CTH shared a prediction in September 2018 which bears repeating. However, prior to revisiting the past let us overlay today’s events. Keep in mind, much of what is happening is downstream from predicate events that took place long before AG Bill Barr was confirmed to run the DOJ. Actually, while not intending to defend Bill Barr, some of the recent events are beyond his control. Here’s how:
First, if you remember when the 568 page IG report on FBI/DOJ conduct was delivered in June 2018, you might remember how the ‘executive summary and conclusions’ were disconnected from the main body of evidence within the report. In 2018 CTH warned this “disconnect” was by design; essentially the corrupt officials were laying down a defense for any conduct, later outlined, that is connected to the body of the IG review.
When IG Horowitz announced last year he could find no evidence of actions taken as a result of political bias by FBI and DOJ officials; he also stated he could not rule out bias within their investigation. Horowitz pointed to the lack of action by FBI Agent Peter Strzok -following the September 28th, 2016, notification of Clinton emails on Abedin laptop- as lacking reasonable explanation. Essentially, despite suspicions, the summary conclusion was the IG could find “no evidence of intentional wrongdoing“.
The 568-pages contained a multitude of examples of FBI misconduct (media leaks etc.), but the same IG report summary said “no illegal activity was discovered.” In the Sessions/Rosenstein led DOJ there was a disconnect between the summary/conclusions and the body of evidence.
With that in mind, how could the Bill Barr DOJ prosecute on evidence of behavior from within a report where the Rod Rosenstein DOJ conclusion was no evidence of “intentional wrongdoing”?
In short, he can’t.
Think about how easy it would be for a defense attorney representing one of the accused officials detailed in the IG report…. Take the IG report, which outlines the events for which the client is being prosecuted, and simply say: “the conclusion of the FBI investigation said “no evidence of intentional wrongdoing” so why is my client being charged?”
It’s a circular defense created by a prior conclusion. If there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, the downstream events cannot be prosecuted. This is by design. The design explains this:
QUESTION: If the DOJ Office of Inspector General found no intentional DOJ and FBI malfeasance in the June ’18 report covering the totality of the 2016 election; and no direct evidence of political bias within the decision-making of the officials being reviewed; what’s the likelihood of the same OIG finding malfeasance as it relates to DOJ/FBI *FISA activity* and the exact same people?
The extensive OIG election-period report found no DOJ/FBI misconduct (only some bad judgement). There were no criminal referrals. There were recommendations for internal improvement, which FBI Director Wray said the FBI would implement (link).
It’s important to note the Office of Inspector General FISA review/investigation of potential FISA abuses (opened March 28th, 2018) was launched three months prior to the “Election Activity” final report in June 14th 2018. There was obvious investigative overlap; however, the June report said “no evidence of intentional misconduct.”
The time frame covered by the “Election Activity” review (OIG report 2) and the “FISA Activity” review (OIG report 3) are the same. The topics are different (FISA being more specific), but the people under review and time-frame therein are identical.
If the OIG found no intentional corrupt activity in the June ’18 report (only bad judgement); no referrals were made; and time period and people are exactly the same; how can the OIG produce a post-facto FISA review report with substantively different conclusions? It seems unlikely.
However, that said, there is a narrow window of potential optimism for those seeking some measure of accountability inside IG report #3.
DOJ Official Bruce Ohr is likely still employed for the same reason the dispatch of Peter Strzok and James Baker was delayed prior to the finalization of IG report #2. The OIG and INSD (inspection division) can only reach those still inside the system.
On the narrow issue of how the DOJ and FBI assembled, handled and used the FISA application (and subsequent Title-1 surveillance warrant), against the Trump campaign and officials therein, Bruce Ohr is a key and central witness for the OIG (link).
Mr. Ohr has testified (transcript here) that he was interviewed by IG Horowitz about his role in assembling the information that was later used in gaining a FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant without following the Woods Procedure. [Note: Mr. Ohr was never interviewed by John Huber]
Unlike the previous OIG report #2 (Election-era Issues) if the OIG can find direct and intentional “gross misconduct” (by referencing traditional and historic FISA application assembly therein), toward those officials who participated in the FISA assembly, then it becomes possible the OIG report could potentially outline that the FISA application resulted in serious fourth amendment civil rights violations. And that perspective could be a narrow opening toward legal issues for DOJ and FBI officials who participated in assembling an *intentional* and fraudulently-based application to the FISA court.
That approach is a high bar for the OIG to reach. The OIG would have to find “direct evidence” of “gross misconduct” resulting in civil rights violations. The defensive arguments by the corrupt group would be filled with legal justification(s) and internal process discussion. Lots of room for reasonable doubt.
However, with the introduction of John Durham, there’s a possibility that building this scale of evidence is exactly what AG Bill Barr is trying to accomplish.
Any finding of “fourth amendment” FISA-abuse would be adverse to the interests of the larger U.S. intelligence apparatus and institutional participants who rely on the current use of the FISA process. Current officials would want to protect it.
I suspect the team of DOJ/FBI officials who abused the FISA court, and are now watching things unfold, are also relying upon the institutional necessity of the FISA process to protect themselves from too much scrutiny and sunlight. An example of that unfortunate reality is found with HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes advocating for FISA reauthorization on January 11th, 2018 (link); right in the middle of the explosive revelations and discoveries of potential abuse.
As HPSCI Chairman, Devin Nunes knew back in 2017 the FISA process was abused for corrupt political intent. However, he also knows FISA is a critical component and tool for the U.S. intelligence system and national security. Currently Mr. Nunes is advocating for a much larger conversation about FISA and “Title-1” authority before any further congressional re-authorization.
We can only imagine the downstream political chaos if IG Horowitz started cracking open the doors to possible civil rights violations from Obama-era FISA abuse.
Oh, believe me, those gross civil rights violations are present. [SEE HERE] The surveillance system that Obama officials assembled is massive and visible evidence of post-constitutional abuse of government databases, and violations of fourth amendment protections. But will AG Bill Barr actually be able to bring evidence of those abuses to the public?
No-one really knows the extent of the current documents and/or information that may be subject to the AG Bill Barr declassification. However, this is the original list as outlined in September 2018, and the agencies who would be involved in the declassification process:
- All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (DoS) (FBI) (ODNI).
- All of the Bruce Ohr 302’s filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)
- All of Bruce Ohr’s emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI), and supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)
- All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);
- All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA)
- All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)
- The originating CIA “EC” or two-page electronic communication from former CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)
♦ President Trump can prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation originated from a scheme within the intelligence apparatus by exposing the preceding CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey. [The trail is found within the Weissmann report and the use of Alexander Downer – SEE HERE]
♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016. [The trail was memorialized by James Comey – SEE HERE]
♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr? Daniel Richman?] This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer – SEE HERE]
♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter.
♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified. The creation of the Steele Dossier was the cover-up operation. [SEE HERE]
♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place. The current redactions were made by the people who weaponized the intelligence system for political surveillance and spy operation. This is why Page and Strzok texts are redacted!
♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella] Bruce Ohr is the courier, carrying information from those outside to those on the inside.
♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation. Also Release the October 20th, 2017, second scope memo recently discovered. The Scope Memos are keys to unlocking the underlying spy/surveillance cover-up. [SEE HERE and SEE HERE]