Given the revelations contained in the FISA abuse memo released yesterday by U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, controversial author, journalist, and filmmaker Mike Cernovich claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) framed retired Army General Michael Flynn, who was briefly President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.
FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that allows for spying on American citizens in some limited, legitimate circumstances for national security reasons, provided a FISA court agrees to issue a search warrant.
“I care about war heroes being framed for crimes,” an irate Cernovich declared on a two-hour Periscope broadcast about Flynn and other issues, saying the situation made him sick to his stomach. He advocated for an investigation into the conduct of ex-FBI director James Comey, special counsel Robert Mueller, and that other U.S. Department of Justice officials like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein (who appointed Mueller) should step down. He also called for a second investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal.
A primary focus of the Nunes memo is the “dirty” dossier that contains lurid, unproven allegations about U.S. President Donald Trump, which some Trump supporters argue prompted the appointment of the special counsel for improper reasons, and as such, should be shut down. You can read the four-page Nunes memo here.
Cernovich also alluded to the Obama administration’s criminal prosecution of anti-Obama, anti-Clinton author Dinesh D’Souza over a relatively minor campaign finance violation that instead usually results in just a civil fine.
The pro-Trump pundit is also a foe of the so-called Deep State, a segment of the permanent federal bureaucracy, including some enclaves in the intelligence sector, allegedly seeking to undermine or discredit the Trump agenda. Democrats and others have insisted that the Deep State is just a mere conspiracy theory, while many Republicans or Trump supporters have countered that the Russia collusion narrative is equally an unfounded conspiracy theory.
“As of right now, no question is off limits,” Cernovich said in reference to the alleged political bias of the FBI and DOJ under the Obama administration that was purportedly revealed in the memo released to the world by the House Intelligence Committee under chair Devin Nunes.
In a Tweet, Cernovich separately insisted that the upcoming DOJ Inspector General’s report will reveal that FBI agents fabricated the notes that they took in the Gen. Flynn case.
Michael Flynn is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who had a distinguished 33-year career in the military, served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration. He was briefly President Trump’s national security adviser, resigning after about three weeks over misleading Vice President Pence about discussions with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn’s sentencing hearing was unexpectedly postponed last week by Mueller’s team. On December 1, Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with the ambassador.
The senior FBI official who was caught sending anti-Trump, pro-Clinton text messages to an FBI lawyer with whom he was allegedly romantically involved participated in the January 24 Flynn interview, the Daily Caller reported. The same senior FBI agent played a role in both the Trump and Clinton investigations.
Cernovich also highlighted that the Democrats and various media outlets aggressively opposed the release of the Devin Nunes memo because it would reveal classified information, yet after its release claimed it was a “nothingburger.” Separately, Gen. Flynn’s successor as national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, failed to warn Trump about the spying, Cernovich claimed.
Many of these same news organizations evinced no reluctance to publish or air classified or sensitive information, which sometimes turned out be inaccurate, leaked to them by anonymous sources that portrayed the Trump administration unfavorably.
According to Nunes memo, the FBI never told the FISA judge that the controversial dossier compiled by an ex-British spy with Kremlin contacts for an opposition research firm was paid for by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The dossier was also leaked to the several media outlets, essentially creating a feedback loop. In October, the Washington Post reported that Clinton and the DNC paid an opposition research firm about $9 million for the disputed dossier
The Nunes memo indicates that the British spy “was desperate” to prevent Trump’s election and that the FBI admitted that the “salacious” dossier was only “minimally corroborated.” In December, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who abruptly stepped down on Monday, told Congress that the agency used the dossier as a pretext to obtain the warrant, the memo recalled. Democrats dispute this, but this difference presumably will be resolved either way once Congress reveals more documentation. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee say they have a memo that will refute what Nunes has published.
Either in the initial warrant application or three renewals, the FBI never informed the FISA court that Democrats had paid for the dossier, the Nunes memo alleged.
The dossier was also leaked to the several media outlets, essentially creating a feedback loop.
Rep. Nunes, a California Republican, says that more information will be released in the coming days and weeks about alleged FBI abuse and politicized operations. The U.S. Senate also indicated that it will be putting similar information into the public domain soon.
Pro-Trump Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz summarized the significance of the FISA memo as he sees it on Fox News, TruePundit reported.
“We now know the facts of what happened. The Democratic Party hired the Perkins law firm. The Perkins law firm hired Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele to go and dig up the dossier, and then they hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of [DOJ official] Bruce Ohr, to get the fake dossier from a political environment into the bloodstream of the intelligence community and to convert it into an intelligence document. And what’s most outrageous to me that this fake dossier was so unreliable that the way it was validated to the FISA court as a Yahoo news article written by Michael Isikoff planted by Christopher Steele.”
Rep. Gaetz continued.
“So Christopher Steele wrote the fake dossier, and then he went and planted fake news stories to validate the dossier. The FBI was going to pay Christopher Steele, they authorized payment, but when they found out he was talking to the media, and was unreliable, they cancelled payment to him. But even after cancelling payment to Christopher Steele, the FBI and the Department of Justice reauthorized the FISA warrant to spy on American citizens based on a political document that had its origins at the Democratic National Committee.”
Gaetz added that Democrats and Republicans in Congress should come together and immediately pass legislation to reform the FBI and DOJ.
Democrats have accused Republicans of disparaging law enforcement in this controversy, but Republicans have countered that they have leveled criticism of bias against top-level FBI/DOJ officials, and not rank-and-file agents. In other words, “the suits, not the boots.” In one of many examples of how Donald Trump has up-ended the political establishment, moreover, the liberal cohort has traditionally been suspicious or critical of the intelligence services and law enforcement rather than the GOP.
Reaction to the Nunes FISA abuse memo, pro and con, constitutes a developing and complex story with many moving parts. Please check back for updates.