What I want to do know is spell out the implications of all this, which will also suggest the significance of the timing of this coming declassification--because I assume (for reasons I'll spell out below) that the declassification will happen.
First, let's simply review what I wrote earlier, including my transcript of the entirety of Graham's brief remarks.
Yesterday Sen. Graham did a 44 minute interview with Trey Gowdy. Among other topics of interest, Graham mentioned that he has finally been able to review a classified FBI memo--40 pages long--that was referenced by IG Horowitz in his FISA report. Graham states that he is working to get that memo declassified.
The memo in question documents the three day debriefing of Christopher Steele's supposed "subsource." The relevant portion of the interview can be found between the 9:50 and 11:15 minute marks. Here is my transcription of that portion:
... I believe that the FBI was on notice that it [the Steele dossier] was unreliable, continued to use it anyway. I believe that they misled the FISA court, and here's the key question.
On January 21st through the 24th the Russian subsource, the guy who provided ALL the material for the dossier, is interviewed by the FBI for three days. He's interviewed again in March. There's a memo about that interview. Horowitz found it. It was 40 pages. My staff has finally got to look at it--it's classified. I'm gonna try to get it UNclassified. The Horowitz Report suggests that the result of the Russian subsource interview put great doubt into the reliability of the dossier in terms of being able to get a warrant.
Here's the question. Is it possible that an interview of that magnitude--that basically shredded the key document to get a warrant--that the people at the top, McCabe and Comey, were never told, 'Oh, by the way, our entire case has collapsed.' I'm looking at that.
I believe I can answer that question: No. That's not possible.
First, let's briefly dispose of the notion that McCabe and Comey could possibly NOT have known of the result s of the debriefing of the subsource. McCabe and Comey would have known and authorized the trip by the agents to the UK to do the debriefing and would have been fully cognizant of the significance of the undertaking for the case against Trump. Remember, that debriefing was done beginning on the very first day of the new administration. The point was that Comey and McCabe authorized the debriefing because they very much needed to know the lay of the land, legally and therefore investigatively. They knew. Period.
Now, as for Senator Graham seeking to have this memo declassified, who seriously thinks that Graham would publicly announce that he was going to seek declassification--approval for which would have to come from Trump's declassifier-in-chief, AG Bill Barr--without having previously discussed the matter with Barr? Of course he did. The memo itself simply confirms what we all know: Chris Steele was peddling utter BS. What could possibly be such a big secret about a farrago of lies? No, the memo was kept under wraps because Durham was using it in his interrogations of witnesses and targets, using it as a control to test their truthfulness. Naturally Durham wouldn't want them to have access to that memo, which would defeat his purpose in using it. That means Durham is done with that part of his investigation. The declassification will proceed as a matter of course, but will also serve the purpose of calming the conservative natives who fear that nothing has been happening--that Barr is covering something up, that Graham is just pretending to be doing any oversight or investigation.
Next, what does this memo tell us about the Barr/Durham investigation?
Obviously we're probably not going to learn any real bombshells. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I expect that what we'll learn will basically be confirmation in detail of what we already know (via Horowitz) in general outline form. That's fine, but what else can we deduce from this?
Regarding the FISA against Carter Page, we know that there was the original FISA warrant that was approved in late October, 2016, and three renewals--in January, April, and June, of 2017--the last of which occurred about a month after Team Mueller was set up.
I assume that the first renewal--in January, 2017--was approved shortly before the 40 page memo was finalized. I say that because Horowitz, in his report, states that the final two renewals were to be considered invalid--those two would clearly have been approved after the results of the debriefing debunking Steele's "dossier" were well known. No less an authority than Andy McCabe--disgraced former Deputy Director of the FBI--has assured the world that without the "dossier" there would have been no FISA against Carter Page.
But here's a question. What was there to prevent the FBI--once it learned that the original and the just approved renewal FISAs were based on utter BS-- from saying, in effect, "Oh sh*t, FISA court. We goofed. We're shutting that FISA down immediately while we review everything that went into the applications." I'll answer that question. There was absolutely nothing preventing the FBI from shutting it all down immediately. In fact, they had an obligation to do so. They just didn't because, ... Trump!
Obviously this puts Comey and McCabe in a pretty tight spot, in terms of criminal exposure. Especially since we're told that Comey's lawyer, James Baker, is cooperating with Durham. Count on it--Baker knows all about this.
Where does this leave Team Mueller? Obvioiusly, if they knew that the FISA that they obtained against Carter Page was based on fraudulent information via the Steele "dossier", Team Mueller--or at least anyone on the Team who knew of this--would also have criminal exposure. In that light, consider this: James Baker, who certainly knew the Carter Page FISA was a fraud--no later than January, 2017--remained General Counsel of the FBI until December, 2017. Oh. He had a duty to inform Team Mueller about the fraudulent nature of that FISA. Not only that, but two other persons well known to us--Peter Strzok and Lisa Page--were both part of Team Mueller and also would have been fully aware of the results of that January, 2017, debriefing of Steele's "subsource", contained in the 40 page memo. They, too, would have had a duty to bring that to the attention to the responsible leaders of Team Mueller: "Bob" and Andrew Weissmann.
Who thinks that Baker, Strzok, and Page--at a minimum, there could be others--kept that to themselves and are going to take the fall for this entire hoax? I suppose that's possible. People do do stupid things--but ... that stupid? Color me very skeptical. But also, rest assured that Durham is all over that.
Now here's another question in that regard. Do we have any reason to suppose that Team Mueller was, in fact, aware that the Steele "dossier" was a hoax? I mean, beyond the fact that Andrew Weissmann had been part of the conspiracy dating back to possibly as early as September, 2016, and certainly no later than early October, 2016? I think we do.
We know that Chris Steele on several occasions asked his good friend Bruce Ohr to offer his (Steele's) services to both the FBI and to Team Mueller. This went on into the summer of 2017. And yet, to Steele's expressed frustration, Team Mueller did not take Steele's offer up. Why not? My guess is because they knew that Steele could very well end up being toxic for anyone who could be shown to be in contact with him--as in, if a connection to Steele came out under cross examination at a trial, that could be a real SHTF moment. And so they kept Steele at arms length or, rather, further. But they did make use of the FISA, counting on plausible deniability regarding the basis for it. This should tell you why the thrice demoted Bruce Ohr is still hanging around--he has a lot to tell the investigators and has no doubt been regularly consulted regarding the answers that the investigators have received from others.
That, I very strongly believe, is what one part of the Durham investigation has been focusing on. Consider this to be one prong of a two pronged scrutiny of Team Mueller, the other prong being the Michael Flynn case.
So, if that 40 page memo is soon to be declassified--perhaps within weeks, once the final redacting is done--we have some notion of how close Durham is to completing some major parts of his investigation, as well as what he's been concentrating on.
I believe John Durham is actually related to Leo Tolstoy.ReplyDelete
The FISA warrant against Carter Page was not based primarily on Steele's Dossier. By early August 2016, Page was officially suspected of being an agent of Russian Intelligence. That suspicion was formulated by Crossfire Hurricane team members who did not receive any Dossier reports until September 19, 2016 (according to the Horowitz report).ReplyDelete
Yes, the Dossier provided enough extra "evidence" to convince the FISA judge to approve the FISA application. However, if the Dossier had never existed at all, Page nevertheless would have remained a suspect.
I certainly agree with you that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was inadequately predicated. However, we should appreciate the FBI's reasoning.
Supposedly, Russian Intelligence stole computer files from the Democrats. Supposedly, George Papadopoulos said something along the lines that Russian Intelligence was collaborating with someone on Donald Trump's campaign staff to use those stolen files to help Trump defeat Hilary Clinton.
Assuming for the sake of argument that those assertions were plausible, then the question that the FBI intended to investigate was:
Who on Trump's staff was the collaborator?
Very soon -- in early August -- the main suspect was Carter Page. According to Horowitz, the Dossier had nothing at all to do with Page becoming the primary suspect. The Dossier did not enter the Crossfire Hurricane investigation until the second half of September.
So, even if the questioning of the subsource discredited Steele's Dossier in January 2017 and even if the FISA warrant were revoked, Page still might have remained a suspect.
I accept McCabe's testimony: But for the Dossier, no FISA on Page. Being a "suspect" of one sort or another--even being suspected of being a "Russian agent"--is nowhere near enough to get a FISA on a USPER. Read the statute.Delete
According to Horowitz, Page became the main suspect several weeks before any of the Dossier was delivered to the Crossfire Hurricane team members who decided that Page was the main suspect.Delete
Since Page did become a suspect, the FBI used some investigative methods against Page. A FISA warrant was not needed to do so.
Eventually (thanks to the Dossier), a FISA warrant was obtained, and therefore further investigative methods could be used.
If the FISA warrant never had been obtained or if the FISA warrant had been revoked, Page still would have been a suspect and therefore still could have been investigated.
Are you responding to something or just writing at random?Delete
I am responding to your statement: Being a "suspect" of one sort or another--even being suspected of being a "Russian agent"--is nowhere near enough to get a FISA on a USPER.Delete
If the FISA warrant never had been obtained or if the FISA warrant had been revoked, Page still would have been a suspect and therefore still could have been investigated.
"The FISA warrant against Carter Page was not based primarily on Steele's Dossier. By early August 2016, Page was officially suspected of being an agent of Russian Intelligence."Delete
FBI met with Steele before August 2016.
Based on what was Page allegedly suspected to be a Russian agent? "Allegedly" because I don't believe for a second that the FBI genuinely believed he was.Delete
@ Anon, yes, exactly.Delete
1) Assuming that to be true, I don't see any relevant point.
2) I've explained previously in detail why Page was never a legit "suspect." That info was also withheld from the FISA court.
Anonymous at 12:10 AMDelete
FBI met with Steele before August 2016.
According to the Horowitz report, none of the Dossier reports were delivered to the Crossfire Hurricane team until September 19, 2016.
1) Assuming that to be true, I don't see any relevant point. 2) I've explained previously in detail why Page was never a legit "suspect." That info was also withheld from the FISA court.Delete
The FISA warrant is only one part of the story. Discrediting the FISA warrant does not discredit the entire investigation.
Furthermore, discrediting the subsource does not discredit the entire investigation.
I do think that the entire investigation should be discredited, but I don't think that will be accomplished just by discrediting the subsource and revoking the FISA warrant.
We should keep in mind that the Crossfire Hurricane team members thought that Russian Intelligence had stolen Clinton's e-mails, intended to use them against her in the election, and was colluding with at least one member of Trump's campaign staff.
By early August 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team decided that the main suspect was Carter Page. That team did not receive any Dossier reports until September 19.
That's the FBI's story, and that is what the FBI will keep saying after the subsource is discredited and after the FISA warrant is revoked.
"The FISA warrant is only one part of the story. Discrediting the FISA warrant does not discredit the entire investigation."Delete
As I just wrote, 'I've explained previously in detail why Page was never a legit "suspect."' In fact I've written extensively on that topic, repeatedly.
Nor have I ever in any way suggested that discrediting the FISA discredits the investigation as such. To the contrary, I have repeatedly argued that the fact that Page was never a legit 'suspect'--i.e., that the claim that the NYO investigation of Page was validly predicated--is part of discrediting the FISA.
Mike, I won't allow you to hijack the comments with argumentative posts that ignore what I've written and present a counterfactual narrative--with regard to my previous posting.
"We should keep in mind that the Crossfire Hurricane team members thought that Russian Intelligence had stolen Clinton's e-mails, intended to use them against her in the election, and was colluding with at least one member of Trump's campaign staff."Delete
I agree that this will be their story, but it is discredited by their choice to NOT investigate the server hack.
The Russian hack story is huge whether or not it is attached to another presidential candidate. The failure to robustly investigate that hack is it's own proof that the investigators did not want to learn the truth behind the breach. Or, to put it another way, they did not want the public to learn the truth.
Ultimately, I think it is a question of degrees: were they entirely complicit in every detail of the hoax, or were they to some extent hoodwinked by Brennan's fraudulent ICA?
If by "hoodwinked by Brennan's fraudulent ICA", you mean that of Jan. 2017, why shouldn't we bet, that the CH team was up to its neck in the the server hack narrative, long before this ICA?Delete
"By early August 2016, Page was officially suspected of being an agent of Russian Intelligence ... According to the Horowitz report, none of the Dossier reports were delivered to the Crossfire Hurricane team until September 19, 2016."Delete
I repeat: FBI met with Steele before August 2016. Is it your theory that they all just sat around blinking at one another and saying nothing?
The "Russian hack" story is huge because Shawn Henry's Crowd Strike (working for DNC and Clinton campaign) admitted in closed session that they actually had no evidence.Delete
"Ultimately, I think it is a question of degrees: were they entirely complicit in every detail of the hoax, or were they to some extent hoodwinked by Brennan's fraudulent ICA?"
I suppose we don't definitively know the answer to your question yet, but I'll give odds its the former.
They were entirely complicit. Just follow Andrew Weissmann's tracks.
"The FISA warrant against Carter Page was not based primarily on Steele's Dossier."Delete
"Primary Sub Source interview memo confirms that the FISA relied on Steele, Steele’s Primary Sub Source, 'six' of 'his' sub-sources and Stefan Halper. That’s it."
... subsource, the guy who provided ALL the material for the dossierReplyDelete
It's not true that this particular subsource provided ALL the material for the Dossier.
The publicly available Dossier reports are numbered 80 through 166, which indicates that the entire Dossier might comprise at least 87 reports.
Some Dossier reports are available to the public. They are available because Steele gave some of his reports to people outside the FBI, and those non-FBI people passed those reports around, and eventually Buzzfeed collected those reports.
There is no good reason to assume that Steele gave ALL his Dossier reports to people outside the FBI and that Buzzfeed thus assembled all the Dossier reports that Steele gave to the FBI.
Even if we consider just the Dossier reports that Buzzfeed collected, it's simply not true that all the reports in that Buzzfeed collection were based on that particular subsource that the FBI interviewed.
The FISA application might use some information that is in Dossier reports that the FBI received but that never have become available to the public.
Furthermore, the FISA might use some information that is in Dossier reports that are available to the public, but that particular information is not based on this particular subsource.
Take it up with Lindsey Graham.Delete
Graham on Hannity tonight:ReplyDelete
expects declassification "within days."
He strongly hinted that those who signed off on the Carter Page FISA renewals after the Jan and March 2016 debriefing of the primary sub-source are likely looking at criminal charges, for the very reasons MW has articulated in this blog article.
That could include Dana Boente, recently forced out as Wray's General Counsel.Delete
The timing is curious (Jan 21-24). Steele was fired in October, so there was plenty of time for due dilligence on the dossier. Yet, the efforts in that direction appear distinctly not urgent.ReplyDelete
It's as if they looked long enough, something would turn up as scandalous or incriminating or damaging, that now, after the inauguration, Trump would be forced to resign.
I've said this before, the Hoax and Coup team went after a non-politician, non-DC player, and uncovered in Trump the cleanest man in Washington. Yes, a few unscrupulous minions were convicted along the way--of the white lies surrounded by embellished story-telling that is the water everyone drinks in DC.
What's embarrassing to the Republic is it's four years on--the process truly is the punishment. The Department of Justice isn't...
They just assumed Trump was sleazy.Delete
Is it because of his serial adultery or because he's a successful capitalist?
As a Christian I thought his adultery was a huge red flag. But we know that these people don't care about that. (They will use it if available, but they don't care about it in principle.)
Amazing to find out that he's actually pretty clean.
It must gall them.
John Solomon reporting multiple sources tell him Durham is looking into Halper's ONA contracts to see if the money was used to fund Russia Collusion investigation activity prior to FBI opening an investigation. Topic is one of many that Durham is looking into.
Also, Solomon mentions plea deals are under discussion.
"Durham is looking into Halper's ONA contracts to see if the money was used to fund Russia Collusion investigation activity prior to FBI opening an investigation."
If you believe, as I do, that the conspirators never believed there was any Russia Collusion (among other reasons because they had made it all up), then I am guessing that what Durham is really looking into is whether Halper was paid by ONA to frame and entrap Flynn and PapaD (and others).
Yes, it all makes sense. But if this op was being conducted by CIA rather than FBI, that's a major no-no. My understanding is that ONA laundered CIA payments, not FBI.Delete
Yes. Brings to mind John Brennan's still unexplained trip to Moscow in March 2016. Shortly thereafter Halper, Mifsud and Downer went to work.Delete
Does make ya wonder. For example, was it the Obama admin and Clinton campaign that did the deal with Putin to maybe ignore the anti-Russia hysteria they would gin up, and pay him back later? Sounds crazy, but then so much of this is beyond any of our imaginings not too long ago.Delete
I go back to why?Delete
Obama and Clinton had to have been, first, desperate to win...to keep what? hidden, and second, after they lost, desperate to prevent what? from being discovered and disclosed.
Of course I'm aware of all of the theories about Flynn having dirt, etc., but it had to be more than garden variety dirty politics they were hiding...
"[I]f this op was being conducted by CIA ... that's a major no-no."Delete
That's putting it mildly. It would be shades worse than CIA's old game of planting false information in foreign media for the purpose of injecting it back into domestic media. It could also energize old, unresolved questions about CIA's involvement in the Kennedy assassination. "The Russians" were pointed at back then, too.
For worthy stuff on the Kennedy assassination, seeDelete
https://jfkFacts.org/best-jfk-web-sites/ (listing both pro- and anti- conspiracy major sites);
https://VincePalamara.com/2020/01/01/2020-my-four-books-dvd-blu-ray-the-men-who-killed-kennedy-on-newsmax-tv/ ; and
http://edwardCurtin.com/the-message-from-Dallas/ (mostly about James Douglass' book, "JFK and the Unspeakable").
here's the first memo on interview of PSS:
>> https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/February%209,%202017%20Electronic%20Communication.pdf <<
BTW, what does "SIA" mean in the redacted fields?
Not sure. "Sensitive Information A". What's A?Delete
From context, it seems like "SIA" refers to redactions for ongoing investigations/pending prosecutions.Delete
When Sen. Graham said "declassified within days," he wasn't kidding.
BTW, memo shows PSS was an Orbis employee, who said to his knowledge he never even met a single Russian Intel agent or official.
"SIA" = "Sensitive Investigative Activity"?Delete
Just a guess.
It's a repeating distress signal: "Soviets In America"Delete
Just discovered in the early pages of the Interview summary, in list of people present for FBI interview with PSS, one individual [name redacted] is listed as FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst ...Delete
.... aka "SIA"
He is apparently the person who requested the redactions denoted by the "SIA" abbreviation, as best I can figure.