A variety of officials in the Obama administration unmasked Flynn in official intelligence reports and then fed the Washington media’s leak machine. From Ebony Bowden, Steven Nelson and Bob Frederick at nypost.com:
WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden and former FBI Director James Comey are among the top officials who tried to “unmask” Michael Flynn’s identity during the Russia probe, according to a report by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.
The bombshell letter, first reported by Fox News on Wednesday afternoon, was sent to Republican senators by Grenell as they seek to investigate the origins of the FBI’s malign probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper are also included on the list of 23 named Obama-era officials who allegedly tried to reveal the identity of Flynn during the presidential transition period, as are Obama chief of staff Dennis McDonough and former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.
Nine names were redacted for apparent national security purposes.
Biden’s name emerged in connection to the Flynn unmasking just a day after he denied any knowledge of the Flynn probe.
“What did you know about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn, and was there anything improper done?” “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos asked him Tuesday.
“I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” Biden said.
How about that, an article that’s not on the coronavirus. From Sara Carter at saracarter.com:
Systemic FBI Effort To Legitimize Steele and Use His Information To Target POTUS
Newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December FBI report reveals that senior Obama officials, including members of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team knew the dossier compiled by a former British spy during the 2016 election was Russian disinformation to target President Donald Trump.
Further, the partially declassified footnotes reveal that those senior intelligence officials were aware of the disinformation when they included the dossier in the Obama administration’s Intelligence Communities Assessment (ICA).
As important, the footnotes reveal that there had been a request to validate information collected by British spy Christopher Steele as far back as 2015, and that there was concern among members of the FBI and intelligence community about his reliability. Those concerns were brushed aside by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their pursuit against the Trump campaign officials, according to sources who spoke to this reporter and the footnotes.
The explosive footnotes were partially declassified and made public Wednesday, after a lengthy review by the Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell’s office. Grenell sent the letter Wednesday releasing the documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, both who requested the declassification.
It’s probably too much to hope for, but the phony Russiagate affair my turn around to bite those who instigated it. From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:
Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs.
The biggest crime that a US President can commit is to try to defeat American democracy (the Constitutional functioning of the US Government) itself, either by working with foreign powers to take it over, or else by working internally within America to sabotage democracy for his or her own personal reasons. Either way, it’s treason (crime that is intended to, and does, endanger the continued functioning of the Constitution itself*), and Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this. The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.
To understand why there’s no-one in the administrative mid-tier of the FBI acting in a whistle-blowing capacity requires a background perspective looking at the totality of corruption. The institutions are protecting themselves; and yes, that protection applies to the internal dynamics.
Former DAG Rod Rosenstein was dirty. He might not have started out dirty, but his actions in office created a dirty mess. Rosenstein facilitated the McCabe operation against Trump during the May 16th, 2017, White House FBI sting against Trump with Mueller. Rosenstein also facilitated the special counsel (writ large), and provided three scope memos to expand the corrupt investigation of President Trump. According to the inaction of AG Bill Barr, we’re not allowed to see those authorizing scope memos.
Additionally, despite knowing the Trump investigation held a false predicate, Rosenstein signed the 3rd renewal of a fraudulent FISA application. Worse yet, even if Rosenstein was caught up by corruption around him, he did nothing to stop the fraud once identified.
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.”
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
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey leaves the Rayburn House Office Building after testifying to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 7, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey admitted fault following last week’s Justice Department Inspector General’s report that detailed at least 17 serious errors during the launch of the agency’s investigation into Trump’s campaign.
Comey had previously defended the FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts during the investigation, but Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI’s investigative team made errors and omissions when applying for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Horowitz, in a Senate hearing, criticized the “entire chain of command” at the FBI and Justice Department for their failures in handling the warrant. Comey was in charge of the FBI when the investigation was launched.
“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey told “Fox News Sunday” about how the FBI used the FISA system, adding that “I was overconfident as director in our procedures.”
If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.
Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find.
Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz’s conclusion that there was no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s probe of Donald Trump’s Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had “authorized purpose” to conduct.
Horowitz uses phrases like “serious performance failures,” describing his 416-page catalogue of errors and manipulations as incompetence rather than corruption. This throws water on the notion that the Trump investigation was a vast frame-up.
How the FBI became the monster it is today. From Angelo Codevilla at amgreatness.com:
An inspector general’s report underscores how the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.
The Justice Department’s inspector general this month reprimanded the FBI for the manner in which it recruits and supervises its “confidential human sources.” To the layman, this seems about technicalities. In fact, it shows that one of the CIA’s deadliest dysfunctions now infects the FBI as well.
This disease consists of choosing and rejecting sources for the purpose of indulging the agencies’ and their leaders’ private agendas rather than to further intelligence work on the public’s behalf.
Necessarily, the language of the inspector general’s November 19 report is vague: “Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources.” This means the FBI has failed to use “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources, which has resulted in “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way.
Is there really a whistleblower, or is the personage just another concoction? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
An eerie silence cloaked the political landscape this lovely fall weekend as the soldiers in this (so far) administrative civil war scrambled for position in the next round of skirmishes. Rep. Adam Schiff fell back on the preposterous idea that he might not produce his “whistleblower” witness at all in the (so far) hypothetical impeachment proceeding. He put that one out after running a similarly absurd idea up the flagpole: that his “whistleblower” might just testify by answering written questions. I was waiting for him to offer up testimony by Morse code, carrier pigeon, or smoke signals.
Of course, the effort to “protect” the “whistleblower” has been a juke all along. For one thing, he-she-it is not a “whistleblower” at all; was only labeled that via legalistic legerdemain to avoid revealing the origin of this affair as a CIA cover-your-ass operation. Did Mr. Schiff actually think he could conceal this figure’s identity in a senate impeachment trial, when it came to that — for what else is impeachment aimed at? Anonymous sources are not admissible under American due process of law. Mr. Schiff must have missed that class in law school.
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