Saturday, May 2, 2020

What does "CR cuts" Mean?

Commenter EZ points to a September, 2018, John Solomon article that is resurrected on Twitter by Thunderstrzok. Here's the key passage from Solomon's article:

“[Priestap], like us, is concerned with over sharing. Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies,” Strzok wrote to FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Jan. 3, 2017, relating a conversation he apparently had with then-Assistant Director William Priestap, the top counterintelligence official in the bureau. 
Investigators aren’t certain yet what “CR cuts” refers to. Some, though, think it could be a reference to “classified raw” intelligence, such as the unverified Steele dossier or possible intercepts. Others wonder whether it could refer to budget cuts in a "continuing resolution" though no such budget was pending at the time. Whatever the case, the political distrust of colleagues is clear. “WH,” of course, refers to the White House.  

This is very easily explained. Obviously, based on what we've learned this past week, "CR" means Crossfire Razor, which = Michael Flynn.

Cuts? In FBI parlance a FISA order is referred to as "technical coverage". Or, simply, a "tech." E.g., Do we have a tech on so-and-so? Can we get a tech on so-and-so? The typed up summaries of telephone conversations captured in that way are referred to as "tech cuts."

Now, the existence of "CR cuts" may indicate that the FBI had a FISA on Flynn himself, as they did on Carter Page. However, it may also merely indicate that Flynn's conversations were captured through some other FISA coverage. For example, his conversations may have been through coverage of foreign powers with whom Flynn was doing business in his consulting firm. For example, Flynn's conversations with Russian officials might have been captured in that way. But they might not have been preserved in the form of "tech cuts" but for the fact that the FBI had an open case on Flynn.

FISA minimization procedures require that only material considered relevant is written up in the form of "tech cuts." Thus, reference to "CR cuts" is an indication that conversations in which Flynn participated--even if the FISA involved was not specifically directed against Flynn--were probably kept in a separate "tech subfile" pertaining to the Flynn case, however they were obtained. Naturally, the FBI would not want the White House--and certainly not Flynn!--to be aware of just how intense the focus on Flynn had been.

Here's where that concern arose:

7.  Here’s the other money quote.  Lisa Page noted that the “CR cuts” were to be included in a doc--the ICA on Russian interference--to be released Friday, Jan 6, 2017. Strzok’s concerns relate to fears of PARTISAN AXES TO GRIND in the IC
Rich, isn’t it?


  1. To reiterate my hypothesis:

    ON 3 January, Strzok adn L. Page are texting about their concerns about the "CR cuts" having a wider distribution than just DNI when the ICA is released, fearing how the partisans axe choppers in the USIC might get carried away with them.

    Here's the key point IMHO: if "CR cuts" refer to cheery-picked quotes from the Kislyak/FLynn phone calls, you have to wonder why are they being inserted into the ICA, when the ICA is all about Russian Election interference in 2016, adn the WFO is one day away from closing the CR investigation because they found no evidence to indicate Flynn was working for the Russians. So why is Brennan and Strzok inserting parts of the transcript in an ICA about Russian Election Tampering if Flynn isn't connected to it?

    My guess is they cherry-picked quotes which -- when taken out of context (which is what "cherry-picking" is) -- could be construed as potentially suggesting Flynn is trying to help the Russians.

    I can't think of any other reason for inserting material from the Flynn/Kislyak phone call into this ICA unless that's how they were trying to use it -- to create a false narrative that supports the ICA premise, intended to undermine the incoming administration.

    SO the very next day, WFO announces their intent to close CR.

    If I'm right about what they were inserting into the ICA, and what it's purpose was, then WFO closing CR investigation a day before the ICA is released would completely undermine the narrative they were trying to support with the cherry picked transcripts.

    I think this is a big reason (but not the only one) why Strzok and the 7th Floor went nuts when WFO announced they intended to close CR for lack of evidence Flynn was assisting the Russians -- it would have completely undermine the cherry-pick quotes in the Flynn/Kislyak transcripts they were releasing two days later to bolster the central claim of the ICA that the Russian had interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.
    WFO closing out CR investigation would have revealed the "CR cuts" -- intended to make it look like Flynn might be trying to collude with the Russians -- inserted in the ICA must have been pure garbage.

    No wonder Strzok and the 7th Floor went nuts!

    Does this hypothesis make sense?

    1. I don't think this was the reason. As it is, Cross Razor wasn't closed but, in fact, the ICA doesn't contain any CR cuts or even veiled refs to Flynn.

    2. Not even in the Classified version?

    3. I didn't see any obvious hooks in the public version for that. The other side of it is that, if WFO said they came up with nothing to show that Flynn was a Russian agent--and they would have been reviewing all tech cuts pertaining to Flynn--I can't imagine what Clapper would have included.

    4. Like I said, if you "Cherry-pick" quotes from a conversation, you can create almost any narrative you want, if there's enough ambiguous comments to choose from, when woven together out of true context.

      Slightly off topic, but very interesting:

      Steve McIntyre thread in which he discovers who the SIA is.

      >> <<

      But more important is how Moffa and three other FBI guys go to a meeting in the WH on 10 August 2016, to meet with Obama's Cheif of Staff.

      AND what, pray tell, were they discussing?

      10 August is when Flynn, PapaD, and Page are added to the CH investigation, spawning the various CROSSFIRE XXXX sub-investigations into each of them respectively.

      That's the smoking gun that shows the WH was in the loop the whole time while FBI was sniffing the underwear of PapaD, Page, Flynn, etc., looking for pesky Russians in their skivvies.

      Many more details in that thread. Worth a read.

    5. Yes, that is VERY interesting. As SM says, intel analysts meeting with Obama's COS??? They were getting marching orders--from POTUS' COS??? Wow!

      That was 8/10, and wasn't it 8/16 after a meeting that Strzok/Page texted that WH wants to know everything? I guess so!

      I liked this further tweet:

      Stephen McIntyre
      Only person who stands out for me in entire sordid affair is Bill Barr. He more or less singlehandedly faced down Mueller mob, forced them to slink away. I don't view him as a Trump supporter per se, but someone who did his duty as loyal citizen to preserve office of Presidency.

      As I keep saying, protecting the Presidency is what Barr is all about and why he took this job. It's why he's determined to see it through, because that's the only way to stop it from happening again --SOON.

    6. Well, if AG is just a supporter of the office, he sure is very chummy with Trump in public, to the point of sharing that knowing glances and chuckles.

      - TexasDude

    7. True. They seem to hit it off, although there was that dustup about Trump speaking too much about subjects who are under investigation. But that's one of the good things about Trump--he can live with pushback when it's justified.

  2. Interesting Trey Gowdy thinks no prosecution:

    1. "I think being a terrible FBI agent, and treating people unfairly, maybe it ought to be a crime, but I don’t think it is a crime."

      I think that's a tendentiously inaccurate characterization of what happened.

  3. Trey is a head scratcher at times. Sometimes I like him and sometimes I think that he's a knucklehead. Kind of like Sundance.

    1. I have no idea why he would have said something like that.