Tag Archives: national security

Nunes Memo Released by President Trump | Cites 1970’s law for releasing classified information | Feb 02 2018

FACT CHECK: Read The GOP Memo Released By House Intelligence Committee

|| NPR

“A memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance authority became public on Friday after a push by House Republicans. President Trump authorized the memo’s release, even after the FBI expressed “grave concerns” about the “accuracy” of the document, authored by House intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

NPR journalists who cover the Justice Department, the White House and national security have annotated the White House’s authorization letter and the memo itself.

January 18, 2018
Declassified by order of the President on February 2, 2018
To: HPSCI Majority Members
From: HPSCI Majority Staff

The Nunes memo, as it has come to be known, was compiled by members of the Republican staff on the House intelligence committee. On Monday, the committee voted along party lines to release the memo.

Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Purpose

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard ­— particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

  1. Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
  2. The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actor were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of — and paid by — the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News — and several other outlets — in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.”

…..Continue reading more @ NPR with NPR commentary on the memo

Comey, Yates, McCabe, Rosenstein All Signed Off On Misleading FISA Applications

|| Daily Caller

“A number of top FBI and Justice Department officials neglected to provide essential information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when applying for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to the House Intelligence Committee memo produced Friday.

The memo states that Former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, and former Attorney General Sally Yates were all required to sign off on the FISC warrant application before it was reviewed and ultimately approved.

“As required by statute (50 U.S.C.), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the ISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications,” the memo reads.

The memo further claims those officials were aware at the time of their signing that the unsubstantiated Steele opposition research dossier, which was included to bolster their warrant application, was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign; but the application did not include that information.

While the memo asserts the dossier was used in the initial warrant application, it does not specify if it was used in the three successive applications to extend the warrant, which must be filed every 90 days and must include new evidence to support probable cause. The aforementioned four senior agents signed off at various points throughout the roughly one year Page was under surveillance.

The importance of the infamous Steele dossier is demonstrated clearly in the memo, which cites McCabe as having testified that the warrant to surveil Page would not have been approved without the politically funded opposition research.

“Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information”

President Donald Trump indicated he was open to the possibility of firing Rosenstein due to his role in failing to disclose the political funding behind the salacious Steele dossier on the FBI’s FISC warrant application.

“Does it make you more likely to fire Rosenstein? Do you still have confidence in him?” Trump was asked by reporters in the oval office Friday after the highly anticipated memo was released.

“You figure that one out,” Trump responded, according to the White House press pool.”

…Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

 

Did the CIA Break the Law to Take Out Flynn? | Feb 15, 2017

CIA broke the law to take out its critic General Flynn

– American Thinker

“Make no mistake: we have just witnessed an operation by members of the CIA to take out a high official of our own government.  An agency widely believed to have brought down democratically elected governments overseas is now practicing the same dark arts in domestic American politics.  Almost certainly, its new head, Mike Pompeo, was not consulted.

Senator Chuck Schumer, of all people, laid out on January 2 what was going to happen to the Trump administration if it dared take on the deep state – the permanent bureaucracy that has contempt for the will of the voters and feels entitled to run the government for its own benefit:

New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Or, as the old rueful saying has it, “you’ve got to go along to get along.”  This means that we the people had better acknowledge that the bureaucrats have turned into our masters, and the old expression “public servant” is as ironic as anything Orwell came up with.  Schumer knows this and likes it, because the deep state wants a bigger, more powerful government, just as he does.

Note that the law was broken by whoever leaked the transcripts to the media.  Not only is the crime underlying the “scandal” being ignored, but the criminals are being hailed.  On Morning Joe‘s first hour today, the host, a former congressman (i.e., a lawmaker) himself, called the leakers “heroes.”

This interference in domestic politics by the CIA should be regarded as a major threat to our democracy, but of course our Trump-hating domestic media are reveling in a major point scored against the new president.

David P. Goldman (aka Spengler), writing on PJ Media, explains the level of hatred the CIA has for Flynn for daring to take on its spectacular failures:

… the CIA has gone out of its way to sandbag Flynn at the National Security Council. As Politico reports: “On Friday, one of Flynn’s closest deputies on the NSC, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.” Townley held precisely the same security clearance at the Department of Defense for seventeen years, yet he was blackballed without explanation. At DoD, Townley had a stellar reputation as a Middle East and Africa expert, and the denial of his clearance is hard to explain except as bureaucratic backstabbing.

… Gen. Flynn is the hardest of hardliners with respect to Russia within the Trump camp. In his 2016 book Field of Fight (co-authored with PJ Media’s Michael Ledeen), Flynn warned of “an international alliance of evil movements and countries that is working to destroy us[.] … The war is on. We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.” The unsubstantiated allegation that he presides over a “leaky” National Security Council tilting towards Russia makes no sense. The only leaks of which we know are politically motivated reports coming from the intelligence community designed to disrupt the normal workings of a democratic government – something that raises grave constitutional issues.

Flynn is the one senior U.S. intelligence officer with the guts to blow the whistle on a series of catastrophic intelligence and operational failures. The available facts point to the conclusion that elements of the humiliated (and perhaps soon-to-be-unemployed) intelligence community is trying to exact vengeance against a principled and patriotic officer[.] … The present affair stinks like a dumpster full of dead rats.

This last point is critical.  The entire “scandal” is based on innuendo.  Flynn tripped over his own feet by misinforming Vice President Pence on the nature of his call and allowing the veep to issue a too sweeping denial of any discussion.  If Flynn had said in his conversation with the Russian ambassador that we will discuss the sanctions after Trump takes office, he might well have told Pence that they did not discuss the sanctions.  And the CIA leakers could have used the appearance of the word “sanctions” in their transcript to brand Pence a liar.  We don’t know, and for some reason, nobody is gaining access to the actual transcripts so that we may see the content.  Perhaps the congressional investigations to come will gain access.  But Flynn is now gone, and media memes have been firmly planted in the public mind.

The Flynn Affair is a huge scandal, all right.  But the media are misdirecting our attention toward the lesser dimension while they studiously ignore the real threat to our democracy.”

….Continue reading @ American Thinker

 

Lake: ‘Permanent State’ Destroyed Mike Flynn ‘from the Cloak of Anonymity’

– Breitbart

Eli Lake writes in Bloomberg View that the leaks leading to the resignation of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn are an alarming, weaponized use of “tightly held government secrets.” He likens the intelligence community’s actions to that of a police state.

From Bloomberg:

The point here is that for a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it’s strange that Flynn’s “lie” to Pence would get him fired. It doesn’t add up.

It’s not even clear that Flynn lied. He says in his resignation letter that he did not deliberately leave out elements of his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when he recounted them to Vice President Mike Pence. The New York Times and Washington Post reported that the transcript of the phone call reviewed over the weekend by the White House could be read different ways. One White House official with knowledge of the conversations told me that the Russian ambassador raised the sanctions to Flynn and that Flynn responded that the Trump team would be taking office in a few weeks and would review Russia policy and sanctions. That’s neither illegal nor improper.

There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.”

….Continue reading @ Breitbart

 

Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn

– NY Post

“It might seem bizarre to say that an administration only 23 days old needed a fresh start, but look: If Adele can stop 45 seconds into a live performance at the Grammys and begin again, so too can Donald Trump. The departure of Michael Flynn from the White House could be Trump’s Adele moment.

The chaos and infighting and unforced errors at 1600 Penn that have left everyone dizzied may be viewed as rookie mistakes to be overcome by on-the-job training. So it was for Bill Clinton’s White House, which also began horribly in 1993 — and needed a whole bunch of departures and reassignments to steady itself, not just a single change.

But what happened with Flynn also represents a frightening portent.

Leftists have become fond of saying that Trump shouldn’t be “normalized.” That concern should now go both ways. Every American should be equally concerned at the potential “normalization” of the tactics used by unnamed government officials to do Flynn in.

To be sure, Flynn’s ouster after three weeks is proof positive he should never have been given the national security adviser job in the first place. Flynn’s deceits about his conversations with a Russian official cannot be viewed in isolation from the overly close relationship with the Russian government he forged following his firing by the Obama administration in 2013.

Still, unelected bureaucrats with access to career-destroying materials clearly made the decision that what Flynn did or who Flynn was merited their intervention — and took their concerns to the press.

In one sense, the larger system of American checks and balances worked: The Trump White House couldn’t ignore the Flynn problems because they went public. On the other hand, the officials who made the problems public did so using raw information that was in their possession for reasons we don’t yet know and may not have any right whatsoever to know.

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

This is the ultimate Pandora’s box. It makes a public mockery of the presumption of innocence that is the hallmark of our legal system. Such a thing is only acceptable, even morally, if you believe that the Trump White House represents such an unprecedented threat to everything that a higher law must govern your actions.

It would be pretty to think so, but we also know that Flynn had an antagonistic relationship with America’s intelligence agencies. If these leaks came about not out of high principle but because officials at those agencies were taking out a potential adversary, that is nothing more or less than a monstrous abuse of power.

And that’s true even if Flynn is guilty of something. But we can’t know if he’s guilty of something unless he’s charged with a crime and tried in the courts. That’s how law works.”

…..Continue reading @ NY Post

Who’s ‘guarding’ US? Terrorists and murderers working ‘Security’ in the USA | June 2016

CNN Finds Somali War Criminal Working Security at Dulles International

– ProgressivesToday

The Orlando Muslim Terrorist was also working as a security guard at Florida Courthouse for a British Security firm.

“CNN has found an alleged war criminal from Somalia now working in the United States as an airport security guard.

Yusuf Abdi Ali was a commander during the Somali Civil War during the 1980s and has been accused of ordering the torture and executions of civilians in what has been called a genocide.

When CNN found out that he was living and working in the United States, they sent a crew to his workplace, Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia, just minutes from Washington, D.C. The film crew found a man matching Ali’s description working security and began asking him questions.

How did Yusuf Abdi Ali get into the United States in the first place, let alone, get a high security job at a D.C. airport?”

…See more @ ProgressivesToday

Question: Why are unvetted foreigners with badges and guns working security in the United States? How is it foreigners have the ability to deny US Citizens consitutional rights on a daily basis?