A few hours ago President Trump tweeted a curiously specific pair of tweets targeting the FBI, DOJ and FISA investigations as it relates to the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman Bob Goodlatte. Something’s up:
Against the backdrop of the DOJ notifying the House Intelligence and House Senate committees last night of their ability to review the DOJ/FBI submission of the FISA Court application used to target U.S. person Carter Page, the specificity of POTUS Trump’s direction is curious.
As we previously discussed the DOJ allowing expanded congressional oversight over the FISA application, against the backdrop of a previously announced IG review of this specific FISA application, would indicate Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Federal Prosecutor John Huber signed-off on, or perhaps directed, last night’s approval.
There are several angles that loom as possibilities, including the beginning of a process to make this specific FISA application declassified and available to the general public. There’s also the outstanding issue, a very serious issue, of the application currently in the FISA court being different from the FBI/DOJ version shared with congress (Nunes memo). That unresolved issue is ongoing, and specifically involves Chairman Goodlatte.
Additionally, accepting the OIG report is almost certainly the most complex undertaking of IG Horowitz career; and the multitude of possible angles within each part of the investigative inquiry are so consequential; there’s an increased likelihood the report is coming out in stages.
Just the sheer process of an ordinarily complex OIG report with the inherent fact-audit, draft-report review, fact-check, and preliminary draft vetting of all references is exhaustive in itself.
Now imagine overlaying that process atop the tentacles behind millions of pages of gathered evidence on multiple investigative issues surrounding the FBI/DOJ conduct: •Clinton email, manipulated investigations with predetermined outcomes; •unlawful and coordinated media leaks; •false testimony to FBI, congress and under oath to IG; •manipulated FBI 302 reports; •issues with Andrew McCabe etc.. and then if that’s not complex enough to report about…. you overlay the •issues with the FISA court; •false presentations; •source material (Steele Dossier); and well, you get the picture…. This is massive and ¹complex.
[…¹and that still leaves the unmasking and state dept issues for a special prosecutor]
In my opinion, part of the reason why FBI Director Christopher Wray doubled the size of the staff assigned to the congressional fulfillment is specifically because there’s a phase in the OIG process where initial statements of fact go through an exhaustive OIG draft vetting process within the targeted agency. The “source vetting” or “referencer” phase is part of the target response -and internal review audit- prior to the final draft and ultimately publication.
I don’t think all 54 of those FBI staff Director Wray assigned to this task are simply vetting for declassification needs. Think about it, and contrast against the formal process. More likely a significant number of these staff are vetting the underlying evidence that’s noted in Horowitz’s draft notification document. Remember, many of these elements are also potentially criminal actions individually; and quite likely, in the aggregate, also the broad outlines of a criminal conspiracy amid all of the participants.
You can call it a soft-coup, or you can call it politicization of the DOJ and FBI, but the end result is the same – the intentional effort to manipulate, influence, and ultimately subvert an election for the presidency of the United States.
So with all of that in mind, for Inspector General Horowitz and Prosecutor Huber to be signing-off on releasing the Carter Page FISA application; there has to be something more there. Something in addition to the end-stages of an IG report that is almost guaranteed to come in chapters or stages.
This is where I would draw your attention to EW “Bill” Priestap. The head of Counterintelligence Division of the FBI who was present for the entire time, and is still in place today.
It would be intellectually dishonest in the extreme not to accept that any investigative approach taken by Michael Horowitz and John Huber, that is in any way related to the DOJ-NSD and FBI intelligence apparatus – including specifically the FISA court, has not been directed as an outcome of extensive interviews with the head of the FBI counterintelligence agency.
Horowitz and Huber ain’t fishing in uncharted waters. They have a subject matter expert guiding them to the exact epicenter location of the fish.
So yeah, this looks very curiously specific: