opposition research from a dossier created by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to procure and renew a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials – without informing the FISA court that the dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The allegation that the FBI and DOJ reportedly withheld virtually all relevant political context from their submission to the secret FISA court as a basis for a warrant has been claimed by some to be indicative of troubling political motivations.

The Federalist created a list of five critical facts the FBI and DOJ withheld from the FISA court, according to the memo:

#1. The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid to commission the Steel dossier.

Despite claims that Republicans helped pay for the Steele dossier, the commissioning of the document by Fusion GPS only took place after Republican funding had ended. Steele was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to engage in opposition research on Trump, which was the sole source of funding for Steele’s work on the dossier.

According to the memo: “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 and FBI officials.

“The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”

#2. Official FBI records note that Steele was “desperate Trump not get elected,” and was terminated for lying to the FBI about leaking to the media.

Steele was politically biased, as he professed to a senior DOJ official in September 2016 that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This bias was actually noted in official FBI files, but was allegedly never disclosed to the FISA court.

Additionally, Steele’s relationship with the FBI was terminated after he revealed his work for the agency to the press in October 2016.

According to the memo: “Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.”

None of this was reported to the FISA court, according to the memo.

#3. Then FBI Director Comey testified in June 2017 that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”

“According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—”salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”

#4. The FBI essentially used the dossier to corroborate the dossier. A news story used by the FBI to corroborate the dossier actually came from the dossier author, Steele, leaking its contents to the media.

According to the memo: “The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. 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. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.”

#5. A portion of the information provided to the FISA court came from senior DOJ official, Bruce Ohr’s wife, who was paid by Clinton opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr provided the FBI with his wife’s opposition research, which was included in the information submitted to the FISA court to justify secret surveillance of the Trump team.

Despite the clear connections to Clinton campaign-funded Fusion GPS, the FISA court was apparently never made aware that some of the information provided came from the wife of a DOJ official who was actually working for the Clinton campaign.

According to the memo: “Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.”

The FBI and DOJ are accused of intentionally concealing important information from the FISA court when applying for secret surveillance. Dossier author Steele was fired by the FBI as a source after first FISA warrant was approved in October— with numerous claims put forth in the dossier largely proven unverifiable. Nonetheless, the FBI reportedly chose to conceal the numerous verifiable political motivations to the court in each of the three subsequent renewals of the warrant.

 

Ex-CIA Operative Declares FBI is “Ticked” in Wake of FISA Memo; Pledges “We’re Going to Win”

Washington, D.C. –Philip Mudd, former deputy director of the CIA’s National Counterterrorism Center, said on CNN that despite the recent declassification and release of the GOP FISA memo, which alleged FBI and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) surveillance abuse, the FBI is not worried – and is “going to win.”

Mudd, a CIA counterterrorism analyst for CNN, noted that the FBI is not concerned about the release of the memo, claiming that the recent arrival of Trump as president 13 months ago is inconsequential when compared to the 110-year history of the agency.

“I know how this game is going to be played. We’re going to win,” Mudd, who served as a analyst for the CIA before becoming the deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia on the US National Intelligence Council, told CNN.

In spite of the declassified memo alleging abuses by the FBI and DOJ, over which Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has announced he will pursue criminal charges of treason, Mudd claimed that Trump will be unable to “push us off” the Russian collusion investigation.

 “They [the FBI] are going to be saying (I guarantee it): You [Trump] think you can push us off this [investigation] because you can try to intimidate the [FBI] director? You better think again, Mr. President. You have been around for 13 months. We have been around since 1908,” Mudd said.

[RELATED: 5 Critical Facts the FBI Reportedly Withheld from FISA Court About the Trump Dossier]

Mudd went on to say that “FBI people are ticked,” and ironically claiming that accusations of widespread corruption in the agency, despite being based on evidence, are “an attack on [its] ability to conduct an investigation with integrity.”

The FISA memo was written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republican lawmakers, and made several claims of misconduct, including how FBI and DOJ officials utilized unverified opposition research from a dossier to acquire and then renew a warrant to put a former Trump campaign official under government surveillance.

The FBI reportedly failed to inform the FISA court of Steele’s self-professed disdain for Trump, which had been previously noted in official FBI records.

As previously reported, in the wake of the release of the declassified FISA memo, Gosar  announced that he will pursue a criminal prosecution of officials in both the Justice Department and FBI for “treason.”

“House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Memorandum on the FBI abuse of FISA warrants wasn’t just evidence of incompetence but clear and convincing evidence of treason,” wrote Gosar. The congressman labeled the behavior by FBI and Justice Department officials as “third word politics where official government agencies are used as campaign attack dogs.”

Numerous Democratic politicians, mainstream media outlets, as well as current and former security service officials fiercely resisted the publication of the memo detailing FBI and DOJ abuse, claiming the release would “endanger national security.”

Breaking: Nunes Memo Released

The House Republicans have released the widely discussed memo from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The memo made striking claims of misconduct from senior FBI officials that handled the investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The memo in its entirety is available by clicking on the link below.

Nunes Memo

Ben Swann will be giving this memo a Reality Check next Tuesday… stay tuned.