Why the Durham Report Matters – Part 2, the FISA Court Silo and SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner


Posted originally on the CTH on May 22, 2023 | Sundance

[Part 1, understanding how the silos are used to deflect accountability.]  In this #2 outline we give specific background examples of how weaponized Trump-Russia fraud worked and calling out names with examples of what they did.

On March 15, 2017, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes held a press conference announcing there was no specific evidence of “wire taps” at Trump Tower {HERE}.  However, on March 22, 2017, Nunes held another press conference saying information was brought forth to the HPSCI showing the Trump campaign was under Title-1 surveillance by the FBI and former Obama administration {SEE HERE}.  In between those critical six days, something happened that was important.

With the full backdrop of the Durham report as the baseline, we now know there was zero evidence of any Russian interference effort in the 2016 election.

The Trump-Russia narrative was created by the Clinton campaign, promoted by the FBI and Main justice and advanced in narrative construction by the Obama administration.

On March 17, 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Mark Warner asked the FISA court for a copy of the FISA application used against Trump campaign official Carter Page.

This is not in doubt and was evidenced in DC USAO court records related to SSCI security director James Wolfe who was initially indicted for leaking that specific copy of the FISA application.  The FISC stamp is also visible on the copy of the FISA that was eventually released.

QUESTION:  Why did Mark Warner request a copy of the FISA application from the FISA COURT and not from DOJ Main Justice?  The answer to that question falls into how insiders played the silo game against the Trump administration.

Warner didn’t request the FISA application from Main Justice because: (1) the DOJ insiders were going to fight the release of any toxic information that proved the Trump campaign was under active Title-1 surveillance; they were going to fight release to Devin Nunes. And (2) the legislative branch was part of the Trump-Russia attack construct and the SSCI membership were active participants with the DOJ and FBI (executive branch).

To weaponize the FISA in the effort to get a special counsel appointed, Mark Warner needed to work around the system that was being discussed in the media.  Warner asked the FISA Court for their copy of the application.  On March 17, 2017, a copy of that application was delivered by FBI agent Brian Dugan from the FISC to the SSCI.  It was classified a ‘read and return’ Top Secret product with NO FOReign National access allowed.

Most people are unaware the declassified public version of the FISA application released by the DOJ was this Mark Warner copy.   We know it was this copy again due to the FISC stamp on the document that eventually became declassified and public.

QUESTION:  If the original FISA copy originated from the FISA Court, read and return, how did it end up in Main Justice as part of the eventual July 21, 2018, public release of the Carter Page FISA application?

Put another way, how did the 2017 physical copy go from the FISC to the SSCI and then end up at Main Justice for a 2018 release?

These are the awkward questions that cut through the use of the silo defense mechanisms.

The March 17, FISC copy ended up at Main Justice because the Washington Field Office case file against the leaker, SSCI Security Director James Wolfe, along with all the other evidence therein (which included text messages from Mark Warner), went back through the Mueller special counsel before Wolfe’s eventual indictment.  This is when the Mueller team had to make a decision about releasing it to the public.

Weissmann freaked out when he saw the Dugan file against James Wolfe, and the looming probability that Senator Mark Warner would be caught as the person who told Wolfe to leak the FISA.

The FISA application was leaked. Mueller, Weissmann and Mark Warner knew that back in 2017, but what they didn’t know until the evidence file came in 2018 was that the FBI had proof the FISA was leaked.

Oh snap!

How to dilute that catastrophic issue?

The Weissmann team released the FISA application to the public on July 21, 2018.

Now…. Remember, both Michael Horowitz and John Durham destroyed the DOJ position on the predicate for the FISA application.  In December 2019, IG Horowitz pointed out the missing ‘Woods File’ and 33 material issues with the application (one of which led to the criminal conviction of Kevin Clinesmith).   Three years later, John Durham completely destroys the justification for the Trump-Russia premise behind it.

Notice how no one in the executive branch DOJ, FBI, ODNI, ever criticized Robert Mueller, yet we know to a demonstrable certainty the Mueller special counsel was likely more corrupt than the originating DOJ/FBI corruption the special counsel was protecting.

The origin of ‘Spygate’ was bad, but the totality of the cover-up effort in the Mueller-Weissmann special counsel was exponentially worse.  More actual laws and policies within the justice department were broken by Robert Mueller than any preceding corrupt official.

♦ Amid a series of documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2020 [SEE HERE] there was a rather alarming letter from the DOJ to the FISA Court in July 2018 that pointed out the DC agenda, the “institutional cover-up.” [Link to Letter]

Before getting to the substance of the letter, it’s important to put the release in context. After the FISA Court reviewed the DOJ inspector general report (Dec 2019), the FISC ordered the DOJ-NSD to declassify and release documents related to the Carter Page FISA application.

In the cover letter for this specific release to the Senate Judiciary and Senate Intelligence committees, the DOJ cited the January 7, 2020, FISA court order:

Keep in mind that prior to this release only the FISA court had seen this letter from the DOJ-National Security Division (DOJ-NSD).

As we walk through the alarming content of this letter, I think you’ll identify the motive behind the FISC order to release it.

First, the letter in question was sent by the DOJ-NSD to the FISA Court on July 12, 2018. It is critical to keep the date of the letter in mind as we review the content. This letter to the FISA Court was sent nine days before the DOJ released the FISA application to the public.

Aside from the date, the important part of the first page is the motive for sending it.

The DOJ is telling the FISA court in July 2018: based on what they know the FISA application still contains “sufficient predication for the Court to have found probable cause” to approve the application.

In essence, in July 2018 the DOJ (now with Mueller in place) is defending the Carter Page FISA application as still valid.

However, it is within the justification of the application that alarm bells are found. On page six the letter identifies the primary participants behind the FISA redactions:

As you can see: Christopher Steele is noted as “Source #1”. Glenn Simpson of Fusion-GPS is noted as “identified U.S. person” or “business associate”, and Perkins Coie is the “U.S-based law firm.”

Now things get very interesting.

On page #8 when discussing Christopher Steele’s sub-source, the DOJ notes the FBI found him to be truthful and cooperative.

This is an incredibly misleading statement from Main Justice to the FISA court, because what the letter doesn’t say is that 18-months earlier the sub-source, also known in the IG report as the “primary sub-source”, informed the FBI that the material attributed to him in the dossier was essentially junk.

Let’s look at how IG Michael Horowitz framed the primary sub-source Igor Danchenko, and specifically notice the FBI contact and questioning took place in January 2017 (we now know that date to be January 12, 2017):

Those interviews with Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko, took place in January, March and May of 2017, and clearly the sub-source debunked the content of the dossier itself.  In May of 2017, Weissmann and Mueller were in charge.   This is when the special counsel attempted to pay Danchenko $300k to throw a bag over him.

Those Danchenko interviews were 18-months, 16-months and 14-months ahead of the July 2018 DOJ letter to the FISC. The DOJ-NSD, with the instructions from the Mueller Special Counsel, says the sub-source was “truthful and cooperative” but the DOJ doesn’t tell the court the content of the truthfulness and cooperation. Why?

Keep in mind, this letter to the court was written by AAG John Demers in July 2018. Jeff Sessions was Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein was Deputy AG, Christopher Wray was FBI Director, David Bowditch is Deputy, and Dana Boente is FBI chief-legal-counsel.  Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann were at their apex.

Why would the DOJ-NSD not be forthcoming with the FISA court about the primary sub-source? This level of disingenuous withholding of information speaks to an institutional motive.

As noted by Durham, from the outset the FBI and DOJ knew the Trump-Russia stuff was nonsense.  By July 2018, the DOJ clearly knew the Steele dossier was full of fabrications, yet they withheld that information from the FISA Court and said the predicate was still valid. Why?

It doesn’t take a deep-weeds-walker to identify the DOJ motive.

In July 2018 Robert Mueller’s investigation was at its apex.

This letter, justifying the application and claiming the current information, would still be a valid predicate therein, speaks to the 2018 DOJ needing to retain the validity of the FISA warrant.  The DOJ needed to protect evidence Mueller & Weissmann had already extracted from the fraudulent FISA authority. That’s the silo motive.

In July 2018, if the DOJ-NSD had admitted the FISA application and all renewals were fatally flawed, Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann would have needed to withdraw any evidence gathered as a result of its exploitation.  In essence, Main Justice in 2018 was protecting Mueller’s poisoned fruit.

If the DOJ had been honest with the court, there’s a strong possibility some, perhaps much, of Mueller evidence gathering would have been invalidated… and cases were pending. The solution: mislead the court and claim the predication was still valid.

That motive clarifies why the FISC would order the 2020 DOJ, now headed by Bill Barr, to release the letter they received from Main Justice.

Remember, in December 2019 the FISC received the IG Horowitz report, and they would have immediately noted the disparity between what IG Horowitz outlined about the FBI investigating Steele’s sub-source, as contrast against what the DOJ told them in July 2018.

The DOJ letter is a transparent misrepresentation when compared to the information in the Horowitz report. Hence, the FISC orders the DOJ to release the July ’18 letter so that everyone, including congressional oversight and the public can see the misrepresentation.

The NSD silo inside Main Justice wrote this letter to the FISC silo – never intending for it to become public.

The court was misled.  Everyone can clearly see it. However, no one in the legislative or executive branch touched it because the court was misled by Robert Mueller.

The court was misled by the special counsel.  Reflect on this for a moment.

The content of that DOJ-NSD letter, and the subsequent disparity, points to an institutional cover-up; and as a consequence the FISC also ordered the DOJ to begin an immediate sequestration effort to find all the evidence from the fraudulent FISA application – the proverbial fruit from the poisonous tree.  In hindsight, the FISC was covering their own ass.

Two more big misstatements within the July 2018 letter appear on page #9. The first is the DOJ claiming that only after the application was filed did they become aware of Christopher Steele working for Fusion-GPS and knowing his intent was to create opposition research for the Hillary Clinton campaign. See the top of the page.

According to the DOJ-NSD claim, the number four ranking official in the DOJ, Bruce Ohr, never told them he was acting as a conduit for Christopher Steele to the FBI. While that claim is hard to believe, in essence what the DOJ-NSD is saying in that paragraph is that the FBI hoodwinked the DOJ-NSD by not telling them where the information for the FISA application was coming from. The DOJ, via John Demers, is blaming the FBI.

The second statement, equally as incredulous, is at the bottom of page nine where the DOJ claims they had no idea Bruce Ohr was talking to the FBI throughout the entire time any of the FISA applications were being submitted – October 2016 through June 2017.

In essence, the claim there is that Bruce Ohr was working with the FBI and never told anyone in the DOJ throughout 2016 and all the way past June 29th of 2017. That denial seems rather unlikely; however, once again the DOJ-NSD (Weissmann) is putting the FBI in the crosshairs and claiming they, the special counsel, knew nothing about the information pipeline.

Bruce Ohr, whose wife was working for Fusion-GPS and assisting Christopher Steele with information, was interviewed by the FBI over a dozen times as he communicated with Steele and fed his information to the FBI. Yet the DOJ claims they knew nothing about it.

Again, just keep in mind this claim by the DOJ-NSD is being made in July 2018, six months after Bruce Ohr was demoted twice (December 2017 and January 2018). If what the DOJ is saying was true (it wasn’t), well, the FBI was completely off-the-rails and rogue.

The DOJ was claiming in the July 2018 letter the FISA application predication was still valid.  However, if the DOJ-NSD (Mueller team) genuinely didn’t know about the FBI manipulation, they would be informing the court in 2018 the DOJ no longer supported the FISA application due to new information. They did not do that. Instead, in July 2018, they specifically told the court the predicate was valid, yet the DOJ-NSD knew it was not.

The last point about the July 2018 letter is perhaps the most jarring. Again, keep in mind when it was written; Chris Wray is FBI Director, David Bowditch is Deputy and Dana Boente is FBI chief legal counsel.

Their own FBI reports, by three different INSD and IG investigations, had turned up seriously alarming evidence going back to the early 2017 time-frame; the results of which ultimately led to the DC FBI office losing all of their top officials; and knowing the letter itself was full of misleading and false information about FBI knowledge in/around Christopher Steele – this particular sentence is alarming:

“The FBI has reviewed this letter and confirmed its factual accuracy?”

Really?

As we have just shared, the July 2018 letter itself is filled with factual inaccuracies, misstatements and intentional omissions. So who exactly did the “reviewing”?

This declassification release raised more questions than any other; and yet no one, not a single investigative body, asked questions about it.

Why?…

Because the letter itself was prima-facie evidence of lies directly from the special counsel of Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann.

No one in the executive branch, legislative branch or even judicial branch wanted to highlight the corruption of the special counsel.

Here’s the Full Letter. I strongly suggest everyone read the 14-pages slowly. If you know the background, this letter is infuriating…  AND keep in mind, every single staff member in the House and Senate (those investigating the issue) said they never saw it.  Why, because the DOJ was using silos to hide information.

That’s how badly broken the system of justice, and the system of checks-and-balances in Washington DC, really is.  What we are seeing in the blatant targeting, silencing, and outright in-your-face behavior is a downstream result of the system knowing everyone involved is part of the corrupt operation.

We need to break through these created silo walls by questioning the participants together.

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