The Fabricated “Predicate” to Spy on the Trump Campaign by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7

While Inspector General Michael Horowitz did a pretty fair job of documenting the crimes of the FBI in getting the green light from a Federal Judge to spy on Carter Page as an ostensible agent of the Russians, he utterly failed to investigate the cornerstone (aka the "predicate") for launching this whole sordid affair. That predicate?  George Papadopoulos, an obscure foreign policy advisor to the Trump Campaign, reportedly told  Australia's High Commissioner to the UK (and Clinton crony), Alexander Downer, that the Russian Government had dirt on Hillary Clinton. But Papadopoulos was simply passing on gossip he heard from Joseph Mifsud, an intelligence agent tied to British secret services, not the Russians.

In a competent world of law enforcement and intelligence officials, this kind of hearsay (I heard it through the grapevine) would not pass the laugh test. But not in the partisan world of the FBI. The FBI leadership, according to Inspector General Horowitz, unanimously agreed that the unsubstantiated hearsay justified launching a full scale counterintelligence investigation and spying on the Trump campaign. Michael Horowitz reports that:

. . . the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, just days after its receipt of information from a Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) reporting that, in May 2016, during a meeting with the FFG, then Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos "suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama)."

McCabe said the FBI viewed the FFG (aka Downer) information in the context of Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections in the years and months prior, as well as the FBI's ongoing investigation into the DNC hack by a Russian Intelligence Service (RIS). He also said that when the FBI received the FFG information it was a "tipping point" in terms of opening a counterintelligence investigation regarding Russia's attempts to influence and interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections because not only was there information that Russia was targeting U.S. political institutions, but now the FBI had received an allegation from a trusted partner that there had been some sort of contact between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

Here is Mueller's account of how the investigation started:

In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.

It is critical to take note that George Papadopoulos did not solicit Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. That offer came from Joseph Mifsud. Inspector General Horowitz makes little mention of Mifsud beyond noting that he lied to the FBI about his conversation with Papadopoulos. That incuriosity is troubling and inexcusable if one is serious about understanding the predicate for spying on the Trump campaign. Michael Horowitz took a pass.

Robert Mueller identifies Mifsud in the report as someone with close ties to Russia. Good old guilt by association without one shred of proof. Mueller's report describes Mifsud as:

. . . a Maltese national who worked as a professor at the London Academy of Diplomacy in London, England.  Although Mifsud worked out of London and was also affiliated with LCILP, the encounter in Rome was the first time that Papadopoulos met him. Mifsud maintained various Russian contacts while living in London, as described further below.

Joseph Mifsud was not and is not an agent of Russia. He was working for western intelligence. If you want to get the full picture of Mifsud's ties to British intelligence, the CIA and the FBI, I encourage you to read, The Death of Russiagate?, Mueller team tied to Mifsud network, a tangled web. This article provides actual evidence about the intelligence pedigree of Joseph Mifsud. Robert Mueller, by contrast, provides not one single piece of actual evidence. Mueller and his team of clown lawyers relied on innuendo and guilt by association. And Horowitz just ignores Mifsud, pretending he is irrelevant to the "predication."

The next critical event in the predication chain, according to both Mueller and Horowitz, was Papadopoulos speaking with Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer. Mueller reports:

One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton.

The name of Alexander Downer does not appear in Mueller or Horowitz report. 

Why did "FFG" aka Alexander Downer, who reportedly heard about the Russian dirt on Hillary from the lips of a tipsy George Papadopoulos in early May, wait more than two months to tell the United States about it? Downer claims it was Wikileaks publication of the emails that was the last straw. However, it was not a secret of state on June 14, 2016 when Ellen Nakashima of The Washington Post reported Crowdstrike, a private cyber security firm hired by the DNC, "discovered" that the Russians had hacked the DNC. Why did Downer not react to that news? And why did the FBI treat the supposed attack by Russia with such an incurious approach? They did not set up a task force. They did not subpoena the server nor press the NSA for corroborating evidence that would have exposed a Russian plot.

Instead, Comey's FBI was content to passively receive information provided by Crowdstrike rather than get access themselves. No answer to these questions is provided by either Michael Horowitz or Robert Mueller.

A careful reading of the Horowitz report reveals that Downer told his hearsay to Gina Haspel, the current Director of the CIA who was the CIA's Chief of Station in London at the time.

On July 26, 2016, 4 days after Wikileaks publicly released hacked emails from the DNC, the FFG official spoke with a U.S. government (USG) official in the European city about an "urgent matter" that required an in-person meeting. At the meeting, the FFG official informed the USG official of the meeting with Papadopoulos. . . .

On Jul 27 2016 the USG official called the FBI's Legal Attache (Legat) and in the European city to her office and provided them [BLACKED OUT MATERIAL] The Legat told us he was not provided any other
information about the meetings between the FFG and Papadopoulos.

Notwithstanding Horowitz's narrow, legalistic finding that the actual "predicate" to start spying on the Trump campaign was because of what Alexander Downer said about George Papadopoulos, the testimony of Andrew McCabe makes it clear that the an alleged Russian role in the DNC hack also weighed heavily in favor of spying on Trump. It is essential to note that the FBI had no independent proof or evidence that Russia was in anyway responsible for the missing DNC emails. The FBI based their conclusion entirely on the unsubstantiated claim by Crowdstrike that "the Russians" had hacked the DNC. It is worth recalling that FBI Director Jim Comey testified in the Spring of 2017, under oath, that the FBI never gained access to the DNC server and that the FBI relied on information provided by Crowdstrike.

With the Horowitz report in the public sphere we can now compare his account of the Papadopoulos affair with that present by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. You will see that the story is nonsense. It also is a contrived set up. Alexander Downer's decision to report his "concern" to the CIA's Gina Haspel was the fruit of a covert action carried out by U.S. and foreign intelligence services working in tandem to go after Trump. The so-called "predicate" for the FBI was a deliberate, carefully crafted fabrication.

It started with the deliberate targeting of George Papadopolous by Joseph Mifsud, an intelligence operative working for the Brits and the CIA, not the Russians. Mifsud was planting evidence by telling Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The intent of this lure was to entice Papadopoulos to carry this offer back to the Trump campaign (which he did). But the Trump campaign did not bite. 

Despite the Trump campaign's refusal to take the Russian bait, having Alexander Downer report the rumor started by Mifsud as a "fact" of the intent of the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians became the raison d'être for getting The FBI. It is no mere coincidence that Gina Haspel, who was serving as the CIA Chief of Station in London at the Time, turned to The FBI to do its thing. 

What is shocking about the Horowitz conclusion justifying the predicate for spying on Donald Trump and his team is that neither Horowitz nor any other senior official at The FBI when these events unfolded was troubled by accepting as fact a third hand report that Russia had dirt on Hillary. What kind of dirt? No one among The FBI leadership asked that question according to Horowitz. The claim of "dirt" was accepted at face value. 

Having a foreign stooge like Alexander Downer carry the intel community's dirty water to the FBI provided a legalistic cover that the Bureau leadership could and did cite as a proper "legal" foundation for spying on the Trump campaign. The could safely claim that they did not know nothing about no spying while claiming to be just following the law. Welcome to the Washington Swamp's version of Kabuki theater. Sadly, Inspector General Horowitz played along with this charade.

Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Prosecutor John Durham have put the Washington Swamp on notice that the Horowitz fiction about The FBI predicate will not survive. Durham has collected evidence and testimony from the intelligence community side of the house, as well as overseas, that will expose the FBI, at a minimum, as unwitting dupes out-smarted by duplicitous intelligence operatives. The more likely scenario is that key FBI officials will be indicted for participating in an elaborate scheme that is nothing short of sedition. It is worth noting that it was the FBI's Comey and McCabe who were insisting that the discredited Steele Dossier be included in the equally suspect January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. That does not sound like a couple of rubes being dragged around by their nose to do something they otherwise would not. A more appropriate term is "conspirator."

 

 

 

 

Jul 13, 2018 – Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump

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104 Responses to The Fabricated “Predicate” to Spy on the Trump Campaign by Larry C Johnson

  1. Avatar akaPatience says:

    The IG report doesn’t add up. It CAN’T add up, with so much omitted/ignored/overlooked, as outlined above.
    There was never a “defensive briefing” either to alert Trump to possible Russian infiltration. IMO this is so telling.
    And why withhold exculpatory evidence from the FISC judges and worse, MATERIALLY ALTER an email reporting that Carter Page was an IC asset, if not for nefarious purposes FFS?
    More and more, I subscribe to the suspicion that Trump was already being spied upon before these pretexts were created, and that the Title 1 FISA warrants obtained were to provide cover for it (and more). Now that I think about it, it sounds an awful lot like an “insurance policy” to me. In Page/Stzok texts they both express alarm about the possibility of a President Trump at least as far back as March, 2016. It’s hard to believe their alarm wasn’t shared by others also in the top tier at the FBI who were banking on Clinton’s victory.

  2. Avatar Factotum says:

    Prejudice – Orange Man Bad – was the predicate.

  3. Avatar Jack says:

    Larry,
    I never vote for a candidate from the two parties for president. I don’t like Trump as a person. However, I like that he’s not started another war and that he’s taken on the Chinese Communists exploitation of our market and forcing decoupling and that he wants better relations with Russia and wants to dent illegal immigration. I don’t like his obsequiousness of the Al Sauds and the Israelis.
    But…Spygate and the Russia hoax mindlessly parroted by the media and this sham impeachment is outrageous. It tears at my sense of what our constitutional republic ought to be. I will break my long held tradition and vote for him next year as a giant FU.
    Having said that, for the life of me I can’t get his hires. Gina Haspel, John Bolton, Rosenstein, Wray, Pompeo. It’s like he went straight to the vipers den. I also can’t get why he’s not gone after the coup plotters hard and declassified it all.
    What’s the pound of flesh that crooked Mitch is gonna demand? He says the impeachment trial will not have any witnesses. The House can make their case and Trump’s lawyers can rebut. Then the Senate will vote. What’s that about? The whole system is so damn crooked!

  4. Avatar Factotum says:

    April, 2016: Mifsud contacts Papadopolus -claims Russians have dirt on Clinton to help Trump
    May 6, 2016: Downer-Papadopolus bar conversation – Russians have dirt on Clinton
    June 14, 2016: WaPo reports CROWDSTRIKE concluded the Russians hacked DNC computers
    July 22, 2016: Wikileaks publishes DNC computer files, embarrassing to Clinton
    July 26, 2016: Downer reports to London FBI about Papadopolus conversation Downer (Final straw)
    July 27, 2016: FBI agents contact London FBI office (Haspel)
    July 31, 2016: FBI opens secret Crossfire Hurricane to investigate Trump-Russia links (FBI Final Straw)

  5. Avatar Factotum says:

    Democrats relentless politics of personal destruction do make it hard for Trump to hire or appoint. Few want to be under relentless Democrat attack, just to get a government job and probably career killer once the Democrats get done with them.
    Democrats are going after Betty DeVos next – she dared to take on the powerful Democrat teachers unions. Have Betty’s back – and don’t blame Trump – he is heroically holding up and holding this country together, while the powerful Democrat public sector unions want to rip it apart – and devour the spoils for themselves.

  6. Avatar Jack says:

    Sorry. Don’t buy that excuse. There’s plenty of people who haven’t spent their lives in the DC Swamp who would take the job. But…neither is Trump a great person to work for. I wouldn’t want to work for a guy like him.

  7. Avatar Elmo Zoneball says:

    For your consideration:
    I posit that the original plan was to bait PapaD with the “dirt on Hillary” dangle, PapaD relays the dangle to campaign officials, and if campaign officials told him to pursue the dirt, he’d go back to Mifsud and say: “my bosses want to hear more details on the Russian offer.” Mifsud reports that to his handler, and the people scheming this set about to catch a high level Trump campaign official colluding with Russian government “to interfere in the election,” which gets them a predicate for an FBI investigation and an ensuing FISA warrant to spy on the campaign.
    When that failed to materialize after dangling the lure in front of PapaD, they had to improvise to get “the predicate” some other way. The claim that the Russians hacked the DNC emails, combined with the reiteration of “the dangle” by PapaD to Downer, was the other way.
    The people running this scheme orchestrate the exfiltration of emails from the DNC, and blame it on the Russians. CrowdStrike, which had already been inside the DNC computer network for months related to the Bernie campaign improper access of Hillary data, was perfectly positioned to either plant malware that could plausibly be blamed on Russians, or serendipitously found such malware already residing on the DNC computer system, in latter part of April, 2016. This, along with doctoring server logs, completes the Russian attribution scam on the DNC network side by CrowdStrike.
    Meanwhile, somebody calling themselves Guccifer 2.0 is given a number of Podesta emails and attachments, which are dutifully uploaded to the web in early June, but not before several attachment get hamfisted meta-data editting and massaging, to embed painfully obvious “Russian fingerprints” all over the documents, and contacts numerous media outlets to call attention to the uploads. Within a few days, the Russian metadata is noticed, and publicly reported, and, along with the WP news story quoting CrowdStrike’s Russian email hacking attribution, the Russian attribution for the exfiltration of DNC emails to wikileaks is complete. This gave the FBI the cover they so desperately needed to NOT bothering to subpoena the DNC servers and give them an independent forensic anal probing.
    Note that Guccifer 2.0 is critical to establishing the predication for the future FBI investigation of the Trump campaign regarding suspicions it is colluding with the Russians who are “interfering with the 2016 election,” specifically putting the final metadata touches on the “Potemkin Village” fake Russian attribution for the email “hacking,” bolstering the CrowdStrike attribution report, and giving the FBI the excuse it needed to not examine the DNC servers.
    And all of this is part of something that screams “Plan B” to provide a predicate for the FBI to open a CI investigation, and use it spy on Trump campaign people via a very intrusive and very secret FISA warrant. Plan B was necessitated when the dangle to PapaD failed to elicit follow-up by Trump campaign people to try to contact Russians about “Hillary dirt” they might have. So instead, PapaD’s casual throw-away regurgitation of the dangle about Russian dirt on Hillary blabbed to the Australian Ambassador to Britain in early May is then used after the wikileaks emails are released in July to become McCabe’s “tipping point” to open the CH investigation, and start lining up FISA warrants for Carter Page, which was clearly a set-up in itself.
    This is how you can tell Guccifer 2.0 was part of the conspiracy, and not some boastful Russian intel weenie.

  8. Avatar Factotum says:

    We don’t want any more swamp dwellers. Show me any POTUS boss who was easy to work for – Valerie Jarrett herself was called the NightStalker, and the real pants in the Obama WH. Time to move more of the federal agencies out of DC. And groom a far less swampy farm club.

  9. Avatar Factotum says:

    Less than five days elapsed before the full powers of the US government were unleashed against the Trump campaign, based upon an uncorroborated bar conversation: July 26- Downer/FBI meet; July 31- FBI Crossfire Hurricane begins.
    Does that pass the FBI due diligence test for an investigation at this level of gravitas?
    Or does this pass an FBI pre-emptive rush to judgement due to prior FBI prejudice Orange Man Bad, with nary a worry there would be top level FBI leadership (aka Comey) opposition or concerns?

  10. Avatar Dan says:

    I think you left out one important date:
    July 30, 2016. (A Saturday by the way) Ohrs meet with christopher Steele, who provides them with a few initial reports of what would eventually become the dossier
    Then July 31, (a Sunday) the investigation is opened
    There is also some mystery about the dates and timing of downer’s info getting to the us. This guardian piece says the FBI agents summariized their findings on August 2.
    After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an FBI interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos,” the paper reports.
    ‘It was a bad idea’: music publicist was unlikely fixer of Trump Tower meeting
    “The agents summarised their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation.”
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/17/alexander-downers-secret-meeting-with-fbi-led-to-trump-russia-inquiry-report
    I don’t have a lot of expertise on this element so maybe I’m missing something there.
    I always thought the weekend nature of this last part was revealing.

  11. Avatar Diana C says:

    I am a retired public school teacher, and I absolutely detest the NEA. It’s done more to dumb down our public schools than any other group. I would also blame the colleges and universities that push out graduates with teaching credentials. Rarely now do they expect that teachers know anything about the content hey should be teaching, only that they are aware of the psycho-babble and untested theories put out by the “education” departments.
    When I began teaching in the early 70’s, we looked to our content association. For me at the time it was the National Council of Teachers of English. We didn’t yet have an NEA.
    That changed pretty quickly however. Soon it was all about the NEA.
    Think of the fact that Bill Ayers is or was (not sure if he has retired yet) a well-respected professor of “Education.”
    I keep saying it: If you are the parent of a school-age child, find a charter school, private school, or a good home-school program instead.
    One of my best friends who taught with me at the community college and college level, adopted a Chinese baby girl when the Chinese had their “one child” policy.
    That girl is now only 16 and is entering the local community college. Each time she was required to go into a public school to take state-mandated tests, she scored in the 98th percentile. She and her home-school friends took physical education in the local recreation district, music with the local symphony, band, and choir, and art with the local arts district.
    This is common for homes-schooled students.
    My cousin did the same for her two children, but she did it for religious reasons. Still, she followed a national program for home schooling. They earned their HS diplomas and went straight into programs for earning a certificate for specific work. One was trained to work as a dental hygienist and the other to do HVAC work. They are doing well now supporting themselves.
    None of these children I have mentioned are for socialism, communism, radical feminism, or any of the other “isms” of the current progressives.

  12. Avatar akaPatience says:

    What I saw and heard of Horowitz’s testimony today before the US Senate Judiciary Committee was also damning. I especially like that he said no one from the FBI who touched the FISA process was vindicated by his investigation. I hope the sanctimonious James Comey was watching.
    I noticed yesterday that Christopher Steele’s attorneys went public, stating Steele has recordings of his “Primary Sub Source” who was interviewed for the IG investigation and who was dismissive of Steele’s work.
    Why aren’t we being told the identity of or at least more info about Steele’s “Primary Sub Source”? Since the FISA warrant applications were based on the Steele dossier, this is key.
    PLUS, it seems even more suspicious to me that Steele even HAD a “Primary Sub Source”. Couldn’t that make his dossier even less reliable if he had fewer rather than more sources?

  13. Avatar Factotum says:

    WHO tried to bait Papadopolus with the claim of dirt on Hilary? WHO initiated this daisy chain.

  14. Avatar Factotum says:

    Very interesting, Elmo. This could explain the very curious treatment of the very word Crowdstrike and why the Democrats went apoplectic when Trump raised the topic of Crowdstrike again in his Ukraine phone call.
    Yet went out of the way to not even mention is, other than refer obliquely to Crowdstrike as some over-wrought, thoroughly debunked, right wing nut case conspiracy theory.
    LJ has been ahead of the game with the DNC break-in from the very beginning and the bogus Crowdstrike “conclusions” that now two federal agencies have passed off as fact – but with still absolutely no supporting evidence.
    Mifsud was never mentioned again for years and claimed even to be dead. Crowdstrike was struck from any further discussions, including attacks on anyone who dared bring them up …..the dogs that did not bark …..
    And now Debbie Wasserpoodle, the center of the Crowdstrike DNC computer fiasco, is out braying in the wind again, in full throated attack.
    None of this is passing a smell test to those of us out west – out of the DC bubble.

  15. Avatar Factotum says:

    Where is Julian Assange in all of this?
    Would he have anything of value to offer at this point. Besides some slim chance of the actual truth of who in fact handed him these DNC files – but without being tainted by the prospect plea bargaining? And he is now painted in the media as a deranged, sick old man who would be just offering the ravings of a madman. How convenient.

  16. Avatar Factotum says:

    DOJ now says it can’t respond to a Jusicial Watch FOIA request pertaining to the Democrat-serving Pakistani computer experts, the Awan brothers and assorted family members. Debbie Wasserpoodle ran protection for her House computer buddies. But their House employment was finally terminated in Feb 2017, and they were allowed to leave the country, with bundles of cash.
    DOJ now claims Ca “technical difficulties” prevent document production to Judicial Watch. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/deep-state-doj-tells-judicial-watch-it-cant-produce-documents-on-imran-awan-due-to-technical-difficulties/
    Is there any connection between the DNC leaks, Crowdstrike and the Pakistani Awan brothers? Can anyone in the high tech media world help the DOJ get beyond their “technical difficulties” in this legally requested document production?

  17. Mr Johnson – apologies for the two comments up above, the first being merely a brief note that somehow escaped on to the Colonel’s site. Do please delete them if you can.
    The video of the Senate Judiciary hearing is extraordinary. Here are people, including Horowitz, discussing a major disaster and making no bones about it. The brief section from around 5.57.00 speaks for itself –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11511&v=bi8V-9EQfec&feature=emb_logo
    Horowitz throughout is careful to stick to his brief and not allow himself to be drawn on issues outside it. All he insists on is that the “opening” of the case shows no bias. When it comes to how the renewals were done he characterises that as “murky”. He will not allow Senators to state or imply that the lack of bias for the opening demonstrates lack of bias for the renewals. As a whole he is saying that the case was handled astoundingly badly but he refuses to say whether that is incompetence or intention.
    A meticulous man who has established the facts as accurately as possible, will have nothing to say to speculation, but who is adamant that something has gone seriously wrong and that further action needs to be taken. Having read accounts of the Horowitz report I watched expecting a whitewash with maybe a scapegoat or two – and found myself witnessing a demolition job.

  18. Avatar Rich says:

    Please, someone fit Admiral Rogers of the NSA sprint to Trump Tower into this timeline. I’m curious why there is no mention of his action in all these reports

  19. Avatar Elmo Zoneball says:

    PapaD claims it was Mifsud.

  20. Avatar Jack says:

    Larry
    Horowitz testimony today was devastating to law enforcement in both the Obama and Trump administration.
    They falsified, omitted exculpatory information and hoodwinked the FISC. They knew the Steele dossier was a work of fiction yet used it as the primary evidence to obtain the most intrusive surveillance of an American citizen and a presidential campaign. Furthermore the entire Mueller investigation was based on a falsity that the leadership of law enforcement in two administrations had full knowledge. This rogue operation to take down a presidential campaign and a duly elected president based on known false information should be outrageous to every American.
    The reality is that the real interference in an election was by an incumbent administration using the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus against the campaign of an opposition candidate. Then to make it even worse the law enforcement apparatus of the incoming administration continued with the falsely predicated investigation to stymie and even oust the new President.
    People like you and Col.Lang and those outside the mainstream media who saw through the smokescreen are vindicated. The media personalities that pushed the Russia hoax with hysterics and denied the use of the Steele work of fiction to obtain warrants and denigrated folks like Rep. Devin Nunes should be shunned. After the Iraq WMD hoax perpertrated by a Republican administration and amplified by the same media, it should be clear that any American that wants to know the truth needs to go to sites like SST and not the NY Times or CNN.
    The question that really needs to be asked is what did Obama know and when?

  21. Avatar PavewayIV says:

    Larry – Can’t argue with your solid argument and I agree, but what about the possibility that Horwitz is just sandbagging the Democrats and Barr/Durham? By sidestepping around the predicate, he gives Democrats a little victory to crow about.
    Sure the predicate is significant, but he just spelled out in detail the specific indictable offenses by the three main players to Barr/Durham. No motivation or bias arguments needed in the indictments. No idea if this makes sense, but what if Horowitz’s intent was to avoid a full, prolonged Barr/Durham investigation first and frontrun it with what should be immediate indictments?
    Indicting for unquestionable crimes first forces disclosure of more information that would help cement the predicate and (most important in my book) will force the three to roll on their bosses. You can read in to Horowitz’s findings that they were part of this, but he doesn’t have anything solid on them. Instead, he gives us the only three people who can and probably will finger them.
    Can the DoJ drag their feet and ignore the ‘in your face’ crimes Horowitz details? Nothing to stop them from doing a full investigation on the other issues afterwards. I’m suspicious about any DoJ investigation. Seems like an opportunity for more mischief, obfuscation and delay.

  22. Avatar Factotum says:

    Did anyone initially gave the green light to Mifsud to plant this info on Papadopolus. Or was it just a random encounter? That led to another just totally random Papadopolus encounter with Downer.
    That led to Downer two months, all the sudden, putting the FBI finger on Papadopolus. Amazing set of such random encounters leading to the attempted over throw of an elected US president.
    Makes one want to pull the covers over their head, stay in bed and close their mouth with duct tape lest one say the wrong thing to the wrong person randomly out there in the big bad world.

  23. Avatar Elmo Zoneball says:

    Mid November 2016.

  24. Avatar Jack says:

    “FISA report shows Steele dossier built on lies&rumor Graham/Grassley crim referral of Steele Jan 2018 looks like tip of iceberg compared 2details exposed by IG re politically motivated Steele dossier. FBI fed FISA court a bunch of hogwash knowing Steele dossier had NO credibility” – Chuck Grassley
    https://twitter.com/chuckgrassley/status/1204732076739694594
    Yup. So this begs the question is this SOP at DOJ? How many other warrants are based on false evidence? Can the DOJ investigate themselves? Shouldn’t the hammer come down on these gross abusers of the rule of law? I mean serious (10-20 yr) jail time.
    The other question is what kind of court is FISC? Don’t they verify the evidence provided? What’s the point in having judicial review if they’re just a rubberstamp?

  25. All,
    Has anyone seen an iota of evidence that Steele actually had a ‘Primary Sub-Source’, that could be relied upon to survive critical examination, had Horowitz approached questioning both the FBI people and Steele in a manner that might be deemed appropriate with people under suspicion of having colluded in a seditious conspiracy?

  26. Avatar turcopolier says:

    jack
    IMO Obama must have been fully in the loop for Crosswind Hurricane. Brennan and Clapper and the DoJ/FBI scoundrels would not have dared to attempt the blocking of an election without his approval. He should be prosecuted for this. Also IMO Rosemary Collyer, the chief FISC judge was probably clued in on the bogus nature of the evidence for the warrant on Page. She is a highly political judge and under the thumb of DoJ.

  27. Avatar Elmo Zoneball says:

    Glad you asked the question. I just arrived at the conclusion that the Steele “Sourcing” is just a very clever cover story.
    I’d bet dollars to donuts that Sergie is fake source for Steele. It all came from FusionGPS, which fed it through Steele, who recycled it back to FusionGPS, attributing it to his “Primary-source, who had a network of sub-sources.” Note that Steele refused to tell the FBI who the Primary sub-source was. (FBI figured it out anyway.) Hence, Sergie was the “cut-out” for Steele, isolating him from the putative “true sources” of each story (who do not, IMHO, exist.) When FBI interviews Sergie, he says: “I never told Steele half that shit; it was all barroom boasting from my pals, and I don’t recall who they were, or who their sources were.” Instant dead end; the FBI can’t trace the stories any further, nor do they need to, once it is clear they were not true.
    But when you see how the Steele memos curiously deliver very topical intel, like evidence that Page was a Russian asset, at the very moment when the FBI was going to need it for a FISA warrant, you have to wonder how is it that Sergie dished up such a topical story from his friends at that particular moment. The obvious answer is they didn’t. But the key piece of evidence is the background info for all the Steele Dossier stories can be checked out and verified — and were available in OPEN SOURCES AT THE TIME THE MEMOS WERE WRITTEN. “Barroom bullshit” doesn’t have that attribute! Ergo, the Dossier stories were well researched using open sources to get the background info correct, over which the fake allegations were then troweled.
    Simpson and Company are likely the primary authors, Steele printed it out, and Sergie was a convenient beard to play the role of “Primary Sub-source” in Steele’s little theatrical farce, whose putative drunken sub-sources are unknown, and not worth trying to track down once the FBI realized the stories were all bullshit. Sergie and his “barroom buddies” (read: imaginary) are a cover story for the Steele Dossier material, generated by Fusion GPS and recyled back to them by Steele, with his Imprimatur on it, and attributed to his “well-connected Russian born but unnamed Primary Sub-source and his extensive network of Russian operatives,” so that the FBI will swallow it hook, line, and sinker and so will the FISA Court — without actually verifying ANY of it, at least until after the election is over, and Trump wins.
    That’s when the panic started, and various co-conspirators start going rogue out of desperation.

  28. I watched most of the 5h30m Horowitz appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Very worthwhile, if you can spare the time.
    The GOP highlighted the key points, and you can observe how Horowitz couched his answers.
    Watch the whole testimony on C-SPAN here:
    https://www.c-span.org/video/?466593-1/justice-department-ig-horowitz-defends-report-highlights-fisa-problems&start=407 ;
    just click on the Play triangle to start the video.
    That is jiggered to start with Lindsey Graham’s fiery opening statement;
    if it doesn’t, click on Lindsey Graham in the text.
    Also, Sydney Powell gave her takeaways from the Horowitz Senate testimony here:
    https://youtu.be/BcF1DlnceeM?t=2m10s

  29. Avatar Factotum says:

    Questions asked by Conservative Tree House about FISA court application back in Feb 2018 and follow up commentary at that time – what was speculated then and what is known now?
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/15/fisa-court-presiding-judge-rosemary-collyer-responds-to-chairman-nunes-and-chairman-goodlatte-request-for-fisc-documents/

  30. Avatar Factotum says:

    FISC Judge Rosemary Collyer, coming from a stint on the NLRB, has little in distinction in her online legal biography.

  31. Avatar Elmo Zoneball says:

    The $64,000 question is who or what prompted Mifsud to suddenly show an interest in a young Trump volunteer PapaD, who had only been associated with the Trump campaign for a few weeks (he was a foreign policy volunteer on the Carson campaign up until Carson dropped out.)
    More to the point, how did anyone have PapaD on their radar such that Mifsud could connect with him, almost before the Trump campaign had even announced PapaD was part of its Foreign Policy Advisory Board?
    I have always assumed there was an operation to identify any and ALL GOP campaign personnel who had significant overseas contacts, to have a short list of who could be useful as a means to smear whatever campaign they were with, with allegations of “foreign collusion.” I believe this entailed the use of Foreign Intel services, likely GCHQ, to do metadata analyses on all the GOP campaign people talking overseas. This was essentially an end run of the US Constitution, so they could be spied on without a US search warrant.
    I’m guessing the PapaD and Page popped to the top of the list of potential smear vectors, because of frequent foreign phone, email, and travel contacts, especially Page’s Russian connections.
    Once those two joined the Trump campaign, the plotters were “loaded for bear,” and then set about setting up the smear.
    I suspect Mifsud’s TWO Blackberries will be key evidence when all is said and done. My assumption is each operation he was involved in as an intel asset would beget a separate Blackberry — I thus assume Mifsud was concurrently performing an “op within an op” — one Blackberry for his handler on the “outer op,” and the other for his handler on the “inner op.”
    The analogy is the one plumber in the Watergate break-in squad who had the key taped to the back cover of a small notebook in his pocket, which the police said he tried to throw away several times while they were interrogating them in the hallway. None of the other plumbers (nor G. Gordon Liddy) knew about the key, and what its purpose was. Only the one plumber, and the person who had told him what the real purpose was of the break-in, knew what the key was for. Read “Silent Coup.”
    P.S. The key disappeared from the DC police evidence locker, but not before it key number and brand were recorded. The key matched a drawer lock on a single desk in the DNC HQ complex at Watergate, and it wasn’t Larry O’Brien’s…..
    😉

  32. Avatar blue peacock says:

    David,
    Maybe the sub-source was Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson. The authors of the dossier could very well be Fusion GPS.
    The real question is how wide & deep is Durham going with his criminal investigation. Is he going to look at the role of not just key players at DOJ, FBI & CIA but also in Congress and the media?
    It should be clear as day that Comey, Brennan and Clapper have committed perjury. Will they get the same treatment that Roger Stone received – an indictment & conviction for perjury?

  33. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Jack
    You are absolutely correct that the media after perpetrating the Iraq WMD hoax and now the Russia Collusion hoax should have ZERO credibility. I wonder why so many Americans keep using the NY Times & WaPo and CNN, Fox & NBC as their primary source of news?
    Makes no sense.
    Col. Lang and his guest authors analysis have been so spot on all these years.

  34. Avatar bjd says:

    To be precise, Horowitz is saying: it’s hard to ascribe these 17 events to ‘purely incompetence’. (06:05:40).

  35. Avatar bjd says:

    Bruce Ohr is still at the DOJ…

  36. Odd thing is, when I watched the hearing on the report it came out differently.  
    I have been reading the articles and comments on this on the Colonel’s site, as the article above by Mr Johnson.  Each time I have thought – “Yes, that there was a conspiracy to damage Trump has to be right, but where’s the indisputable proof of wrongdoing that can be taken for granted by all, not merely by those who follow a long chain of reasoning and deduction”.
    That’s what Horowitz has provided.  He has limited his investigation to little more than a formal procedural audit.  He has left out questions of motive or intent as much as possible.  He refuses to look outside his brief.  That he has so limited his investigation makes his conclusions all the more incontrovertible.
    It’s doubtful that all the FBI operatives in any way involved were set as a unit on “Getting Trump”.   Some were, most weren’t, and those who were slipped the conspiracy past the rest of them as “normal procedure.”  There were hints here and there that FBI “normal procedure” when it comes to getting FISA approval is sloppy in any case.
    In a “culture” (the word was used several times during the Senate hearing) of sloppiness or of cutting corners, getting defective applications for FISA approval submitted would not be difficult.
    So it’s quite possible that the initial application was above reproach in a formal sense. Horowitz says as much.  He does not say the same about the “renewals” and in fact makes it clear that those later renewals were “murky”. That is, the renewals were formally defective in that they did not disclose to the FISA Court that there was now formal evidence available to show that Steele had turned out to be an unreliable and biased source.
    Horowitz has very little evidence proving that such errors were due to malicious intent.  He merely documents the errors and let’s us make what we will of them.  
    Similarly he has no evidence showing that Comey acted with malicious intent. He therefore does not accuse Comey of malicious intent.  But he is also very clear indeed that he cannot exculpate Comey. Again, he merely documents the errors and oversights.
    In short, Horowitz is simply on a fact finding mission.  He establishes to the satisfaction of both sides of the Senate Committee that a series of formal errors occurred.  That established, he refuses to move out of his ground and say why they occurred; he has no formal evidence on that.  The text messages don’t count because they were exchanged mostly outside the formal context of the FISA application.
    I’ve been reading on the blogs that Horowitz sold the pass.  That he’s part of a cover up.  On the contrary.  He has meticulously uncovered the basic and incontestable facts of what went wrong with those FISA applications.  That, given the mass of unsupported or hitherto unverifiable allegation swirling around “Russiagate”, or at least of allegation not hitherto accepted on all hands, is of inestimable value.
     
    This has two consequences –
    1.  The Democrats as well as Trump supporters now accept that a quite extraordinary chain of errors and failures occurred during the various submissions to the FISA Court.  No argument, no need to go back over it. Horowitz has established common ground.  At no time was there a hint from the Democrats that Horowitz’ findings were disputed and they won’t be in the future.
    2.  By refusing to go outside his brief, and in particular by refusing to speculate on criminal intent, Horowitz has left the field wide open for the matching of further evidence to his findings.
    The Horowitz “audit” is therefore a springboard for further investigation and enquiry.  He’s done his limited but vital job.  Now one can only wait to see whether subsequent investigators do theirs.
    .
    Leaves just one question in the back of one’s mind.  That FISA Court.  It seems to have ended up passively accepting throughout what the FBI put forward.  But this wasn’t in the context of the 98% of bread and butter applications that they routinely approve.  It was in the middle of an all hell let loose political dogfight.  Presumably the judges read the newspapers and knew all that was exploding in the world outside their courtroom. 
     
    In such a context it seems strange that when those renewals came up the judges didn’t say to the FBI operatives involved – “Are you quite sure all this is on the level?”  But that they don’t seem to have done.
    Looks even stranger compared with how such  courts are supposed to operate –
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/how-fisa-court-really-works

  37. Avatar Joe100 says:

    Barr’s interview with the WSJ is pretty interesting and suggest that Durham is working the real origins, etc. It suggests that Barr gets that there has been considerable criminal activity and he notes that Horowitz’s investigation had legal boundaries that precluded accessing information, witnesses etc. that were outside of DOJ and activity earlier than his investigation could consider. And he is clear that Durham can is is following all relevant threads.
    It is also of some interest that Durham has a history with Muller and Wiseman who he wanted to indict for crimes related to their framing two people for murder to protect his source, gang boss and murderer Whitey Bolger. Janet Reno did not let Durham proceed with his indictments and the framed gang members eventually sued DOJ, were cleared of their framed crimes (one posthumously, the other released from prison) and won a large financial judgement.
    The Barr interview can be seen at https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/12/10/ag-bill-barr-one-on-one-with-wall-street-journal/

  38. Yes. He obviously doesn’t believe it’s “purely incompetence” and doesn’t expect us to. But he won’t go a inch beyond what he has direct documentary or witness evidence for. What is significant is that his findings were accepted by both sides. That something went seriously wrong with those FISA applications can no longer be dismissed as exaggeration or conspiracy theory.
    The BBC has a go at the subject –
     https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50720345
    From that one can see that the ‘purely incompetence’ line will nevertheless be pushed quite hard –
    “Democrats said the report undercuts Mr Trump’s repeated claims that he was the victim of a “witch hunt”.
    It was never a witch hunt, Democratic Senator Mark Warner said on Twitter. “It was the men and women of federal law enforcement doing their jobs.”

  39. Avatar Factotum says:

    We take WSJ and Sunday LATimes – two polar opposites reporting the same stories.

  40. Avatar Factotum says:

    Dan Bongino links the IG report, the “insurance policy” and the FISA applications togther.
    He claims Crossfire Hurricane team needed “insurance” their FISA applications to spy on Carter and Papadopolus would not be rejected again, after several tries due to lack of compelling evidence. They needed “insurance” this time they would pass, and they did.
    The alleged “Russian” hacking of the DNC appears to be CrossFire’s insurance policy, according to Bongino, to make FISA newly concerned now about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. And Trump’s alleged Russian connections that would encourage their alleged interference.
    And who but our good friends at CROWDSTRIKE provided that necessary insurance …it was the Russians.
    Good read. https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2019/12/12/dan-bongino-discovers-critical-new-information-ig-report-actions-crossfire-hurricane-team/

  41. Avatar fanto says:

    EO, thank you for your view of Horowitz’ paper and his oral presentation; I was more inclined to see him as making excuses or hedging, but it makes sense what you say. Thanks also to Larry Johnson, and Col Lang for keeping us informed on SST.

  42. EO, I didn’t watch the hearing, but I read the entire 400 plus pages of the Horowitz report. I didn’t see any exoneration or indictment. What I did see was cops (FBI) thinking and acting like cops. Cops who are by nature suspicious and become focused on the assumed guilt of whoever their suspicions fall upon. This is evident in the list of 17 errors (and worse) in the four Carter Page FISA applications. Those weren’t random errors. They were errors driven by an unflinching belief that Page was guilty. This kind of behavior wasn’t unique to the Russiagate investigation. Look at the overbearing FBI persecution of Steven Hatfill during the Anthrax attack investigation or of Richard Jewell during the Atlanta Olympic bombing investigation. Let’s face it, the FBI can be miserable dicks… and wrong. That doesn’t make them deep state conspiracists, just dicks. And I think, as Horowitz recommended, Congress must fashion legislation to reign in that dickishness.
    The FBI focused their ire on four persons of interest in their search for Russia’s link to the Trump campaign simply because of their connections to Russian government officials and travel to Russia. In spite of the FBI’s aggressive tactics, I note that none of the four were ever indicted for being a conduit between Trump and Putin. The Horowitz report reinforced my belief that there never was any deliberate, active collusion between the Trump campaign and RIS during the 2016 election, just uncoordinated opportunism. There’s no crime in being opportunistic. It also reinforced my belief there was no deep state attempt to overthrow Trump. I see no coup attempt.
    Of course this relies on my belief that Russia has been consistent in her intelligence, computer operations and information operations since the times I worked every day in confronting those Russian operations. Those who hold that Russia never did any of those things, at least since 2016, can only conclude that a far ranging coup attempt has been underway for the last four years. Opportunism by the never Trumpers, yes, but a coup, no.

  43. Avatar Factotum says:

    TG: Why did the Durham/Barr investigation become a criminal investigation, if this was just a hapless di*ks operation, destroying a few lives of innocent citizens along the way.
    There is nothing hapless about systemic incompetence, even if they in fact were too hapless to stage a coup. Regardless of multiple corroborated statements made by these hapless di*ks, there was no way they would ever allow Trump to become President.
    When 95% of government employees donated to one candidate- Hilary Clinton – there is partisan danger when collectively those di*ks exercise their government endowed powers.
    Civil Service Act and Hatch Act need serious updating regarding expected conduct by government employees. Being hapless di*ks at minimum and plotting coup agents a maximum are simply not worth our taxpayer investment in their salaries, perks, and pensions.

  44. Avatar Jack says:

    TTG
    I’m glad you bring up the Steven Hatfill and Richard Jewell cases. These are examples of not dickishness but malevolence. Destroying people knowing their accusations were based on falsities. How can anyone trust law enforcement with these extraordinary powers when they use the media to character assassinate and use their surveillance and investigatory powers to break innocent people both financially and mentally?
    There is a rotten institutional core that permeates to allow such behavior of impunity. They need to be held to a higher standard.
    In this case the Mueller investigation and the associated media attacks should never have taken place as they knew the Steele dossier was fiction. The fact that they were willing to go after a duly elected president shows how far they’ve gotten away in the past. Unless there’s serious accountability where will they go next?

  45. TTG – This is familiar territory to you. As you know it’s not to me. Am I correct in thinking that there is a distinction to be made between the cyber/media operations you have seen so much of at first hand and the old-fashioned smear campaign that it looks as if Steele was engaged in?
    I should say that that Senate Committee hearing was mighty impressive. I’ve not seen heavyweights like that in action before, and that they could make their points so emphatically and pursue their enquiries so persistently while keeping the proceedings so orderly and dignified – well, there are a few lessons we Europeans could take from that.
    I think they were impressed by Horowitz and took it as read that he was genuine. I did – he seemed the sort of man who just likes to get to the bottom of things.
    I didn’t find those FBI errors that significant. Apart from one or two corners that Horowitz found were cut a little finer than maybe they should have been I imagine that’s how it is most of the time. If these people get it wrong bombs go off or security is compromised; so it’s front line stuff and I bet in that urgent atmosphere they hustle like hell.
    Just the right conditions to get something bogus through, I thought.
    Or alternatively, just the right conditions to feed them something bogus.
    I thought it to be a possible scenario that that’s what Steele did to them.
    After all, if you’ve got people whose job it is to chase down every lead no matter how unlikely, who get the public breathing down their necks if they fail to follow any lead up when that failure leads to disaster, then they are almost certain to bite if they get leads fed to them by a fellow professional.
    I hope your renovation work went well. I am feeling decidedly inferior in that respect. I have one or two repairs that are getting urgent but somehow …
    It’s the scaffolding. I’m too mean to hire it and too chicken to do without it. One only has to have had a ladder slip once to get to be like that.

  46. Avatar akaPatience says:

    I appreciate what English Outsider and TTG have to say about Horowitz’s determination regarding political bias. I agree with EO that the IG presented evidence factually and left the door open for further explanation. I agree with TTG that cops can be overzealous and wrongly presume guilt occasionally.
    But I find it impossible to believe that withholding exculpatory evidence, forging a supportive email to make it incriminating, and lying to the FISC are mere errors or faulty presumptions of guilt. They are crimes, and committed with such willfulness in a case of tremendous import with international repercussions, as to require some sort of motive beyond incompetence or dickishness.

  47. Avatar Terence Gore says:

    Interesting series by John Batchelor interviewing Sveltlana Lokhova.
    https://audioboom.com/posts/7450454-searching-for-the-origins-of-russiagate-1-of-4-realslokhova
    Does not paint a flattering picture of Halper. Suggests Flynn was original target.

  48. Thanks, Fanto. The things got so complicated now that one can no longer be confident of anything except that that Steele dossier was dodgy and he couldn’t have done what he did without getting the OK from his erstwhile superiors. You’ll find TTG giving us a very necessary corrective perspective just below.

  49. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    One of my long ago students at USMA kindly drove me to the surgical clinic on the 10th and stayed with me to drive me home. She is going to do the same on the 17th for the left eye. Things seems to be going well although swelling in the eye keeps you from having as sharp a focus as will occur when that subsides. Well, this lady assured me on the way home that she sees no benefit whatever from Trump’s presidency and that he has nothing to do with the prosperity being experienced in the country. I think that you and she are in the same camp and neither of you will ever see anything good in him or his administration.

  50. Avatar Fred says:

    TTG,
    The report states:
    “As more fully described in Chapter Five, based upon the information known to the FBI in October 2016, the first application contained the following seven significant inaccuracies and omissions:…”
    “1. Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page…”
    “2 Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings, which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;”
    That indicates perjury by Comey to congress, but “aggressive tactics” must cover that otherwise criminal conduct of the former director. f’m sure some junior person will get blamed.
    “3. Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source …”
    “None of these inaccuracies and omissions were brought to the attention of OI before the last FISA application was filed in June 2017. Consequently, these failures were repeated in all three renewal applications.”
    Yep, “cops acting like cops”. The probable cause for the FISA was based on this “aggressive tactics”; which is the hiding exculpatory evidence. It is criminal conduct if a private citizen does it.
    But by all means please change the subject from the criminal conduct of multiple members of the FBI/DOJ by mentioning the people the Democratic party’s hired contractors blame: The Russians. The evidence for that being the statements provided by contractors of the DNC. Their steadfast claim is the political opponents of the democrats did it, and they did so with the assistance of America’s arch enemy. Here FBI, here’s a mirror image of the server. No we will not give the actual servers to you voluntarily, even after three years. Three years, no subpoena for the physical evidence. “Cops acting like cops”.
    “Opportunism” what a fine conclusion. I’m sure we can completely disregard the conduct of the DOJ under the current attorney general, why that would just be “retaliation” against fine people of the world’s premier law enforcement agency.

  51. Avatar Jack says:

    “I didn’t find those FBI errors that significant.”
    EO,
    There was falsification of evidence (CIA email), misrepresentation of evidence (email from State Dept about credibility of Steele), exclusion of exculpatory evidence ( wired human sources & Steele sub-source).
    Try these if you’re an ordinary citizen. What do you think prosecutors and a court would do to you? Roger Stone is looking at many many years for lying under oath. Flynn has been destroyed financially, notwithstanding the mental anguish. But … Clapper, Brennan, Comey their lying under oath is A-Ok?
    As TTG points out the FBI & DOJ got away with their “dickishness” aka illegality with Steven Hatfill and Richard Jewell and I’m sure countless other cases. This time they escalated it to an opposition presidential campaign, a president-elect and POTUS. Where will they go next if the hammer is not brought down on the individuals and the institutions?
    https://theintercept.com/2019/12/12/the-inspector-generals-report-on-2016-fb-i-spying-reveals-a-scandal-of-historic-magnitude-not-only-for-the-fbi-but-also-the-u-s-media/

  52. EO, the Steele dossier would have been a basis for a good old fashioned political smear campaign if the DNC and Clinton campaign used it. They paid for it and then kept it quiet. The same with the FBI, DOJ and Obama White House. They knew about Russian activities and the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and refused to publicize them for political gain before the election. Those are not actions of coup plotters, even inept coup plotters. OTOH, Giuliani and the Trump supporting FBI NY Field Office insured the investigation of Clinton’s email server was publicized for maximum political benefit. That’s the state of our politics today.
    I agree that our Senate committees run pretty well. Even the “rougher” House committees manage to run well. There’s a lot of spleen venting and theatrics, but the job gets done. I do admire the sharp wit devastatingly employed in your Parliament on a regular basis. From here, it’s immensely entertaining. At least neither of our governments are wrestling or throwing chairs at each other.
    Our law enforcement and intelligence activities run a difficult balancing act between safety and security on one hand and individual freedom and Constitutional rights on the other hand. On the whole, we do a descent job at it, but I’m still bothered by our adversarial legal system. Both cops and prosecutors seek convictions rather than truth. I suppose it’s the best we can do given the imperfect nature of man.
    Renovations are going well. I’ve reached a point where I can halt until after the holidays with the house fully functional and esthetically pleasing. The wood flooring is a huge improvement over the old vinyl and carpeting. Also had to get all the Christmas decorations up before it got too late. I share your trepidation with ladders and heights in general. Setting a ladder securely often takes me almost as long as the actual job. Having two strapping sons to assist me when necessary also helps.

  53. Glad to hear your eye work is going well. My father found another old former Marine to drive him to his appointments and to a few other places until he gets his DL back. It’s good he has another friend up there.
    Your right. I’d probably get along well with your driver. I see little good coming out of the Trump administration. However, he’s not the devil incarnate and has not cocked up the economy. In fact, he has accomplished a much needed update to NAFTA and his China negotiations will probably turn out fine. Our economy will continue to change with or without him. We will eventually realize we are not the indispensable nation destined to rule the world. I think Trump is leading us to that realization in his own crude, ugly manner.

  54. Are you kidding? They absolutely did use it. The reports that comprised the dossier as of September was being briefed to Isikoff and Corn, among others. The Clinton campaign, using surrogates, made sure of this. You need to pay more attention to what is actually going on rather than try to excuse inexcusable, unlawful conduct by the FBI, the CIA, the DNI and the NSA.

  55. akaPatience, you should read Horowitz’s full account of the email saying Page was never a CIA source. The CIA never gave the FBI Agent a straight answer. In fact the CIA characterized Page as someone who one of their actual sources merely obtained information from during a meeting where Page happened to attend. Maybe the CIA was trying to hide their relationship with Page. Reading that account, I’m still not sure what Page’s status was with the CIA. Does Page claim he was a CIA source?
    Steele’s status with the FBI was also open to debate. The FBI rightfully considered him to be a confidential source. Steele insisted his relationship was just another business contract. I’ve had experience with this. One of my best clandestine assets never admitted that he was working for USI. He insisted he was working with me and not any government.

  56. Avatar Keith Harbaugh says:

    TTG wrote: “I agree that our Senate committees run pretty well.”
    Well, sundance over at CTH thinks he has come up with a major problem involving Senators Burr and Warner of the SSCI. See
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/12/11/ig-modifies-fisa-report-adds-declassification-aspect-per-doj-barr/
    sundance’s post starts with a lot of seemingly nit-picking detail,
    but then shows why those details matter.
    He then gives his summary of the situation (emphasis added):

    CTH made the case in mid 2018 that
    someone at the DOJ had influenced a decision not to charge Wolfe with the leaking of the FISA application;
    despite
    the FBI and DOJ having direct evidence of Wolfe leaking classified information.
    The logical reason for the Rosenstein DOJ not to charge Wolfe with the FISA leak was because
    that charge would ensnare powerful Senators on the powerful committee.
    Worse still, in hindsight we now see how that committee was working to aide the purposes and intents of the corrupt DOJ and FBI officials as they built their impeachment agenda.
    Remember,
    the SSCI has intelligence oversight of the DOJ, DOJ-NSD, FBI and all associated counterintelligence operations.
    Additionally, when the FBI was investigating Wolfe for leaking classified documents, according to their court filings they had to inform the committee of the risk Wolfe represented. Who did they have to inform?.. Chairman Richard Burr and Vice-Chair Mark Warner.
    Think about it.
    Both gang-of-eight members (Warner/Burr), who happened -as a consequence of the jaw dropping implications- to be two SSCI members who were warned by the FBI that Wolfe was compromised…. and they, along with Feinstein in 2016, were the co-conspirators who used James Wolfe.
    [KH comment: That needs substantiation; sundance makes his argument in the post. His argument is not on-the-face-of-it absurd.]
    The ramifications cannot be overstated.
    Any criminal charges for leaking classified intelligence information against James Wolfe would likely result in a major scandal where
    the SSCI itself was outlined as participants in the weaponization of government for political intents.
    Thus, the perfect alignment of interests for a dropped charge and DC cover-up.

    By the way, I hope Larry Johnson (especially) and Col. Lang take a good look at that sundance post.
    It seems to be an area that LJ has some experience with.

  57. Sorry – When I said the errors were “not significant” I didn’t get my meaning across correctly.  There are two questions here, the general question that you raise and the specific question arising from this case.
    1.  There’s the general debate over how much we should sacrifice our privacy – and run the risk of false prosecution – in order to keep ourselves safe from terrorist activity or to preserve our security.  That leads to the quis custodiet debate.  It’s a difficult question and you could see the Senators mulling over that question, sometimes changing their position on it, as the hearing proceeded.  The Horowitz report gave us a close look at what actually happens in a law enforcement agency and it’s not pretty.
    None of this is pretty.  Look at what they did to Flynn!  And to those others that TTG mentions above.  Clearly in that general context the errors Horowitz found were disturbing.
    2.  But the fact that these errors occurred means nothing in this context.  In fact in themselves they might even show innocent intent.  If they do such things all the time then there’s nothing “significant” about the fact that they did such things this time.
    Above Larry Johnson states the two most likely scenarios –
    1. Durham has collected evidence and testimony from the intelligence community side of the house, as well as overseas, that will expose the FBI, at a minimum, as unwitting dupes out-smarted by duplicitous intelligence operatives.
    2. The more likely scenario is that key FBI officials will be indicted for participating in an elaborate scheme that is nothing short of sedition.
    As you say ” This time they escalated it to an opposition presidential campaign, a president-elect and POTUS.” and you’d think that innocent of malice or not, and no matter how they work normally, they’d be a bit more careful when going after a President.  Even so, is it not the case that both of Mr Johnson’s scenarios must be entertained until further hard and indisputable evidence comes along? 

  58. Avatar turcopolier says:

    KH
    A senate trial on a charge of impeachment is not affected by any other preceding process. It is based altogether on the description of the event in the constitution.

  59. TTG – only problem I have is that there’s no innocent scenario that fits the UK end. David Habakkuk has written about the choice they had in London whether to back Steele or hang him out to dry. Once they chose the former option there’s no innocent scenario possible at that UK end. Not after the dossier went public.
    You and the other Intelligence experts are of course focusing on the Intelligence stuff. All very murky that still, to borrow Mr Horowitz’ term, but the “salacious” stuff is clear as day. Once that was put out HMG had no choice but to hastily disavow Steele and make their peace with Washington. But they didn’t. And from what’s come out since there’s no possibility that Steele was a lone ex-operative going rogue. They knew all about his activities, if only because he told Dearlove in advance.
    The quis custodiet question is one I think your people take more seriously than ours. Our press is more docile than yours and perhaps that’s the reason.
    Glad you enjoy our Parliament. I’m still stunned with disbelief that we sent much the same losers back to Parliament as occupied it before. It’s not just our press that’s docile, I reckon, it’s us. Other places they’d have hanged the lot by now.

  60. Avatar turcopolier says:

    KH
    “”I hope Larry Johnson (especially) and Col. Lang take a good look at that sundance post. It seems to be an area that LJ has some experience with.” I would think you were a trouble making troll but your incapacity with such concepts as courtesy and tact is well known to me.

  61. Avatar Jack says:

    EO,
    Unwitting dupes can never be an excuse for exoneration of officials impinging the liberty of any American citizen. Period.
    If your job is to insure that all precautions are taken before presenting evidence to a court and in particular a FISA court and you fail because you were dumb or incompetent, IMO, you and your chain of command should still be punished in order that even if you are an incompetent you will take even more care to be certain. There was an old tradition that the captain went down with the ship.
    I’m a Depression era kid, so my value system may not be representative of the current milieu. My grandpa always impressed on me that liberty from a tyrannical government was the essence of our founding. Franklin’s apparent statement that if you trade a little liberty for more security, you will neither have security nor liberty is where I stand. That is why I have always opposed mass surveillance, the Patriot Act and FISA as well as expansive security state powers. I’m willing to trade security for more liberty, especially from a tyrannical government.

  62. EO, that “salacious” stuff was the talk of the internet when the BuzzFeed article came out. It was the only thing talked about for the first 24 hours, usually as the butt of a joke. Some time after that, a BBC correspondent reported the CIA told him there were multiple tapes and recordings of Trump’s sexual escapades in Moscow and Saint Petersburg hotels in the possession of RIS. Some say this can’t be. Trump’s a germaphobe, yet unprotected sex with a porn star doesn’t trigger his phobia. What appears to be the most far fetched claim by Steele may not be that far fetched at all.
    What’s the chances of Scotland going independent next year? I see the SNP picked up support.

  63. Fred, do you think the evidence presented in the indictment of the GRU 12 came from CrowdStrike? That info came from the NSA. Also, the server images handed to the FBI are far more valuable than the servers themselves. Images capture data in memory in addition to the data on the drives. Ripping the servers out looses that memory dump. The FBI only grabs servers out of racks when they want to shut down the network… or be dicks. If it was just evidence and intelligence they wanted, they would leave the servers in place and running. The bulk of those DNC servers are still part of the DNC network. They’ve been running for three years and no longer have evidential or intelligence value.

  64. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    How do you know it was unprotected?

  65. Both Stormy Daniels, the porn star, and Karen McDougal described their sex with Trump. He refused to wear protection. Daniels passed a polygraph exam on the question.

  66. Avatar Fred says:

    TTG,
    I think Larry debunked that thoroughly more than once.
    The FBI was handed images of the server, which unlike the email edited by the DOJ lawyer, in violation of law, as referenced by the DOJ IG report being commented on here, would NEVER be edited by Crowdstrike, a company hired by the DNC! Only the world’s premier law enforcement agency would make a “mistake” like that. Or a DOJ lawyer.
    Vladimir, hopefully, doesn’t interfere in the 2020 election by sending one of the GRU 12 to court to demand discovery as required by US law. I’m sure Brennan, Comey and Clapper and the Crowdstrike team would love to testify about those matters.

  67. Avatar Factotum says:

    The current release of Clint Eastwood’s brilliant new movie “Richard Jewell”, which showcases the FBI rush to judgement along with a braying media, could not be timed better. What a coincidence, with the Horowitz report still ringing in our ears. And the lynch-mob media still howling for Trump blood.
    Favorite line: Jewell has deep and loyal admiration for “the government” which he sees personified as the FBI team who is now interrogating him as the Atlanta bombing suspect.
    His lawyer warns Jewell: the FBI investigators are not the government, but just three guys who happen work for the government, strongly admonishing Jewell to know the difference.

  68. Avatar Factotum says:

    Twisted – I hope you take a look at a recent Hoover Institution interview with Victor Davis Hansen about Trump, and where he fits into our historic political American saga – he is the right man at the right time, yet as many like him since time immemorial he will ultimately be seen as a tragic hero -Hansen explains why in classical, mythic terms.
    Quite a compelling interview – and yes Victor Davis Hansen does predict Trump’s re-election. But that he will never be a loved person by the opposition, no matter how much he accomplishes. Which is his fatal personal flaw – he has done so much, yet his opposition is unrelenting.
    Obama’a legacy was thin as tissue paper. Trump’ legacy is fixed by the sheer number of strict-constructionist judges he was able to appoint to the federal bench – and within striking distance of deeply changing the US Supreme Court for decades to come. Back to our foundational roots at this very unstable time – the unstable Obama progressive agenda time, that Trump inherited. Trump does far more than complain; he rolled his sleeves up and got things done.

  69. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    Well, that is bizarrere given his well known fear of germs. So, you think he is mad?

  70. Mad as a hatter
    Full of shit
    Crafty as a fox
    Any or all of the above.

  71. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    so, you would have preferred Clinton or Sanders as president.

  72. Fred, CrowdStrike could have edited those disk images before turning them over to the FBI and the other IT security companies that corroborated CrowdStrike’s work. If that edit was discovered by the FBI, I doubt they would ever get another government contract. If their competitors discovered the edit, CrowdStrike would be hounded out of the industry. And it would still have to match the data captured from the GRU’s command and control server and transfer point servers. A successful editing job would have been a tall order.

  73. I probably would have been happy with Sanders. Given the extent of Russia’s attempted interference with the election, I’d be leery of how antagonistic Clinton would have been towards Russia. And she wouldn’t have improved anything in the Mideast. At least Trump might do something there, although his first three years have been a bust in that department.

  74. Avatar akaPatience says:

    Gee, during her polygraph exam, I wonder if Stormy’s eyes were as glazed, with hugely dilated pupils, as they were during her 60 Minutes interview?

  75. 100% agree. ” .. if you trade a little liberty for more security, you will neither have security nor liberty is where I stand.” A satisfactory balance between security and liberty is most difficult to achieve and, as said, you could see the Senators referring to just that question as the hearing progressed.
    But here it’s just a question of what normal practice is. If it’s not normal practice to doctor a file then doctoring a file to (ultimately) get Trump could show malicious intent. If they do it all the time then it just shows they’re following routine and no malicious intent can be inferred.
    I think that that’s what TTG is pointing out. It’s also why Larry Johnson, in that part of his article quoted, left his options open. Certainly Horowitz did and that refusal to go an inch further than what can be proved past doubt – and to both sides – is just what gives credibility to his report.

  76. Avatar Jack says:

    Yes. What is routine practice? It would appear from the Steven Hatfill, Richard Jewell and Sen. Ted Stevens cases and the many more that haven’t been publicized, that it is routine practice for the DOJ/FBI to falsify evidence, misrepresent evidence and hide exculpatory evidence. Does it matter what the motives were? What the biases were? The fact is law enforcement mislead a rubber stamp court to gain deeply intrusive surveillance authority on a presidential campaign and manipulated an election in cahoots with many elements in the media. The only question is should they get away one more time and if the answer is yes, what will they do next? If we claim we are a constitutional republic then at what level of egregiousness does the hammer come down? And more broadly why should the citizenry follow the law when law enforcement routinely distorts it?

  77. TTG – from the American end I’d imagine the “salacious material” was only a small part of it all. But it was the part that registered most with the public then. In today’s world, where what can be got to register with the public is often what matters, it was I believe a significant part. If Mr Johnson does not object to me taking up yet more space on this thread, might I explain why?
    I don’t at all believe that “Golden Showers” story but even were it true it’d make no odds.
    Ignore the FBI and other activity before the election.  As far as I know none of that was known to the public at the time.  Look at what happened after the election and imagine the position had been reversed.  Imagine a CIA operative surfacing in London putting out such stories publicly just after our new Prime Minister had been elected.
    The US diplomats would have immediately disavowed him.  All know “ex” doesn’t mean a lot when it comes to CIA operatives and the US government would not have wanted to be associated with such a damaging attack on a new British Prime Minister.
    They’d certainly have been associated with that attack if they had not only failed to disavow.  Imagine they had given the CIA operative a safe house and that later it had come out that that CIA operative had retained close links with the CIA.  If it also came out that the operative had consulted with an ex-CIA Director before he released the story.  And if the US media had continued to insist on the veracity of the story, again without any disavowal from the US government.
    That could only be seen as a direct attack, supported by the US government, against the new UK administration.
    Of course the position was reversed.  I remember how odd it seemed at the time, that Steele had put such material out and that no attempt was made at the London end to minimise the damage.  It’s one thing helping with some bad publicity against a Presidential candidate who was in any case unlikely to be elected.  Quite a different matter continuing with the attack once he’d become President.
    There was all the talk about foreign influence on that US election.  Russian or Israeli, if I remember correctly.  But no mention that it was an ex-MI6 operative who attempted to damage Trump before the election and who, with no check from his ex-employer, continued with that attempt long after.
    That failure on the part of HMG to disavow Steele was the smoking gun at the start of the publicly known beginning of the Steele affair and it has remained the smoking gun since.  There will be no Horowitz put in at the UK end to meticulously assemble the facts behind what happened, but the publicly known facts speak for themselves.  HMG allowed and to an extent supported an attack on an elected US President.
    Just HMG, or was there some conscious help at the American end?  Presumably that’s what Mr Durham will be looking into next.
    .
    Scottish independence? Best of luck to them, if they go for it. As an Englishman, and for sentimental reasons, I’d rather we stayed together. Whatever they do Mrs Sturgeon can expect a most disapproving letter from me if there’s a tariff on Single Malts.

  78. Avatar Factotum says:

    Who was the secretive Special Agent A unnamed in the Horowitz report as the human train wreck of errors within the FBI?
    Speculation abounds: “FBI Agent Joseph Pientka was never interviewed by the joint House judiciary and oversight committees (Goodlatte and Gowdy). The reason, as explained by Meadows, was simple; Pientka was on Weissmann and Mueller’s special counsel team. Congress was not allowed to interfere in the Mueller probe. In hindsight this looks like Weissmann, Mueller & Rosenstein strategically using the investigation as a shield from sunlight.” (ConTreeHouse)

  79. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Was it consensual unprotected? That was taking a huge risk on both sides as Hunter Biden is finding out with his baby mama in Arkansas.

  80. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    Do you think Barr will explore what Obama knew and when? He seems to me to be a card carrying member of the Swamp.

  81. Avatar blue peacock says:

    TTG
    Do you think, even if it is par for the course, that it is all good for the DOJ & FBI to play fast and loose with evidence and character assassination through their media buddies and even frame innocent Americans?

  82. Avatar blue peacock says:

    “And more broadly why should the citizenry follow the law when law enforcement routinely distorts it?”
    Good question, Jack.
    I suppose they have the ability to inflict state sanctioned violence. Lock you up. Make you go broke. Harass you and your friends and family. And have the media paint you as a villain. Make you lose your employment prospects.
    The reality is we live in an uneven system. One set of rules for law enforcement and all the big shots at the apex. Another set of rules for us schmucks.

  83. Avatar Fred says:

    TTG,
    And how would that ever be found out as no comparison to GRU command and control servers have been made, other than “according to figures in the lawsuit against the Russia..” – as reported by the Daily Beast on July 16th 2018. Even Are Technica reports from July 2018 don’t make that claim.

  84. Fred, I don’t think the indictment of the GRU 12 makes any mention of CrowdStrike’s work with the DNC beyond a brief mention of “Company 1’s” effort to mitigate the intrusion. With what the NSA gathered, there was no need to rely on CrowdStrike’s images or to mention any congruities/incongruities between NSA and CrowdStrike captured data.
    As an example, the NSA (or some other government agency) monitored GRU activities on a leased server in Arizona configured as their attack point called the AMS panel communicating with the DCCC network in April and May 2016. On 19 April they monitored the GRU configuring another overseas server to serve as a relay between the DNC network and the AMS panel. This the GRU called the middle server. The next day the GRU hackers directed the X-Agent malware on the DCCC network to connect with this middle server rather than directly to the AMS panel. On 22 April the NSA observed the GRU compress gigabytes of data on the DCCC network and then move that data to another leased server in Illinois.
    The indictment is full of those kinds of details. Those details are the result of real time monitoring and imaging of those GRU controlled servers. I could damn near guarantee that an FBI or DOJ techie would catch any incongruity between what the NSA captured on the GRU controlled servers with CrowdStrike’s images of the DNC/DCCC servers. I can also damned near guarantee that the techies would have done such a comparison. I’ve seen them do so whenever the attack server data is captured which is not always the case. Often the attack server is never identified. Perhaps a normal FBI agent or DOJ lawyer would miss it, but a techie, no way. I’ve seen them catch the smallest incongruities in mountains of data.

  85. Blue peacock, I’m with Horowitz on the FBI’s sloppiness and overzealous diddling of evidence. He’s investigating other FISA applications to see just how deep these problems are. He recommends legislative corrective action to the abuse of LE investigative powers. He even identified potentials for abuse in current legislation and DOJ regulations that should be addressed. Good. Do it.

  86. Avatar Factotum says:

    You follow the law for your own benefit; regardless.

  87. Note – TTG – that’s very much the bare bones of how it appeared to us in the general public when the Steele affair first became public. As said, there’s not going to be a UK Horowitz examining what happened in the background at the UK end. However, while your were engaged in the house renovation David Habakkuk has been looking closely at that background. His conclusions, and the information on which he bases his conclusions, aren’t all in one place but the pre-penultimate comment here –
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/12/benchmarks-to-look-for-in-the-horowitz-report-on-fisa-by-larry-c-johnson.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef0240a4f3cd5a200b
    – shows that there were a lot of moving parts that we in the UK public weren’t aware of and aren’t aware of now.
    Again, this is very much your field and not mine at all, but the whole together does suggest hat Steele was not a lone rogue operative but was part of a somewhat wider UK effort.

  88. Avatar Factotum says:

    St Comey, now in deep rehab states on Sunday news circuit: I was wrong. Carter Page was right.

  89. Avatar Factotum says:

    Redstate weighs in:
    …. “So, if you want to understand how a Third World kleptocracy with the GDP of New York State ran circles around the United States during the Obama administration, you now have your answer.
    The CIA employs highly partisan idiots, lots of them, and apparently has an extraordinarily effective affirmative action program for them to ensure they get promoted to positions of responsibility…..”

  90. Avatar turcopolier says:

    factotum
    “I was let down and betrayed by my subordinates.”

  91. Avatar Factotum says:

    Back to Samatha Powers “hundreds” of last minute Obama administration FISA unmasking requests. So far this loose end has not been mentioned, let along tied up in any of the current FISA abuse reports.
    Could Samantha Powers, or an Obama agent using her name, have been applying one of Barry Soetoro’s favorite tactics? Cloward-Pivens: overwhlem the system with so many legal requests that it breaks down and cannot function with any degree of diligence?
    Swamp FISA with court unrelated requests so it does not pay careful attention to the one FISA request you really want. The timing of the FISA court Carter Page requests and the “hundreds” of Samantha Power’s FISA court requests may be interesting to track.
    Why am I still smelling Ben Rhodes fingerprints somewhere in this ongoing Obama scandal saga?

  92. Avatar Factotum says:

    Collectively, how much were US taxpayers spending on these “subordinates” who betrayed their country; yet willingly picked up their US taxpayer funded paychecks year after year.
    We need the equivalent of ‘Transparent California” – a seachable data base for all government employees in the state of California, breaking down their full compensation packages. It has been a blinding dose of cruel sunshine for California tax payers. And exposes why the deep state has such a vested interest in its own perpetuity. Cash, lots and lots of cash.

  93. ‘English Outsider’ and all,
    In – somewhat belated – response to the responses to earlier comments of mine by ‘EO’, ‘BP’, ‘Elmo Zoneball.’
    As far as I can judge at the moment, the Horowitz report shows every sign of being a classic ‘limited hangout’, which will greatly assist the efforts of a group of seditious conspirators to portray themselves as not much worse than panic-stricken bunglers.
    Unfortunately, people seem to be falling for this, in droves.
    The basic truth of the situation was well set out by Devin Nunes back in July, when he commented:
    “These are all a bunch of dirty cops and I’ll tell you, some of them better go to jail, or we’re going to go down in a spiral in this country because you will not have a Republican that will trust the FBI or the Department of Justice for generations to come.”
    (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/14/nunes_without_jail_for_dirty_cops_people_wont_trust_doj_or_fbi_for_generations.html .)
    As has become progressively clearer, however, we have all along been dealing not just with ‘dirty cops’, but with equally grimy people from the intelligence and foreign affairs bureaucracies, on both sides of the Atlantic, and – crucially – journalists whose preponderant concern is to keep in with their – supposed – ‘reliable sources.’
    In this situation, a government investigation could only be credible, if it proceeded on the basis that ‘evidence’ from FBI people about what the supposed ‘Primary Sub-Source’ of the memoranda published by ‘BuzzFeed’ told them, and what the supposed conduit for the material himself claimed, needed alike to be treated with scepticism.
    This is all the more so, given that Christopher Steele’s response to the report specifically disputes the account supposed to have been given by the ‘Primary Sub-Source’ to the FBI, in addition claiming that ‘Orbis was not given an opportunity to respond to those materials’, and that his, or her, ‘debriefings by Orbis were meticulously documented and recorded.’
    (See https://hannity.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Steele-Statement.pdf .)
    What justification can Horowitz give, other than nationalistic prejudice, for believing one set of liars rather than another, when common sense suggests he should at least have contemplated the possibility that the one point on which they agree – that the ‘Primary Sub-Source’ actually existed – is simply a part of the original concatenation of lies neither can afford to disavow?
    One comes back, here, to a number of issues which were raised by the ‘Nunes memo’ back in February 2018 – among other things, by its description of Steele as a ‘longtime FBI source’.
    On these, I commented in a SST post shortly afterwards, which was entitled ‘Habakkuk on “longtime” sources: Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the “Billion Dollar Don.”’
    (See https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/habakkuk-on-longtime-sources.html .)
    This, and the exchanges of comments it provoked, need to be read in conjunction with my January 2016 response here to Sir Robert Owen’s cover-up of Steele’s cover-up relating to how the late Alexander Litvinenko died and lived, which was entitled ‘David Habakkuk on Sir Robert Owens’ Inquiry.’ (At the time, of course, the ‘Wizard’ was still hidden behind the ‘curtain.’)
    (See https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/david-hakkuk-on-sir-robert-owens-inquiry.html .)
    As it happens, I have two apologies to make.
    My discussions, I think, demonstrate two things which are rather relevant to assessing the claims, and counter-claims, about the ‘Principal Sub-Source’ and many other matters.
    It is clear that corrupting judicial investigations, fabricating evidence, and turning journalists into ‘stenographers’ for what the Soviets called the ‘organs’ is part of Steele’s ‘modus operandi’.
    It is, however, equally clear that he has done this, all along, in close collaboration with people from your side of the Atlantic.
    Accordingly, I should have been more alert to the sheer scale of the mendacity of these people.
    For instance, rereading the ‘302s’ that Bruce Ohr dictated to Joseph Pientka, against the background of what we now know about those which the latter and Peter Strzok produced following their interview with Lieutenant-General Flynn, including the swapping of notes by the pair, I see I should have grasped that a ‘dual strategy’ was being pursued.
    (See https://themarketswork.com/2018/08/18/the-bruce-ohr-302s/ .)
    So, on the one hand, Pientka and Strzok, clearly in conjunction with many others, were ‘doubling down’ on the conspiracy against Trump, by using ever more discreditable methods to ‘frame’ Flynn – who seems increasingly to have provided an awful warning about the dangers of assuming that any of these people have an ounce left of honour or integrity (if they ever had any.)
    At the same time, however, Pientka and Ohr were colluding in leaving an ‘evidence trail’, to support what was increasingly emerging as the ‘insurance policy’ on both sides of the Atlantic: if the conspiracy came unstuck, make Steele the ‘patsy.’
    And then, take the following paragraph in the Nunes memo:
    ‘Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations – an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September – before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October – but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.’
    Again, it now looks as though many of us simply did not grasp the depth of deliquency with which we were dealing.
    One part of Steele’s response which I think may actually be true is his assertion that ‘The FBI Never asked Steele Not to Disclose Information to the Media.’
    Where it gets really interesting however is that, in supporting his assertion, he denies that he had ever been a ‘Confidential Human Source’ for the FBI.
    According to his account, in 2013 ‘the FBI decided that it wanted to engage Christopher Steele to conduct investigations on its behalf.’ And this, his lawyers tell us, was at a time when ‘the FBI at that time had no history of contracting out work to private investigatory firms.’
    As a result of this, supposedly, while Orbis successfully insisted that the only possible relationship was contractual, ‘FBI agents, for internal FBI purposes, decided to call Christopher Steele a CHS.’
    So, it looks as though the account we were fed may have been simply another part of the ‘insurance policy’, designed to disguise the extent to which those who disseminated it were co-conspirators, in the dissemination of the ‘dossier’ material and almost certainly its production.
    If meanwhile anyone thinks that the – apparently unprecedented – engagement of Steele in 2013 was really simply because the FBI had been impressed by what they had seen of his reports, there is a very fine bridge near me in Hammersmith I am quite prepared to sell you, for a reasonable fee (without of course letting you know it has been found unsuitable for traffic.)
    More material than I was aware of when I wrote my response to the Nunes memo has since appeared on the background – which brings me to my second apology.
    I had simply taken it for granted that Steele and his confederates had been totally successful in corrupting the investigation of Litvinenko’s death by Counter Terrorism Command (SO15.)
    The close involvement of senior members of that organisation with figures involved in the conspiracy on your side does appear to have been made even more apparent with the publication by Heidi Blake of a book-length version of the ‘investigation’ she and her ‘BuzzFeed’ colleagues published in June 2017 under the title ‘From Russia With Blood.’
    This deals with fourteen murders in London, where, supposedly, U.S. intelligence people knew that the Russian security services were ‘prime suspects’, but which the British would not investigate properly because they wanted to suck up to Putin (LOL.)
    (For an extract, see https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/heidiblake/putin-global-assassination-campaign-berezovsky-london .)
    As it happens, however, my cynicism about SO15 caused me to miss the masterly way in which some of its members cleverly subverted the Litvinenko cover-up.
    One of the major problems Steele and his confederates faced in organising this resulted from the fact that the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square was only fixed on as the ‘scene of the crime’ after it became impossible to disguise the scale of the polonium contamination there.
    This was a full fortnight after Litvinenko’s death, and more than five weeks after – supposedly – he realised that Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun had tried to kill him there.
    The change made it necessary to insist that Litvinenko had not visited the offices of his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky, and left contamination on the photocopier there, until after the Pine Bar meeting.
    If you go the archived inquiry website, and open the report, you can find the timeline which seems to support this on pages 279-80.
    (See https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090320/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ .)
    If, however, you cross over to the ‘Evidence’ page, and put ‘INQ018243’ into the ‘Find’ facility on your browser, you can open the ‘Maps showing movements of Alexander Litvinenko on 1 November 2006.’
    One of the first things I noticed, when I belatedly did this, was that while it certainly has Litvinenko using the photocopier in Berezovsky’s at 5.00 pm, on the strength of a statement by one of Berezovsky’s cronies, it also includes an earlier visit, timed at 1.40pm, on the strength of a statement by a security guard at the offices, Stephen Brown.
    It seems absolutely clear that Steele and Owen’s team, and also Berezovsky and his cronies, colluded in suppressing this critical evidence.
    Looking further at the maps, however, it is clear that enormous wit and ingenuity has been deployed in what is sometimes called ‘esoteric writing’ – where one pretends to conform to what one is supposed to believe, but actually makes covertly clear that it is false. I take my hat off to the detectives who constructed it.
    Among other things, some of the oblique clues they included strongly reinforce my long-standing suspicion: that another key thing which Steele and his confederates had to cover up was that on the morning of the day he was supposedly poisoned, Litvinenko was given a lift in Akhmed Zakayev’s Mercedes to Berezovsky’s office.
    Read against this background, the lies which Ms. Blake is busily disseminating actually point to a key truth: that key roots of ‘Russiagate’ go back to the ‘devil’s pact’ which key figures in London, and Washington, made those who became the ‘semibankirshchina’ of the Russian ‘Nineties.
    This led to false claims about murders, which in the end led to real murders. And generally – as in Berezovsky’s own case – the ‘prime suspects’ are emphatically not the Russian security services and Vladimir Putin.

  94. Avatar blue peacock says:

    David
    We can certain that there will be a whitewash. Not much different than your Iraq WMD investigation that exonerated Blair and his cronies.
    Bill Barr has been a long term Swamp player. He and Durham will do what Comey did with Hillary – extreme carelessness that does not rise to the level of criminality. And follow up with burying everything which the equally complicit media will be happy to do as they are in it to their eyeballs.
    It is fascinating when you read the comments on the pro-Trump site, Conservative Treehouse, which has been at the forefront of investigating the Russia Collusion hoax and done a phenomenal job. The excuses that are made for Trump not taking the one action he could, which is to declassify all the documents & communications. Devin Nunes who has been vindicated, begged Trump to declassify the FISA applications and other communications. That would have put to rest 2 years ago that the FISA was based on the Steele dossier. Trump did not. All he did was tweet – “witch hunt” incessantly.
    It should be obvious to even the most die-hard Trump supporter, that Trump could have opened this wide open by a single action, completely in his sole authority, which is to declassify. He did not. Why?

  95. Avatar prawnik says:

    “If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both. There is simply no way for anyone of good faith to read this IG Report and reach any conclusion other than that this is yet another instance of the FBI abusing its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don’t care about that, what do you care about?
    But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.”
    https://theintercept.com/2019/12/12/the-inspector-generals-report-on-2016-fb-i-spying-reveals-a-scandal-of-historic-magnitude-not-only-for-the-fbi-but-also-the-u-s-media/?fbclid=IwAR1I64d2cUM6hu5axIppCeWcHG5mwITc7pk4ke3OWKouoPGyZH2KuPIzkXo
    Note that Glenn Greenwald is not exactly a Team R cheerleader or Trump cultist.

  96. Avatar Factotum says:

    “They” are going after Nunes now.
    Big news story this morning speculating about who is funding Nunes string of defensive law suits trying to protect his reputation – article claims it must be from laundered funds, illegal reporting campaign contributions, misused funds, etc, ete and debunking the possibility his recent spate of defensive lawsuits were taken for free on contingency.
    A total media hit piece against Nunes in the press today. “They” do not sleep. Except with the devils.

  97. Avatar Factotum says:

    Pientka is speculated to be the prime unnamed bungler or inside agent. When will he get exposed by name? Why is his name referred to only by code right now.

  98. Avatar CG says:

    Oh, well:
    Rain was spreading like a fresh bruise across the London sky as the unmarked car rolled up Whitehall toward Big Ben. The Scotland Yard protection officer scanned the road with a well-trained eye, clocking potential hazards as the car passed the spiked iron gates of Downing Street, and swung right on Parliament Square. …
    how comes investigative reporting sounds so much like fiction nowadays?

  99. Avatar Jack says:

    Well, Larry, the honey badger got taken by Judge Sullivan.

  100. Mr Habakkuk – “As far as I can judge at the moment, the Horowitz report shows every sign of being a classic ‘limited hangout’, which will greatly assist the efforts of a group of seditious conspirators to portray themselves as not much worse than panic-stricken bunglers.”
    I see what you mean.  A “limited hangout” is required because there’s a danger that in lifting one corner of the conspiracy they lift all.  Get to the bottom of the Steele affair and the general public will start looking more sceptically at Litvinenko, Skripal – then possibly on to any number of events where we’ve most of us in the general public bought the official line and most of us in the general public are still happy with that official line.
    Can’t be allowed to happen.  And won’t.  On the other hand there are some  powerful American politicians who are indignant at the conspiracy to damage Trump and who need to see the fact that there was a conspiracy publicly and indisputably acknowledged by a court or by an official investigator.
    So the problem they have is how to lift one corner to vindicate Trump without having to lift many others and thus allowing other scandals coming to light.  We might be seeing this attempted limitation of the investigation in Senator Sasse’s suggestion –  “Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the collusion was between the DNC and the FBI…”  (28.58 of that part of the (as yet incomplete) transcript) –
    https://www.rev.com/blog/inspector-general-report-hearing-transcript-michael-horowitz-testifies-on-fbis-findings
    That would meet the need for an exposure of what happened at the American end without needing to go further.  Or perhaps the even more limited possible scenario that Mr Johnson sets out above – “that will expose the FBI, at a minimum, as unwitting dupes out-smarted by duplicitous intelligence operatives.”
    That can easily become, as reported by the BBC (above) –
    “Democrats said the report undercuts Mr Trump’s repeated claims that he was the victim of a “witch hunt”.
    “It was never a witch hunt, Democratic Senator Mark Warner said on Twitter.  “It was the men and women of federal law enforcement doing their jobs.””
    That is the “limited hangout” that you fear, and with your encyclopaedic knowledge of all the moving parts and how they relate to each other you can see how that could occur.  But it does seem to me, at the other end of that scale of knowledge admittedly, that the Horowitz report, as expanded at the hearing, could also open the way for a more comprehensive account of the conspiracy.

  101. Just ought to say to this – “If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both.”
    You bet it bothers me. Not as much as running Jihadis into Syria to wreck a country, or using Right Sector street fighters in Kyiv to effect a coup but yes, it bothers me.
    But just as witnessing a crime does not make one party to it, attempting to understand the circumstances in which this conspiracy went forward does not mean one approves or condones what was done.
    Three years ago the British government failed to disavow a scurrilous and well publicised attack on a new US President. That’s a little more than just a minor diplomatic hitch. As the possibility of an innocent explanation for that failure recedes ever further, I reckon the implications of that should bother quite a few people either side of the Atlantic.

  102. Avatar ex PFC Chuck says:

    Judge Sullivan did not rule in the way you predicted, Larry. Can this be appealed now? Or will the lower court process have to run to completion?
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/judge-denies-flynns-requests-for-exculpatory-information-case-dismissal_3176162.html

  103. Avatar Keith Harbaugh says:

    As EZ observed in his two questions at the beginning of his comment above:
    A very key issue is how Papad got introduced to Mifsud and Downer.
    The answer is significant, involving a curious change in attitude,
    as Papad explains in his 2019 book
    Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.
    The following presents some relevant excerpts from that book (emphasis is added):
    In very early 2016, while working for an outfit called Energy Stream, Papad writes:
    “I am approached by a man named Nagi Khlaid Idris who offers me a position at the London Centre of International Law Practice”. (p. 27)
    Papad takes the ICILP position.
    While there, Papad emails the Trump campaign, seeking a position,
    which gets a positive response, pending a Skype interview.
    He tells his colleagues at LCILP about the good news:

    I notify Nagi that it is likely I’ll be joining the Trump campaign.
    Nagi’s warm, “you are a star” attitude toward me immediately shifts.
    “What are you thinking? Why would you do this?”
    The hostility is palpable and leaves me confused.

    Then another London Centre Director, Peter Dovey, drops by [and] rips into me:
    “This is very bad. You should not be working with Trump.
    He’s a threat to society. He’s a racist. He’s anti-Muslim. (p. 34)

    In the interview, Papad impresses his interviewer, Samuel Clovis and is offered a position with the Trump campaign.
    Papad records the reaction at ICILP:

    Nagi comes by my office again.
    His attitude has suddenly changed.
    It’s a night-and-day difference.
    He starts telling me there is someone I have to meet,
    a very important person who will be very useful to me during my time with Trump.
    I remember Nagi telling me,
    “He’s a man who knows many people.”
    (p. 36)

    The introduction occurs a few days later (on March 12, 2016), during a trip of Idris, Papad, etc. to Link Campus Univ. in Rome.
    Papad writes about what happens there:

    I’m sitting in a conference room when Nagi Idris approaches.
    At his side is a well-dressed man in his mid-fifties.
    “George,” Nagi says.
    “This is Professor Joseph Mifsud,, and you should talk.”
    Joseph Mifsud is the man Nagi had planned for me to meet,
    the man Nagi had asked Arvinder Sambei to contact,
    and the man Nagi had portrayed as a major player,
    a guy with diplomatic experience and extensive contacts. (p. 39)

    Papad, et al. then return to London, where
    “[Nagi Idris] tells me I’m going to meet Putin’s niece.” (p. 41)
    This seems to be where that fictitious person entered Papad’s consciousness.
    Papad’s introduction to Downer is equally arranged, just by different people, two people named Erika Thompson (who worked for Downer) and her friend Christian Cantor (who worked for the Israeli government) (p. 71).
    The relations were Papad -> Cantor -> Thompson -> Downer.
    This introduction was not at the volition of Papad,
    but desired by the intermediate two.
    Now for some dates and details:
    The events described above occured in March-May 2016.
    Papad was interviewed by the FBI on 2017-01-27, the interview which led to the charges against him.
    Relevant government documents are:
    2017-07-28 Complaint https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.189898.1.0.pdf
    2017-10-06 STATEMENT OF OFFENSE (includes his guilty plea) https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.189898/gov.uscourts.dcd.189898.19.0_2.pdf
    These give exactly the government’s version of what Papad said to them, and what they allege to be the true facts.
    Then, in March 2019, Papad published his book,
    from which the above excerpts were taken.
    (The page numbers are from the print edtion; they are different from those in the apple edition from which LJ quoted in his 2019-04-22 post, “Mueller’s Lies About George Papadopolous”).
    Anyhow, the point is that Papad had over a year to reconcile the government’s version of what he said with his memory.
    It seems a central point is gaining information about Nagi Khlaid Idris and the London Centre of International Law Practice.
    Also, to a lesser extent, Christian Cantor and Erika Thompson.
    Anybody have information about at least the first two?

  104. Avatar Keith Harbaugh says:

    This seems to be an excellent analysis of the Page FISA application by a 22-year FBI agent:
    “Two Possibilities in Trump Wiretapping, and Neither Is Good”
    By Frank Watt, American Thinker, 2019-12-27
    A sample:

    The implications of intercepting the communications of a U.S. citizen who is associated with the political campaign of a candidate seeking the presidency rings nearly every “bell” in the FBIs and Attorney General’s Guidelines for sensitive investigations.

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