Is it possible that the upcoming Department of Justice Inspectors General's Report may legitimately give a pass, possibly temporary, to many who are thought to be co-conspirators in the take-down of then-candidate and now-President Trump?

DOJ watchdog report expected to say FBI's Russia probe launched properly but lower-level employees made mistakes

(CNN)The Department of Justice Inspector General's report on the start of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election will say the probe was properly launched but lower-level employees made a series of mistakes.

The investigation on the effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, is expected to conclude that the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation was properly predicated, and that there were a series of mistakes and improper handling of the Page FISA application by lower-level employees.

The New York Times was first to report on the expected conclusion of the report.

The report is also expected to conclude that Page was appropriately targeted for surveillance and that the FBI appropriately disassociated itself from Christopher Steele, author of the infamous "Steele Dossier" on President Donald Trump, after leaks and contacts with the media were uncovered.

CNN first reported that a former FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to the 2016 surveillance of Page. <Source>

Was Carter Page, an innocent American victim caught up in circumstances beyond his control?

It appears to me that Carter Page, like most of his ilk, sought to enhance his resume and perceived power by meeting, greeting, or assisting already influential individuals. I would dare say that Page’s own actions led to a credible finding of probable cause to investigate whether or not Page was acting as a Russian Agent or was being recruited as a Russian asset. Notably, when he served as a foreign-policy adviser to candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Considering the number of dodgy individuals in the Trump orbit, including Russians, Ukrainians, and various criminals, I believe that the investigation of Page was warranted. (pun intended) What was not justified was the broader spying efforts on others that appeared to have taken place. Or the extent to which foreign intelligence services may have cooperated in the effort to spy on Americans.

Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.

The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.

“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.

In interviews with reporters over the past year, Page has given inconsistent accounts about his contacts with the Russians.

In January 2013, Page met a Russian diplomat named Victor Podobnyy at an energy conference in New York City, according to court documents. The two exchanged contact information, sent each other documents on energy policy and met several more times to discuss the topic, the documents allege. Two years later, in January of 2015, Podobnyy was charged in absentia — along with two other Russians — with working as a Russian intelligence agent under diplomatic cover.

Court records include a transcript of a conversation where Podobnyy talks about recruiting someone named “Male-1” by making “empty promises” about “connections in the [Russian] Trade Representation.” Page now acknowledges that he was “Male-1.” Podobnyy and one of the Russians had diplomatic immunity and left the U.S. The third Russian was arrested and eventually expelled from the U.S. in April 2017. <Source>

From the July 21, 2018, heavily redacted versions of the Carter Page FISA warrant applications released by the Justice Department… 

It also appears to me that the inclusion of extraneous materials about how the Russians may have sought to influence the 2016 election was overkill and the use of the so-called Steele Dossier and concealing its true nature was simply window dressing to “bulk up” the application; and relatively inconsequential in the scheme of investigating Carter Page.

However, the FISA Court submission was as a “VERIFIED APPLICATION” with the specific statement that “The FBI has reviewed this verified application for· accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s). A copy of those procedures was previously provided to the Court.”. It contained the statement, “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information regarding Carter W. Page is true and correct. Executed pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, § 1746 on [redacted] and signed by a Supervisory Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The final “CERTIFICATION,” much of which is redacted, reads “I the undersigned, having been designated as one of the officials authorized to make the certifications required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended, do hereby certify with regard to the [redacted] requested in this verified application targeting Carter W. Page, an agent of the Government of Russia, a foreign power, as follows: [major redactions] and signed by James B. Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

To be noted are the additional signature slots of individuals who could sign-off on this type of document … many of whom are thought to be co-conspirators in the take-down of then-candidate and the future President Trump.


The Department of Justice sign-off was by Sally Quillian Yates, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, who was fired by President Trump for openly defying his orders.


What appears to have happened is that there was a failure of proper surveillance procedure oversight and especially concerning the minimization procedures that mask tangential contacts. To the extent, high-ranking members of the Obama Administration unmasked associated individuals for political purposes should be the subject of a separate and proper criminal investigation conducted by John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, who was tasked for such matters by Attorney General Barr.

There is a relatively easy way to determine if those in charge are lying and hosing the public: examine the timeline and their internal communications…

While the initiation of the investigation appears to be justified, we can determine if the game was played honestly by reviewing the timeline and cross-checking the unclassified and un-redacted documents to determine when certain information was known to the FBI when the warrant extensions were filed. If things are relatively kosher, you will find that certain previously presented information will have been corrected in subsequent applications and new, especially exculpatory, material added as necessary.

Was this application for a FISA warrant merely a “deliberate pretext” to spy on the Trump campaign and individuals associated with Donald Trump?


As we have seen, the minimization (masking) procedures to protect innocent parties on surveilled conversations were massively abused by the Obama Administration, who appeared to target individuals whose conversations could be unmasked to reveal the real target. Even worse than minimization was the rule that allowed you to follow a chain of contacts that extended the range of surveillance activities far and wide. In the closing days, the Obama Administration extended the number of agencies that could handle unmasked information – ostensibly to prevent the information from being destroyed by the incoming administration.

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches. <Source>

Bottom line…

To what extent will the government punish the government for spying on Americans is the big question. How broad was this particular investigation, and how many criminal referrals did it generate? Did it cover Rosenstein's deceptions, Comey's leaks, McCabe's actions, and Strozk and Page's activities, etc? Will it highlight connections to other agencies and the White House itself. 

Let us wait to see what we shall see on December 9, 2019, when the report is said to be scheduled for release and then listen intently to the December 11, 2019 appearance of DOJ Inspector General before Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) Senate Judiciary Committee. A word of caution: in the past, Graham has been a weak poseur who looks great in the media but accomplishes relatively little when it comes to corruption.

And let us not forget, in the meantime, the House of Representatives has done little or nothing to improve the lives of Americans or to conduct the people’s business. All they have done is to attempt to influence the 2020 election because, like in 2016, they have no viable candidates.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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