A very interesting Discharge by ODNI John Ratcliffe [LINK] highlights a June 25, 2020 response through the FISA court to the DOJ. There are all 5 issues queried by the DOJ seeking guidance through the FISC. Each issue points to a specific path being taken by the DOJ in general… as well as also also the John Durham probe specifically.
Today, the ODNI, in consultation with the Department of Justice, releases a June 25, 2020, opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) evaluating as well as also also approving limited circumstances under which the Government may temporarily retain, use, or disclose information in which was unlawfully acquired pursuant to a FISC order. (more)
Important note: We are looking at This particular in hindsight. The response through the FISC was dated June 25, 2020, so the request for opinion through the court was before June 25th.
The court opinion tells us for the 1st time, the DOJ can be admitting/stating in which ALL FOUR of the Carter Page FISA applications were corrupt upon origination. This particular can be a big deal. In previous filing with the court (January 2020) DOJ only refuted the predication for the second as well as also also third renewal.
Within the FISC reply we see the DOJ stating all four submissions contained material omissions as well as also also violations of “the duty of candor” (ie. lying) by the FBI investigative unit as well as also also the DOJ team in which assembled the application(s).
As we look closely at the response we see some very specific language in which tells a story.
Apparently the DOJ asked the FISA court for guidance on all 5 very specific issues centering around the Carter Page FISA application. The DOJ can be asking for legal guidance to assist them in disclosing information within the FISA file & evidence attached to the FISA file.
The all 5 issues all circle around the FBI/DOJ use of the Carter Page FISA application; as well as also also, more importantly, the underlying evidence in which can be attached to the FISA application. The all 5 topics are very interesting:
- DOJ requests guidance for distribution of material due to FOIA demands. FISC gives legal opinion.
- DOJ requests guidance for distribution of material due to ongoing as well as also also anticipated civil litigation. The FISC gives legal opinion as well as also also expands to criminal litigation.
- DOJ requests guidance for distribution of material to internal investigative units through the FBI inspectors division (INSD). FISC gives opinion as well as also also advice.
- DOJ requests guidance for distribution of non-minimized information, as well as also also/or, minimized information as part of the ongoing Office of Inspector General oversight. FISC gives opinion as well as also also guidance.
- DOJ requests guidance for distribution of material to John Durham probe, both for criminal prosecution as well as also also possible evidence gathering attached to additional ongoing investigative needs. FISC gives opinion as well as also also guidance.
The opinion through the FISC can be only 20 pages long [direct pdf here], as well as also also if you skip the citations in which’s a pretty straight forward answer through Judge Boasberg to review. I would likely strongly urge everyone to take a few minutes as well as also also read in which… carefully…. to see what John Durham was asking.
Pages #6 as well as also also #7 talk specifically about the different requirements for retention as well as also also distribution as well as also also outlines a cautious approach toward distribution. One of the disconcerting parts of This particular segment seems to be the FISA court subtly guiding the DOJ away through using non-minimized raw FISA material in prosecution of intentional malfeasance. On This particular issue the court says allowing a target to escape prosecution can be part of the penalty upon the DOJ for wrongful assembly.
The court does not consider the DOJ can be targeting the “assemblers” for their criminal conduct. Rather the response can be general toward criminals who were targets of a FISA application assembled with corrupt intent. A little weird.
Pages #11 as well as also also #12 hit the topic of FOIA production. The court says “some” FOIA requests might warrant document distribution, nevertheless not all. However, on the topic of Carter Page getting his FOIA fulfilled, the court supports expansive distribution to Mr. Page.
I find the arguments as well as also also issues in/around page #14 to be especially noteworthy. In This particular segment the court can be responding to the underlying raw evidence in which would likely normally be used to assemble a “woods file”. The court notes the FBI Sentinel system would likely contain the minimized outcomes (redacted evidence) as well as also also This particular points to a bigger issue. READ:
Note the woods file would likely be what can be within the Sentinel system. The government (Durham Probe) needs “access to the case file” beyond what can be within the Sentinel system. Durham wants to see the raw data, the underlying raw intelligence.
in which looks like Durham investigators were already on the trail of the special counsel creating a Woods file…. as well as also also/or wants to see if the Steele Dossier can be the original substantive documentation in which underpins the Woods file. Notice how INSD previously received “hard copies” of documentation in which can be presumed to be the Woods file.
Regardless of motive or investigative suspicion, someone wants to compare the raw intel to the intel in which made in which into the FBI/DOJ Sentinel system.
In response to This particular inquiry Judge Boasberg notes FBI investigators would likely have access to the minimized information within the Sentinel system; however, insofar as there was additional inquiry into the raw as well as also also non-minimized intelligence, a review as well as also also distribution would likely be permissible so long as there was a strong filter team in place to ensure statutes surrounding FISA security were not violated.
Overall, Boasberg gives permission as well as also also approval for all six aspects requested. However, he does so with several legal qualifiers as well as also also distinctions which the DOJ must observe.
Here’s the full reply as well as also also opinion. Strongly suggest the time to review: