Friday, January 24, 2020

Russian to Gate to Shampeachment

Some interesting developments in the Spygate side of things. The William Barr DOJ has declared that at least the two final Carter Page FISA applications were unlawfully obtained, and is refusing to defend the first two. All of a sudden, there's a lot of fruit of the poisonous tree running around in all the investigations the FBI and DOJ have made since the third FISA warrant was obtained, and potentially going back even further, should someone care enough to challenge it. Remember the two hop rule? You can surveil the person the FISA warrant was obtained on, you can surveil anyone they talked to, and you can surveil anyone their contacts talked to. I don't know about you, but I know at least one guy that could be within a hop. Anyway, links. John Sexton at Hot Air, Justice Department Concludes It Lacked Legal Basis For Surveillance Of Carter Page, Matt Margolis, PJ Media, FISA Court Admits Spy Warrants Against Carter Page Were 'Not Valid', Nice Deb at AmGreat, DOJ: At Least Two of FBI’s Four FISA Warrants ‘WERE NOT VALID’, Sundance at CTH, DOJ Admits Two FISA Applications Lacked Cause – FISA Court Requests Information on Consequences: What Other Prosecutions Relied on the Invalid Warrants?… Matt Zapotosky at WaPoo minimizes the findings this morning on page 6 with Justice Dept. concedes it had ‘insufficient’ cause to continue monitoring former Trump campaign adviser in Russia probe. Even CIA mouthpiece David Ignatius was more forward in While we’re talking about abuse of power, let’s look at the FBI
"But accountability can’t become a partisan issue, or we’re sunk as a country. So it’s especially important for President Trump’s critics, even as they make their case that he should be removed from office, to recognize that the bureau abused some of its most sensitive powers when it authorized intrusive surveillance on Trump adviser Carter Page."
So now the DOJ and FBI have the job of identifying and "firewalling" off the data collected from these two warrants (and maybe the first two as well?) and determining if they played any part in any of the prosecutions (remember, at least the final FISA warrant was issued at the behest of the Mueller team, which, was of course, a continuation of the Crossfire Hurricane team). They were pretty desperate to keep the surveillance going. Was any of this material used in the Flynn or Stone prosecutions, just as an example? Are there any legal repercussions for the DOJ and FBI officials who signed off on the "unlawful" applications? I don't remember who they were, but they almost certainly likely include Rod Rosenstein, James Comey and Andy McCabe. From sundance:
It seems likely the Mueller probe did use the Page warrant, as former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former DOJ Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein authorized the June 29, 2017, final renewal AFTER the special counsel was in place. That renewal has been admitted as invalid. There could be considerable consequences.
This could get real interesting. Also interesting but not too surprising, from "Tyler Durnden" at Zero Hedge, Russiagate Spy Paid $1 Million By Obama Was WaPo Deep Throat
Stephan Halper, the longtime CIA and FBI operative who conducted espionage on the 2016 Trump campaign, was feeding information to Washington Post reporter David Ignatius through his handler, according to The Federalist, which describes his actions as "more evidence that the intelligence community has co-opted the press to push anti-Trump conspiracy theories."

According to a court filing by Michael Flynn's defense team, Halper's 'handler' in the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), Col. James Baker, "regularly lunched with the Washington Post reporter."

(Also leaking to Ignatius was Christopher Steele)
I forget where I heard this, but I remember someone saying that when David Ignatius speaks, the CIA's lips move. Sara Carter, Sen. Grassley Demands Answers From Pentagon On FBI Spy Stefan Halper’s Questionable Defense Contracts
In the letter to Baker Grassley asks a litany of questions as to Halper’s role within ONA, his contracts, his foreign contacts and whether the FBI, or other agencies, used the ONA office to pay Halper for spying on Trump campaign personnel. “Can ONA state for certain that Halper did not use taxpayer money provided by DoD to recruit, or attempt to recruit, sources for the FBI investigation into the now-debunked theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Grassley asks Baker.

Baker could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to sources familiar with the matter he has also been questioned by Durham’s investigative team. Grassley has also been looking into the matter since early 2019, when he requested that the “DoD Inspector General (IG) review allegations of mismanagement by ONA contracts for political, improper or wasteful activities.” The Senator “later sought information about ONA contracting processes following a DoD IG audit of the program, which found that ONA could not provide sufficient documentation that Halper conducted all of his work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The Pentagon issued a corrective action plan for ONA in august.”
Ace, Joel Pollack/Breitbart: Adam Schiff Appears to Have Outed Himself as the Washington Post's Source for Its First "Whistleblower"/Impeachment Narratives
An old trick -- leak to a friendly outlet, and then cite that friendly outlet's Disinterested and Objective Reportage as evidence of the claim you're making.

Which you, of course, leaked to them.

We saw a lot of this "circular reporting" with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, leaking to Yahoo and other outlets and then citing Yahoo and other outlets as objective third-party confirmation of their claims. Schiff seems to have done this.
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) may have been an anonymous source for the Washington Post as it reported allegations that have led to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Schiff may have outed himself during his opening arguments in the Senate trial of the president on Wednesday, as he cited an opinion article written by the Post editorial board -- an odd reference in a presentation of factual evidence.
Pollack explains that Schiff probably leaked to the opinion section of the Post, rather than the reportorial section, because you don't have to fact-check opinions. Newspapers get very loose with the "facts" they present in opinion sections.
I'm going to stop here, before I try to deal with Shampeachment, which not surprisingly, has generated miles of column inches in the last day.

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