On the night of Thursday December 7th, 2017 it was announced that U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused from the case against General Mike Flynn. This recusal came five days after Judge Contreras accepted the initial pleading from Flynn. Almost two months have passed, and there’s no explanation why?
(Reuters) The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge presiding over the criminal case for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been recused from handling the case, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday. (read more)
If sufficient judicial conflict existed on December 7th, why wasn’t that conflict present on December 1st, when Judge Contreras presided over Flynn’s initial pleading?
The story behind why U.S. District Court Judge would be recused, is transparently missing from any follow-up by media. With all the current sunlight over possible manipulation of a FISA court application by the FBI, no-one seems curious if Judge Rudolph Contreras was the FBI’s FISA approval judge, and the U.S. DC Judge in the Flynn pleading.
The story has disappeared into the swamp; but the story is important.
There is a very strong possibility that U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras was forcibly recused by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, because Contreras is also the FISA Court Judge who signed-off on the 2016 FISA application (warrant) that led to the wiretapping and surveillance of General Flynn. That FISA application is now being questioned.
The initial media report stated Judge Contreras “was recused” implying the decision was ultimately put upon him. However, I repeat, if there was a conflict on December 7th, 2017 wouldn’t that same conflict have existed on December 1st (Flynn pleading).?
If the conflict did exist on December 1st, 2017, why did Contreras even allow himself to preside over the first hearing of General Mike Flynn’s rather odd guilty plea?
As more details surface, it is increasingly likely the DOJ/FBI FISA application in 2016 was based on sketchy, perhaps fraudulent, information. It is becoming increasingly clear that the DOJ/FBI, under the guise of a counterintelligence investigation, used the ‘Clinton Dossier’, political opposition research, to apply for FISA court approval to conduct surveillance on the campaign of Donald Trump .
According to mounting evidence, the DOJ National Security Division, headed by John P Carlin, was working with the FBI Counterintelligence Division, headed by H.W. “Bill” Priestap, to spy on the Trump campaign.
What are the rules of FISA (approval/warrant) cases where the warrant leads to a prosecution? Is the FISA approving Judge allowed to preside over a federal case that is a direct outcome from the judge’s granting authority?
The only two significant things that happened between the initial Mike Flynn plea hearing (Dec 1st) and the recusal of Judge Contreras (Dec 7th) was:
#1) The stories about anti-Trump FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his involvement with Fusion-GPS and Christopher Steele hit the headlines; and
#2) FBI Director Chris Wray appeared before the House Judicial Committee and Representative Jim Jordan demanded the FBI show their 2016 FISA application material. (Hearing Dec. 7th)
In fact, Judge Contreras recused himself only a few hours after that House Judicial Committee hearing. These are all just general questions that stem from Judge Contreras appearing to concede to a conflict, but doing so only AFTER the first administrative hearing on the case.
Apparently no-one else is in the least bit curious; and absent of anyone seeking such clarity; it leads CTH to wonder if U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras wasn’t possibly the same judge that denied the initial FISA application in June/July of 2016. According to what information is available the standard process for the rare instances where FISA-702 approvals are denied, is for any subsequent follow-up application to go to the same judge.
It’s very rare that a FISA application from the DOJ/FBI is denied. Considering the possibility the earlier denial was based, in part, on the target (candidate Donald Trump) of the FISA warrant; and considering the massive ramifications within the U.S. government applying to monitor, wiretap and use surveillance upon a presidential candidate; it would not be a stretch to think Judge Contreras might even establish a ‘higher threshold’ for granting such surveillance authority.
Given what we know now, that we did not know before, namely that FBI Agent Peter Strzok and DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr were part of the counterintelligence operation that began in June/July 2016…. and understanding that Nellie Ohr, Bruce’s wife, was working for Fusion GPS the contractor for Christopher Steele and the Clinton Dossier; [Ultimately hired by Hillary Clinton] And accepting that the information within the dossier (whole or part) was within underlying 2016 FISA application, the legal construct of the FISA application is suspect.
The FISA issues get even more convoluted when you consider within this entire series of event you also have the NSA Director (Mike Rogers) and DOJ-NSD (John P Carlin) informing the FISA court in mid-October, 2016, that for multiple years FISA-702 searches had been occurring without court authorization; and the entire FISA-702 system had been abused.
The full FISA Court Ruling (declassified and released in April 2017 by DNI Dan Coaats) containing the 2016 admissions from the NSA and DOJ is below. There’s a growing likelihood the admissions to the full FISA Court panel happened only a few days after Judge Rudolph Contreras approved the fraudulent FISA application to monitor Trump.
I pulled out a few sections [page 83, pdf] CRITICAL to understanding the scale of FISA abuse that was taking place:
Pg 83, 86. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.”
Please pay close attention to this section, pg 84, [Note the date April 18th, 2016]:
Which takes us back to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras.
Was Contreras forcibly recused by Chief Justice John Roberts (who controls the FISA court) as an outcome of concerns from the DOJ and FBI abuse of the “FISA System”, and because Judge Ruben Contreras was the presiding judge over all of the FBI applications therein throughout this counterintelligence operation?
Was Contreras ultimately seeing in Flynn’s appearance before him in court, evidence of what happened specifically because of DOJ fraud in the FISA process.
So many questions, and yet a transparent lack of overall curiosity around the recusal.
FBI SIDE: FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s former boss was Bill Priestap, FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence. [The same Bill Priestap James Comey stated was the person who decided not to tell congressional oversight of the investigation] Bill Priestap’s boss was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Directly above McCabe in the chain-of-command was FBI Director James Comey.
Inside the DOJ: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr’s former boss was Asst. AG John P Carlin (National Security Division). Carlin’s boss was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Sally Yates boss was Attorney General Loretta Lynch.