Corruption of the 2016 Presidential Election

On January 29, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to disclose publicly a memorandum containing classified information provided to the Committee in connection with its oversight activities.

This memorandum provides the American people 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. The findings of the Committee’s which are detailed below. 1) Raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts (FISC) and  2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

On October21,2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order 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 renewal from the FISC. As required by statue (50U.S.c. &1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and 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 Directory Andrew McCabe signed one. Then DAG Sally Yates then Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications of behalf of the 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’ rigor in protecting the right 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 the committee’s findings indicated that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

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

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.

The initial FISA application notes Steels was working for a named U.S. person but does not name Fusion GPS and principle Glenn Simpon, 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 actors  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.

 

The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23,2016 , Yahoo News article written 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 filing  that he met with Yahoo News and several other outlets  in September of 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 matter was discussed.

Steele was suspended then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30,2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and  other outlets in September before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling maintaining confidentiality and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI

Andrew McCabe testified before the Committee in December 0f 2017 that no surveillance warrant would  have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

Before and after  Steele  was terminated as a source, he maintained  contact with DOJ via then Associate Deputy General  Bruce Ohr a senior  DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. In September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feeling against then candidate Trump when Steele said he  “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear  evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohrs at the time and subsequently in official FBI files but not reflected in any of the Page FISA application.

During this time period, Ohr’s wife  was employed by fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohr’s relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably  concealed from the FICS.

According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application.  After  Steele was terminated, a source  validated report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated .Yet in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President –elect Trump  on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was according to his June 2017 testimony  “salacious and unverified.” While the  FISA application relied  on Steele’s  past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations.

The Page FISA application  also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos but there is  no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy  between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter  Strzok.  Strozok  was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s  Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page) where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page tests also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating  leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an insurance policy against President Trump’s election.

This should be troubling to all American’s that a hand full of rouge agents from the FBI and DOJ could help to undermine the election process of this country and manufacturer a false dossier  to smear the reputation of an American citizen, Carter Page to try to get to Trump sowing  the seed of doubt in the Candidacy  of  Donald Trump with accusations of collusion with the Russians. After more than a year  there is no proof that there was collusion with Russian. Then use that same dossier to try to discredit  the legitimacy  of an elected president. It is time to end the charade and for everyone to recognize the election of Donald Trump as the duly elected President of United States of America.

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