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December 17, 2019

The FISC Order

The court begins its order by noting two key bits of information:

First of all, federal officials must sign and certify FISA applications, certifying -- swearing to the court -- that the claims made in the application are accurate and true.

Let me point out that Comey himself signed some of these -- but when asked about that by Chris Wallace, he evaded responsibility and claimed he merely relied on his subordinates' claims.

Well, buddy, it's not your subordinates' signature on the FISA applications certifying that the information is accurate and true. It's your signature. (And for the last FISA application -- Rod Rosenstein's signature.)

If you remember back to the aftermath of the financial crisis, critics made a big deal that financial CEOs were being allowed to escape accountability for false or incomplete financial disclosures, claiming that they were relying on their accountants or CFO's or whatever.

Congress passed a lot of controversial laws requiring that CEOs basically now sign everything, and attest to everything, to avoid this kind of responsibility-shifting.

Well, in Comey's case (and in Rosenstein's), there's not even a convenient outside accounting firm to lay blame off on. They signed it themselves.

But now Comey's saying, "Oh, you know, it's not really my job to look at the things I'm signing. Even if it's for an extraordinary warrant with the National Security court."

Once again, he's setting up a "no evidence of sufficient intent" defense, this time for himself.

The second point that court makes is that the government is acting here ex parte -- that is, without an adverse/opposing counsel present to offer contrary facts or contradict them -- and in this situation, it is therefore incumbent on the government to demonstrate the highest levels of candor with the court.

Basically, the government must offer all the objections/contra-indicating facts that an opposing counsel would offer, if they were present, which they're not.

As we'll see, the court finds that the government did not even reach the lower levels of candor required in normal prosecutor/defense attorney hearings, let alone the "heightened" candor requirements for an ex parte hearing.

Having established these two background points, the court orders:

On December 9, 2019, the government filed with the FISC public and classified versions of the OIG Report....

It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

In addition, while the fourth electronic surveillance application for Mr. Page was being prepared, an attorney in the FBI's Office of General Counsel (OGC) engaged in conduct that apparently was intended to mislead the FBI agent who ultimately swore to the facts in that application about whether Mr. Page had been a source of another government agency....

The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above. The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.

The FISC expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the Court. Without it, the FISC cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis.

THEREFORE, the Court ORDERS that the government shall, no later than January 10, 2020, inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application.

The court also mentions that they issued an order on December 5th regarding the Kevin Clinesmith tampering-with-documentary-evidence charges, and orders the DOJ to declassify that order so that it can be released to the public.

A friend mentions that, per Sydney Powell's book, this level of unchecked corruption is the DOJ's entire business model.

It will be interesting to watch CNN almost entirely suppress this story, in favor of complaining about Trump Thanos Snap Memes.

Ben Domenech pointed out on a Fox show this weekend that CNN had mentioned the Washington Post's findings that the Obama and Bush administrations lied constantly about progress in Afghanistan exactly once, but featured four different "reports" on a fan-made meme showing Trump as Thanos.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:46 PM

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