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A Crime By Any Other Name

 

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The Inspector General has released his long-awaited report, and it’s decidedly unsatisfying.

Before we dive in, let’s take a step back and establish a couple important big picture facts. First off, this report is in no way, shape or form an exoneration of the FBI or anyone else involved with investigating the president. Rather, like its predecessor regarding the Hillary probe, it’s a collection of damning findings that IG Horowitz, as he’s prone to do, dismissed as allowable under the technical guidelines of the DOJ. In other words, Horowitz found the most charitable possible interpretation of the facts and concluded that, while there were clearly inappropriate things taking place, he could not prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the investigation was predicated on bias or corrupt motives. Comey, McCabe and co. hardly needed to hire lawyers given the extreme stretching Horowitz undertook to give them the benefit of the doubt. Indeed, Horowitz has graduated from lawyerly cover techniques for the Swamp to outright whitewashing of crimes. All the same, he was good enough to publish very damning information which is sure to come in handy at a later date.

Secondly, this is not the end all/be all in terms of getting to the truth of what happened, not even close. IG Horowitz is an in-house watchdog who lacks prosecutorial power, not to mention the tools required to launch an earnest investigation. And perhaps things are designed that way for a reason. Much like the Ethics Committee is set up to “investigate” (read: bury) scandals of the Swamp, the OIG has largely served as a means to brush DOJ misconduct under the rug and handle things internally. That said, Horowitz did give us facts that could prove helpful moving forward, if for no other reason that to give a sneak preview of the irregularities that Barr and Durham have followed up on in a more thorough fashion. But given Horowitz’s limited scope, it should be noted that the Durham probe goes far beyond not only our DOJ but our very borders, as there was clear cooperation among various intelligence services in the attempted entrapment of Trump campaign members.

Indeed, this report leaves much to be desired, not only for its cowardly refusal to conclude what is common sense to everyone except far left partisans, but for its limited ability to actually arrive at the truth. All the same, it’s worth our time to examine what it says and what it could mean going forward.

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Predication:

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The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” was initiated in late July 2016 and was later wrapped into special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference. It effectively began after Australian diplomat and intelligence asset Alexander Downer met with low level Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos at London’s Kensington Wine Rooms in May 2016, and Papadopoulos allegedly said the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Two months later, after WikiLeaks published stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, the Australians informed the U.S. about what Papadopoulos told Downer.

Horowitz said in his report that the genesis of the Crossfire Hurricane inquiry was unrelated to the dossier, although the FBI had already obtained Trump-related information from dossier author Christopher Steele before the investigation began. Horowitz said the predicate for the investigation was “sufficient” because of a “first-hand account from a friendly foreign government employee of a conversation with Papadopoulos.” Horowitz also noted that the threshold for opening an investigation is very low, requiring only “articulable facts.” That itself is a problem, as a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign during an election year should be based on more than “articulable facts.” Nonetheless, it gave Horowitz the technical cover he needed to clear the Swamp.

What Horowitz doesn’t say is how Papadopoulos came to hear about Hillary’s emails in the first place. Yes, he spoke with Downer. But he did so after speaking with a man named Joseph Mifsud, another known American intelligence asset who had been purposely placed in Papadopoulos’s path in order to plant this information in his head, after repeated attempts to bait him into acknowledging a link between the Trump campaign and Russia, of course. The American government—my guess is the CIA specifically—manufactured the very predicate for the investigation it launched. It was entrapment, plain and simple. And the fact that it was done by foreign intelligence assets means Horowitz had little to no ability to get the whole truth. He was essentially limited to the FBI’s version of events. Barr and Durham are not, hence their recent travel overseas.

Bottom line: The IG found that the Crossfire Hurricane probe was launched according to guidelines, but only because those guidelines are very lax, and only because he was essentially limited to the information available to him within the FBI. He had no access to CIA files, as Durham and Barr do. Those reporting that Horowitz found that the investigation was properly predicated are not reporting the full truth, but that’s to be expected.

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“Errors and Omissions”

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Let’s get one thing straight here. What Horowitz calls “errors and omissions” are actually crimes. Misleading the FISA court is a felony, and that’s exactly what the FBI did when they omitted key information. Just as he’s done with Comey, Hillary and countless others, Horowitz assumes ignorance and/or incompetence on behalf of those he’s investigating in order to show there was no intent to break the law. Such claims strain credulity, to put it mildly.

One must assume that those conducting this investigation were so incompetent and ignorant that they have no business being in the field they’re in, which is true either way. But these agents were not stupid. They knew exactly what they were doing and they did it in order to achieve a particular end, which was the surveillance of a Trump campaign volunteer. Below is a list of the “errors and omissions” given by Horowitz with short addendums for further illumination.

Note: The report outlines 17 “significant errors and omissions,” however several are redundant. Thus, for the sake of concise analysis, some have been merged.

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1) The government knew Carter Page was not a nefarious individual, as he’d worked with them for years.

Omitted information from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;

Do you call that a “properly predicated FISA warrant?”
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2) The FBI flat out lied about the reliability of its sources.
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Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s FBI handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;

Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who, as previously noted, was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a “boaster” and an “egoist” and “may engage in some embellishment” and (2) [redacted]

So, just to make sure we’re clear: The bureau lied about the nature of their sources in order to confer false credibility unto their spy warrant application. As someone who once had the trust of his country to use spy tools in proper ways in order to safeguard the nation, this outrages me beyond words. These people should be in jail and they should be there a long time. This is a breach of trust with the public they are sworn to serve. And oh yeah, it’s a crime.
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3) The FBI lied about Steele going to the press with the dossier.
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Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article, based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and [Fusion GPS Founder Glenn] Simpson; this premise was factually incorrect (Steele had provided direct information to Yahoo News) and also contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;

Here we have another example of “gross incompetence” at an unbelievable level. I use the word “unbelievable” in the most literal sense, as it is literally unbelievable that the FBI was unaware of Steele’s efforts to get the dossier out to not only Yahoo, but the press in general. Indeed, Fusion GPS, the Clinton-hired smear firm for which Steele was contracted to dig dirt on Trump, makes its living by getting information such as the dossier out to the press. It’s literally what they do. Are we to believe that the FBI took Steele at his word that he hadn’t reached out to Yahoo?

Even more troubling is the method of “circular sourcing” that the FBI was shown to have used in this and other cases. It works like this: the FBI leaks a story to Yahoo, Yahoo then publishes the story, the FBI then uses the Yahoo story to bolster its case for investigation. Yes, the FBI does this. A high level agent testified to as much before Congress a year ago. The Deep State and legacy media work hand in hand in a multitude of ways, all of them corrupt.

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4) Leaving out exculpatory statements

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Omitted Papadopoulos’s statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like WikiLeaks in the release of emails;

Pretty self-explanatory. When speaking to a confidential human source (CHS), Papadopoulos denied any cooperation between the campaign and Russia, Wikileaks or anyone else, which the FBI ignored and did not mention while making its case for surveillance. One could argue that denials by suspects aren’t evidence, but they’re actually relevant when said suspect did not believe himself to be speaking with an FBI plant. When a suspect tells someone he believes to be on his side that nothing shady is going on, that’s significant. It’s also significant when no other evidence exists beyond the parroting of statements planted by the government’s own assets.

They ignored everything that exculpated Papadopoulos while jumping on anything and everything that could be used to further their ends. Hey, check it out — I think that’s the very definition of bias! Someone contact Horowitz, I found the smoking gun!

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5) Omitted evidence that undermined the dossier

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Omitted Page’s statements to an FBI CHS [Confidential Human Source] in August 2016 that Page had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page’s emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Steele’s Report 95 that Page was participating in a “conspiracy” with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and

Selectively included Page’s statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Steele’s Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton.

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Again, self-explanatory. They did the same thing to Page as they did with Papadopoulos, meaning they included anything that could feasibly support the theory posited by the dossier while omitting any and every statement by Page that undermined the accusations made. And again, these statements were made to HUMINT sources whom Page did not even realize was secretly working for the government, therefore he had no reason to lie. This goes beyond mere bias, it’s flat-out corrupt.

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6) Further omissions of evidence that the Steele dossier was factually incorrect

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Omitted evidence indicating that Page played no role in the Republican platform change on Russia’s annexation of Ukraine as alleged in Steele Report 95, which was inconsistent with a factual assertion relied upon to support probable cause in all four FISA applications.

A big part of the Democrat hit job known as the Steele dossier was that Carter Page played an integral role in getting the Republican Party to make a Russia-friendly change to its platform prior to the RNC convention. Big shocker here: it was all a bunch of nonsense. Yet, this nonsense was crucial to painting the picture of a low level campaign volunteer (Page) acting as an agent of Russia within the Trump campaign.

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**NOTEWORTHY**

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Each of the “omissions” listed above was not only kept from the FISA court on one occasion, but four in total. Remember, there was the original FISA application, then 3 more subsequent renewals. The FBI lied each time, and the fact that they lied repeatedly is further evidence of intentionality, as the bureau—supposedly the world’s premiere investigative agency—had ample time to correct any errors made initially. They didn’t, though, because they had no interest in getting things right. They only cared about getting authorization, by any means necessary.

There were no omissions and errors. There were lies and corrupt acts. Horowitz can put the lipstick on that pig all he likes, but anyone with an ounce of common sense can see how wrong this is.

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The Role of the Dossier

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One point of contention between the Swamp/Media Complex and those actually seeking truth has been the role of the Steele dossier, or pee-pee dossier, if you will, in the investigation of the Trump campaign.

As covered above, the IG found that the dossier was not what started the counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane. Rather, it was George Papadopoulos in a bar repeating what a government spook had told him regarding Hillary’s emails. When it comes to surveillance on Carter Page, however, the dossier was absolutely critical.

According to Horowitz, the Justice Department concluded there was no probable cause on Page to support its FISA investigation. But just before the refusal to apply for surveillance could come down officially, there was an intervention from the top echelons of the FBI. An order came down to look at the DNC-funded dossier and include it in the body of evidence that would be used to secure the spy warranty against Page.

Any guesses as to who issued that order? You guessed it — former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Yes, the same Andy McCabe whose wife received over a half million dollars for her political campaign from Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe. The same McCabe who was fired over his conduct in the investigation after earlier internal investigations, which included repeated lies to FBI investigators.

Contrary to media reports, the dossier was not just a small part of the case presented to the FISA court. Horowitz found that the dossier was the key piece of evidence used to obtain the FISA warrant, which we already knew thanks to McCabe’s congressional testimony confirming the bureau’s use of the dossier in FISA court. 

From there, the bureau flat out lied regarding the reliability of the dossier to the court and ignored the mountain of evidence that grew with each day proving it to be little more than a Clinton-funded hit job against Trump. Allow me to repeat: the FBI knew exactly what the dossier was, lied about it to the FISA court and used it to spy on a member of a political campaign in an election year.

The media may try to muddy the waters, but that is the bottom line truth.

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Barr and Durham aren’t having it.

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If you’re like me, reading the facts laid out in this report angers you to no end. The fact that I know I would be in jail had I put misleading info in a FISA application really drives home the two-tiered justice system that has been apparent for years now.
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I do find great comfort, however, in the fact that the two men who actually matter in this scenario—Attorney General Barr and US Attorney John Durham—seem to be clear-eyed and factual in their approach to what has happened.
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Durham released the following statement upon release of the IG report:
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“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

Not only has Barr unapologetically confirmed what we all know—that the FBI spied on a political campaign—he isn’t afraid to call the dossier a “sham” and notes that the government continuously ignored all the evidence running counter to its case.

The most reassuring part of all of this is the reach enjoyed by Barr and Durham. A grand jury has already been empaneled, foreign intelligence services have been contacted and interviewed, and AG Barr has been given carte blanche to declassify any and all government documents necessary to do a thorough investigation.

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Big Picture

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The IG report does a respectable job of listing the facts, at least to the extent it could gather them. Unfortunately, its conclusions regarding those facts are nothing more than the excuse given by the FBI itself. In fact, there is virtually no daylight between the IG’s conclusions and the “official story” given by those interviewed. It’s home cooking, to be sure.

The real story will be told once we learn the role that former CIA Director John Brennan played not only in the dissemination of the dossier but the placement of intel assets around the globe to entrap Trump campaign members at every turn. This entire investigation began as a result of those spies feeding information to a low level volunteer who had no earthly idea what was happening.

There was never requisite evidence to begin an investigation of this sort and the information gathered from the investigation itself all pointed in the opposite direction, yet our government continued full steam ahead.

IG Horowitz may have concluded “nothing to see here,” but his own report suggests there is actually a lot to see, and a lot for which to get answers. AG Barr and USA Durham must continue the path they’re on, meaning the release of unflinching truth. Furthermore, they must demand accountability. American patriots who actually give a damn about this country know this cannot stand; that if we do not stop this in its tracks, it will become the norm. Uncle Sam cannot conduct itself this way with impunity. The power of the surveillance state is too strong to allow this level of dishonesty.

As patriots, we must inform our countrymen of not only what is in this report, but what it means for the future unless something changes. If this can happen to an American president, you and I don’t stand a chance.

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