Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Clinesmith’s Guilty Plea: The Perfect Snapshot of Crossfire Hurricane Duplicity
Excerpt: We learn from the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s FISA abuse that, from the very beginning, Clinesmith was in on OGC deliberations about seeking FISA surveillance of Page. Even before September 2016, when he first learned about Steele’s reporting, he told the IG he believed that there was a “50/50” chance of establishing probable cause that Page was a clandestine agent for Russia. For that assessment, he relied on “Page’s historical contacts with Russian intelligence officers.” At that point, he says he did not know that the CIA had told the FBI that Page was a CIA informant when these contacts took place. So, when the first FISA warrant was sought in October 2016 (and the second in January, and the third in April), he agreed that the probable-cause standard was easily satisfied by these contacts, weighed in combination with Steele’s (uncorroborated) claims about Page, as well as Page’s statements to Halper (as bowdlerized by the bureau). Echoing his bosses, then, Clinesmith adopted the “Page is a Russian spy” fantasy from the get-go. If subsequent developments ever called for scrutinizing the kamikaze portrayal of Page as a spy, Clinesmith was sure to be on the hook. And while the higher-ups would take most of the heat if the bureau proved to be embarrassingly wrong, it is always the underlings like Clinesmith who get hung out to dry for misinforming their superiors. That is how Washington works. Clinesmith, a Washington creature, realized this only too well. [Notice that the FBI investigation starts well BEFORE the election in NOVEMBER of 2016. This is the first of a three-part McCarthy examination of what happened, when and why. This part is seriously concerning; I suspect the remaining parts will be worse. Ron P.]

Clinesmith Guilty Plea: Using a ‘Digraph’ to Conceal a Massive Deception of the Court
Excerpt: To recap, we are focusing on June 2017, when the FBI was preparing to submit an application for a fourth 90-day warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The “SSA,” a supervisory special agent at FBI headquarters whom we met in Part 1, was to be the affiant on that application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Not assigned to Crossfire Hurricane until December 2016, the SSA had not been involved in the investigation when the bureau opened it five months earlier. He was personally unaware that, months before the first Page FISA warrant was sought in October 2016, the CIA had informed the FBI about Page’s years of work as a CIA informant, authorized by the agency for “operational contact” with Russians. Though the SSA was not on the investigative team, he had been the headquarters official assigned to swear to the truth of the renewal warrant applications in January and April 2017. He thus knew that the bureau heavily relied on Page’s prior years of contact with Russians in portraying Page to the FISC as a clandestine agent of Moscow, at the center of a suspected Trump-Russia espionage conspiracy. The SSA became alarmed when Page, while vehemently denying that he was a spy for Russia, publicly claimed that he’d been a U.S. government intelligence source against Russia. The SSA realized that if Page was telling the truth, it would “seriously impact the predication of our entire investigation.” That was not the half of it. [This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. As stated in yesterday’s comment on Part 1, the situation just keeps growing, the hole keeps getting deeper. The 3rd part should be out tomorrow, the 26th.  Ron P.]

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