Mercedes Stephenson from Global News has done some excellent follow-up coverage on the arrest of RCMP Intelligence Director Cameron Ortis. Mr. Ortis is facing seven serious charges of intelligence violations including obtaining information to pass to a “foreign entity.” The intelligence compromise is the biggest scandal in “a generation”.
A man named Victor Ramos was the CEO of Phantom Secure, an enterprise that provided encrypted communication devices to criminal agents involved in drug smuggling, money laundering and human trafficking.
Ramos was arrested by United States FBI officials in Washington State. Ramos gave the FBI information about intelligence for sale that was coming from a source deep inside the Five-Eyes intelligence apparatus. That information led to RCMP Director Cameron Ortis.
The scale of the compromise is still being analyzed. Ortis was director general of the National Intelligence Coordination Centre in Canada. In essence, Ortis was the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper/Dan Coats); and had access to the most sensitive intelligence information amid the entire Five-Eyes network that includes: Canada, The United States, The U.K. Australia and New Zealand.
(Global News) […] “By virtue of the positions he held, Mr. Ortis had access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed. He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally,” RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Monday.
The charges have “shaken many people throughout the RCMP,” she said in a statement, adding the police force was “assessing the impacts of the alleged activities as information becomes available.”
“We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration. We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.”
[…] From his position as director general of intelligence in Ottawa, Ortis would have been able to access almost any sensitive information he wanted.
This could include the force’s blueprints for covert operations worldwide, as well as the identities of undercover officers, police agents working within transnational crime groups, officers from Five Eyes partners used in RCMP probes, and even witnesses relocated to other countries.
“He could have passed on our methodologies, our tactics, and our whole covert infrastructure,” Majcher said. “If it is true that he is dealing with some of the worst people in the world, they will be looking for what do the police know, how do they do stings on us?
“The damage he has potentially done could be quite massive and it could be generational.” (read more)
On February 8th, 2018, Senator Lindsey Graham first revealed an inauguration day email from Susan Rice to herself. That’s 585 days ago and yet we still don’t know what is behind the removed and classified paragraph. Why is this being kept hidden?
(L-R) Ruemmler, Obama, Monaco and Rice
At 12:15pm on January 20th, 2017, Obama’s outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote a memo-to-self. Many people have called this her “CYA” (cover your ass) memo, from the position that Susan Rice was protecting herself from consequences if the scheme against President Trump was discovered. Here’s the email:
On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Corney and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book“.
The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would, by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
[Redacted Classified Section of Unknown length]
The President asked Corney to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Corney said he would.
Susan Rice ~ (pdf link)
This has the hallmarks of an Obama administration justification memo, written by an outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice to document why there have been multiple false and misleading statements given to incoming President Trump and his officials.
This is not a “CYA” memo per se’, this appears to be a justification memo for use AFTER the Trump-Russia collusion/conspiracy narrative collapsed; if the impeachment effort failed.
The “By The Book” aspect refers to President Obama and Susan Rice being told by CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, that President Trump was the subject of an active counterintelligence investigation…. Yet, Rice denies ever knowing about Trump being under investigation.
So with that investigation concluded, why doesn’t Senator Lindsey Graham release the full email content, including the classified and redacted aspects which remain hidden?
Susan Rice responded to Senator Graham’s letter through her attorney Kathryn Ruemmler. Ms. Ruemmler is now the global co-chairman of the Latham & Watkins white collar criminal defense practice; she formerly served as White House Counsel to Obama.
Ruemmler’s letter stated there was nothing unusual about Rice’s email memorializing a White House meeting two weeks after the meeting occurred, January 5, 2017. Additionally, Ms. Rice’s lawyer said her client was completely unaware of the FBI investigation into President Trump at the time she made the draft on January 20th.
Ruemmler’s letter on behalf of Rice states:
The memorandum to file drafted by Ambassador Rice memorialized an important national security discussion between President Obama and the FBI Director and the Deputy Attorney General. President Obama and his national security team were justifiably concerned about potential risks to the Nation’s security from sharing highly classified information about Russia with certain members of the Trump transition team, particularly Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
In light of concerning communications between members of the Trump team and Russian officials, before and after the election, President Obama, on behalf of his national security team, appropriately sought the FBI and the Department of Justice’s guidance on this subject. In the conversation Ambassador Rice documented, there was no discussion of Christopher Steele or the Steele dossier, contrary to the suggestion in your letter.
Given the importance and sensitivity of the subject matter, and upon the advice of the White House Counsel’s Office, Ambassador Rice created a permanent record of the discussion. Ambassador Rice memorialized the discussion on January 20, because that was the first opportunity she had to do so, given the particularly intense responsibilities of the National Security Advisor during the remaining days of the Administration and transition.
Ambassador Rice memorialized the discussion in an email sent to herself during the morning of January 20, 2017. The time stamp reflected on the email is not accurate, as Ambassador Rice departed the White House shortly before noon on January 20.
While serving as National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice was not briefed on the existence of any FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, and she later learned of the fact of this investigation from Director Comey’s subsequent public testimony.
Ambassador Rice was not informed of any FISA applications sought by the FBI in its investigation, and she only learned of them from press reports after leaving office.
Everything about this Susan Rice email, including the explanations from her lawyer Kathryn H. Ruemmler, is sketchy and suspicious. The sketchy extends to Senator Graham’s lack of action to declassify the redacted paragraph.
Nothing about this is passing the sniff test…
A leak from McCabe’s legal team to their Lawfare ally at Politico, Natasha Bertrand, ends with a spectacular fail; highlighting a series of events entirely apropos of the McCabe character. This is just too darned funny.
Andrew McCabe’s legal team tell Politico journalist Natasha Bertrand that Obama officials were lined up to speak as character witnesses in his defense. To support their claim team McCabe leak’s an email written to the DOJ. Ms. Bertrand then writes an article:
(Politico) A cavalcade of Obama-era national security leaders have committed to testify on behalf of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should he face trial over allegations that he misled officials about leaks to the media.
[…] If McCabe ultimately does face charges, he’ll have some big names lined up as character witnesses. The high-ranking ex-officials who have committed to defending him include former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former national security adviser Susan Rice.
Mary McCord, a career DOJ attorney who oversaw the government’s Russia probe as acting head of the DOJ’s National Security Division, and David Cohen, the No. 2 at the CIA from 2015 to 2017, are also lined up to speak on McCabe’s behalf.
McCabe’s legal team previously asked DOJ to overrule the prosecutors’ indictment recommendation, but were rebuffed, according to a person familiar with the matter. The lawyers wrote an 11-page legal analysis, entitled “Reasons Not To Prosecute Andrew McCabe,” as part of their effort to convince DOJ not to bring charges. (read more)
Immediately after publishing the article, Ms. Bertrand began receiving some rather snarky responses. John Brennan, James Clapper, Eric Holder and Susan Rice will appear as character witnesses? Seriously?
The team outlined by McCabe’s lawyers are notoriously well known public fibbers themselves including: CIA Director John Brennan (who lied to congress about spying on the Senate intelligence committee); DNI James Clapper (who lied about the NSA gathering metadata on Americans); former AG Eric Holder (who was held in contempt of congress for lying); and Susan Rice (infamous for lying about the Benghazi YouTube video).
The public responses to Ms. Bertrand’s propaganda article on behalf of her Lawfare allies was immediate, pointed and quite accurate. However, a few hours later, Ms. Bertrand had to walk-back the entire premise of her article:
It would appear the claims made by Andrew McCabe; which were based on communications also shared with potential DOJ prosecutors; were made without ever contacting Brennan, Clapper, Holder and Rice for their consent.
Yes, that’s correct. Andrew McCabe, who is being accused of lying under oath, lied about the production of character witnesses who the defense claimed were going to speak about McCabe’s integrity. In essence, he lied about the character witnesses.
You just can’t make this stuff up folks.
An epic fail, based on lies, entirely apropos of the character of Andrew McCabe.
Representative Jim Jordan appeared for an interview this morning to discuss his expectation for the upcoming IG report on the FBI and DOJ manipulating a FISA application to create the predicate for an investigation against President Trump.
To get impeachment, they needed obstruction. To get obstruction, they needed an investigation. To get the investigation, they needed evidence (the dossier). To change the dossier from oppo-research to evidence they needed a target. The target was Carter Page.
This interview with former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was Friday evening. Mr. Whitaker gave a specific reference point for his expectation of the IG report on the circumstances surrounding the Carter Page FISA:
…”From where I sit, and from what I know, I think it is going to be fairly dramatic, what this investigation is going to show”…
CTH Research Opinion – Carter Page was irrelevant to the FBI objective. The FBI/DOJ goal was to get the Steele Dossier into official investigative position so they could investigate. The dossier claims were the cornerstone to launch the Mueller probe; but the dossier was only a tool for Mueller; not the goal. The goal for Mueller and team was to generate evidence of obstruction…. which would be used for impeachment.
Or put another way…
To get impeachment, they needed obstruction. To get obstruction they needed an investigation. To get the investigation they needed evidence (the dossier). To change the dossier from oppo-research to evidence they needed a target. The target was Carter Page.
National security attorney Bradley Moss and former assistant attorney general John Yoo appear on Fox News to discuss the issues around a constructed Russian conspiracy; a politically corrupt special counsel; the pending IG report on possible FISA abuse; and the ongoing predicate review by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Former congressman Trey Gowdy warns everyone to tamp down expectations from the IG report on FISA abuse. One point of focus from Horowitz’s letter today is that he *only* looked at the singular FISA issues surrounding Carter Page, nothing more.
…”Relating to a certain U.S. person.”
Therefore if Carter Page was not a victim; meaning if Carter Page was an active participant (mole) in the FBI operation – willing to be the vehicle by which the Steele Dossier could be injected into the investigation; then there will likely be no criminal conduct outlined by Horowitz. The head of the tick-tock club was not happy with this possibility.
The DOJ Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has notified congress that his investigation is complete. In a letter to congressional committee members with oversight authority, IG Horowitz states the draft report on his FISA abuse investigation is currently undergoing an internal classification review:
PROCESS: The completion of the draft report indicates: (1) the investigation has concluded; (2) the IG referencer checks are now complete; and (3) the draft is submitted to the DOJ (AG Bill Barr) and FBI (Christopher Wray) for a review.
Depending on the size, scale and content of the report a classification review could take several weeks. This is where President Trump previously granting AG Bill Barr authority to make declassification decisions will come into play. Ultimately the decision on what can be released is now in the hands of U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
AG Bill Barr’s May 23rd, 2019, declassification authority covers investigative material from the DOJ, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, Treasury Department, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
How much AG Bill Barr will declassify is an unknown; and this part will most likely be the source of a great deal of debate and political positioning.
After the classification review, and possible declassification determinations by AG Bill Barr, the draft report will be returned to the Office of Inspector General for a Final Draft assembly. Any information remaining classified will be placed into a separate “Classified Appendix” that will not be public.
The Final Draft could, likely will, be shared with key stakeholders who are outlined within the report during the Principal Review Phase (generally two/three weeks). Here the IG may accept feedback on the investigative findings. If the IG accepts feedback for placement in the report; the referencer will generally provide additional material specific to the allowed response from the principal(s), with further comment from the IG.
Interesting note from the IG letter:
From this point, a good guess based on processes and procedures would be to anticipate a final public report in approximately six to eight weeks. Though it could be delivered faster depending on the scale/scope/complexity of the classification review.
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