FISA is blatantly unconstitutional, that’s what wrong with it. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 in response to the unlawful surveillance of Americans by the FBI and the CIA during the Watergate era. President Richard Nixon – who famously quipped after leaving office that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal” – used the FBI and the CIA to spy on his political opponents.
The stated reason was national security. Nixon claimed that foreign agents physically present in the U.S. agitated and aggravated his political opponents to produce the great public unrest in America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and thus diminished Americans’ appetite for fighting the Vietnam War. There was, of course, no evidence to support that view, but the neocons in Congress and the military-industrial complex supported it even after Nixon left office.
This view – there are foreigners among us who wish us harm – came to fruition during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who pushed for the enactment of FISA. FISA’s stated purpose was to limit – not expand – the government’s surveillance powers by requiring the intervention and permission of a judge.
In its 33-year history, the FISA court has issued 33,942 warrants and has denied only 12 applications. This is the FISA court that James Comey said is “incredibly hard” to get a warrant. By now we’re all used to Comey’s lies, but even by his corrupt standard of veracity this one’s a howler. From John Kiriakou at consortiumnews.com:
The former FBI director knew exactly what his agency had on Carter Page and, contrary his assertion, it’s incredibly easy to get a FISA warrant.
Former FBI Director James Comey gave an interview this week to journalist Chris Wallace on Fox News in which he made one of the most disingenuous and dissembling statements I’ve heard in years, one that screams out for correction and real Congressional oversight.
When asked about Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz’s report, which found “17 significant errors and omissions” by the FBI when it began investigating alleged Russian involvement with the 2016 Trump campaign and it applied for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Comey said that he had been “overconfident” when he defended the FBI’s use of FISA.
Overconfident! Comey ignored the fact that the FBI repeatedly renewed the warrant against Page, whom the FBI suspected was working for Russian intelligence, even if it had no evidence to indicate that was the case. He downplayed the fact that an FBI attorney illegally changed an FBI report to indicate that Page was not working for the CIA, when the FBI knew for a fact that he was.
Perhaps most disingenuously, Comey told Wallace that, “I thought the FBI had gone about this in a thoughtful and appropriate way. He’s (Horowitz) right. I was wrong. I was overconfident as director in our procedures…It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA.”
The Democrats are fooling only their own stooges with the impeachment charade. From Daniel Lazare at strategic-culture.org:
You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So said Abraham Lincoln – maybe. But whoever it was forgot to mention an important corollary: fun as it may be to pull the wool over people’s eyes, you’ll writhe in agony for an equal period once the truth emerges and the fraud is exposed.
This is the significance of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s devastating report on the FBI investigation of Russiagate suspect Carter Page.
For years, the FBI and its allies in the Democratic Party have had a grand time pillorying Page as the centerpiece of a gigantic Kremlin conspiracy to help Trump win the White House and bend America to its will. Thousands of headlines about this or that bombshell revelation, scores of talking heads proclaiming that “the walls are closing in” – it was all so much fun that revelers barely paused when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s announced last March that he was unable to “establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”
Will the individuals responsible for the depredations detailed in IG Horowitz’s report ever be called to account? A cynical answer would certainly be understandable. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Following the release of the DOJ Inspector General’s report revealing that the FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in order to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, presiding FISC Judge Rosemary Collyer issued a rare public rebuke – while ordering the agency to clean up its act, and fast.
Collyer noted despite the FBI’s “heightened duty of candor,” officials fabricated evidence and concealed information from the court which harmed their argument that Page was an “agent of a foreign power,” fabricated evidence.
Because of this, the court is now concerned about “whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
Those involved in the operation to take Trump down, meanwhile, are scrambling to downplay the IG report while taking as little responsibility as possible. After the FBI first tried to pass the buck – insisting that the Page applications were legit since the FISA court approved them, former FBI Director James Comey’s feet were finally held to the fire by Fox News host Chris Wallace last weekend:
Watch @comey try to squirm out of Wallace’s question. Comey is a total snake and a liar. Just watch him try to lie with the cold, hard facts placed right in front of him: pic.twitter.com/zeA54eQ1ip
The FISA court read the Horowitz report and didn’t like what it had to say about the FBI. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court slammed the FBI on Tuesday in a rare public statement over the agency’s handling of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page’s warrant application and subsequent renewals, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government’s conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes,” reads the statement.
The punchline: “The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the hieghtned duty of candor” required by federal investigators, adding “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” wrote the court, which called the recent watchdog report from the DOJ’s Inspector General “troubling.”
In February 2018 Representative Devin Nunes wrote a memo alleging the FBI abuse the FISA process and the FISA court, for which he received heaps of scorn and condemnation. Turns out he was right. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
In her usual succinct and clarifying manner, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel took to Twitter overnight to summarize the farcical findings within the Horowitz Report (and Barr and Durham’s responses).
In sixteen short tweets, Strassel destroyed the spin while elucidating the key findings of the Horowitz report (emphasis ours):
Yup, IG said FBI hit threshold for opening an investigation. But also goes out of its way to note what a “low threshold” this is.
Durham’s statement made clear he will provide more info for Americans to make a judgment on reasonableness.
The report is triumph for former House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, who first blew the whistle on FISA abuse. The report confirms all the elements of the February 2018 Nunes memo, which said dossier was as an “essential” part of applications, and FBI withheld info from FISA court
Conversely, the report is an excoriation of Adam Schiff and his “memo” of Feb 2018.
That doc stated that “FBI and DOJ officials did NOT abuse the [FISA] process” or “omit material information.”
SLL had expected a whitewash from Horowitz, but his report and Senate testimony were far less favorable to the FBI than we expected. Now let’s see if anyone is brought to account. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Update: IG Horowitz told Congressional investigators on Wednesday that FBI officials should have seriously reconsidered their surveillance efforts on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in early 2017, when information they gathered cast significant doubt on their legal justification to surveil him, according to Bloomberg.
Horowitz also said that the FBI misled the FISA court in order to keep spying on Page.
“I don’t think the Department of Justice fairly treated these FISAs, and he was on the receiving end of them,” he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on FBI surveilling the Trump campaign: “Let’s put it this way, if you don’t have a legal foundation to surveil somebody and you keep doing it is that bad?”
What (conveniently) no one is saying about IG Horowitz’s testimony today is that while he said in the report there no bias as to how the investigation started (low threshold)… based on everything else he said there is an insane amount of bias from that point forward.
At one point Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asks, “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?” to which Horowitz responds: “That’s correct. That’s what occurred.”
We’ll soon find out if Michael Horowitz is the real deal or just another Deep State operative on a damage control mission. From Sara Carter at saracarter.com:
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s much anticipated report on his investigation into the FBI’s probe into President Trump’s campaign is expected to be made public before Thanksgiving and the outcome is alleged to contain several criminal referrals, according to sources who spoke with SaraACarter.com.
Horowitz’s investigation on the bureau’s probe into the now debunked theory that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election will more than likely result in the declassification of documents — requested by senior Republican lawmakers for more than several years. These are the same documents President Trump turned over to Attorney General William Barr in May, giving him ‘full and complete authority” to declassify.
The Trump administration is trying to make permanent the same unconstitutional spying authority that was used on Trump and the Trump campaign! From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government’s authority to spy on all persons in America.
The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.
These matters include the very means and the very secret court about which he complained loud and long during the Mueller investigation. Now, he wants to be able to unleash permanently on all of us the evils he claims were visited upon him by the Obama-era FBI and by his own FBI. What’s going on?
Here is the backstory.
After the lawlessness of Watergate had been exposed — a president spying on his political adversaries without warrants in the name of national security — Congress enacted in 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It prescribed a means for surveillance other than that which the Constitution requires.
The main trigger was a lengthy interview in June with the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, which some news outlets suggested meant U.S. officials have found Steele, the former Hillary Clinton-backed political muckraker, to be believable.
“Investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising,” Politico crowed. The Washington Post went even further, suggesting Steele’s assistance to the inspector general might “undermine Trumpworld’s alt-narrative” that the Russia-collusion investigation was flawed.
For sure, Steele may have valuable information to aid Justice’s internal affairs probe into misconduct during the 2016 Russia election probe. His dossier alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow ultimately was disproven, but not before his intelligence was used to secure a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election.
Investigators are trying to ascertain what the British intelligence operative told the FBI about his sources, his relation to the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign, his hatred for Donald Trump, his Election Day deadline to get his information public and his leaking to media outlets before agents used his dossier to justify a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on ex-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
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