Dec 11th Interview with DoJ-IG Michael Horowitz – Sen. Graham’s Opening Remarks

News Flash: From the Dec 11th, 2019 Senate Judiciary testimony and interview of Michael Horowitz, the DoJ IG, it was stated that Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and others at the FBI thought that Trump was a flucking idiot and said so in private emails. Carter Page was a huckster pretending to be a principal. He asserted he was an important conduit for information about Russian actions, but he was a flunky who no one in Russia paid any attention to at all.  Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a one-man investment fund and consulting firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business.

Democrats have said the DOJ-IG record shows that Page was an “agent of a foreign power” as the documents allege. Page was previously at the center of an intense debate over the FISA applications that Republicans said exposed corruption at the highest levels of the FBI and the Department of Justice. The memo accused top officials at the FBI and DOJ of misleading federal judges in seeking the warrants needed to extend secret surveillance of Page during and after the 2016 presidential election. On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the Justice Department’s inspector general defended his report’s conclusions about the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia but said he was “deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams related to the Page warrant.”

Thus Sen. Lindsey Graham on Nov. 11th, 2019 used the majority of his 45-minute opening statement to focus on this issue. The entire hearing focused primarily on elements of the FISA application regarding Carter Page….several hours of Republican questioning and statements!
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Chairman Graham: this is the lawyer supervising the process, the guy that doctored the email because he didn’t want the court to know that Carter Page actually was a source. Why does it matter? Because if the court had known there was a lawful reason for Mr. Page to be talking to the Russian guy, he wasn’t working against his country, he was working with his country. Which undercuts the idea he is a foreign agent.

That is why Kleinsmith lied, because he didn’t want to stop this investigation. This is after the election — i am so stressed about what i could have done differently. — the day after the election — i am just devastated, I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the road for the next four days. I am sure a lot of people felt that way after Trump got elected, maybe still feel that way, but you shouldn’t be in charge of supervising anything about Donald Trump if you feel that way. I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we’ve made over the last eight years. The Obama administration. The crazies won finally. This is the lawyer that they put in charge of supervising the work process! [laughter] this is the tea party on steroids, and i am sure there are newsrooms all over America saying, that’s absolutely right. What is wrong with that? . Whatever.

This is what the guy is saying right after the election. And it is just hard not to feel like the FBI. caused some of this. It was a razor-thin. In some states. Plus, my god damn name is all over the legal documents investigating Trump’s staff. This is the one that gives me the most

November 22, shortly after the election of Donald J. Trump, the FBI lawyer in charge of supervising the FISA process tweets out to friends — viva la resistance. What are the odds that this guy might do something wrong? Would you have to be part of a right-wing conspiracy to predict in the future maybe this guy will get off script?
Folks, if these are a few irregularities, the rule of law in this country is dead. And here’s the good news, these are not a few irregularities, these are a few bad people. That could not believe that Trump won wanted to win, and when he won, couldn’t tolerate the fact that he won. And all these smelly people elected him. This is bad stuff. If you get out of this report — lawful investigation with a few irregularities, it says more about you than Mr. Horowitz. How in the hell did this whole thing start? What got us here today?

They open up the counterintelligence investigation of Carter Page in July. We know the Russians are missing in our elections. And it was the Russians, ladies and gentlemen, who still the Democratic National Committee emails, Podesta’s emails, and screwed around with Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t the Ukrainians, it was the Russians, and they are coming after us again.
So to be concerned that the Russians are messing with Presidential campaigns was a legitimate concern. They looked around at the Trump Campaign and said, well, let’s beef with — let’s see if we can attack the Trump Campaign. Carter Page went to Moscow a lot and made speeches. If you have ever met Carter Page, one thing you will not accuse him of his being James Bond. This poor guy, Papadopoulos, picked to be part of Trump’s national security team, this national security team was literally picked up off the street.

If you had a photo with Donald Trump, you spent more time with Donald Trump than Papadopoulos and Page. They are not paid, they are volunteers, but the FBI. thinks, we need to watch these guys. Manafort, as well as — who is the other 1 — Flynn. So they open up a counterintelligence investigation.

Let’s assume for a moment that the small predicate you need has been met. What the hell happened after they opened it up? What did they find? Were their suspicions validated, or did they find at every turn, it is really not true, and they ignored it? One of the first things they tried to do was to get a warrant under the foreign intelligence surveillance act to follow Carter Page, a volunteer for the Campaign, and american citizen.

They applied for the warrant internally in august of 2016, and the lawyer says, you don’t have enough. Why? Because they had nothing. Maybe this reasonable articulation is this small, but to get a warrant from a court, you’ve got to have probable course. So the lawyer says — to get a warrant from a court, you’ve got to have probable cause. But the lawyer is saying, you don’t have it. Everybody is frustrated, folks. That’s not the right answer.

So the number two guy at the FCI suggests, let’s go look at the Steele dossier, maybe that will get us over the hump. Stay tuned. We will talk about that in a minute. September 19, for the first time , they introduced the Steele dossier into the warrant application process. It works. September 21, they get a sign-off, let’s get a warrant. The dossier got them to where they wanted to go.

As you say, Mr. Horowitz, it was central and basically outcome-determinative. Without the dossier they go nowhere, with it, they are off to the races. Who is Christopher Steele? You think these other people were bad? Wait till you hear about this guy. Christopher Steele was a former mi6, is that right, 6, 5, whatever it is — he was a British agent, retired. He had a business. He was that he had a new line of business. He was hired by a company called Fusion GPS to investigate Donald Trump, ok. You want to look at foreign influence, you are about to find it. Fusion GPS was on the payroll of the Democratic National Party. Christopher Steele is working for a company to find dirt on Trump, and the money comes from the Democratic Party.

Did they tell the court this, no. Is that a bit unnerving # it would be to me. So Christopher Steele is on the payroll of a company funded by the Democratic Party. — is on the payroll of a company funded by the Democratic Party. Here is what they say about Christopher Steele — he was passionate about Donald Trump not getting elected and about him not becoming the US. President.
This was the guy that gave them the work product to get the warrant. Steel told Orr, that if Trump won the election, his network would be in jeopardy. That he could decide to take action against Steele and his source network. Let me tell you about Christopher Steele. Orr was right, he was on a mission to get Donald Trump. Not only did he provide the dossier that made the difference that helps them get the warrant, his — it was well known that he was shopping the dossier to anybody and everybody in the media and in politics to see if they would print it.
The reason the FBI. cut him loose is because they found out he was shopping this thing around to the media outlets rather than being a valid source. But after they knew he was shopping it around, they kept him around anyway because Mr. Orr kept talking to him.

Bruce Orr’s wife worked with Christopher Steele. She was employed by Fusion GPS, the wife of the number 4 guy at the FBI. Christopher Steele went all over the United States trying to get media outlets to publish this garbage. The first thing is about the golden shower. About the sexual encounter that President Trump supposedly had been a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Russia.
Let me tell you how i come to find out about Christopher Steele’s work product. In December of 2016, John McCain goes to a national security conference in Canada and somebody tells him about the Steele dossier, and it’s bad, and you need to know about it, and it gets to John McCain. John McCain puts it in his safe. He gives it to me, and i read it. The first thing i thought of was, oh my God. This could be Russian disinformation, or they may have something on Trump. If you read this document, the first thing you would think of is, they got something on Donald Trump. It is stunning. It is damning. It is salacious. And it’s a bunch of crap!

They finally find the guy that prepared all the information. But, a little bit about Steele — in 2015, the British intelligence service said, you need to watch this guy, he is not reliable. They take time to go to London to check Steele out and they are told he demonstrates a lack of self-awareness or judgment, keen to help, but underpinned by poor judgment, judgment pursuing people of political risk but no intel value.

If you had spent 30 minutes looking at Christopher Steele, you would understand this guy is biased, he’s got an ax to grind, he is on the payroll of the opposing party, take anything he says with a grain of salt.

In January, 2017, the FBI. figures out who the sub source of the Steele dossier is. What you need to know, this is not what Steele found himself, this is what he gathered from one person. They finally found out who this one person is. They go talk to him in January 2017. Where is that? Five people interviewed the primary sub source, the guy who provided Steele with everything, and they showed him the dossier. Read pages 86-190. What does the Russian guy tell the FBI. about the dossier?

That Steele misstated or exaggerated the prime some source of the statement, that Trump’s alleged sexual activities in the hotel in Moscow was rumor and speculation. He went on to say, he heard it in a bar. In the report, it suggests that a western employee at the Ritz-Carlton confirmed this escapade by then private citizen Trump. When he read that, he says, that’s not true. I never told Steele that somebody working for the Ritz-Carlton confirm this, i heard it at a bar.

Primary sub source stated that he never expected Steele to put his statements in the report or to present them as facts. They were word-of-mouth and hearsay, conversations had with friends over beers, where statements made in just that should be taken with a grain of salt — statements made in jest that should be taken with a grain of salt.
So the person who did all the assembling of the information for the now-famous Steele dossier tells the FBI to disavow everything in there. Now, what should happen? Timeout? Let’s reassess? Maybe we got this wrong what would you hope to happen? That the FBI would slowdown? They don’t slow down. They use the document that is now known to be a bunch of garbage, twice more to get a warned against Carter Page.

I hope Carter Page gets a lawyer and sues the hell out of the Department of Justice and the FBI. Two more warrants were obtained after being told in January by the Russian guy that it was all a bunch of bull. But it gets worse. Here is how they describe the interview to the Court.

The FBI found that the Russian-based sub source to between full and cooperative — to be truthful and cooperative. And oh, by the way, he said everything and there’s a bunch of bull. You knew in January of 2017, if there was no doubt before, you know, by the guy who prepared it, he disavowed everything. I didn’t say all these things.

Instead of stopping, they keep going. Instead of telling the court the truth, that they are required to do, they lie to the court. A few irregularities. How would you like this to happen in your life? How would you like to be on the receiving end of this? People in the news business, how would you like this to be your news organization?

January 2017, there is no benefit of a doubt to be given. These five people, from the Department of Justice and the FBI, have been told by the one guy who did all the work that it is a bunch of garbage, and the question is, how far up to the system did it go? Why did they apply for warrants twice more? Why didn’t they stop? Everybody wants to know, is there any bias here? What motivated these people? Why do you think they kept going?

Maybe because they were on a mission not to protect Trump, but to protect us from Trump. That’s what they were trying — protect all of us smelly people from Donald Trump. That’s what this is about. Whether you believe it or not, i believe it, and you know what, it could happen to you all next time. There are some pretty passionate people on that side and i wouldn’t want to be investigating any of you.

So, what happens next? They get a warrant twice more when they know it is a bunch of garbage, they lied to the court about the actual interview. I don’t know what McCabe and Comey knew, but am trying to find out. June, 2016 — 2017. This is the next time they take the law into their own hands.

Mr. Kleinsmith. Six months after being told the dossier is a bunch of garbage, Kleinsmith alters an email from the CIA. to “he is” from “he is not,” because if they had told the Court that Page was working for the CIA it explains the contact in the dossier. Mr. Kleinsmith had a chance in his mind to make things right, and he took it. Why did he take the law in his own hands? Why did he doctor the email? Did it have anything to do with the way he sees Donald Trump’s presidency?

You know what, it really doesn’t matter what he was thinking, it matters what he did. And i am glad you found out what he did. I am glad you told the country what he did, because i’m hoping nobody will ever do it again. So, Mr. Horowitz, 17 irregularities that you found, some of them are earth-shattering, some of them should scare the hell out of all of us. I just want to end where i began, this is not normal.

Don’t judge the FBI. and the Department of Justice by these characters. We are better than this. Like many of you, i have worked with the FBI a lot of my time in government. I have great respect for them. Director Wray, you’ve got a problem. And for this hearing to mean anything, we’ve got to fix it. And the way we fix it is listen to Mr. Horowitz and get the director of the FBI. in here to try to find out, in a way that makes sure this never happens again to any politician in this country.

It is Trump today, it could be you or me tomorrow. And imagine, ladies and gentlemen, if they could do this to the candidate for President of the United States, what could they do to you? So, the Trump presidency will end in a year or five years, i don’t know when i hope he gets reelected. But we can write this off as being just about one man or one event. We’ve got to understand how — the system got. I will leave with some optimism here,

I think democrats and republicans are willing to make sure this never happens again. — make sure this never happens again. That if you open up a contra intelligence investigation on the presidential campaign in the future, there needs to be more checks and balances.

I need you to audit the FISA process. Might be and Senator Lee — Mike Lee and Senator Lee are probably the standard-bearers for liberties because we all care. But these are the two who constantly want to make sure that someone is watching those who watch us. While I’m may not agree with all of your concerns or your solutions, i respect the fact that you care.
I hope you will not treat this report as finding a lawful investigation with a few irregularities. I am a pretty hawkish guy, but if the court doesn’t take corrective action and do something about being manipulated and lied to you will lose my support. I know a lot about what’s going on out there to hurt us, and there are real threats, and there are real agents, there are really bad actors out there. And hate to lose — i would hate to lose the ability of the FISA court to operate at probably the time when we needed the most.

But after your report, i have serious concerns about whether the FISA court can continue unless there is fundamental reform. After the report, i think we need to rewrite the rules of how you start a counterintelligence investigation and the checks and balances that we need. Mr. Horowitz, for us to do justice to your report, we have to do more than just try to shade this report one way or the other, we have to address the underlying problem of the system in the hands of a few bad people can do a lot of damage.

Thank you very much.

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