Tag Archives: FISA warrants

How national security surveillance nabs more than spies, by Eric Tucker

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.

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The Big Sleep, by James Howard Kunstler

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.

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Meadows: “We’ve Learned NEW Information” Suggesting FBI/DOJ Leaked To Press, Used Articles To Obtain FISA Warrants, by Tyler Durden

So the FBI leaked information to the press and used the resulting articles to justify FISA warrants. Certainly nothing wrong with that. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) dropped a late-night bombshell on Monday suggesting there’s evidence that the FBI and DOJ rigged their own FISA spy warrants by leaking information to the press, then using the resultant articles to obtain court authorization to surveil targets.

“We’ve learned NEW information suggesting our suspicions are true: FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press, and then used those same press stories as a separate source to justify FISA’s,” tweeted Meadows.

Until now, we’ve known that the creator of the so-called Steele Dossier, former UK spy Christopher Steele, leaked information directly to Yahoo! News journalist Michael Isikoff – whose article became a supporting piece of evidence in the FBI’s FISA warrant application and subsequent renewals for Trump adviser Carter Page.

So while we’ve known that Steele seeded Isikoff with information from his dubious dossier, and that the FBI then used both Steele’s dossier and Isikoff’s Steele-inspired article to game the FISA system, Rep. Mark Meadows now says that the FBI/DOJ directly leaked information to the press, which they then used for the same type of FISA scheme.

Strong evidence was discovered in January suggesting that former FBI employee Lisa Page leaked privileged information to Devlin Barrett, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now with the Washington Post. Whether any of Barrett’s reporting was subsequently used to obtain a FISA warrant is unknown.

Meanwhile, Rep. Meadows’s Monday night tweet comes hours before twice-demoted DOJ employee Bruce Ohr is set to give closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee. Ohr was caught lying about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson – who employed Steele. Ohr’s CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also  employed by Fusion as part of the firm’s anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well.

To continue reading: Meadows: “We’ve Learned NEW Information” Suggesting FBI/DOJ Leaked To Press, Used Articles To Obtain FISA Warrants