With the release of the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham criminal referral letter to the DOJ, the American people are starting to get a clearer picture of “what happened” during the 2016 election season and its aftermath.
Last week’s release of the Nunes memo triggered a deluge of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and the mainstream media, who have questioned its veracity.
Many of the claims presented in the memo, however, have been corroborated by this week’s release of the Grassley-Graham criminal referral letter to the DOJ.
If the allegations made in these documents are found to be true, the ensuing political scandal would be far more serious than Watergate.
Is it possible that Hillary Clinton may finally face the consequences of her actions?
Sean Hannity, in his opening monologue on Thursday night (please see the video below), believes “this is only the tip of the iceberg. Evidence is coming that will rock DC to its foundation.” He believes that the mainstream media have been ignoring this story because their sole focus has been to delegitimize President Trump. This has taken the focus off of Hillary Clinton.
He takes us through the timeline that starts with former DNC chair and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile’s book, Hacks: The Inside Story, which tells us that Hillary rigged the Democratic primary. It moves on to Hillary’s campaign and the DNC (which Hillary essentially controlled) paying $12 million for the opposition research that resulted in the Trump Dossier. Finally, it brings us to where we are today, learning how the dossier was used to undermine the Trump campaign and his Presidency to date.
Wednesday’s release of the Grassley-Graham referral letter has corroborated many of the Nunes memo’s key findings. An editorial in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal looks at several of these points. Specifically, the Nunes memo claims that the FBI did not notify the FISA court about “the partisan nature of the Steele dossier.”
“The FBI noted to a vaguely limited extent the political origins of the dossier. The FBI stated that the dossier information was compiled pursuant to the direction of a law firm who had hired an ‘identified U.S. person’—now known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS,” the firm that hired Mr. Steele.
Which is extremely misleading because the referral letter states:
“The application failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC [Democratic National Committee].”
That’s not being honest with the judges who sign off on an eavesdrop order.
This is a criminal omission. There is no way in the world a FISA warrant would have been issued if the court had been made aware that the FBI’s “evidence” consisted of opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC (that was uncorroborated to boot). This was a clear violation of federal law.
I reported last week that, according to Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow, James Comey met with Trump in January 2017 prior to his inauguration to inform him of the “salacious and unverified” dossier and said “not to worry about it.” If Comey knew in January that the information contained in the dossier was unverified, why did he sign off on a warrant application based on its findings three months earlier?
“The Grassley-Graham referral letter also confirms the House memo’s finding that the FBI “relied heavily” on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims, as well as on a Yahoo News article for which Mr. Steele was the main source. And it also notes that “the application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.”
Then FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2017.
According to the referral, when Mr. Comey was asked “why the FBI relied on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroboration,” he said this was “because Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.”
In other words, the FBI rested its wiretap application on the credibility of a source who was working at the direction of the Clinton campaign.
The FBI acknowledges that it told Mr. Steele not to speak to the media about the dossier.
Yet in September 2016 the ex-British spy briefed reporters about the FBI’s investigation and the dossier, which resulted in the Yahoo News article. The Clinton campaign cited that article on TV and social media to attack the Trump campaign.
This bears repeating.
Christopher Steele, after being told by the FBI not to brief the press, did so anyway. After an article based on Steele’s briefing was published, the Clinton campaign, which had hired and paid Steele for the bogus dossier, then used the article to attack Donald Trump.
This was about a month prior to the FBI filing its first FISA application.
Yet the FBI’s October application told the FISA court that, “The FBI does not believe that [Steele] directly provided this information to the press.”
How could the FBI not fact check this? How often does the FBI obtain intelligence from a Yahoo News story?
Whether Mr. Steele lied to the FBI, or the FBI was too incompetent to verify that he was the source of the Yahoo News story, the result is the same: The FISA court issued a surveillance order on the basis of false information about the credibility of the FBI’s main source.
Even after Mr. Steele said under oath in court filings in London that he had briefed Yahoo News, and this fact was reported by U.S. media in April 2017, the FBI didn’t tell the FISA court in any subsequent wiretap application.
The Grassley-Graham referral letter also drops the stunning news that Mr. Steele received at least some of the information for his dossier from the Obama State Department.”
This is what Nunes is likely looking into currently as he turns his attention to the State Department.
The letter redacts the names involved. But the press is now reporting, and our sources confirm, that one of the generators of this information was none other than Sidney Blumenthal. GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who has seen the documents, told Fox News “that would be really warm” when asked if Mr. Blumenthal is one of the redacted names.
Mr. Blumenthal has declined comment to several media outlets. But our readers will recall that he is a long-time Hillary Clinton operative whom President Obama barred from an official role at State but was later discovered to have sent her policy and political advice via her private email server. This revelation raises questions about the degree to which the Clinton team was involved in the Steele-Fusion effort from the beginning.
In addition to the Grassley-Graham letter, there were more text messages released this week between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. One text exchange, dated 9/2/16, read “POTUS wants to know everything.” There is some confusion which investigation this refers to because there were redactions before and after this text. It is likely referring to the Trump Russian collusion investigation.
Also released this week were texts dated 9/28/16, indicating that the FBI had found many of Huma Abedin’s emails (some classified) on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. This was a full month before Comey’s letter to Congress made the news public.
From prior texts exchanges between Strzok and Page, we know that the text of Comey’s speech to exonerate Hillary Clinton following the email investigation was written before she was even interviewed by the FBI. Strok changed the wording referring to charges from “gross negligence” to “extreme recklessness.” Text messages between Strzok and Page indicate they knew of Hillary’s exoneration prior to her FBI interview.
Until the supporting documents can be declassified and released, however, we won’t have any definitive answers. For starters, the American people need to see the FISA applications and the transcription of Andrew McCabe’s December 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats will try to block every attempt to declassify this information. Stonewalling by the FBI and the DOJ (and the State Department and others) will make this investigation much longer than it needs to be.
Judicial Watch is an American conservative watchdog group that files Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to investigate alleged misconduct by government officials. Michael Bekesha, an attorney for the group, said his organization would like to see the underlying documents such as the FISA applications and the other records from the court as well. Last week, they sued the FBI to obtain those records. Bekesha said they have sued for many records such as text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and have yet to receive any documents.
The story that is slowly emerging demonstrates that a concerted effort was made to inflict damage upon and ultimately derail the Trump candidacy, and once he was in office, his presidency. FBI officials and others (possibly even former President Barack Obama if text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are any clue), interfered in a Presidential election and deceived the FISA court judges, Congress, President Trump and ultimately the American people. It will require persistence and patience because Republicans will be stymied in every possible way, but eventually, justice will be served.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.