Posted on

Two Top Republican Lawmakers Demand FBI Director Wray Review Bureau’s Handling Of Flynn Probe

Two top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter Monday to FBI director Christopher Wray demanding a review of the bureau’s  handling of its probe into former  national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a letter obtained by

Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties asked Wray in the letter why he has failed to disclose what they believe is ‘the FBI’s misconduct’ in Flynn’s case.

In the letter, the lawmakers ask Wray to “explain when you personally first learned of the FBI’s misconduct with respect to LTG Flynn,” and they specifically ask Wray to explain “why the committee and the American public are learning of the FBI’s misconduct with respect to LTG Flynn from court filings rather than from you.”

The context of the lawmakers’ requests for answers to their questions couldn’t be stronger and “reflect a growing distrust within the administration of Wray’s role in keeping information regarding the bureau from the public,” said one U.S. official, who asked that they not be named. “There is enormous frustration that Wray is doing more to protect the bureau than clean house.”

Johnson and Jordan were referring to the recent Brady material disclosure made by the FBI to Flynn’s defense attorney Sidney Powell. The stunning information was reported by this news outlet and the 15 documents, which include texts, handwritten notes and emails revealed that the FBI officials involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation had set Flynn up for a fall.

“On April 29,2020, a United States District judge unsealed documents that had been previously withheld from LTG Flynn and his legal team,” the letter states. “These documents reveal that the FBI had apparently sought to set a perjury trap for LTG Flynn during an interview on January 24, 2017, reportedly written by FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Bill Priestap, explained that the FBI’s objective was ‘to get him [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute or get him [Flynn] fired.”

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan first unsealed four pages of FBI emails and handwritten last week, and then within 24 hours unsealed 11 more pages of documents and text messages that continued to show a pattern that the bureau was targeting Flynn directly.

In the letter sent Monday to Wray, the Republican congressmen stated their concerns saying, “the FBI’s mission is to do justice dispassionately. But these documents suggest that the FBI ignored protocol to confront LTG Flynn about a potential violation of an obscure and rarely charged offense, with the real goal of forcing LTG Flynn’s resignation or prosecution.”

“The FBI pursued LTG Flynn despite knowing that he was not a Russian agent and even after the FBI  became aware that a central piece of evidence of alleged Russian collusion – the so-called Steele dossier -was based on Russian disinformation,” said Jordan and Johnson. “Placing these events in context rev weals the extent to which the FBI facilitated an incorrect public impression of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia.”

A slew of news stories after the Jan. 24, 2017 FBI interview at the White House between Flynn and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was fired by the bureau, and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who is still employed by the bureau, not only led to his firing but to a public persecution of the retired general that publicly defamed him.

Further, highly classified information that was purposefully leaked by an official in the Obama administration with access to the call records about Flynn’s conversation with then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in Dec. 2016, to The Washington Post has yet to be investigated.

The letter to Wray goes on to list critical dates when the “FBI facilitated an incorrect public impression of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia.”

Some hot points from the lawmakers letter to FBI Director Wray: 
  • Immediately review the actions of the FBI in targeting LTG Flynn 
  • Make former FBI Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap and FBI agent Joe Pientka available for transcribed interviews regarding LTG Flynn. 
  • Ask your staff to contact the Committee as soon as possible. 
  • Produce all documents and communications referring to or related to ‘Crossfire Razor’ the FBI code name for its investigation into LTG Flynn. 
  • Produce all documents and communications between or among the FBI and other executive branch agencies, including but not limited to the Executive Office of the the President, for the period of December 1, 2016 to January 20, 2017, referring or relating to LTG Michael Flynn’s Dec. 30, 2016, conversation with Sergey Kislyak. 
  • Explain whether you or any other member of the FBI’s senior leadership prevented or delayed the disclosure of additional exculpatory information to LTG Flynn and his legal team. 
  • Certify that the FBI has produced all responsive documents as part of the review ordered by Attorney General Barr to LTG Flynn’s case.

Posted on

The FBI Just Put White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis on the Same Threat Level as ISIS

The FBI has elevated racially-motivated violent extremism to a “national threat priority,” in yet another sign that the U.S. government has finally woken up to the threat posed by white nationalists and neo-Nazis at home and abroad.

In a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined several concrete steps the agency had taken to combat violent far-right extremists, explaining that the “national threat priority” designation puts those groups or individuals on the same footing as ISIS” in terms of the resources the FBI will devote to it.

“We’re particularly focused on domestic terrorism, especially racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists,” said Wray. “Not only is the terror threat diverse, it’s unrelenting.”

READ: ‘I need to claim my first victim’: Alleged Neo-Nazis’ Violent Plans for Virginia Rally Revealed

Wray’s announcement comes just two weeks after FBI agents arrested eight members of the violent neo-Nazi group The Base, three of whom were allegedly discussing firing into the crowd during the large pro-gun rally in Virginia last month. In recent months, the FBI also foiled two synagogue bombings, Wray said.

The FBI chief also said that he’d created a domestic terrorism and hate crimes fusion cell to “bring together the expertise of domestic terror folks and hate crimes folks.” “They’re working together to not just focus on the threats that have already happened but to look ahead around the corner to anticipate where else we need to be.”

Last September, DHS unveiled its new counterterrorism strategy that, for the first time, recognized white nationalism as a major threat. Congress has held well over a dozen hearings on the matter, and lawmakers have called on the State Department to designate international far-right networks as foreign terror organizations, and on DHS to produce threat assessments of those networks.

And according to Wray’s testimony last November, the FBI made 107 domestic terrorism arrests in fiscal year 2019 — around the same number of international terrorism arrests.

Making far-right extremism a national threat priority means the FBI can allocate more resources to the problem in terms of personnel, agents, and analysts, says Mark Concordia, FBI and New York State Counterterrorism instructor and associate professor of criminal justice at Roberts Wesleyan College.

“The decision would be based on intelligence analysis and obviously the potential increase in these types of attacks, whether the investigation shows they are a hate crime or racially motivated, and whether they can be tied to a larger organization or ideology rather than an individual hate crime” said Concordia.

Citing Justice Department sources, CBS reports that more federal arrests targeting neo-Nazi or white nationalists are coming down the pike, including people with ties to networks in Europe, Ukraine, and Russia.

Cover: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Posted on

Nunes: Defender Of Carter Page Surveillance Picked To Oversee FBI Reforms

Former Justice Department official David S. Kris was selected by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Friday to oversee the FBI’s reforms after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed serious malfeasance within the FBI as it illegally spied on short term Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

The twist, Kris, is an open critic of ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes’ investigation into FISA abuse and defended Chairman Adam Schiff, D-CA, in his now debunked report on the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia. He’s an apologist for the FBI and according to multiple sources familiar with Kris he’s exactly what current FBI Director Christopher Wray will want to sweep the bureau’s malfeasance under a rug.

“He’s not going to do anything because in the end Kris doesn’t believe there was anything wrong with what went on at the FBI,” said a former law enforcement official. “His selection by the FISC is how bureaucrats protect themselves and could care less about the American people or the Constitution.”

So how is Kris supposed to be objective into ensuring reforms are implemented inside the FBI and for the most secretive and controversial court in the United States? He’s not.

It’s a ridiculous choice…The FISC is setting its own credibility on fire, Devin Nunes

FISC’s Letter On Kris 

The FISC gives no explanation in its letter on Jan. 10, as to why Kris was selected. In fact, Judge James E. Boasberg, who now presides over the FISC, said Kris was selected to  “assist” the FISC in assessing the FBI’s implementation of the 40 plus series of reforms Wray has said needed to be addressed.

“It is critically important that FBI applications accurately and fully reflect information_known to the Bureau that is material to those applications. In view of that significance, the Court, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1803(i)(2)(B), finds it appropriate to appoint DavidS. Kris, Esq.,to serve as amicus curiae to assist the Court in assessing the government’s response to the December 17, 2019,” said Boasberg in his letter.

Nunes Tells Sara Carter ‘it’s ridiculous’

Nunes told Sunday, that “It’s a ridiculous choice. The FBI lied to the FISC, and to help make sure that doesn’t happen again, the FISC chose an FBI apologist who denied and defended those lies. The FISC is setting its own credibility on fire.”

But how can the FISC select Kris? Here’s just one example of many is a series of Tweets posted by Kris as recent as December, 2019. How can Kris be trusted to make any changes or oversee implementation of the FBI and its procedures with the FISC?

Kris’ Own Words 

For example in his March 1, 2018, Kris stated in his report at Lawfare that the FBI’s actions were warranted in the Trump-Russia probe. He attempted to tear apart the now substantiated Nunes report, revealing the FBI’s malfeasance and defended Rep. Adam Schiff’s investigation.

“The Nunes memo was dishonest,” said Kris. “And if it is allowed to stand, we risk significant collateral damage to essential elements of our democracy.” He also stated that Nunes’ could be charged with a crime, saying in his Lawfare blog that “Nunes might be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.”

Kris went on to state:

“Almost four weeks ago, based on my experience with the FISA program and those who administer it, I expressed confidence that the government “provided the court with enough information to meaningfully assess Steele’s credibility.” It took a while, but with the benefit of the minority memo—even in redacted form—this has now been confirmed. In other words, Nunes’s claim that the FBI misled the court was itself misleading.”

So this is the person that the FISC court picked to preform the oversight of the FBI regulations to protect Americans from unwarranted and illegal surveillance.

Moreover, Kris accused Nunes of federal crimes and as far as this reporter can tell he never apologized or backdown from his assertions after Nunes’ report was vindicated by Horowitz and the Department of Justice.

However, it was Kris’ assertions and Schiff’s that were proven to be false. It’s no surprise based on Kris is also a contributor to MSNBC. Just watch his analysis here on MSNBC.