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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Is It Time To Rethink Some Things?

The Obamagate "community" is buzzing this morning over newly unredacted Strzok/Page texts that have been made public through the Senate. One of the texts features Strzok asking

"Did you get all our OCONUS lures approved?"

In the original public release "lures" was redacted. It has now been unredacted.

Translation: "OCONUS" = Outside the Continental US; "lures" = sting op, trap.

So, this means that Strzok was seeking authorization for informants of one sort or another--or possibly undercover (UC) agents--to approach a target OCONUS.

Now here's the kicker: this text was from 12/31/15! The FBI was already targeting someone close to Trump way back then! Since this is months before Papadopoulos and Page got near the Trump campaign, the betting is that it was Michael Flynn they were targeting. Which makes sense, because we know that the Obama Administration had it in for Flynn from his days with Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), when he wrote a paper blaming the US for the rise of ISIS.

Once again, the question arises: Was there a case opened on Flynn at that time, to provide an administrative basis for these types of investigative techniques? What kind of an investigation was this: Assessment, Preliminary Investigation, Full Investigation? Could there have been a FISA on Flynn at any time? Does this speculation have any bearing on what we know about Sally Yates and the framing of Flynn in January, 2017:

On January 27, 2017, at Mr. McGahn’s request, Ms. Yates and Mr. McGahn had another meeting. Importantly, DOJ leadership declined to confirm to the White House that Lt. Gen. Flynn was under any type of investigation. According to Mr. McGahn’s memo:
During the meeting, McGahn sought clarification regarding Yates’s prior statements regarding Flynn’s contact with Ambassador Kislyak. Among the issues discussed was whether dismissal of Flynn by the President would compromise any ongoing investigations. Yates was unwilling to confirm or deny that there was an ongoing investigation but did indicate that the DOJ would not object to the White House taking action against Flynn. (Emphasis added.) (NYT, 6/2/18)

This makes sense. DoJ and the FBI would be very reluctant, seven days after President Trump had been inaugurated, to let Trump know that they'd been investigating Flynn for up to two years (or longer!) without warning him that there was a problem. Just as James Comey and Loretta Lynch later decided not to alert to supposedly problematic Russian connections among his Foreign Policy advisers--but to continue investigating.

You have to assume that IG Horowitz knows the answers to some of my questions.

ADDENDUM: And now we learn that Another Trump Campaign Aide Was Invited to Cambridge Event Where 'Spygate' Started. That was Stephen Miller, who wasn't just "another campaign aide"--he was a key campaign aide. Was one of the "lures" directed at Miller?

MORE: Regarding the "OCONUS lures," in an appearance on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday former Ass't Director of Counterintelligence for the FBI, Kevin Brock stated:

"If the FBI opened a Source or tasked a Source to gather information particulary from a US person, before opening a formal investigation, then that would be a violation of the guidelines."

That's a true statement, but it seems highly unlikely that the plotters at the FBI were wildly disregarding all guidelines. I'm convinced that they would have gone to great lengths to maintain the appearance that they were following "the book" (per President Obama's admonition as memorialized in Susan Rice's email-to-self). The very high degree of likelihood that the FBI had AT LEAST one case open that related to the Trump campaign as early as this text (December, 2015) is apparent from the fact that Strzok's text speaks of seeking approval for the "lures" and Page's response text reads:

"No, it's just implicated a much bigger policy issue ..."

Seeking of approval from higher ups, raising of multiple policy issues--it all speaks to following the rules that apply only when a case has been opened. If no case had been opened, then there would be no point in seeking approval for anything.

2 comments:

Mike Sylwester said...

During 2015 and the first months of 2016, the Trump-hating leaders of our Intelligence Community were expecting and striving to prove that Trump was being blackmailed by Russian Intelligence.

It was not until the summer of 2016 that the goal shifted to proving that Trump was colluding with Russian Intelligence to use stolen e-mails to affect the US election.

George Papadopoulos became involved in the anti-Trump effort in February 2016. He had led Ben Carson's campaign in January 2016 and then joined Donald Trump's campaign in March 2016. During the intervening month, February, Papadopoulos's credentials were vastly improved when he was hired by the London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP), specifically into the position of Director for International Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law. There he became a colleague of Joseph Mifsud.

In February 2016, the Intelligence Community's Trump-hating leaders still were focused on proving blackmail accusations against Trump. That's why Papapoloulos's conversations did not mention the Russians having "thousands of e-mails". For sure, those conversations were recorded without Papadopoulos's knowledge, and those conversations might be discoverable.

The "thousands of e-mails" were not added to the Papadopoulos story until the end of January 2017 (seventeen), when he was interviewed by the FBI. The subsequent FBI report insinuated belatedly that his 2016 conversations with Mifsud, Downer and Halper had discussed "thousands of e-mails".

What Papadopoulos discussed with Mifsud and Downer in 2016 was not Russian possession of e-mails.

Rather, what was discussed in those 2016 conversations was Russian blackmail of Trump and of his associates. Papadopoulos was being tasked to collect information or to entrap people along blackmail lines.

When Mifsud, Downer and Halper communicated with Papadopoulos, foreign women were involved in the communications. The first known such woman was "Putin's niece", introduced by Mifsud.

Practically everyone interested in the RussiaGate hoax assumes that these foreign women were supposed to lure Papadopoulos himself. Now, however, I speculate that foreign women were being provided to lure Trump's associates. Papadopoulos was supposed to introduce foreign women to Trump's associates in order to concoct situations that appeared to be Russian blackmail.

mark wauck said...

While I'm almost beyond being surprised by any new developments at this point, one thing that would give me pause regarding your theory is the fact that Papadopoulos is actually being prosecuted by Mueller. To my way of thinking, if he had been involved as you theorize, he would have been kept from public view.