Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How Much Pressure Do You Think There Is On Peter Strzok?

John Solomon is using the Kathleen Kavalec story to perpetrate the journalistic version of death by a thousand cuts. In his latest article, State Department's red flag on Steele went to a senior FBI man well before FISA warrant, Solomon documents that the information Kavalec received from Brit fabulist and ex-MI6 spook Chris Steele went straight to the FBI and was then routed to ... Peter Strzok. The FBI is required to apprise the FISA court about any reasons for doubting the reliability of a source. Kavalec's typed up account of her interview with Steele includes the "important to note" fact that Steele claimed that the alleged "Russian network" was being paid out of the "Russian Consulate in Miami"--which, as Kavalec points out, doesn't exist. Would the FISA court have been interested to know that the supposedly reliable Steele, on whom the warrant was totally reliant, was inventing stories about non-existent Russian consulates? Would this suggest that he was inventing other "facts," like the "Russian network"?

Multiple sources confirm to me that the recipient of the State Department email was Special Agent Stephen Laycock, then the FBI’s section chief for Eurasian counterintelligence and now one of the bureau’s top executives as the assistant director for intelligence under Director Christopher Wray. 
The email to Laycock from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec arrived eight days before the FBI swore to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it had no derogatory information on Steele and used his anti-Trump dossier to secure a secret surveillance warrant to investigate Trump’s possible ties to Moscow. 
Officials tell me that Laycock immediately forwarded the information he received about Steele on Oct. 13, 2016, to the FBI team leading the Trump-Russia investigation, headed by then-fellow Special Agent Peter Strzok. 
Laycock was the normal point of contact for Kavalec on Eurasian counterintelligence matters, and he simply acted as a conduit to get the information to his colleagues supervising the Russia probe, the officials added.
The officials declined to say what the FBI did with the information about Steele after it reached Strzok’s team, or what the email specifically revealed. A publicly disclosed version of the email has been heavily redacted in the name of national security.

It was Strzok's responsibility to make sure that derogatory information was included in the Carter Page FISA application. I'd say there's an enormous amount of pressure on Strzok to do a deal with John Durham if Strzok has any incriminating information on other officials higher up the ladder. We can start with Andy McCabe and James Comey and continue with John Brennan and James Clapper. Strzok appears to have been the poodle running back and forth between the principals in the Intelligence Community who would have had overall direction over the Russia Hoax.

ADDENDUM: Oh my! Sundance at CTH is all over this. Get a load of this--the FBI's FISA application specifically cites information coming from the State Department in October, 2016, for the proposition that Carter Page is a Russian agent:

Worse yet, in the application itself the FBI said the information proving Carter Page was an agent of a foreign power came from the State Dept:

IMO: Peter Strzok is in a world of hurt.


  1. In my comments to your Judicial Watch/Weissmann post, I mentioned my "top three" for cruelty.

    Regarding Peter Strozk, he came across as arrogant, stupid or crazy during his congressional hearings. He was defiant. I wonder if he is slightly less haughty these days.

    I read somewhere a piece that Lisa Page has really suffered for all of her involvement. While I do have compassion for her husband and children, she made her bed. She knew better. Spare me the sob story.

    Who cries for Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Papa D and Carter Page?

    1. Exactly. That's part of what made me so angry re CJ's crazy idea of letting this play out.

  2. From the Washington Examiner

    "Trey Gowdy said on Tuesday that former CIA Director John Brennan is in more jeopardy than former FBI Director James Comey for the use of an unverified dossier for the Trump-Russia investigation."

  3. John Brennan tweet from today

    John O. Brennan
    ‏Verified account @JohnBrennan
    4h4 hours ago

    Senator Graham & his ilk bear responsibility for damage being done to our national interests—at home & abroad—by acquiescing to Mr. Trump’s incompetence, corruption, & malevolence. Who will shun political expedience & do what is right? “Who among you is wise and understanding?”

    Someone seems a little nervous.

    1. Indeed. That's not a defense that will keep him out of prison--in fact, it's not a defense at all. It's a political justification. And if Brennan thinks the Left will regard him as some sort of martyr, he's wrong.

  4. These are FBI e-mails- the IG should have all of these in unredacted form. The question is, does he?

    1. If the IG can't get them, no one can. He has an excellent forensic staff. I assume the investigators have all this stuff already and have had for a long time.

  5. The tell about who has flipped (or is in negotiation to flip) is the degree to which they have gone underground and disappeared from the public spotlight. Brennan, Comey, and Clapper are all still very much trying to make their case in public these days. Not a peep has been heard recently from McCabe, Strozk, Lisa Page, Joe Pientka, and many other lower level participants. The first ones to flip usually get the best deals, and Lisa Page has young children, so she has a huge incentive to flip. Her testimony would be devastating.

  6. Question: Do FISA court judges actually wade through these warrant applications? Or simply take the signed documents by the authorized personnel (FBI director, AG, their deputies, etc.), and the sworn oath of the FBI agent applicant as to the truthfulness of the warrant application? As I understand, the Page warrant application was 100+ pages. Does the judge tell the agent to come back when he's read the document? Presumably, sworn omissions and deceptions would be equivalent to perjury...

    1. FISA applications follow a set outline which you can find at section 1804(a)(1)-(9). As you can see, much of each application is boilerplate that doesn't vary much from one application to another. I assume that those parts get skimmed--Rod Rosenstein basically said that's what he did. The part that has to be read with particular care is the presentation of probable cause (3), which naturally is tailored to each case and can be more or less complex.

      The FISC judges who have spoken about the work involved swear that they read the applications: How the FISA Court Really Works. However, there have been rumors that the judges often let their clerks do most of the work. The linked article confirms that, although the author would have you believe there's nothing untoward about that. That's probably true ... in most cases. Nevertheless, one wonders whether the Obama administration politicized the FISA application process in more than just the Carter Page case.

    2. Thanks for the response--and the links.

      Obama politicized intelligence?! The Shaffer interview stated a hunch that Trump wasn't the only one surveilled. Given what we know about some reporters, e.g. James Rosen, Sheryl Atkinson, Shaffer's hunch seems likely...

      It's almost humorous to look back at media's dismissal of Trump's claim that Trump Tower was bugged.

      There's a rather long list emerging of those willing to be a patsy for those manipulating "secret findings" and public understanding in pursuit of a partisan agenda. Was Steele the author of creative fiction, or a stenographer of Russian disinformation? Reporters were leaked to by CIA, FBI, Steele with fictions of one sort or another. Comey was put up to the Jan 2017 meeting with Trump (by Clapper) as hook for media reporting on the dossier. Susan Rice writes her CYA memo to file on Jan 20, after Trump's inauguration. The list is long.

    3. It seems Barr will be looking into that 1/6/17 Comey/Trump meeting--and events surrounding it.