Doing the work that the mainstream media won’t do, the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross has compiled a useful timeline bearing on what I have been calling the Trump Dossier. Our friendly former FBI Special Agent with two decades of experience in counterintelligence provides related background on the Attorney General Guidelines for National Security Investigations and Foreign Intelligence Collection. “Without an understanding of them,” he says, “it is impossible to understand the import of what happened and what the investigators are looking at and for.” He explains:
The basic distinction in the AG Guidelines is between Preliminary Inquiry (PI) and Full Investigation (FI). There are some other distinctions, but PI/FI governs pretty much everything. The importance of the distinction is twofold:
1. The predication for each is different–there’s a lower threshold for a PI and a higher threshold for an FI, or perhaps it would be better to say that the predication for a FI requires more specificity.
2. The Guidelines specify what investigative techniques can be used for PI/FI. They are different.
The significance is that FISA techniques can only be used under a FI. Therefore, it’s not possible to take advantage of the low threshold for PI in order to abuse FISA–you must satisfy the requirements for a FI.
The point is that it’s not so easy to invent specific and articulable facts of this sort–especially when you’re talking about a presidential candidate. If you put that in the context here, you’ll see how troubling all this “dossier” stuff is. You’ll also see why I keep saying that they “needed” a FI. Nothing else would give them what they really wanted: putatively legal access to Trump communications.
From all this you can see why I say that the FISA applications are a sort of Holy Grail. Only by reading those can we see how the FIs were justified, and whether they relied on material provided by Steele, whether directly to the FBI or through Fusion GPS. And at that point we can also judge the truthfulness of the representations that were sworn to in those applications. I don’t say it’s a slam dunk, but that’s another reason to haul the people below Comey before Congressional committees–to find out how those things were evaluated, formulated, etc.
All this that we’ve been discussing explains why the Department of Justice and the FBI simply ignored oversight reporting requirements. Comey admitted that he’d been running a FI investigation for nine months without notifying Congress — which is supposed to be done on a quarterly basis. Right, because neither he nor Lynch nor anyone else in the Obama administration would want GOP Congressmen reading what passed for predication for FIs and FISAs targeting Trump (no matter who the named subject might be). That might have led to awkward questions! Like, Waitaminute, how do you know Trump’s a Russian agent, and who told you that?