Democrat Memo Lays Egg by Publius Tacitus


After reading the memo championed by Democrat Adam Schiff, which was promised to rebut the memo produced by the Republican majority on the House Intel Committee, I was reminded of a Peggy Lee song–Is That All There Is?

Devin Nunes and his team have saved me the effort of pointing out the problems with the Schiff rebuttal. I am presenting that in full. Here is the bottomline–we now know that Christopher Steele was not a "one-time Charlie." He had a longstanding covert relationship as an FBI intelligence asset. The Democrat memo does nothing to dispute that fact.

It also is clear that DOJ and FBI personnel engaged in unprofessional (and possibly illegal) conduct with respect to making representations to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Three key points on this front–1: The so-called Steele dossier was proffered as evidence to the FISC without fully disclosing that Steele was a covert asset being paid for his work and that Democrat political operatives were also paying him; 2: Senior DOJ officials, particularly Bruce Our, were totally comprised yet continued to be involved in the process; and 3: The Democrats insist that Carter Page is a bad guy and deserves to be investigated. Yet, no charges have been filed against him and the allegations leveled in the Steele dossier were dismissed by former FBI Director Comey as "salacious and unverified."

Anyway, here are the main points from the Democrat memo and the Republican response.





“Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016.” (p. 1)


As stated in the declassified GOP memo on FISA abuse, information about Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in the late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok.” Once underway, the investigation was fueled by Christopher Steele’s dossier, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Carter Page. DOJ and FBI’s reliance on the DNC and Clinton campaign funded dossier in court filings, not the overall investigation, is the focus of the GOP memo.



The Page FISA application “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”(p.1) 


Senators Grassley and Graham’s January 4, 2018, criminal referral of Steele confirms that “the bulk of the application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier.” Moreover, the Steele dossier was the FBI’s only source for the allegations in the initial application that Page met with particular Russians in July 2016.



DOJ disclosed to the Court the fact of and reason for Steele’s termination as an FBI source. (p 2)


As noted in the GOP memo on FISA abuse, Steele was suspended and then terminated for unauthorized disclosures to the media in October 2016. However, four times DOJ repeated to the FISA Court (FISC) an incorrect assessment that Steele had not been a source for an earlier, September 2016 Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff. In May 2017, before the final renewal application, Steele admitted in a publicly available U.K. court filing to personally briefing numerous U.S. media outlets, including Yahoo News, in September 2016. Moreover, Isikoff has publicly confirmed that Steele was a source for the Isikoff article used in the Page FISA application. 



The overwhelming majority of Committee Members never received DOJ authorization to access the underlying classified information. (p. 2) 



As part of stonewalling the Committee’s investigation, senior officials at DOJ and the FBI initially limited access to documents responsive to its subpoenas to one member and two staff for both Republicans and Democrats. Chairman Nunes designated Chairman Gowdy, an experienced prosecutor and investigator, to lead the Committee’s review. All Republican members participated in weekly briefings on the results of the Committee’s investigative efforts, and the Committee does not believe there are/or should be current restrictions on the Committee’s access to this important information. Contrary to the Democrat memo’s claims, no restrictions were placed on the authorized dissemination of information in the GOP memo, which the Committee determined should be disclosed consistent with House and Committee rules to all Members of the House, and the American people. 



The information about George Papadopoulos was received against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. (p. 2)


Russia’s aggressive meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, which the GOP memo does not dispute, is a key focus of the Committee’s ongoing Russia investigation.



DOJ’s FISA warrant application was based on “compelling evidence” and “probable cause” of Page’s pre-campaign activities. (p. 3-4)


The Democrat memo fails to explain why, if evidence of Page’s past activities was so compelling, the Steele dossier was used in the FISA application at all, much less formed the “bulk” of the Page FISA application. The Democrat memo also fails to explain why, if DOJ and FBI had “probable cause” that Page was a Russian agent, they waited until shortly after receiving the Steele dossier to seek a warrant. (As noted on page 3 of the Democrat memo, the dossier “reach[ed] the counterintelligence team investigating Russia at FBI headquarters” in “mid-September 2016,” just a few weeks before the initial FISA application.) Additionally, the Democrat memo—like the FISA application itself—paints an incomplete and misleading picture of Page’s past activities and interactions with the FBI. Both omit that, in a secretly taped statement reproduced in a 2015 federal court filing, a Russian intelligence officer called Page “an idiot.” This omission could mislead the reader regarding the Russians’ assessment of Page’s capabilities and utility, and it is troubling that DOJ failed to provide to a secret court material information from a public court filing. By participating in voluntary interviews with FBI, 

Page cooperated with the successful prosecution of the Russian intelligence officer who called him “an idiot” and two of his colleagues. 



A “specific sub-section” of the Page FISA application refers to Steele’s reporting on Page and his alleged coordination with Russian officials. (p. 4)


As confirmed by Senators Grassley and Graham’s criminal referral of Steele, the dossier formed “a significant portion” of the Carter Page FISA application. 



DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting. (p. 4)


At the time of the initial application, all of the Steele dossier’s specific claims about Page—including that he met with Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin in Moscow in July 2016—were uncorroborated by any independent source, and they remain unconfirmed. 



DOJ provided the Court with “more than sufficient information to understand the political context of Steele’s research.”(p. 5)


As clearly stated in the GOP memo, none of the Page FISA applications “disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.” Instead, the FISA application relies on a convoluted statement buried in a footnote. This is clearly an attempt to avoid informing the Court, in a straightforward manner that the DNC and Clinton campaign paid for the dossier. (Taking a cue from DOJ and FBI, the Democrat memo omits any reference to the DNC or Clinton campaign.) Moreover, the footnote obscures, rather than clarifies Steele’s political motivation and what DOJ and FBI officials actually knew about the dossier’s political origins. The footnote “speculates” on the “likely” motivation of “U.S. Person”—Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson—while intimating that “Source #1”—Steele—was unaware “as to the motivation behind the research.” In fact, as disclosed in the GOP memo and confirmed by the Graham-Grassley referral, Steele was motivated by a “desperate” desire to keep Donald Trump from becoming President. 



DOJ explained the FBI’s reasonable basis for finding Steele credible. (p. 6)



FBI’s reliance on Steele’s credibility was badly misplaced. Steele violated FBI’s trust by making unauthorized disclosures to the media in October 2016, resulting in his termination as an FBI source. Moreover, as explained in Senators Graham and Grassley’s declassified criminal referral of Steele, he “told the FBI he had not shared the Carter Page dossier information beyond his client [Glenn Simpson] and FBI,” and DOJ “repeated that claim to the FISC” four times. In reality, in September 2016—before the initial FISA application—Steele had personally shared dossier information with: Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News, which published a September 2016 article on Page using Steele’s information (as now publicly confirmed by Isikoff);  At least four other U.S. media outlets (confirmed in Steele’s May 2017 U.K. court filing, which was made before but not disclosed in the June 2017 FISA renewal); Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose wife was employed by Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump (as described in the GOP memo); A senior State Department official, Jonathan Winer (publicly confirmed by Winer in a Washington Post op-ed); and Perkins Coie, the law firm for DNC and the Clinton campaign (as described in the GOP memo). Finally, notwithstanding FBI’s confidence in Steele, at the time of the initial FISA application the agency had virtually no visibility into the credibility of Steele’s sub-sources and sub-sub-sources who originated the  dossier’s allegations.



The GOP memo does not cite evidence that Steele disclosed to Yahoo News details includedin the FISA warrant.  (p. 6)



As noted in the Democrat memo, both the initial FISA application and the Steele dossier include the allegation from Steele that Carter Page met with two specific Russians, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, in July 2016. A September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News contains the exact same allegation, attributed to a “well placed Western intelligence source.” Steele has admitted to meeting with Yahoo News in September 2016, and Isikoff has publicly confirmed that Steele was a source for the article.



DOJ never paid Steele for the “dossier.” (p. 6)



As clearly stated in the GOP memo, FBI authorized payment to Steele for the dossier information before he was terminated as an FBI source for making unauthorized disclosures to the media. This financial motivation was not disclosed to the Court. 



The GOP memo’s reference to Bruce Ohr is misleading. (p. 7) 



Steele’s desperation to keep Donald Trump from becoming President—described in the GOP memo and confirmed by the Graham-Grassley referral—was known to senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr before the initial FISA application, and known to FBI before any of the renewals. (The summary of Ohr’s first interview with FBI about Steele is dated November 22, 2016.) Remarkably, neither Steele’s bias, nor Ohr’s relationship with Steele or the FBI, nor the fact that Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS on its DNC and Clinton campaign funded Trump research, was disclosed to the Court in any of the FISA applications. 



Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages are irrelevant to the FISA application (p. 7).



Strzok opened the counterintelligence investigation of which the Carter Page FISA application was a part. Additionally, both Strzok and Lisa Page were members of the team conducting the investigation, which page 3 of the Democrat memo itself describes as “so closely held.” Especially given the small size of the team, the apparent bias of the investigators displayed in Strzok-Page text messages is highly relevant to an analysis of the investigation, including the controversial decision to seek a FISA warrant on Carter Page.


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55 Responses to Democrat Memo Lays Egg by Publius Tacitus

  1. RC says:

    Following Admiral Roger’s closing the FSA mega-file to the FBI, it looks as though Christopher Steele’s real role was laundering information stateside which had been obtained through continued Inquiries of the NSA mega-file by our Ambassador to the UN. *** Fusion GPS immediately hired FBI manager Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, and Christopher Steele. Bruce Ohr passed his illegally obtained information to Nellie, she to Steele, who then relayed the material back to Fusion / FBI as coming from his “Russian contacts.”
    And here 44 may have made a mistake in authorizing the spread his Daily Briefing to 30+ agencies and individuals — again as a work-around of the Roger’s information ban. This places 44’s fingerprints on the work-around.
    You may recall the incident of the wrong Michael Cohen traveling to Prague to meet with Russians — when the future 45’s personal lawyer was having a family celebration / baseball game stateside? The error was generated by the NSA mega-file. Steele’s “Russian contacts” dutifully corroborated Cohen’s visit with them in Prague — how could they not, since they exist only in Steele’s mind. In short, the Steele “Russians contacts” are proved to be fictions and if fictions then there was no Russian collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
    *** Our UN Ambassador claims she was not generating hundreds of NSA Inquiries per week and we can believe her. The NSA Inquiries were coming from the FBI via her State Department “support” in DC.

  2. steve says:

    “the bulk of the application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier.”
    So we have disagreement on this point. The GOP says it was all based upon Steele, the Democrats say it wasn’t. Until we get to see the warrant application this will just have to be a matter of belief.
    Also, any comment upon why, I hope I remember this correctly, they chose to apply for the FISA warrant after Page was no longer active on the campaign? If the purpose of spying on Page was to harm Trump, why didn’t they apply for the warrant while he was still an active advisor? Was Page ever that important in the campaign? I certainly don’t remember him from the campaign, but that may be a function of my memory.

  3. Steve,
    Page was a campaign nobody. Never had a meeting with Trump. Never briefed Trump. That’s what is one of the bizarre aspects of this.

  4. Boronx says:

    The entire case against the FBI rests on the idea that they cannot seek a warrant using biased evidence. That is both contrary to practice and illogical. They would not be able to get a warrant based off of tips, confessions or interrogations.

  5. RC says:

    Navy Academy graduate Carter Page has never betrayed America in any way. However he functioned in Naval Intelligence during his five-year navy career and between 2013 and May of 2016 he assisted the FBI in the locking up and trial of a real Russian spy.
    Following the trial, in June of 2016 Page volunteered to the Tump campaign, which we now know was really the Don and a group of less than ten flying between rallies. Page did not attend the one meeting of his focus group before it was disbanded — he was vacationing in Hawaii.
    As noted in my comment above, Admiral Rogers’ closing of the NSA mega-file to the FBI required work-arounds to continue NSA mega-file mining. So-o-o-o, 4 months after the conclusion of the Russian spy case, Carter Page is presented to the FISC court by the FBI as an Article 1, 100% proven Russian Spy. Article 1 permits the FBI to not only monitor conversations between Page and Americans, but also the conversations of these Americans with others. So with FISC Court approval the entire Trump campaign, the business associates and dealings of Trump during the past 30 years were opened to FBI scrutiny of the NSA mega-file — Admiral Rogers be dammed.
    A lesson to be leaned from this history is that a long spoon will not protect you supping with the FBI. Incidental information gleaned about you in the course of nailing a Russian spy, can and will be recycled into a synthetic case against you as a vicious foreign spy. Of course, Page had no idea that he was the subject of a spy referral and that the secret FISC court had accepted the FBI’s lies. As a consequence any email / phone call / lunch with him opened the recipient and his / her many contacts to the same intrusive FBI surveillance.
    In various TV interviews, Carter Page comes across as a wide-eyed and curiously bemused altar boy. But then again, he graduated from a Catholic High School.

  6. Fred says:

    Admiral Rogers and NSA mega-file are not mentioned in the Nunes memo or the Schiff rebutal. 44 did this and 45 did that? congrats, you type like someone who wants to deflect the conversation from the facts or a Russian bot.

  7. outthere says:

    You say:
    “The entire case against the FBI rests on the idea that they cannot seek a warrant using biased evidence.”
    I don’t agree.
    It is not the “biased evidence” itself which is the problem. It is the failure to disclose the bias, i.e., the failure to give the court the full picture, the suppression of an important part of the story. What did the prosecutors know that they failed to reveal to the judge from whom they were seeking a warrant? Was it significant? That is the question.

  8. RC says:

    The whole Memo discussion above concerns the FBI’s data manipulations to cast Carter Page as a spy worthy of an Article 1 warrant by the FISC. As I explained above, once Admiral Rogers closed the FBI’s access to the NSA mega-file, the Bureau developed several work-arounds to explain how the FBI had data from the mega-file that they were mining through our Ambassador to the UN.
    Fusion GPS immediately hired the wife of FBI manager Bruce Ohr, Nellie, and Christopher Steele. Bruce handed material to Nellie, Nellie to Christopher. He repackaged the material claiming it was provided by very personal “Russian contacts” and the FBI then handed that laundered Steele material to the FISC.
    This laundering operation was exposed with a mistake concerning Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen was actually attending a family celebration and a ball game here in the US when he supposedly met Steele’s “Russian contacts” in Prague. Steele’s contacts, who exist only in his mind, dutifully confirmed that the meeting took place in Prague.
    I wish I might be a sock-puppet, but too many of my condo neighbors know otherwise. My favorite hobby in retirement is writing films for children, in which white hats succeed and black hats don’t.

  9. Bill Binney, on Jimmy Dore show, said that FISA warrant enabled “two hop” surveillance. If so, then Carter Page FISA warrant does much, much more than surveille Page himself- it permits surveillance of most of the Trump campaign.

  10. Tel says:

    “The entire case against the FBI rests on the idea that they cannot seek a warrant using biased evidence.”

    The FBI can use any evidence that is convincing to a judge.
    Ahhhh, but they cannot legally tell lies to the judge during that process.

  11. RC says:

    Hi Fred,
    In some ways, being a sock-puppet and napping, in a bureau drawer (?), between soliloquies would be rather peaceful. Alas, too many of my condo neighbors know me to be otherwise !
    Do check out sites such as The Conservative Treehouse and you will discover that Admiral Rogers’ closing the NSA mega-file to the FBI led to Nellie Ohr’s & Christopher Steele’s information laundering operation. Other sites yet will introduce you to FISC Chief Judge Rosemary Collyer’s 99-page rebuke of the FBI for their defalcations.
    At a minimum, you won’t be surprised when a plethora of FBI / DOJ / State Department employees are found guilty and sent to prison.

  12. Enrico Malatesta says:

    My “dog that didn’t bark” question about Carter Page – if Carter Page was such a known danger, why didn’t the FBI warn the Trump Campaign against letting him become involved in the campaign?

  13. blue peacock says:

    A cogent critique of the Schiff memo and how it doesn’t aid the Democrats.

    The memo does note that “the FBI also interviewed Page multiple times about his Russian intelligence contacts.” Apparently, these interviews stretch back to 2013. The memo also lets slip that there was at least one more interview with Page in March 2016, before the counterintelligence investigation began. We must assume that Page was a truthful informant since his information was used in a prosecution against Russian spies and Page himself has never been accused of lying to the FBI.
    So . . . here’s the question: When Steele brought the FBI his unverified allegations that Page had met with Sechin and Divyekin, why didn’t the FBI call Page in for an interview rather than subject him to FISA surveillance? Lest you wonder, this is not an instance of me second-guessing the Bureau with an investigative plan I think would have been better. It is a requirement of FISA law.
    When the FBI and DOJ apply for a FISA warrant, they must convince the court that surveillance — a highly intrusive tactic by which the government monitors all of an American citizen’s electronic communications — is necessary because the foreign-intelligence information the government seeks “cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques.” (See FISA, Section 1804(a)(6)(C) of Title 50, U.S. Code.) Normal investigative techniques include interviewing the subject. There are, of course, situations in which such alternative investigative techniques will inevitably fail — a mafia don or a jihadist is not likely to sit down with FBI agents and tell them everything he knows. But Carter Page was not only likely to do so, he had a documented history of providing information to the FBI.

    There’s a reason why Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley are focused on the Clinton commissioned Fusion GPS dossier, Christopher Steele and the FISA Title 1 warrant on Carter Page. It is the simplest path to the conspiracy at the Obama administration.

  14. jonst says:

    My, street sense, and experience as a lawyer tells me that–“tips, confessions..” from informants is true Steve. But the bar for going after a drug dealer, or fence, or kiddie porn type, is supposed–one assumes– to be a hell of a lot lower than going after the nominee for President of a major political party.

  15. plantman says:

    PT says: “Page was a campaign nobody. Never had a meeting with Trump. Never briefed Trump. That’s what is one of the bizarre aspects of this.”
    So, if Page was a nobody, then why would the FBI bother to get a FISA warrant to spy on him?
    This must be key to understanding what was going on.
    What Bill Binney says has to be seriously considered, that is, that the spying on Page is just the tip of the iceberg.
    (Steve McIntyre –Bill Binney… said that FISA warrant enabled “two hop” surveillance (which) permits surveillance of most of the Trump campaign.)
    What other agencies were involved??
    Is that a reasonable inquiry?

  16. Leaky Ranger says:

    The Steele Dossier never looked better and it is proved that 1) it’s nature was revealed to the FISA court, and 2) that Carter Page had been under investigation long before it existed. Case closed.

  17. Green Zone Café says:

    Welcome to the criminal defense world. Everyday, hundreds of warrants based on the statements of criminals, paid informers, bitter ex-girlfriends, lying cops, and even non-existent “confidential informants” are issued. With all but the most blatant provably false affidavits, questionable searches are upheld by judges.
    At this point I’m just waiting for Mueller’s final indictments and the report. The facts will be there, or they won’t.
    If they are, try arguing a Motion to Suppress Evidence in the impeachment trial. That’ll get you far . . .

  18. Sid Finster says:

    The dog that didn’t bark – if the Schiff Memo were so powerful, such a slam dunk, every MSM outlet in the western world would be trumpeting it to the skies and talking about nothing but.
    They seem to be barely able to acknowledge the existence of the Memo.

  19. RC,
    It really does help if, when you make claims, you link to the source so that others can evaluate them.
    In the case of the claims you are making, the source is clearly a post two days ago by ‘sundance’ on the ‘Conservative Treehouse’ site entitled ‘Tying All The Loose Threads Together – DOJ, FBI, DoS, White House: “Operation Latitude”…’
    (See .)
    As it happens, I think the suggestion that Steele’s role may have been, in very substantial measure, to give the impression that material from other source was the product of a high-quality ‘humint’ investigation merits being taken extremely seriously.
    However, to repeat claims by ‘sundance’, while not taking the – rather minimal – amount of trouble required to provide the link which allows others to evaluate them, simply puts people’s backs up and makes them less likely to take what you are suggesting seriously.

  20. DianaLC says:

    In the words of Emily Dickinson, I’m nobody. So., I come here to test my reaction when I read what the Democrats wrote–though it was hard to get any continuity while reading because of all the big black lines–I was completely underwhelmed. I hate it when someone claims that what he/she is going to say will be something that will change my entire Weltanschauung and it turns out to be a nothing burger, in today’s parance.
    So thank you for confirming my opinion of the memo and thanks to others who have commented and who have way more experience and knowledge about how our Swam works (or doesn’t work?).
    My first reaction before I even tried to read the memo was correct. My first instinct was to judge on the basis of personality, which I know is not often logical. I felt that nothing put out under Schiff’s authority could change my mind about the point Nunes made when he put out his mamo. Schiff’s defence sounded so, pardon the pun, shifty and did nothing to really counter the main point Nunes made when he released his memo.
    Schiff’s memo was basically a vendetta against persons. Page and Papadopolis (sp?) are obviously the unpopular kids in the minds of the “mean girl” Democrats because they had links to Trump, the real threat to the popular girl Democrats. All we have to do is hear their names and we should automatically decide that if we want to be popular, we should malign them also so as to malign Trump and gain our entrance into the popular group in the cafeteria.

  21. Jack says:

    blue peacock,
    Thanks for that link.
    Funnily enough the question raised in your excerpt is exactly what I’ve been thinking since reading a post by TTG about Carter Page being an important FBI informant and state witness to the prosecution of Russian espionage.
    If the FBI believed Page had become a Russian spy it would have been easy due to their prior relationship with him to interview him and if he lied, to prosecute him for the process crime of perjury. That is such a slam dunk that the fact they didn’t do that makes it seem there’s something fishy there.
    And they never verified Steele’s allegation that Page met with Sechin and Divyekin which would have been easy to do and now it seems was pure fabrication. Instead the FBI and DOJ lied and misrepresented to FISC to get a surveillance warrant on Page. This seems rather fishy. I speculate they did that to gain incidental collection on members of the Trump campaign.
    I note that Page hasn’t been charged by the DOJ for any crime. I agree with you that the investigation of the “conspiracy” is moving along well despite the roadblocks by the DOJ. Goodlatte who has seen the FISA application has now requested all the DOJ testimony from FISC. In a recent interview Rep. Ratcliffe who has also seen the FISA application made an interesting point that since in a FISC proceeding the accused has no ability to challenge the prosecution’s claims, the prosecution has an affirmative obligation under FISA to present all the evidence, which the DOJ did not do but instead knowingly mislead the court.
    It looks like we’re heading towards another special counsel to investigate law enforcement and the IC regarding both the Trump and Clinton counter-intelligence investigations as well as the IC and media propaganda efforts to build hysteria around the meme of collusion of the Trump campaign with the Russian government. That investigation could lead all the way into the Obama White House.

  22. Anna says:

    Your answer deserves F.
    See post No 14: “…the FBI also interviewed Page multiple times about his Russian intelligence contacts.” Apparently, these interviews stretch back to 2013. The memo also lets slip that there was at least one more interview with Page in March 2016, before the counterintelligence investigation began. We must assume that Page was a truthful informant since his information was used in a prosecution against Russian spies and Page himself has never been accused of lying to the FBI.”
    The case is not closed – it is closing on the high-placed violators of the US Constitution –as well as on their lack of professionalism, sheer incompetence and promiscuous opportunism
    Instead of working hard to protect national security, the FBI/CIA/DOJ’ senior-idiots (accustomed to comfort and hefty checks) have been politicking and meddling in the electoral process. Meanwhile, the foreign nationals were left free to surf congressional computers – for years! (See Awan affair) and the “natives” like Clinton et al have been making a lot of money by getting huge bribes from Russians and Saudis (see Uranium One, involving Mueller for all other people).
    There is another big Q: To what extend both the FBI and the CIA have been infiltrated by Israel-firsters that are loyal to Zion, and how extensive is the damage inflicted by the “duals” on the US.

  23. RC says:

    Thank you David — will do so in the future.

  24. outthere says:

    Some commentators here seem not to know this simple fact:
    prosecutors in USA have enormous power.
    They can make mountains of molehills.
    And their most powerful weapon is the law of conspiracy.
    Here is an explanation by an experienced attorney:

  25. Charles says:

    I believe you can see Russia from Frostbite Falls Minnesota.

  26. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am nobody as well.

  27. Flavius says:

    Most unusual, I would say, for an Agent in an upper management position in FBIHQ to open a counter intelligence case and then for all intents and purposes assign it to himself. Cases are normally worked and directly supervised in field offices.
    Carter Page during his period of cooperation with the FBI, almost certainly was handled by Agents assigned to a field office. I wonder what they had to say, assuming they even knew, about HQ opening a CI case targeting their former cooperating witness for FISA coverage.
    It will be very interesting to see who handled Steele. Strzok?
    What was the compelling evidence and who furnished it to turn a US Naval Academy graduate, and presumably a Naval Officer with a readily accessible track record in service, into the targeted subject of an espionage investigation. Did he even have any current access to classified information?
    This is not looking good.

  28. Jack,
    Carter Page is indeed a puzzlement. I don’t see any account of him being an FBI informant, but he was a witness in the investigation and trial of the three SVR officers who tried to recruit him in 2013. If he was an informant, the FBI would not have had to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil him in 2014. That also raises doubts about how cooperative he was during that investigation and the 2015 Russian spy trial. Obviously he didn’t obstruct the investigation or prosecution or he would have been charged for that long ago. I get the impression he is a lot more wily than most people give him credit for.

  29. Duck1 says:

    Obama claimed something to the effect that, it turns out I am pretty good at killing people. This was in reference to the drone program and assume I don’t need to footnote.
    Perhaps he got the notion that his administration was pretty good at intelligence.

  30. Steve G says:

    Re: Frostbite Falls Mn.
    No longer as Moose and Squirrel
    Have left the Observation tower on
    Strict orders from Boris and Natasha!

  31. The “demo” did refer to further intelligence gathered through the FISA surveillance of Page that corroborated several items in the Steele dossier. We don’t know what the intel was or what was validated since the specifics were redacted. Three items were listed but only a few words from one are visible. They seem to be referring to Page’s meeting in Moscow with senior Russian officials.
    “Page’s [REDACTED] in Moscow with [REDACTED] senior Russian officials [REDACTED] as well as meetings with Russian officials [REDACTED].”
    And here’s more on Steele’s relationship with the FBI. His consulting firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired in 2009 by England’s Football Association to investigate allegations of corruption by FIFA. As a result Steele met with members of the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime squad. In 2010, he delivered information about FIFA to this FBI squad that eventually led to indictments of many current and former officials of the soccer governing body, as well as the ouster of longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter. It was an agent from this FBI squad that Steele first contacted in Rome to pass his dossier findings on Trump-Russia to the USG.
    In addition to that work, Steele’s reporting from Orbis on Russia and Ukraine was provided to Clinton’s State Department. I have no idea if that was through the FBI or directly to the State Department. I presume Steele was paid by the FBI for this FIFA work and perhaps the Russia reporting to the State Department as well. It also established him as a reliable reporter.

  32. Mark Logan says:

    I hear that. There is something very odd about that guy, if he hadn’t lied while under oath to Congress I would suspect that as well. However it appears the is bi-partisan consensus on that issue. His lies were so apparently so blatant even Congress critters could see them, and I am at a loss to see anything smart about that.
    Another over-confident weasel on the make is my best guess. Goes for the lot of them. Not seeking to damage the US just seeking to line their pockets. What a disaster entering politics has been for their careers! Their kind of sliminess flies well in the conning of the stupid-greedy-wealthy but lead zepplins under a public spotlight. Their appearance of intelligence is only a reflection of their hubris.

  33. TTG,
    Dude, you are in denial. Please deal with the facts. As of June 2017 Jim Comey testified under oath that the dossier was “UNVERIFIED.” If what you postulate was true (that there was other corroborating intel) then Comey would have said, “Some of it has been corroborated or verified.” He did not.
    Second, you are ignoring the clear evidence (see the Grassley/Graham memo footnote #7) that shows Steele was a signed up intel asset for the FBI.
    You are grasping at straws. I don’t know why you are so adamant in refusing to see the plain fact.

  34. blue peacock says:

    TTG #30

    If he was an informant, the FBI would not have had to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil him in 2014.

    Something just doesn’t make sense. Why hasn’t Carter Page been charged with any crime if he was under FISA surveillance in 2014 and again in 2016 with 3 extensions to the FISA Title 1 warrant? Especially since he was a cooperating witness for the FBI/DOJ in the prosecution of the Russian officers in 2013. Clearly after all these years of the most intrusive surveillance nothing incriminating has been found.
    Nunes in an interview with Maria Baritromo was very clear that the 2016 FISA application was based on the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier and the corroboration of that information in the application was the Yahoo News story by Michael Isikoff which was based on Steele’s briefing. So Steele/Fusion GPS was the source of both the allegation and the corroboration. This was not disclosed to FISC. Neither was the fact that the dossier was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC which were the same as Donna Brazile found out when she replaced Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Lot of circularity that points to the same source. And that the FBI had terminated their relationship with Steele as he was going public with the allegations in the dossier by briefing several media outlets. None of these key facts were disclosed to FISC as was required under FISA. They kept insisting to FISC that Steele was a credible source while knowing these other facts.
    What we don’t know yet is what was the real motivation of the 2016 FISA application on Page and why the DOJ used the Steele dossier as the evidence in that application and why they knowingly withheld the provenance of that information from FISC.
    The allegation that Page met with Sechin and Divyekin has not been verified by the FBI or else they would have stated that in their warrant extension application and Comey would have mentioned that in his testimony. If there were any verification that would have been trumpeted all over the media who are actively interested in furthering this element of the story.
    If by Friday, Comey, Brennan, Clapper et al don’t answer Nunes’ questions regarding the dossier they will receive subpoenas. This dance of obfuscation and creating roadblocks by the FBI & DOJ can only go on for so long. At some point either Rosenstein convenes a grand jury or the calls from the Republicans for another special counsel will start to get more insistent.
    The Flynn case is also interesting as the judge has ordered Mueller to hand over to Flynn’s attorneys any exculpatory evidence. This has apparently to do with the nature of the interview of Flynn at the White House by McCabe and Strzok, with the claim that it was scheduled on a false pretense and Flynn did not have the presence of counsel. Flynn seems to have potentially been railroaded in this instance with the perjury charge.

  35. Green Zone Café says:

    Publius, like a lot of critics of the FISA warrant, you seem to think that the standard for issuing a warrant is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
    It’s not. It’s a much lower and very flexible standard, “probable cause” that there is some foreign intelligence stuff going on that the target is involved in.

  36. Green Zone (does your name choice reflect the fact that you are in a constant state of intoxication from some hallucinogenic plant material?)
    You are not some great mind reader. The standard for requesting a FISA warrant is for the law enforcement officials TO TELL THE TRUTH in their application. Has nothing to do with “beyond reasonable doubt.” Where in the hell are you coming up with this nonsense.
    The FBI had an obligation to disclose that much of their suspicion about Carter Page came from documents paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. They did not.
    You are foolish to put so much trust in the FBI or any other part of government. I guess that is one side effect of your Green Zone.

  37. Jack says:

    I’m not a lawyer and have not read FISA, but I listened to Rep. Ratcliffe recently. He has seen the FISA application on Carter Page and was a former federal prosecutor. He was very clear, FISA requires the government to provide ALL evidence to FISC, since in this secret court proceedings the accused have no opportunity to challenge the government prosecutors. Under FISA law, the government cannot cherry pick the evidence. The Nunes memo is important because it points to felony violations by some of the highest officials at the DOJ and the FBI. Everyone who signed the FISA application and the extensions and provided testimony to FISC has broken the FISA law because they knowingly withheld evidence from FISC. This is why it is a big deal.
    Rep. Goodlatte, has now requested that FISC provide him all the testimony and to confirm that the version of the FISA application that a few members of Congress have seen is identical to the version that FISC has. As blue peacock noted above the Steele dossier and the Carter Page FISA application are the simplest path for Congress to get to the “insurance policy”.

  38. Sid Finster says:

    Because the FBI was looking for any excuse.

  39. Sid Finster says:

    “Reliable reporter” = “reporter that tells the listener what it wants to hear”.
    Vid. “Curveball” and Chalabi were treated as “reliable reporters” even though I have owned domestic pets that could have seen through either of them.

  40. Rhondda says:

    It’s my contention, stated previously, that Carter Page is an IC tool of some flavor or another. His biography and higher education seem to me to indicate that. His strange behavior including a naive bumbling that seems almost Columbo-esque, elusive comments and laughably bathetic letter-for-the-record and congressional testimony further support this view. He had also previously functioned as an FBI informant and possibly more than that.
    Reuters: “According to prosecutors, in April 2012, Sporyshev met an undercover FBI employee posing as an analyst at a New York energy firm at an oil and gas industry conference. Over the next two years, they met to discuss the industry and other economic and political issues, prosecutors said, with Sporyshev providing gifts and cash for information. In 2013, the FBI employee began providing Sporyshev with the binders containing purported industry analysis he wrote, supporting documents, and “covertly placed recording devices,” prosecutors wrote. As the undercover employee said his company would fire him if it learned he disclosed confidential information, Sporyshev would promptly return the binders after reviewing them, prosecutors said. The recordings that resulted captured statements of Sporyshev, Podobnyy, and other Russian intelligence personnel from January to May 2013, prosecutors said.”
    Follow on questions would be: Whose tool? Who operates the tool? FBI? DIA? I am not educated about all the acronymic possibilities, no doubt others are…
    TTG consistently reiterates that if Page was an intel asset there would have been no need to surveil via FISA.
    My take: perhaps the issue was not as much needing to surveil but rather needing a figleaf for surveillance already conducted.
    Conducted illegally. Even more illegally than the constructed justification for the (2-hop, conveniently retroactive) FISA warrant.

  41. Sid Finster,
    In response to 42 – I agree.
    In two posts on SST, and a number of comments on other threads, I have dealt produced rather strong evidence that Steele could not be regarded as a ‘reliable reporter’ on anything whatsoever.
    If TTG or anyone else wants to continue to maintain that there is any case for treating him as such, they should attempt to rebut the evidence I have presented. Otherwise: what is the point in my wasting my time arguing with such people?
    (See ; )
    As I have repeatedly noted, in the press conference in May 2007 where he responded to the request for his extradition submitted by the Crown Prosecution Service, the figure whom Steele colluded with the Berezovsky group in framing, Andrei Lugovoi, claimed that:
    ‘Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.’
    (For one of a number of comments on SST in which I have discussed this – very revealing – remark – see .)
    An excerpt from a programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, illustrates this rather well. An ‘Unidentified Informer’ claimed:
    ‘Well it’s not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They’re protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.’
    (The links on the Inquiry website often do not seem to work, but the transcript can be accessed by putting the reference ‘HMG000513’ into Google.)
    When Mangold asks how the ‘Unidentified Informer’ – who supposedly cannot be identified for ‘reasons of your own personal security’ – how he knows this, the response is that he is himself ‘former KGB.’
    What better validation of Lugovoi’s claim about ‘retards’ could one want. The assumption is that ‘former KGB’ are divided into two categories: people like Lugovoi, who aren’t on your side, whose every word can be dismissed as lies, and people like Shvets, or Gordievsky, or Kalugin, who profess to be on your side, and whose every word is to be regarded as gospel truth. This is indeed infantile.
    I have been reading the testimony of Glenn Simpson to the House Intelligence Committee.
    (For that, and his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, see .)
    The testimony he gives, and which a lot of people appear to take seriously, is extremely reminiscent of the programme presented by Mangold.
    Rather than the – utterly preposterous – suggestion that the FSB already already destroyed people like Mogilevich before Putin came to power, one has the not quite so totally preposterous suggestion that shortly after that event he brought the Russian mafia under control and established himself as the new ‘capo de capei.’
    Frankly, if he is such a superman, the only advice I can give to Americans, or Brits, is – surrender now, while there is still time.
    And then, Simpson provides a whole series of claims about Semyon Mogilevich and the ‘Solntsevskaya Bratva’, which however manage to leave out the ‘evidence’ produced by Shvets and Litvinenko, which was supposed to establish that Putin used these in attempts to supply Al Qaeda with a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ – aka ‘suitcase nuke.’
    Some of the evidence about these matters which was supplied by me to Sir Robert Owen’s team is discussed in the posts to which I have linked, as are the activities and background of Shvets and the former FBI operative ‘Bobby’ Levinson, which were not made clear to the BBC audience by Mangold. (So low has the BBC sunk.)
    In discussing these matters, Simpson does what so many others do – turns an extraordinarily complex history of intrigue, in a collapsed social system, into an essentially infantile story in which, for instance, it becomes impossible to include information that cannot be fitted in that kind of ‘narrative.’
    Among such information is a great deal of evidence suggesting that both Putin and Tymoshenko had a good deal to hide in relation to Mogilevich, but they colluded in removing the intermediary companies linked to him from the gas trade to and through Ukraine: a benign development. This, the evidence suggests, was resisted not simply by Yanukovych – who is not actually ‘pro-Putin’, but not much else but ‘pro-Yanukovych’ – but also Yushchenko.
    Any ‘non-retard’ knows that, if people like Mogilevich are to be sidelined, this cannot be done by extraditing them to the United States. A mass of compromising information he has accumulated on others would, if he was accused of what he has really done, be produced in court. If somebody attempted to assassinate him, he would have organised things so that it would be made public.
    What may be possible, is that he can be sidelined, partly because he is growing old, and also because a negotiated accommodation can be worked out.
    This is rather basic to anyone who lives in the real world. But, apparently, few in Washington and London any longer do.
    Normally, I would immediately supply links for claims like this. But I am ‘clocking off’ for the evening. I am quite happy to provide such links tomorrow, but really, the information on which I am drawing is available to anybody who is prepared to do some rather basic research with Google.
    A fundamental problem, however, has to do with what is implied in being a ‘retard.’
    Years ago, I much amused a young acquaintance of mine who grew up in the West Ukraine by saying that the problem with Western coverage of post-Soviet politics was that it was as though people were on the set of the Godfather, and were determined to believe they were on the set of the ‘Lord of the Rings.’ (All a Balrog needs to do is to put on a pair of pointed ears, and people will take him for an elf.)
    People with ideological blinkers of this kind, such as Simpson patently has, are, in essence, asking to be fooled by people like Shvets. Once however they have been fooled, they get drawn into situations they cannot control or handle. Accordingly, people may start off gullibly accepting disinformation, but will end up having to disseminate what they themselves know to be outrageous falsehoods.
    If you want examples, look at the claims and counter-claims about the deaths of Stephen Curtis, ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili, and Boris Berezovsky.

  42. Alexander Mercouris takes apart the Democrats memo with reference to Byron York’s analysis. I include both links here.
    Battle of the Memos: Democrats’ Memo fails to rebut GOP Memo. Here’s why.
    Byron York: Assessing the new Democratic intel memo
    That TTG wants to assert that the blacked out section of the Dems memo supports the notion that there was additional evidence to warrant surveilling Page is taken apart by both authors as a deliberate Democratic deception intended to support that notion, which in fact it does not.
    To which I would add that the three blanked out paragraphs in the Democrats’ Memorandum which Byron York refers to are a classic exercise in obfuscation.
    Adam Schiff – the author of the Democrats’ Memorandum – would of course have known before he wrote the Memorandum that if he inserted classified material into these three paragraphs they would have to be redacted and would be blanked out.
    That however is what he did, knowing that that is what would happen, and that must therefore be what he wanted when he wrote the paragraphs.
    In other words Schiff wrote three paragraphs into the Democrats’ Memorandum in support of a sentence (“In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reported”) knowing they would be blanked out.
    Frankly that looks to me like an attempt to convey an impression that there is ‘evidence’ which corroborates the Trump Dossier when of course we know that there is actually none.
    That the allegations of ‘kompromat’ and collusion in the Trump Dossier have not been verified is in fact indisputable.
    Needless to say if they had been verified there would have been indictments that referred to the fact by now, and we would not be having this discussion.
    As it happens – and as Byron York says – there have been multiple admissions by senior officials of the Justice Department and of the FBI that the allegations of ‘kompromat’ and collusion in the Trump Dossier have not been verified.
    End Quote
    Mercouris points out that the Democrats have screwed themselves because of their need to 1) show that the Steele dossier was NOT important in the FISA warrant application, while at the same time 2) needing to prove that the Steele dossier was true. They fail on both counts.
    Most of the Democrat memo spends time arguing against statements the GOP memo did not in fact make. In the end, their memo pretty much concedes that most of the GOP memo is accurate. Which means there was serious procedural failings in the warrant application which amount to prosecutorial misconduct.
    As Mercouris has pointed out repeatedly, and some commentators here fail to realize, in a FISA warrant application it is the duty of the government to provide ALL exculpatory evidence because the target of the surveillance can not respond to government charges in furtherance of the warrant.
    This simply was not done by the FBI. And the Demo does not refute that.

  43. Mark Logan says:

    I believe both memos laid eggs. Fitting, as the public rating of current congressional investigative credibility is a goose egg.
    We may be morphing into a constitutional monarchy. A King and a Supreme Court.

  44. Jack says:


    “According to prosecutors, in April 2012, Sporyshev met an undercover FBI employee posing as an analyst at a New York energy firm…”

    Thanks for the excerpt from the Reuters article that clarifies Page’s relationship with the FBI. It seems that there could be a possibility that Page and Papadopoulos were “planted” into the Trump campaign. I recall well during the campaign that the establishment Republicans had all opposed Trump with a lot of vehemence and Trump couldn’t recruit easily anyone with governmental and policy “experience”. I’m curious how Manafort came into the campaign to manage the convention.

  45. Publius Tacitus,
    Reference #36
    Comey said the dossier was “salacious and unverified.” However there was only one item that could be described as salacious, the pee pee tape. That item is what he briefed Trump about and that is what was salacious and unverified. Yet you assume he meant each claim in the dossier was unverified. When asked if anything in the dossier was verified, Comey said he could not discuss that in open session. Trump and his cronies originally claimed they had no dealings with any Russians. They were, over time, proven wrong in that assertion. Why believe their claims that Russian never did nothing which seems pretty silly at this point?
    I pointed out exactly what Steele did for the FBI in the past in the FIFA investigation. He was evidently paid for that cooperation. That is clear evidence that Steele worked for the FBI and provided reliable information in the past.
    No, I think you and many others are grasping at straws in a continuing effort to stop any further investigation into L’Affaire Russe. The evidence that Russia conducted an information op around the 2016 election is there for all but the most ardent denialist to see. I now see real questions about a few in the Trump camp possibly involved in some kind of conspiracy, although I still doubt Trump was involved or even aware of such activities.

  46. blue peacock,
    reference #37
    When the SVR officers attempted to recruit Page in 2013, Page committed no crime. The FISA surveillance was instrumental in eventually convicting one of the SVR officers. Page may not have done anything criminal in the last two years either. Or there could be a sealed indictment against him. We won’t know for a while. The FISA surveillance of Page obviously provided foreign intelligence since the FBI was able to corroborate several items in the Steele dossier. Since that info was redacted in the Schiff memo, we don’t know what that is. Naming Page in a public indictment, if warranted, while the FISA surveillance is producing intel would be killing the goose that laid golden eggs.
    The FISA warrant mentioned the Yahoo story to explain why the FBI stopped dealing with Steele. Nunes twisted that around in his effort to derail the Mueller investigation just like he twisted the description of Steele that was presented in a footnote of the warrant application. That was proven when the entire footnote was quoted in the Schiff memo.
    Mueller has been very disciplined in keeping the details of his investigation under wraps. We don’t know what he has been able to verify to date, including the detail of Page’s trip to Moscow and who he met. The premise that if something is not publicly released, it didn’t happen is absurd. Obviously, the findings and evidence of the Mueller investigation will have to be publicly released if it is to be believed. However, much like the moon landing and the 9-11 attack, many will refuse to believe no matter what is released.

  47. David Habakkuk,
    reference #42,
    What does anything Steele say have to do with US-Russia cooperation in combatting terrorism? Do you think the Steele dossier endangers our continued cooperation on the ISS? How about the continued FBI-FSB cooperation in combatting international crime? Granted the return of Reagan’s Evil Empire rhetoric and the rising hysteria over Russian information operations is not healthy. We have never let up on spying on each other through good time and bad, yet that fact has not influenced out relations. The sooner we all stop hyperventilating over information operations, the better off we will all be. This is not something we have been doing to each other since long before the internet.

  48. Rhondda says:

    Jack @ 47
    The Reuters article doesn’t explicitly name Carter Page as the FBI undercover employee but the description does surely sound just like him.
    I also was interested in how Manafort came into the campaign. Here’s what I found:
    “It was Barrack who persuaded Trump to hire political operative Paul Manafort — whom Barrack first met in Beirut 40 years ago — for the presidential campaign. Trump never publicly criticized Barrack for the advice, even as Manafort came under investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in a probe examining whether the campaign colluded with Russia.”
    I find WAPO to be far too propagandistic, so I don’t usually read or link to it, but this article was quite informative, imho. I recommend reading it in its entirety.
    Like Carter Page, Barrack is an ‘interesting character’.

  49. Dr. Puck says:

    Oh darn, Ockham and his razor, again.
    Schiff didn’t make the redactions. This magic marker ruse is facially ridiculous, for whoever did do the redactions would see through Schiff’s trick; and, this would be newsworthy and news favorable to the cause of exposing Schiff to be a lackey of the deep state.
    Redactions and reductions make us all into “readers between the lines.”
    I’m dumb guessing the full FISA application is full of juicy assertions. I’d add, “we’ll see,” but we probably won’t ever see the blacked out stuff.

  50. Fred says:

    So Comey witheld information from the president elect? One more reason to fire him.
    “Trump and his cronies originally claimed they had no dealings with any Russians.”
    Does that mean the same thing as what a bunch of senators meant when they said they never met with Ambassador Kislyak but oops they really did or is this another “gotcha” process crime? Are those Senators being investigated for dealings with “Russians” i.e. their Ambassador?
    “The evidence that Russia conducted an information op”
    Good News everyone! Just in time we get new, new evidince on the evening news of the Russians hacking election systems in 7 states:
    Hey, didn’t the US Government refute this and the press backtrack on this story a year ago?
    And here:
    “I know of no evidence that last year ballots were altered or votes were suppressed through a cyberattack, but last year’s experience exposed certain cyber vulnerabilities in our election infrastructure,” Jeh Johnson told an election security task force assembled by congressional Democrats Thursday.
    Oh wait, that’s an RT outlet quoting Jeh Johnson. Must be fake.
    My question is who is running the info op now? Are the mid-term Polling numbers on the “the deputy isn’t a coward Trump is/gun grab/NRA membership smear/teachers must remain defenseless campaign” looking so bad that the subject needs to change already?

  51. Wow, let’s try this again with some proofreading. That first draft was almost unintelligible. Sorry.
    David Habakkuk,
    reference #42,
    What does anything Steele says have to do with US-Russia cooperation in combatting terrorism? Do you think the Steele dossier endangers our continued cooperation on the ISS? How about the continued FBI-FSB cooperation in combatting international crime? Granted the return of Reagan’s Evil Empire rhetoric and the rising hysteria over Russian information operations is not healthy. We have never let up on spying on each other through good times and bad, yet that fact has not influenced our relations. The sooner we all stop hyperventilating over information operations, the better off we will all be. This is not something we haven’t been doing to each other since long before the internet.

  52. Green Zone Café says:

    Publius, Jack:
    I’ve challenged scores of search warrant affidavits in court. First, the information contained in an affidavit often has obvious biases. For example, statements by criminals trading information for leniency by “ratting out” another person. I had one client charged with armed robbery and felonious firearm possession. He was facing 10+ years. His interviews with the FBI led to multiple warrants. Yes, he got off with probation. Then you have your jilted girlfriends, other enemies dishing dirt.
    It’s also obvious that cops (FBI) are mostly biased, the warrant affidavits are shaped to produce a warrant. The idea that all exculpatory information about a person be included in a warrant affidavit is a new one to me. “We believe he’s a murderer but he’s kind to his cat.”
    So the fact that the Steele dossier was (partly) paid for by Hillary makes no difference to me. Steele was independently interviewed by the FBI, and as TTG noted had a record of credibility from the prior FIFA investigation. There was other information, too. Probable cause is a very low standard: just someone, however biased or crazy saying “he did it/he’s doing it.”

  53. You still don’t get it.
    The FISA court is NOT a CRIMINAL court. So your experience in criminal court is irrelevant.
    The government in the FISA court is OBLIGATED to provide ALL exculpatory evidence because the target of the warrant is unable to respond because the warrant is secret. In other words, the government is OBLIGATED to be both prosecutor and defense attorney.
    Try to get that.

  54. Green Zone Café says:

    There is no rule within FISA or its case law that “all exculpatory evidence” be provided in an application for a court order.
    And, all warrants are “secret” until searches are executed or arrests are made. A conventional criminal investigation wiretap is secret, not in the USG classification sense, but it’s not public record or disclosed to the target, either. How is a FISA order any different? If arrests are made based on the FISA order intercepts, they can be challenged just like any other warrant on the basis of whether the application affidavit established probable cause.
    Put up some part of 50 USC 1801 et seq or its case law to support your assertion that all exculpatory information must be included in a FISA order application,
    or shut up.

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