Tag Archives: Scandal

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.

Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton indicted for her private e-mail server?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Andy McCarthy writes about it at National Review. McCarthy is a former assistant U.S. attorney, and that he led the 1995 prosecution of the World Trade Center bombers, as well as prosecuting other prominent terrorism cases. So, he’s familiar with the law, and familiar with national security. The National Review is one of the most prestigious conservative publications.

Excerpt:

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. […]The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.

That is why such an indictment of Hillary Clinton was never going to happen.

He explains how we know that Obama knew about the Clinton private, unsecure, bathroom closet e-mail server:

As his counselors grappled with how to address his own involvement in Clinton’s misconduct, Obama deceptively told CBS News in a March 7 interview that he had found out about Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct State Department business “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” Perhaps he was confident that, because he had used an alias in communicating with Clinton, his emails to and from her — estimated to number around 20 — would remain undiscovered.

His and Clinton’s advisers were not so confident. Right after the interview aired, Clinton campaign secretary Josh Scherwin emailed Jennifer Palmieri and other senior campaign staffers, stating: “Jen you probably have more on this but it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.”

Scherwin’s alert was forwarded to Mills. Shortly afterwards, an agitated Mills emailed Podesta: “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.” (That is, Obama had emails from Clinton, which he had to know were from a private account since her address did not end in “@state.gov” as State Department emails do.)

They needed to “clean this up”.

Just to reiterate, there is only one reason why someone has a private e-mail server, and that is to escape the record-keeping requirements of their employer. If all your e-mails are stored on your private, unsecure, bathroom closet server, then you can just delete them when you want, and your employer will never know about them. And then if you’ve been pedaling the foreign policy of the United States for donations to your “foundation”, then no one will ever find out.

This could not be allowed to be linked back to Obama, and so it was not allowed to be linked back to Obama.

McCarthy explains:

In April 2016, in another nationally televised interview, Obama made clear that he did not want Clinton to be indicted. His rationale was a legally frivolous straw man: Clinton had not intended to harm national security. This was not an element of the felony offenses she had committed; nor was it in dispute. No matter: Obama’s analysis was the stated view of the chief executive. If, as was sure to happen, his subordinates in the executive law-enforcement agencies conformed their decisions to his stated view, there would be no prosecution.

Within a few weeks, even though the investigation was ostensibly still underway and over a dozen key witnesses — including Clinton herself — had not yet been interviewed, the FBI began drafting Comey’s remarks that would close the investigation. There would be no prosecution.

On June 27, Lynch met with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on an out-of-the-way Arizona tarmac, where their security details arranged for both their planes to be parked.

Over the next few days, the FBI took pains to strike any reference to Obama’s emails with Mrs. Clinton from the statement in which Comey would effectively end the “matter” with no prosecution.

And remember, we have a second FBI scandal being investigated, now. We’re trying to figure out whether the FBI used the Trump-Russia dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign, in order to get FISA court warrants to conduct surveillance on Trump and Trump associates. Just a little extra help for their favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Again, if true – we’re still investigating.

I used to think that the worst thing the Obama administration did was the IRS persecution of conservative groups ahead of Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And now there’s this new scandal.  Now we’re finding out little by little what the Obama administration really did, but we’ll probably never know the whole truth.

Obama administration hid 470,000 Osama Bin Laden compound documents from the public

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Was Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Stephen Hayes writes for The Weekly Standard primarily on foreign policy issues. His latest article explains what we’ve learned from the CIA’s decision to release 470,000 documents captured in the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound. Although the Obama adminstration claimed to have released all the documents, they only released 571 documents. Why would Barack Obama hide the other documents from the public? And what caused them to pick the 571 documents that they did release?

Only 571 documents released by Obama:

On the penultimate day of the Obama administration, less than 24 hours before the president would vacate the White House, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a press release meant to put to rest what had been a pesky issue for his office. “Closing the Book on Bin Laden: Intelligence Community Releases Final Abbottabad Documents,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced. “Today marks the end of a two-and-a-half-year effort to declassify several hundred documents recovered in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound in May 2011.” Accompanying the press release were 49 documents captured during the raid, bringing the total number of documents made public to 571.

Why not 470,571 – why only 571?

In the weeks following the bin Laden raid, the documents went through an immediate interagency triage for actionable intelligence. That initial scrub yielded valuable information that led to the capture and killing of key al Qaeda associates. But then the documents sat, largely untouched, for months at a time. From that point on, the Obama administration’s interest in the Abbottabad documents didn’t extend much beyond their public relations implications. Simply put, a fuller release of the cache would have fatally undermined the message that al Qaeda had been decimated and that the war on terror was being reduced to a few mopping-up exercises.

[…]After Obama’s reelection, the administration repeatedly shut down requests from Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Devin Nunes, for access to the documents. Then the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act turned those requests into a demand backed by law. That’s the only reason the 571 documents were released. And that’s where matters stood through the early months of the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has finally released ALL the documents.

What’s in the documents?

As Thomas Joscelyn details elsewhere in these pages, among them can be found documents describing al Qaeda’s relationship with the Afghan Taliban; videos and photographs of senior al Qaeda operatives, including those running the terror network and its affiliates today; letters with new information on al Qaeda’s web of relationships inside Pakistan; documents explaining the ways in which al Qaeda was adapting to U.S. targeting of its leaders; and the 228-page handwritten journal of the jihad kept by Osama bin Laden himself.

The Thomas Jocelyn piece is here, but I can’t cover that, because I want to talk about the Iran – Al Qaeda connection.

It’s not just the number of documents that’s interesting, it’s the fact that the Obama administration lied to the American public by trying to separate Al Qaeda from Iran.

This is important:

The new materials make clear that ODNI sought to mislead the country not only about the size of the collection but about its contents, too. The January ODNI press statement claimed that the batch of 49 documents it was then making public “mirrors the themes in previous releases,” chief among them Osama bin Laden’s “hatred, suspicion of Iran.” It was true that this was what previous ODNI releases claimed. But it is misleading in the extreme to pretend that the story of Iran and al Qaeda told through the captured bin Laden documents is solely one of hostility.

Bin Laden had described Iran as the “main artery” for al Qaeda in one of the previously released letters recovered in Abbottabad. The details on Iran’s support for al Qaeda, some of them buried until now, led to terrorist designations by the Treasury Department and even caused some intelligence analysts to revisit the assumption that the Shiite radicals in Iran wouldn’t back the Sunni al Qaeda. In a 2011 interview, David S. Cohen, a senior Treasury Department official who went on to become deputy director of the CIA, described the intelligence, which detailed a network of financial support for al Qaeda that operated out of Iran: “There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda to allow this network to operate,” Cohen said. “There’s no dispute in the intelligence community on this.” Iran was providing a “core pipeline” of support that included safe haven for al Qaeda members and the facilitation of travel and the flow of money and weapons.

Al Qaeda accepted this help warily, it is true, and the al Qaeda-Iran relationship is based on mutual interest rather than ideological or doctrinal affinity. But to ignore the secret agreement altogether—to set aside the years of collaboration and to elide bin Laden’s own description of Iran as the “main artery” for al Qaeda, all in order to downplay the threat such an alliance presents—is a textbook case of cherry-picking.

 

The Obama administration covered up the Iran – AQ link so that they could make a deal to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. And give them $400 million of unmarked cash on pallets to help them along in their sponsorship of terrorism in the Middle East. This was the foreign policy of the last eight years under Barack Obama. And when you see people being raped and murdered by radical Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, you need to understand that this is what Democrat voters voted for. They wanted this to happen, and they voted for Obama to make it happen. It’s very important that voters inform themselves carefully about national security and foreign policy matters, because how we vote affects so much of what happens in the world. We can’t just be clowning around with ignorant liberal comedians on the Comedy Channel. We have to be more serious than that. This is America.

One of the reasons why the Trump victory in 2016 was so significant is that it did allow us to finally get the whole story on so many scandals that the Obama administration was covering up. We all know about the familiar scandals that were ignored by the far-left mainstream media: IRS persecution of conservative groups to help Obama get re-elected, running assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels to push a gun confiscation narrative, blaming the Benghazi terrorist attack on a YouTube video, etc. There was no lie too big for an administration run by leftist college students with no real-world experience. But just think of how close we came to never finding out the answers about all of these scandals.

Is it true that Obama led a “scandal-free” administration?

Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals
Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals

When Barack Obama was running for office, he promised to deliver a high degree of integrity and transparency. His teleprompter told him that he was going to be free of corruption and lawlessness, and he dutifully read those words out to his adoring fans. But after 8 years of Obama rule, does reality match his self-congratulating rhetoric?

Consider this article from the Daily Wire.

It lists 11 scandals that occurred during Obama reign of error:

  1. Operation Fast and Furious
  2. Benghazi
  3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations
  4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen
  5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant
  6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it
  7. Hillary’s email scandal
  8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river
  9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation
  10. The GSA scandal
  11. The Secret Service scandal

Surprisingly, Obamacare is not mentioned, even though Obama knowingly lied to the American people over and over about the true intentions and effects of the law – intentions and effects that are now understood by Americans who are being driven into bankruptcy by the law. The massive stimulus grants to Obama bundlers for “green energy” corporations that later went bankrupt are not mentioned. Giving green cards to refugees from Islamic countries without doing the proper background checks who then went on to kill Americans in terrorist attacks, (e.g. – Orlando, San Bernadino), is not mentioned. And of course the Democrat fascination with illegal immigration caused them to catch and release illegal immigrants who went on to commit crimes, including the murder of Kate Steinle. A lot more could be added to the list.

I think numbers 3 and 4 from the Daily Wire list above really show the character of the Obama administration: (links removed)

3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.

Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.

4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP’s case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving “a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States,” according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Gary Pruitt, president of the AP wrote to Holder at the time. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked “his movements and conversations,” according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen’s parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime.

Fox News executive Michael Clemente called the DOJ’s actions against Rosen “downright chilling.” “We will unequivocally defend [Rosen’s] right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press,” Clemente said in a statement, per the Washington Post.

 

The news media has a very short memory. They don’t focus on the scandals for more than a night or two, if at all. But conservatives have a long memory for scandals, especially the ones where government was used as a weapon against us.

Did the most unqualified president ever really have a “scandal-free” administration?

Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals
Obama claims that his administration has been free of major scandals

When Barack Obama was running for office, he promised to deliver a high degree of integrity and transparency. His teleprompter told him that he was going to be free of corruption and lawlessness, and he dutifully read those words out to his adoring fans. But after 8 years of Obama rule, does reality match his self-congratulating rhetoric?

Consider this article from the Daily Wire.

It lists 11 scandals that occurred during Obama reign of error:

  1. Operation Fast and Furious
  2. Benghazi
  3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations
  4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen
  5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant
  6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it
  7. Hillary’s email scandal
  8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river
  9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation
  10. The GSA scandal
  11. The Secret Service scandal

Surprisingly, Obamacare is not mentioned, even though Obama knowingly lied to the American people over and over about the true intentions and effects of the law – intentions and effects that are now understood by Americans who are being driven into bankruptcy by the law. The massive stimulus grants to Obama bundlers for “green energy” corporations that later went bankrupt are not mentioned. Giving green cards to refugees from Islamic countries without doing the proper background checks who then went on to kill Americans in terrorist attacks, (e.g. – Orlando, San Bernadino), is not mentioned. And of course the Democrat fascination with illegal immigration caused them to catch and release illegal immigrants who went on to commit crimes, including the murder of Kate Steinle. A lot more could be added to the list.

I think numbers 3 and 4 from the Daily Wire list above really show the character of the Obama administration: (links removed)

3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.

Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.

4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP’s case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving “a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States,” according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Gary Pruitt, president of the AP wrote to Holder at the time. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked “his movements and conversations,” according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen’s parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime.

Fox News executive Michael Clemente called the DOJ’s actions against Rosen “downright chilling.” “We will unequivocally defend [Rosen’s] right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press,” Clemente said in a statement, per the Washington Post.

Basically, Obama has been running the United States like a little Banana Republic, similar to his atheist Marxist buddies Chavez (Venezuela) and Castro (Cuba). He has no respect from laws, and just used government as a weapon to attack his enemies. He truly was the first person to be president who knew nothing about the rule of law or the Constitution.  But when I raise these concerns to Democrat voters, they have no idea what I am talking about.

One of the reasons why Obama’s supporters are able to believe that he had a scandal-free administration is because they do very little critical thinking themselves, but merely rely on the words of the leftist mainstream media to tell them what reality is. Democrat voters literally have no idea about the fiscal situation and the foreign policy situation that Obama is leaving Trump, because they watch TV, and TV doesn’t tell them anything that is critical of Obama. I know that it is fun for leftists to tune in Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and think that they are informed about the world, but they really are not informed. They live in a bubble – a safe space where they only hear voices that agree with them, and voices that tell them how smart and special they are compared to those imbeciles who disagree with them. Feelings, not facts. That’s the Democrat way.