Merry Christmas. The intercept is reporting that former NSA Director, Admiral Mike Rogers, has been working with U.S. Attorney John Durham for several months during his investigation into the origin of the 2016 intelligence operation against candidate Trump.
This is particularly important because NSA Director Mike Rogers’ knowledge is at the epicenter of the origination of almost everything related to the FBI data-surveillance that was happening in 2015 and 2016.
(Via Intercept) Retired Adm. Michael Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, has been cooperating with the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump presidential campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, according to four people familiar with Rogers’s participation.
Rogers has met the prosecutor leading the probe, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, on multiple occasions, according to two people familiar with Rogers’s cooperation.
While the substance of those meetings is not clear, Rogers has cooperated voluntarily, several people with knowledge of the matter said.
Rogers, who retired in May 2018, did not respond to requests for comment.
[…] Rogers’s voluntary participation, which has not been previously reported, makes him the first former intelligence director known to have been interviewed for the probe.
“He’s been very cooperative,” one former intelligence officer who has knowledge of Rogers’s meetings with the Justice Department said. (read more)
BACKSTORY: When Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes explained his concerns in March 2017 -about what he saw from a review of 2016 intelligence gathering, reporting and subsequent unmasking- the issue behind his concern was clouded in mystery. Indeed the larger headlines at the time were about demanding a special prosecutor and driving the Russia conspiracy narrative.
1.) …”On numerous occasions the [Obama] intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”
2.) “Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration; details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
3.) “Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition members were unmasked.”
4.) “Fourth and finally, I want to be clear; none of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities.
“The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate surveillance and its subsequent dissemination, to determine a few things here that I want to read off:”
•“Who was aware of it?”
•“Why it was not disclosed to congress?”
•“Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking?”
•“Whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates?”
•“And whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated?”
“I have asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15th (2017) letter -that you all received a couple of weeks ago- and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities.”
~ Devin Nunes, 2017
Immediately after Nunes expressed those concerns during a press conference the media went bananas and Nunes became target #1.
In hindsight, and with information from our assembled timelines of 2016 though today, we can now revisit those March 2017 concerns expressed by Chairman Nunes with a great deal more perspective and information. Understanding the information helps us all understand the totality of Nunes original frame of reference.
Admiral Mike Rogers became NSA director in April 2014.
Sometime in early 2016 Admiral Rogers became aware of “ongoing” and “intentional” violations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Section 702(17) surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance through the use of “About Query”.
Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” are specifically the collection of electronic messaging, emails and upstream phone call surveillance data of U.S. persons.
The public doesn’t discover this issue, and Director Rogers action, until May 2017 when we learn that Rogers told the FISA court he became aware of unlawful surveillance and collection of U.S. persons.
Put into context, with the full back-story, it appears that 2016 surveillance was the political surveillance, the stuff Chairman Nunes was questioning. The dates here are important as they tell a story.
As a result of Rogers suspecting FISA 702(17) surveillance activity was being used for reasons he deemed unlawful, in mid 2016 Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.
Again, 702 is basically spying on Americans; the actual “spying” part is 702. Item 17 is “About Queries“, which allows user queries or searches of content (messaging, email and phone conversations) based on any subject matter put into the search field.
The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie searches, privacy violations, and surveillance without a warrant. As an outcome of the notification Rogers initiated a full compliance audit and then blocked all contractor access to the NSA database on April 18,2016, while the audit was ongoing.
Admiral Rogers was briefed on the audit results by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016. Admiral Mike Rogers ordered all “About Query” activity to be disabled, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court.
On October 26th, 2016, full FISA court assembled, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations. Additionally, and as an outcome of the NSA systems inability to guarantee integrity, Rogers also stopped “About Query” permanently.
[Things to note: ♦Note the sequencing; ♦note that Rogers a career military person, followed the chain of command; ♦note the dates as they align with the Trump FISA application from the FBI and DOJ-NSD, (ie. early October 2016); ♦and note amid this sequence/time-line the head of DOJ-National Security Divsion, John P Carlin resigns.]
IMPORTANT – WATCH The first two and a half minutes of this video:
Here’s the part where we find criminal intent and malice aforethought.
By looking at the way the FISA court was notified, it becomes apparent the DOJ National Security Division set Admiral Mike Rogers up to take the fall for their unlawful conduct.
Asst. Attorney General in charge of the DOJ National Security Division, John P Carlin, preempted Rogers by filing a notification with the FISA Court on 26th September 2016(look at the pdf). DOJ-NSD head John Carlin was setting up Rogers as the scapegoat while knowing the NSA FISA compliance officer was still reviewing their conduct.
According to what we know of the FISA warrant, right around the time the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for the FISA Application, the head of the NSD, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. It would have specifically been John Carlin’s responsibility to ensure a valid legal basis for the firs Carter Page FISA application submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The timing is way too suspicious. DOJ-NSD Director Carlin wouldn’t notify the court of a FISA compliance issue, while a compliance review was ongoing, unless he was trying to cover something. Conspicuously John Carlin never informed Admiral Rogers, but rather announced his resignation. The NSA compliance officer did not brief Admiral Rogers until 20th Oct 2016. Admiral Rogers notified the FISC on 26th Oct 2016.
October 2016 is a very important month:
♦DOJ Deputy Attorney Bruce Ohr was “demoted” in the summer of 2017 after the Inspector General discovered unreported 2016 contacts between Ohr and Russian Dossier author Christopher Steele, as well as contact with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, that happened in October 2016.
♦Also in October 2016 the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for the Trump FISA application; the head of the NSD, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. It would have specifically been John Carlin’s responsibility to ensure a valid legal basis for the FISA application submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
The chief legal counsel for the DOJ-NSD at the time was Michael Atkinson; in 2019 Atkinson is now the ICIG who brought the fraudulent whistleblower complaint forward.
♦In October 2016 the NSA compliance officer completes a review and briefs Rogers of FISA(17) violations, email collection and phone surveillance. Rogers informs FISC – [FISA Court Ruling Link]
Also October 2016: On Friday November 18th, 2016, The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in “October” that Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position:
The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.
The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
[…] In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower. That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters. (link)
Important reminder. Remember, in 2015 Sally Yates blocked any inspector general oversight of the DOJ National Security Division (SEE Pdf HERE). The OIG, Michael Horowitz, requested oversight and it was Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58-page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.
There’s a pretty clear picture here.
Obama’s political operatives within the DOJ-NSD were using FISA 702(17) surveillance “about inquiries” that would deliver electronic mail and phone communication for U.S. people (Trump campaign). We see this in the 2018 report from FISC Judge Boasberg:
The NSD unit (John Carlin) was working in coordination with the FBI Counterintelligence Unit (Bill Priestap, Peter Strzok etc.). DOJ Attorney Lisa Page was the intermediary between the DOJ National Security Division and he FBI Counterintelligence Division.
In an effort to stop the FISA 702(17) activity NSA Director Mike Rogers initiated a full 702 compliance review. However, before the review was complete the DOJ-NSD had enough information for their unlawful FISA warrant which worked retroactively to make the prior FBI surveillance (began in July ’16 per James Comey) lawful. Mike Rogers stopped the FISA702(17) process completely on October 26th 2016. As a result of his activity, Rogers became a risk; DNI James Clapper demanded he be fired.
When Rogers met with FISC Judge Collyer on October 26th, 2016, to report the FISA(702) database issue, he explained the audit found numerous unauthorized searches of the same “identifiers” over different date ranges.
This means the metadata for specific individuals or entities were being extracted from the NSA database, repeatedly, at different times, throughout the time-frame of the NSA audit (November ’15 through May 1st ’16).
Unbeknownst to Rogers (compartmentalization), at the time of their meeting, FISC Judge Collyer would be absorbing reporting from Rogers while knowing she just authorized a FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant on the Trump campaign just five days earlier (October 21st, 2016).
Then comes the election less than two weeks later, November 8th, 2016.
FISC Judge Collyer then writes a report; an outcome of the briefing with NSA Director Rogers shortly before the election; and critically exposes the unauthorized FISA(702) NSA database exploitation (by the FBI) that Rogers shut down.
The most important sentence: “Many of these non-compliant queries involved use of the same identifiers over different date ranges”…
I would state with considerable confidence, those “identifiers” were phone numbers, cell towers, unique identifiers and more importantly IP addresses, from Trump Tower.
Again the non compliant audit date range: extracted data from U.S. persons between Nov 1st 2015 and April 30th, 2016, during the GOP primary.
After the election Rogers would be reporting to the incoming president, that unique identifiers associated with his campaign and transition team were being monitored, harvested and extracted, from the NSA database by unknown FBI interests.
♦Ten days after the presidential election, November 17th 2016, Admiral Rogers travels to Trump Tower without telling ODNI James Clapper. Rogers likely informs President-elect Trump of the prior activity by the FBI and DOJ, including the probability that all of Trump Tower’s email and phone communication was under surveillance.
♦ On November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers went to see President-Elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower, New York. –SEE HERE– Director Rogers never told his boss DNI, James Clapper or anyone else in the intelligence community.
♦ On November 18th, 2016, the Trump Transition Team announced they were moving all transition activity to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. –SEE HERE– Where they interviewed and discussed the most sensitive positions to fill. Defense, State, CIA, ODNI.
The transition team was set up in Trump Tower. The very next day, November 18th 2016, Trump moves the entire transition team to Bedminister New Jersey?
The information the FBI collected, and the stuff Fusion GPS was creating via Christopher Steele, was used to create the Russian Narrative and also to manipulate the FISC into giving them a FISA warrant. ie. “The Insurance Policy”.
Ultimately, the people within all of these intercepts is what Devin Nunes discovered when he looked at the “unmasking requests” which were a result of those FISA 702(17) collections on Team Trump. That’s why Devin Nunes was so stunned at what he saw in February and March 2017.
Back to FISA Judge Collyer.
On October 26th, 2016, NSA Director Rogers wouldn’t know what Collyer knew about the FBI requesting a surveillance warrant on Carter Page and by extension the Trump campaign. However, Collyer would be putting the briefing about database searches together with her knowledge of the FISA application she authorized.
In her mind, those Trump Tower searches would likely be part of the arc of the FBI investigation. To FISC Judge Collyer everything may seem to be in the lane of legal, albeit stretched on the database (FISA-702) searches, up and until she is informed the underlying evidence for the FISA application was built on FBI fraud and misrepresentations to the court in 2019 by IG Horowitz.
Now, it’s all out in the open and no longer subject to opinion.
After the DOJ inspector general informs, positively affirms, Judge Collyer was purposely misled into cooperating with, and authorizing, a fraudulent FBI investigation…. well, now Collyer is also likely rethinking those Trump Tower searches Director Rogers told her about back in 2016.