This morning Fox has its story about the former FBI lawyer--"forced out of the bureau"--who "altered" a document relating to the Carter Page FISA. There are two significant paragraphs in the Fox story--Horowitz reportedly finds FBI lawyer falsified FISA doc; WaPo stealth-deletes Strzok connection--that contain tantalizing information:
The new evidence concerning the altered document, which was related to the FBI's FISA court warrant application to surveil Page, is expected to be outlined in Horowitz's upcoming report. CNN first reported the news, which was largely confirmed by The Washington Post.
The Post, hours after publishing its story, conspicuously removed the portion of its reporting that the FBI employee involved was underneath Peter Strzok, the FBI's since-fired head of counterintelligence. The Post did not offer an explanation for the change, which occurred shortly after midnight. Earlier this week, the DOJ highlighted a slew of anti-Trump text messages sent by Strzok when he was leading the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into the Trump campaign.
Horowitz reportedly found that the FBI employee who modified the FISA document falsely stated that he had "documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis" for the FISA warrant application, the Post reported. Then, the FBI employee allegedly "altered an email" to substantiate his inaccurate version of events. The employee has since been forced out of the bureau.
Of course lots of people working Counterintelligence (CI) at FBIHQ would be "underneath" Strzok. However, I doubt that very many FBI lawyers at that level would have been that involved with the Carter Page FISA, so that leads to the suspicion that the misrepresentations to DoJ were made with Strzok's knowledge--possibly even at his request. There can be no doubt that Horowitz pursued that angle and that Durham will continue to press the issue if it hasn't already been resolved. Who else knew besides the lawyer? Surely more than just that lawyer pored over the original documentation that was supposed to provide probably cause against Carter Page (which is required for a FISA against a US person).
The other item of interest confirms my doubt that an original investigative case file document had been altered. It sounds like the lawyer made verbal representations to DoJ and then "altered an email" to corroborate the verbal representations. Again, how would that work? Probably the lawyer who claimed to have an email to support the claimed version of events (a surveillance matter) said he/she would forward the substantiation. But, rather than forwarding the entire email simply "quoted" it--an edited, altered, quote.
Again, we'll be learning more.
An additional point. Sidney Powell, lawyer for Michael Flynn, follows all these developments closely. She will be sure to include reference to this matter in countering government claims that she has "no reason to doubt" their representations regarding the Flynn 302 that was created by Strzok, probably in cooperation with others at the FBI.
I believe it was James A. Baker, the former FBI general counsel, who worked closely with James Comey during that period. He would have been a trusted member of the coup team. The FISA warrant was massively reworked, not just little stuff, to change its meaning.ReplyDelete
“The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified,” CNN reports. The question naturally arises as to whether the details gained classified status because officials sought to hide the deception or whether the details actually rated such a designation. The heavily redacted warrant application dropped jaws upon its release by referring to opposition research as “research,” claiming a “law firm” rather than the Clinton campaign hired the investigators, and seemingly labeling former MI6 spook Christopher Steele as a “U.S. person.” The notion that an FBI employee altered a report already criticized for deception further undermines the credibility of the probe.
Baker was “reassigned” in December 2017 and later resigned from the FBI. He headed to Lawfare.
The article says "underneath" Strzok. Baker would have been quite a bit above Strzok.Delete
When I wrote about Baker I hadn’t seen the report about the lawyer’s being underneath Strzok. And it has been removed. As you way, we will find out more. I just have a problem with CNN’s account of a document’s being significantly altered as to its meaning, and that task’s being performed by some “underling”.Delete
We’ll find out…when these tantalizing reports come out there are always guessing games until facts are known, aren’t there...
As you and I have both said: I just have a problem with ... a document’s being significantly altered as to its meaning, and that task’s being performed by some “underling”.Delete
Lawyer Lisa Page, who primarily worked with “Andy” McCabe, also would have worked with Strzok.ReplyDelete
Whoever did this had to be a trusted member of the group.
Page would not have reported to Strzok, and so would not have been "underneath" him (in that sense).Delete
Page would not have reported to Strzok, and so would not have been "underneath" him (in that sense).Delete
Can you elaborate on this? LOL.
"Forced out of the bureau." So far, this is all that has happened to any of them. They commit what I suppose are felonies, get found out (almost by accident), are then asked to leave. What happens next?ReplyDelete
Dollars to donuts, they follow the Jamie Gorelick or Lois (takes the fifth) Lerner trail, find another job, at an even higher salary, in government, at another outpost of the blob, or if that fails, at CNN.
I hope Barr is determined to send some of these evildoers to jail. Simply exposing them means nothing and can be explained away.
OIG will defer to Durham. I expect indictments from Durham. How significant remains to be seen, but he appears to be digging deep.Delete
Personally, I think that Durham's work will be made easier by "underlings" who won't take the fall alone, will sing for leniency, and will bring him a lot to work with. Durham should have a lot of aces up his sleeve.Delete
The conspirators won't know what he knows. They'll have lawyers so they won't be set up like Flynn or Papa D. But the fear of what Durham knows/doesn't know will be a motivator to cooperate. This is my educated guess.
Unfortunately I suspect this is the IG's way of protecting the FBI. He finds some low level lawyer who's no longer even employed there and hands down an indictment to make it look like this was really a serious investigation. Hope I'm wrong but I have zero confidence that the FBI is being cleaned out or people held accountable for their crimes.ReplyDelete
OIG can't indict. We're told Durham is now looking into this and if he doesn't explore who the lawyer worked with on the FISA app and to whom the lawyer reported, he will not have done his job. I think he will.Delete
OTOH, nothing I just said is a claim that the FBI is being "cleaned out." A complicated process even when management has the right intent.
I don’t share the doubt that this is a serious investigation or that people will be held accountable for their crimes.Delete
As Mark says, the leaning out of the FBI is another proposition. I think of this as a beginning.
If it was indeed an underling lawyer, or a “line lawyer” as another reporter has characterized it (remember: we are reading what reporters have written), someone senior to that underling line lawyer told them what they wanted altered. I just don’t see some underling going rogue and substantially altering an FISA warrant to change its meaning.
Looks as though we’re behind the curve:Delete
Earlier this morning President Trump called in to Fox and Friends for an hour-long interview about the breaking story of FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith manipulating FISA documents to gain surveillance on the 2016 Trump campaign. (emphasis added)
Tx! And we already know this was a very biased guy.Delete
In response to Anonymous (11/22 at 9:10AM), the OIG is under a microscope. Even if he wanted to sweep this under the rug, I don't think that he can.Delete
And surely in an agency as large as the FBI, there are still some honest people there. I don't dispute that there was a lot of corruption, but there still have to be good agents and staff left.
There might've been people afraid to speak up who have come forward. I thought that I read media reports that a lot of agents wanted to talk to Grassley.
And, if an honest leader is put in at the FBI (a big if, I know) that'll go a long way to helping clean up the mess. It starts at the top. The rank and file can be inspired by an honest leader and discouraged or corrupted by a dishonest leader.
A change in culture takes a while to change but it is possible.
I'm not addressing any legal changes. I'm only talking about leadership and it's effect on mission.
Yes re OIG. Reform won't be easy. The problem is the educational institutions feeding propangandized robots into the DS institutions.Delete
The problem is the educational institutions feeding propangandized robots into the DS institutions."Delete
I agree. But many of them can be reprogrammed. Many came from good families and were co-opted by corrupt professionals and a toxic environment. The foundation instilled by the parents can be sparked back into life. The Holy Spirit is still around.
We are constantly in a struggle of good vs. evil. I continue to be an optimist, who as I get older, acknowledges the need to be a realist, as well.
Only the Lord knows for sure.
My guess is that this information about the FBI lawyer is being leaked by Strzok and/or Strok's lawyer.ReplyDelete
Perhaps Strzok intends to blame the FBI lawyer.
Mike, my bet would be not. The FBI is still an investigative agency, and lawyers may advise but they're not in charge. Investigators ultimately call the shots, and trying to push the blame downhill won't work.Delete
Sundance at CTH has identified the rogue FBI lawyer as being Kevin Clinesmith, and indicates that he was pushed into resigning in September shortly after the draft OIG report was sent to Barr for review. Other related lawyers at DOJ are also reported to have left government service in about the same time frame.ReplyDelete
All of this could potentially explain the continuing delays in finalizing the OIG report. One of the tainted lawyers implicated in this criminality was also instrumental in overseeing the issuance of the last OIG report and may have inserted wording into the report summary which undermined Horowitz's findings. If so, this would further indicate that DOJ is riven with incestuous corruption. Barr is fighting a major legal campaign in which half of his own troops are traitors. Ditto for the FBI.
No doubt. Bear in mind that Barr can only fire people at those levels for cause--not like Comey, for example. That's why any "cleaning out" is a very slow process unless serious cause can be shown.Delete
Hardly a novel thought for you here, but it seems impossible at this point that Barr & Durham aren't heavily invested in digging as deep as they can while pulling no punches. It's just impossible to believe they aren't being resisted at every turn and that their competitive juices aren't flowing like mad as a result.ReplyDelete
I know there's much more to it than just this, but the mere fact they must see themselves in an epic competition and be highly motivated not to come out on bottom should alone be enough to ensure they really are doing what we've all been praying they're doing.
It sure would be enough for me.
If enough of the public gets a good enough taste of seeing serious government corruption exposed, I'd think they'll like it & want more. It should then be a snap for Trump & many Rs to run as those who will keep uncovering the corruption and make govt cleaner versus those who committed the wrongs in the first place and who will only work to hide the corruption and return to the proven failure of "Shut up and trust us experts" business as usual.ReplyDelete
That's one theory, anyway.
And not a bad one.Delete
Oops - meant to send this with the "Durham's Doing a Deep Dive" post, but oh well.Delete