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“The issue is of particular concern to the Committee given that when Fusion GPS reportedly was acting as an unregistered agent of Russian interests, it appears to have been simultaneously overseeing the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier of allegations of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Grassley wrote in the letter.
Grassley began his investigation after the Washington Post reported on February 28 that the FBI, "a few weeks before the election," agreed to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump. Prior to that, supporters of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had paid Steele to gather intelligence on Clinton's Republican rival. In the end, the FBI did not pay Steele, the Post reported, after the dossier "became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials." It is not clear whether Steele worked under agreement with the FBI for any period of time before the payment deal fell through.
"The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI's independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration's use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends," Grassley wrote in a letter to Comey dated March 28.
But the most noteworthy thing about Grassley's letter is its focus on McCabe. Grassley noted that McCabe is already under investigation by the FBI's inspector general for playing a top role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation even though McCabe's wife accepted nearly $700,000 in political donations arranged by a close Clinton friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, for her run for state senate in Virginia.
Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said... “I don’t think we can say anything definitively at this point,” Schiff said. “We are still at the very early stages of the investigation. The only thing I can say is that it would be irresponsible for us not to get to the bottom of this. We really need to find out exactly what the Russians did. Because one of the most important conclusions that the intelligence community reached is that they are going to do this again to the United States. They are doing it already in Europe. So we can say conclusively this is something that needs to be thoroughly investigated but it’s way premature to be reaching conclusions.”
originally posted by: CB328
Look, everyone in the Trump administration has ties to big-money Russian criminals, I mean citizens,,,
...so it's indisputable that the administration is at the very least a giant conflict of interest that can't be objective in leading the country.
I don't understand how anyone can honestly deny that there is a serious problem here.
You can only dishonestly deny it.
originally posted by: CB328
Trump and his buddies are trying to use the White house to make billions of dollars.
They are criminals and traitors and anyone who supports them is either a traitor or an idiot.
Obama has nothing even remotely close to this and was a far better President in spite of all his faults.
the Clintons and their closest aides have maintained with Russian government officials for years, including while they were in public office. Unlike the revelations so far concerning Russian ties in the Trump camp, the Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars and enormous favors that benefitted Russian interests.
Bill and Hillary Clinton received large sums of money directly and indirectly from Russian officials while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 (well above his normal fee) for a speech in Moscow in 2010. Who footed the bill? An investment firm in Moscow called Renaissance Capital, which boasts deep ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation itself took money from Russian officials and Putin-connected oligarchs. They also took donations from:
•Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin confidant who gave through his company, Renova Group
• Andrey Vavilov, a former Russian government official who was Chairman of SuperOx, a research company that was part of the “nuclear Cluster” at the Russian government’s Skolkovo research facility
• Elena Baturina, the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, who apparently gave them money through JSC Inteco, an entity that she controls
Then there is the glaring fact that the Clinton Foundation also scored $145 million in donations from nine shareholders in a Canadian uranium company called Uranium One that was sold to the Russian government in 2010. The deal required the approval of several federal government agencies, including Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The deal allowed Rosatom, the Russian State Nuclear Agency, to buy assets that amounted to 20 percent of American uranium. Rosatom, by the way controls the Russian nuclear arsenal.
Equally troubling: some of those donations were hidden and not disclosed by the Clintons. President Obama required the Clinton Foundation to disclose all contributions as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State. But that did not happen. The only reason the hidden donations ever came to light is because we uncovered them by combing through Canadian tax records.
Everyone got what they wanted in this deal: the uranium investors made a nice profit; the Russians acquired a strategic asset; and the Clinton Foundation bagged a lot of money.
Hillary Clinton says she was not involved in the decision to approve the sale of Uranium One. As proof, the Clinton campaign in 2015 trotted out her former aide, Assistant Secretary of State Fernandez, to say publicly that we should take his word for it that she was not involved in approving that deal. But as we now know from the leaked Podesta emails, Fernandez was all too eager to help Podesta kill the story, while getting other favors from Podesta. That raises questions about the veracity of his comments.
For years, the NSA has been required to follow strict rules to protect the accidental intercepts of Americans from being consumed or misused by other government agencies. The rules required a process known as minimization, where the identity and information about an American who was intercepted is redacted or masked with generic references like “American No. 1.”
The number of senior government officials who could approve unmasking had been limited to just a few, like the NSA director himself.
And in his final days in office, Obama created the largest ever expansion of access to non-minimized NSA intercepts, creating a path for all U.S. intelligence to gain access to unmasked reports by changes encoded in a Reagan-era Executive Order 12333.
The government officials who could request or approve an exception to unmask a U.S. citizen’s identity has grown substantially. The NSA now has 20 executives who can approve the unmasking of American information inside intercepts, and the FBI has similar numbers.
And executives in 16 agencies -- not just the FBI, CIA and NSA -- have the right to request unmasked information.
Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.
The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.
Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.
This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the National Security Council had uncovered other instances of unmasking and that administration officials would share it with the chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
James Kallstrom, a former assistant director of the FBI, told LifeZette it is troubling that Farkas even knew about the intelligence reports that she urged officials to spread to congressional staffers.
“How does somebody who’s not even in the administration anymore, who’s in civilian life, have access to this information?” he asked. “What kind of conspiracy cabal is this?”
Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the "PBS NewsHour" about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: "I know nothing about this," adding, "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today."
Rice's requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials does not vindicate Trump's own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower. There remains no evidence to support that claim.
The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance.
At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice's requests to unmask U.S. persons.
originally posted by: Boadicea
In my book it vindicates Trump. He may have phrased it poorly, but he was being spied upon by Obama's White House. I'm not playing their semantics with this. It is what it is.
Damn right it does. Democrats are playing semantic games by clinging to the word "wiretap," but the simple fact is Obama was spying on Trump, for political purposes.
I think Obama's vacation in the South Pacific is going to be a very long one. Four years at least, possibly eight if the Dems are retarded enough to run Hillary again.
Sunday night there were reports that Susan Rice, National Security Adviser for President Obama was the “senior official” mentioned who un-masked, the names of the Trump transition team. This morning those reports were confirmed, first by Eli Lake, and then by Adam Housely of Fox who added additional facts to Lake’s scoop.
Susan Rice as you may remember, was the person Obama sent to all five Sunday news shows, to falsely blame the Benghazi attack on a YouTube trailer for an anti-Islam video. In other words, if Lake’s story is true (and I don’t doubt it) this wouldn’t be the first-time Rice sacrificed her integrity for politics.
Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake confirmed that it was Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice who requested the “un-masking” of the U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports. She requested the un-masking on dozens of occasions involving the Trump transition team.
Whoa, just whoa.
We got a winner.
So, when a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America’s global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike.