The FBI and CIA Failed Coup Against Trump Unravels by Publius Tacitus


Based on the memo released today by the House Intelligence Committee (read it here), current and former members of the FBI and the Department of Justice who signed off on applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will likely face contempt of court charges. Who? James Comey, Andy McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rob Rosenstein. The effectively lied to a Federal judge. That is not only stupid but illegal.

Here are the critical points from the Nunes memo that you should commit to memory.:

  • The Steele Dossier played a critical role in obtaining approval from the FISA court to carry out surveillance of Carter Page according to former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe.
  • Christopher Steele was getting paid by the DNC and the FBI for the same information.
  • No one at either the FBI nor the DOJ disclosed to the court that the Steele dossier was paid for by an opposition political campaign.
  • The first FISA warrant was obtained on 21 October 2016 based on a story written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo News based on information he received directly from Christopher Steele–THE FBI DID NOT DISCLOSE IN THE FISA APPLICATION THAT STEELE WAS THE ORIGINAL SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
  • Christopher Steele was a long standing FBI "source" but was terminated as a source after telling Mother Jones reporter David Corn that he had a relationship with the FBI.
  • The FBI signers of the FISA applications/renewals were James Comey and Andy McCabe.
  • The DOJ signers of the FISA applications/renewals were Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein 
  • Even after Steele was terminated by the FBI, he remained in contact with Deputy Attorney General Bruce Our, whose wife worked for FUSION GPS and was involved with the Steele dossier. 

If you go back and read carefully what Isikoff reported in September 2016 it appears that the CIA and the DNI (as well as the FBI) are implicated in spreading the disinformation about Trump and Russia. Isikoff wrote: 


U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue. . . .

But U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News.

Who were the "intelligence officials" briefing the select members of the House and Senate? That will be one of the next shoes to drop. We are likely to learn in the coming days that John Brennan and Jim Clapper were also trying to help the FBI build a fallacious case against Trump.

The rats will start scrambling in earnest for the lifeboats. The Trump coup has failed. 

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116 Responses to The FBI and CIA Failed Coup Against Trump Unravels by Publius Tacitus

  1. turcopolier says:

    What is missing in this “Raft of the Medusa” scene is the complicity of the unholy duo (Brennan and Clapper) and perhaps others in the IC. IMO they went to the British GCHQ seeking additional material to be provided for use against Trump. Such material would be foreign intelligence even if it had once been in US files and would not require any sort of warrant for use as propaganda. pl

  2. SmoothieX12 says:

    IMO they went to the British GCHQ seeking additional material to be provided for use against Trump. Such material would be foreign intelligence even if it had once been in US files and would not require any sort of warrant for use as propaganda.
    Thank you. Helps to grasp better this whole insanity.

  3. Jack says:

    Brennan and Comey’s tweets yesterday decrying the memo implies a larger battle ahead. The Dems were claiming that releasing the memo was an attack on law enforcement and US national security. Today they claim the memo is a nothingburger. Which is it?
    I am no lawyer, but how do these apparent violations of the law get handled?
    What happens next? Does Rosenstein resign? Will the underlying documents like the FISA application and McCabe’s testimony get released as the pressure builds in the dueling partisan narratives?

  4. jsn says:

    So far it seems to me this is all rhetoric. The memo is an interpretation of facts so far not in evidence, at least to the public. Expect the Democrats memo, no doubt soon to be published, to arrive at a totally different interpretation of the same facts, still not in evidence.
    I find myself in rare agreement with Pat Buchanan here:
    All the underlying evidence needs to be released. I wonder if this is the reason Sessions recused himself: had he been involved to date it would be very hard for him to drop the hammer at Justice. I’m interested to see his next move.

  5. SmoothieX12 says:

    Will the underlying documents like the FISA application
    That could be one hell of an entertainment since will bring into the spot light this whole Steele “Dossier” which wouldn’t pass the smell test in Intelligence Services of Zamunda or Zimbabwe, yet it was accepted no problem as a viable “intelligence” in the US. One has to really scratch the head here. It just defies imagination.

  6. Fredw says:

    Is there something about this to distinguish criminal acts from the general sleaziness that pervades all human intelligence activity? I still find this a reasonable summary:
    “But let’s assume that its core factual assertions — the FBI heavily relied on the Steele Dossier, and that it didn’t mention his funding sources in the FISA warrant — are true. So what?
    The FBI relies on sources with axes to grind all the time. People typically don’t go to the authorities with damaging information about people they like. The key questions in an application like this isn’t whether the source liked the target; it’s whether the specific claims they’re making are credible.
    The memo doesn’t do make that case.”

  7. Tacitus,
    Color me politely skeptical for a few reasons:
    1- If Nunes really believes that the FBI is lying on FISA warrant applications, and has known so for at least a month at this point, why did he just ramrod through legislation that extended and expanded Section 702 warrantless wiretapping powers just two weeks ago? If he was really worried that the FBI was lying on warrant applications, wouldn’t that imply even more that they couldn’t be trusted with warrantless spying on US citizens? AIUI, during the hearings on amendments to that bill, that would’ve tried adding extra protections against abuse (which he successfully squashed), he argued that there was no evidence of abuse of the process, and that such safeguards were not necessary. Basically at the exact same time that he was writing a memo claiming such abuses…
    2- The memo doesn’t say anything one way or another about if the specific claims that were material to this actual FISA warrant were independently vetted or not. It implies, but doesn’t state, which leaves me suspicious. If the FBI saw some claims about Carter Page in the dossier, but then were able to independently vet those claims, why does the original source matter? Nunes is trying to make it sound like (without explicitly saying) that the only evidence was the dossier and the Yahoo news article. But the fact that he wasn’t more explicit makes me suspicious. Remember, in addition to the accused people in this post, a FISC judge also had to sign off on this application, knowing that it was investigating someone very politically sensitive. Do you really think that the judge is that dumb, or is he also complicit? Or more likely, is there additional evidence that was in the warrant that Nunes conveniently didn’t mention in his memo because he knew it would be really hard for that evidence to be declassified?
    I’m a libertarian. I didn’t vote for Hillary and am glad she’s not in office. But everything about this memo seems fishy.

  8. Rocketrepreneur
    What pisses me off about people like you is that you put on pretense of being thoughtful but did not take a damn minute to even read the memo. The very first sentence under the section titled, Investigation Update, states very clearly that this was NOT UNDER TITLE 7.
    So the point is clear, the 702 that Devin fought for had nothing to do with this section.
    You must be a damn troll. The facts reported in the memo speak for themselves. It was ANDY MCCABE you stated EXPLICITLY that the FISA request was based largely on the dossier. So, are you a troll or just saddled with a terrible learning and reading disorder?

  9. SmoothieX12 says:

    The FBI relies on sources with axes to grind all the time.
    Any intelligence service relies on that, not every intelligence service, however, continues to act on a completely made up kindergarten level “intelligence” (allegedly by FBI “trusted” source–boy, talk about professionalism), thus inspiring another open-ended investigation around no less the figure of POTUS and his Administration. What makes it also interesting is the fact of alleged “Russian interference” and massive campaign built around this completely false allegation. Those are the issues beyond any purely legal framework–this was a direct sabotage of Trump’s Administration and that is where this is all going. I am sure there are very many good lawyers around Trump and Nunes, who, obviously wasn’t acting just out of goodness of his heart (albeit this too).

  10. b says:

    The fact that the FBI and Democrats have fought for a month that the Memo should not be released makes it clear that they fear something in it.
    The FISA application on Page comes AFTER he resigned from the Trump campaign. But that does not mean that he was no longer on internal campaign mailing lists etc.
    What did the snooping under the FISA warrant pick up? How much was related to the Trump campaign. Who received this FISA output?
    @Pat – The question to me is still who came up with the whole idea of commissioning Steele to write up “Russian dirt”? Clapper? Brennan? One of their British friends?
    GPS Fusion had earlier collected opposition research dirt on Trump but only after the Dems started paying for it did they hire Steele. Who came up with this idea?

  11. jonst says:

    The Col wrote: “. IMO they went to the British GCHQ seeking additional material to be provided for use against Trump”. Well, that’s fine….but I wonder whether it was arrogance, incompetence, or both that allowed the UK intel/info to get ‘contaminated’ by having the Dem Party put their big foot down, pay for said evidence, and undermine the validity and trustworthiness of the evidence? Couldn’t someone have figured out that it would not be helpful to the FISA court, or subsequent public disclosure to merge the two ‘paymasters’? IC/Dem Leadership/Law Firm? That seems to me like a huge screw up.
    What also catches–my attention–anyway, is; is there anything so earth shaking in this memo that necessitated all the ‘sky is falling’ rhetoric regards publishing the memo? Unless one is dirty that is.

  12. Matthew says:

    Col: “Raft of the Medusa.” Wonderful image!

  13. Dr. Puck says:

    PT wrote: “The Steele Dossier played a critical role in obtaining approval from the FISA court to carry out surveillance of Carter Page according to former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe.”
    Why do you suppose Nunes didn’t choose to verify and etch this claim with the stronger evidence likely contained in the underlying FISA rationales and complete picture of the FISA application attached to this memo? Oh, wait. . .
    Is there anything in this memo not revealed here on SST recently?

  14. Fredw says:

    This is getting way too ad hominem for me. “…the FISA request was based largely on the dossier.” Given that this was a request for an additional extension of an earlier FISA order, I have to think that the FBI had other reasons to worry about Mr. Page’s activities. “largely” does not have the same meaning as “entirely”.

  15. walrus says:

    there is no duelling partisan narrative. this is at best contempt of court and at worst, treason

  16. Dr. Puck says:

    Yup. nothingburger as far as new info goes.
    Wouldn’t the underlying documents have been released if they supported the memo?
    Would love to see the McCabe testimony transcript.

  17. Frank says:

    The question seems to be ‘ Ties with whom do the Brits value more, the elected executive, or those with the Borg’?

  18. aleksandar says:

    “Do you really think that the judge is that dumb, or is he also complicit?”
    Yes, and when that happened nobody would have bet a dime about Trump election.
    So it was also safe for his career.

  19. Clueless Joe says:

    “The fact that the FBI and Democrats have fought for a month that the Memo should not be released makes it clear that they fear something in it.
    Who received this FISA output?”
    It would be bad if some of the results were directly shipped to the Hillary Clinton campaign HQ. Not that they’d be that foolish to do such an illegal thing, mind you. No chance it could ever happen.

  20. aleksandar says:

    Largely is not entirely, black is not completely white, tyranny is freedom and so.
    The fact is that you’re a true believer in russiangate and even with hard proof under your nose, you will find a way to go on believing in it.

  21. Fredw says:

    “The question to me is still who came up with the whole idea of commissioning Steele to write up “Russian dirt”? Clapper? Brennan? One of their British friends?”
    As I recall it was McCain – or someone who worked for him. The original commission was from a Republican.

  22. SmoothieX12 says:

    “largely” does not have the same meaning as “entirely”.
    The distinction becomes crucial when one is offered to eat entirely good 100% beef stew or, has an option of eating one which is largely s beef stew with some minor addition of excrement. You argument is a 180 degrees inverse of my example. Actions based on a “largely” false information get people killed and that is precisely what happened in a larger sense. Do we have a record of this happening before? Let me remind you–Iraq “intelligence” which was largely a bogus. But in this case the shadow of a much larger entity is towering in the background and this is Russia and all events starting from 2014 which changed the geopolitical dynamics are directly connected to what is transpiring right now. Yes, I have an angle.

  23. DianaLC says:

    Yes, that is what is happening in politics: “dueling narratives.” It’s a lot of work for citizens who jut want to live their lives to figure out which of the narratives match reality.
    The problem is that most citizens aren’t writing fiction in their minds every day. We’re just trying to live in the real world and get by, knowing we won’t get out of our own stories alive but trying to make that story one that reflects our honest characters.
    I’m so saddened by all of this, and I’m not happy that now I get to hear the opposition narrative of that from the Democrats. Shepard Smith, FOX’s obvious Democratic talking head is doing that as I type.
    Where is our Sergeant Friday asking for “just the facts, ma’am?

  24. Fredw says:

    I stand corrected. the original commission that kicked off the Fusion GPS research came from The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website. Their presidential preferences are not clear.

  25. Fred says:

    So what did Sally Yates tell her boss Loretta Lynch and what did she tell Barack?

  26. Fool says:

    What’s interesting to me is how Fusion GPS, the media, etc. smelled blood the moment Trump mentioned Page as an advisor…
    So why would Manafort hire him? For one thing, he seems dumb as bricks. Moreover, shouldn’t Manafort — who I would imagine could get a meeting with anyone at Gazprom through his relationship with Firtash — have seen right through Page’s bloviating about his dealings with Gazprom?
    What I hope is revealed going forward:
    (a) who pulled strings to get Page on the campaign.
    (b) what was in the FBI’s prior file on Page (who, though the media seems to have ceased mentioning it, himself served as a marine intelligence officer).

  27. Tacitus,
    Peace. Sorry if I came across as a troll. I don’t post on here much, but Pat let me post some space technology/policy stuff on here occasionally.
    To address your points:
    1- Yes, I knew that this was for a FISA warrant not for wiretapping under Section 702. I was just trying to make the point that if the FBI is so corrupt and “deep statey” that we can’t trust them even with warranted wiretapping, it seems odds that Nunes was so enthusiastic about expanding the Section 702 *warrantless* wiretapping, which has even less accountability when spying on US citizens. If Nunes had evidence that we can’t trust the FBI, even when there are independent checks and balances (like the FISA Court judges, which I note the memo is pretty darned silent on), it seems really odd that he would be leading the charge on giving them more authority with even less accountability. That was my point.
    2- My point on the dossier is that we have to be really careful about reading too much into this memo. Sure, it states that the dossier and the Yahoo interview were used as part of the evidence to justify surveillance on Carter Page (who it’s worth noting had left the Trump campaign almost a month previous to the first FISA warrant application). But while it talks about how the Steele dossier in general hadn’t been corroborated much, most of the Steele dossier had nothing to do with the actual target of the FISA warrant, Carter Page. It’s worth noting that the memo is silent on the question of if the *relevant* parts of the Steele dossier for this specific warrant had been independently corroborated or not. I guess its possible that the FBI went to a FISA Judge with just a dossier and a public news article as all of the evidence they brought to bear. Or its possible that they used the tipoff from the dossier, did some digging, and came up with more solid evidence corroborating the fact that there was sufficient probably cause to justify wiretapping Carter. I guess my concern here is that the memo leaves out all sorts of information that if their case was as strong as they make it sound, you wonder why they did that.
    3- Just to be clear–as a libertarian, I’m not generally a fan of the FBI, and am totally willing to believe that there are often agents or managers within the FBI with bad agendas. I’m just skeptical of this particular claim of conspiracy. The evidence is thin, the author of the memo isn’t exactly an unbiased source (or one with a stellar track record for competence or honesty), and there is lots of other behavioral evidence (like his stance on Section 702) that seem really incongruous with a strong belief that the FBI was filled with criminal conspiracies and coup plotters.
    4- In some ways this really reminds me a lot of what’s been happening under Erdrogan in Turkey. Claim a deep state conspiracy/coup and use it as a justification for purging people in the government who don’t place loyalty to the president over loyalty to their country.
    Not trying to offend you with any of this (though I wouldn’t be surprised if especially point #4 rubs you wrong), just making my observations. I really enjoy this blog and a lot of the reporting and discussion on here. But I’d feel remiss in not stating my piece here.

  28. patrick lang says:

    She – Rosemary Collyer. pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    Dr. Puck
    Have patience – everything in good time. This is a congressional paper. The Executive would have to take action to release the underlying documents. pl

  30. Walrus says:

    For the “nothingburger” crowd here, Nunes memo provides factual evidence of the blatant and deliberate use of State investigative powers for political purposes. This is big news because it is fact based. There is no innuendo or dissembling involved. The FISA court was deliberately and wilfully not told of the origins of the dossier despite multiple opportunities for multiple people to explain its provenance.
    The reason for this deliberate sin of omission by implication is that the FISA Court would not permit surveillance based purely on this evidence.
    The bigger questions now to be asked are what did the rest of the IC know and when did they know it? Were they aware and did they participate in this plot by the FBI?
    How can the FBI, if at all, retain the trust of the American people, given its apparent penchant for manufacturing evidence via informers and entrapment, of which the Steele dossier is only the latest example?
    Perhaps I am understating the problem; how can the American public and its congree, believe anything the intelligence community, the Justice Department or the FBI tells it?

  31. Clerik says:

    jsn wrote (in part): “The memo is an interpretation of facts so far not in evidence, at least to the public.”
    I don’t think this is correct – the evidence on which this is based has been released to the public in April 2017, unless I’m mistaken.
    Perhaps I’m confused here, but in one sense, hasn’t this been a fight over whether to issue a summary (arguably an interpretive summary) of a much longer document that the public (or most of the public) is not likely to read, i.e., a fight over the issuance of a document that endeavors to focus public attention on what one side of the committee, Republican, deems most salient and/or damning? The Republicans have gone first – or dared, if you will – and it’s possible that the Democrats may follow with their own interpretive summary.
    If the Democrats do, I strongly suspect this will be diluted and diffused by the media portraying this as “two sides to a story”, like, say, evolution or climate change, so let’s not let this “controversy” distract us from continuing to pursue and dog Trump.

  32. Barbara Ann says:

    Yes, the Transatlantic Deep State’s mask has slipped here. This is the true nature of the ‘Special Relationship’.

  33. Walrus says:

    Your point #3; do you not understand the “fishing” nature of the warrant? All of Pages communications, phone email, etc. with anyone are tapped and whatever information they contain is extracted. ALL of it! A single chance reference by Page to any “interesting” subject is then enough to start a second investigation, then a Third.
    Hopefully in the minds of the plotters the chain of investigation turns up sufficient dirt on Trump to allow impeachment.

  34. DC says:

    Well, bowl me over with a feather. I was expecting some salacious stuff in the memo, but most everything in there is what we already knew, except for some inside baseball details that nobody outside of the beltway and the IC community cares about. The main takeaway: the FBI was continuing to go after a guy, Page, who they’d had their eye on for a long time. Trump? No. Anyone else? No.
    What’s not in the memo? Nothing on Trump. The Dodgy Dossier allegations concerning Trump are still unverified, to put it mildly. The only leaks we have so far from Mueller’s office are that he might have Trump on “obstruction,” with no underlying substantive crime. Weak stuff. It sure looks like Trump is going to be our President for the full four years. He will pardon some family members. Good luck with it, Trump.

  35. Joe100 says:

    Sundance at Conservative Treehouse has presented the best description I have seen of how the House and Senate Intelligence Committee leads, along with the House and Senate Judiciary lead and the DOJ OIG have what appears to be a coordinated, multi-stage process to eventually flush out the rest of this “iceberg”. For example, a recent post suggested that the House memo would likely drive pressure to declassify key evidence that remains classified, etc. and that each of these entities is working (in a coordinated fashion) on different parts of this “elephant” with much more to come.
    Thus it appears that the Nunes memo is just an early, and well thought through first step in this process.

  36. Martin Oline says:

    The Inspector General of the Department of Justice’s report will be released in March. That is when I expect the process of filing criminal charges to begin.

  37. Greco says:

    Why do you suppose Nunes didn’t choose to verify and etch this claim with the stronger evidence likely contained in the underlying FISA rationales and complete picture of the FISA application attached to this memo?

    Look at page 4 of the memo: “Our findings indicate […] that material and relevant information was omitted.”
    The memo outlines, for example, that the FBI didn’t explain to the FISC that the DNC had paid Fusion GPS. They deliberately omitted this fact despite it’s implications of partisan bias.
    So the better question is: why did FBI and DOJ officials not verify and etch their claim to the FISC with a complete picture and with stronger evidence?

  38. Sylvia 1 says:

    In the 5th section of the memo we see this sentence: “The Papadopolus information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strozk.” This refers to the claim that a drunken Papadopolus told an Australian diplomat much earlier in 2016 that the Russians had Clinton e-mails. The article claimed that when the diplomat realized the importance of this information, he contacted US authorities. When the New York Times wrote about last December I put it in the category of CYA believing that the investigation had probably been triggered by the dossier. This could end up being a very important point. What did trigger an FBI investigation into the campaign of the opposing candidate for President?

  39. Barbara Ann says:

    My overwhelming feeling here is of the Rubicon having been crossed. Other commentators here have expressed the view that the memo alone adds little to what is already known (at least here). The FBI/DoJ take a reputational hit and some may face charges. The Never Trumpers are incandescent with rage at what they see as a partisan act in the memo’s release, whilst team Trump now senses blood and will demand more of the same – more evidence of the rot, more coup plotters.
    The already dysfunctional, highly polarized political system is now in danger of infecting & fracturing legal and IC institutions. Those implicated are current or former colleagues and bosses to a great number of people. How many previously nonaligned inside the DoJ & FBI are right now feeling they have to choose whose side to be on. For or against Comey, for or against Sally Yates etc. The poison is spreading, but it is also the cure.
    Trump has begun the cathartic process – that was the easy part. If he stops now it will be like opening the patient up and failing to remove most of the tumor. Has he the courage and conviction to see this though?

  40. David O White says:

    The interesting thing to me, as a long time libtard, is that my fellow travelers and I have always viewed the FBI suspiciously as a rather right-of-center organization to say the least. How is it that they are now handmaidens to the left??

  41. Jack says:

    Nothingburger? Why do you think hysteria yesterday from media, Democrats, Brennan, Comey, Holder? Will we see same hysteria by these folks to make public FISA applications, testimony, Bruce Ohr communications, Fusion GPS bank transactions, etc?
    That would speak loudly.

  42. Flavius says:

    Initial thoughts and key points of which to be mindfull:
    The memo asserts that McCabe testified that the FISC warrant would not have been sought without the Steele information. This strongly suggests that the Steele info was critical, if not necessarily the only, probable cause adduced. Steele himself is a foreign national. The reliabilty and credibility of the information appears to have been claimed on the basis of Steele’s prior relationship with the FBI, not on the reliability and credibility of Steele’s alleged sources in Russia. This is a critical and inexplicable failing. It is incomprehensible that the Agents handling Steele, and paying Steele, would not have insisted on learning the identities of his sources in Russia so that they could verify their existence, at least, and determine the circumstances as to how they came by their information, their motivation, whether they were being paid, etc, so that the information could be properly assessed.
    The memo is unclear on what constituted the probable cause for the extensions. If the extensions were applied for on the basis of the continuing Steele inquiries, this also would be a problem.
    Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein were signing off on these applications. These were extraordinary applications and by no means routine: what were they thinking about? Were they completely incurious as to the ultimate sourcing of the information? Inexplicable incompetence? This wouldn’t pass muster in a stolen car case.
    Trump and Sessions need to figure some way to get this plumbed and out of the media covering political cat fights and competing tweets because it is their DoJ and their FBI that is going down the tubes in the public estimation

  43. turcopolier says:

    David O White
    I am quite sure that your fellow libtards are correct about the rank and file. It is the politically appointed or advanced at the top that are the chekist wannabes in this. pl

  44. Fredw says:

    “Largely is not entirely, black is not completely white, tyranny is freedom and so.”
    It’s not that hard. No human affair is ever all one thing. Iran may qualify as a tyranny, but it is not the same kind of tyranny as Saddam’s Iraq or Putin’s Russia. You have to understand how the pieces fit together to have any useful knowledge.
    Not believing the some of the contents of the Steele dossier doesn’t mean that they are all wrong. “Largely based on” or even “critical to” does not exclude the existence of other reasons for follow up. It is almost impossible to prove that there was no Russian election project (your apparent conviction) without actually examining people events. Russian involvement is consistent with everything I know about their attitudes and actions in Europe. The Trump cmapign’s conscious involvement is a different question entirely, and seemingly much less plausible. The best argument I have seen for their “innocence” is the probing nature of the purported meetings. They seem to have been looking for something, not exploiting something they already had.
    I take it as the FBI’s job to check these things out. That doesn’t in itself make them “unfair” or “biased”. Would you really want them to ignore such “information”? The difficulty comes in when they cross the line into “unreasonable search and seizure”. They may have. They certainly have at times in the past. But that question is certainly not settled by this memo. Or even much addressed. What I read is plaintive crying that “people who don’t like me were looking at me!” Possibly true. But you won’t get much intelligence or law enforcement if that is the standard that cannot be crossed.
    Using such “information” as the basis of public accusations would cross the line. And there were people doing that. But not, so far as I know, the FBI. All they are accused of is following up on data deemed to unreliable. Quietly following up. Very quietly. Scarily quietly for some people, but that’s a different issue.

  45. Barbara Ann says:

    “pressure to declassify” – yes a phrase we are going to hear a good deal of in the coming weeks/months. But anyone who thinks this will lead to a Dem rout and Trump’s team coming up smelling of roses will likely be disappointed. We are well into MAD territory here.

  46. Sid Finster says:

    “…the stronger evidence likely contained in the underlying FISA rationales….”
    You assume facts not in evidence.

  47. iowa steve says:

    Perhaps they’re be handmaidens to the neoconservatives, but they’re not “handmaidens to the left”.
    Nor do I think that the dems who embrace such as Kristol or From bear any resemblance to what I would consider leftwing. Liberals yes, but not left or progressive in any meaningful sense of the term.

  48. Rhondda says:

    Well, if it was Manafort who brought Page in, the question would seem to be who brought in Manafort.
    There’s been a lot speculation that it was Roger Stone. Certainly they knew each other, but Stone hasn’t confirmed that, so far as I can tell.
    So, maybe Stone…but consider this:

    “It was Barrack who persuaded Trump to hire political operative Paul Manafort — whom Barrack first met in Beirut 40 years ago — for the presidential campaign. Trump never publicly criticized Barrack for the advice, even as Manafort came under investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in a probe examining whether the campaign colluded with Russia.”

    Thomas Barrack. Certainly someone I had never heard of, a real behind-the-scenes guy, but quite the powerhouse, it seems. And very close to Trump, per the article. Involved in all kinds of things in the Middle East. What a very interesting person. He seems like exactly the sort of person one would think would probably be an intelligence asset of some kind.
    I also find it pretty interesting what sort of things Mr. Manafort was involved in. Ukraine. Beirut. He gets around. And then Mr. Page is ex Navy intelligence, too. As was Bannon, correct? Humdeedum. Quite the conclave of IC-connected folks.

  49. Dr. Puck says:

    That would speak loudly. But, my completely inexpert sense is that the underlying picture and documentation of the Page surveillance will not be in the sunlight, ever.
    However, I’d like the whole package released, and Trump could do it yesterday. Alas, if it doesn’t support his claims, it would be stupid to air it all out.

  50. iowa steve says:

    I should add that Ray McGovern gives Publius Tacitus a shoutout at Consortium News.

  51. Cvillereader says:

    If you read Comey’s tweet today, his main gripe is the disclosure of a classified FISA investigatiion into Carter Page.
    Until and unless someone can provide evidence that Page was acting as an agent for a foreign power, Comey’s complaint seems like much ado about nothing.
    I have a hunch that Comey was played by someone else—perhaps Brennan?
    Comey prides himself on his righteousness. Someone may have appealed to him to bend, break, or other wise mangle existing law in order to obtain a higher good. That higher good was preventing Trump from becoming President.
    I had, and continue to have, my own qualms about Trump, even though I voted for him. But I am still convinced that he was an infinitely better choice than Hillary.
    What I am puzzled about is why Comey apparently did not perceive this.

  52. Dr. Puck says:

    Only one way to find out. But, we don’t know even know if your question is pertinent until the four FISA applications are declassified and released.
    Presumably, given the rhetorical cast of your question, such release would allow POTUS to purge and cleanse the FBI, showcase the Mueller inquiry to be a plot of Obama, and, lead to reinvigoration of
    the FBI to be the proper tool of the executive branch. Oh, wait…

  53. Dr. Puck says:

    The NY AG may be looking at some low hanging fruit, criminality-wise, involving the kids, others, and, maybe, even the tax returns and Russia. No federal pardon would be protective.

  54. Cvillereader says:

    The Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS to do research on ALL Republican candidates.
    The Free Beacon was not involved at the point in time when Christopher Steele was hired by Fusion to generate the “dossier.”

  55. Eric Newhill says:

    When I distill the message of the FBI and FBI/DOJ all I see is, “We’re impeccable people. Our sources are impeccable. How dare you question us? Shut up”.
    Comey is on record stating that he found the Steele dossier to be salacious and unverified. So why was it included in the FISA warrant application? There is no excuse. Not if they were going after little ole you or me and most certainly not when it involves a potential POTUS.
    I don’t see where arguing the facts beyond the above is additive, but I can see where Borgheads would like to put up some smoke for cover.

  56. Dr. Puck says:

    The FISA Court authorized surveillance. I don’t know the missing details of why they did so, and neither do you.
    It would be easier to establish self-serving political motives were Page not a subject of interest for, hmmmm, interesting additional reasons. Because it is held that the supposed political motives trump the other reasons for targeting Page, I’m very excited about our all learning of the full picture when Trump declassifies the FISA applications and then purges the FBI of its left wing cabal in its upper ranks.

  57. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr. Puck #49
    “However, I’d like the whole package released, and Trump could do it yesterday. Alas, if it doesn’t support his claims, it would be stupid to air it all out.”
    Keep on trolling

  58. Kooshy says:

    My bet is on with Borg

  59. TV says:

    What really keeps coming out of this rolling car wreck is how inept the FBI is.
    From the teen age girl texts of Strozk and Page to the sloppy handling of their dodgy dossier “intelligence,” they look like a bunch of Inspector Clouseaus.
    And did money for McCabe get laundered through his wife’s campaign?
    There’s a whole bunch of questions (none involving “national security”) that need answers.
    And all these “patriots” yelling about “national security” were pretty silent when sources and methods were uncovered over the leaks of the Flynn – Russian Ambassador phone calls

  60. Greco says:

    That would speak loudly. But, my completely inexpert sense is that the underlying picture and documentation of the Page surveillance will not be in the sunlight, ever.
    However, I’d like the whole package released, and Trump could do it yesterday. Alas, if it doesn’t support his claims, it would be stupid to air it all out.

    They should never have relied on this dossier to being with, period. That is the important take away. The fact that they had to rely on a series of scurrilous and unproven allegations in order to justify the surveillance of the opposition’s nominee for president–an extraordinary and arguably unprecedented act–is significant enough in of itself to illustrate just how flimsy their case was. And because they did, that means their other evidence wasn’t enough to warrant their FISA request. They needed this dossier in order for their request to pass muster. In other words, you’re fixated on something that is inconsequential.
    I’m sure the point you’re raising will emerge as the talking point in countering the narrative emerging out of the White House, but more facts will emerge, as PL noted, and these new emerging facts will make this counter-narrative seem weak in the face of growing evidence of a conspiracy against both candidate and President Trump.

  61. TimmyB says:

    Lol. Me too. I’m “shocked” to learn the FBI would lie and dissemble to get a search warrant to investigate perceived political enemies. In reality, that’s their major job function, protecting the state by any means necessary. They have a long history of doing much worse than merely lying to get a search warrant.
    In the end, nothing will happen.

  62. Valissa says:

    Brett Baier Interviews Devin Nunes After HPSCI Memo Release…
    Interview is ~14 mins long.
    Per the previous discussion of how people today get their news… this is the perfect example of how I “watch” network news. When an article I’ve read includes a clip from tv news channel, like this one from Fox News. Alternatively I go to Youtube and search for specific news items.

  63. Rhondda says:

    I didn’t know what the Colonel’s “Raft of the Medusa” comment might mean so I looked it up. Woah. What a story! A perfect metaphor for this cluster. Perfect. Thanks for that illuminating bit of history.

  64. Stonevendor says:

    I assume that we all agree that in June of 2016 Trump, Jr., Kushner and Manafort had a meeting in the Trump Tower with a Russian Lobbyist, a lawyer who claimed to have ties to the highest levels of the Kremlin, a publicist for the Russians, and a couple of other members of the Russian party. The lawyer may have been blowing smoke. But Jr. did say that he was thrilled that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton. Maybe I am too gray headed and too long in the tooth, but the idea that a presidential political campaign is holding meetings with persons saying they are close to leaders of a govt. which, if not an enemy, is considered to be an adversary of the U.S. does strike me as just way out there.
    Let’s change the scenario. Manafort comes in and tells the boys that he has found a potential donor with lot’s of bread. They set up a meeting at the donor’s condo. They walk in and over in the corner is someone snorting a line. Out on the balcony two people are sharing a joint. They meet with the donor and he is a gentleman from South America in the import business. Wouldn’t you expect them to turn and run, not walk, out of the building?
    And then there is this take on the whole business:
    The derangement has spread to the point that Rush Limbaugh recently suggested the Deep State had tried to bring down George W. Bush: “You remember what the intelligence agencies were telling us about the War in Iraq? …There is detail, there were photos, there was conclusive evidence Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and it wasn’t just us. It was MI-5, it was MI-6, it was intelligence agencies all over the world. What if the intel on the War in Iraq was another disinformation campaign to damage another Republican president? And boy did that work! Just what if, the quote-unquote intelligence community misrepresented on purpose the degree to which the Hussein had WMDs. Because I tell you it was a very, very embarrassing moment for the Bush administration.”
    I look forward to more first rate, logical, incisive reports on Syria and Turkey and M. E. crazies.

  65. fanto says:

    To All – a question and a comment:
    Question – what is known about the recent meeting in DC of Russian intelligence people with Pompeo?
    Comment – The uproar about Nunes’ memo looks like reverse of beginnings of the Watergate affair – than the President wanted to hide the law-breaking by the FBI and the MSM was screaming to have everything disclosed, and now the President wants to disclose everything about the FBI and the press is screaming “not to publish”.

  66. J says:

    I want to see Clapper, Comey, Brennan, McCabe, Yates, Boente, Rosenstein, Ohr and his wife all change their dapper civvies for Prison Orange, and ALL frog-marched right into Federal Prison Cells at GITMO where they loose the creature comforts of Federal Prison ‘Club’ mansions like where they stuck the maggot Pollard.
    Now my question relates specifically to Clapper being a Retired General Officer and the Subversion Clauses, and Court Martial. Where and when? Clapper has earned the right to become a slick-sleeve at the earliest Pentagon convenience has he not?

  67. Anna says:

    A comment section of Consortiumnews has a post with some curious information about Comey:
    “James Comey left Lockheed Martin a very rich man and then, through a a mysterious process, hidden from the common voter, joined the board of directors of HSBC Holdings, a British bank. The bank is a long-time partner of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton’s rewarded Comey again when he was suddenly “appointed” by Barack Obama. … the board members simply made their approvals known to Obama (precise mechanism unknown) in regards to Mr Comey and presto! appointed top gun at the FBI. … the Clinton Foundation monies are directly linked to both Comey and HSBC.”

  68. plantman says:

    Walrus said…
    Nunes memo provides factual evidence of the blatant and deliberate use of State investigative powers for political purposes. This is big news because it is fact based. There is no innuendo or dissembling involved. The FISA court was deliberately and willfully not told of the origins of the dossier despite multiple opportunities for multiple people to explain its provenance….”
    I agree with this statement but would like to expand on it: McCabe, Comey Yates and the rest certainly knew what they were doing was illegal, which means they knew they were taking a chance that it would backfire and they’d be caught. So why would they take that chance? And why pursue Carter Page for whom there was no probable cause of a crime or wrongdoing?
    Because they were fishing, right? They didn’t have anything solid, but they needed to build a case by using their police state powers.
    But what was so important that they would take the obvious risks involved with illegal spying?
    Well, to build a case against Trump, to stop Trump, to prevent Trump from being elected, and afterwards to prevent him from carrying out his agenda. That was what drove them to break the law.
    Doesn’t that rise to sabotaging an election? Isn’t that using one’s power and authority to subvert the democratic process?
    I’d say it was, and I’d say it was pretty serious. But still, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Are you going to tell me that Clapper and Brennan weren’t using their own means to pursue this project too? Remember, both of them appeared numerous times on TV lambasting Trump and suggesting (as Brennan said) that members of his campaign may have been “suborned” by Russian agents. If he felt that strongly about it, what tools was HE using to derail the Trump campaign??
    I remain convinced that the entire Russia fiasco started with Brennan who (as he said) referred the case to the FBI. Brennan had the clearest motive to despise Putin and want retribution. Brennan’s proxies were throttled in Syria and stopped in Ukraine. His rival Putin derailed his plan in both places. I think Brennan is at the bottom of this.

  69. As I said before, it has nothing to do with left or right. It has to do with Deep State vs everyone and in particular Trump. Of course, the Democrats are in line with this for obvious reasons.

  70. Kushner holding a meeting with Russians who *claimed* to have dirt on Clinton was not illegal or even unusual. That meeting did in fact end within twenty minutes because there was nothing of interest to Kushner in the lawyer’s proposition which was entirely unconnected with Clinton, having been misrepresented in order to get the meeting at all.
    If this is the best they can do for “Russian collusion”, it’s ridiculous.
    And you’re quoting Rush Limbough? Seriously?

  71. Fred says:

    Probable cause. Got anything other than “we need this approval for a wire tap based on this story we heard from a guy who heard it from a drunk guy in a bar”?

  72. Sy Hersh, in his famous audio tape, agrees with you. He declared the entire Russiagate situation as a disinformation campaign by Brennan.
    I’m inclined to agree. I’d especially like to find out whether the alleged “Russian hacker” Guccifer 2.0 was either a CIA hacker or someone on the DNC staff or a Ukrainian hacker recruited to bolster the “Russian hack” hoax.
    Which is why I keep insisting that the behavior, emails, phone messages and everything else conducted by the people around the DNC needs to be investigated thoroughly to see who really was involved in covering up the DNC leak.

  73. DianaLC says:

    I’m asking the same thing. I would sure like for him to see it through. The thing that worries me most, however, is that seeing it through will occupy so much of his time and energy that the many other important objectives he’s set for his presidency won’t get attention as much as they should.
    Is there a way for him to designate a person to do the housecleaning at these agencies? Is there a way, as with the VA, that he can get some of the government rules about firing and replacing government employees so that it’s easy to do? I’m sure as a business man, he could do that better than a career politician could do.
    He did campaign on draining the swamp. I hope he can do that.
    I’ve seen in my public education esperience that it’s tremendously difficult to get things done since the school boards, school administration, and even the teachers are all so intent on their job security and on keeping things as they are. There is no improving public education, really. That is why parents have had to take educating their children into their own hands.
    How can citizens, however, form private or charter agencies to serve than rather than those corrupt swampy agencies?

  74. Anna says:

    “In the message, Podesta gave details about how the funds were being allocated from the Clinton campaign to the Super PACs of Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush… There were also other emails which suggested that money had been moved to Republican officials from the House and the Senate. For instance, FAC records show that just before McCain publicly criticized and attacked Trump, there were transactions for two giant donations from PACS and private sources which went straight to his bank account.”

  75. Walrus says:

    What we do know from McCabe is that the warrant would not have been granted without the steele dossier. Therefore your comment about other details is irrelevant as such details must be even flakier than the dossier.

  76. Anna says:

    “It is almost impossible to prove that there was no Russian election project (your apparent conviction) without actually examining people events. Russian involvement is consistent with everything I know about their attitudes and actions in Europe.”
    –What is your point exactly?
    What this “almost impossible to prove” project and the “attitude” have to do with the violation of the US Constitution by the national security apparatus and with the plot against the newly elected POTUS by Clinton’ loyalists within the apparatus? It seems that the coup d’etat in Ukraine was too much for you. The US does not want to become a banana republic.

  77. Hollywood Mark says:


  78. Anna says:

    And all these “patriots” yelling about “national security” were pretty silent when sources and methods were uncovered over the leaks of the Flynn – Russian Ambassador phone calls”
    — the whole “Russiagate” affair stinks Cheneyism.

  79. JW says:

    That is quite defamatory 🙂 to the Zimbabwean intelligence services; even they would be unlikely to disclose the identity of a high level Russian source on what was essentially a piece of notepaper. I’m of the belief that Hillary herself probably wrote the thing thus giving it the legs that have take it so far.
    The warrant itself and the underlying affidavit(s) would make an interesting read.

  80. JW says:

    The Memo comes from a credible source, unlike the Steele concoction, and at least points in the direction of further discovery.
    I also doubt the Brits would have been very forthcoming, and would have instead made efforts to distance themselves from what they would see as an impending US debacle.

  81. Steve McIntyre says:

    You observe: “What is missing in this “Raft of the Medusa” scene is the complicity of the unholy duo (Brennan and Clapper) and perhaps others in the IC.”
    Re-read WaPo article of June 23, 2017 which describes how Brennan created a hair-on-fire task force in August after receiving super-secret info (not disclosed, but my guess is it’s Steele info laundered through GCHQ to CIA).
    Brennan then briefed Gang of Eight, resulting in a Harry Reid letter to NYT on Aug 29, making what now can be seen as reference to Carter Page.
    Isikoff sources include congressional leaders/staff who’ve been briefed by Brennan. Since Isikoff article is about Carter Page meetings with Sechin, Diveykin, Brennan’s briefings must also have been about Sechin, Diveykin i.e. Steele dossier based.
    Largest question IMO is whether direct attribution to Putin of delivery of DNC emails to Wikileaks, about which there was considerable skepticism in July 2016 when first claimed by Robbie Mook of DNC, is based on dossier in all or part. It originated claim and I am unaware of any other primary document making claim.

  82. turcopolier says:

    You do know that May fired the head of GCHQ when this began to unravel don’t you? pl

  83. LondonBob says:

    So now we know why Rosenstein appointed a special counsel. He needs to go now, having Wray force McCabe in to early retirement, what punishment is that, is not enough.
    Interesting to see the neocons still defending Mueller. Clearly Mueller is seen as means to pressure Trump to toe the line. Trump is looking strong now though.
    The memo looks like the first shot of a barrage of releases, IG report etc. I am sure at the right time the Mueller probe will be wrapped up.

  84. blowback says:

    Has the military just got involved?

    Speaking to reporters Friday at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis admitted that the US has no evidence Syria has used sarin gas in the course of the Syrian War, though he threatened a harsh US reaction if Syria did so.”

    I would suggest that it’s likely the CIA has been involved in the background with the FBI/DoJ in this particular mess from the beginning and the military has objected to much of what the CIA has done in Syria. So, has Mattis launched a pre-emptive strike, with a good dose of revenge built-in, against the CIA to knock them out of the anti-Trump shenanigans?

  85. Dr. Puck says:

    In a comment in this thread, How the U.S. House Can Disclose the Tantalizing Secret Memo About Surveillance Us, you wrote:
    “IMO, the memo is not what is key here. It is the material behind the memo the counts.”
    “However, doesn’t Trump have the power to declassify anything he wants to? If the situation is as the Rs are claiming it to be, would it not be in Trump’s best interest to declassify enough material to cover his own ass and to prove his point as well purge some enemies of the republic?”

  86. Dr. Puck says:

    Ha! We don’t know, do we? It’s a “known unknown.”
    We don’t know McCabe’s exact words, do we? Assertions are nifty but limited.
    It seems the argument with respect to the allegation that an incompetent FBI that was riddled with leftwingers that wanted to overturn an election might attach to more and maximum evidence rather than to less, and, fuzzy, evidence.
    I’ve already been apprised that the tactical hope for more evidence is just playing into the hands of the so-called deep state. And, told that, I will be surprised when the jedi Trump turns the Federal law enforcement capability and ICE and US Marshals into a, (guessing here,) a “beautiful,” non-partisan rule-of-law exemplar–in the aftermath of his upcoming purge.

  87. Joe Buckstrap says:

    Michael Morell probably figures in this. It wouldn’t surprise me if he put the bullets in Seth Rich’s back.

  88. All,
    In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was ‘a longtime FBI source’ it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’.
    There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS have been strongly involved in this.
    This agenda has involved hopes for ‘régime change’ in Russia, where as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. It also involved the further ‘rollback’ of Russia influence in the former post-Soviet space, both in countries now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.
    And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for ‘régime change’ projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.
    Important support for these strategies was provided by the ‘StratCom’ network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen’s Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which was essentially a recycling of claims made by the network’s members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.
    One key figure was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007.
    Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published back in 2016 by the ‘New York Times’ journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in ‘Newsweek’, it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen’s Inquiry.
    (See .)
    Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, ‘top supporting actor’ in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko’s death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006 had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson – both of them, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial ‘due diligence’ operatives (connections with intelligence agencies – perish the thought!)
    (See .)
    This has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the ‘Solntsevskaya Bratva’ mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the ‘Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.
    In the months leading up to Levinson’s disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.
    Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the ‘Shia Crescent’, which in turn exacerbated the potential ‘existential threat’ to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.
    One requirement, in consequence, was to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up ‘régimes’ that one might not like sometimes blew up in one’s face, that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking ‘blowback’, and that Russia and the West had an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.
    Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American ‘intelligence community’ and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral Fallon as head of ‘Centcom’ the following March.
    So in 2005 Shvets came to London. Selections from the famous tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko were edited under his supervision, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.
    (See .)
    In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the ‘Mitrokhin Commission’, for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had attempted to supply a ‘mini atomic bomb’ – aka ‘suitcase nuke’ – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.
    (See .)
    At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.
    There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such ‘evidence.’ Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if ‘régime change’ is the goal.)
    It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium ‘initiator’ as the crucial missing part which might make a ‘suitcase nuke’ functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky’s offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.
    It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the ‘StratCom’ wars about ‘suitcase nukes.’ Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.
    Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.
    In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called ‘Strongpoint Security’, he began a writing career with articles in ‘CBRNe World.’ Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious ‘hexamine hypothesis’, supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.
    Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, in August 2012 that Sir Robert Owen was appointed to conduct it. That same month, a piece appeared in ‘CBRNe World’ with the the strapline: ‘Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes’, and the main title ‘Carry on or checked bags?’ Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:
    ‘Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has “limited life components” that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).’
    (For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see ‘)
    What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect ‘StratCom’ instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no ‘suitcase nukes’, and in any case ‘initiators’ using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.
    For ‘StratCom’ scenarios, as experience with the ‘hexamine hypothesis’ has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant. What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them – or Berezovsky and Litvinenko to the Chechen insurgents. In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia.
    As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced it into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on ‘StratCom’ attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.
    In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of ‘StratCom’ exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the ‘Nineties, and the latter’s use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure’s extradition. But this comment has already gone on quite long enough.

  89. JMH says:

    Vis a vis Turkey, you are saying that this reminds you of a situation where there WAS an actual coup attempt.

  90. Vic says:

    Am I missing something?
    If the FISA warrants were obtained utilizing false or incomplete justifications does this not poison any evidence gathered from these warrants as well as other evidence gathered using the tainted information to develop leads for additional evidence gathering?
    If so where does this leave the Mueller investigation?
    Just wondering.

  91. You are spot on. Could destroy the case against Manafort

  92. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr. Puck #86,
    I have stated that the evidence behind the memo is what counts b/c people like you will attempt to obfuscate the importance of the memo; not b/c the memo is, itself, meaningless.
    The memo is meaningful, to any unbiased rational observer, when combined w/ the testimony of McCabe & Comey (respectively,that the FISA would warrant would not have been obtained w/o the Steele dossier & the Steele dossier was salacious and unvetted). They also found out at some point that the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign and still continued to use it to obtain continuances of the FISA warrant.
    Thus, the FISA warrant was illegally obtained. Furthermore, there was no compelling evidence or case against Trump (as Strzok himself indicated in his hormone addled emails) and, more importantly, as indicated by the prominence of the unvetted Steele dossier to obtain the warrant.
    In summary, the FBI knew it had no evidence to indicate probable cause against Trump & team and they went ahead and started an investigation using what they knew was crap evidence (the dossier). The only possible explanation is that they wanted to bring down Trump for purely political reasons.
    But there are paid talking heads, bots, etc (you?) that are everywhere sowing confusion and hand waving away the memo. That was inevitable. That’s why I said that subsequent to the memo release, the real game would be the underlying evidence.
    I predict that your tactics are going to result in further calamity for your team as the underlying evidence is going to reveal further corruption. Then again, I guess you’re doing what you have to in order to buy time in the hopes that something, anything, changes the current trajectory of this matter – a trajectory that appears to be inexorably heading for a direct and devastating hit on the Borg.

  93. Mark Logan says:

    Re: Raft of the Medusa
    I particularly liked “Our whole society is aboard the raft of the Medusa.”

  94. 3k3 says:

    A further tie-in to the Clinton machine, was the red-herring attributed to Podesta — that he & others, brainstormed and invented the Russian collusion story, on the night after Hillary’s election defeat. Supposedly, Podesta’s admission/leak the he & the Clinton team invented the Trump-Russia connection was to cover over and distract from the fact of spending all that money on the campaign, and still losing to Trump.
    so, that lie that Podesta made up a lie, was a lie to lay a false trail away from the FISA lies.
    these guys juggle lies like chinese acrobats.

  95. blue peacock says:

    We need to remind ourselves that the Nunes memo is the first salvo. The kickoff. It will be the first of many memos and reports and declassified documents. The game wherein the public gains knowledge of the conspiracy has just begun.
    Next we’ll see the Schiff memo. Then there will be additional memos by Nunes, Grassley and Goodlatte. There will be the DOJ IG report. This will keep focus on the conspiracy at the highest levels of law enforcement and the IC through summer and into fall. Mueller’s probe will likely fizzle out or morph into something else because if there was even a shred of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election it would have been leaked a long time ago when Strzok and Page were the top investigators on the Mueller team. Note that the FBI & DOJ have been investigating Trump at least since the Summer 2016.
    The Nunes memo now raises many questions, which hopefully will get answered in the months ahead. Many questions about the Fusion GPS dossier – how was it produced? Who wrote what aspects? What did Nellie Ohr write? What was passed through her husband Bruce to the FBI? What did Steele write? Was Steele acting on his own or with full knowledge of GCHQ? Did the FBI know that Fusion GPS and Steele were pitching the dossier contents to the media? Were journalists paid?
    Then there are questions around the FBI investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. What did Lynch know and when? Was her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton accidental or intentional? How was that investigation “fixed”? Who participated in that?
    There are also questions around the role of the IC, in particular Clapper and Brennan. What role did the foreign IC play? Was that orchestrated?
    Then there are questions around the media narrative of Trump’s collusion with the Russians. Who organized and participated in it?
    Of course there are many questions around the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump’s transition team. How did that surveillance begin? Who participated in that? Who authorized it? Which members of Trump’s team were unmasked and who requested these unmaskings? How was that information used?
    And then the big question. What did Obama know and when? What role did he play?
    At this stage we don’t know if these questions will be answered or if anyone will be prosecuted and held to account. The Deep State and their allies in the media and in both political parties are waging an intense battle to obfuscate, delay, stall and most importantly hide behind classification and “sources & methods” to prevent disclosure and accountability. President Trump is also caught in a box with the Mueller special counsel on one side and the hysteria of any move of his to unilaterally declassify being characterized as “obstruction of justice” and damaging national security on the other side.
    IMO, the Democrats supported by Republicans like McCain and the media are making a big mistake. If this conspiracy by law enforcement and the IC is brushed under the rug as they would like today for partisan reasons to protect the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton as well as their hatred for Trump, it is just a matter of time until the tables are turned. Then of course it will be too late as the national security apparatus would have become a law unto themselves and act even more brazenly and with impunity.

  96. Jonathan says:

    The Guccifer 2.0 docs’ metadata bear the name of one “Warren Flood”, a Democrat Party consultant. Since these “leaks” were released as rich text files, this can be easily verified in Notepad or another simple text editor.
    What’s more, according to my own investigation, they appear to have been composed on computers apparently property of the GSA.

  97. doug says:

    The treehouse is partisan but drills deep and I find the place useful and Sundance’s (the blogger) analysis interesting. However, I’m somewhat aghast that he would post a severely wrong statement on probability that he made something of a big deal out of. It’s nonsense on its face if one has the smallest smidgen of number sense.
    He stated that it is reported that the 4 FISA court judges were all different and that, even if limited to the 7 judges in the region, the probability that those chosen, if chosen randomly, would all be different was under 1%. This was so obviously wrong that I calculated it out as (6/7)*(5/7)*(4/7) or about 1/3. He responded with something incomprehensible.
    I’m also appalled at the general innumeracy of the commenters. Here’s the relevant passage:
    >>Even if you expand the pool of possible judges to include the entire Northeast, there are only SEVEN (DC-3, NJ-1, NY-1, MD-1, VA-1) The probability of having four separate judges engaged on the same Title I request (against Carter Page), on four different occasions, is too small (00.94%) to be a random, or non-manipulated, sequence of events.

  98. Dr. Puck says:

    Greco wrote: ” to justify the surveillance of the opposition’s nominee for president–an extraordinary and arguably unprecedented act”
    I was unaware that surveillance was authorized of candidate Donald J. Trump.
    Four FISA applications were serially made to the court concerning Carter Page. Better: ‘to justify the surveillance of a foreign policy advisor to candidate Trump. Page left the campaign before the first FISA application.

  99. Dr. Puck says:

    Eric, I don’t know how this will turn out. Like you, I hope the facts are fully revealed. I hope most everything factual comes to be released. We at least agree on this.
    In the end, the details will make it obvious what actually happened. Hopefully.

  100. doug says:

    They removed the blatantly bad math from their post. Another commenter eventually piped up pointing out the same thing providing links to a Wolfram analysis. Two out of hundreds of comments. What’s with math education these days? This stuff is taught in high school if not earlier. At least it was in 1966.

  101. Jack says:

    blue peacock,
    You are spot on. I don’t understand why the Democrats are supporting the opacity of the FBI and DOJ on these matters other than as you say to protect the Obama administration. They’ve historically wanted more transparency at the FBI and the Intel agencies.
    I live in Democrat country and I can tell you many staunch supporters in my neck of the woods are raising their eyebrows at this spectacle of the Democrats in Congress aligning with the likes of Comey and Brennan. IMO, the Democrat base have long been skeptical of the FBI.
    And even more silly is their seeing Putin under every bed. Aren’t they the party of Hanoi Jane?

  102. Jack says:

    Under what authority was Trump Tower surveilled? It seems there must have been other warrants too. Unless Trump transition team were surveilled without any warrant.

  103. Cortes says:

    If those charged with ensuring the security of the state are, indeed, involved in actions promoting their own sectional interests at the expense of their professional responsibilities, how does someone at a more junior level protect himself from being set up as a patsy if things start to look pear-shaped? Is an “underground railroad” already in existence for people who are beginning to wonder if they’re being measured for an orange jumpsuit? Is the Administration currently offering a way for penitents to “come to Jesus?”

  104. I’m aware of that, but I can’t remember whether that was established on Adam Carter’s Web site or dismissed. I’m too lazy right now to follow up.
    OK, not so lazy…
    Here is Carter’s last update on Flood:
    IMPORTANT: Before getting into the details of Warren Flood – please be clear on one critical fact: There is a good chance that he’s completely innocent. – Even if he was involved, it’s an issue for government officials, FBI, etc. to resolve, please do NOT harass Warren Flood because of this report stating that Warren Flood “appears” to have done something… all we know for certain is that someone used an account with that name.
    The corpus/language analyses carried out also show Guccifer 2.0’s communications lacks a subtle trait that appears to be present in Flood’s writing elsewhere. It seems that it was likely somebody else taking care of communicating and likely managing the overall operation.
    The above statement supercedes and overrides any assertions expressed on this page or anywhere else on this site on the subject of any attribution to Warren Flood.
    End Quote
    Basically there’s nothing establishing Flood as being involved. However, the fact the documents appear to be based on government docs certainly is evidence that it wasn’t created by some Russian in Romania.

  105. Also by the way, I recommend everyone read ALL of the stuff on Adam Carter’s site, Guccifer 2.0 – Game Over:
    He exposes a lot of the cracks in the DNC “hack” hoax as well as CrowdStrike. For example, Shawn Henry, the former FBI Bureau head who is a staff member at CrowdStrike, and Robert Mueller go way back.
    So don’t expect Mueller to be investigating CrowdStrike’s behavior in the DNC affair any time soon.

  106. Marijs van Slag (@DGNeree) says:

    “most everything in there is what we already knew”
    We didn’t know that, but suspected that. Now we know.

  107. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr Puck,
    “In the end, the details will make it obvious what actually happened.”
    Translation = in the end, I hope I can perform the troll duties my handlers pay me to; which are to obfuscate and confuse the truth that Obama and Clinton are behind a conspiracy to hijack the democratic process in the 2016 presidential election. I will seize upon any little detail I can, no matter how trivial or irrelevant, to distort the larger picture and when that fails I will outright lie. Whatever it takes.

  108. Fred says:

    “Raft of the Medusa”. Yes quite a tale. The captain of the disaster appointe during the Bourbon restoration. Kind of like the wreck of DOJ and FBI caused by the leadership of the Borg Restoration today.

  109. Thomas says:

    “Is the Administration currently offering a way for penitents to “come to Jesus?”
    They should starting with Jim Clapper by offering an immunity for testimony deal otherwise he will be primary target number one.
    Also they should grant conditional pardons to Bush and Obama with the stipulations, that if they lie in their depositions it becomes null and void and, these won’t be made public until seven years after their passing from the earth. This way the flood from the breaking dam can be somewhat controlled, and while both of those men are responsible for what happened on their watch, the main targets should be the second and third tier appointees. As this story unfolds the recurring theme will be key individuals worked for both administrations.

  110. Mark Logan says:

    One thing I noticed in the cite presented to us by Rhondda is the artist had the actual ship’s carpenter who had built the raft build him a model for his painting. The odds he just happened to be one of the survivors seem long to me. More likely great care was taken with him so he could fix their raft, which all but certainly needed a lot fixing of from time to time, Neptune loves to rip apart the constructs of man*. We can but pray for a comparable level of collective wisdom.
    *Also, the more expensive the sun glasses the more Neptune covets them. Another story…

  111. joe dupont says:

    Well that hate trump don’t care about the memo… but they will as their susper stars start going to Jail.

  112. Eric Newhill says:

    It may be shaping up that the FBI will try to save itself by tossing Steele and Clinton off the raft and to the sharks.
    It might go like this; “Hey Steele used to be impeccable so we trusted him. We had no idea what was going on behind the scenes w/ the Clinton campaign. In retrospect we should have verified the dossier better instead of relying on Steele performing to his previous impeccable standards. We are taking measures to make sure this never happens again”

  113. richard says:

    Why didn’t they verify and etch?? Because they knew
    they didn’t have to. A lot of “winks”, they all know
    each other, and owe their jobs to their “bosses”.Just
    business as usual.

  114. Daniel Good says:

    The most important point of the Memo is the revelation of the obsession with Carter Page. Team Mueller placed all its hopes on this one somewhat flakey investment banker with contacts with Russia. The full legal arsenal was used on this genial banker. Apparently he is the only “Russia” connection they have, the others all gone down in flames. This shows clearly that the entire investigation is a sham.

  115. EC says:

    Not in ‘good time.’ This shit is taking entirely too long to unwind. The dossier was an attempt to remove Trump from office but it’s not because of anything he’s done but rather to cover up extreme abuses by the DHS/FBI/CIA/DARPA. Trump better pull his head out of his arse soon and act. The country is about to collapse.

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