First, as many of you are aware, the people involved in the entire apparatus are following our investigative research (both sides). We proceed carefully, trying to avoid provoking activity that creates defensive posturing, until the story reaches a point of non-deniability.
The public statements today highlighting the DOJ-NSD FISA warrant documents being delivered tonight to Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is an example of one of those thresholds crossed.
[Incidentally, and directly related to the release of documents to Chairman Nunes, I would advise everyone to remember the ongoing leak investigations and the sting operations as previously cited. In the coming days do not be surprised to see leaks to the Washington Post, New York Times or CNN that are the outcome of those continuing operations. It would not be surprising to see variations of the same documents used as tracers. We are in the phase where the intelligence leakers will have to wonder if they are a target.]
Secondly, it is challenging to absorb the construct of the larger 2016 political operation against the Trump campaign unless it is in digestible portions. Some of this stuff is in the deepest of deep weeds. Today we take a deep research dive into the larger IC aspect of the 2016 Trump Operation. Specifically into the deeper story of the FISA warrant and the use of unlawful FISA 702(17) spying operations. As customary all citations are provided and some of this will take time to explain.
I’m calling the backstory to this 702 enterprise by the Obama administration “Operation Condor”. Those of you familiar with the film “Three Days of The Condor” will note how the real life (lame-duck) timeline almost mirrors the Hollywood film. For the real life version, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers plays the role of “Condor”.
Aside from the larger Russian conspiracy narrative, up to now the controversial media story has been around the origin of the FISA warrant(s). As previously stated by all reporting there was a June FISA application that was denied, and an October application that was approved.
The current line of congressional inquiry surrounds the underlying content of the requested FISA warrant, and whether it was built upon fraud and manipulated content (the ‘Steele Dossier’) presented to the FISA Court (FISC). But there’s a bigger underlying story.
When Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes explained his concern 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.
In hindsight, and with information from our assembled timelines of 2016 though today, we can now revisit that concern with a great deal more perspective and information. Understanding the latest information will help us all understand the totality of Nunes original frame of reference.
As many of you are aware, immediately following the 2016 presidential election NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers traveled to Trump Tower to meet with president-elect Donald Trump. The day AFTER the Rogers visit, President-elect Trump moved his transition team out of Trump Tower to Bedminister New Jersey.
We always suspected NSA Director Rogers gave President-elect Trump a head’s up of sorts.
Later, during the Russian Conspiracy frenzy, when the entire intelligence community seemed to be collectively leaking against Trump’s interests, those suspicions gained even greater likelihood. However, what we learned in 2017 about the activity in 2016 almost guarantees that was exactly what happened. That back-story also ties into both the FISA issue and the Devin Nunes concern.
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 surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance.
Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” is specifically the collection of emails, and phone call surveillance of U.S. persons.
The public doesn’t discover this issue, and NSA Director Rogers action, until May 2017when 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 now in the headlines; the stuff Chairman Nunes is currently questioning.
The dates here are important as they tell a story.
As a result of Rogers suspecting [FISA 702 (#17 – email and phone calls)] 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 queries or searches of content of email and phone conversations based on any subject matter put into the search field.
The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” that were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie. unlawful surveillance and gathering. Admiral Rogers was briefed by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016.
Admiral Mike Rogers ordered the “About Query” activity to stop, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court.
On October 26th, 2016, full FISC assembly, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations. Additionally, 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:
The DOJ National Security Division set Admiral Mike Rogers up to take the fall for their unlawful conduct. They preempted Rogers by filing a notification with the FISA Court on 26th September 2016 (look at the pdf). DOJ-NSD head John P Carlin was setting up Rogers as the scapegoat while knowing the NSA FISA compliance officer was still reviewing their conduct. Carlin wouldn’t notify the court unless he was trying to cover something. Carlin then 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, 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).
?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]
Now Look At This – 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 email and phone communication for U.S. people (Trump campaign). The unit would work in coordination with the FBI Counterintelligence Unit (Peter Strzok etc.) To stop the activity NSA Director Mike Rogers initiated a full 702 compliance review. 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. Rogers stopped the process on October 26th 2016. As a result of his not going along, Rogers became a risk; Clapper demanded he be fired.
Ten days after the 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 being collected.
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.
Does this make more sense now?
It would appear Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is up to his eyeballs in this; though he denies participating. The FBI counterintelligence unit was monitoring Trump through FISA 702(17) upstream surveillance collected by a DOJ National Security Division that had no oversight.
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”.
This 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.
This is why Chairman Devin Nunes is currently gathering evidence.