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December 21, 2022

Despite Claims of the FBI and the Partisan Left -- but I Repeat Myself -- the FISA Applications Were Lifted Almost Exclusively From the Known Lies and Fabrications Contained in the Steele Report

The FBI continues to spin that the FISA applications were based only in part on the lies in the Steele "dossier." Which, critically, are not merely known to be lies now, but were known to be fabrications by the FBI when the FBI pejuriously seeded them in the FISA applications.

Paul Sperry went through the FISA applications and found that entire sentences were copy-pasted from the Steele "dossier," and some copied with only minor editing, like changing Steele's spelling of "defence" in the British way to "defense" in the American style.

The FBI relied more extensively on Christopher Steele's debunked dossier in their Russiagate investigation than has been revealed, inserting key parts from it into their applications for warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign. Agents did this without telling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the precise wording was plucked  directly from a political rumor sheet paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign or providing judges with any independent corroboration of the explosive  allegations.

For years, defenders of the FBI and its Russiagate probe have downplayed the bureau's reliance on the opposition research cooked up by Steele -- with its incredible tales of billion-dollar bribes and pee-tapes -- insisting it was limited to justifying the  surveillance of a single Trump campaign adviser and used sparingly.

But the notion that mere "snippets" of the reporting by paid Clinton subcontractor Christopher Steele showed up  in FISA applications,  as CNN has described it, no longer holds up to scrutiny.

A close examination of all four of the FISA warrants reveals that the FBI lifted dozens of key  phrases -- as well as practically some entire sentences -- from the dossier  and pasted them verbatim into their sworn  affidavits. It did so repeatedly without citing its sources or using typical hedging language such as "allegedly" or "purportedly" to indicate that the claims were unverified.

As a result, the FBI lent its voice of authority to many of the unsourced -- and now debunked -- accusations in the dossier.

For example, bureau lawyers avowed under oath in all four warrant applications that "the FBI has learned" that onetime Trump campaign  adviser Carter Page had secretly met with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow. But those allegations  came from Steele's D.C.-based collector Igor Danchenko, who admitted to the FBI in a January 2017 interview his input  was just "hearsay" gathered from "conversation with friends over beer."

It is not clear whether the bureau decided to pay Steele in connection with the dossier so that it could represent the material as originating from one of its own confidential sources. At one point it reportedly offered him $1 million if he could verify key claims (he could not).

Meanwhile, the FBI repeatedly portrayed improbable third-hand rumors as sound "intelligence," despite taking them directly from paid political opposition research operatives. Suggesting independent verification, the bureau repeatedly assured the FISA court it "assesses" the truth of damning claims.

In some cases, the FBI mixed partial information from one dossier report with partial information from another  report to draw broader conclusions. It then used these as a foundation to claim evidence of a grand election "conspiracy" between the Trump campaign and Russia, with Page acting as an  "intermediary." Such a conspiracy was what counterintelligence agents needed to convince the FISA court that their  main target Page was a Kremlin agent who posed a national security threat, and that deploying the government's most intrusive  investigative  method -- electronic surveillance -- was necessary to investigate him.

In short, the FBI fabricated conclusions from fabrications and turned them into sworn representations before the  powerful Foreign Intelligence  Surveillance Court.

Veteran FBI investigators who have worked counterintelligence cases and sworn out wiretap warrants say the  agents who ran the Russiagate investigation, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, violated the fundamental principle requiring them to independently verify evidence they present to the court.

"Their actions -- lying and misrepresentations on warrants and affidavits -- are antithetical to every instruction  at FBI training at Quantico and in the field,"  said 27-year FBI veteran Michael Biasello.  "Any FBI Academy  trainee and agent in the field is aware that search warrants, affidavits and any accompanying documents and  information contained therein requiring federal judicial approval is to be vetted and verified to create a pristine  document. Their accuracy is vital."

The FBI declined comment.


Like CNN, the New York Times has tried to minimize the agency's reliance on the dossier. In a recent  article  on Durham's  inquiry, the Times maintained that the FBI only used "some" claims from the dossier in applying for court  permission to wiretap Page.

In fact, the FBI used several claims -- and those claims happened to constitute the most critical "evidence" in the  wiretap applications. Even  former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe has admitted that if not for the Steele  dossier, no surveillance warrant would have been sought for Page.

All told, the FBI used four dossier reports -- Report 80, Report 94, Report 95 and Report 102 -- in all  four of its  FISA wiretap warrants targeting Page in 2016 and 2017. And three of the reports were based on a fictitious  source.

Danchenko falsely claimed this information came from Sergei Millian, who had denied he had ever said these things the moment rumors got out that he had said them, and who had in due time been vindicated. These were just ludicrous fictions Danchenko made up but needed to say someone told him about them, so he said, "It was Schwartz."

Wait, no, that was A Christmas Story.

He said, "It was Sergei Millian."

And the FBI continued to pack these lies into its FISA applications even after learning Danchenko made it all up.


In addition to falsely claiming that Moscow held a blackmail sex video of Trump  cavorting with urinating hookers at the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, Report 80 alleged that the Kremlin had "kompromat" on Hillary Clinton and was feeding it to Trump -- and that it had been "very helpful" to his  campaign. The compromising information on Clinton, which the report ironically referred to as a "dossier," was  said to be "controlled exclusively by chief Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov, who was responsible for  compiling/handling it on the explicit instructions of [Russian President] PUTIN himself."

The FBI found this to be valuable "intelligence" and included it in all its FISA applications. Adopting the same  language of Report 80 (document images here), it told the FISA court that "this dossier [on Clinton] was, by the direct instructions of  Russian President Putin, controlled exclusively by Senior Kremlin Spokesman Dmitriy Peskov." It added, further  parroting Report 80, that the information had been "very helpful" to Trump.

Then the FBI went one step further than anything Steele reported. "Accordingly," the bureau's FISA application  said on page 19, "the FBI assesses that [Kremlin official Igor] Divyekin received direction by the Russian  Government to disclose the nature and existence of the dossier [on Clinton] to Page."

Divyekin is not named in Report 80. It appears instead that the FBI got his name from another Steele memo, Report 94, and then injected him into the narrative. Report 94 was also a treasure trove of misinformation. It claimed that the Kremlin spokesman had held "secret meetings" with Page, along with U.S.-sanctioned Russian official Igor Sechin, during a trip Page made to Moscow in July 2016.

So that is the FBI now inventing its own fictions, based upon the fictions in the Steele "dossier."

The bureau then made this reporting its own in a FISA application, telling the court, "The FBI has learned  that Page met with at least two Russian officials during this trip," even  though it had no independent knowledge of such a meeting. While Page did travel to Moscow at the time to give a speech at a college where President Obama also  once spoke, the secret meetings were another tall tale. Page told agents he didn't even know who Divyekin was. But that  didn't stop the FBI from inserting the false rumors into its spy warrants (document images here).

The FBI also used this unclear, vague (and also fabricated) claim to help reinforce its also-bogus tip about George Papadopolous. Papadopolous told an Australian diplomat that he'd heard a rumor that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. No shit, Sherlock -- we all know that Russia and China had both hacked her bathroom server.

The FBI turned this into some kind of insinuation that Papadopolous was being told by Kremlin agents that they had dirt.

And now they connected that bullshit fantasy up with the bullshit fantasies they were creating based on Danchenko's lies from the Steele "dossier," and connected the two complete fictions, making the fictions mutually confirm each other:

This appears to be why the FBI drew the conclusion that Divyekin had "received direction by the Russian Government" to  share the Clinton dirt with Page, a stretch even for the dossier, which never said Divyekin was operating on  orders from the Russian government. But the FBI needed Russian intelligence to be involved to sell the  espionage "conspiracy." The imagination of Crossfire Hurricane agents was running full throttle, but then they made an even bigger  leap. At the top of page 20 of their first FISA request, they stated: "The FBI  assesses the information funneled by the Russians to Page may be part of Russia's intent to influence the 2016  U.S. Presidential election." This put a nice bow on the grand conspiracy for the FISA court, which is that Russia helped Trump steal the  election. The way the FBI framed it for FISA judges, it was an urgent matter of national security to let agents monitor Page --  and also collect any past communications he had with Trump campaign officials -- to stop the theft of the White  House by the Kremlin.

Paul Sperry summarizes that the FBI knew that Danchenko was falsifying his sources by fall 2017 -- and yet continued affirming in their FISA applications that his claims were "truthful."

Former FBI investigators say it's clear their colleagues weren't played by their sources, but rather played along  with them. "The bureau was not misled. The bureau received false information , knew it to be false, and still represented it  as true for the purpose of the affidavits," Biasello said. "That is a blatant  criminal act."

So many straight-shooters.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:38 PM

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