1. Remember, the Special Counsel was appointed in May 2017, and from then until April 2019 any matter which had anything to do with Spygate or Trump/Russia, was managed exclusively by the Special Counsel team. [Rosenstein testified to this June 2, 2020]
2. The Carter Page FISA warrant of June 29, 2017, was renewed during the tenure of the Special Counsel. They alone ran the FISA process for the third renewal.
3. Kevin Clinesmith’s boss at the FBI during the period for FISA assembly was a supervisory special agent and Trisha Beth Anderson was the lawyer responsible to sign-off on the final assembly. [LINK]
4. The Clinesmith criminal indictment (actually an “information”) informs that, while the Special Counsel was running the DOJ, and Andy McCabe was running the FBI, Clinesmith made this request to another government agency “OGA”:
We need some clarification on [Carter Page]. There is an indication that he may be a “[digraph] source.”
5. Why is this “digraph” redacted from the Clinesmith information?
6. Clinesmith continued:
“This [the status of Carter Page] is a fact we would need to disclose in our next FISA renewal…”
7. Why is the sentence following that critical question redacted from the Clinesmith indictment with “….”?
8. Clinesmith continued:
“To that end, can we get two items from you? 1) Source Check/ Is [Carter Page] a source in any capacity? 2 ) If he is, what is a [digraph] source ( or what ever type of source he is) ?”
9. Why again is the critical “digraph” source code redacted out of the Clinesmith indictment?
10. The entire issue is that a supervisory special agent is asking Clinesmith to ask the CIA whether Carter Page is any kind of CIA informant. Why redact out that specific material from the Clinesmith indictment, unless the intent is to conceal that material?
11. Why is the specific 2-digit number “digraph” supposedly secret, and why is the “type of source” omitted form the criminal information? The FISA affiant, SSA, is asking, “what is this kind of ‘source’ is Carter Page? He’s claiming to be a source, so check with the CIA to verify ‘if he is any kind of source.’”
12. Again, despite the redaction of what appears to be critical exchange, the Clinesmith indictment still includes asking for official CIA confirmation about Carter Page, “whatever kind of source he is.”
13. We know from the Clinesmith indictment that (at a minimum) he reported back that Carter Page “was a subsource” for the CIA.
14. So when the DOJ (now run by the Special Counsel) signed the Carter Page FISA renewal [June 29, 2017], we know without question that the FBI Supervisory Special Agent who reported directly to the FBI’s Deputy Director (McCabe) knew that Carter Page was at least a CIA subsource.
15. And we know without question that Clinesmith had been informed by the CIA that the CIA has already informed the DOJ and the FBI about Carter Page’s status, a year earlier, on August 17, 2016.
16. The CIA gave Clinesmith an email with all of that information. [LINK]
17. Without any push-back from the DOJ or FBI, in 2020, in connection with Clinesmith’s guilty plea, he stated that he (Clinesmith) never bothered to read the Carter Page file that the CIA gave to him. [LINK]
18. His boss had asked him specifically to check with the CIA as to the status of Carter Page. The CIA confirmed that Carter Page was some kind of source, and provided the file explaining it all.
19. Clinesmith first reports to his boss that the CIA has confirmed that Carter Page is some kind of a source – a “sub-source,” but we don’t know exactly because the “digraph” code describing what kind of source he was had been concealed out of the indictment.
20. What possible reason is there for the DOJ to redact out that code?
21. When Clinesmith reports to his boss that Carter Page is definitely some kind of CIA source, without question the SSA now knows:
“This [the CIA source status of Carter Page] is a fact we would need to disclose in our next FISA renewal…”
22. Yet a few days later, Clinesmith sends an email to his boss evidencing that Carter Page “was never a source.” Yet the DOJ’s indictment redacts the “digraph” code about this.
23. Isn’t it a logical conclusion that the combination of the following highlight a DOJ whitewash: (i) the redactions of the digraph code from the indictment, “(ii) the DOJ allowing Clinesmith, unchallenged, to assert that he “did not recall ever reviewing the documents referenced in the [CIA’s] email” disclosing Carter Page’s informant status with the CIA.
24. And how could a veteran FBI attorney (Clinesmith), in the space of a few days, twist “A” into “B”?
25. Here is “A” the process the FBI started with:
Getting “clarification on [Carter Page]. There is an indication that he may be a “ [digraph] source… we would need to disclose in our next FISA renewal… To that end….[contact the CIA and find out]: (1) Is [Carter Page] a source in any capacity? and (2) If he is, what is a [digraph] source (or what ever type of source he is)?”
26. What was “B”?
After first telling his boss that Carter Page was a sub-source, Clinesmith changed the official story by then stating that Carter Page “was not a source”, as if there is some distinction between being a CIA-approved “source” versus a CIA-approved “sub-source.”
27. Clinesmith’s boss knew this change of story was a smoking gun of a fix. How do we know that? Two issues:
28. First, the Clinesmith indictment concedes it, although it is buried. SSA asked Clinesmith whether the FBI “had it in writing” from the CIA that Carter Page “was not a source.” That’s not a question in this scenario, that’s an instruction.
29. Clinesmith knew any written claim that Carter Page was not a source would be untrue, because the CIA had informed them specifically that Carter Page was working with the CIA as a [digraph], and that his role was described in the CIA briefing memo to the Crossfire Hurricane team dated August 17, 2016. [LINK]
30. The Crossfire Hurricane team consisted of many senior members of the DOJ and FBI who eventually overlapped into the Special Counsel [They had to know what was going on with this June 29, 2017 renewal]
31. Clinesmith also knew Carter Page was a source for the CIA. He deliberately falsified the CIA email to try and create a CYA position for the use of the FISA application. For this event he has now plead guilty to a felony.
32. What happened during the four days: June 15, 2017 to June 19, 2017, that caused FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to commit a felony by doctoring an email from the CIA?
33. What happened during the four days June 15 to June 19, 2017, that caused the FBI to pivot from asking about Carter Page’s status with the CIA “in any capacity, and whatever type of source he is” – to later stating something from the CIA they knew was untrue?
34. Trisha Beth Anderson signed-off on the Carter Page FISA application, a title-1 surveillance warrant, under penalty of perjury…. even though we know the application contained materially false information and omissions.
35. Trisha Beth Anderson claims she signed the FISA affidavit(s) because it/they were presented to her in a rather unusual manner. [LINK]
In front of a joint session of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees on Aug. 31, 2018, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson said she was normally responsible for signing off on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications before they reached the desk of her superiors for approval. Anderson said the “linear path” those applications typically take was upended in October 2016, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signing off on the application before she did. Because of that unusual high-level involvement, she didn’t see the need to “second guess” the FISA application.
36. Why did she do this? She disclosed why in her previously hidden testimony to congress (August 2018). [LINK]
Anderson said all FISAs need to be signed off on in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch, where she was assigned at the time. Anderson said she was the Senior Executive Service approver for the “initiation” of the Page FISA, including determining whether there is legal sufficiency.
But Anderson stressed “in this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application.” She emphasized “this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”
Anderson said that FISA approvals are typically “tracked in a linear fashion” and that someone in the Senior Executive Service “is the final approver on hard copy before a FISA goes to the director or deputy director for signature.” She said the Page FISA was approved outside regular procedures. (more)
37. Anderson had signed-off on earlier Page FISA applications because they came to her already signed: ex. by James Comey (FBI) and Sally Yates (DOJ).
“Because there were very high-level discussions that occurred about the FISA,” Anderson said she believed that meant “the FISA essentially had already been well-vetted all the way up through at least the Deputy Director [McCabe] level on our side and through the DAG [Yates] on the DOJ side.” Yates had already signed the application by the time it made it to Anderson’s desk.
38. When she signed-off on the last Carter Page FISA renewal (June 29, 2017) the Special Counsel was now running the DOJ. Andrew McCabe was in position and running the FBI
39. Trish Anderson signed-off the prior Carter Page FISA’s because they were presented to her pre-approved and pre-signed by the FBI and and DOJ leadership.
“The General Counsel [Jim Baker] … personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA, for example,” Anderson said. “The Deputy Director was involved in reviewing the FISA line by line. The Deputy Attorney General over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line by line.”
[…] Anderson stressed that McCabe, Yates, and Baker all played key roles in reviewing the Page FISA. “My approval at that point was really purely administrative in nature. In other words, the substantive issues — the FISA had already substantively been approved by people much higher than me in the chain of command,” Anderson said.
Anderson said it “typically would not have been the case” that people such as McCabe and Yates would sign off on a FISA application before she did.
“That part of it was unusual, and so I didn’t consider my review at that point in the process to be substantive in nature,” Anderson said. “In other words, there were smart lawyers, high-level people on both sides of the street who had reviewed and signed off on the application, the details of the application. And so I was simply signaling, yes, this package is ready to go forward.”
Anderson said the seal of approval from such high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials meant that her signature on the FISA application was mostly perfunctory. (more)
40. General Counsel Jim Baker and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was Anderson’s FBI boss when she signed-off on a false affidavit and assembly. Rod Rosenstein was Deputy Attorney General.
41. Additionally, on June 29, 2017, the special counsel was in control of the DOJ and DOJ-NSD. This third renewal was under their authority.
42. Who told/influenced Kevin Clinesmith to change events and paper the file with a false claim that Carter Page was somehow not a CIA asset?
42. AG Bill Barr has known since December 9, 2019, about Kevin Clinesmith’s felony forgery when OIG Inspector General Michael Horowitz made a criminal referral for the discovery. Why delay the indictment until August 20, 2020.
This thing reeks of another institutional preservation approach. What I suspect is that Barr does not want to touch any material that contacts the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel… however, what took place under the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel is actually more corrupt than any activity that preceded it.
What I also strongly suspect is that Bill Barr is using his oft stated “I will not allow the DOJ to be political” as a crutch in his preservation approach. If nothing from the world or sphere of politics is allowed to enter the world or sphere of the DOJ then what is supposed to happen with all those years of congressional evidence gathering?
If my suspicions are correct; and keep in mind I have made first hand contact with the Durham investigators to confirm their intense alignment with Barr’s directive; then nothing from any embargoed political silo will ever be prosecuted regardless of how it percolates out.
If you read all the material you will see there is clearly no arrangement for Kevin Clinesmith to have provided any other evidence to the DOJ. This is a one-and-done move just like James Wolfe. The parallels are very similar.
Clinesmith Supporting Statement:
Clinesmith Plea agreement: