The Federal Bureau of Investigation can’t win for losing these days. The infamous Trump Raid produced a major setback yesterday, as a judge subjected it to a scrutiny it cannot withstand. Earlier, they snatched the cellphone of a prominent businessman who has seriously questioned the security of the Election of 2020. Now he’s suing, and has every expectation of prevailing. Worst of all, we now learn that the FBI had the source of the Steele Dossier on its payroll. Now everyone can readily see that the FBI is a tinpot dictator’s secret service, and nothing else. But worse, the FBI, unless someone checks it, could become the instrument of a coup d’état.
Latest FBI setback on the Trump Raid
Yesterday (September 15), Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled in the lawsuit by President Donald Trump over the Trump Raid. Trump had asked for a Special Master; now he’s got one. Better yet, he got one of the candidates he suggested, after the FBI virtually conceded that to him. (Source: RedState.)
But more to the point, Judge Cannon refused absolutely to permit the FBI to keep perusing documents on their say-so that national security considerations were “inextricably intertwined” with their criminal investigation. (And for what? Not returning documents to the National Archives on time. Even if true, which Trump does not concede, that’s the equivalent of keeping library books past due.) The FBI literally wanted the judge to take their word on that, after they violated the court’s trust. The judge, having none of it, called them on their perfidy and carelessness.
The reportage on this point comes from Politico.com, American Liberty News, Freedom Beacon, and The Patriotic News. The Freedom Beacon article has an interview with a Special Master in another case, who tells what Special Masters do. (They really are “vice-judges.”)From Politico we have the three most recent filings. First we have a ten-page order denying a motion to let the FBI keep perusing the seized documents.
Second, Judge Raymond Dearie, the appointee, declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Third, Judge Cannon formally appoints Judge Dearie as Special Master.
Key quotes from the order denying the motion
Technically the Justice Department had moved to stay an earlier order to leave those documents alone, pending an appeal. Whether that appeal is even current is an open question, because the Justice Department went ahead with a joint filing with Trump’s attorneys after filing a notice of appeal. In any event, the judge refused, saying:
The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion.
And why not? Because Trump has disputed the propriety of the seizure and the Justice Department’s determination of what does, and what does not, fall under executive or attorney-client privilege.
[S]ome of those materials undisputedly constitute personal property and/or privileged materials [ECF No. 64 p. 13]; the record suggests ongoing factual and legal disputes as to precisely which materials constitute personal property and/or privileged materials [ECF No. 64 p. 14]; and there are documented instances giving rise to concerns about the Government’s ability to properly categorize and screen materials[.]
Judge Cannon also rejected the “inextricable intertwining” as not adequately shown. Worse, she accused the FBI flat-out of leaking things to the media after the raid.
This further order is even more significant. Judge Cannon gave the Special Master until November 30, 2022, to make his report. That pushes this off until after Midterms. One can only imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth at the White House over that fact.
The FBI snatches another cellphone.
The case of Mike Lindell is worse. After all, it comes after the Trump Raid and after Judge Cannon dressed the FBI down for its methods. According to CBS News, an FBI team surrounded Mr. Lindell while he was at a Hardees fast-food joint. They flashed a warrant at him—for his cellphone, which they seized. And from every indication, that warrant, like that for the Trump Raid, differed little from a pre-Revolutionary writ of assistance. Why did the FBI do this thing? They didn’t specifically tell him. But they did ask him questions about the legal dispute between him and Dominion Voting Services.
But Mr. Lindell got the last laugh:
John Durham reveals: the FBI paid the Steele informant
This last revelation is the real stunner. Recall that the Trump Raid was all about hiding information about Operation Crossfire Hurricane. In that operation, the FBI sought to paint then-Candidate Donald Trump as a Russian spy, or some such thing. The source of that allegation was a dossier that Agent Christopher Steele of MI-6 produced. (Yes, that MI-6, the same outfit that employed the fictitious Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVSR, a/k/a Agent 007.)
The Hillary Clinton campaign solicited and paid for that dossier, as a matter of record.
We now learn that Christopher Steele’s source was on the FBI payroll. Not only that, but the FBI hired him after the election.That comes from Just The News. Special Counsel John Durham detailed this in a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A Russian businessman named Igor Danchenko is standing trial in that court for lying to the FBI. Durham moved to unseal everything the government has written down about Danchenko, and a judge granted the motion.
Just the News quotes Durham on the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Danchenko:
In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI. The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
More on Igor Danchenko:
As has been publicly reported, the defendant was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011. In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.
According to one employee (“Employee-1”), the defendant believed that he (Employee-1) might be in a position to enter the incoming Obama administration and have access to classified information. During this exchange, the defendant informed Employee-1 that he had access to people who would be willing to pay money in exchange for classified information. Employee-1 passed this information to a U.S. government contact, and the information was subsequently passed to the FBI.
Based on this information, the FBI initiated a “preliminary investigation” into the defendant. The FBI converted its investigation into a “full investigation” after learning that the defendant (1) had been identified as an associate of two FBI counterintelligence subjects and (2) had previous contact with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers.
In other words, they knew what kind of man Igor Danchenko was. Or at least a search of their own archives could have told present management this interesting fact. And still they hired him. All of which goes to show how the FBI has compromised itself since then.
Various other tidbits
It may or may not be significant that Judge Raymond Dearie, who comes from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, came to the bench after Ronald Reagan appointed him. It is definitely significant that Judge Dearie once served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. There he signed off on a warrant against Carter Page – only to find out that the government had “had” him. Donald Trump’s lawyers must have known this when they offered him as a Special Master candidate. Clearly the Justice Department missed this key fact when they withdrew their objections to him. Did they think Judge Dearie would cooperate with them again, given the Carter Page experience? More likely, Judge Dearie knows the lengths to which this government will go in the name of national security.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
And Judge Dearie likely will not want to let the government fool him a third time.
A phony document
This morning we hear that a clerk for the Florida Southern District court mistakenly docketed a document purporting to offer more information about Donald Trump’s handling of “classified” information. The problem is: that document is a phony, and the Associated Press, through Yahoo! News openly says it is. This document alleged that the FBI had two warrants they had not revealed. But the warrants are identical to papers that a federal inmate, confined to a prison hospital in North Carolina, has filed before. This man has a history of mental incompetence to stand trial, and for filing frivolous lawsuits. So how did this document get onto the docket in the government’s case against Trump? That alone smells, of a further attempt at manipulation. Did the AP’s reporters “not get the memo”? Maybe.
In any case, the newsletter Royal Patriot reports that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is ready to investigate the FBI if Republicans secure control of the Senate this Midterms. In fact he calls for removing Attorney General Merrick Garland on impeachment for, and conviction of:
- Willful misleading of the Congress as to the activities of his Department and its agencies, and
- Exceeding his lawful authority as Attorney General, and the authority of his Department.
Comparing the FBI to … whom?
To what – or to whom – shall we now compare the FBI? It’s easy to compare the FBI to various dictators’ police agencies from the last century. (Although most people making that comparison, left out one: the Ohkrana, the Imperial secret police under Tsar Alexander III. Little good did Alexander’s secret police do him; they couldn’t keep him alive.)
But the best comparison, like the one for Biden’s infamous Red Backdrop Speech, comes from two thousand years ago. Lucius Aelius Sejanus, after winning the confidence of Emperor Tiberius, turned the Praetorian Guard (Augustus’ original bodyguard force) into the first secret police. (If Augustus founded the forerunner of the CIA, then Sejanus made the forerunner of the FBI what it was.) Sejanus gathered dossiers on political enemies, and arranged for their arrest. (And sometimes their summary execution.) It may or may not be significant that Sejanus made Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea. In any case, the present FBI is behaving like the Praetorian Guard while Sejanus commanded it.
In another parallel, President Biden, like Tiberius, is an old man leaving the administration of government to others. Given our constitutional system, no FBI director could hope to vault to the headship of state as Sejanus tried to do. Or could he? Who is really calling the shots at the White House? We don’t know. But these ominous parallels, in personality and behavior, to a situation two thousand years ago, should give us pause.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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