Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Comey's FBI vs. the FISA Court - Les Still

by Les Still

FISA policies are only as good as the people implementing them, and it looks as if for some time now the people in charge have acted irresponsibly if not with bias or even illegality.

During his interview with Chris Wallace, James Comey was reminded of what he had said about FISA warrant applications: "I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DoJ and the FBI. The notion that the FISA process was abused is nonsense.” 

The Horowitz report soundly contradicted Comey’s strong defense. During further questioning by Wallace, Comey finally had to admit he was wrong and IG Horowitz was right. But, you know, it really wasn’t that bad. It was just a little “sloppiness” on the part of the FBI, he seemed to say.

The ACLU has written numerous papers exposing evidence of the FBI’s long history of abusing its surveillance powers. In one paper they documented a series of repeated malfeasance by reviewing several prior IG reports. The title of the paper was “More About Intelligence agencies (CIA/DNI) Spying.” They based this on a series of five audits by the IG. The reports had confirmed, “widespread FBI mismanagement and misuse and abuse of power.” It was determined the FBI had never implemented all the recommendations the IG had mandated in previous reports. Furthermore, there was doubt expressed by the IG whether “The reforms, even if implemented, would be sufficient.”

Now, we have the latest by IG Michael Horowitz, which found there had been 17 errors and omissions committed by Comey’s FBI in the Russian investigation. One of the most egregious involved Carter Page, an Annapolis graduate and naval officer who had been an important informant for the CIA. At one point in the FISA process an FBI attorney inserted the words “not a source” in an email he’d received from the CIA. That was one of the “little mistakes” Comey has referred to -- except that Horowitz considered it as being unlawful and the lawyer who did this has been referred for criminal prosecution by the IG.

When Wallace questioned Comey about this revelation gleaned from the Horowitz report, Comey dismissed the seriousness of the question by saying, “This has not been resolved -- it’s just some lawyer changing something sent to another member on the team.” 

During his April 26, 2018 interview with Bret Baier, Comey claimed that the Steele Dossier was just a small part of a “larger mosaic of evidence” submitted to FISA. The press has bought this narrative and has presented it as fact. Therefore, much of the public believes it. However, Horowitz contradicts both Comey and the press by finding that the dossier was critical and essential in seeking FISA warrants.

It is important to understand that the FISA court is different from everyday courts in one very important way. In legal terms, it’s proceedings are ex parte meaning there are no adversarial proceedings and the FISA court judge only hears one side. Carter Page had no representation and had no way to let the court know that he worked for the CIA. The most important question becomes, why didn’t Brennan intervene and inform Comey that Page had been working for him? 

The misuse and abuse of the FISA court and blaming it on the rank and file of the FBI is unacceptable and this is what Andrew McCabe and James Comey did. McCabe, who was fired by the FBI and is now a CNN commentator, told Wolf Blitzer, “The biggest mistake, I think, is the process that was in place essentially left so much responsibility on the lowest level of FBI agents and supervisors involved in a process. Once those mistakes are baked in, they become very, very hard for the layers of oversight to uncover.” Comey, too, seemed to want to blame lower-level FBI agents when he said, “As the director sitting on top of an organization of 30,000 people you can’t run an investigation that’s seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do.”
Anyone paying attention at the time this was going on and then seeing Horowitz’s report would have been able to determine this whole Crossfire Hurricane operation was conducted by the very top layers of leadership in the FBI, not seven layers below. That’s one of the reasons Horowitz asserted FBI leadership had not been vindicated by his report.

During the most recent interview with Chris Wallace, Comey was asked, “If you were still FBI director would you resign?” Comey’s startling response was, “No, I don’t think so.” He declared, “There were far more consequential mistakes that were made during my tenure [as FBI director].” What, pray tell, is more consequential than:

  1. Having one of Comey’s FBI lawyers committing the crime of altering evidence to make it look like Carter Page was not a CIA resource?
  2. Having one of your lawyers referred for criminal prosecution? The Epoch Times summarized it thisway:
Eventually, Horowitz replied, “I think it’s fair for people to sit there and look at all of these 17 events and wonder how it could be purely incompetence.”He also said that he “agrees completely” with the assertion that someone at the FBI needs to be fired. The “culture” also needs to be “changed” at the FBI, he added.After being questioned by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Inspector General also said he couldn’t rule out bias in later stages of the FBI’s investigation.
  1. Being told by Inspector General Horowitz that his report, “Doesn’t vindicate anybody at the FBI, including the leadership.” Comey responded, “Maybe it depends on how we understand the words…” Is this another classic dodge like “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is?”
  2. Having Christopher Steele’s dossier debunked?
  3. General Michael Flynn not being mirandized or Comey admitting he did not follow normal procedures by taking advantage of the situation? He said, “It is something I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration.” He continued, “I thought It’s early enough, let’s just send a couple guys over.” Sidney Powell, Flynn’s lawyer, called this “An outrageous abuse of power.” She said, “Even Christopher Wray has said, ‘it will never happen again.’”
  4. Having Comey’s FBI chastened by the FISA Court?
FISA policies are only as good as the people implementing them, and it looks as if for some time now the people in charge have acted irresponsibly if not with bias or even illegality. Perhaps the latter is why we are beginning to see announcements like this one from the American Center for Law and Justice: “Right now, we're engaged in a major lawsuit against the Deep State FBI. We've already forced the FBI to agree to turn over thousands of emails between Comey's circle of corruption about spies placed in the White House.”

When you see potential lawsuits like this appearing, and other potential suits by Carter Page, as suggested by Lindsey Graham, the scathing letter to the FBI by the head of the FISA court, and Durham opening a criminal investigation, members of the Deep State might want to begin lawyering up.

Les Still

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/12/comeys_fbi_vs_the_fisa_court.html

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