But two officials said their calls for declassification have been met with opposition from within the intelligence agencies, with some objecting that such a release would be too close to Election Day.
Trump has ramped up his criticism of Barr in recent days as he seeks to make the origins of the Russia probe a major election issue. The president has long cast the Russia investigation as a political hoax meant to undermine him and has called for the indictment of his political enemies, including former President Barack Obama and former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
„She said she had 33,000 e-mails,“ Trump told Fox News on Thursday. „They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo is unable to get them out, which is very sad actually. I’m — I’m not happy about him for that, that reason. He was unable to get — I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department and you get them out. But they’re in the State Department.“
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday said Trump had „tasked me with getting some declassification rolling“ as the president was recovering from COVID-19 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Officials began releasing documents on Tuesday.
– Recent declassifications by DNI John Ratcliffe: „I thought it was a outrageous, appalling and blatant act of politicization that he released, very selectively, some intelligence that was provided then to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is right now engaged in, I think, a very partisan effort to try to debunk the necessary investigative efforts of the FBI that looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election.“
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified unverified Russian intelligence despite concerns being raised by the CIA and National Security Agency, according to people briefed on the matter.
Career officials in the intelligence agencies were concerned about declassifying the information because it was unverified and they believed it could reveal sources and methods. Ratcliffe overrode those concerns and sent the document to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham on Tuesday, the people sa
Graham pointed to the documents declassified Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe — which summarized unverified Russian intelligence that Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was trying to „stir up a scandal“ by tying Trump to Russia — arguing they showed the FBI’s double standard in not investigating Clinton and Russia.
One Republicans senator even asked Comey about the Democratic allegations he had swung the 2016 election to Trump by releasing information about the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails.
“According to his handwritten notes, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the ‘alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.’”
„On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding ‘U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server,’” the letter continues.
„Unfortunately those releases and declassifications according to multiple sources I’ve talked to are being blocked by CIA director Gina Haspel who herself was the main link between Washington and London,“ Davis said. „As the London station chief from John Brennan’s CIA during the 2016 election. Recall, it was London where Christopher Steele was doing all this work. And I’m told that it was Gina Haspel personally who is blocking a continued declassification of these documents that will show the American people the truth of what actually happened.“
The request to shelve the vote was the latest hurdle for legislation reauthorizing authorities from the 2001 Patriot Act that’s been squeezed both by FISA opponents who have pushed for more civil liberties protections and by the President and his allies furious over the role of the FISA court in the Russia investigation and the misconduct with warrants obtained on former Trump adviser Carter Page.
„I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!“ Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening.
“I believe many, many others were spied on but do not know” said Attkisson. “It was only thanks to help from intelligence contacts that I even learned that government agents were spying me. Otherwise, I never suspected it or would have known.”
Throughout the Russia investigation, Weissmann had been considered a “deputy” to Mueller, with conservatives regularly targeting him for his reputation of using aggressive tactics in cases, as well as his role in past controversial prosecutions. Weissmann helped to build the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Am 12. März äußerte sich dann jemand, der Ahnung hat: Rand Paul. In der „CBS“-Sendung „Face the Nation“ rückte Rand Paul, unter vielem Hin und Her und Ach und jaa-nee, endlich mit der Sprache heraus (Links wurden hinzugefügt):
„Der Weg wie es funktioniert ist – das F.I.S.A.-Gericht, mittels Section 702 (Anm.: vom Patriot Act), hört Ausländer ab und hört dann Amerikanern zu. Es ist eine Durchleuchtung von Amerikanern durch die Hintertür. Und weil sie so viele Daten haben, können sie abhören — tippen sie Donald Trump in ihre gewaltigen Ressourcen (Anm.: Datenbanken) über Leute ein, die sie in Übersee abhören, und sie kriegen alle seine Telefonanrufe.
Und so haben sie das mit Präsident Obama gemacht. Sie — eintausendzweihundertsiebenundzwanzig Mal haben sie Präsident Obamas Telefonanrufe belauscht. Dann maskieren sie ihn (Anm.: anonymisieren seine Daten). Aber hier ist das Problem. Und General Hayden hat dies am anderen Tag gesagt. Er sagte, sogar niedere Angestellte können den Anrufer demaskieren (Anm.: die Daten wieder einer bestimmten Person zuordnen). Das ist vermutlich dass, was Flynn passiert ist.
Sie zielen nicht auf Amerikaner. Sie zielen auf Ausländer. Aber sie tun das absichtlich, um an Amerikaner heran zu kommen.“
Nov. 18, 2016:
Trump announces Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his choice for National Security Adviser. Over the next few weeks, Flynn communicates with numerous international leaders.
Nov. 30 – Dec. 28, 2016:
Two dozen Obama administration officials make requests to unmask the name of National Security Adviser designee Flynn, who was „incidentally“ captured by intel surveillance. The officials include: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director John Brennan.
Jan. 5, 2017:
Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough requests Flynn unmasking.
Intelligence Community leadership, including FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, CIA Director Brennan and Director of National Intelligence Clapper, provides classified briefing to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice on alleged Russia hacking during 2016 campaign, according to notes later written by Rice.
After briefing, according to Rice’s notes, President Obama convenes Oval Office meeting with her, Comey, Biden, and Yates. The „Steele dossier“ is reportedly discussed. Also reportedly discussed: Flynn’s intercepted talks with Russia’s ambassador.
‚It amounts to illegally eavesdropping for political purposes‘ says Rand Paul discussing new information that Obama officials unmasked Michael Flynn
WASHINGTON – The “central and essential” evidence used to justify invasive surveillance of an American citizen in the FBI’s probe into Russian interference was, itself, an example of Russian interference, according to once-secret footnotes declassified at the urging of two U.S. Senators. The footnotes, part of the Justice Department Inspector General’s postmortem of the FBI’s flawed operation to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, were released just hours after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) renewed their push for transparency. The senators expect a fuller declassification in the coming days.
“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation. These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign – the Clinton campaign, not Trump’s.”
The IG report detailed how the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. According to Footnote 302, in October 2016, FBI investigators learned that one of Steele’s main sources was linked to the Russian Intelligence Service (RIS), and was rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer. However, the FBI neglected to include this information in its application, which the FISA court approved that same month. Two months later, investigators learned that Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, told a Justice Department attorney that he assessed the same source “was a RIS officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.” In January, the FISA warrant was renewed.
Declassified footnotes to a Justice Department inspector general report show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation team investigating members of the Trump campaign received classified reports in 2017 identifying key pieces of the Steele dossier as products of a Russian disinformation campaign. This might be only the tip of the iceberg because other recently declassified information demonstrates that even more disinformation may have been planted in Christopher Steele’s reporting.
(July 2, 2019)
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said he previously employed Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
Deripaska said he hired Steele through his attorneys in London to work on an unspecific legal proceeding.
Steele investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had „frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.“
The footnote also indicates that warnings to the FBI’s Russia probe became more pronounced over time.
The FBI’s surveillance of Americans including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page isn’t exactly the issue du jour amid a global pandemic. But on Tuesday, a brutal inspector general’s report suggested that this will be something that the bureau and Congress will have to reckon with in the near future.
Horowitz discovered premeditated fraud on the FISC by a DOJ attorney. In 2016, the attorney „altered“ email from „the other U.S. government agency“ (CIA) and submitted a fraudulent application for a warrant to the court. So the FISC approved the warrant.
The target: Carter Page, a Naval Academy graduate and a former Trump presidential campaign associate. Spying on Page — an innocent man — opened a door to spying on President Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), issued an order Wednesday setting out an additional framework for the Justice Department and FBI to follow in future FISA proceedings. The order specifies that „no DOJ or FBI personnel under disciplinary or criminal review relating to their work on FISA applications shall participate in drafting, verifying, verifying, reviewing or submitting such applications to the court.“
The FBI obtained a warrant in 2016 to eavesdrop on former Trump national security aide Carter Page on suspicions that he was secretly a Russian agent. The Justice Department renewed the warrant three times, including during the early months of the Trump administration.
It’s not the end of the world as we know it, but it could be the end of using R.E.M. songs at Trump rallies, according to bassist Mike Mills who says the band is considering legal action.
After President Trump played R.E.M. songs “Everybody Hurts” and “Losing My Religion” at his Tuesday night rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mills expressed his frustration and announced the band is „exploring all legal avenues“ to prevent Trump from using their music.
“The Inspector General report showed the FBI was willing to do anything in order to spy on Carter Page, including making 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions. The American public deserves to know everything the FBI did,” Kennedy said in a statement Friday.
“I’m asking President Trump to declassify the entire record so that Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray can release it to the American people. If the FBI wants to continue the employment of rogue, politically-motivated agents, then let the public read the entire record.”
„As we noted publicly last year in our report, we were very concerned about that,“ Horowitz said at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
„We are investigating those contacts. We’ve issued a couple of public summaries so far about people we’ve found violated FBI policy. We have other investigations ongoing,“ Horowitz continued.
He added that, while it has been hard to prove the substance of conversations between FBI and reporters or outside individuals, “we can prove the contacts.“
„Under FBI policy you need authorization if you’re going to disclose information and have certain contacts,“ he said.
Following Monday’s release of the long-awaited FISA report on FBI abuses while investigating the Trump campaign, during the 2016 US election, Inspector General Michael Horowitz is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Horowitz’s report found „significant inaccuracies and omissions,“ yet despite the fact that the FBI’s elite made numerous errors and harbored extreme animus against Donald Trump, none of that affected their investigation.
Horowitz also found that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” to launch the investigation, a conclusion that Attorney General William Barr disagreed with on Monday in a public statement.
Horowitz’s report also criticized the FBI’s handling of applications for warrants to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The report, however, sharply criticizes the FBI over its handling of applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, providing fodder for Trump and his Republican allies while at the same time undercutting a key GOP talking point that agents driven by bias improperly targeted then-candidate Trump.
The findings released by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz set the stage for a partisan showdown on Capitol Hill, where he is slated to testify publicly Wednesday to answer questions from a Senate panel about the inquiry into the FBI’s Russia probe.
The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign. After CNN first reported on the investigation, the Washington Post reported that the inspector general concluded the alteration did not change the validity of the surveillance application.
Chairman Cummings issued the following statement:
“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistleblowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”
The Committee’s second interim report is based on more than 60,000 pages of new documents produced to the Committee in response to requests that Chairman Cummings made to a host of outside companies about their involvement with plans to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The report states:
New documents and communications show that IP3, the private company lobbying the White House to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, repeatedly sought a $120 million investment from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear if the company ultimately received the investment.
Barrack played a high-profile role in Trump’s ascent to power, attending the 2016 Republican convention to deliver a primetime address in support of his longtime friend. He also introduced the future president to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is now serving a 47-month prison sentence for financial fraud.
Retired CIA operative and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd talks about British national Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Steele dossier, deciding to talk with U.S. officials about his part in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mudd predicts things are going to get „ugly“ when Attorney General Bill Barr concludes how the probe was initiated which will give the Trump White House „ammo.“
Let me restate that: William Barr is opposed to certain, very narrow subsets of domestic surveillance. Specifically, Barr doesn’t think the government should have spied on Trump and his campaign staff, if that’s what actually happened, which Barr doesn’t actually seem to know.
But if you’re literally anyone else, domestic surveillance is just another name for national security, whether you’re a random Verizon customer or one of the world’s most useful websites.
The Wikimedia Foundation sued the federal government over domestic surveillance back in 2015. The suit lives on four years later …
A source close to Steele told The Times he will meet with investigators in London in the coming weeks. Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump and campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
– The former British intelligence officer authored what became known as the golden showers dossier
– Congressional investigators sought to interview him without success
– He will meet with unidentified U.S. investigators, a source close to him told the Times of London
– Attorney General Bill Barr ordered a new investigation of the origins of the Russia probe
– The Mueller report did not confirm salacious claims from the dossier
– The report did include a footnote about a Georgian businessman who told Michael Cohen he had ’stopped flow‘ of ’some tapes‘
„This approach threatens national security by subverting longstanding rules and practices that obligate you and other heads of [intelligence community] agencies to safeguard sources and methods and prevent the politicization of intelligence and law enforcement,“ Schiff wrote in the letter to Coats, which was also sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI.
Attorney General William Barr said he’s not satisfied so far with official accounts justifying the counterintelligence investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was involved in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“These counterintelligence activities that were directed at the Trump campaign, were not done in the normal course and not through the normal procedures as a far as I can tell,” Barr told “CBS This Morning” in an interview broadcast Friday.
Last month, Barr announced he had assembled a team to review the FBI’s original Russia probe which was opened in the summer of 2016. Barr appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to lead the investigation which will focus on the use of FBI informants as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
But Barr, in an interview with CBS News that aired Friday, said he has more questions than answers at this point in the probe.
Key allies who share intelligence with the United States could soon be dragged into the middle of Attorney General Bill Barr’s politically-charged Justice Department review of how the Russia investigation began.
President Donald Trump has said he wants Barr to look into the role key intelligence partners, including the United Kingdom and Australia, played in the origins of Russia probe.
The move marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to „investigate the investigators,“ as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump.
President Trump has granted Attorney General William P. Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify government secrets, issuing a memorandum late Thursday that orders U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate promptly with Barr’s audit of the investigation into Russia’s election interference in 2016.
The declassification of documents applies to the Department of State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, CIA and the Director of National Intelligence.
Mr Steele first approached British intelligence at the £1.7million home of Sir Charles Farr, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, in Wimbledon, south-west London.
Mr Farr, who died in February at 59, was one of Mrs May’s top counter-terrorism advisors at the Home Office.
After leading MI6’s Russia desk, Mr Steele set up a private firm, and was hired by Fusion GPS, a US research company being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Theresa May’s spy chiefs were secretly briefed on an explosive dossier of claims about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia before the US president was made aware of its existence, The Telegraph can reveal.
The heads of MI5 and MI6 and one of Mrs May’s most trusted security advisers were told about former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s memos on the Trump campaign in the weeks after his November 2016 election victory.
The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?
The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation.
(1.9.2018) The timeline sketched out by Mr. Ohr shows contacts stretching back to when Mr. Ohr first met Mr. Steele in 2007. It also shows what officials said was the first date on which the two discussed cultivating Mr. Deripaska: a meeting in Washington on Nov. 21, 2014, roughly seven months before Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president. (…)
Mr. Steele served as an intermediary between the Americans and the Russian oligarchs they were seeking to cultivate. He had first met Mr. Ohr years earlier while still serving at MI6, Britain’s foreign spy agency, where he oversaw Russia operations.
(30.8.2018) To believe most media descriptions of Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr, he is a nonentity, unworthy of the attention President Trump has given him. This is remarkable, given that Mr. Ohr spent Tuesday confirming for Congress its worst suspicions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s abuse of its surveillance and sourcing rules.
(12.8.2018) The communications raise further questions about Steele’s objectivity as an intelligence source, and about Ohr’s motives for maintaining contact with a foreign ex-spy about a Russian billionaire, despite being assigned to a wholly unrelated line of work at the DOJ. Congressional investigators expect Ohr to appear for a closed-door interview on Aug. 28.
(8.8.2018) Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele’s research and the oligarch’s affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.
(1.9.2018) Bruce Ohr, a Department of Justice official who has become a frequent target of Trump’s ire at the ongoing investigation into his links to Russia and whether they helped influence the election, and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative who compiled a dossier of reporting on Russian influence on Trump, were both involved in the effort, the New York Times reported.
(30.8.2018) The sources said Ohr’s outreach about the dossier – as well as its author, ex-British spy Christopher Steele; the opposition research firm behind it, Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS; and his wife Nellie Ohr’s work for Fusion – occurred before and after the FBI fired Steele as a source over his media contacts. Ohr’s network of contacts on the dossier included: former FBI agent Peter Strzok; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page; former deputy director Andrew McCabe; Weissmann and at least one other DOJ official; and a current FBI agent who worked with Strzok on the Russia case.
– FBI and the United States Justice reportedly tried to flip Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska but he told them they had their story wrong
– Sources say in September 2016 Deripaska labeled investigators‘ claims about Paul Manafort’s links to Russian government as ‚preposterous‘
– However the New York Times reports the investigation involving Deripaska began before Donald Trump announced he was going for the presidency
– Justice Department official, Bruce G. Ohr worked with former British spy Christopher Steele to get six rich Russians to talk
– Trump has used leaked documents as evidence they were plotting against him to form a dossier in the Robert Mueller-led investigation and called Ohr ‚a joke‘
The immediate concern, according to the former CIA operative Glenn Carle, is that turning over information related to FISA records could compromise sources and methods.
„Congressional oversight is not operational control, it’s policy control,“ Carle said. „So it’s not really appropriate for an oversight body and its members to have detailed knowledge of sources and methods, because they are not trained in how to handle that.“
He had a central role on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information. He later worked on the investigation into connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia and briefly worked for special counsel Robert Mueller before text messages between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered.
Psy-Group, the company headed by the Israeli media specialist Joel Zamel, who is reportedly being investigated in connection with the alleged illegal intervention in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has shut down, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity.
US president slams New York Times over report on son’s meetings with an Israeli media specialist, Arab emissaries and a private military contractor ahead of 2016 election
„If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,“ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.