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Friday, August 14, 2020

Major Update On Kevin Clinesmith Plea

Shipwreckedcrew has written an informative article regarding the Clinesmith plea deal. While he wrote the article without having read the actual information that was filed by John Durham, he works from the dynamics of the situation to draw some probable conclusions as to what we can expect.

The major point that Shipwreckedcrew bases his analysis upon is a simple one: Durham could have had this plea deal at least a year ago. Basically, any time he wanted it. As I remarked at the time, we all knew that Clinesmith was going to go down. So, starting from that premise ...


First of all, he rejects statements by Clinesmith's attorney as "spin"

“…but there is no evidence showing a broader conspiracy to undermine the candidacy of U.S. President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported on Friday.” 
This should more accurately read: 
“Clinesmith’s attorneys have not been provided with evidence that there is a broader conspiracy….”

What he's saying is this: In any plea negotiations and subsequent cooperation the information flow was a one way street. Durham would never have told Clinesmith or his attorney why he wanted to know the answers to certain questions or what use he would make of those answers. They might make some educated guesses, but certainly Durham would not give away the big picture conspiracy. More on that below.

Next, as we discussed earlier,

The first thing Clinesmith’s plea suggests to me is that Durham is almost done.  This plea could have been had a long time ago if this was the only criminality that Durham uncovered. The facts of Clinesmith’s actions were set forth with particularity in the Inspector General’s Report on the Four FISAs.

So, that's a major "if". In other words, the logical conclusion is that, since this plea was so long in coming, that means that Durham DID uncover additional criminality.

Next, Shipwreckedcrew, having described the offense as detailed in the information, notes:

This information from the CIA should have stopped the Page FISA application in its tracks. 

Obviously, if Carter Page was a CIA source, the FISA judge--had he been informed of this fact--might well have questioned: How could he have been an agent for Russia at the same time? Which circumstance is the truth?

However, this subterfuge followed upon another. From the beginning of the FISA process, the FBI had falsified Carter Page's relationship with the NYO of the FBI--he had, in fact, been a source for the FBI in New York and his contacts with Russian intel operatives were both known and approved by the FBI. Who in the FBI knew about this? Ask yourself this: If Clinesmith contacted CIA re Page, would people in the FBI not have searched the FBI's own records to see what was known about Carter Page? If they had--and I presume they did--then they would have known that Page was an FBI source. So, knowing all this, Durham would have been trying to determine the full extent of knowledge within the FBI on these matters.

To continue:

Several reasons would explain not pursuing charges against Clinesmith sooner, but the two most obvious ones are that Clinesmith agreed to cooperate when he was notified he was a target of a criminal investigation, and the second would be that Durham did not want to initiate a court proceeding that might require him to make public disclosure of certain evidence before the was prepared to do so.

This paragraph goes to the supposition that Durham's investigation--probably at least as regards the FISA--is just about finished. Once an indictment is handed down or an information is filed, the prosecutor is required to start moving forward with the case--he can't just sit on it without justifying that action. If Durham is now willing to move forward with regard to Clinesmith, and if--judging from the delay in filing the information--we presume that Clinesmith has had information of value to pass on to Durham, then it follows that Durham is at a point at which he doesn't care who knows what public disclosures could come from moving the Clinesmith case forward. That point would logically be the end point of a discrete investigation, one that can be separated from other still ongoing investigations.

Shipwreckedcrew next reiterates some of the above:

Now Durham has decided to move forward.  The reporting on the story says that Durham is not expected to announce a wide-ranging conspiracy as part of Clinesmith’s guilty plea.  That is most likely the case because there is no need to do so, and doing so in connection with Clinesmith would only put such allegations in the public arena for others to see — including other targets of the investigation.
In resolving a case such as Clinesmith’s, the less said the better.  Durham knows what Clinesmith as told him and that this point there is no reason for Durham to tell everyone else what Clinesmith has said.

But here's an interesting tidbit that I'd not heard before, but which bears directly upon matters we were speculating about in the first Clinesmith post. Please read this closely:

That being the case, there is an interesting bit of information reported that I noted on Twitter.  The note said that Clinesmith had told investigators that he provided the original email — the accurate email from the CIA — to the case agents and supervisors on CH.  I’m digging around a bit more for that information and will update this story when I find it.

If true then that's extremely important. The reason is because, since the accurate information is contained in an email, then there should be an electronic trail showing who Clinesmith shared the email with--and beyond. And so:

If that is true, the Durham has other subjects with regard to this specific falsehood that is traceable to Clinesmith.  If the evidence is that others were aware of the false allegations about Page and the CIA that originated with Clinesmith’s alteration and never took steps to clear the record with DOJ or the FISC, then those individuals are targets as well because a knowing “material omission” of information from a FISA application would also be obstruction.  Now you have the existence of a conspiracy. 

The existence of a conspiracy! But what kind of conspiracy? Every conspiracy has a purpose. So, if the conspiracy is involves defrauding the government of honest services, we still need to ask: To what purpose? That's the point at which the prosecutors can introduce mountains of evidence to show that the purpose of the conspiracy to defraud had nothing to do with any legitimate government business--instead, it was to stage a lawfare style coup against an elected president. Ruh roh!

If the knowledge of Clinesmith’s criminal act extended beyond Clinesmith himself, that would call into question the accuracy of every submission under oath made by members of CH.  Not just the FISA applications, but all the affidavits offered in support of search warrants across the entire scope of the CH investigation — including everything done by the Special Counsel’s Office since many FBI agents and other personnel carried over from the DOJ/FBI investigation of CH to the SCO investigation of CH. 
Every material misstatement or omission would then be a potential overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy.  This would better explain the widespread nature of Durham’s investigation as AG Barr has referenced in the past, as well as AG Barr’s decision to task two other US Attorneys with pursuing other aspects of the probe.

But also, acts that were not actually criminal, but which nevertheless were performed in furtherance of the overall conspiracy, could also come into play.

So for everyone who wondered what was taking Durham so long, I hope you know now.

65 comments:

  1. MW: wonderful, insightful, cogent analysis that explains what's likely going on more clearly than anything else I've seen so far.

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    1. Thanks--obviously I had good material to work off.

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    2. SWC does a wonderful job laying out the basics, but you fill in the salient details where he sometimes glosses over them.

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    3. My blushes! Different perspectives.

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  2. Yeah...I suspect this is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. I hope, anyway. A lot of people need to be held to account.

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  3. Paul Sperry
    @paulsperry_
    Not one question was asked by WH press corps at live POTUS presser right now about the most significant public corruption development since Watergate--a hi-level FBI attorney falsifying evidence to help obtain a spy warrant against a presidential campaign.

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    1. Not "spy" warrant, Mark. It's a properly predica— oh, wait...

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    2. Doesn't fit their narrative of course...

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  4. https://twitter.com/shipwreckedcrew/status/1294358492770271232

    Shipwrecked jabs Weissmann

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  5. Jack Posobiec 
    @JackPosobiec
    An FBI official just plead guilty to fabricated evidence against the Trump campaign and the AP is asking about QAnon

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  6. Undercover Huber
    @JohnWHuber
    ·
    1h
    A hint in Clinesmith plea. Durham could have indicted on 18 USC §1519, destruction of federal investigative records, which attracts a 20 year max sentence. Instead the plea is to a §1001 “false statements” charge, only 5 years. Suggests Crossfire’s main FBI lawyer is cooperating

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  7. What is the likelihood that this plea deal was announced as a way to send a clear message to the D.C. Circuit regarding the Flynn case? Didn't Ward make a not-so-indirect statement to the COA?

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    1. While it's difficult to speculate, the judges are unlikely to miss the significance of this plea--Clinesmith was a major part of all the CH derived cases, including on Team Mueller. And that means Durham is likely targeting Team Mueller on Flynn shenanigans.

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    2. Durham, via his proxy, Jensen.

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    3. "Didn't Ward make a not-so-indirect...."
      Do folks think CTD means Jeff Wall, or is there some Ward I'm ignorant of?

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  8. “…but there is no evidence showing a broader conspiracy to undermine the candidacy of U.S. President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported on Friday.”

    Not having read the full article I can't properly ascribe that rhetorical slight of hand to weasel lawyer speak or journalistic maleficence, apologies for the redundancy. His "candidacy" was not what was at issue. His "presidency" was the target. He could "run" until the dogs were called; he just couldn't be allowed to rule.

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  9. This episode reminds me of GOP pollsters on Fox News on election night in 2000, 2004, or 2016 telling us they're "cautiously optimistic." Mueller spent over 2 years and $30mm on a well publicized investigation in which he couldn't bring a case against a single American (or anyone subject to extradition to the USA) that touched on his office's raison d'etre.

    Here we have USA Durham getting a plea deal from one of Mueller's chief goons for falsifying 2 FISA warrant renewal applications and AG Barr is like "meh, no biggie." If this is a throwaway nice to have case that barely warranted a mention by the attorney general on a national broadcast the night before it happened, what else is in the pipeline?

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    1. Yes! Last night I thought to myself, Maybe it's the first plea deal? But then I thought, How can he be playing that down?

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    2. This is political. Legal niceties aside it goes to the heart of our constitutional system. Politics is a matter of perception and Barr has been under the D.C. bigtop often enough to know that if the opening act is an attention getter then folks will be climbing over each other to get a good view of the center ring. I view Trump's presser from a couple of days ago concerning Barr either going to be an ordinary guy or a great AG as the master showman ginning up the publics appetite for this curtain raising act. At least that's what I hope when I feel optimistic, which is for about 15 minutes after my first cup of coffee in the morning.

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  10. What is the likelihood that Clinesmith was willing to take the entire weight of all the criminality that occurred during CH solely onto himself and spare everyone else from potential criminal liability (IOW, become the lone spear-cathcher in the coup)? My guess is that he's been singing for a shorter sentence for a very long time, and the dominoes have been falling ever since.

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    1. "What is the likelihood ..." My WAG: Zero.

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    2. Exactly. And if he had actually tried saying he did it all on his lonesome, no way does DOJ not go at him with everything they could, which is a heck of a lot more than a single 1001.

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  11. John Solomon just told Hannity that this development signals that the major players will get a pass because they are talking to the media, and that no attorney would allow them to do that if they are targets.

    I disagree. Those guys are so arrogant they might think they are in the clear. More likely is they are trying to get ahead of upcoming indictments by influencing the liberal media reporting.

    Besides, Clinesmith has to be giving lots of evidence for the criminal conduct of others. I'm expecting much more to come.

    For me, the shit-eating grin on Barr's face tells me he and Durham are just getting started.

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    1. I don't buy that, either. Clinesmith was not a nobody. If Barr says there will be major or significant developments after this no-big-deal development--as he indicated last night--then all bets are off.

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    2. Those guys might well think they will be in the clear, if they expect mail-in voting etc. to give Biden the win, followed by Durham's probe being k-abashed.

      "How can he be playing that down?"
      What if Barr still isn't sure, of how many perps will sing how much?

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    3. In so many ways, this struggle has so many angles, the combo of which is utterly unprecedented in the history of modern democratic governance.

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    4. "Barr ... and Durham are just getting started."

      Methinks you are correct. Mark's explained well and more than once where the ingredients of a conspiracy case are there for the taking. Let's reverse things for just a second: does anyone really think the Democrats wouldn't charge conspiracy if they were in Bill Barr's shoes right now?

      It's laughable on its face to think they might not. The point is that Mark's totally right that conspiracy charges are indeed there, and then some, and if Barr chose to charge just a few process crimes and other than that just write a strongly worded letter to the editor -- well, that would be just incredible.

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    5. I think Durham has his investigation pretty much wrapped up. He's just going to one target at a time to see if they want a deal, or not.

      Some people claim there isn't much happening with grand juries. That may or may not be true, but I don't think Durham needs a grand jury until after he gets through all the plea deals. Those will likely be wrapped up in the next 2-3 weeks. Now that the fist guy has pleaded guilty, many more will follow suit; especially if they don't have really deep pockets.

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    6. But don't forget ...

      Barr has indicated that, in one form or another, Durham could still be investigating during a second Trump term. What Durham may be wrapping up may be the investigation of Crossfire Hurricane leading up to the inauguration. The FISAs extended beyond that point in time, but were essentially complete before.

      Barr has also brought in at least two highly regarded USAs to work on independent aspects of investigative interest deriving from the above. We can't be sure where that could lead, but we can hope.

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    7. I can't see how this thing won't keep going in one form or another until at least late 2021, assuming proper results on 11/3.

      Once a beast like this gets rolling, each discovery leads to newer ones, and especially so in something that touches on past corrupt acts in so many ways.

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  12. In your previous post, dated March 9 and titled A Closer Look At The FBI's Carter Page Investigation (Part 3), I discussed Carter Page and the FBI's New York Field Office (NYFO). My discussion was based on two of MonsieurAmerica's Twitter threads.

    It seems that Page gave documents to Russian Intelligence agent Evgeny Buryakov in a binder that was equipped with a secret device. Buryakov gave the binder to Intelligence officers who were stationed in the Russian Consulate in New York.

    The secret device in the binder enabled the FBI to capture conversations and e-mails that happened in the Consulate's safe room.

    I have speculated that the NYFO and FBI Counterintelligence suspected that Page eventually revealed the binder's amazing ability. That suspicion is the real reason for the FISA warrant and its series of renewals.

    The stuff in Christopher Steele's Dossier conveniently provided another, much less secret justification for the FISA warrant.

    If so, then perhaps Kevin Clinesmith was ordered (by Andrew McCabe?) to alter the CIA message -- and Clinesmith did alter the message -- because that message impeded an investigation of Page, because the investigation really was about Page's revealing to Russian Intelligence the secret of the amazing binder.

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    1. It's a theory that hangs together, but there are ways to protect really sensitive information in a FISA doc--circumlocution. "Carter Page was determined by FBI NY to have compromised a highly sensitive investigative technique to known Russian IOs against explicit instructions from FBI NY agents. For this reason Page is considered to be a known agent of the Russian intelligence services." That would fly.

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  13. Widespread reports indicate Weissmann is losing his Sh@t on twitter this afternoon re: Clinesmith guilty plea.

    If Clinesmith plea is a "nothingburger," as MSM, and Deepstate/Dem operatives would have us believe, then why is Weissmann losing it?

    In poker, that's a "tell."

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    1. Weissmann's reputation preceded him. That's part of why I don't buy into the idea that Barr will go easy on Mueller if the evidence leads that way.

      1) Durham has unfinished business with Mueller from many years ago.

      2) Barr has no respect for the creeps that Mueller has surrounded himself with--in addition to not respecting Mueller as a lawyer.

      3) John Bash's inquiries into 702 abuse inevitably lead to Mueller.

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  14. CAtherine Herridge reporting:

    >> @CBSNews
    has learned that after FBI records were declassified by @DNI_Ratcliffe last month further implicating Clinesmith, his lawyer approached Durham’s office about a deal. <<

    >> https://twitter.com/CBS_Herridge/status/1294331295548551171 <<

    Not sure I buy that story.

    Anything that was declassified in the past few weeks, Durham has likely had for months. He could have used it to force Clinesmith into a plea bargain any time he liked.

    I think Clinesmith's attorney is making up a BS story to cover for his client having flipped long ago.

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    1. Agreed. Months if not much longer. Shipwrecked is right--Durham could have had a deal any time during the past year or so.

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  15. Weissmann, a prick, actually a smart-ass prick, is too smart for his own good. The plain facts are that Flynn was framed by "Bob" and Andy, while Clinesmith was an active part of a conspiracy to misrepresent Page's deep connections with CIA and FBI to the FISA court. This is obvious and deeply damning to the Mueller conspiracy.

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    1. C'mon, it's too late in the day to be pulling your punches!

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    2. I was just saying to my wife that I'll take a single Clinesmith-like count against Weissmann if it simply ends his misbegotten legal career. She said, "No. I want to see him destroyed."

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    3. Destroyed sounds about right to me. Bring Sidney Powell back to DoJ just to do the plea bargaining.

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    4. Sidney Powell agrees.

      https://twitter.com/SidneyPowell1/status/1294391662584532992?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1294391662584532992%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftheconservativetreehouse.com%2F2020%2F08%2F14%2Fproactive-distancing-the-special-counsel-operation%2F

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    5. Tell it like it is, Sidney! Keep up the good fight! Way to take it to him.

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    6. More backstory- the week after the subject FISA application was filed, Clinesmith sent emails to his buds in the FBI stating he'd just 'destroyed the Republic..." see this 2019 article....

      https://trendingpolitics.com/emails-show-fbi-lawyer-who-doctored-trump-russia-docs-bragged-he-destroyed-the-republic/

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    7. Yes, I saw that but forgot all about it. Thanks very much. Maybe I'll do a post as a reminder.

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    8. Those texts/statements came out in 2018 DoJ IG report on FBI actions in their mid year review of Hillary’s email scandal in 2016.

      Page 445-446. Lotsa stuff there. Clinesmith goes full pajama boy melt down ...

      https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download

      - TexasDude

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    9. However, on closer reading the context appears to be the reopening by Comey of the Clinton email investigation--same day as KC's texts. KC apparently was involved in drafting the legal rationale and thought reopening could lead to Trump's election and thus, in his mind, destroy the republic.

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    10. I’m with Cassander’s wife. Destroyed is what Weissman deserves. Shot down in flames. And a few others.

      I read Barr’s conservative remarks to Hannity on the Durham investigation to be his telegraphing that something was coming the next day but that it was not the main event.

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  16. If there was a digital trail from KC to his superiors, why didn't Horowitz catch it?

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    1. Good question, Charles. Perhaps the answer isn't so much that he didn't catch as that he didn't report it in the published report. Or that the parameters of his investigation didn't include that--although I doubt that. Or possibly I'm wrong and there was no such trail--that he printed the email out and handcarryed it to show to others. And yet, judging from all the texting and emailing we've seen, that somehow seems less likely.

      I'm not able to do better than that.

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    2. It could also be that he's lying to save his ass. I doubt that, in the circs.

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    3. Charles, thanks for asking that question. It's troubling. Obviously those are the first questions Horowitz would have asked, as Durham did. Is it possible that those communications were concealed or somehow lost? Inconvenient for Clinesmith but convenient for his superiors. One of his superiors would have been OGC James Baker--his direct superior. Baker has long been said to be cooperating.

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    4. "he's lying to save his ass", referring to KC, or the IG?

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    5. Unlikely that IG is lying. Even if he is corrupt/DS and looking to save his buddies, he would've known Barr/Durham are looking right over his shoulder.

      As such, given IG had access to all documents and emails, and yet only made the one indictment recommendation (that of KC), indicates that KC and/or his lawyer are lying about the trail.

      Given further the various abnormalities of the plea as outlined by SWC, and the obvious option that KC may act as witness against his superiors, I think waiting for the fog war to lift is more worthwhile than speculating now.

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    6. Yes, especially in light of KC's attorney's statement.

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  17. Mr. Wauck, I have read some reports about "The Hammer", a surveillance tool. Do you know anything about "The Hammer"?
    Thank you for all you do. B H

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    1. Thanks, B H. I've read about it in the past but, honestly, I've forgotten any details at this point. I probably need to go back.

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  18. Anon,

    Inventor and software designer Dennis Montgomery, a CIA/DOD/DHS/NSA/FBI contractor-turned-whistleblower, alerted FBI Director James Comey’s office in 2015 that President Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had turned the super-surveillance system that Montgomery designed for foreign surveillance, known as THE HAMMER, into a domestic surveillance system.

    Montgomery became alarmed when Obama and his intelligence chiefs Brennan and Clapper turned the super-surveillance system against the American people.

    Montgomery asserts that Obama, Brennan, and Clapper used THE HAMMER in a diabolically intrusive manner in order to spy on the American people and collect massive amounts of surveillance data for “leverage” and “blackmail.”

    THE HAMMER was only to be used for foreign surveillance, not to be weaponized for domestic surveillance against the American people, according to Montgomery and to U.S. military sources.


    https://www.thiswestisourwest.com/index.cfm/draining-the-swamp/montgomery-the-hammer-surveillance-system-whistleblower-became-the-deep-state-s-enemy-number-one-after-exposing-the-truth/

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  19. More on The Hammer from the same link:

    In August 2015, Montgomery turned over to FBI General Counsel James Baker, who represented the office of FBI Director Comey, physical evidence, in the form of 47 computer hard drives containing 600 million pages of documents. (Snip)

    The FBI provided Montgomery with a detailed receipt for the 47 hard drives, including handwritten descriptions of each and every hard drive.(Image)

    FBI Director Jim Comey took Montgomery’s evidence and buried it.(Snip)

    Montgomery’s identification, by name, of one particular U.S. citizen that Montgomery insists was under constant surveillance “for years” by Obama, Brennan, and Clapper via THE HAMMER has led Obama’s inner circle to take desperate measures. 

    The name of that U.S. citizen targeted by THE HAMMER is Donald J. Trump.

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  20. I knew I recognized that name. Montgomery is a fraud. He wasn't a "CIA/DOD/DHS/NSA/FBI contractor," but a con-artist. He duped DOD with a supposed software program that could allegedly detect secret messages in foreign TV broadcasts (it couldn't). The clueless Pentagram procurement office (which should have had a JDAM dropped on it 30 years ago) bought Montgomery's secret decoder ring before anybody figured out Cap'n Crunch's was just as effective.

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    1. Thanks for that. I recalled having been warned off Montgomery by a usually reliable source (whose name you'd recognize), but that was quite a while ago and I'd forgotten the details.

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    2. Montgomery's credibility is NOT enhanced by the choice of attorney who represented him: Larry Klayman (after Klayman left Judicial Watch.)

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    3. Welcome to the world, Bebe! What would I do without you guys?

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