I guess that Carter Page’s identity as an undercover FBI employee is the classified information that the Democrats are trying to hide from the #FisaMemo. Too bad that the NY Times revealed his secret identity in April of 2017.
At about the same time the FISA warrant was authorized to surveil Carter Page, someone in the FBI or DOJ leaked information about a FISA warrant in connection with the investigation of Russian bank activity between the server in Trump Tower. Since the FBI reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just 11 days before the 2016 election, this leak looks like an “insurance policy” to protect the FBI’s reputation by making sure that Mr. Trump did not win the election.
The #FISA Collusion scandal reminds me of the tactics of J. Edgar Hoover. Wikipedia describes him this way.
He was found to have exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI, and to have used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, and to collect evidence using illegal methods. Hoover consequently amassed a great deal of power and was in a position to intimidate and threaten sitting presidents.
Wow, doesn’t that sound familiar! Sara Carter says a classified report alleges extensive ‘FISA Abuse’ related to the controversial dossier. We already know from the Top Secret FISA Court Order that someone in the FBI allowed a private contractor run unsupervised “FISA-702 Queries”. These are tactics J. Edgar Hoover would approve of. Maybe we can save FISA by firing some people. A good first step is to #ReleaseTheMemo.
As a person who has been selected for three juries, I am puzzled at the staffing decisions by Mr. Mueller. As a juror, I do not want my time wasted by a prosecution’s case tainted with apparent bias. Bias is a pretty good reason for a juror to say no to the “beyond a reasonable doubt question”. If Mr. Mueller is pursuing the same blind justice that does give a whit about politics, Mr. Mueller’s staff must be beyond reproach. This is not rocket science.
Why did Mr. McCabe, Ms. Rhee, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Page, and Mr. Strzok not recuse themselves from this case?
Although Glenn Kessler makes a good argument that Mr. Mueller “is legally barred from discriminating career appointees based on political affiliation”, there is nothing prohibiting the aforementioned people from recusing themselves because of apparent bias. This would have been the right thing for them to do. Since Mr. Mueller replaced them without much effort we have to assume that qualified lawyers exist without the political baggage. Why not start off with them? Are there any adults at the Department of Justice? Is this the same culture of corruption problem we have seen at the Department of Justice for the last eight years?
If the Department of Justice cannot police themselves should we allow Section 702 of the Patriot Act to be renewed without substantial reform?
In the past, I was willing to believe the Department of Justice would do the right thing and not abuse the special privileges granted in the Patriot Act. My position on the Patriot Act has evolved. Last year I wondered whether the Fusion GPS Dossier Weaponize The FBI? I now believe that the primary motive for FISA warrant in October of 2016 was to discredit the Trump Campaign. The FISA warrant was not about catching spies or terrorists. It was about using the power of the government to punish a political opponent. If the folks at the Department of Justice cannot play nicely with these powers, we need some adults in the room to keep the kids out of trouble. Now is a good time to listen to Amash, Paul, and Others Trying to Stop Congress from Expanding Domestic Surveillance Powers.
I am still trying to get my head around the possible impact of the dossier in getting FISA warrants. It looks like dossier weaponized the FBI for political purposes. Almost immediately after a FISA warrant was attained to wiretap the Trump Tower in October of 2016, it was disclosed to Louise Mensch. The FBI had a history of integrity but the timing of this leak was so out of character. Now their integrity looks in peril. As I argued in the post, The #Obamagate Motive, it looks the primary objective of the FISA warrant was to discredit the Trump Campaign. In hindsight, it made the FISA court judges like a bunch of fools. This is not going to end well for the FBI!
Can Anyone Make The FBI Look Professional Again?
If the dossier played any role in the FISA warrants, I am not sure all the kings men can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Director Comey and the FBI shredded the integrity of the FBI and for what? How does anyone including the FISA judges trust the FBI again? The fact that the dossier was funded by the Democratic party shows how far the FBI reputation has fallen. The FBI should have known who funded the dossier. Investigating is something the FBI is supposed to be good at. I would think that the last thing the FBI wanted on their resume was that they acquired any FISA warrant based on Democratic Party funded opposition research. If the dossier is all the FBI had, It makes the case that President Trump did the right thing in firing Director Comey. The fact that the dossier was circulated in the government is an embarrassment to the FBI and a source of amusement for the Kremlin. I am sorry but I am not sure anyone can make the FBI look professional again.
The question whether #Obamagate is a real scandal is officially settled. With multiple sources confirming that Susan Rice was the person who unmasked multiple people, it became an order of magnitude easier to link this scandal with its logical predecessor, Watergate. The surveillance of the Trump campaign and the subsequent leaks sounds vaguely familiar to the “dirty tricks” practiced by the Nixon administration. Wikipedia gives us this description:
Those activities included such “dirty tricks” as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides also ordered investigations of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Ms. Farkas made it pretty clear the Trump team was being surveiled and recommended that the information should be leaked. Since an indictment or impeachment did not occur we have to assume the primary motive of Ms. Farkas and her friends was to discredit the Trump administration. That sure sounds like “dirty tricks” that Nixon would approve of. Ms. Rice did her part and unmasked people from the Trump campaign. Although this may not have been illegal per se it was instrumental for the person who committed a felony by leaking the unmasked Flynn information to the press. The Obama legacy is now being written by congressional investigators using Watergate as their model.
I was watching Louise Mensch explain what she said and did not say about the FISA warrant when it struck me. Why did someone leak this information to her? What was the plan? My first thought was that if she had published her article a little earlier it could have rescued the floundering Clinton campaign. Oops!
The Primary Objective Of The FISA Warrant Was To Discredit The Trump Campaign
Over the last couple of days, I heard Mr. Comey and Mr. Clapper deny that the government spied on the Trump campaign. If we take them at their word then why did they allow the FISA warrant to go forward for “possible financial and banking offenses”? Mr. McCarthy found it extremely odd that they would use a FISA warrant for criminal activities. The simplest most straight forward answer is that the FISA warrant request was never expected to collect any useful information. The plan was to leak the FISA warrant request. If it was leaked in the last week of the campaign, it just might be enough to turn the tide for the Clinton campaign. It was a political hail mary pass for the floundering Clinton presidential campaign. Best of all President Obama, Mr. Comey, and Mr. Clapper had plausible deniability. It would have been the perfect plan if Louise had published a little bit earlier.
On Sunday morning Mr. Levin laid out his argument on Fox and Friends that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. The administration maintains that it was looking for inappropriate contacts by the Trump campaign with Russian officials. This domestic spying operation started in January of 2016 and continued through the end of the Obama administration. At least six agencies were involved and there were two applications for FISA warrants. Considering that there are no indictments you have to wonder you have to wonder whether the FISA court was deliberately misled. Twitter is following this story under the hashtag, #ObamaGate, due to a similar abuse of power in Watergate. Mr. McCarthy in the article, FISA and The Trump Team, expressed this concern when he said:
The idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.
At this time we have to assume the FISA warrant was used by the Administration for political purposes.
Here is the link to Levin’s clip on Fox And Friends, http://video.foxnews.com/v/5348359459001.
For those looking for more information on this subject, “Tapping Trump?” is an excellent summary of the events. The article that broke this story is “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia“.
If we are to believe that the Judicial Department and the NSA are bastions of reasonableness, who approved the Trump Tower #wiretap and why? I am hoping that this is fake news but considering the Flynn leak was classified information you have every right to be suspicious. This action has to be at least as stupid as Ms. Clinton having a private email server, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and Ms. Rice going on five Sunday morning talk shows and saying the YouTube movie caused the Benghazi attack. At some point, you have to start prosecuting to cut down on the stupidity.