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The Damage Crossfire Hurricane Did To FBI’s Counterintelligence Division ‘Will Last For Years’ Says Former Counterspy

By Sarah LeeRedState

When Attorney General Bill Barr told Congress in April he believed spying did occur against the Trump campaign, he was referring to the work of the formerly respected FBI division of counterintelligence, where Peter Strzok clocked in every day.

The Washington Free Beacon details the almost mythical history of the division and how now, following its fall from grace as stooges for the powers-that-be that wanted Trump out of the game, it is the focus of the Department of Justice’s special investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion probe.

Two senior counterintelligence officials no longer with the bureau are among likely targets of the investigation by John Durham, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut. Both were key managers of the high-profile investigations in 2016 into classified information found on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the now-discredited counterspy operation into links between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government.

A central figure is Peter Strzok, deputy assistant FBI director for the counterintelligence division, who was fired in August. Another key player was his boss, Bill Priestap, assistant FBI director for counterintelligence, who quietly resigned in December.

In the three years since the controversial investigations, the FBI counterintelligence division has sought to rebuild its reputation by conducting aggressive operations untainted by past allegations of liberal political bias through recent high-profile spy cases.

This merry band of partisans has nearly destroyed what was once a highly respected division doing impressive work. In fact, the Free Beacon reports, during the presidency of Bill Clinton onward, the division began to suffer from terrible mishaps of duty.

Since the 1990s, however, FBI counterintelligence has suffered numerous failures. They include botched counterspy investigations into Chinese nuclear spies that stole American warhead secrets; a Chinese double agent who worked as an informant for the FBI in Los Angeles; and, most damaging, failing to uncover FBI turncoat agent Robert Hanssen who worked as an FBI counterspy and Moscow agent undetected for more than 20 years.

Other counterintelligence lapses included a Cuban mole that operated secretly inside for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the loss of more than two dozen recruited CIA assets in China, and the arrests of numerous recruited intelligence agents in Iran beginning in 2010.

Strzok is the newest member who is the source of the division’s ills, and while Barr indicated in his interview with CBS This Morning that he could see a scenario in which these agents felt they were doing what’s right, Strzok is being criticized for being particularly ill-suited to any role in counterintelligence due to extramarital affairs, accepting media favors against FBI policy et al.

The cumulative effect of a department run by employees with loyalty to a political outcome rather than to the work of counterintel to protect their country is highly damaging, reports the Beacon.

“The damage they’ve done to the FBI will last for years,” said former FBI counterspy I.C. Smith.

DeGraffenreid said the fallout from Crossfire Hurricane likely will further weaken an already poor FBI counterintelligence capability. Bureaucratically, the fallout will further erode support for aggressive counterintelligence and dissuade the most capable people from seeking counterspy positions.

Strzok, based on his congressional testimony and publicized text, revealed himself to be ill-suited for counterintelligence. The FBI counterspy came across as “an arrogant bureaucrat” in his congressional testimony, deGraffenreid said. “He’s not George Smiley.”

Also, as outlined by the Justice IG, the FBI’s protective bureaucratic culture is in need of correcting.

“There’s extreme bureaucratization there with a culture that thinks the bureau is something other than the United States,” said deGraffenreid who worked with senior FBI officials in government for more than 30 years.

“More than any other government bureaucracy, the FBI will openly lie to protect the FBI’s reputation,” he said, adding that of all the intelligence disciplines, counterintelligence requires the smartest and best analysts and operators free of political bias like that shown by Strzok.

It is beyond frightening that one of the most important and secretive divisions within the federal police force was thick with partisanship and so far removed from their proper mission that they would engage in spy games to unseat a president. But that appears to be exactly what happened. We’ll know more when all the subsequent “investigations into the investigators” are released.

But one thing is already certain: the FBI needs to do a little housecleaning. Before this is all over, I suspect we’ll find other agencies do as well.


Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On

By Mollie Hemingway • The Federalist

On Saturday night, heavily redacted copies of the FBI’s application to wiretap Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page were released. The portion of the 412-page document that was not redacted supported the claims of Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as those made by the majority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The senators and the representatives had issued reports alleging that the FBI used an unverified Clinton campaign document to secure a wiretap against an American citizen, that the application for the wiretap used circular reporting and lacked verification for its central claims, and that it made materially false claims related to the source’s credibility.

President Trump tweeted triumphantly and hyperbolically about what the documents showed regarding the FBI’s behavior toward his campaign. Whatever you think about Trump’s reaction to the release of the FISA application, the media reaction to the story was disingenuous and even more hyperbolic than the president’s tweets. After a year of continuous and alarming revelations, the media are still more interested in proving the Trump campaign treasonously colluded with Russia than wrestling with the fact that the FBI spied on a presidential campaign, and used dubious partisan political research to justify their surveillance. Continue reading


The IG Report On FBI’s Clinton Probe Reveals This Saga May Be Just Getting Started

By Margot Cleveland • The Federalist

The media has focused almost exclusively on the conclusion of the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe, which found bias did not impact the probe, as well as the lack of any newly announced indictments or criminal referrals. The goal of course being to downplay the negative findings of the report.

At the same time, the press gave, at most, passing mention to the statement Attorney General Jeff Sessions simultaneously released. But his statement and the findings of the report make one thing clear: This isn’t over.

Here’s why. Throughout the 568-page report, the IG highlighted several areas meriting additional investigation. And Sessions said the report “reveals a number of significant errors by the senior leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI during the previous administration,” and stressed “this is not the end of the process.” Continue reading


Obama’s Attorney General Used Fake Identity To Hide Clinton Investigation E-Mails

By Bre Payton • The Federalist

Former President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, used a fake name to cover up an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, indicates an admission from Lynch’s attorney.

Lynch was caught conducting a secret meeting with Bill Clinton aboard a private plane on a tarmac in Phoenix last year as Clinton’s wife pursued the presidency and amid an ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private, unsecured email server, which she illegally used during her tenure as secretary of State. Soon afterward, the former attorney general reportedly used a pseudonym to coordinate a narrative about the meeting with Department of Justice officials, Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller reports.

Also shortly after the private plane meeting, former FBI director James Comey announced that agency would not pursue a case against Clinton, despite admitting he had enough evidence to do so. Continue reading


Loretta Lynch prepped with talking points about Phoenix tarmac meeting

by Christopher Sign • ABC

Newly released documents reveal former Attorney General Loretta Lynch was prepared for questions about the now-infamous tarmac meeting at Sky Harbor International Airport with former President Bill Clinton.

The private meeting happened in Phoenix on the evening of June 27, 2016, a matter of hours before the Obama Department of Justice decision on whether then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had revealed classified information when using a private email account while secretary of state.

ABC15’s Christopher Sign broke the story of the tarmac meeting two days later, prompting a chain of events that would include an unprecedented news conference by then-FBI Director James Comey.

Documents reveal Department of Justice staffers were given a ‘heads-up’ that ABC15 had learned about the meeting, and assisted the Attorney General on how to address any potential questions from reporters. Continue reading


Comey Didn’t Sink Hillary. Hillary Sank Hillary

By David Harsanyi • The Federalist

Hillary Clinton was back yesterday, taking “absolute personal responsibility” by blaming Russia, James Comey, and misogyny for her second presidential election loss. If the election had taken place on October 27, Clinton maintained, she’d be president. Perhaps if we all lived in a vacuum where the electorate ignored everything the Democratic Party’s flawed nominee had said and done (and tried to hide), she may well be in the White House — although even that’s debatable.

Clinton’s counterfactual tale about the infamous “Comey letter” has been a security blanket for many Democrats. But, as luck would have it, the FBI director was testifying in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee today, and he reminded us of some factors that Clinton ignored. That’s because even if we concede that Comey’s letter to Congress helped sink Clinton, Hillary deserved that letter, and the FBI director had no choice but to send it. Continue reading


Susan Rice’s White House Unmasking: A Watergate-style Scandal

By Andrew C McCarthy • National Review

The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations.

Remember that.

Why is that so important in the context of explosive revelations that Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security adviser, confidant, and chief dissembler, called for the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials whose identities and communications were captured in the collection of U.S. intelligence on foreign targets? Continue reading


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