SOTM Podcast - "I got an email about a march for guns"
Here's all of the links I reference in this podcast:
"2. Two consecutive administrations believed Carter Page worthy of foreign-intelligence monitoring
Carter Page, like Papadopoulos, was a junior foreign policy adviser to the Trump 2016 campaign. He visited Russia at least twice in 2016 and acknowledged in an earlier interview with the House Intelligence Committee that he had met with government officials and others there. The core of the memo is that the FBI and the Justice Department used unverified material in the Steele dossier to ask the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to authorize surveillance of Page.
Republicans say that is the real problem here. In their telling, biased investigators didn't tell the court the dossier material was unproven political opposition research that had been funded by Democrats. But the memo doesn't say whether there might have been other evidence beyond the dossier — foreign intelligence intercepts or reporting from human sources — that also supported the warrant request. (And Friday night, The Washington Post reported that the FISA court "was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, although the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign," according to two U.S. officials.)"
The Nunes memo also doesn't say that the FISA court requires that a warrant produce intelligence in order to reauthorize it. So however the FBI got its initial warrant for Page, the Nunes memo suggests that once surveillance of Page started, it continued producing foreign intelligence.
Officials from FBI Director James Comey in 2016 to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who was appointed by Trump and still serves in the Trump administration — have signed successive applications for warrants, the memo says."So, as you can see, this point, along with the entirety of the article, is taking a rather weird stance with its interpretation of the memo's content. On one hand, Ewing seems inclined to believe that the information presented is not true or in some ways misleading and misrepresentative. On the other hand, there are these "takeaways," or these things that Ewing has decided are true and that he's willing to teach to us. When it comes to any of the other information in the memo, Ewing is pretty much trying to prove it all wrong.
"(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. "So how do we apply this to the issue of the Steele dossier? Well, as we know, both the FBI and the FISC knew that the Dossier was the result of a political opposition research campaign funded by the Democratic National Convention and the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign. The DNC and Clinton campaign funded Fusion GPS, a company that works with the FBI for private investigation resources and with the DNC for political opposition research, who then employed Christopher Steele, a former British spy who has contact with the FBI. The damning aspect of all of this is that since the Dossier was initially funded for the sole purpose of political opposition research during the presidential campaign the information provided must be interpreted with the understanding of a strong underlying political bias; furthermore, the information is only verifiable through the integrity of Christopher Steele's name since the dossier is at its core nothing more than a witness testimony in writing from a British private citizen.
"The Nunes memo also doesn't say that the FISA court requires that a warrant produce intelligence in order to reauthorize it. So however the FBI got its initial warrant for Page, the Nunes memo suggests that once surveillance of Page started, it continued producing foreign intelligence."This is a prolongation of the original straw man argument presented earlier. By saying "however the FBI got its initial warrant for Page," Ewing is misrepresenting the fundamental intent of the memo. The "however" of the manner in which the FISA warrant was obtained included illegal activity and the falsification of information. The "however" is also the fact that McCabe had testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee in December of 2017 that the FISA warrant could not be obtained if it weren't for the information provided in the Steele Dossier, which we now understand to be a politically motivated, fallacious document.
"A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator's family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization."The Second rule of interest is;
"... all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.
"The organization won't, as a substantial part of its activities, attempt to influence legislation."In regards to NPR, I find that these two rules are put into practice in a rather fascinating way, especially when considering the fact that NPR makes a little over $208 billion in annual revenue, and a large amount of its programs are centered around political journalism, including political opinion pieces.
"After a week of hyperpartisan madness that critics warn could shatter key D.C. institutions forever, the inescapable, once-secret spying memo wound up falling like a drop of rain into the Pacific Ocean.
There was no Friday Night Massacre in which the leaders of the FBI and Justice Department were pushed out the window or jumped on their own. The memo didn't even break much news — comments by members of Congress and reports in the press ended up setting the stage for it nicely.
But that doesn't mean it didn't have some points of interest, including these five takeaways."Immediately, the entire article is set up to imply that the memo is not only unimportant and overhyped, but Ewing also goes so far as to describe that the release of the memo had absolutely no consequence in the political world.
"With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy."Along with reports of two FBI officials, one from the counterintelligence division and one from the Bureau's legal division who traveled with FBI Director Christopher Wray to Capitol Hill to read the memo before its release, reporting to the media that the memo did not contain any factual inaccuracies.
"1. The Steele dossier did not launch the DOJ Russia investigation. George Papadopoulos did"After defining the dossier written by Christopher Steele, the former British Spy hired by Fusion GPS, as "salacious" and a possible "product of Russian intelligence disinformation," Ewing states that;
In this instance, Ewing is focusing on a minor detail of the memo's overall purpose and inflating its importance to his audience. George Papadopoulos was a man who joined the Trump campaign in early March of 2016, but he only physically met with other members of his specific campaign a single time. His official job within the campaign was to act as a deputy foreign policy adviser, and shortly after he joined the team he began to seek out meetings with Russian, Israeli, and Egyptian officials, which I must point out is what a foreign policy adviser is supposed to do during any major political campaign. The more senior Trump campaign officials have downplayed Papadopoulos' role in the campaign, while Papadopoulos' fiancée has argued otherwise (although she states that Papadopoulos provided a much more significant role in contacting Israeli and Egyptian officials while still maintaining a lesser role in contacting Russian officials). Although Papadopoulos was able to get an offer from Russian nationals asking for a private meeting with Donald Trump, which was a primary piece of evidence for his arrest, he was rebuffed and essentially ignored by the senior campaign officials after being notified of the offer. After the election, Papadopoulos was arrested by the FBI and during his interrogation he was reported to have falsified statements to the FBI. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty and is still awaiting his sentence. Another important piece of information regarding Papadopoulos' arrest in context with the memo is that Papadopoulos' has only been found guilty of lying to the FBI during his initial interrogation. Beyond that, he had not been found to have committed any other crimes."...the memo prepared by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says that what "triggered" the FBI's investigation was evidence about onetime Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians.According to court documents, Papadopoulos was offered dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and high-level meetings with Russians early in the campaign. When that story — after a drunken night out at the pub — got back to Washington, D.C., the FBI opened its investigation. So it was already underway by the time the Steele dossier materialized."
"5) The [Carter] Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel's Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter PAge), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of [Presidential Nominee Hillary] Clinton, whom strozk had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an "insurance policy against President Trump's election."Papadopoulos' name is being brought up because his guilty plea, which was for falsifying information and not for any collusion or conspiracy against the United States with Russia, was used as evidence for procuring Carter Page's FISA warrant. Papadopoulos' arrest had no relation to Page or to Steele's dossier, and this fact is highlighted in the memo as a way of further detailing how the FBI used faulty evidence to entice the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Courts into giving out a warrant for Page's electronic surveillance. The memo goes on further to suggest that this action of the omission of important information that renders evidence as ineligible for use in the court of law in the FBI's FISA application was done so due to a significant partisan bias present in the members of the Russian Collusion probe. They were creating an insurance policy in their preparation for the unlikely event that Trump would be elected president, and that policy, as it is implied in the memo through the reference of Strzok's and Lisa Page's texts, is an aggressive federal investigation where members of Trump's campaign are spied on, interrogated without a lawyer, and then promptly arrested for falsifying statements, which I believe mostly consists of not remembering conversations word for word that the FBI had the privilege of recording.