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August 28, 2018

Chuck Ross: FBI Agent Told Congress That the Bureau Leaked Stories to the Press, and Would Then Use Press Write-Ups as "Independent" Sources to Justify FISA Warrants

The most crucial part of being a True Conservative is having a childlike, cultish belief in the absolute infallibility of government agents.

I think I read that somewhere.

An FBI special agent told Congress earlier in August that the bureau has used leaked news stories as justifications to obtain surveillance warrants against American citizens, a source familiar with the testimony tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.

During a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Friday, Special Agent Jonathan Moffa told congressional investigators that the FBI and Justice Department have leaked stories to the press and then used them to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

"He more or less admitted that the FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press and then used stories from the press as justifications for FISA warrants," a source who took part in Moffa's interview told TheDCNF.

More or less admitted. Keep that in mind, because there's a correction/clarification to the original reporting that pushes heavily on that "more or less" admitted claim.

...

"Tomorrow's Bruce Ohr interview is even more critical. Did he ever do this?" [Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted].

...

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment about Moffa's congressional testimony.

...

Moffa worked closely on the Clinton email investigation with Peter Strzok, the former deputy chief of FBI's counterintelligence division who was recently fired for sending anti-Trump text messages. Strzok and Moffa took part in the July 2, 2016 interview with Clinton about her use of a private email server to exchange classified emails.

...

In its applications for the FISA warrants on Page, the FBI cited an article published on Sept. 23, 2016 by Yahoo! News that relied heavily on Steele as a source. The FBI did not acknowledge that Steele was a source for the article, which was written by Michael Isikoff.

...

The FBI said in its applications that investigators did not believe that Steele was a direct source for the Yahoo! report.

Since the first publication of this article, the FBI has bothered to respond, and vigorously denies the report.

Chuck Ross updates his article to include the FBI's denials and to print a clarification of what his sources told him.

But an FBI official disputed the claims about Moffa's testimony, and TheDCNF's source is acknowledging that he did not explicitly say that the FBI has leaked information to the press that is later used to obtain FISAs.

The initial claims about Moffa's testimony are "just not true," the FBI official told TheDCNF.

Meadows clarified his comments in a statement to TheDCNF.

"Jonathan Moffa made it clear to the committee the FBI routinely uses media reports to corroborate analytic work product," he said.

"We have emails and texts plainly showing the FBI leaks to the media, raising major red flags. If FBI executives want the American people to believe they haven't used leaks to their advantage, they are not being honest."

TheDCNF's source cited an internal "miscommunication" regarding statements about Moffa’s testimony.

"Moffa's admission that the FBI regularly uses media reports to corroborate their own work products is a huge admission given what we know about the FBI’s incredible culture of leaking for their own purposes. He never explicitly said: 'we use our own leaks." Frankly, he doesn’t have to."

So, if I understand this: The source now says he didn't mean to say the FBI explicitly admitted using media stories, which they actually planted with their own leaks, to justify warrants. He is saying, rather, that the FBI admits they use media reports to buttress their own claims/reports, and we know from all the disclosures this year that they do leak to the media to have their claims published. And I guess he's saying we can therefore infer that they sometimes leak and then use the products of those leaks (media reports) to buttress their claims.

And you can also look at the Steele leak to Yahoo knews, and the FBI's subsequent inclusion of that leak as "independent" sourcing of Steele's dossier to justify a FISA warrant, to infer that this was in fact done, deliberately, in the Trump/Page FISA warrant case.

It's not "admitted" as Chuck Ross' source first claimed, but there's a very strong implication of it.

By the way: On Bret Baier, he remarked of Bruce Ohr's testimony today that it was marked by pronounced memory gaps.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:10 PM

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