We have heard repeatedly from the mainstream media that unmasking is legal and routine and that is true. It is a tool used by the government to safeguard our national security.
However, even something that is both legal and routine can be used for nefarious purposes. The activities of top Obama Administration intelligence officials during the transition period with regard to incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, raise red flags. (Dan Bongino suggests asking liberal friends if they have any evidence that the spying on Flynn was done for a legitimate national security purpose and what is that evidence?)
In his Thursday podcast, Dan Bongino took a deep dive into the list of Flynn unmaskings which was released on Wednesday. After studying the dates of the unmasking requests, he spots some extraordinary coincidences and peculiarities. His discussion is lengthy, but well worth your time. In the beginning, you may be tempted to call this a conspiracy theory, but please bear with me because it all comes together in the end. The story is corroborated by reports we’ve heard over the last three years that John Brennan was indeed involved with foreign intelligence agencies in his crusade to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency and then to destroy him once elected.
First, Dan explains the three ways a law enforcement or intelligence officer can spy on a U.S. citizen’s phone calls:
1. Traditional criminal warrant: Must show a judge that all other measures have been exhausted.
2. FISA warrant: Must show that the subject is working on behalf of a foreign power and is in violation of U.S. law.
3. Unmasking: Reverse target subject, anonymous U.S. citizen is talking to a foreigner, a law enforcement or intelligence officer can request an unmasking.
Particularly notable is Flynn’s December 29, 2016 phone call with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn was vacationing in the Dominican Republic at the time. It is this call that Gen. Flynn was accused of lying about.
The most unusual thing about this call is that the DOJ has never provided a recording or a transcript to Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, who has made numerous formal requests.
There’s no question that many of Flynn’s calls were unmasked? However, there is no evidence that the December 29 call was.
Dan believes it’s very possible that Obama officials may have found an alternative way to obtain their information on this particular call. He tells viewers:
We are assuming, assuming, that Mike Flynn was unmasked. The government is saying they have a transcript of the phone call.
I’m going to make the case for you now that there’s a strong possibility that Flynn was not unmasked…Remember the three buckets, criminal case, FISA, unmasking. Was it one of those buckets? What are they really hiding?
Maybe they’re hiding a more nefarious problem…
What if Mike Flynn was being spied on by foreign governments that then sent the call transcript or recording of it back to the U.S., to a back channel creating kind of a rogue intelligence operation…Now you’re telling me that Obama Administration intel officials may have been working with the foreign governments. I thought that was called collusion. To record and spy on U.S. citizens in violation of U.S. law and then created a rogue backchannel to get that communication back to the U.S.
‘Dan, there’s no evidence of that. You’re a conspiracy theorist.’
1. Sidney Powell made several requests for prosecutors to release the transcripts of the wiretapped conversations. The prosecutors refused to provide them because they claimed the materials were not relevant to Flynn’s sentencing. In a court filing, they stated, “The government further represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant’s guilt or determining his sentence, nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record.”
Bongino notes, “The government has no recordings? You’re charging him with lying about a call you’ve never even produced a copy of…I thought the call was unmasked and it was routine. So why not go get it? Oh, you don’t have it? Hmmm.”
2. Next Bongino shows a portion of Andrew McCabe’s transcript in which he is asked where this transcript and the unmasking requests might be. The lawmaker asks, “There was never any intelligence product. So no transcript or summary of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak that were ever masked, and therefore, there were no unmasking requests that could have been made for these nonexistent reports?”
McCabe replies, “I think your description is accurate. It’s probably a misnomer to refer to it as a product. It wasn’t an intelligence product as we use that term.”
3. Dan featured a paragraph from the Mueller report which said members of the intel community had been surprised that Russia had not retaliated for the sanctions. And that is when “they became aware of Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak. Previously, the FBI had opened an investigation of Flynn based on his relationship with the Russian government. Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak became a key component of that investigation.”
(Note: The FBI was prepared to close the case against Flynn on January 4.)
How did they obtain information about this call?
So, if it wasn’t a traditional warrant, or an unmasking, could it have been a FISA warrant? It’s possible because there was an active FBI investigation which opened on August 15, 2016. But what if it were none of these things.
You have to ask yourself, do they really have a recording or were they told about it by someone else?
No one seems to be able to find those unmasking requests on or shortly after the Flynn/Kislyak December 29 phone call where the two discussed sanctions.
This is the call the FBI is accusing Flynn of lying about.
How the hell did they unmask a call on December 29 without an unmasking request? And without a recording. No one can seem to find it.” (Andy McCabe is not aware if it even exists.)
How did that happen?
That’s the story.
There’s no unmasking request on Flynn’s phone call. Which means either it was a criminal warrant for a crime that never happened, or a FISA warrant, possibility. They had an open case on Flynn or…
Someone overseas in a massive intelligence black op was feeding the Obama information wiretapped phone calls on an American citizen in absolute violation of intelligence rules to backchannel it.
THERE IS NO UNMASKING REQUEST ON THE 29th. (The next request comes on January 5, the day of the big meeting in the Oval Office.)
Is there any evidence that Obama officials were running a black op with foreign intelligence heads?
(It’s either that or they had a FISA warrant. If they had a FISA warrant, was it based on the dossier?)
He features a CNN article from April 2017 entitled “British intelligence passed Trump associates’ communications with Russians on to US counterparts.”
Washington (CNN)British and other European intelligence agencies intercepted communications between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials and other Russian individuals during the campaign and passed on those communications to their US counterparts, US congressional and law enforcement and US and European intelligence sources tell CNN.
The communications were captured during routine surveillance of Russian officials and other Russians known to western intelligence. British and European intelligence agencies, including GCHQ, the British intelligence agency responsible for communications surveillance, were not proactively targeting members of the Trump team but rather picked up these communications during what’s known as “incidental collection,” these sources tell CNN.
There is a formal intelligence-sharing alliance, the Five Eyes, which includes the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has access to Five Eyes intelligence says there is no Five Eyes intelligence about this call.
So, where is the intelligence that CNN is referring to? There’s no record of it. “Nobody can find it.” Bongino asks if they (foreign intelligence agencies) were spying on Michael Flynn and if so, where is the intelligence?
The answer is – nobody can find it. Was this a black op? Was this a rogue operation run by the upper echelon of the CIA led by John Brennan to use foreign intelligence to spy on U.S. citizens and run it through a back channel to the United States? Is that how they got the transcript?
He explains that if John Brennan were to have run a black ops intelligence operations, then the FBI wouldn’t have seen it either which would have explained Andrew McCabe’s answer above.
In her testimony before Congress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page told lawmakers, “If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did, because the first time we -”
Rep. Mark Meadows tells her, “We do know there are multiple sources.”
Page replies, “I do know that. I do know that the information ultimately found its way [to] lots of different places, certainly in October of 2016. But, if the CIA as early as August, in fact, had those same reports, I am not aware of – I’m not aware of that and nor do I believe they provided them to us and that would be unusual.”
There seems to be a lot of unusualities about this case, no? They’re charging him with lying about a call they claim to have the transcript of, but nobody can seem to locate it. Nobody has a recording. The DOJ won’t attest to using a recording. The DOJ won’t produce the recording to Flynn’s lawyer. When Andy McCabe is asked about the recording of the call that was unmasked where they found Mike Flynn’s name as being on that call, McCabe seems to have no idea what they’re talking about. Page seems to be unaware of how the CIA’s getting its information while CNN is reporting that the Brits are giving information to the Obama Administration about Trump team associates, but nobody can find any formal record of it. Man, isn’t that strange.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson wrote a letter to the Intelligence Community Inspector General on May 6, 2019 which states:
We write today to highlight other information regarding the FBI’s apparent awareness of leaks by other agencies or entities to the media. Specifically, in a December 2016 text message between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page, Strzok told Page:
“Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking in to overdrive.”
Later, in April 2017, Strzok e-mailed FBI colleagues and once again discussed leaks by others to the press. Specifically, with regard to the publication of an article in The Guardian titled, “British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia,” Strzok said:
“I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us. Might explain all these weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some of the leaks.”
“Our sisters” is a reference to the CIA. There are massive unmasking requests in the first half of December. There are also leaks to the media.
Dan clarifies that Flynn was unmasked numerous times, but he does not believe the December 29 Flynn/Kislyak call was unmasked. That information came by other means. He also believes there may have been a FISA on Michael Flynn. They threw the entire kitchen sink at Mike Flynn.
So why not just continue to use this backchannel after the election? Dan tells viewers:
I have on very good authority, VERY good authority, that after the election, our foreign intel partners freaked the %$&^ out…’We just spied on the now incoming President of the United States. What do we do now?’…It all dried up.
But Brennan wasn’t going to give up, nor were his intel people…In December, they start unmasking…listening in on every phone call…pretending they’re targeting foreigners…Look at the dates. Right around the time Strzok figures out that this is what they’re doing. And they’re getting the information and they’re leaking it to the media.”
He features a tweet from Undercover Huber, who follows this story closely.
Flynn unmasking requests ramp up right around the time the Strzok/Page texts start to go “missing” (Dec 14, 2016)
If the IG hadn’t forensically retrieved “some” of them, the gap in texts would have been from then until the day Mueller was appointed Special Counsel (May 17, 2017)
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) May 13, 2020
Dan plays a clip of James Clapper being asked about his unmasking requests. My colleague, Bonchie, posted on this here. Clapper doesn’t recall any of it. In fact, his connection to CNN ends in the middle of his non-answer. He looks utterly ridiculous.
Next, he shows a clip of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Clapper being questioned by Sen. Lindsey Graham asking how the information about the December 29 call was obtained. He asks if they might have used a FISA warrant. The two appear as if they’ve seen a ghost and, of course, do not answer the question.
Graham tells them there are two options. Either there was a FISA warrant or Flynn was incidentally surveilled. Again, Graham and Yates refuse to answer. Yates does say that sometimes the names are already unmasked on intelligence reports.
Dan asks if they had a FISA warrant on Flynn. And why did you use unmaskings after the FISA warrant didn’t work out? Were you working with foreign intelligence to spy on Flynn in violation of U.S. law?
In a Motion to Compel the Production of Brady Material filed on September 11, 2019, Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn’s lead attorney, questions a “letter delivered by the British Embassy to the incoming National Security team after Donald Trump’s election, and to outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice (the letter apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question, and declares him untrustworthy.”
When did Flynn get that letter? Is it because Flynn knows? In December, they know Flynn knows about the dossier.
Flynn probably knows about the intelligence channel overseas. Flynn probably knows about a FISA warrant on him as well or has some inklings of it. And they’re in a panic.
So, they listen in on his calls and leak the contents and the information in there to the media.
Look at the unmasking requests and how they marry up almost perfectly [with media reports].
He takes viewers through each incidence. (This begins at 1:03:00 on the video below.)