“Good Faith”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Even if the FBI had a good faith basis to open the inquiry, it did not have one to continue the inquiry.  
And what about all those unmaskings? FBI wiretaps Trump campaign, gives information to Susan Rice in the White House, and it ended there? Nothing got forwarded to the Hillary campaign? Do we believe that?
Joe Doakes

If The People can’t trust the institutions that ostensibly protect democracy, then democracy is in trouble. 

37 thoughts on ““Good Faith”


    Reader: Huh?

    The New York Times: A Senate Commerce Committee led by Senator William Alden Smith beginning on April 19, 1912 and concluding on May 25, 1912, discovered absolutely no fault with Captain Edward Smith’s decision to depart Southampton on April 10, 1912,

  2. For me, the IG’s argument is silly; you would know going in that if the fix was in, it was extremely unlikely for people to fess up or leave a paper trail. It’s like dealing with the Mob–you arrest some underlings and give him the legitimate fear of being offed in jail and never seeing his family again, and then you make the offer of WPP and a term in prison somewhere else. And then he starts telling you about the conversations he took part in.

    So when the IG argues that the FBI was OK to start the investigation, and that there was no proof of political involvement, he’s just stating where a real investigator would start–but ignoring the fact that a real investigator would note that when all the “mistakes” end up benefiting the same guys, the likelihood is that the fix was in, and that if he finds the right people to prosecute, he’s going to find who the ringleaders are.

  3. bike;

    Good points. Remember that Horowitz was the one that let Hillary slide on her cyber security violations and crimes. He gave a totally partisan report, hence Barr’s criticism of it.

  4. JD: And yet you completely ignore the reports bottom line conclusion, namely, that the FBI investigation was not effectively tainted, that there was no FBI set up or entrapment, and most important that the FISA warrant was in fact warranted (predicated). That last conclusion is especially significant, given the months-long Fox/Republican hysteria, touting the IG’s investigation, and promising Democrat Armageddon when it appeared.

    Inspector General: “Russia investigation was lawfully opened and untainted by political bias.”

    Trump: “Coup attempt!!!”

    Who to believe?

  5. Yup emetic, good faith /sarc

    From texts:

    I can smell Trump supporters
    We need a Plan B
    We need to to prevent this from happening.

    Nope, no taint there.

    Barr and Durham are gonna tear your sweethearts several new ones each.

  6. Inspector General: “Russia investigation was lawfully opened and untainted by political bias.”

    And the moment after it was opened, everything after that was unlawful and politically biased.

  7. Hey — remember the Bush days when conservatives told us warrantless wiretapping was the best way to keep us safe?

  8. Unlike, well, almost everyone, I’ve actually read the executive summary of the report.
    The predication was okay, sez Horowitz, because it was based on Papadopolous’ drunken remarks overheard by an agent of an ffg.
    The continuation of the investigation, when the Papadopolous well turned out dry, is where you get in to trouble. Expanding the investigation relied solely on the now-debunked evidence of the Steele Dossier.
    Horowitz found numersous cases of poor decision making by the FBI regarding the use of the Steele Dossier. These were all based on giving the claims in the Steele Dossier more weight than even Steele gave them.
    From the Horowitz report executive summary:
    we found that the FBI and Steele held significantly differing views about the nature of their relationship. Steele ‘s handling agent viewed Steele as a former intelligence officer colleague and FBI CHS, with obligations to the FBI. Steele, on the other hand, told us that he was a businessperson whose firm (not Steele) had a contractual agreement with the FBI and whose obligations were to his paying clients [Hillary’s Fusion GPS – ed], not the FBI.

    Horowitz said that when the FBI figured out that Steele was playing them, they officially severed contact with him (November, 2016).
    (although, as discussed below, the FBI continued its relationship with Steele through Ohr).
    Ohr’s wife was the Fusion GPS employee in charge of handling Steele.
    So what you had was the FBI justifying its espionage on a major political party’s presidential campaign based solely on information pipelined to it from the other major party’s oppo research firm. And this info (unsurprisingly) turned out to be junk.
    Not good. Incompetent? Yes. Political bias? Probably played some role. Lack of adult oversight? Definitely.
    Durham’s investigation should flesh out the details.

  9. Another goodie from the text of the Horowitz:
    The decision to seek to use this highly intrusive investigative technique was known and approved at multiple levels of the Department, including by then DAG Yates for the initial FISA application and first renewal, and by then Acting Attorney General Boente and t hen DAG Rosenstein for the second and third renewals, respectively. However, as we explain later , the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform Department officials of significant information that was available to the team at the time that the FISA applications were drafted and filed. Much of that information was inconsistent with, or undercut, the assertions contained in the FISA applications that were used to support probable cause and, in some instances, resulted in inaccurate information being included in the applications. While we do not speculate whether Department officials would have authorized the FBI to seek to use FISA authority had they been made aware of all relevant information, it was clearly the responsibility of Crossfire Hurricane team members to advise them of such critical information so that they could make a fully in formed decision.

  10. “That last conclusion is especially significant, given the months-long Fox/Republican hysteria, touting the IG’s investigation, and promising Democrat Armageddon when it appeared.”
    If anyone did this, they were foolish. Horowitz basically did a review of paperwork.
    “Inspector General: ‘Russia investigation was lawfully opened and untainted by political bias.'”
    Since Horowitz did not say or write those words, you should not put them in quotes.

  11. ^^ Oldest trick in the book for white-collar criminals: criticize the process. Investigate the investigators. Pretend that instead of your malfeasance, the “real” issue is the conduct of law enforcement.

    This is the exact same defense the GOP is using in the impeachment inquiry, in which they know full well the facts are both clear and damning to Trump.

  12. Shorter version of the Lindsay Graham’s long, long speech:

    The man who said Obama was born in Kenya is a truth-teller. The man who told people that Trump University would teach them how to get rich is a truth-teller. The man who said Ted Cruz’ father helped kill JFK is a truth-teller.

    But the FBI is full of liars who are Republicans but they aren’t rabidly pro-Trump Republicans and didn’t like it when Trump lied, so we must believe Trump.

    Sigh — Lindsay Graham is saying that Trump, the guy who called his friend John McCain a coward — is the truth-teller.

  13. Uh . . . it was Horowitz who said the FBI is full of liars.
    You are in full-on blather mode again, Emery.
    Horowitz said his report vindicates no one. Comey said it vindicates him. So is Horowitz telling the truth or is Comey?
    This is why you are a confused person, it is not possible for you to think rationally about trump.

  14. Still waiting for Lindsey Graham to read the pro-Trump texts sent between FBI agents that were in the IG report.

  15. PJ media has a helpful article describing a trump tweet from early this year saying that the FISA warrants were approved on the basis of the discredited Steele Dossier, followed by tweets from more than a dozen MSM and conservative #nevertrumpers saying that this was a ridiculous Trump lie, that the the Steele Dossier played an insignificant role in the FISA warrants.
    Horowitz found that the Steele Dossier was the basis of all the FISA applications. So Trump was telling the truth in his tweet, and a wide assortment of Trump haters in the media were completely wrong.
    Why were they wrong? They believed Comey and leaks from the FBI instead of believing Trump.

  16. MP is doing yeoman work documenting what the report actually says, and why that matters. I’m asking about the next step.

    The initial inquiry was legit, but when they learned it was all based on opposition research, they should have stopped. They didn’t. Why didn’t they?

    Well, let’s look at who was involved in the decision-making, and what they said to each other. Strozk. Page. Comey. Maybe they had a partisan political objective – to prevent Trump from winning the election? Maybe they assumed their efforts would never come to light under a Hillary administration? Maybe they thought they’d be rewarded for helping her win?

    But wiretapping only goes so far. Wiretapping gets you the inside info on the Trump campaign, the strategy, the good intel, but how do you pass that along to the people who need to act on it in Hillary’s campaign?

    How does the FBI launder the wiretapped info?

    Samantha Power. Susan Rice. The White House asks for the intel under the guise of national security, the FBI hands it over to the partisan hacks in the White House, and . . . it dies there? The intel never gets forwarded to Hillary’s campaign? Her former colleagues in the Obama administration leave her hanging, knowing the intel says she’s vulnerable to Trump, because they’re all too high-minded and principled to give her the answers?

    Do we believe that?

  17. The Democrats would do themselves a world of good is they would appropriately come down on the FBI for their oversteps.

  18. Horowitz tried to get to the bottom of why these errors of judgment and false statements were made by the actors in the FBI, but he says he got no satisfactory answers. So we are free to speculate on this. Political bias could explain it; so could incompetence that, curiously, runs in one direction. When the FBI discovered that the information they were receiving from “colleague” Christopher Steele was sourced from Russians who were not colleagues, and were likely agents of a foreign adversary, they continued to use that information to justify their investigation of trump officials.
    So we are free to conclude the FBI investigation of Trump was based on either incompetence or political bias. There really is no third option.
    FYI, one of Horowitz’ findings was that the reason we have so many of the Strzok/Lisa Page DM’s is because the pair were using their FBI phones to communicate because they were actively hiding their affair from their spouses. This ain’t your father’s FBI.

  19. As far as good faith by the FBI in starting the investigation (the overheard conversation between Mifsud and Papadopolous), the origins of that conversation may have been bad faith US intelligence. There have been persistent rumors that Mifsud is a US intelligence asset, and that he was set on Papadolopolous to get him to say something that could be used to justify an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign.
    In any case, properly “predicated” or not, we know the investigation was a waste of FBI resources. There was no Trump campaign collusion with the Russians to leak Hillary’s hacked emails, Mueller told us so.

  20. ^^ My main concern right now is who is going to investigate the Durham probe to ensure that it was adequately predicated and free from political bias. We wouldn’t want Barr to go making himself look like a fool by initiating investigations on the thinnest of suspicions.

  21. The Democrats would do themselves a world of good is they would appropriately come down on the FBI for their oversteps. – Emery

    I couldn’t agree more.

  22. We already know the predicate. The FBI lied and created ommossions of fact and cannot adequately why they did so. This is because Horowitz did not have to the tools to do so. Durham does.
    Every American should be interested in doing this, especially after learning from the Horowitz Report that the FBI has only a very low bar to cross before it can begin to use very strong powers to investigate any one, and because we know that this low bar resulted in at least one case of false accusations being elevated to the point where only a special counsel (spending millions) could clear a person of suspicions that were poorly founded.

  23. The dispatch.com, edited and published by frothing at the mouth Trump-despisers David French and Jonah Goldberg, actually comments sanely on the Horowitz Report. I include the relevant text below for those who do not want to get #nevertrumper cooties on their computer:

    On the other hand—yikes. The report goes into excruciating detail about 17 hard-to-swallow errors and omissions in the Carter Page FISA process, including the glaring problems with using Steele as a source, an FBI agent who intentionally altered an email, and repeated failure to update the court when previous statements turned out to be false. And that’s not even to mention the bizarre tale of DoJ official Bruce Ohr, whom Horowitz dings for concealing his contacts with Steele from his superiors. All that would make for a goat rodeo by itself, but the IG also has some broader concerns:

    “That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand- picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI, and that FBI officials would eventually be subjected to close scrutiny, raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command’s management and supervision of the FISA process.”

    Which is perhaps an understatement.

    The leadership at the FBI had problems. The majority of the people mentioned in the report were not line FBI agents but senior ranking members of Jim Comey’s leadership team. (Although after reading the report in which Comey is rarely featured, you may start to refer to it as Andy McCabe’s leadership team.) Again and again, they chose to mislead or simply ignore political leadership at the Department of Justice—during both the Obama and Trump administrations. When asked, these folks told the IG they didn’t want their investigations to become “politicized.” The IG put it well:

    “We concluded that this decision, made in the absence of concerns of potential wrongdoing or misconduct, and for the purpose of avoiding the appearance that an investigation is “politicized,” fundamentally misconstrued who is ultimately responsible and accountable for the Department’s work. We agree with the concerns expressed to us by then DAG Yates and then CRM Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. Department leaders cannot fulfill their management responsibilities, and be held accountable for the Department’s actions, if subordinates intentionally withhold information from them in such circumstances.”

    And that may be Director Chris Wray’s biggest challenge moving forward. In this climate, how do you insulate law enforcement decisions from politics while creating a culture that respects a chain of command that reports up through political appointees?

    In other words, the FBI has become a rogue agency, setting its own agenda, and believing that it reports only to itself.

  24. The media is preparing the battlespace to refute Barr and Durham’s findings. And Nadler the human nad sack is already questioning the legitimacy of the 202 elections.

    Wonderful people the American left.

  25. In other words, the FBI has become a rogue agency, setting its own agenda, and believing that it reports only to itself. MP

    But they don’t hold a candle to the CIA.

  26. I’m very struck by the nature of this conspiracy theory, which a) calls into question the election that Trump won and b) ignores the non-hypothetical fact that the FBI released damaging information right before the election about Clinton.

  27. The Republicans argument is premised on the fantastical notion that the FBI investigated Trump to stop him from becoming president, which requires you to ignore the fact that the FBI released information about Clinton and not Trump.

  28. What information did the FBI release about Clinton, that hurt her electoral prospects? Comey’s opinion she committed no crime? How’d that hurt her?

  29. So glad he’s the global crusader against corruption.

    “Trump pays $2 million to resolve case over his fraudulent foundation“

  30. The only commenter on SITD who says that Trump is a global crusader against corruption is you, Emery. You can’t see through your hate because, I suppose, in some way you feel good about it.

  31. Regarding the claim that “the FBI” released information, keep in mind that the leaks about Hilliary’s server came from individuals within the FBI and did not necessarily have any approval from higher-ups. However, application for FISA warrants did necessarily have approval from higher-ups.

    Now, which more accurately reflects the mood of the agency as a whole; individual leaks, or FISA applications? It’s not that tough, Emery.

  32. FISA courts were supposed to fight terrorism and foreign-based intelligence.
    Instead we had a conversation between a virtually unknown, self-described “foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign” (Papadopolous) with a minor Australian diplomat (Downer) lead to FBI surveillance of a major political party’s presidential campaign.
    And you would think that as the investigation expanded, greater and greater evidence would be needed to proceed — especially after Trump was elected.
    Instead, what you find is dishonest actors within the FBI & the JD lying, ommiting exculpatory facts, leaking, and forging documents so that they could justify continuing an investigation that produced nothing.
    Heads should roll.

  33. MP: Long scholarly dissertation of the facts

    D_K: “Hey look at my dick!! Tee hee!”

    Joe: “Calm down Emery”

    D_K: “Look at my butt!!”

    Bubba: “Calm down Emery ”

    D_K: “Tee hee!!!”

  34. Oh, not much to do tonight, so I’m going through the executive summary of Horowitz’ report.

    From page 4: “Thereafter, the Crossfire Hurricane team used more intrusive techniques, including CHSs to interact and consensually record multiple conversations with Page and Papadopoulos, both during and after the time they were working for the Trump campaign, as well as on one occasion with a high- level Trump campaign official who was not a subject of the investigation.”

    Remember when Comey & his Dem friends said that The FBI never spied on the Trump campaign? It was paranoid, foolish, and dangerous to believe that the FBI would have spied on the Trump campaign.

    From Page v:
    “Shortly after opening the Carter Page investigation in August 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team discussed the possible use of FISA-authorized Executive Summary Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation electronic surveillance targeting Page, which is among the most sensitive and intrusive investigative techniques. As we describe in Chapter Five, the FBI ultimately did not seek a FISA order at that time because OGC, NSD’s Office of Intelligence (OI), or both determined that m ore information was needed to support probable ca use t hat Page was an agent of a foreign power. However, immediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received Steele’s election reporting on September 19, the team reinitiated their discussions with OI and their efforts to obtain FISA surveillance authority for Page, which they received from t he FISC on October 21.”

    Back on February 2, 2018, when the GOP still held congress, its chairman, David Nunes, released a four page memo claiming that the October 21, 2016 FISA warrant (the first issued) was based entirely on the discredited Steele dossier. Adam Schiff & the Dems issued a response that said Nunes was lying, that the October 16 FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page was supported by multople, independent sources.
    James Comey went on the news networks and claimed the same thing, that the Oct. 16, 2016 FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page was based on multiple, independent sources, and the use of the Steele dossier was insignificant.
    Once, again, Comey and the Dems, and Adam Schiff in particular, are shown to have been liars.

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