Can the FBI be trusted? A Federalist analysis of agency lies over the last decade is an unequivocal no.
In the summer of 2016, FBI bureaucrats launched a deep-state operation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, to thwart then-candidate Trump’s presidential ambitions. It began by targeting Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and quickly branched out as bureaucrats expanded their surveillance. The spy agency used the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as a legal pretext to investigate and spy on Papadopoulos, in addition to former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and former Trump adviser Carter Page. Several were interviewed by undercover FBI informant Stefan Halper, whose own investigation would prove a bust.
According to a declassified transcript between Papadopoulos and a Crossfire Hurricane confidential human source (CHS), Papadopoulos repeatedly denied the Trump campaign was working with Russian-backed entities to capture the 2016 election. The FBI, however, wrote off Papadopoulos’s recorded answers as rehearsed and omitted his denials of campaign collusion with overseas actors in FISA court warrant applications and renewals. These were two of the 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” identified in the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general’s blockbuster report on the investigation in December 2019.
Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in a perjury trap, was far from the only individual to face political persecution from the federal government’s dystopian investigation.
Not one of the four FISA warrants obtained by the FBI was legally justified, according to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. In fact, at least two of the warrant applications to spy on Page were declared illegal by a federal judge. Following Horowitz’s blistering report outlining FBI misconduct throughout the entire operation, another federal judge declared that agency malfeasance “calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
Subsequent reporting revealed gross abuses of power within the FBI to prosecute political opponents. According to Horowitz, the FBI’s FISA warrants “relied entirely” on DNC-funded opposition research compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele known as the “Steele dossier.” The dossier, which outlined supposed Trump-Russia collusion and has since been thoroughly debunked, included salacious allegations such as supposed “pee tapes” featuring Trump engaging in golden showers with Russian prostitutes at a Moscow hotel.
The FBI knew the dossier lacked credibility as early as January 2017 and knew Steele’s material itself contained Russian disinformation. Desperate to continue their deep-state operation, however, officials lied to the FISA court about Steele’s credibility and hid incriminating info related to the former British intelligence official who was later fired over leaks to the press. An 18th omission, overlooked by the inspector general’s report but documented by Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland, was that Steele’s sources did not include the ones he developed as a British official.
Even after Steele’s termination as a reliable source, DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr continued to feed information from Steele to the FBI over the course of its investigation. Steele met with Ohr 12 times after the former’s tenure ended as a confidential human source for the bureau, according to the inspector general. Ohr also promoted his wife’s opposition research to FBI investigators and did not disclose she was paid by Fusion GPS, the DNC-contracted firm that commissioned the Steele dossier.
The FBI never told the FISA court that the Trump dossier written by a source who was fired for lying, did not undergo independent verification, and was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
Despite the overt abuse of the nation’s surveillance apparatus to spy on political opponents, only one FBI official has faced criminal conviction for his role in the probe. In January last year, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to just 12 months probation after pleading guilty to fabricating evidence to obtain a FISA warrant. By December, Clinesmith was re-admitted to the D.C. Bar Association in good standing.
Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko, was indicted in November on five counts of making false statements to the FBI. In May, a D.C. jury acquitted former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann on charges of lying to the FBI when submitting supposed evidence of Trump-Russian collusion to federal investigators.
Following the collapse of the grand Russia-collusion hoax, lawmakers on Capitol Hill began demanding answers about FBI misconduct. Former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress, claiming the bureau was just investigating four individuals, not the Trump campaign, in a dubious spin.
“Late July of 2016, the FBI did, in fact, open a counterintelligence investigation into, is it fair to say the Trump campaign or Donald Trump himself?” asked then-Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a 2018 hearing.
“It’s not fair to say either of those things, in my recollection,” Comey said. “We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference efforts. And those four Americans did not include the candidate.”
Horowitz also contradicted the FBI in a December 2019 hearing on the release of his report documenting FISA abuses. In September 2017, the FBI told Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that the bureau gave the Trump campaign a defensive briefing about Russian interference in the 2016 race.
“In August of 2016 the FBI provided a counterintelligence defensive briefing to then candidate Donald Trump and other senior campaign officials,” wrote FBI Assistant Director of Congressional Affairs Gregory Brower in response to a letter from Grassley. “This defensive briefing was conducted by an experienced FBI counterintelligence agent and focused on the broad range of threats posed by foreign intelligence entities.”
Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that there was no briefing given.
Misleading DOJ Leaders
Not only was Congress led astray as FBI officials conducted a rogue operation to defend the incumbent regime, but so was senior leadership in President Trump’s DOJ.
Handwritten notes revealed in the Sussmann trial exposed how FBI agents sought to cover up malicious misconduct, wherein DOJ leaders tasked with FBI oversight were misled about the investigation’s progress. The notes show FBI agent Peter Strzok wrongly told DOJ supervisors the surveillance warrant on Page had been “fruitful.” Strzok also concealed knowledge that Steele’s sources were not credible and claimed instead that the dossier was “CROWN reporting” from MI6, the CIA’s British counterpart. The FBI said the dossier was being used to examine the RNC and Trump campaign’s effort to soften the GOP platform on NATO and Crimea for Russian energy stocks, but the document made no mention of NATO or Crimea.
Strzok also said Trump’s 2016 joke about Russia uncovering Clinton’s 30,000 deleted emails triggered Crossfire Hurricane, with an Australian diplomat tipping off the government about Papadopoulos at the American embassy in London. The tip that Papdopoulos was coordinating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, however, came before Trump made the joke.
Strzok is the same agent whose text messages show he conspired with his mistress and FBI colleague, attorney Lisa Page. Strzok, a lead investigator for Crossfire Hurricane, assured Page of a mysterious “insurance policy” in place if Trump were to be elected, likely in reference to the agency’s inside operations. Page, according to the DOJ inspector general’s 2019 report, told colleagues to go easy on investigating Clinton because “she might be our next president.”
When Page fretted that Trump might actually win the 2016 contest, Strzok assured his romantic partner, “we’ll stop it.”
Comey thought the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was important enough to brief outgoing President Barack Obama on the probe but kept Trump in the dark. In fact, Comey later confirmed that he told Trump three times the president was not being investigated and refused to tell him Clinton funded the dossier.
In June 2020, a federal judge ordered that all charges be dropped against Flynn, whom Trump subsequently pardoned in the waning days of his administration. Prior to his exoneration, Flynn was facing heavy fines and prison time for making false statements to federal officials in another perjury trap orchestrated by Comey, who bragged about the setup in the first week of the Trump White House.
According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Flynn lied to a pair of FBI agents about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak as the incoming national security adviser. Flynn, prosecutors claimed, spoke with Kislyak about financial sanctions against Russian individuals after the 2016 election and then lied about it during an interview with Comey’s agents. Sending a pair of agents to question a senior White House official in the Situation Room, Comey said at a 2018 conference, was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or even gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration.”
“We placed a call to Flynn and said, ‘Hey, we’re sending a couple guys over, hope you’ll talk to them.’ He said ‘sure,’” Comey explained at the 92nd Street Y conference. “Nobody else was there, they interviewed him in a conference room at the White House situation room, and he lied to them.”
Flynn initially pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI before firing his attorneys and hiring new representation to withdraw his guilty plea. His reversal followed the release of declassified transcripts, which revealed Flynn never spoke with Kislyak about sanctions. The two only discussed expulsions of Russian individuals under a different process. Handwritten notes from the FBI agents also revealed the sole purpose of their questioning was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” A bizarre 2017 inauguration day email by Susan Rice to herself also revealed Comey knew there was no legitimate reason to question Flynn.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired from his top role at the bureau for lying to the agency inspector general four times over multiple abuses during his tenure in senior leadership. Those abuses included efforts to set up former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for obstruction charges, the sabotage of an investigation into Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop before the 2016 election, and failure to report conflicts of interest. While running for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015, McCabe’s wife accepted a political donation from a close Clinton ally as her husband was tasked with investigating the former secretary of state.
A 2018 DOJ inspector general report blasted McCabe as a serial leaker who lied about it. That same year, a letter from Grassley shined a spotlight on McCabe’s purchase of a $70,000 table on taxpayers’ dime that the agency sought to cover up.
The FBI repeatedly told journalists there was no evidence that a foreign power had reviewed Clinton’s emails that she improperly handled on a private server. According to an inspector general report in 2018, however, texts show they almost certainly did, “at least one of them classified,” as Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi wrote.
“It is more accurate to say,” read a text from Strzok, “that we know foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails (including at least one Secret one) via compromises of the private email accounts of some of her staffers.”
In 2018, Comey told lawmakers over the course of the investigation into Clinton’s emails that agency officials thoroughly reviewed the laptop belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her now-ex husband Anthony Weiner. The FBI was able to accomplish such a feat within a short timeframe “thanks to the wizardry of our technology” enabling agents who worked “night after night after night” to comb through the remaining material before the 2016 election.
“But virtually none of his account was true,” explained RealClearInvestigations’ Paul Sperry.
In fact, a technical glitch prevented FBI technicians from accurately comparing the new emails with the old emails. Only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.
In 2019, former Trump associate Roger Stone was raided by the FBI after being indicted by Mueller. A CNN camera crew happened to be the only network present at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home before the sunrise raid, suggesting the friendly press had been tipped off in advance. The FBI, however, refused to comply with a Federalist open records request for any and all emails to or from CNN on the day of the raid.
Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
The Jan. 6 saga has become the sequel in Democrats’ efforts to indict Trump, before FBI agents hatched a plot to go after the former president over supposed espionage.
In October, the bureau refused to offer House Republicans conducting their own independent investigation of the Capitol riot the same material given to congressional Democrats. The FBI’s refusal, the agency claimed, was because officials were already working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6. Pelosi’s committee, however, was established in violation of House rules. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the minority appointment as ranking member, is entitled to the documents presented to Democrats.
Senior FBI officials have also refused lawmakers’ questions about how many informants were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and stonewalled inquiries surrounding Ray Epps, the mysterious figure who disappeared from the most-wanted list after he encouraged rioters to swarm the Capitol.
At an Aug. 4 Senate hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray sought to downplay agency negligence, claiming “we did not have any credible intelligence that pointed to thousands of people breaching the Capitol.” But according to Newsweek, the agency deployed commandos with “shoot to kill authority,” and even Capitol Hill parking attendants knew there were going to be mass protests. The FBI has also been less than forthcoming about a pair of pipe bombs planted at the RNC and DNC headquarters.
At the same time, the FBI has embarked on a nationwide manhunt, to incarcerating demonstrators who have been declared such a threat to the republic over trespassing that they’ve been denied a fair and speedy trial and held in detention for more than 18 months.
Julian Khater, one of two accused of assaulting a Capitol Police officer with pepper spray and whose case has been documented by Julie Kelly at American Greatness, appears to have been outright coerced into making an unconstitutional confession. Khater was detained in March 2021 and has remained in federal custody ever since after intense interrogation without an attorney present.
Kamala Harris on Jan. 6
The presence of Vice President Mike Pence and then-Sen. Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol has been the basis for nearly 800 people being charged with at least one count of violating 18 U.S. Code, section 1752, according to Kelly, which indicates that any building or complex hosting the vice president is a restricted area and therefore closed to the public.
“But the Justice Department recently was forced to admit that Harris was not in the building for most of the day on January 6,” Kelly reported, highlighting that Harris, at the time, remained a U.S. senator, not vice president. In the late morning, Harris was moved to the DNC headquarters where a pipe bomb had supposedly been planted.
“Prosecutors have begun amending language in court filings to reflect the fact Harris was not inside the Capitol despite making the assertion in thousands of charging documents,” Kelly wrote.
Why are 2 Bush Republicans in BHO’s pic?
This is how far liberals have moved from their prior beliefs:
“You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” ― Abbie Hoffman
Liberals are now on the opposite side of Abbie Hoffman, as they are now the assimilated conformists.
And at least 50 intelligence veterans kept silent. So, they accepted the dossier as real (wrong) and they deemed the Hunter laptop was disinformation (wrong). This is who the left puts their faith in.
When do Democrats not care about reforming law enforcement? When corrupt law enforcement is doing their bidding.
no different than the street scum that beat up people, “smash and grab”, steal Trump’s wife’s underware. The assault on Trump’s resident was a poorly executed “college panty raid”.
Now they’ve got a tiger by the tail. I feel they won’t indict until much later. While Trump is viable, the other candidates are held at bay. They are waiting in case Trump is indicted and damaged. The Democrats can wait deeper into the election season and when it is too late for a candidate to mount an effective campaign, then they’ll produce all the “evidence” they’ve been manufacturing.
And by “they” I mean the Democrats and their enforcers, the FBI.