Tag Archives: Lois Lerner

FBI and DOJ used Democrat-funded Steele dossier to justify wiretapping of Trump campaign

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Wow, so for some time, the mainstream media had been telling me that the FBI and DOJ, during the Obama administration, never did any surveillance of the Trump campaign at the request of the Democrats. But whenever anyone asked them to release information about the basis for their investigations of Trump, they wouldn’t reveal anything.

But Judicial Watch was on the case, and they finally managed to get heavily redacted copies of documents showing what the FBI and DOJ were doing during the election.

The basis of the FBI and DOJ surveillance of Trump campaign personnel was the Steele dossier, which was collected for Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm.

Fox News explains:

On four occasions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” former British spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion, newly released documents reveal.

Instead, the FBI suggested to the court, the September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff was independent corroboration of the salacious, unverified allegations against Trump in the infamous Steele Dossier. Federal authorities used both the Steele Dossier and Yahoo News article to convince the FISA court to authorize a surveillance warrant for Page.

But London court records show that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier.

The revelations are contained in heavily-redacted documents released over the weekend after a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the organization Judicial Watch.

The materials released by the DOJ include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications.

So, there was only one source used as the basis for the surveillance warrant request: Steele’s dossier. The articles that appeared in the mainstream media was all based on Steele himself.

Conservative Review has more on what was in the released FBI and DOJ memos:

Over 400 pages of documents related to the FISA court warrant applications to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page have been released. Now we know for certain: The unverified “Steele dossier” was used as evidence to get a warrant to spy on Page.

Though heavily redacted, the documents make clear that the FBI told the FISA court Page is a Russian agent who was betraying the United States. The dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, served as the first piece of evidence cited to allege Page coordinated with the Russians to influence the election. The FBI cited additional evidence, an article written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo news, but failed to disclose that Isikoff received his information from Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the dossier.

What does that mean? It means that the FBI presented unverified campaign opposition research to FISA court judges to spy on Page, and the judges signed off on the applications.

So, who paid for the Steele dossier?

The far-left Washington Post explains:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The FBI and DOJ didn’t tell the FISA court about who was funding the Steele dossier when they applied for the warrant. Because if they had, they would have been denied the warrant. No FISA court would approve surveillance of the Republican party if the sole basis for the warrant was uncorroborated opposition research funded by the Democrat party. In order to get the FISA warrant, the request had to be written in such a way that the funding of the Steele dossier was not revealed, and Steele was not declared to be the source of the news articles used as corroborating evidence.

Should we really have expected FBI Director James Comey to enforce the law?

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help

The Wall Street Journal explains why the FBI and DOJ exist primarily to help the Democrat Party, and not to enforce the laws of the nation. (H/T Jay Richards)

Excerpt:

The Justice Department never went to a grand jury in the case, which was needed to gather all appropriate evidence and vet the legal charges. Judge Mukasey’s judgment was vindicated on Sunday when Mr. Comey sent a letter to Congress saying that the FBI had reviewed the new emails and “we have not changed our conclusion that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

To rehearse Mr. Comey’s actions: In July he publicly exonerates Mrs. Clinton in an extraordinary press event, two weeks before she is to be nominated for President, though that is not his responsibility. He thus liberates Attorney General Loretta Lynch from her decision-making obligations as the nation’s chief prosecuting official. Later we learn Justice cut needless and generous immunity deals with Mrs. Clinton’s advisers.

Then 11 days before Election Day Mr. Comey sends a letter to Congress saying the FBI has found new email evidence. He comes under ferocious Democratic assault for meddling in the final days of the campaign. His boss, President Obama, joins the criticism and says Mrs. Clinton has already been exonerated. Then two days before the election Mr. Comey sends another letter exonerating Mrs. Clinton again. And Washington’s political class wonders why Americans don’t trust government?

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the main point of Mr. Comey’s many political interventions has always been to protect Mr. Comey’s job and political standing. Certainly Mrs. Clinton will have cause to be grateful to Mr. Comey if she wins on Tuesday. The price to the country is the damage he has done to the reputation of the FBI as an apolitical law-enforcement agency.

And this isn’t the first time that Comey has used law enforcement as weapon against conservatives:

In better news for the cause of justice related to Mr. Comey, the D.C. Court of Appeals last week reinstated Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s law license. Readers will recall that as Deputy Attorney General in the Bush Administration, Mr. Comey named his buddy Patrick Fitzgerald as a special prosecutor in connection with the leak of Valerie Plame’s CIA identity. Mr. Comey then stood by as Mr. Fitzgerald pursued Mr. Libby, who was Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, even after he knew that someone else had leaked Ms. Plame’s name.

Mr. Fitzgerald won the conviction based on testimony that a key witness, journalist Judith Miller, has since recanted. The office of the D.C. disciplinary counsel recommended that Mr. Libby’s law license be reinstated in part due to Ms. Miller’s recantation. The hyperpolitical Mr. Comey has left a trail of legal messes wherever he has worked, but at least Mr. Libby can earn a living at his chosen profession again.

Judith Miller is a former journalist for the far left New York Times (a former newspaper).

So often when I blog on these news stories, I don’t really comment about how I feel about them. I guess I should say something about how this refusal to enforce the law for the sake of career makes me feel.

What happened to the rule of law in this country? What happened is that the university classrooms in non-STEM areas became political in the last few decades. Professors in the liberal arts who went through school achieving good grades in areas of knowledge that had no value in the private sector became bitter against their culture. They were so good at agreeing with their teachers, and they got good grades for it – how could it be that they were not as wealthy as people who invented smartphones? Their reports cards assured them that they were smarter than everyone. They blamed the marketplace for their failure to succeed. And in their classrooms, they started to teach against Judeo-Christian values, the Constitution, the free enterprise system and the history of the United States. Basically, they blamed their failure to succeed as well as technical entrepreneurs on everyone but themselves, and they wanted to use government as a tool to equalize life outcomes with the people who invented things that consumers actually want to buy. It was these professors who taught the people who went into the public sector. They taught them the values of their tribe: secularism and leftism. Nothing was taught to them about the foundations that allowed Western Civilization to be great.

So, when you see people like Lois Lerner, James Comey and Loretta Lynch working for the IRS, the FBI and the DOJ, (respectively), then you must understand that they have never been taught to see their role as impartial law enforcement. They are unfamiliar with the phrase “rule of law”, and the importance of the rule of law for Western Civilization. Basically, you can go right through the Constitution, and they disagree with every sentence of it, because that’s what their secular leftists professors taught them to hate. You can’t expect secular leftists to act morally when they are given power – there is no foundation for moral behavior in a secular worldview. As my friend Ari likes to say “there is no law, there is only vendetta”. That’s what you get when you allow tax dollars to subsidize secular leftist wordsmiths in the public schools and public universities.

Democrat DOJ declines to prosecute Democrat IRS officials who persecuted conservatives

Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote testifies about being persecuted by the fascist IRS
Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote testifies about being persecuted by the fascist IRS

The latest news on the IRS scandal; the corrupt Department of Justice is refusing to file charges against the corrupt Internal Revenue Service officials who persecuted conservatives.

Breitbart News reports:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that Lois Lerner, and other IRS officials involved in targeting conservative groups’ tax exempt applications, will not have criminal charges filed against them.

[…]In a statement responding to the DOJ, [House Judiciary chairman Rep. Bob ] Goodlatte said, “At every turn President Obama and administration officials have repeatedly and publicly undermined the investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups yet today’s announcement from the Department of Justice is still very disturbing.”

The chairman continued:

I repeatedly called on then Attorney General Holder to appoint a Special Counsel to conduct the investigation to ensure a fair and thorough process but instead the investigation was led by a loyal Democratic donor. Even as far back as last year unnamed DOJ officials leaked information to the media suggesting that the Department did not plan to file criminal charges over the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

[…]When an Inspector General’s audit found that IRS agents had targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections in their applications for tax-exempt status, a firestorm ensued. Multiple investigations by congressional committees focused primarily on Lerner’s part in the activities, with investigators discovering her emails that denigrated Republicans. Subsequently, the House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress in 2014 following her refusal to answer the Oversight Committee’s questions.

In response to the DOJ’s announcement, Tea Party Patriots CEO and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said, “By failing to indict Lois Lerner, the Obama Justice Department – or, should we say, the Obama Injustice Department – is making a mockery of this ‘investigation,’ when countless American citizens, by Ms. Lerner’s own admission, were persecuted by the Internal Revenue Service.”

“This is a woman, after all, who looked into the camera at a national television audience and directly at a congressional committee and refused to answer their questions for fear of incriminating herself,” Martin continued in her statement. “This is just the latest evidence that the Justice Department, whether under Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch, has simply become the political hatchet-men for President Obama and his cronies throughout the administration.”

Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party movement and president of Citizens for Self Governance—a group that continues its class lawsuit against the IRS—said, “Lois Lerner made an entire career out of attacking conservatives and Christians starting with her time at the FEC. There is a reason the majority of Americans fear their government, and Lerner is the poster child for that reason.”

Meckler added that, via the DOJ’s decision not to file charges, Lerner “has been rewarded for abusing her government positions to attack her fellow citizens. And until the Department of Injustice once again becomes the Department of Justice, Americans will live in fear.”

“It’s no wonder why so many Americans have had it with Washington and the elite political class who can get away with something like this,” he said. “We will continue to press our case in the courts to bring justice and to defend or protect our First Amendment rights and to preserve our democratic republic.”

The article does not mention what happened to True the Vote, so I want to remind everyone what the IRS persecution of conservative groups really looks like.

Catherine Engelbrecht

Here is True the Vote’s CEO reacting to the news that the mandatory taxes that she pays was used to pay the salaries of the corrupt IRS leaders who persecuted her:

And here is her testimony during the investigation of IRS corruption:

And of course, the mainstream media covered up for the IRS, because the laws don’t protect everyone equally.

Elijah Cummings

Interesting that the loudest mouth at the Benghazi hearing was actually the driving force behind the use of the IRS as a weapon against Tea Party groups.

Katie Pavlich writes about it at Townhall:

New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings’ staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.

“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”

The first contact between the IRS and Cummings’ staffers about True the Vote happened in August 2012. In January 2013, staff asked for more information from the IRS about the group. Former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner went out of her way to try and get information to Cummings’ office.The information Cummings received was not shared with Majority Members on the Committee.

And this is why, when conservatives like me are asked which departments we would abolish at the federal level, so their responsibilities can be pushed down to the state level, we typically answer: The Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service. As for the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we need a housecleaning of all the executives to ensure that they are professional and non-partisan in the execution of their duties.

There is some good news: The House Republicans are impeaching the Commissioner of the IRS John Koskinen.

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