Saturday, July 25, 2020

Key FBI Lies

The revelation of the FBI's interview of Igor Danchenko--the notional primary subsource for the Steele dossier--has also highlighted the FBI's mendacity in important respects. Stephen McIntyre is all over this. For example.

McIntyre points out that, given that they FBI interviewed Danchenko in January, 2017, that means that the FBI knew that Danchenko was NOT "Russia-based", as Steele falsely claimed and as the FBI falsely claimed in their Carter Page FISA application. Granted that the FBI could have been deceived by Steele--or, far more likely, handled Steele's material under a 'don't ask don't tell' policy--the FBI adopted the lie as its own by incorporating it in the subsequent two FISA renewal applications. That's very bad:

2/ NYT admits that Carter Page FISA falsely stated that Danchenko was "Russian-based". The falsehood (and FBI/DOJ efforts to conceal through redactions) was previously deduced some months ago here and in our twitter circle ... 
Replying to @ProfMJCleveland 
in original FISA, Primary Sub-Source was said to be "Russian-based" when (almost certain) US-based. By January, FBI knew falseness, but kept it in renewal.  Supervisory Intel Analyst notified Clinesmith to correct, but Clinesmith kept false information in 2 more renewals.

CORRECTION: The Supervisory Intel Analyst (SIA) did not "notif[y] Clinesmith to correct" the falsehood. Per the Horowitz Report, footnote 389, the SIA merely "ask[ed] whether a correction should be made." No correction was made, so I think that tells us what Clinesmith's response was. So, in addition to forgery, we have another criminal act by Clinesmith.

The importance of this falsehood lies in the impression that it likely made on the FISC judges: If it was true that the FBI was relying on information provided by super-secret "Russia-based" sources, that would inevitably convey the impression that the information itself must have been thoroughly vetted and highly reliable. To retain that falsehood in the renewal applications was not a result of carelessness but of calculation--as the action of the Supervisory Intel Analyst (Brian Auten) makes clear. The question then becomes, Who else knew of the inclusion of this falsehood in the two FISA renewal applications? We all know by now that FISA applications go through seemingly endless levels of review. Knowledge that Steele's characterization of the "PSS" was false could not have been confined to just those two--Clinesmith and Brian Auten--I refuse to believe that.

Like me, McIntyre believes that the Danchenko interview impacts heavily on the Intel Community Assessment (ICA) that we know Barr and Durham have focused on from the very beginning (I discuss McIntyre's view in Perspective On The Intel Community Assessment (ICA)--and James Comey). The point is very straightforward, but illustrates how the Steele "dossier's" fraudulent use was NOT confined solely to the FISA process--and that the role of the dossier in FISA may not have even been its most serious abuse. It's worth rereading from that linked post:


Moreover, the FBI knew this was material developed and paid for by the Clinton campaign, but concealed that known fact from the FISA court.

With that in mind, let's pivot to the ICA and its FBI "Annex". That Annex simply amounted to a two page summary of the Steele "dossier". Remember--the FBI knew that the "dossier" was done for and paid for by the Clinton campaign, yet they pushed hard to get the "dossier" material included in the ICA. And that was about three weeks before they even had interviewed Danchenko, the "PSS". Here's how McIntyre paints that (edited to correct spelling and punctuation and to provide a continous read):

What a load of absolute crap in annex to Intel Assessment of Jan 6, 2017! It's even worse and stupider than we could possibly have imagined. Aside from whatever J. Edgar Hoover stunt that Comey, Clapper and Brennan may have been pulling, that US intel agencies were apparently taking such fabrications seriously indicates that they, not local police, need to be de-funded. And why would Trump be expected to have any confidence in conclusions of these agencies on their attribution of hacking, when they were so easily and willingly duped about a supposed longstanding conspiracy between Trump and Russia? If only Barr had been beside Trump in these early days!
Also, bad as it was to not clearly disclose to FISA court that dossier had been paid for by Clinton campaign, it was 100 times worse to not disclose this to President-elect (and outgoing President) in intel assessment. This seems far more serious to me than FISA issues.The Carter Page FISA was regrettable, but hardly a core issue. However, shoddy, deceptive and fraudulent intel assessments both to incoming and outgoing administrations are entirely different level of seriousness.

OK, now do you see why it's been reported that Durham is so interested in that ICA, and why he's said to be particularly interested in the email exchanges between Comey and Brennan? It's because Comey wanted the "Annex" included in the ICA. So now ask yourself, what would you, as an FBI director, do if you discovered inside a month that that Annex was a fraud? Because that's what the FBI found out for sure from Danchenko--it wasn't just the fraud on the FISA court (bad as that was), it was also the fraud on the entire country that the ICA represented. Here's Catherine Herridge summarizing what Comey had presented to the country:

NEW: First obtained @CBSNews declassified “Annex A”Intellligence Community Assessment 2016 Russian election interference cites Steele dossier. Alleges “President-elect and his top campaign advisers knowingly worked with Russian officials to bolster his chances and were offered financial compensation.” Mueller did not substantiate. Not credible enough for Intel Community to use in body of report, but FBI still used dossier 3 more times to renew @carterwpage surveillance warrant.

But, again, it wasn't just about FISA. The ICA was trotted out regularly to justify the FBI's continuing investigation that morphed into the Team Mueller witchhunt, to justify the "Resistance," all the BS that Dems in Congress and there moles in the NSC got up to. Shouldn't Comey have admitted the fraud to Trump before it ever got to that stage? Shouldn't he have shut down Crossfire Hurricane, and its fraudulent predication? Of course. But he didn't, because he was a key part of a conspiracy to defraud the government of the honest services of its intelligence and counterintelligence agencies--as well as, through Team Mueller, of honest enforcement of the criminal laws of the United States.


McIntyre returns to this topic today:

Rather than the impact of the fraudulent claims in the Steele dossier being limited to the troubling, but somewhat esoteric, issue of Carter Page FISA, it had an important and essential role in the crucial ICA, which severely constrained policy options of the incoming [Trump] administration. 
Imagine the impact of these revelations on departing Obama admin officials, presented with such concerns by the most senior officials of the Intel Community. For example, Sally Yates, who does not appear to have been aware of the backstory, must have had her hair on fire. 
The Intel Assessment (Annex A) also repeated three of the most disturbing and damages claims of the Steele dossier: long term cultivation, an unholy bargain on Wikileaks and sanctions, secret meetings and kompromat. 

The Assessment directly quoted from Steele report 2016/95, which purported to explain events on the grounds that Putin "feared and hated" Hillary Clinton.

The crucial Intel Assessment presented to Obama admin on Jan 5, 2017 and incoming Trump team on Jan 6, 2017, cited Steele, not as a Democrat Party contractor, but as "former employee of friendly foreign intelligence service" with a "layered network" 

In fact, Steele is characterized as an "FBI source". Imagine if instead Steele had been accurately characterized in the ICA as "a contractor for the Hillary Clinton campaign who has been terminated as an FBI source due to unreliability"! And that was actually before the Danchenko interview.

Does this give some idea of the enormity of this conspiracy against our constitutional order that was perpetrated by the Dem party and its willing accomplices in the Intel agencies? And, of course, this is just one snapshot.


  1. This whole scheme, the dossier, and all was all cooked up in DC...the Steele and "subsource" were all a cheap, thin veneer put over it to give the the "foreign intelligence" inlay! Someone in the back room probably thought that was a stroke of genius when they hatched it up...along with the golden showers. Jokes on them, now. The more steps you go through, the more it shows intent. just my $.02 and all that rot...

    1. Yes, that reminds me of something else I wanted to write. Later.

    2. Glenn Simpson at known political smear shop FusionGPS shopped the idea to the PekinsCoie attorney who represented the Clinton campaign. Simpson's business is placing "stories" in the NYT and WaPo paid for by third parties.

      What's a "believable" story (credible smear) that the media will scoop up? Russian interference and Trump collusion. Even a wild story will have to be investigated...

      You only need a few "true believers" and the Big Lie is in play. How does Strzok ever suggest an "insurance policy" when Lisa Page bemoans the possibility of Trump in the WH...

    3. These people thought they were top operators! They weren't, just dishonest. That's never going to produce a successful result- they're just not that competent. They were playing cloak and dagger with no smarts, but a lot of hubris. Instead of constantly thinking and planning for the hundreds of things that could go wrong, they were totally focused on how successful they were going to be! Recently I was thinking of how smug Comey is, but Trump had a good instinct that he wasn't loyal to him, but I'll bet he had no idea at the time of how disloyal he was!!

  2. A question I have not seen asked so far: why would Danchenko, when asked in early 2017, when the Steele Dossier was only known publicly for a few weeks, to sit down with the FBI and discuss hi role in providing Steele with material for his Dossier, demanded an immunity agreement?

    Why would he even think he needed one?

    Seems like there's some information missing to explain why Danchenko was worried enough to find somebody (we do not know who) to pay for his high power lefty attorney who prepped him for a week or more before the FBI talked to him.

    Why did Danchenko feel he had a potential legal jeopardy at that early stage of things regarding the Steele Dossier?

    It's like an ambulance showing up at the scene BEFORE the cars have the accident.

    1. Two things come to mind:

      1) Even that early on there was plenty of chatter that the "dossier" was BS, so a warning sign ...

      2) He possibly, likely, consulted with some friend who advised him in the political circs to lawyer up. Someone like ... Hill?

    2. "It's like an ambulance showing up at the scene BEFORE the cars have the accident."

      Or CNN showing up before the SWAT team.

  3. It's not an important point, and my memory may be faulty--but my recollection regarding use of the Steele dossier was that Brennen wanted it included in the ICA, and Comey wanted it as an annex--perhaps as an effort to lower the significance of its profile. (Because it was of dodgy provenance and he didn't want anyone looking closely??)

    The more I read of the hoax and coup, as we getter deeper into the weeds with persons such as Danchenko, Clinesmith, Auten, the rewriting and revisions of the Flynn 302s, it's clear that higher levels of management are sifting and filtering what information actually surfaces in official documents used up the chain of command--which usually means the chain of command has instructed those below what to include and what to ignore, as the process moves forward. It's as important as what's said, as what's left unsaid.

    All of the hoax and coup elements appear to work as a high-functioning espionage network, compartmentalized, with no horizontal interaction, as independent cells operate. But there undoubtedly are parties up the org chart who are "in the know."

    I'd take a wild guess at the idea that there's a cross-over of personnel in the Mueller SCO, and the FBI/DOJ that provides a bridge to much of the activity. It was known that Andrew Weissmann, despite working fraud at DOJ, was in the loop early on. There must be a dozen or more who are a rung of two below the headliners of Brennen, Comey, McCabe, Page, Strzok, Mueller, Weissman, who can paint a story of what they'd been instructed or expected to do.

    1. EZ--I specifically didn't mention Ohr because he essentially worked off-the-books in the enterprise, as a go between backdoor, never informing his superiors what he was up to, never having an official role, though turning up regularly. Clearly, his wife had a role at FusionGPS, so it's hard to say whether he made himself useful or was a major participant.

  4. But...but...Brennan's super secret source close to Putin!

  5. While this may all be news to us watching in the peanut gallery, I cannot imagine the FBI imagined to conceal the fact that the the primary subsource was drunken Clinton connected Brookings scholar from the President or even Rep. Nunes for the last 3 1/2 years. (some of Nune's cryptic remarks to Lee Smith in his last book make a lot more sense if you read them now in light of Danchenko revelation)

    If they knew of the gaping hole in this case against the President for years, why keep quiet? Why shield Danchenko's identity? Hypothesis--and this goes back to Mr. Wauck's point that Mueller was the coverup--Nunes convinced Trump to declassify the Danchenko interrogation summary in the summer or fall of 2018 and someone on the Mueller team called White House Counsel Don McGahn and said "if you declassify anything we'll claim you're alerting co-conspirators and come at you for obstruction." McGahn then convinced the President not to declassify any documents and let the Mueller probe run its course. If my hypothesis is correct, then McGahn may have committed the greatest legal and political malpractice in US history. Was he a Mueller plant or just that f**cking stupid?

  6. The Washington Times article today describes Danchenko as "Ukraine-born, Russian-educated."

    And when I read it I thought, "Hmm. Ukraine again. As in Lt. Col. Jelly Donut. As in Burisma."

    It proves nothing by itself, but if someone wanted to look into it, there might be some "there, there."

    1. Yeah, I’ve wondered about this myself since Danchenko is definitely a Ukrainian (not Russian) surname.

    2. While the name is Ukrainian, you can't necessarily go by that--it's a cultural thing.

    3. The FBI knew who Danchenko was and interviewed him in 2017 about the information he provided for the Steele dossier that purported to show Trump campaign ties to the Russian government. Danchenko cooperated on the condition the FBI keep his identity secret so he could protect himself, the paper reported.(Snip)

      Danchenko was born in Ukraine and is a Russian-trained lawyer who earned degrees at the University of Louisville and Georgetown University, the Times reported.

    4. I think the Ukrainian connection, in terms of his birth, is not important. Where Ukraine becomes a key connector is Paul Manafort. Almost as soon as the Mueller Report was published, Rudy Guiliani began shouting to anyone who would listen that former Ukrainian prosecutors had signed affidavits that they had been solicited to gather political dirt on Manafort while on an official visit to the NSC at the White House in 2016 (itinerary for the visit shows Eric Ciaramella as the organizer for the WH portion). Now we know that Danckenko was being pushed hard by Steele to find some dirt on Manafort at the same time Ukrainian officials were being leaned on to do the same by the future whistleblower, whose colleague Fiona Hill would have been Danhenko's boss in 2016. IOW, Giuliani was right--the Obama National Security Council was pressuring foreign governments to provide (or manufacture) evidence that would lend verisimilitude to the Steele Dossier which they were in fact writing, with Steele just laundering their smear job on his own company's letterhead.

  7. Hypothesis:

    Comey to Brennan: We need some kind of secondary "independent" verification.

    Brennan: You want fries with that?

  8. Does there come a point when durham runs out of time?

    1. Yes, and it begins with January 20, 202_.

    2. Just my opinion here, but it seems the point when Durham runs out of time is a sliding scale the specifics of which we can't yet know. If what he comes out with in August or September is solid enough, the clock becomes way less consequential. (October would be pushing it, I think for sure, and August would of course be preferable, but not at the cost of not having the case together and ready for prime time.) IOW, if enough of the country says, when Durham makes his big release, “Wow, this was seriously wrong. Jail the bastards. And find out more and keep us informed," then they will see it as their own cause and that of the nation and won't buy the argument that none of it is valid because it's happening in election season.

      But of course, if it's a dud (which I very much don't think it will be), or even close, then not only the initial charges but later charges as well look like desperation and the "it's election season politics" charge has a lot more weight.

      So all in all, to me, the first impression has to be a ringer, which is for sure a good chunk of the reason that DOJ has been in no hurry to start accusing people just to throw red meat to those crying out for it. And August would be best if it’s really ready by then, September would be suboptimal but acceptable, and October would be problematic, IMO. And as long as this first impression is a success - especially if in August or even September - the clock won’t much matter afterwards.

      That’s how I see it anyway, in general.

    3. The difficulty is the amount of smoke and mirrors the Media will employ to obscure and confuse or hide the actual revelations. Not to mention that the closer that it cuts to Obama himself the more BLM will ramp up the narrative that he is a political George Floyd being strangled by racist white America.

  9. Unconfirmed reports circulating (CTH, which I don't trust) that Durham has interviewed Comey and Clapper (unsure about Brennan.)

    If this report bears out, it's clear sign Durham has reached the end stage of his investigatory process (in regard to some aspects of the Spygate hoax) and is likely about to enter the indictment/prosecution phase.

    This fits with recent declassification of documents, and what others have been saying about pending guilty pleas (by cooperating co-conspirators) and indictments.

    1. Undercover Huber, whom I do trust, posted it on Twitter. Where he got it, I don't know.

    2. Interviews? It's hard for me to see them sitting for actual interviews, unless subsequent or conditional to a plea deal. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's hard to see in any other situation. They'd be opening themselves up to criminal liability by agreeing to answer questions without a deal. They'd take the fifth, IMO. We'll see.

  10. FWIW, when Barr removed SDNY USA Geoffrey Berman, Berman went ballistic and Barr had to confirm that "I fully expect that the office will continue to handle all cases in the normal course and pursuant to the Department's applicable standards, policies, and guidance. He also had to appoint Berman's trusted deputy Audrey Strauss as acting US attorney and promise that any compromises of department standards could be referred to the IG.

    Could a Dem AG get away with firing Durham and terminating any ongoing investigations or prosecutions?

    1. Yeah, terminating any ongoing investigations or prosecutions, pardoning/ commuting sentences, the works.
      As bad as that is, it's likely to be among the least of our problems, see V.D.H, at ,
      and Andrea Widburg, at .

    2. > terminating any ongoing investigations

      Weiner’s laptop’s content is still MIA.

      Hillarys emails are still being reviewed for declassification.

      Nothing happened with Hillarys illegal email use.

      Lovebirds texts / emails should be finished in 2021 being reviewed.

      IRS has his many hard drives fail? And email back ups got wiped?

  11. The administration saw it as grounds for impeachment:
    > come at you for obstruction

    Only with Barr was this stopped/ finished.

  12. Assume:

    1. Biden wins in 2020. Fires Durham. Terminates ongoing investigations and prosecutions. Pardons Comey who was convicted in January 2021.
    2. GOP retakes House and Senate in November 2022 after disastrous first 2 years of Biden Admin. Names Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
    3. Nunes leads impeachment investigation of Biden for obstruction of justice.
    4. House impeaches Biden.
    5. Senate tries Biden. All GOP Senators vote to convict.
    6. How many Dem Senators join?

    1. Ok. Let's say you're right. Even though there will be mountains of evidence against Biden.

      So, then Biden is acquitted by, let's say, a vote of 55 for conviction - 45 against.

      He then serves out his term as a disgraced (and demented) 81 year old figure head President who was impeached and narrowly escaped conviction on a 'technicality' and who...really did obstruct justice.

      There are consequences.

    2. But check your assumptions. You're assuming that if Biden wins there would somehow be fair elections ever again. :-(

    3. Exactly.
      A Biden DoJ, and antiFa/ BLM/ gangs, will tee off on all of the Dem's *effective* foes, so that the slated GOP 2022 & 2024 nominees will be limited, to the equivalents of Donald Duck, Count Dracula, and Boris Badinov.

  13. Good link found on AT in this article "Help for those struggling to understand the immensity of the Russia hoax"

    Easy read

  14. I was reading a couple entries over at CTH regarding internal machinations at FBI/DOJ. Mostly about the monumental influence Tash Gauhar had at DOJ under Rosenstein. The other the continued gnashing of teeth over Barr covering for Rosenstein.

    Regarding Gauhar, it's sad to me some of the boneheaded staffing decisions made by the White House Personnel Office early on in the Administration. Christopher Wray is another bad one made even later into the term.

    I have no idea why Sundance has it out for Barr. Impatience? Maybe. I'm no fan of Rosenstein, believe me, but couldn't it be possible he is cooperating with Durham? Just maybe?

    1. But lately his posts have been very positive re Barr, a real volte face. As for the comments, don't bother. I don't buy his ideas re Gauhar. I'm not saying she's clean, I'm saying she didn't control things. She undoubtedly went along with things, but that's different.

  15. From Clarice Feldman:

    From time to time, whispers that the axe will fall any day now appear. Former Fox reporter Adam Housely, was among those who assert inside information gives us reason for optimism:

    Adam Housley

    Durham and Barr do not want this investigation to be used for political points, which is the way it should be. There are major rumors that there are already indictments. There are some indictments in the pipeline also for sure. The scope of this investigation is huge. Massive.

    1. "huge. Massive." IOW, 'sprawling.'

      But in a way that gives me hope, especially when the DoJ spokesgal reiterateds 'before the end of the summer.'

      Barr's goal--crazy as it may sound--is to try to draw the country together over this. And to do that he needs to be thorough.

  16. @Mike

    I agree its a good article, but somehow dissatisfying because Lipson in several instances pulls his punch. My suspicion is always that members of the elite Academy have to equivocate in order to maintain their standing in the club.

    There are numerous examples:

    Lipson writes "...wrongdoing at James Comey’s FBI and John Brennan’s CIA was serious". Well, yes. But it wasn't just 'wrongdoing'. It was an active criminal plot to undermine and then overthrow Trump.

    "...when the FBI, Department of Justice, and intelligence agencies act in biased, partisan, and illicit ways, they cut to the very heart of our constitutional democracy, damage our institutions, and undermine trust in them". Well, yes, but the real point is that they conspired to overthrow our duly-elected government. Its much worse than undermining trust. Its hard to imagine anything worse.

    "...senior law enforcement officials knew there was little or no corroborating evidence." Its not that there was 'little' corroborating evidence. There has never been any legitimate corroborating evidence.

    "As the investigations ground on, they took on a more sinister mien: to hobble and, if possible, actually remove a duly elected president." Hobble? The conspirators had one goal: to destroy Trump.

    "Today, more than four years after this concerted malfeasance began, no one has been held to account. We know there were serious abuses..." Malfeasance? Abuses? This was a criminal conspiracy to intentionally effect a coup.

    I could go on and on. I applaud Lipson for landing on the right side of the argument and I guess I even understand his choice of words. But the actions of the conspirators are worse than Lipson suggests.

    1. I get Lipson's articles via email, so I read that a few days ago and decided not to use it, for basically the reasons you give--even though he says a lot of good things.

  17. Defund the intelligence services, what a novel suggestion! We spend billions per year on them, and are told repeatedly that they are preventing all kinds of terrorist actions, but they cant tell us about any of them, because “secret”. Well nearly 20 years into the war on terror, you would think they could point to one or two tangible examples years ago that do not need to continue in the veil of secrecy. Can any of your readers suggest any such examples (other than undercover self instigated)? But with so much of the top floor FBI resources being thrown at this keystone cops episode (obamagate) at the time, is it any wonder that our intelligence failures are many, resources spent ($) per failure rising, and time wasting/obfuscation per failure rising?
    Clearly a need to dramatically scale back, insert accountability (again, Church committee wasnt enough, clearly) and rebuild?