How House Democrats’ FISA Memo Confirms Republicans’ Charges Of Abuse


If you only watch or read Lame Stream Media (aka Mainstream Media – MSM), you’d think Shifty Schiff’s Dem Party Minority Memo upstaged and refuted the Nunes GOP Majority Memo. Shifty’s Memo only obfuscates the actual facts found in the Nunes Memo. A close comparison of the two Memos shows that Shifty’s Memo corroborates Nunes but with a classic display look-here-instead-of-here language.

 

Jason Beale writing for The Federalist demonstrates just how shifty Adam Schiff is.

 

JRH 3/2/18

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How House Democrats’ FISA Memo Confirms Republicans’ Charges Of Abuse

 

By Jason Beale

MARCH 1, 2018

The Federalist

 

The Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) finally dropped their Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse rebuttal memo Saturday afternoon, and the reaction is murky.

 

If you had your money on a comprehensive, point-by-point refutation of the “scurrilous allegations” of evidentiary malfeasance laid out in the majority (Nunes) memo, you’re going to need to cut a check. If your bet was on the construction and destruction of straw-men unassociated with the proceedings, and confirmation the use of raw, unevaluated intelligence to argue probable cause that an American citizen “knowingly acted as an agent of a foreign power,” you can proceed to the cashier window to redeem your ticket.

 

Some background. The HPSCI majority memo (the Nunes memo), which was released to the public on February 2, contained a number of specific allegations of inappropriate conduct by Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice officials seeking the approval of the FISA court (FISC) to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. These allegations included the introduction into evidence of unconfirmed, uncorroborated sections of the infamous Christopher Steele dossier; the omission of material context in vouching for the reliability of their source (Steele); and the deliberate obfuscation of the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee paid for the dossier.

 

The Democrat HPSCI minority, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, fought the release of the Nunes memo on the grounds that it would recklessly expose sources and methods and, according to Schiff, erode public confidence in the FBI’s ability to protect sources to the extent that releasing the memo might enable another Oklahoma City bombing. Schiff and his colleagues composed a rebuttal, and assured us that it would effectively “correct the record” on the Nunes memo—particularly on the reliability of the evidence presented to the FISC, and the Nunes contention that the judge wasn’t fully apprised of the “partisan, political” provenance of the funding behind the dossier.

 

None of this came to pass with the release of the Schiff memo.

 

What Actually Happened Inside That Counter-Memo

 

A close read of the Schiff memo reveals the incredulity of the Nunes memo claim that the Steele dossier initiated the FBI investigation into Trump associates’ engagement with Russians. A close read of the Nunes memo reveals that it makes no such claim. In fact, the Nunes memo clearly states the investigation was initiated after the FBI received information concerning suspicious interactions between Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos and a sketchy professor with alleged ties to Russian officials.

 

It’s written very clearly in the memo, in plain English. Yet the Schiff memo works hard to undermine that strawman, and effectively confirms the Nunes memo description of the event that triggered the investigation.

 

Schiff then addresses the issue of source and evidence credibility. This is key to the Nunes memo allegations and to confidence in the FBI and DOJ officials charged with protecting every citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights, even in the course of seeking legal access to citizens’ most private communications.

 

In lieu of providing a single word of confirmation that any of the Page-related dossier information had been corroborated or validated prior to providing it to the court, the Schiff memo constructs a Page avatar whose past associations and contact with Russian spies, Kremlin officials, shady businessmen, and FBI agents represent an insurmountable trail of suspicion that can only be assumed to be criminally conspiratorial, and likely treasonous.

 

They do this by noting Page’s 2013-2014 recruitment attempt by Russian spies in New York City, whose approaches inspired the FBI to alert Page and warn him away. Those spies were eventually arrested and convicted of espionage offenses after an investigation aided by information Page willingly provided. They further highlight Page’s three-year residency working for Merrill Lynch in Moscow, separate trips to Russia in July and December of 2016, and numerous interviews with the FBI regarding, presumably, his interactions with Russians suspected of nefarious intentions.

 

Building a Tower of Suspicion Around Carter Page

 

All of this builds a tower of suspicion around Page, the idiosyncratic Naval Academy graduate whose quirky and paranoid behavior on nationally televised interviews has inspired the derisive head-shaking of dozens of talking heads. They chortle at the naiveté of this man’s eagerness to repeatedly throw himself into the lion’s den of “The Situation Room” or “All In with Chris Hayes.” They wonder what could possibly compel this man to subject himself to the open mocking of his declarations of innocence, again and again? The Schiff document describes an FBI/DOJ presentation of evidence that appears to draw from these instincts of suspicion and disbelief yet, significantly, offer no proof.

 

But they must offer proof, as Andrew McCarthy points out in the latest of his series of analytic National Review articles devoted to making sense of the FISA proceedings. McCarthy notes that: “(B)ecause Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his ‘clandestine’ activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.”

 

The Schiff memo offers that proof, the crucial passage of the Steele dossier undeniably used as the crux of their “criminal activity” contention. They present it as follows: “It is in this specific sub-section of the applications that DOJ refers to Steele’s reporting on Page and his alleged coordination with Russian officials. Steele’s information about Page was consistent with the FBI’s assessment of Russian intelligence efforts to recruit him and his connections to Russian persons of interest.”

 

“In particular, Steele’s sources reported that Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and ‘an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.’ Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (‘kompromat’) and noted ‘the possibility of its being released to Candidate #l’s campaign.’ (Note: ‘Candidate #1’ refers to candidate Trump.) This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos.”

 

The problem with this crucial passage is that it contains a fatal flaw, in that it is almost-certainly wrong. Page has testified repeatedly, under oath, that he had no such contact, meetings, or conversations with either Sechin or Divyekin. He did so both to the members of the HPSCI committee and during his numerous interviews with the FBI. He has further testified that he has never met Sechin in his life. He even issued a written denial in a letter he sent to former FBI director James Comey in September 2016, wherein he offered to meet with the FBI to resolve the issue.

 

If Democrats Are Right, Page Should Be Arrested

 

The Democrats show little faith in the disputed, yet legally essential, evidence of these “meetings.” In fact, they include in their memo this intriguing passage: “This information contradicts Page’s November 2, 2017 testimony to the Committee, in which he initially denied any such meetings and then was forced to admit speaking with (Arkady) Dvorkovich and meeting with Rosneft’s Sechin-tied investor relations chief Andrey Baranov.”

 

That’s one way of saying it. Another way to say it would be: “Carter Page’s testimony contradicts the unverified, third-hand hearsay information contained in the dossier, as he expressly denied meeting either of those officials. As to contacts with Russians unrelated to information contained in the Steele dossier, Page confirmed that he spoke with Arkady Dvorkovich and met with Andrey Baranov. “

 

But we don’t have to take Page’s word for it, nor should we. If there is evidence to the contrary, Page should quite rightly be arrested and charged with, at a minimum, lying to the HPSCI and to the FBI. Were there evidence or corroboration to confirm illicit engagements with Sechin and Divyekin, as reported in the dossier and declared to be credible by the FBI/DOJ officials testifying to the FISC judge, Page is dead to rights.

 

Yet Page walks free. The absence of evidence sufficient to arrest and charge Page with lying about his alleged treasonous and conspiratorial activities, coupled with the critical role those very allegations played in convincing a judge to approve a FISA warrant targeting his communications, leaves Citizen Page in a rather unique state of judicial and political limbo.

 

Yet for Page to regain his battered reputation and get on with his life, the FBI, DOJ, and HPSCI Democrats will have to admit that the information provided to the court regarding his activities in Russia was wrong. In doing so, they would have to further admit that the rest of the information in the 35-page Steele dossier was tarnished, and inadmissible. That’s not going to happen.

 

We Refuted Something Republicans Never Said

 

The Schiff memo confirmed that the Steele dossier was used to obtain the warrant. It added nothing to suggest that the dossier information had been corroborated. The Democrats aren’t talking about this part of their memo on cable news shows, because they would like you to forget it.

 

What they are talking about—a lot—is their refutation of a phantom Republican claim that the dossier triggered the FBI investigation. The Republicans made no such claim, but Schiff and his colleagues are nonetheless eager to address this straw man at every opportunity. Why? Because their focus isn’t on Page’s civil rights, or even on his possible guilt. They don’t seem to have much of an opinion on these either way.

 

Their focus is on the future, and the Democrats believe their immediate future depends on a positive (for them) outcome of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian influence on the election. They fear the slightest acquiescence to doubt about the validity of the Steele dossier will somehow impact that investigation, and their future. Page is just some guy in the way.

 

In advance of the release of the Schiff memo, I wrote here that the only question it needed to answer was whether the Steele dossier information used against Page had been corroborated and validated prior to its use in the FISA court. That question was answered, albeit not intentionally. The information was not corroborated or validated. Although Schiff and his colleagues will do everything they can to convince you otherwise, it’s the only thing that matters.

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Jason Beale (a pseudonym) is a retired U.S. Army interrogator and strategic debriefer with 30 years experience in military and intelligence interrogation and human intelligence collection operations. He’s on Twitter @jabeale.

 

Copyright © 2018 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

 

MSM Ignores Facts & Liberal Voters are Dumbed Down


John R. Houk

© January 24, 2018

 

Long ago I subscribed to Joshua Pundit. I can’t even remember the last time I received a subscription email from Joshua Pundit. In sifting through some of my unread email I found a Joshua Pundit email dated 1/22/18. BUT it was not the typical JP email I recall from the past. Evidently, the JP blog began running feeds from another Conservative blog called Wow! Magazine. Normally that kind of thing kind of irks me. However, this time I am pleased.

 

Pseudonymous blogger “Bookworm” writes about being a Conservative that has Liberal friends. Bookworm is highly aware of the news coming from Conservative sources and Conservative social media discussions. Bookworm is astounded by the lack of knowledge among her Liberal friends concerning the worst corruption scandal in American history surrounding Obama, Crooked Hillary, the FBI (Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page & others), DOJ (Lynch, Rosenstein & probably others), Dem Party, Leftist MSM AND God only knows who else to date.

 

Bookworm reasons is the active misinformation, lies and Leftist pro-Dem bias of the Mainstream Media reporting delusions about President Trump and illogical media exoneration of Crooked Hillary and the Obama Administration.

 

Think about! The Obama Administration spent eight years of favorable poll ratings even as scandal after scandal hammered it. Why? The Leftist MSM lied about the scandals, twisted the info to make the scandals the object of Conservative disinformation or simply did not report any details at all.

 

Bookworm uses an example MSM Leftist propaganda by its coverage of the Leftist Woman’s March as opposed to the Pro-life Woman’s March for life. If you talk to a Liberal and they are intransient about how good Obama & cadres are while condemning all things Trump even after the American economy is flourishing more in a year of the Trump Administration than eight years of the Obama Administration.

 

JRH 1/24/18

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If an Obama scandal is revealed but the media ignores it….

 

Posted by Bookworm

January 20, 2018

Wow! Magazine

 

If the House releases the Nunes memo proving an Obama scandal, but the media refuses to cover it, will Americans believe that no scandal ever happened?

 

Unlike many of my readers, who seem to live in more conservative communities and have like-minded friends, I’ve spent my entire life in Democrat enclaves. Whether I meet the gals for coffee, walk the dogs with a friend, or open my Facebook feed, I am inundated with Progressive-think — everything from Trump-Hitler (an amped-up of version of Bush-Hitler), to “we must open our border to third world immigrants” (or, as some wit called them “Turd world” immigrants), to the fact that we are in imminent danger of freezing, drowning, boiling, dehydrating, etc. to death because of anthropogenic climate change.

 

Because of my social circles, I’m also aware that I inhabit a very different factual universe than my friends do. In my view, the government shutdown occurred because Democrats, a Senate minority, refused to give Republicans, the majority, the votes needed to pass a budget unless Republicans gave amnesty to over 3 million illegal aliens (or, as we can more accurately call them, future Democrat voters). In other words, Democrats are putting illegal aliens’ interests ahead of American interests.

 

It’s an entirely different story on the other side of the aisle, though. According to my Progressive friends, the shutdown came about because Republicans stubbornly refused to provide healthcare for poor children. As always, even when talking about abortion, the Democrats doing it for the children.

 

Two different universes.

 

Which gets me to the Nunes memo. The memo, which is highly classified, purportedly contains Rep. Devin Nunes’ conclusions, based upon viewing other classified material, that the Obama administration, the Hillary campaign, and the DNC, were up to their eyeballs in highly illegal surveillance activity directed against Donald Trump, all in an effort to destroy his candidacy and place Hillary in the White House. If true, the Obama scandal instantly turns Watergate into Nothing-gate, and reveals an attack on America’s representative democracy the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

 

In my conservative world (blogs, emails, and conservative Facebook groups), everyone is talking about the Nunes memo’s potential finally to reveal a vast Obama scandal. In my Progressive world, though, no one is talking about it at all. You know why? They don’t know about it. The mainstream media is either ignoring the Nunes memo or completely downplaying it. CNN’s take is that it’s just partisan game-playing, proving nothing.

 

This is the same Leftist media, of course, that thinks that, when Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the effect that based on no evidence whatsoever but some hatred and gut instincts, “I think Trump is laundering money,” this is the precise equivalent of “Trump is laundering money.” It’s also the same Leftist media that, in the case of the New York Times, put the Abu Ghraib story on the front page for 47 separate days, even though few new facts emerged to justify this time of coverage. Somehow the Times never found the same enthusiasm for the IRS scandal, Fast & Furious, Obamacare lies, spying on journalists (which is, apparently, less bad than hurting their feelings), Benghazi, Hillary’s secret server, etc. All of those got the “bottom of page B47” treatment.

 

Another example of Leftist priorities in covering news is the difference between the way at least one paper covered the March for Life yesterday in Washington, D.C., versus today’s Women’s Marches. According to Fox News, the March yesterday was expected to attract 100,000 people. That’s a lot of people. Here’s a time-lapse video, which is impressive:

 

Facebook VIDEO: 2018 March for Life Timelapse

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstudentsforlife%2Fvideos%2F10155143300192927%2F&show_text=0&width=560

President Trump addressed the march, the first time a sitting president has done so. That’s big news. And yet the San Francisco Chronicle, which covers Trump compulsively when it comes to Big Macs, white trucks, and feeding Japanese fish, ignored his speech entirely yesterday, at least as of 3:30 P.S.T., when I grabbed this screen shot of my “March for Life” at the SFGate website. And no, you’re not imagining that they only stories go back to 2017 and 2016, and that the lead for 2017 is that Pence condemned abortion, rather than the fact that around 100,000 people, many young, showed up to make a point:

 

SFGate-has-no-coverage-on-March-for-Life-2018

 

Today [me thinks 1/20/18], the SFGate homepage is taken up with the Women’s March:

 

SFGate-on-Womens-March-2018

 

Meanwhile, if you try again to do a search at SFGate for the March for Life, this is what you still get, per a screen shot from today, at 2:30 PST:

 

SFGate-has-no-coverage-on-March-for-Life-2018-2

 

As a San Francisco native who grew up reading the Comical, it wasn’t until the internet came along that I even knew there was a March for Life taking place in American cities, including my home town.

 

Four more slightly random points regarding this weekend’s marches before I get back to my point about media coverage or, rather, its absence.

 

First point is that, on my Facebook feed, I’ve seen Progressives castigating Trump as a hypocrite because he used to support abortion. I also used to support it wholeheartedly. Now, I’m mostly pro-Life, probably for the same reason President Trump is: We looked into the abortion abyss and pulled back, repulsed.

 

Abortion today is not about liberating women. It’s about death and, often, about minority deaths. It’s a slippery slope that devalues life until we become a place of upside down values in which Nancy Pelosi, an ostensible Catholic, claims abortion is sacred. This is just so morally wrong, I don’t want to be a party to it anymore and I don’t think Trump does either. People do grow and change.

 

Second point is that, if you haven’t seen it yet, Trump put out a magnificent tweet trolling those silly women’s marchers:

 

 

 

How can #NeverTrumpers not see beyond their own prejudices to the wonders of this president? And how can #NeverTrumpers, Democrats, Progressives, and the whole cohort of people arrayed against Trump continue to call him stupid?

 

Third point is that Dawn Perlmutter’s Mean Girls, Nasty Women & Queen Bees : The embarrassing collapse of the feminist movement is a must-read. How can you not love this?

 

They are political Barbie dolls in pink hats trying to give meaning to their empty plastic boring lives by bashing President Trump. In-crowd membership requires spewing anti-Trump talking points, pledging to always vote democrat and emasculating their husbands. The women who choose to dress as giant vaginas at the marches simply have more issues than there is room to describe in this article.

 

[snip]

 

The truly despicable women are the Queen Bees epitomized by Hillary Clinton, Linda Sarsour and Meryl Streep. ‘Queen Bees’ are women who do not mind living in a man’s world as long as they can hold power and position in it. Unlike mean girls and nasty women, cliques, popularity and protests are just a means to an end. They do not want to empower women, just the opposite, they perpetuate institutionalized sexism, so they can use it to their advantage. To earn power, these women exploit women’s issues, protect sexual predators and step on the heads of other women even if they are wearing pussyhats.

 

Fourth point is that Scott Adams thinks that the Republicans are doing some magnificent trolling of their own with the Nunes memo. They don’t need to release it, he says. They just need to gossip about it. I’d like there to be a blazing fire behind this smoke, but Adams has a point that the smoke will get some good traction too even if we never see the fire.

 

And now back to my main point, which is whether the Nunes memo revealing a vast Obama scandal (assuming that’s what it does) will matter as either smoke or fire if the media refuses to acknowledge the memo. A friend said that Progressive publications will be forced to acknowledge it if people are led out of the FBI building and other government offices in handcuffs. I don’t agree. I think that, should arrests happen, Lefties will just start saying, “See?! We told you Trump was a fascist. He’s worse than Erdogan. He really is Hitler.”

 

Most people are headline readers. If the media spins the headlines or refuses to cover something at all, for most people, it hasn’t happened, or it’s happened in the way the media said.

 

I think America’s media is the answer to that philosophical question asking whether a tree makes a sound if it falls in a forest but there is no one there to hear it fall. If the media plugs our ears and covers our eyes, not only does the tree not make a sound, it doesn’t even fall.

 

As always, I am interested in what you think. I don’t often throw in my own two-cents when people comment (mostly because anything I had to say is in my post already), but I do read every comment, and I learn something from most of them.

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MSM Ignores Facts & Liberal Voters are Dumbed Down

John R. Houk

© January 24, 2018

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If an Obama scandal is revealed but the media ignores it….

About Bookworm

 

Bookworm came late to conservativism but embraced it with passion. She’s been blogging since 2004 about anything that captures her fancy — and that’s usually politics. Her blog’s motto is “Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts.”

 

Wow! Magazine: We Watch Weasels So You Don’t Have To

 

About Wow!

 

So what’s this all about? Who and what is the Watcher’s Council?

 

Quite simply, The Council is the oldest continuing blogging group in existence, started way back in 2003 and boasting some of the best writers you’ll find anywhere. More than just a blogging group, it’s an actual community consisting of our fans, former Council alumni and a number of people who just really like what we do.

 

We’re dedicated to truth, a diversity of views, news behind the news with zero PC you won’t find anywhere else on any number of topics, and presenting it all with verve, humor and a sense of fun. Delve within and I think you’ll really like it here.

 

WoW! Magazine represents the ultimate evolution of what we started back when the Council was founded, an internet periodical that you’ll want to visit again and again.

 

Want to write for WoW! Magazine? We still have a few slots open for contributors. Leave a message in the contact form for further details on what’s involved.