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DOJ Inspector General to investigate possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court abuse

DOJ Inspector General to investigate possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court abuse

Okay, but the Inspector General can’t “lock them up”

The surveillance of Carter Page, based in part on the Steele Memo, has been the subject of a House Intelligence Committee memo authored by the Republican majority, and a Democrat counter-memo.

The heart of the dispute is the failure to inform the FISA court that the Steele memo, which is almost entirely unverified, was paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, and that Steele was hostile to Trump. Carter Page, however, clearly was not the target, he was the excuse, as I wrote last month:

That a FISA warrant was issued as to Carter Page was reported last spring. So that wasn’t a surprise, but the surprise is that anyone actually cared about Carter Page. Have you seen the guy on TV? He’s on TV almost as much as Adam Schiff, and they both come across as doofuses. Carter Page was so important the FBI went out on a limb to use a questionable document in court to convince a judge to surveil him? I’m not buying it.

That Carter Page was not the real subject of the surveillance was revealed by the hyperventilated attempts to keep the memo from being released based on claims it would reveal critical sources and methods and damage national security. Now that we’ve seen the memo, we know that those protestations were false.

The surveillance of Carter Page was not about Carter Page. He’s a bit player in a larger drama, and that larger drama is what we need to understand.

The DOJ Office of Inspector General issued the following announcement today, DOJ OIG Announces Initiation of Review

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person. As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.

If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.

Everyone presumes that the “certain U.S. person” referenced in the announcement is Carter Page. CBS News reports:

The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog announced Wednesday that it will review the DOJ and FBI’s compliance with the law and their own policies related to applications for secret surveillance warrants made “related to a certain U.S. person,” in response to requests from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and members of Congress.

The DOJ did not name the “certain U.S. person,” but some Republican members of Congress have asked DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to look into how the DOJ and FBI obtained warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump had previously complained that an IG investigation was insufficient:

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, echoed that sentiment in this statement (h/t Hot Air):

“I welcome the announcement from the Inspector General’s office that it will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and use of political opposition research to obtain a warrant to surveil a U.S. person. However, this is not a substitute for a Special Counsel to investigate this and other matters, including decisions made and not made by the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017, and evidence of bias by DOJ and FBI employees in charging decisions. For instance, the IG’s office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation. The American people demand that the intelligence community, law enforcement, and the courts operate fairly and impartially, and a Special Counsel should be named expeditiously to determine whether these institutions lived up to their expected standards.”

While an investigation is fine, we need to have a person empowered to empanel a grand jury and with the full force of criminal investigatory tools.

Because if the scandal is as many people suspect, we need to be talking about locking people up, not just issuing a report.


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Schiff, Warner and Blumenthal were howling like beaten dogs today at the news. Wonder why they feel it so important to make sure a possible crime has not been committed by Federal employees entrusted with the preservation of law?

it’s a delay tactic that move the Inspector General’s over due report past the 2018 elections.. pathetic

The IG’s office can look at the *full* FISA requests, not just whatever the FBI feels it needs to not redact.

The IG’s office can see the *full* email and message exchange between the various key elements of this mess.

The IG’s office can unlock the whole list of ‘unmasking’ requests from various previous administration officials, showing just what conversations between what Trump campaign officials were being read by the oppo.

And then nobody will get prosecuted. (sigh)


Too little, too late.

His days are numbered.

“The heart of the dispute…”

Well, maybe. But the real scandal is that once they had the court’s permission to spy on Carter Page AND HIS CIRCLE, they used it to spy on literally everyone in Trump’s campaign, save the Donald himself, for months prior to and at least a year after the election.

Then, the “unmasking” scandal, where they unmasked hundreds of targets of the investigation – allowing thousands of federal employees access, on the assumption that the intel gathered would be leaked to the Hillary campaign and the press. Which, of course, it was.

Carter Page is a nobody, really, and he was gone from the campaign pretty early on. Why do you think they kept renewing the warrant every three months for over a year? Because it allowed them to spy on everyone Page ever dealt with as well. Which gave them virtually all of Trump’s close advisers.

That they lied to the court to begin with is merely the top snowflake on this particular iceberg.

This scandal is infinitely worse than Watergate.

    Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | March 29, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Rep. Devin Nunes: “I was talking to a few members of Congress today. And these are people who don’t follow this closely. They’re not on the House Intelligence Committee but they follow it just by the news and they were shocked. They were shocked. As a matter of fact they used a few expletives. They couldn’t believe that the White House the Obama White House was being briefed by the FBI on an investigation into the Trump Campaign. They couldn’t believe it.

    …The left has continued to say, “This is Watergate,” and, “Trump is going to be impeached.” They have continued that. Well now this has effectively boomeranged on them. And you have at least half of the American people now know that the other party, the Democrats, appear like they weaponized to some degree the intelligence services by using the foreign intelligence surveillance apparatus in this country to go and target the opposition campaign. It’s totally unacceptable. And that’s what happened here…”

So here is the big question. How does Trump get Sessions replaced given the large number of Republican Democrats that would effectively vote against anyone who would come in and rock the boat (ie. someone capable of thinking for themselves and not part of the swamp like it appears Sessions is)??

Prof. Jacobson: we need to have a person empowered to empanel a grand jury and with the full force of criminal investigatory tools.

AG Sessions did appoint someone outside of DC to look at all this. Hopefully this DOJ person can empanel grand juries..

Well, I have great respect for Mr. Gowdy and Chairman Goodlatte, and we are going to consider seriously their recommendations. I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us; and we’re conducting that investigation.

    amwick in reply to amwick. | March 29, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    This person was just announced…..
    John Huber from Utah..

    FWIW, now you know… wait and see what happens…

It seems that Sessions is working on delaying tactics, which makes me wonder where his loyalty lies. Why is it we can see the tea leaves so clearly as to what went on, that this information has been out for a while, though not to the full extent that these swamp creatures have had it, and it still trickles out like molasses on a freezing cold day?

They are right saying it is worse than Watergate, only the persons involved in the crimes and coverups were from the Obama administration. He weaponized the IRS, the FBI, the DOJ, and used these means against Conservatives.

I fear Sessions is afraid that if he proceeds too far, it will blow up the government and the regime of Obama. I think the weaponized FBI had a hand in helping overturn Roberts’ vote on Obamacare as well. It seems power has attracted the utterly corruptible and it has infected many departments and agencies. Being a government critter for so long, Sessions could see that the results of all these things being uncovered creates a massive crisis in our Government, and it could be deemed by the GOPe as far too dangerous to pursue. With a good likelihood that quite a number of GOPe are also part of this.

There has to be massive amounts of money and intelligence that has floated around the powers, and they all fear getting taking out with the fall out from all this.

I’m not sure Gowdy is untainted, given some of his odd statements, unless Mueller is uncovering things which might bring the cockroaches to light (I doubt it, though given Mueller’s deep state ties and bungled investigations).

I see this going the same way as the Benghazi investigations, and the Clinton email investigations, and this election results could be a major part of the delaying tactics being used, with the hopes that Mueller will have something they hang Trump on, even if the charges are trumped up.

IGs may not be able to “lock them up,” but they can refer cases to DAs for prosecution. Depends on whether it is an IG investigation (which is what this does sound like) v. an IG audit. Both are very different animals.

I work for a Federal IG, and am constantly left wondering why IG don’t clarify what it is they are doing in these “public announcements.”

    Edward in reply to Virginia42. | March 29, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Actually the GS-1811 Special Agents (SAs) in the DoJ Investigations Division* do have statutory power of arrest and do refer cases to Assistant US Attorneys for prosecution if the case results support the referral. The various IGs can’t prosecute their own cases and must refer cases to the Rule 18 (Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure) appropriate US Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

    * Years ago the FBI fought against this for all the IG’s 1811 (Criminal Investigator) personnel, including the DoJ IG’s SAs. AFAIK all IG 1811s were included in the statute giving statutory power of arrest after the Bureau had bigger problems than grabbing more turf and stopped opposing that law after 9/11.

Yay Rule of Law…. woohoo. This will –

Oh nevermind.

In April the IG will release the results of the IG investigation. In December 2017 Jeff Sessions “let the cat out of the bag” when he stated that he had previously started a parallel investigation to the IG investigation off site. The number of sealed indictments has risen to over 9000. The previous high was around 1000. Maybe Trump (and Sessions) is a 1000 moves ahead of all of us. If Trump had vetoed the omni the the topic of discussion in April would be the shutdown. Now the discussion in April will be the release of the IG report. One of the sealed indictments was unsealed; Mark Lambert has been indicted.
Mark Lambert is the former co-president of a Maryland-based company (dubbed “Transportation Corporation A” by the DOJ) which transported nuclear material, including uranium.

“IGs may not be able to “lock them up,” but they can refer cases to DAs for prosecution”

Heard this morning that IGs are not allowed to investigate (interview?) anyone who has left government service, ie. Comey, McCabe, Yates etc. Is that true?

    Edward in reply to Fen. | March 29, 2018 at 11:06 am

    IG Special Agents can attempt to interview anyone when conducting a criminal investigation. They can’t mandate anyone not currently an employee sit down with them (and can’t force anyone to give up their Miranda rights). The IGs can issue administrative subpoenas for evidence in some cases and once a criminal case is being worked with an Assistant US Attorney (AUSA), Grand Jury Subpoenas can be issued for evidence or testimony.

“The number of sealed indictments has risen to over 9000.”

Where are you getting this information from?

Sessions is turning out to be quite the swamp creature
Time for him to go.

Sessions has an outside prosecutor with a sitting grand jury available going over all that the OIG has uncovered. This is why some of what we hear is actual under oath statements. And why some documents concerning what is in question are not available due to them being part of an ongoing investigation prior to taking those involved to trial.
Sessions took this path rather than initiate another Special Counsel so as to keep the process private and more under his control. Sessions himself has made a statement to this effect in a past interview that was basically ignored by the media (of course) and most of those who should’ve been paying attention.

Check with for more.

If we were still a nation of laws this approach might have a chance of working.

    We are a nation of laws: tough of laws for us, and softball laws for the corrupt elites destroying our country.

    If the election of Donald Trump proved nothing else, it has proved how horribly corrupt our government has become under the protection of the democrat media and GOPe monopolies.

    Both must be destroyed.

One could wonder if someone is shadowing the Mueller Group to see if they are altering evidence or tainted by “collusion” with other operatives.

>”While an investigation is fine, we need to have a person empowered to empanel a grand jury and with the full force of criminal investigatory tools.”

Criminal Investigators employed by Federal IG’s with statutory law enforcement authority have the same “criminal investigatory tools” (make arrests, serve warrants, serve subpoenas, take sworn testimony, gather evidence, carry guns & badges, etc.) as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals. In fact, before they were given statutory law enforcement authority back in the early 2000’s, they actually were deputized as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals.

Methinks someone needs to do some fact checking….

DOJ OIG “can” lock them up, provided they have the prosecutorial support of a U.S. Attorney’s office — and that is where the rub lies…