Outcry over the Nunes memo is damning for Democrats and FBI
|| theHill.com | Jonathan Turley
“The release of the four-page memo by the House Intelligence Committee has triggered preset responses from both sides. The memo is, in fact, enlightening in a number of respects. However, the most alarming elements may be what it does not contain.
First, it is important to start with what we previously knew. At the heart of this controversy is the dossier that was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, and Fusion GPS with funding from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Previously, Clinton’s top campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, and former campaign chairman, John Podesta, denied any connection to the dossier. After news stores confirmed the funding, Elias and Clinton herself admitted that they did fund this effort.
Second, we knew that Steele shopped the information in the dossier to various reporters to try to get them published during the election. Third, the contents of this dossier were so unverified that virtually all of the reporters declined to run the story during the campaign.
The memo confirms that top FBI officials, including former director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, used the dossier to secure secret surveillance targeting a U.S. citizen. That citizen was Carter Page, an aide to the presidential candidate of the party opposing the Obama administration. Comey signed off on multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications targeting Page.
The memo states that the applications never mentioned that the dossier was funded in significant part by the Clinton campaign, even though high-ranking officials knew about that funding. That would obviously be highly material to judging the value of the information. To make matters worse, Steele admitted to FBI agent Bruce Orr, who was later demoted, that he hated Trump and was “desperate that not be elected and was passionate about his not being president.”
Pro-Trump rally draws 2,000 marchers, some protesters and a fight
| OC Register
“HUNTINGTON BEACH – A “Make America Great Again” march in support of President Trump drew about 2,000 people to Bolsa Chica State Beach, including protesters.
At one point, a fight broke out and a protester pepper sprayed several marchers, including the organizer. Three people were arrested.
Earlier in the day, march organizers said they were hoping for peace.
“I’m not just here in support of Trump, but our vets, military, police officers and emergency responders,” said Darlene Savord of Tustin, one of the organizers.
The march, one of several around the nation, drew about 2,000 people, according to Bolsa Chica State Park officials. The event, a sea of American flags and the red MAGA hats popular in Trump’s campaign, was billed as kid-friendly and family-oriented.
But it was held at a time when strong disagreements have led to confrontations between Trump supporters and detractors.
Eric Sewell, who supports Trump, said he was more interested in having a dialogue than a heated dispute.
“I wanted to come here to talk, not to have fights on the street,” Sewell said. “Not everyone on the right is a hater.”
Some of the protesters wore black masks to avoid being identified on social media. But Christian Cole of Irvine removed his mask to talk to Sewell.
“I came here to hold a sign, play some music and win some hearts,” Cole said. “Fighting was not on my mind.”
The march began at Warner Avenue and PCH, and extended along a two-mile stretch of the bike path.
At one point, about 10 protesters stood across the bike path, creating a human wall to stop the march. The marchers either pushed through or walked around them.
The clash was immediately documented on social media.
Photo credit: Gatewaypundit.com
John Beaman, a 54-year-old Trump supporter from Tustin, said he and other marchers were trying to peacefully proceed when things got ugly.
A masked protester pepper sprayed march organizer Jennifer Sterling. Soon after that, Beaman said, a crowd bearing American flags chased the protester into a parking lot. The protester jumped over a fence and was arrested.
“This is frustrating because we are trying to claim the higher ground here,” Beaman said.
Jordan Hoiberg from Newport Beach said the protester wielded the pepper spray in self defense.
“We were expecting it to be more peaceful,” said Hoiberg, a member of the Socialist Party USA, one of the protest organizers. “We were not about to start something when we are 10 people and they are a thousand. That would be suicidal.”
Capt. Kevin Pearsall of the California State Parks Police said three people were arrested on suspicion of illegal use of pepper spray. Two people suffered minor injuries, he said.”
Harsh portrayal of hometown Congressman Devin Nunes riles neighbors and friends in Tulare California
| The Fresno Bee
“Nunes & Sons dairy north of Tulare, where embattled local congressman Devin Nunes learned the dairy business as a youth, is feeding and milking Jersey cows 24 hours a day.
Jersey cows produce more milk fat than other dairy breeds, making the milk worth more. But a detail like that is easy to lose sight of, and the image of cows with huge udders ready for milking makes it easy for the national media to portray the leader of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as, well, maybe not up to the task when the controversy involved alleged Russian attempts to disrupt an American presidential contest.
That’s a view that plain annoys farmer Brian Watte of Tulare. He grows cotton, alfalfa, black-eyed peas and pistachio trees, and has known Nunes well before he was elected to Congress more than 14 years ago.
“This B.S. that he milks cows from Podunk and shouldn’t be on the intelligence committee – c’mon,” Watte said. “It’s just a continuation of, I guess, Trump’s election. They need to get over it.”
In the agricultural community of Tulare, the Nunes family is known for working hard and speaking plainly, Watte said: “There’s no beating around the bush. They are straight ahead. What you see is what you get.”
Nunes, whose district has been safely Republican with a 43-33 percent voter registration advantage for the GOP over Democrats, lives in Tulare and often comes home to see his family.
The Nuneses live in a gated community named Presidential Estates, where a three-bedroom, three-bath home lists for $340,000.
Judy Medcalf, a retired piano teacher, is a neighbor who rejects the national media’s negative portrayal of the congressman.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” she said Friday as she and her husband, Robert, a retired pastor, exited through the entry gate to Presidential Estates. “Washington is a broken thing, and I think it’s more of the same. I think we need to get past all this stuff and work for the common good of America.”
Like other neighbors of Nunes, she complained about the protesters who two weeks ago occupied sidewalks outside the gated neighborhood and made a lot of noise using a bullhorn.
“I support the First Amendment,” she said. But “to come where a person lives. I don’t see the point of that.” Holding public office is a sacrifice, and Nunes’ children have the right to feel safe at their home, she said.
“Devin is a fine person. He’s a good father,” she said. “I see him out with his children.”
Carlos Holguin, 73, a semi-retired contractor who has done cement work for Nunes’ dairies and ran into Nunes on a trip to Washington, D.C., lives next to the gated community.
“I’m kind of a Nunes fan or whatever you want to call it,” he said. “He’s a person who stands behind what he says … Quite a few people around here like him.”
The negative criticism of Nunes is off-base, he said.
“People are talking without knowing anything,” he said. “Democrats are sticking with Democrats. They won’t open their ears.”
Nunes represents the 22nd Congressional District, which includes Tulare, Visalia, Clovis and part of Fresno. He always has had strong support from the region’s farmers and agricultural industry. Last year, he won re-election by capturing 68 percent of the vote.
A group called Together We Will Fresno said it is helping to identify and support a Democratic challenger to Nunes and is raising money to try to turn the red district blue.
“Nunes’ sophomoric and apparently partisan stunt today is further indication that he is out of his depth on the Intelligence Committee,” Michael D. Evans, chairman of the Fresno County Democratic Party, said earlier this week. “Nunes has now used a national platform to embarrass not only himself but also his Central Valley district.”
But even those in Tulare who didn’t vote for Nunes shy away from that kind of rhetoric.
Ramon Cervantes, 71, who lives in the neighborhood next to Nunes’ home, said he’s not a Republican, but “I would not insult him. I’ve been in the military. Even if I don’t like my first sergeant, I respect the rank.
“My advice to him is to look at the bigger picture,” he said. “He gets information, then he goes to Trump when he’s supposed to share it with the Democrats. All eyes are on this and you do something like that?”
Jim Dokken, 70, of Tulare, a retired farm equipment sales general manager, said Nunes made a mistake.
“I like the guy,” Dokken said. “In this instance, I think he made an error in judgment.”
Nunes apologized to fellow committee members for not telling them first about how communications of members of the Trump presidential transition team, and maybe Trump himself, may have been monitored by intelligence agencies.
Nunes may be the hometown congressman, but life goes on and not everyone is watching the nation’s capital and the congressman’s struggles.
Kelsey De La Garza, 28, is a graduate of Tulare Western High and employed as a waiter who voted for Hillary Clinton and didn’t cast a vote for Congress. He was taking a power walk Friday in Blain Park across the street from Nunes’ neighborhood.
“I’ve seen his name posted everywhere on Facebook,” he said. “Something about surveillance.”
Meanwhile, Donahue Green, who lives across the street from Presidential Estates, was washing his golf cart.
“I’m not into politics. I’m a retired pastor,” he said. “I just pray for him. That’s all I can do.”
NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the NSA is spying on “all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House.”
Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.
“They’re taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind,” Binney said.
“That’s the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens,” he said. “Everything we’re doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it.”
“Inside NSA there are a set of people who are — and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this — they’re inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House,” Binney said.
“And all this data is inside the NSA in a small group where they’re looking at it. The idea is to see what people in power over you are going to — what they think, what they think you should be doing or planning to do to you, your budget, or whatever so you can try to counteract before it actually happens,” he said.
“I mean, that’s just East German,” Tucker responded.”
Yahoo holds key to FBI probe of Hillary-Huma emails
“Yahoo.com holds the key to determining just how severely Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton may have violated national-security laws with emails that Huma forwarded to herself at firstname.lastname@example.org, which ended up on a laptop owned by her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
The FBI has the legal authority to force Yahoo to disclose whether IPs belonging to third parties, including foreign third parties, had access to read in real time – and in non-redacted form – emails that Abedin forwarded to email@example.com that ended up on Wiener’s laptop.
On Aug. 29, WND reported two-thirds of Abedin’s released emails were forwarded to personal addresses she controlled.
In August, WND realized that anyone with Abedin’s Yahoo email account username and password could have accessed firstname.lastname@example.org to read in real time – and in a non-redacted form – all State Department emails, including those with classified information that Abedin forwarded to herself.
As WND reported Sept. 6, several of the emails Abedin forwarded to her account at email@example.com were found to contain such highly sensitive material that the State Department redacted 100 percent of the content pages, marking many pages with a bold stamp reading “PAGE DENIED.
Huma’s complex use of firstname.lastname@example.org
Careful analysis of the Huma Abedin emails, released to Judicial Watch on August 17, made WND aware in August and September that in addition to Huma Abedin forwarding an estimated two-thirds of all State Department emails written by her and/or addressed to her to email@example.com, Secretary Clinton and others in the State Department freely used firstname.lastname@example.org in transmitting and receiving State Department emails.
The most typical example of Abedin forwarding a State Department email to herself can be seen in an email obtained by Judicial Watch dated May 19, 2009, in which Abedin, using her State Department secure email account at “Abedin, Huma, <AbedinH@state.gov>” forwarded to
“humamabedin[redacted] an email sent to her by Kenneth H. Merten, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department.
A second variation involved Abedin using her email address on Secretary Clinton’s private server, “Huma Abedin [Huma@clintonemail.com],” to forward an email to Abedin via her private Yahoo account at humamabedin@Yahoo.com, as seen in another email dated June 23, 2009.
That Clinton and Abedin sent State Department emails to Abedin insecure, offline Yahoo.com email account appears to be a clear violation of national-security laws regarding the handling of classified information.
The violation is compounded if the emails were downloaded to a laptop or other electronic device owned by or shared by Weiner because access to Weiner’s email usernames and passwords, either by consent or as a result of hacking, would have allowed access to State Department emails Clinton and Abedin sent to email@example.com.
If the FBI obtains information from Yahoo.com that unauthorized IP addresses, possibly some of which might be foreign IP addresses, then the national security crimes under investigation might reach to espionage and/or treason charges, depending in large part on whether or not Abedin and/or others released username and password access consensually, in order to allow unauthorized IP reader access to State Department emails in real-time and a non-redacted format.
– Note, setting up an email account for auto-forwarding is not an automatic or default setting. It is a deliberate act. No doubt that fact set off the alarm bells at the FBI. Huma Abedin left a trail to an archive of emails that she and Hillary had thought they had destroyed.
That archive was essentially open to all capable hackers as well as foreign entities. This was a huge breach of government security. This was deliberate.
Also interesting that TruePundit.com seems to have gotten this right back in September in the article below and got little press about it. Too bad, but cool for TruePundit. /CJ
Clinton Aide Huma Abedin Forwarded Classified & Top Secret Emails to Yahoo & Webmail linked to Anthony Weiner
– Truepundit | Sep 2016
“Hillary Clinton’s closest personal aide often sent classified and top secret State Dept. emails to her personal email accounts, according to documents released by the FBI.
Huma Abedin told FBI agents in an April interview that she didn’t know how to consistently print documents or emails from her secure Dept. of State system. Instead, she would forward the sensitive emails to:
Her personal Clinton.com email address
Her personal yahoo.com address
Her email linked to husband Anthony Weiner
Abedin said, according to FBI documents, she would then access those email accounts via webmail from an unclassified computer system at the State Dept. and print the documents, many of which were classified and top secret, from the largely unprotected webmail portals.
Clinton did not have a computer in her office on Mahogany Row at the State Dept. so she was not able to read timely intelligence unless it was printed out for her, Abedin said. Abedin also said Clinton could not operate the secure State Dept. fax machine installed in her Chappaqua, NY home without assistance.
Perhaps more alarming, according to the FBI’s 302 Report detailing its interview with Abedin, none of the multiple FBI agents and Justice Department officials who conducted the interview pressed Abedin to further detail the email address linked to Weiner. There was never a follow up, according to the 302 report.”
“Has Secretary Clinton asked Huma Abedin what was on that laptop?”
“There’s credible reporting out there that this came from the laptop of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin,” he continued. “Why on Earth wouldn’t Hillary Clinton say to her closest personal aide, was there any stuff on your laptop, and what was it?”
Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, spent Sunday morning giving interviews about FBI Director James Comey’s decision to make public the new developments in Clinton’s private email server investigation.
And that was bad news for Huma Abedin.
While being questioned by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Mook dodged questions about Hillary and her top aide.
“I’m asking you a direct question,” the “Fox News Sunday” host posed to Mook. “Has Secretary Clinton asked Huma Abedin what was on that laptop that she shared with her husband Anthony Weiner?”
House Intelligence Chair Nunes R-CA: Clinton left classified papers in Russia, China
– Washington Examiner
“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes charged Monday that Hillary Clinton left sensitive documents while traveling overseas, and demanded an answer to those charges by the middle of this week.
In one incident uncovered in Freedom of Information Act requests, according to Nunes, Clinton “left classified documents in her hotel room in China and that U.S. Marine Corps security officials filed a report related to the possible compromise of the documents.”
In another case, he said a Clinton aide “was counseled by Diplomatic Security officers because she brought Clinton’s classified briefing book into a hotel room in Russia and a classified document from the briefing book was left in the hotel room after her departure.”
Nunes asked Comey to inform Congress how many incidents the FBI investigated had turned up instances where Clinton or her staff “mishandled” classified documents while overseas, as well as any “damage assessment” performed by the FBI about mishandled secret material.”