What comes next?

Trump’s Feb 3 tweet is a piece of science fiction:

“This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”

The Nunes memo really says nothing about the Russian investigation headed by Robert Mueller.  The Republican party has continued to insist that Carter Page was a minor volunteer in the campaign, something like the guy in the back of the room and totally unimportant. But the wiretap FISA warrant was generating results, or it would not have been renewed 3 times.  Each renewal was presented in front of a different FISA judge.  Different FBI and DOJ officials signed off on these applications.   Trump knows this.  The House Intelligence Committee knows this.  And this is likely what is in the Democrat’s response.  And the Democrat response likely concludes that nothing improper was done.  In contrast to Trump’s tweet, the real parties that should be vindicated are the leaders of the FBI and DOJ.

The contents of the Trump dossier were never revealed by the media during the campaign.  The bottom line is the media showed great restraint by not publishing this story.  It was given to the media a couple months before the election and there was no way to collaborate the statements made in the dossier.  So, the “liberal media” should also be vindicated.

But the great disrupter  Trump has his dirt.   The fact that Nunes memo is based on inaccurate, misleading and omitted  information doesn’t bother him one iota.  Everything about his career, says honesty isn’t part of the winning hand.   It’s poker and bluffing your way through is just as good when things get hot.  Honest and gently – No.  Dishonest and loud wins.

Next steps.  He doesn’t care about  Democrat’s rebuttal so he wants Nunes  to bury that memo.  He would like Rosenstein to resign, but that won’t work because he has Session’s support.  So,  Trump sits there with this dirt, that has been publicly discredited  by just about everyone who has experience with FISA warrants, and the FBI, and thinks maybe I can get away with firing Rosenstein and ending the Mueller investigation.

He would like to see more of the “dump Rosenstein” ads on TV.  The Tea Party Patriots has a limited budgets to the Washington, DC area.   Fox News is doing their part in attacking the Mueller investigation.

This ultimately comes down to how apathetic and poorly informed are the American people.  Nunes memo  is a dangerous pretext, but more over, it is a dangerous president with a pretext to politicize the FBI and DOJ.

Stay tuned,


Nunes Memo

The Honorable Adam Schiff
Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Declassified by order of the President
February 2, 2018

January 18, 2018

To: HPSCI Majority Members
From: HPSCI Majority Staff
Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation



This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a US citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. 1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the ISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the ISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard — particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials.

b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. Law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of — and paid by — the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News — and several other outlets – in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington DC. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.”

a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations — an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September — before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October — but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling — maintaining confidentiality — and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files – but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

4) According to the head of the counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was — according to his June 2017 testimony – “salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, Whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.



Trump Dossier

This document is a series of memos prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence  agent,  on the Trump campaign involvement with Russians.   The author has described it as “raw intelligence” with all the  information from unnamed sources.   Christopher Steele disclosed the information to the FBI in October 2016.

The mainstream media including CNN,  Washington Post, BBC and the New York Times and many other conservative focused news  services, like Fox News and OAN, have demonstrated incredible restraint in their reporting of certain details of the dossier, and have not provided any links to the dossier itself.   I believe this restraint is proper as the certain salacious details are baseless.    Publication of the document would unjustly defame President Trump and in doing,  confirm his long held accusation that the mainstream new media publishes fake news.  Buzzfeed uploaded the document to the internet and is being sued as follows:

 Aleksej Gubarev, chief of technology company XBT and a figure mentioned in the dossier, sued BuzzFeed for defamation on February 3, 2017. The suit, filed in a Broward County, Florida court, centers on allegations from the dossier that XBT had been “using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.

So, despite the restraint from the media,  bits and pieces of the dossier are coming out.  Steele and Orbis Intelligence Service are being sued in British High Court, for publication of these accusations against XBT.    Their lawyers have responded in court, that none of Steele’s research was meant for public dissemination.   However, it is likely Orbis was responsible for sending the dossier to many organizations, making its eventual disclosure inevitable.  It will be an interesting case of who is ultimately responsible for unverified information,  the originator or the news service that posts the dossier.

Of course,  Donald Trump has made many references to this dossier in this tweets, linking it to a smear campaign by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.   What is being kept out of the public eye, certainly adds to internet searchers’  curiosity.  A Google search of “Trump Dossier” came up with  345,000 results.   It also has helped  Stephen  Colbert’s Late Show and Saturday Night Live skits.  As a result of the Trump tweets,   lot of Americans, including myself, became curious,  did a Google search to locate the source  document.

Establishing the Linkage:

April/ May 2016 to November 2016: From Clinton campaign’s  to Perkin Coie (Marc Elias) to Fusion GPS  (Glenn Simpson) to Orbis Intelligence Service (Christopher Steele)

January 2016 to  May 2016: From Free Beacon (Paul Singer)  to Perkin Coie (Marc Elias) to Fusion GPS  (Glenn Simpson) to Orbis Intelligence Service (Christopher Steele)

The DNC and Hillary Clinton campaigns were represented by Marc Elias, of Perkins Coie law firm.   Mr. Elias contacted the company Fusion GPS, to conduct “opposition research.”  Fusion GPS contracted  Orbis Intelligence Service, of whom Christopher Steele is a co-founder.   Christopher Steele is reportedly not cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee, and as a British citizen, can not be forced to testify.    He did his best to remain anonymous, but his name was revealed in January 2017 as the author of the dossier by CNN.  It has been reported John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager,  testified to the House Committee that he knew nothing about payments to Mr. Steele.  Mr. Elias was pretty much operating on his own, without much oversight.

Fusion GPS has stated that Mr. Steele was paid $168,000 for his work.  At least, this is what has been reported from leaked news from closed door sessions of House Intelligence Committee.    There is an effort underway in court to obtain Fusion GPS bank records.   The “wow number” of 9.2 million dollars is the total fees charge to the DNC (3.6 million)  and Hillary Clinton’s campaign (5.6 million)  to Fusion GPS for all work including legal and compliance services from  July 2015 to December 2016.   The contract between Fusion GPS and Orbis for the Clinton campaign did not begin until May 2016.   Trump’s tweets came up with a 12 million dollar figure for the dossier which I really don’t know where this came from.     Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS stated that none of Mr. Steele’s sources were compensated for their information,  so the money trail to original sources, at least for now, has gone cold.

It has also been recently revealed that before that before the Republican  primary,  Fusion GPS “opposition research”  was funded by a Republican right wing organization, the Washington Free Beacon,  had funded Fusion GPS.   The Free Beacon website is funded in large part by New York hedge fund billionaire, Paul Singer.     Free Beacon stopped funding research around May 2016 when it was clear that Trump had the nomination secured and this is around the time the Clinton’s started funding.  Wow, could Fusion GPS been doing the same intelligence for both Republicans and Democrats for a brief period of time?   How much of the $168,000 came from Republicans?  After the election, the research continued, but no funds came from Clinton’s campaign.   Glenn Simpson has stated he paid from for the rest of the research himself.

 Steele’s Sources of Information

The research (if I may call it that)  gets really flimsy when there is only mention of Sources A, B, C and D within the dossier.  As I stated at the onset,  the dossier is simply a collection of memos, without the names of any sources.     For those into the fine details of potential dossier sources,  I include the “Grosev Hypothesis” and its subsequent rebuttal by Galetti.  For more information consult the Wikipedia link as given on the first line of the links.

On December 26, 2016, Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB/FSB general, was found dead in his car in Moscow. Erovinkin was a key liaison between Igor Sechin, head of state-owned oil company Rosneft, and President Putin. Steele claimed much of the information came from a source close to Sechin. According to Christo Grozev, a journalist at Risk Management Lab, a think-tank based in Bulgaria, the circumstances of Erovinkin’s death were “mysterious”. Grozev suspected Erovinkin helped Steele compile the dossier on Trump and suggests the hypothesis that the death may have been part of a cover-up by the Russian government.[49][50] Mark Galeotti, senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague, who specializes in Russian history and security, rejected Grozev’s hypothesis.[51][49]

Mueller’s investigation will likely be a good reality check on all of this.   I believe Mueller will based his investigation on hard evidence from people within Trump’s campaign rather than the dossier.

Michael Cohen, a former top executive with the Trump Organization, has refuted the allegation that he was a key link in the Trump – Russia collaboration.   The dossier claimed he traveled to Prague in August 2016, but he states that this  is impossible as his passport would have been stamped. Other experts also expressed skepticism on the dossier, because it came from supposedly unpaid sources.


So what does this have to do with Clinton’s campaign? Nothing.   None of the dossier information was public until well after the election. There are excellent sources of information on the internet.

The more salacious accusations in the dossier in my opinion of Trump’s activities in 2013, have been discredited – see last link.

I predict the various committee investigations will become highly partisan attacks on Clinton’s campaign, in attempt to divert attention from the Mueller investigations.   I doubt if Mueller uses anything within the Trump dossier as primary support for his criminal investigation.

A very positive side to all of this, as the media showed great restraint.  I suspect the lawsuit against Buzzfeed will be dismissed on the grounds of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

Finally, the FBI prepared a private briefing for Donald Trump after he won the election, just to make him aware of the dossier, so he wouldn’t be broadsided by a possible leak for information.   He did not take the briefing well, as he blasted the FBI,  Obama administration, Clinton and the DNC of collaborating against him.


Stay tuned,



Wikipedia,  Donald Trump – Russia Dossier

CNN: Lawyer denies Cohen traveled to Prague

Washington Post, Breaking down the Trump dossier: What you need to know

Washington Post: Clinton lawyer kept Russian dossier project closely held

New York Times: Conservative Website First Funded Anti-Trump Research by Firm That Later Produced Dossier

CNN: Ex-Trump security chief testifies he rejected 2013 Russian offer of women for Trump in Moscow

( Trump has never been accused of being with prostitutes.  I always considered this part of the dossier was fabricated.  I guess the tidbit of information is that someone offer him women and the rest is nonscense.)