The FBI can get a secret FISA warrant to investigate you as a foreign intelligence threat and uncover information that has nothing to do with foreign intelligence, but rather a domestic crime, and go after you for that. From Eric Tucker at apnews.com:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The case against Nassif Sami Daher and Kamel Mohammad Rammal, two Michigan men accused of food stamp fraud, hardly seemed exceptional. But the tool that agents used to investigate them was extraordinary: a secretive surveillance process intended to identify potential spies and terrorists.
It meant that the men, unlike most criminal defendants, were never shown the evidence authorities used to begin investigating them or the information that the Justice Department presented to obtain the original warrant.
The case is among recent Justice Department prosecutions that relied on the same surveillance powers, known by the acronym FISA, that law enforcement officials acknowledge were misused in the Russia investigation. Those errors have prompted a reckoning inside the FBI and debate in Congress about new privacy safeguards. The attention given to FISA has also cast a spotlight on cases such as the Michigan one, where surveillance tools used to investigate foreign intelligence threats end up leading to prosecutions for commonplace, domestic crimes.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Intelligence, Privacy, Surveillance
Tagged FBI, FISA, FISA warrants, Justice Department
By now it’s obvious that the gang that can’t shoot straight keeps firing their errant bullets to distract the public and delay their own legal reckonings. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
We’re reminded this morning by The New York Times, America’s official psychotic fantasy generator, that the Russians are coming (again!) as an ad hoc arm of the committee to re-elect Mr. Trump. You have to ask yourself: Does Mr. Trump actually need their help? His opponents have been self-meddling so diligently that their party now looks like a Frankenstein creature assembled from the spare parts of Herbert Marcuse, Tupac Shakur, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, and Jame Gumb. Imagine that monster running a government.
If Vlad Putin happened to express an aversion to the idea at an international cocktail party, can you really blame him? Plenty of Americans surely feel the same way. Anyway, the Times’ story never gets around to saying much about the alleged new Russian campaign besides this:
They have made more creative use of Facebook and other social media. Rather than impersonating Americans as they did in 2016, Russian operatives are working to get Americans to repeat disinformation, the officials said. That strategy gets around social media companies’ rules that prohibit ‘inauthentic speech.’”
Wow, that’s pretty scary! Except when you consider that Americans have done a crackerjack job of mind-fucking themselves with disinformation the past several years, coincidentally via this very The New York Times, a figment machine so demented that it has come to resemble the proverbial crazy aunt locked in the attic. The true wonder is the Times’ poverty of imagination, reviving a tattered cockamamie story that bombed abjectly the first time around. I suppose, in a culture addicted to stupid sequels, they expect Robert Mueller will be called back on-duty to sort this one out like he did so nicely before.
Posted in Crime, Cronyism, Government, Horseshit, Intelligence, Law, Military, Politics
Tagged Coupgate, FBI, Richard Grenell, Russia, Whistleblower
Is Trump sending a message to the Deep State by pardoning Rod Blagojevich? From Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., at lewrockwell.com:
On Tuesday, February 18, President Trump with excellent judgment commuted the 14 year prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, aka “Blago.”
“We have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Trump said. “He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion. And in the opinion of many others.”
The President thus brought to an end a disgraceful episode in American politics. After Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, his seat as Senator from Illinois became vacant. Blago was charged with trying to sell the seat.
If in fact Blago tried to sell the seat, he was just practicing the dirty, rotten business of politics in the normal crooked fashion for Chicago and America. But out of all the corrupt pols, why did a federal prosecutor target a sitting governor, wiretap him, not allow him to use the wiretaps to defend himself, and send him to jail for 14 years? His real “crime”, in the eyes of the monstrous Obama and his henchman Rahm Emmanuel, was that he refused to appoint the man Obama picked as his successor.
Andrew McCabe wasn’t charged because he’s a Democratic insider, the Justice Department is loaded with Democratic insiders, and Attorney General William Barr is Deep State all the way. Here’s Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation, from nationalreview.com:
Andrew McCabe, while acting director of the FBI, testifies before a Senate committee on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/
The proof that he willfully deceived investigators appears strong, but the Justice Department likely felt there were too many obstacles to convicting him.
The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath.
Why not indict McCabe on felony false-statements charges? That is the question being pressed by incensed Trump supporters. After all, the constitutional guarantee of equal justice under the law is supposed to mean that McCabe gets the same quality of justice afforded to the sad sacks pursued with unseemly zeal by McCabe’s FBI and Robert Mueller’s prosecutors. George Papadopoulos was convicted of making a trivial false statement about the date of a meeting. Roger Stone was convicted of obstruction long after the special counsel knew there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, even though his meanderings did not impede the investigation in any meaningful way. And in the case of Michael Flynn’s false-statements conviction, as McCabe himself acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee, even the agents who interviewed him did not believe he intentionally misled them.
Let’s hope that witnesses are called during the impeachment trial, especially by Trump’s defense team. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
You have to wonder how many Democratic senators spend the long hours of impeachment fantasizing how to end the misery of listening to Rep. Adam Schiff deliver the party’s funeral oration. Please God, hurl a lightning bolt at the podium… bring down a chunk of the fine old coffered ceiling where he stands and prates about a Russian invasion of Malibu… send a coral snake up the leg of his trousers…!
It was so bad that his California counterpart, Senator Dianne Feinstein, just up-and-split late Wednesday. Elizabeth Warren has been seen furiously doodling maps of all the primary precincts she is failing to visit in her confinement. Bernie Sanders imagines himself wielding thirty inches of re-bar upside Mr. Schiff’s skull, while Amy Klobuchar pops her third Xanax of the evening. You have no idea what mental tribulation the House impeachment manager supreme is visiting on his colleagues.
The impeachment case against Mr. Trump might mercifully spell the end of the Master Narrative the Democrats have been confabulating since 2016: that Donald Trump invited the wicked Vlad Putin to checkmate Hillary Clinton and thereby crushed the hopes and dreams of those wishing to make Ukraine the 51st state… or something like that. Because according to Mr. Schiff, there is no nation on this planet as dear to the interests of America than darling Ukraine, with its radioactive forests, decrepitating Soviet infrastructure, and dedication to liberty.
“Whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella was discussing with a colleague how Trump could be deposed shortly after Trump was elected. From Paul Sperry at realclearinvestigations.com:
Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella – the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous “whistleblower” who touched off Trump’s impeachment – was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues.
Sean Misko: He spoke with Ciaramella about the need to “take out,” or remove, President Trump. Later he went to work for Rep. Adam Schiff’s committee.
Sources told RealClearInvestigations the staffer with whom Ciaramella was speaking was Sean Misko. Both were Obama administration holdovers working in the Trump White House on foreign policy and national security issues. And both expressed anger over Trump’s new “America First” foreign policy, a sea change from President Obama’s approach to international affairs.
“Just days after he was sworn in they were already talking about trying to get rid of him,” said a White House colleague who overheard their conversation.
We’ll believe John Durham’s investigation will lead to something substantial when a James Comey, John Brennan, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton is sentenced to prison. Don’t hold your breath. From Sara Carter at saracarter.com:
Department of Justice appointed federal prosecutor John Durham’s expanded criminal probe into the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign is focusing on a slew of government documents that surfaced during the first several months of Trump’s presidency. The documents, which are being kept close hold, were hinted at by Attorney General William Barr in an interview he did with NBC in December and reported on by CBS News Friday.
On Friday, Catherine Herridge senior national security reporter with CBS first reported that a ‘strong paper trail’ of documents is being reviewed by Durham. Those documents span a time period from January, 2017 until May 2017, just before the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
However, Barr has already suggested at the expansive nature of Durham’s probe in December and hinted at the discoveries. And in October, 2019 reports revealed that Durham had expanded the scope of his investigation and would investigate not only the origin of the bureau probe into Trump’s campaign but also the post-election timeline.
Barr said in an interview with NBC in December, that Durham “should spend just as much attention on the post-election period” noting that the probe will not just focus on the origins of the investigation.
Barr said he asked Durham to look at the post Trump election because “of some of the stuff that Horowitz has uncovered which to me is inexplicable.”