Obama-Era Political Surveillance – Were Black Files Created?…

I’m reposting a prior research outline below because something odd is happening in the background of this story. I’m not sure what it is, but there are small -seemingly disconnected- issues surfacing, that might tie back to this much bigger and purposefully avoided story.  I have learned to trust my instincts on this.

♦One – The FISA reauthorization legislation was dropped by Nancy Pelosi and all media conversation immediately vaporized.
♦Two – Crowdstrike is very concerned about this story every time it surfaces.
♦Three – If you understand the scale and scope of surveillance… does that explain the behavior of some people today [legislative (politicians), judiciary (judges), Pentagon (military)].

Are black files being used in 2020?

With the release of recent transcripts and the declassification of material from within the IG report on the Carter Page FISA, there is a common misconception about how the intelligence apparatus began investigating the Trump campaign. In this outline we hope to provide some deep source material that will explain the origin, and specifically why those inside the Intelligence Community began using Confidential Human Sources.

During the time-frame of December 2015 through April 2016 the NSA database was being exploited by contractors within the intelligence community doing unauthorized searches.

On March 9, 2016, oversight personnel doing a review of FBI system access were alerted to thousands of unauthorized search queries of specific U.S. persons within the NSA database.

NSA Director Mike Rogers was made aware.

Subsequently NSA Director Rogers initiated a full compliance review of the system to identify who was doing the searches; & what searches were being conducted.

On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.

When you compile the timeline with the people involved; and the specific wording of the resulting review, which was then delivered to the FISA court; and overlay the activity that was taking place in the GOP primary; what we discover is a process where the metadata collected by the NSA was being searched for political opposition research and surveillance.

Additionally, tens-of-thousands of searches were identified by the FISA court as likely extending much further than the compliance review period: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of the non compliant queries since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

In short, during the Obama administration the NSA database was continually used to conduct surveillance. This is the critical point that leads to understanding the origin of “Spygate”, as it unfolded in the Spring and Summer of 2016.

It was the discovery of the database exploitation and the removal of access as a surveillance tool that created their initial problem. Here’s how we can tell.

Initially in December 2015 there were 17 GOP candidates and all needed to be researched.

However, when Donald Trump won New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina the field was significantly whittled. Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich and Carson remained.

On Super Tuesday, March 2, 2016, Donald Trump won seven states (VT, AR, VA, GA, AL, TN, MA) it was then clear that Trump was the GOP frontrunner with momentum to become the presumptive nominee. On March 5th, Trump won Kentucky and Louisiana; and on March 8th Trump won Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii.

The next day, March 9th, NSA security alerts warned internal oversight personnel that something sketchy was going on.

This timing is not coincidental. As FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer later wrote in her report, “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” Put another way: attributes belonging to a specific individual(s) were being targeted and queried, unlawfully. Given what was later discovered, it seems obvious the primary search target, over multiple date ranges, was Donald Trump.

There were tens-of-thousands of unauthorized search queries; and as Judge Collyer stated in her report, there is no reason to believe the 85% non compliant rate was any different from the abuse of the NSA database going back to 2012.

As you will see below the NSA database was how political surveillance was being conducted during Obama’s second term in office. However, when the system was flagged, and when NSA Director Mike Rogers shut down “contractor” access to the system, the system users needed to develop another way to get access.

Mike Rogers shuts down access on April 18, 2016. On April 19, 2016, Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s wife, Mary Jacoby visits the White House. Immediately thereafter, the DNC and Clinton campaign contract Fusion GPS… who then hire Christopher Steele.

Knowing it was federal “contractors”, outside government with access to the system, doing the unauthorized searches, the question becomes: who were the contractors?

The possibilities are quite vast. Essentially anyone the FBI or intelligence apparatus was using could have participated. Crowdstrike was a known FBI contractor; they were also contracted by the DNC. Shawn Henry was the former head of the FBI office in DC and is now the head of Crowdstrike; a rather dubious contractor for the government and a politically connected data security and forensic company.

James Comey’s special friend Daniel Richman was an unpaid FBI “special employee” with security access to the database. Nellie Ohr began working for Fusion-GPS on the Trump project in November 2015 and she was a CIA contractor; and it’s entirely likely Glenn Simpson or people within his Fusion-GPS network were also contractors for the intelligence community.

Remember the Sharyl Attkisson computer intrusions? It’s all part of this same network; Attkisson even names Shawn Henry as a defendant in her ongoing lawsuit.

All of the aforementioned names, and so many more, held a political agenda in 2016.

It seems likely if the NSA flags were never triggered then the contracted system users would have continued exploiting the NSA database for political opposition research; which would then be funneled to the Clinton team. However, once the unauthorized flags were triggered, the system users (including those inside the official intelligence apparatus) needed to find another back-door to continue… Again, the timing becomes transparent.

Immediately after NSA flags were raised March 9th; the same intelligence agencies began using confidential human sources (CHS’s) to run into the Trump campaign. By activating intelligence assets like Joseph Mifsud and Stefan Halper the IC (CIA, FBI) and system users had now created an authorized way to continue the same political surveillance operations.

When Donald Trump hired Paul Manafort on March 28, 2016, it was a perfect scenario for those doing the surveillance. Manafort was a known entity to the FBI and was previously under investigation. Paul Manafort’s entry into the Trump orbit was perfect for Glenn Simpson to sell his prior research on Manafort as a Trump-Russia collusion script two weeks later.

The shift from “unauthorized exploitation of the NSA database” to legally authorized exploitation of the NSA database was now in place. This was how they continued the political surveillance. This is the confluence of events that originated “spygate”, or what officially blossomed into the FBI investigation known as “Crossfire Hurricane” on July 31.

If the NSA flags were never raised; and if Director Rogers had never initiated the compliance audit; and if the political contractors were never blocked from access to the database; they would never have needed to create a legal back-door, a justification to retain the surveillance. The political operatives/contractors would have just continued the targeted metadata exploitation.

Once they created the surveillance door, Fusion-GPS was then needed to get the FBI known commodity of Chris Steele activated as a pipeline. Into that pipeline all system users pushed opposition research. However, one mistake from the NSA database extraction during an “about” query shows up as a New Yorker named Michael Cohen in Prague.

That misinterpreted data from a FISA-702 “about query” is then piped to Steele and turns up inside the dossier; it was the wrong Michael Cohen. It wasn’t Trump’s lawyer, it was an art dealer from New York City with the same name; the same “identifier”.

A DEEP DIVE – How Did It Work?

Start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 26, 2017. Review the details within the FISC opinion.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report (full pdf below) because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court. In essence, the Obama administration was continually lying to the FISA court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information for multiple years.

Unfortunately, due to intelligence terminology Judge Collyer’s brief and ruling is not an easy read for anyone unfamiliar with the FISA processes. That complexity also helps the media avoid discussing it; and as a result most Americans have no idea the scale and scope of the Obama-era surveillance issues. So we’ll try to break down the language.

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For the sake of brevity and common understanding CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was.

Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

Here are some significant segments:

The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.

Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.

♦ FISA-702(16) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (“702”); and the “16” is a check box to initiate a search based on “To and From“. Example, if you put in a date and a phone number and check “16” as the search parameter the user will get the returns on everything “To and From” that identified phone number for the specific date. Calls, texts, contacts etc. Including results for the inbound and outbound contacts.

♦ FISA-702(17) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (702); and the “17” is a check box to initiate a search based on everything “About” the search qualifier. Example, if you put a date and a phone number and check “17” as the search parameter the user will get the returns of everything about that phone. Calls, texts, contacts, geolocation (or gps results), account information, user, service provider etc. As a result, 702(17) can actually be used to locate where the phone (and user) was located on a specific date or sequentially over a specific period of time which is simply a matter of changing the date parameters.

And that’s just from a phone number.

Search an ip address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.

The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.

As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.

In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy; and database access was from the FBI network:

But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.

Read this next excerpt carefully.

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

85% !! “representing [redacted number]”.

We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 10,000 and 99,999 [six digits]. If we take the middle number of 50,000 – a non compliant rate of 85 percent means 42,500 unlawful searches out of 50,000.

The [six digit] amount (more than 10,000, less than 99,999), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period, November 2015 to April 2016.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” This tells us the system users were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic identifier, repeatedly over different dates.  The same people were being repeatedly queried.

Specific person(s) were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012.

2012 is an important date in this database abuse because a network of specific interests is assembled that also shows up in 2016/2017:

  • Who was 2012 FBI Director? Robert Mueller, who was selected by the FBI group to become special prosecutor in 2017.
  • Who was Mueller’ chief-of-staff? Aaron Zebley, who became one of the lead lawyers on the Mueller special counsel.
  • Who was 2012 CIA Director? John Brennan (remember the ouster of Gen Petraeus)
  • Who was ODNI? James Clapper.
  • Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? Ash Carter

Who wanted NSA Director Mike Rogers fired in 2016? Brennan, Clapper and Carter.

And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment and then lied about the use of the Steele Dossier? The same John Brennan, and James Clapper along with James Comey.

Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use; and I’ll explain why momentarily.)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

[Coincidentally (or likely not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the very next day on April 19th, 2016.]

None of this is conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, if declassified, could be a key. Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

Summary: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.

The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation; and we are not the only one to think that’s what this system is being used for.

Back in 2017 when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was working to reauthorize the FISA legislation, Nunes wrote a letter to ODNI Dan Coats about this specific issue:

SIDEBAR: To solve the issue, well, actually attempt to ensure it never happened again, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers eventually took away the “About” query option permanently in 2017. NSA Director Rogers said the abuse was so inherent there was no way to stop it except to remove the process completely. [SEE HERE] Additionally, the NSA database operates as a function of the Pentagon, so the Trump administration went one step further. On his last day as NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers -together with ODNI Dan Coats- put U.S. cyber-command, the database steward, fully into the U.S. military as a full combatant command. [SEE HERE] Unfortunately it didn’t work as shown by the 2018 FISC opinion rendered by FISC Judge James Boasberg [SEE HERE]

There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition.

Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place; and keep in mind these searches were all ruled to be unlawful. Searches for repeated persons over a period time that were not authorized.

When we reconcile what was taking place and who was involved, then the actions of the exact same principle participants take on a jaw-dropping amount of clarity.

All of the actions taken by CIA Director Brennan, FBI Director Comey, ODNI Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter make sense. Including their effort to get NSA Director Mike Rogers fired.

Everything after March 9th, 2016, had a dual purpose: (1) done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. [Explained Here] Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying. Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began. And (2) they needed to keep the surveillance going.

The beginning decision to use FISA(702) as a domestic surveillance and political spy mechanism appears to have started in/around 2012. Perhaps sometime shortly before the 2012 presidential election and before John Brennan left the White House and moved to CIA. However, there was an earlier version of data assembly that preceded this effort.

Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:

The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)

Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there’s a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in early spring 2012.

The IRS scandal was never really about the IRS, it was always about the DOJ asking the IRS for the database of information. That is why it was transparently a conflict when the same DOJ was tasked with investigating the DOJ/IRS scandal. Additionally, Obama sent his chief-of-staff Jack Lew to become Treasury Secretary; effectively placing an ally to oversee/cover-up any issues. As Treasury Secretary Lew did just that.

Lesson Learned – It would appear the Obama administration learned a lesson from attempting to gather a large opposition research database operation inside a functioning organization large enough to have some good people that might blow the whistle.

The timeline reflects a few months after realizing the “Secret Research Project” was now worthless (June 2012), they focused more deliberately on a smaller network within the intelligence apparatus and began weaponizing the FBI/NSA database. If our hunch is correct, that is what will be visible in footnote #69:

How this all comes together in 2019/2020

Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database.

However, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.

That’s why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, were so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content.

The Steele Dossier, an outcome of the Fusion contract, contains two purposes: (1) the cover-story and justification for the pre-existing surveillance operation (protect Obama); and (2) facilitate the FBI counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign (assist Clinton).

An insurance policy would be needed. The Steele Dossier becomes the investigative virus the FBI wanted inside the system. To get the virus into official status, they used the FISA application as the delivery method and injected it into Carter Page. The FBI already knew Carter Page; essentially Carter Page was irrelevant, what they needed was the FISA warrant and the Dossier in the system {Go Deep}.

The Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a plausible justification for already existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion-GPS gave them that justification and evidence for a FISA warrant with the Steele Dossier.

Ultimately that’s why the Steele Dossier was so important; without it, the FBI would not have a tool that Mueller needed to continue the investigation of President Trump. In essence by renewing the FISA application, despite them knowing the underlying dossier was junk, the FBI was keeping the surveillance gateway open for Team Mueller to exploit later on.

Was the Peter Strzok created “EC” that initiated Crossfire Hurricane really just a massive effort to cover-up the Obama-era surveillance network?  {Go Deep}  Is that underlying surveillance network the real threat explaining why Michael Flynn had to be removed?

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In this video Rogers explains how he was notified of what was happening and what he did after the notification.

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This entry was posted in AG Bill Barr, Big Government, Big Stupid Government, CIA, Conspiracy ?, Deep State, Dept Of Justice, Election 2020, FBI, IG Report FISA Abuse, media bias, Notorious Liars, President Trump, Spygate, Spying, THE BIG UGLY, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

314 Responses to Obama-Era Political Surveillance – Were Black Files Created?…

  1. scrap1ron says:

    There must be communications of some description between the black mailers and those being black mailed. How can that evidence be exposed? Has anyone besides Sundance even brought this up?

    Liked by 2 people

    • flyboy46 says:

      If they are using this for blackmail, they are probably smart enough to NOT use any electronic communications that can be captured in ANY form. Probably snail mail, or in person where no record of communication can be made.

      Like

      • MGBSE says:

        In person … wives Mary Jacoby (Glenn Simpson) & Melissa Hodgman (Peter Strzok)
        made several evening visits to the White House.

        Like

        • jeff montanye says:

          mary jacoby is probably still hardcore resistance but melissa hodgman may be less enthusiastic. a long, under-oath conversation with her, especially about peter strzok, lisa page and barack obama, might be worthwhile.

          Like

      • As a Man Thinkth says:

        Like Comey trying to “shake down” PDJT at the Trump Tower briefing…A Set Up, pure and simple…day after, the Obama “by the book” lecture as carefully documented by Suz Rice…

        Like

  2. drlou007 says:

    Sundance, thanks for a great summary of criminal Obama’s illegal use of the NSA data base.

    Like

  3. NJ Transplant says:

    Sundance – as usual, you are absolutely right. There have been rumors for years that the Obama administration had something on John Roberts, Chief Justice. We know that the CIA surveilled the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is the only committee in either the house or senate which still makes believe that President Trump colluded with Russia. I would love to know what they have on Burr that made him hand over leadership to Warner.

    The Obama administration, in their 2nd term, surveilled everyone and used the results to get what they wanted.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. James says:

    Really very useful and important outline of the history and context of the effort to prevent and then destroy Trump. Particularly striking was the move from illegal NSA surveillance by contractors, to “legal” human sources (eg Steele) once the NSA mechanism was closed. . . Incidentally, i always wondered why nobody was held accountable for the irs abuse etc.

    Like

  5. Ed Smith says:

    OK, a mountain of evidence of treason and sedition. When will the perp walks begin?

    Like

  6. More Popcorn says:

    Plus the Awan Bros that had access to everyone and everything through DWS.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachelle says:

    I would like to see the Black File on Chief Justice John Roberts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. itsy_bitsy says:

    We are basically looking at an illegal attempt to overthrow the “legal” US government by rogue Obama affiliates, most likely led by Obama! JAIL, JAIL, JAIL for every dam- one of them!

    Like

  9. jbrickley says:

    Makes Game of Thrones look silly by comparison doesn’t it?

    Like

  10. USA Citizen says:

    The Blacks only want the cops to kill Whites, Latinos, Etc., but you better never shoot a Black guy regardless if he’s a killer or we will protest, burn stores, burn cars and loot so we can get expensive stuff free. That is what happening. It’s so obvious. It’s time to stop this phony demonstration and get back to Law and Order. Stop the trouble makers and arrest them and put them in jail. Then this will stop.

    Like

  11. TomInSeattle says:

    This is great research. I think your thesis is correct: The Obama Administration was indeed spying on an opposition party using the official levers of government; first, the NSA database, then the FBI/CIA. I’m actually (modestly) impressed that the government policed the NSA database to the point where they realized that unauthorized access was occurring; because it’s rare for bureaucracies to really care about their own failures.

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, the next question remains: What is going to be done about it? So far as I can tell, nothing. A bunch of the folks who were involved were removed from their positions, and the FISA court is clearly pissed off (or making a show of it); but I don’t see any policy, law, or regulation changes which would prevent it from happening again. Because, quite frankly in my opinion, the government wants to reserve for itself the right to do illegal things.

    Like

  12. shipley130 says:

    Admiral Mike Rodgers is a hero in my book.

    Like

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