Judicial Watch obtains (redacted) Carter Page FISA Warrant

It's 400 pages of redacted information. The thing that leaps out at me is that this document alleges Carter Page (the target) is "an agent of a foreign power". We've seen how slippery that definition can be, with Manafort being accused of basically failing to file paperwork to register as such an agent. However, it can also indicate someone who is actually an espionage agent rather than simply a lobbyist.

On page 4, the application describes Page as having been "the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government [long redacted passage] undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election in violation of US criminal law."

So let's stop a moment here.

The last time Russians tried to recruit Page, they called him an idiot... and he testified against them in court, resulting in convictions. That was Page's prior experience as an FBI informant. But now the Russians are going to try to recruit him again? When they got burned last time? That reads more like an excuse than anything else. Maybe they are conflating earlier efforts to recruit Page with the current situation. We can't tell because they redacted the details.

More comments as I read through the release below the fold.

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Sun Jul 22 09:37:31 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller subpoenas New York Madame?

TMZKristin Davis, the Manhattan Madam who went to prison and was connected to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, is being subpoenaed in the Robert Mueller investigation ... TMZ has learned.

Davis worked for former Trump aide Roger Stone for a decade, and had numerous interactions with Stone and Andrew Miller -- who ran Davis' campaign for Governor and who was subpoenaed by Mueller a month ago.

What does this possibly have to do with Russian collusion? Nothing, of course. It's Mueller trying to put pressure on anyone he can find in her files connected to Trump, so they will be encouraged to flip on Trump.

Special counsels are supposed to have very specific, very narrow fields of jurisdiction where they can investigate. This is because they are otherwise unrestrained and easily turned into partisan weapons (as in fact Mueller was intended to be from the beginning). The more Mueller chases these things far, far away from his appropriate area of authority, the more obviously partisan and corrupt his entire operation becomes.

Sat Jul 21 09:03:47 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch expecting document dump on FISA warrants from FBI

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch today expects the Justice Department to release redacted documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting the Trump campaign. Judicial Watch expects the document release to center on FISA warrants targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate. The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a minimally-corroborated “dossier” that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

The pending document production comes in a February 2018 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ rejected a July 19, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)). The lawsuit is seeking:

Copies of all proposed and all final signed FISA applications submitted to the FISC relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context;

Copies of all FISC responses to the above-mentioned applications in which the Court notified the FBI or Justice Department that it would not grant the proposed applications or recommended changes. If any such FISC responses were provided orally, rather than in writing, please provide copies of FBI or Justice Department records memorializing or otherwise referencing the relevant FISC responses;

Copies of all FISC orders relating to the above mentioned applications, whether denying the applications and certifications, denying the orders, modifying the orders, granting the orders, or other types of orders.

I don't know what Judicial Watch is expecting, but I'm expecting pages basically 100% blacked out, at least for anything new.

Fri Jul 20 15:59:44 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Attorney-Client privilege no longer a thing, I guess?

Hot Air quoting NYSlimesPresident Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them…

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed in a telephone conversation on Friday that Mr. Trump had discussed the payments with Mr. Cohen on the tape but said the payment was ultimately never made. He said the recording was less than two minutes and demonstrated that the president had done nothing wrong.

So Trump talks to his lawyer, Cohen, who records it for unknown reasons. Prosecutors with ties to Mueller then raid Cohen's office to get the recording in a clear violation of attorney-client privilege. The recording then somehow ends up in the hands of the New York Times, which prints a story on it because it embarrasses the President even if no payment ended up happening and nothing illegal was done.

This bullshit is going to continue until the Trump admin finds some way to push back against the people doing it.

Fri Jul 20 12:59:44 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller files for immunity for 5 witnesses

Daily CallerSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller plans to grant immunity to five witnesses who could testify at the upcoming trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Mueller and his team of prosecutors revealed the use of the “limited immunity” offers in papers filed in federal court on Tuesday. Mueller is asking a federal judge to file the immunity records under seal in order to prevent the identities of the five witnesses from being made public.

The court filing says that the five witnesses, who have not been publicly identified, have so far invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

This lends credence to the narrative that Mueller is covering things up. By granting immunity to witnesses, Mueller ensures that they cannot be prosecuted for the things they testify about. Since one of the witnesses is expected to be Tony Podesta, and John Podesta has well known links to the Clintons. So by granting immunity, Mueller can protect Tony from other prosecutors wanting to charge him with anything he testifies about. This would thus protect John Podesta, and Hillary Clinton.

The FBI/DOJ investigation of Clinton's emails used a similar trick. Just grant lots of immunity and don't use any of the information you get.

Fri Jul 20 09:59:44 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Unbiased James Comey demands we all vote for Democrats

Comey on Twitter quoted on Ace of SpadesThis Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that “Ambition must ... counteract ambition.” All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. Policy differences don’t matter right now. History has its eyes on us.

James Comey is a weasel who does weasel things.

Wed Jul 18 13:00:06 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lisa Page is cooperating

Fox and FriendsRep. John Ratcliffe reveals Lisa Page admitted her text messages with Peter Strzok “mean exactly what they say,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony

That portends problems for Strzok. Particularly the bit about "we'll stop him." Hopefully Lisa is also being forthcoming about how, exactly, they planned to "stop him".

Wed Jul 18 12:00:06 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Plutonium stolen from gov agency tasked with recovering stolen plutonium

View from the WingOn a mission to recover radioactive materials, two Department of Energy employees from the Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio. Materials had been loaned to a private research lab, and their job was to get it back and transport it security to a government facility.

They brought with them specialized radiation detectors. And to calibrate the detectors they have to bring along some plutonium, too, and also cesium. These are the materials used in nuclear weapons or dirty bombs.

They left the materials in the back seat of their rented Ford Expedition and went to bed. The plutonium and cesium were stolen out of the Marriott parking lot.

Our elites do not seem very elite.

Wed Jul 18 11:00:13 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Houston ChronicleA gun — any gun — used to kill or injure someone is, for all intents and purposes, an assault weapon.

Never let anyone tell you they don't want to take your guns.

But ok, for a moment, I'll play along. You can confiscate all individual firearms used to kill or injure someone. All of mine will be safe, and if I have to shoot someone in defense of my life, the police are likely to seize it for evidence and I'll have to buy a new one (or choose a new one from the safe) anyway.

I imagine this article in the Houston Chronicle isn't going over well in Texas.

Wed Jul 18 11:00:06 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lisa Page cooperating with Congress?

LifezetteRep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told reporters outside a closed-door hearing on Monday that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page has been significantly more cooperative than her one-time colleague and lover, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok.

“As I said before, she is a very forthcoming witness,” Ratcliffe told reporters after leaving the hearing room. “She gave us a lot of new information that we didn’t have before. That will lead us to ask for some more people to make some more requests for information we do not yet have.”

“I think there are significant differences between their testimony about important material facts,” Ratcliffe said. “I think she has been as forthcoming as she can. I think she is trying to respect the real privileges that exist from her former employer, and she is getting direction from FBI counsel about not answering certain things and she is trying to respect that. At the same time, I think she is trying to give us as much information as she’s allowed to do, which I think is a distinction and difference from what we saw with Peter Strzok.”

This should worry Strzok and his coconspirators. There's a reason the wrath of a woman scorned is ensconced in our myths and legends.

Tue Jul 17 14:52:12 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

All hat, no balls

Gowdy nixes Rosenstein impeachment. I'm pretty much convinced that Gowdy's role in the Deep State is that of controlled opposition.

Mon Jul 16 13:38:29 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok rolls on Comey

If you remember from the IG report, one major decision that the IG determined might not have been free from bias was the decision to prioritize the Trump-Russia investigation over the Clinton email investigation in the days before the election. Now, the IG report itself is effectively a whitewash; it lays out extensive evidence of bias, but in the conclusion, says that bias can't be proven to have affected any actual decisions because no one wrote down that they were making their decision based on their bias. If that's the standard for determining a decision is biased, no decision would ever be found to be biased. But even by that standard, the IG identifies that resource prioritization decision to be potentially biased.

In Strzok's testimony, he says he made that priority decision because Comey told him to. For Strzok, that's a get out of jail free card if true, at least on this specific decision. If his superior told him to prioritize the Trump-Russia investigation over the Clinton investigation, his superior gets the blame for it, biased or not.

In my opinion, Comey is just as biased as Strzok, and in the same direction, but there is less hard evidence in the form of text messages to prove it.

But it's interesting that people have started to flip on their superiors so the investigation can walk up the chain, isn't it?

Mon Jul 16 11:38:36 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok's testimony as a whole

I spent a fair bit of time over the weekend listening to, and occasionally watching, Strzok's public testimony before Congress last week. He demonstrated arrogance, inappropriate affect (smirking like he was getting away with something during answers, a classic tell for bad liars), unbelievable claims that contradicted themselves (such as saying he doesn't remember writing a text, and then carefully explaining what he meant when he wrote it), and generally hiding behind FBI lawyers telling him not to answer questions as often as possible while smirking at Congressmen and saying he was "just as frustrated as you are" (a line he repeated so often it was likely rehearsed and focus-grouped).

The Democrats interrupted as often as possible to talk over the witness, make pointless points of order, prevent any substantive answers from being heard, and when they had the microphone, toss softballs or make speeches about entirely unrelated topics. It was an embarrassing and childish attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

Strzok's answers will read, on a transcript, as mostly reasonable and polite. He does occasionally make angry, self-righteous speeches that demonstrate his arrogance, but his refusals to answer at all are usually blamed on the advice from his lawyers. On audio and video, however, they look bad. Really bad. And on close examination, they are even worse: Strzok apologizes for bias repeatedly, but clearly (based on his impassioned speeches) doesn't actually think he did anything wrong. He demonstrates, over 10 grating hours of excuses, smirking, arrogance, and anger at Congress for daring to question his clearly non-existent professionalism, that he is blind to his own flaws.

Mon Jul 16 11:38:29 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lisa Page: no one from DOJ contacted her about interview requests

Lisa Page's testimony contradicts Rosenstein's. Who is lying? Another argument for impeaching Rosenstein, if it was him. But she doesn't exactly seem eager to testify, though early reports suggest she might be spilling the beans.

Sat Jul 14 10:43:36 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller indicts more phantom Russians

The new indictment is a transparently obvious replacement for the previous indictment of "Russian hackers" that was doomed when lawyers for one of the indicted corporations turned up in court to demand a trial. Oops. That trial is going nowhere, so Mueller has filed this indictment -- of people and not corporations this time -- to try to take attention off the Congressional hearings and keep his own investigation alive in the news reports.

And there's one other purpose. So long as Mueller keeps his investigation open, Strzok and others can keep telling Congress that the FBI has advised them not to answer questions about an ongoing investigation.

The Mueller investigation has been intended all along as both shield and sword. Sword to threaten Trump with impeachment and obstruction of justice, and to provide those seeking to depose him access to government power and money in their effort to do so. And shield, to allow FBI and DOJ to cite the ongoing investigation to Congress to avoid disclosure of their wrongdoing, while arranging plea deals, destruction of evidence, and immunity-for-testimony deals to anyone who knows too much.

Sat Jul 14 09:43:36 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lisa Page to testify today

Washington TimesFormer FBI lawyer Lisa Page will testify in a closed-door session with Congress on Friday and Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, announced Thursday.

Ms. Page was set to testify on Wednesday, but defied a congressional subpoena. Her lawyer, Amy Jeffress, said Ms. Page did not have time to prepare for the hearing or view documents provided to lawmakers before her testimony.

Given the timing, it seems obvious her real goal was to delay her testimony in order to see what Strzok was saying about her so she could avoid accidentally contradicting him.

Fri Jul 13 14:40:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok perjures himself

SpectatorOne act of obvious perjury during the hearing was Strzok’s claim — which he presented as incontrovertible proof of his apolitical professionalism — that he “never” spoke to reporters about the investigation before election day. Strzok didn’t even bother to coordinate this lie with his defense attorney, who has previously admitted that Strzok talked to reporters about the investigation. Strzok’s attorney wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today saying that “Peter and others” at the FBI “actively ensured that news reports didn’t overplay the seriousness of the investigation.” How did he do that without talking to them?

I seem to remember some of the text messages between Strzok and Page took place while Strzok was talking to a reporter (later identified specifically, along with the resulting stories).

Fri Jul 13 13:40:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Confirmed: Fusion (Nellie Ohr) gave dossier info to FBI (Bruce Ohr)

The fact isn't new; the admission is.

UPDATE: This matters because it shows the FBI continued to receive info from Fusion GPS via back channels even after Steele, their informant, was fired for lying to them.

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Fri Jul 13 11:40:23 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hacking of Hillary's server confirmed

According to Strzok's testimony, Hillary's server was hacked in such a manner that all emails sent and received were automatically forwarded to a foreign server. Meaning, someone (and apparantly not the Russians) got every single email save 4, presumably in real time.

This is no longer a hypothetical huge breach of security.

If it was merely hypothetical, I could live with letting Hillary retire in return for not prosecuting her beyond a slap on the wrist with a condition she stay out of politics. But now? Oh no.

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Fri Jul 13 11:40:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dem candidate lies to get elected

Free BeaconTedra Cobb, the Democratic candidate in New York's 21st Congressional District, told a group of teenage supporters that she supports a ban on certain firearms but won't say so publicly for fear of losing her election.

"When I was at this thing today, it was the first table I was at, a woman said, ‘How do you feel about assault rifles?' And I said they should be banned," Cobb can be heard saying in the video recorded by one of the attendees. "And I said, you know, people were getting up to go, to go get their lunch because it was a buffet, and I just said to her, I want you to know Cindy, I cannot say that."

"And she said, ‘Well, I want you to' and I said, ‘I won't win,'" Cobb said. "I said Moms Demand [Action] says, and Tricia Pleau said, ‘Do not say that you want an assault rifle ban because you will not win.'"

Well, Tedra, now you've said it.

Fri Jul 13 10:40:23 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Iran plotting terror attacks via their embassies?

CNSNewsThe United States believes the Iranian regime is responsible for a foiled plot to bomb an opposition group’s rally in Paris late last month, and is working closely with authorities in three European countries to investigate, according to a senior State Department official.

“If Iran can plot bomb attacks in Paris, they can plot attacks anywhere in the world, and we urge all nations to be vigilant about Iran using embassies as diplomatic cover to plot terrorist attacks,” the official said.

The Iranian government appears to be incapable of behaving in a civilized manner. We should strongly consider responding in kind.

Fri Jul 13 10:40:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kavanaugh on the 4th

Silicon GreybeardSo Trump chose Kavanaugh. Count me as a lukewarm supporter. Yeah, he appears to have a good record on the 2A issues, big name pro-gun groups are supporting him, and on the other side the Demanding Mommies and others are all butt hurt about his nomination. Not to disparage that; I really do care about his 2A stance. The part that's sticking in my throat is that he's not as good on the 4th amendment, siding with NSA data collection on every-freakin'-body. As a general rule, he seems to side with big government more than I'm comfortable with. It would be wonderful, for example, if he was demonstrably against civil asset forfeiture, but I find no evidence. He could be worse than Jeff Sessions for all I can find.

Weaker than I would like. But find me a judge who IS good on that issue and doesn't have other disqualifiers? The intelligence agencies have the ability to get dirt on anyone who threatens them, and the judges with jurisdiction over those agencies have their members heavily vetted by those agencies to obtain the necessary clearances.

Fri Jul 13 09:40:23 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok testimony

So one thing that leaped out at me. Strzok testified that he (and his attorneys) reached an agreement with the IG that Strzok would personally access his non-work devices and email accounts and provide the IG with any information from them. (This is a little before the two hour mark in the video below). He also testified that he provided the IG with no such materials, ie, his personal email accounts and devices did not have any information relevant to the IG's investigation.

Despite several of his messages with Page referring to "going to imessage" or otherwise switching communications means in the middle of work-related discussions.

I don't buy this for a minute.

To the extent the IG bought it, it damages the IG's own credibility.

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Fri Jul 13 09:40:17 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Left are already agitating to pack the courts when they regain power

Weekly StandardFirst, some legal scholars, are calling on Democrats to commit to “pack the Court” by adding new seats to the Court as soon as Democrats recapture the presidency and Congress—and filling those seats with extra Democratic-appointed justices. These calls preceded Kennedys’ retirement (they began shortly after President Trump was inaugurated, as Josh Blackman observed at the time). But they seem to be taking on new urgency now: Fordham’s Jed Shugerman, for example, announced on Twitter that if President Trump succeeds in appointing a replacement for Kennedy, then the next Democratic president and Congress should add six(!) new seats to the Supreme Court in 2021. (And abolish the filibuster for legislation, if it’s necessary to get the six bonus seats.) Ian Samuel, a Harvard Law fellow, staked out a similar position immediately upon Kennedy’s retirement.

But before they can pack the courts, they will have to pack the Senate to confirm their nominees.

Ian SamuelAs long as you’re pondering what Dems should do with power if they get it, how about statehood for DC and Puerto Rico? (Particularly given recent federal disregard for Puerto Rico: people with electoral votes might not be so easily ignored.)

That would add four permanent Dem Senators. Not to mention the attempts to split California into three states.

Thu Jul 12 16:27:41 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

False flags

PJMediaRobocalls have been received by voters in the Bay Area on behalf of a Republican congressional nominee claiming that Jews are taking over the world and "must be stopped."

California's 11th District, represented by Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), includes parts of Contra Costa County east of Oakland. John Fitzgerald was the only person to run on the Republican ticket, and received 20,354 votes in the jungle primary under which the top two finishers regardless of party go on to the general election.

Fitzgerald openly denies the Holocaust and rails against Jews on his campaign website.

“As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible,” California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said in May. “We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”

I think this is the second such incident this election cycle.

I strongly suggest someone at the GOP start investigating this. It seems obvious that a Dem dirty-tricks squad is false-flagging these candidates.

Thu Jul 12 15:27:48 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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