Over the course of the last week a series of events have occurred that indicate the lengthy investigation into the investigators regarding the genesis of the Russia investigation, the lying and leaking by top level former members of the intelligence community, as well as potential FISA court abuses, is finally coming to an end.
The long awaited DOJ Inspector General report is one step closer to being released publicly as the initial draft of the factual findings has been sent to the DOJ and the FBI for "classification determination and marking," before then proceeding to prepare the final draft which would then be publicly released.
On top of that we have learned that not only has a grand jury been impaneled to hear evidence against the former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, and was then put aside for months, but was recently recalled to hear more evidence.
The time line of these events is critical in determining what has been going on behind the scenes in a multitude of investigations and potential corruption within the intelligence community during the Obama presidency.
DOJ REJECTS APPEAL FROM MCCABE'S LAWYERS
For nearly 17 months federal prosecutors have been evaluating incriminating evidence against the former FBI deputy director, which was exposed in a brutally scathing DOJ Inspector General report that accused McCabe of leaking information to the press, and a "lack of candor," i.e. lying, on four occasions when questioned by federal agents.
Recently we found out that the federal prosecutors had also impaneled a grand jury to hear evidence against McCabe, but was then put aside while other investigations were being conducted, most likely the DOJ Inspector General investigation into possible FISA abuses by withholding information from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a warrant on Carter Page, which was renewed multiple times, with a variety of former members of the Obama administration's intelligence agencies signing off on the warrant applications, including McCabe himself.
When federal prosecutors recommended going forward with a case against McCabe, to seek an indictment for criminal charges, McCabe's lawyer sent a "Hail Mary" appeal to Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general, attempting to get him to overrule the federal prosecutors' recommendations, to which Rosen rejected.
COINCIDING LIBERAL NEWS OUTLETS SPIN FOR MCCABE
Damage control by the liberal establishment media started immediately as both the NYT and Washington Post revealed that the grand jury that had been set aside months ago, leaving McCabe in limbo as other investigations, specifically the DOJ IG's into the FISA abuses, had been recalled, both stories stressing that after being recalled they "left without revealing any public signs of an indictment."
As NYT accurately states directly after that comment, grand jury proceedings are secret.
On September 12, 2019, the very same day those two stories were published, McCabe's lawyers sent a letter to U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, who originally recommended moving forward against McCabe, claiming that "rumors" indicate that "the grand just declined to vote an indictment." In the letter McCabe's attorney cited both the NYT and Washington Post stories.
Also in that letter McCabe's attorney's claimed that "based on their discussions" with representatives for the federal prosecutors, it was "clear that no indictment had been returned."
That very well may be, but since grand jury proceedings are secret, there are also a variety of other possibilities, such as the grand jury did indict but it is under seal (not public).
The other more likely possibility is that the grand jury was recalled, heard evidence, then was sent home again while federal prosecutors prepare to present further incriminating evidence regarding other actions taken aside from the leaking of information to the media and "lack of candor" on four occasions when questioned by federal agents.
IG'S INVESTIGATION COMPLETE, INITIAL DRAFT SENT TO DOJ AND FBI
In other words, they are likely looking to add further charges as the DOJ Inspector General has now completed his investigation into the possible FISA court abuses, because we now know, by a letter that the IG sent to congress, that his initial draft of factual findings has been sent to the DOJ and FBI for classification purposes.
In the IG's letter to congress, which is embedded below, he informs congress he is updating congressional committees in both the House and the Senate, on his "timing for completing and issuing a final report."
The IG, Michael Horowitz, states that his team has reviewed "over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed." He goes on further to inform them that they "have begun the process of finalizing our report," explaining they have provided a "draft of our factual findings to the Department and the FBI for classification determination and marking."
As readers can see in the embedded letter above, it was dated September 13, 2019, a day after the reports that the DOJ rejected McCabe's plea to drop the case against him, and one day after the reports that the grand jury was sent home without issuing an indictment.
The media had no idea that the DOJ was already in possession of the IG's factual findings in the FISA abuse investigation, which will no doubt also reference McCabe since he signed off on at least two of the FISA warrant applications, according to the timeline put together by the Washington Examiner.
The October 2016 FISA application and January 2017 FISA renewal were both approved by then-FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Former FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson testified to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees in August 2018 about the “unusual way” that the first FISA request was handled, with approval coming from Yates and then-Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe before it reached her desk, contradicting the normal path that the FISA applications take and leading her to not feel the need to second-guess her higher-ups.
The April 2017 FISA renewal was approved by Comey and by Dana Boente. Boente is the only signatory still remaining in active government service, working as the Trump administration’s top lawyer at the FBI starting in January 2018.
The June 2017 FISA renewal was approved by McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
BOTTOM LINE - ANALYSIS
While we at ANP are not legal scholars, it would seem that any criminal referrals stemming from the IG's latest investigation into potential FISA abuses, and lying to the FISA court, will most likely be handled by U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Attorney General Bill Barr assigned to work with the IG, the fact that there is already a grand jury impaneled in regards to McCabe, could mean that any criminal referral by the IG specifically related to McCabe, may end up being addressed with the grand jury already impaneled.
The grand jury, according to reports, consists of 23 members, and 12 of them, a simple majority, would have to vote to indict for a criminal charge to be held against McCabe, so it would make sense to provide everything they have, including his part in any possible FISA abuses, to obtain their indictment, rather than simply going after him for leaking and/or lying to federal investigators, which would bring no more than a slap on the wrist.
Frankly if they cannot get 12 out of 23 grand jury members to indict, there would be no way to get a jury of 12 to unanimously convict, so the DOJ must have a case they believe they can win in a court of law.
There is a strong possibility that the grand jury already impaneled will not be brought back until the DOJ and FBI have marked up the IG's report for classification (or Barr declassifies anything he believes the public should know), and then a full list of incriminating evidence against McCabe would be offered to the grand jury, including his part in the FISA abuses.
What we find extremely interesting is that they are starting with the former FBI deputy director, when generally prosecutors start with low hanging fruit, then move their way upwards. If they are starting with the former second in command of the FBI, who briefly was acting director of the FBI after James Comey was fired, then it is indicative that the higher hanging fruit will follow.
That could include former FBI director James Comey, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, possibly former deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and perhaps even the former AG under Obama, Loretta Lynch.
Also, with Durham being tasked with investigating the entire genesis of the Russia investigation for possible wrong-doing, other higher level targets could include former CIA director John Brennan, and the Director of national intelligence James Clapper.
Since, as mentioned earlier, we at ANP are not legal scholars, a selection of commentary from former intel officials, federal prosecutors, and congressional committee members, can be found below.
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