Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Legal Matters: John Solomon, FISA

I'm gonna keep this brief. You've all heard about the search warrant that was executed against Rudy Giuliani this morning, and you may also have heard that Victoria Toensing's telephone was also seized via warrant. Nick Arama has a good article on this: 

Raid on Giuliani Concerns John Solomon Conversations, Victoria Toensing Also Served With Warrant

The search warrant against Giuliani is, at least notionally, predicated on a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) investigation--a claim that Giuliani was somehow engaged in representing the Ukrainian government without being registered as a foreign agent. That, of course, has become the grabbag national security violation that the FBI and DoJ now deploy against targets of the Deep State--people like, oh, Michael Flynn. It looks like flim flam to me, but the harassment value is very real.

However, a statement by Giuliani's attorney indicated that the FBI/DoJ are looking for communications between Giuliani and John Solomon, which suggests that Solomon is the real target here. Arama points out:

Solomon of course was instrumental in investigating Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian connections. So this is really starting to look retaliatory and perhaps even trying to figure out what was discovered in Solomon’s investigations. This is very concerning, not only going after President Trump’s lawyer and his communications (some of which likely included Trump), but seemingly trying to get the conversations of a journalist who was involved in investigating Joe Biden’s son.

How does Toensing fit in? Well, she represented Solomon back then. She says she was told she wasn't being targeted so, once again, the target appears to be a journalist who hasn't toed the Deep State line. Does that bother you?

Now, FISA. You've all been reading--I'm pretty sure--that the FBI has continued to abuse the 702 search capability under FISA. this was documented in an order written by the FISC Chief Judge, Boasberg, back in November, but released Monday in redacted form. I've been trying to come to grips with this since then.

The thing to understand is that these violations were self-reported by the FBI. The FBI revealed these violations to the FISC, so presumably they believed they could rationalize the violations. The way they did that was basically to attribute the violations to lack of training and confusing internal procedures. Well, that wouldn't be a first.

Shipwreckedcrew has a good, but legally technical, article on this subject: The FBI Continues to Exceed the Limits on Authorized Access to NSA Databases Under Section 702 of FISA. The main issue in all this is that the FBI was conducting 702 queries with regard to investigations of US persons. However, in a sentence that I had to read several times, SWC explains that, in each category of investigation cited, a foreign nexus is very commonly found. Health care fraud is one example, and from my knowledge from people involved in that field I can affirm that SWC is correct (and I'm sure he had experience prosecuting such cases):

Health care fraud is a lucrative business for foreign organized crime organizations. Russian and Eastern European organized crime groups have been heavily involved as a historical matter in Medicare and Medicaid fraud involving durable medical equipment. They set up storefront operations for walkers, orthopedic shoes, and other similar kinds of medical equipment, and bill the crap out of federal programs using participant numbers that they acquire in a variety of ways.  Oftentimes these groups will have received hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars of payments from the federal programs before the fraud is sniffed out by auditors/investigators, and payments to the phony companies are shut down.

In each investigative category that is cited, SWC notes the probability of a foreign nexus--this should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Now, SWC isn't trying to explain any of this away. The issue he says these violations point to is this:

These are all examples of likely gross negligence and poor training with respect to individuals who lacked the understanding or appreciation of the restrictions placed on access to NSA databases under Sec. 702. 

That's exactly what the FBI says. Nevertheless, SWC notes the probable unreasonableness of that argument. He doesn't say so, but the obvious question is: For how many years have similar violations of the 702 rules been taking place, with no action taken. Notice that the reference that follows below to a "Task Force Officer" means that that person was not an FBI employee. The person may have been, for example, an employee of HHS, working on a Health Care Taskforce in FBI space:


It reveals the unreasonable judgment made by the FBI in terms of the extent it allows unsupervised access to the Sec.702 search process to individuals working for or with the FBI who have no reason to conduct such searches.  How does a “Task Force Officer” sit down at a classified FBI computer terminal and run searches of Sec. 702 information without needing to get authorization from a senior FBI official to do so?  The FBI needs to take immediate corrective steps to limit the number of authorized personnel who can conduct these types of searches.

I don't see this mentioned in SWC's article, but the FBI does claim that it has taken those corrective steps--new procedures and training. 

What can I say? 

To me the much bigger issue is Boasberg hiring Mary McCord:

DOJ Official Who Rubber-Stamped Fraudulent Carter Page Warrant Gets a Face-Palm Worthy New Job


  1. Re Giuliani

    I am sick to my stomach. For so many reasons, all of which will be explained and explored by many in the coming days.

    The only silver lining I can think of is that in going after Giuliani, if they are serious Giuliani will have an opportunity again to tell the world what he knows about Hunter...and Joe...Biden. Which I am sure is similarly revolting.

    1. @Cassander; if Solomon is the real target as Mark suggests then the retaliation is to determine who from the FBI showed up in his driveway in the dark of night back in 2017 to expose the original premise of the Spygate/Russiagate hoax. This goes back that far IMO.

  2. I wonder if this over reach can / will backfire?

  3. I'm still waiting for evidence of those "good rank and file" FBI employees. They are a myth, no more likely than big foot.

    1. Mistcr-

      That’s THE precise reason I can’t watch Hannity anymore: “I come from a family of law enforcement. My mother was a prison guard. 99% of the FBI are honest, hardworking agents...’

      Based on what? Where are the whistleblowers to call out the egregious abuses of power of the last several decades? You know them: Ruby Ridge/Waco/Hillary Clinton/Hunter Biden/Roger Stone/James “The Phoney” Comey...

      ad infinitum. Why the hell can’t Hannity see the FBI has morphed into the Gestapo arm of the Dem party?


  4. Who does Judge Boasberg work for? Oh yeah. #Fuggetaboutit

  5. The way they did that was basically to attribute the violations to lack of training and confusing internal procedures.

    Translated: we only hire bumbling fools now. See Christopher Wrey

    Rob S

  6. Medicare is easy to defraud because it is run by dolts.

    Rob S

  7. The issue with 702 is as Mark said... "Rules". There is no criminal penalty associated with using 702 for dubious means... It's a HR matter, and that I say is the wink and the nod to the whole issue. It was written in such a way that they completely ignored that it would or could be abused.

    Fabulous to be in Government!

    Solomon 🙄 his reporting is about as accurate as Sean H and his tick tocks. For a long time (6-8 months) I swore he was following and just rehashing Sundance's work with a 1-2 week delay. With the added caveat of incorrectly adding, the IG or Durham is gonna strike next week, every week... Any day... Maybe tomorrow!!!

    Even still the guy shouldn't be Flynn'ed. SDNY, typical of there MO, attacking political enemies and protecting political friends. Somewhere, that is written that districts charter.

    @Boarwild And Mister, I agree, I've never been able to listen to Hannity, between the deep state promotion and defence, his tick tocking and the overly dramatic presentation of everything. I've never understood how anyone has taken him seriously. Everyone if his shows is like the old Repub adage of sending strongly worded letters, except live action.

  8. All passive voice. Mistakes were made.

  9. Are we really surprised here? Merrick Garland is just a pasty white Eric Holder: corrupt beyond hope and answering to JoBama.

  10. Aside from the possibility of collecting some useful information, it would seem the object of all this is intimidation, and to provide their not very intelligent base the illusion that they have a case. In the coming days this will be buried, along with the Dominion lawsuit and the Trump private papers.