‘Ceausescu’s ghost haunting my adoptive country’
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, behind the right shoulder of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu
A former Soviet-bloc spy chief who famously defected to the United States during the Cold War says the effort by the Democratic Party during the 2016 election to distribute a bogus anti-Trump “dossier” filled with Russian propaganda and use it to obtain a warrant to spy on the opposition campaign is reminiscent of disinformation operations he was asked to carry out for his boss, dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu.
“They say that history repeats itself. If you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing a re-enactment with your own eyes,” wrote Ion Mihai Pacepa in a column for PJ Media.
Pacepa was referring to the memo released one week ago by the Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee summarizing evidence that President Obama’s FBI and Justice Department presented to a top-secret intelligence court the dubious opposition-research dossier written by discredited former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, without specifying to the court its origin.
Pacepa, after his change of heart and spectacular defection in 1978, provided invaluable intelligence to the CIA, working with the agency on various plots against the Eastern bloc. In response, the Ceausescu regime served two death sentences on him. The dictator created a special Securitate unit staffed with about 1,000 officers and given the single task of assassinating Pacepa in the United States.
Pacepa told WND in a December 2016 interview that the Soviet Union’s massive intelligence apparatus, like the Romanian service he headed, was focused less on spying and more on activities such as rewriting history, manufacturing false documents, defaming noble people and planting anti-American disinformation in the liberal Western news media.
No. 3 at Justice resigning
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Friday that the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, Rachel L. Brand, plans to step down after nine months on the job.
Brand, who became the associate attorney general in May 2017, is next in line of succession to the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election.
Rosenstein, who opposed release of the majority House Intelligence Committee memo, approved the applications to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Trump was asked by reporters after the release of the memo if the new information would increase the likelihood he would fire Rosenstein.
“You figure that one out,” he said.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., have written a 10-page rebuttal of the Republican memo. The committee voted Monday to release it, and it is under a security review by the White House. It was expected to be released Friday, but the White House said Friday evening that it needs to be heavily redacted.
On Saturday Trump tweeted: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”
The House of Representatives could vote to release the memo despite Trump’s actions.
Fox News reported Thursday Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into alleged collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia, sought access to the dossier author, Steele, through a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch, Adam Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton.
Text messages exchanged with Waldman indicate Warner was intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop. Warner wrote in one text that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.
Nunes seeking more evidence
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is now seeking transcripts from the foreign-intelligence, or FISA, court regarding the application for a warrant to spy on Page in October 2016, according to a congressional letter obtained by Fox News
Nunes told Rosemary M. Collyer, the presiding judge at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that his committee “found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information that formed a substantial part of the FISA application, misled the [court] regarding dissemination of this information, and failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.”
A source close to the matter told Fox News the FBI and Justice Department knew when the FISA application was made that the dossier was funded by the DNC and Clinton campaign but undertook considerable effort to hide that fact, calling it merely a political document.
The intelligence committee is asking the court to respond by Feb. 16.
Nunes also is considering speaking with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts about the surveillance abuse by the FBI and the Justice Department, reports One America News.
Roberts is in charge of appointing judges to the FISA court.
The House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FISA abuse said officials may have committed Fourth Amendment violations by seeking court warrants based on false evidence.
“Our next step with the courts is to make them aware, if they’re not aware already, that this happened by watching the news, so we will be sending a letter to the court,” said Nunes.
Nunes said he may ask both the Supreme Court and the Surveillance Court for testimony before his committee.
Concern about the FBI making “material misrepresentations” to obtain a spy warrant in the FISA court was expressed by Peter Strzok in a newly released text message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the Daily Caller reported.
While the exchange occurred Oct. 16, 2015, well before Strzok was appointed to lead the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign, it sheds light on the FISA process, the Daily Caller noted.
Strzok appears to be criticizing another government official who he claimed bungled an investigation that eventually was closed because of the material misrepresentations.
He was working on the Hillary Clinton email investigation at the time of the texts. The following July he began overseeing the Russia investigation.
‘Just how deeply did Clinton get involved?’
Investor’s Business Daily raised questions about Hillary Clinton’s role in the intelligence-abuse scandal, commenting that “it now looks as if the FBI’s ‘Russian collusion’ case was based almost entirely on information doled out by Hillary Clinton operatives and a foreign spy, Steele, who was paid by Clinton and the Democratic Party and who had openly expressed an intense loathing of Donald Trump.”
WND reported earlier this week the existence of a coordinated effort by Hillary Clinton allies and the Obama administration to purvey damaging information about the Trump campaign is confirmed in another memo regarding the FISA abuse, released Monday by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
The memo, which refers the former British agent Steele for prosecution, provides details about a previously undisclosed second dossier that Steele wrote.
Steele’s second dossier, according to the Grassley memo, included dirt on Trump that originated with a foreign source who fed information to an ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave it to the Obama State Department. Steele obtained the information from the State Department source.
The unnamed Clinton associates are believed to be Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal, who are known for carrying out dirty-tricks campaigns for the Clintons.
The big question, IBD asked, is “just how deeply did Clinton get involved in pushing a politicized investigation whose increasingly clear intent was to take down, first, a major political foe, and, second, a sitting president?”
IBD noted that Clinton Hillary avoided charges in the FBI’s investigation of her mishandling of classified information through an email server “largely due to favorable handling by the FBI and by prejudicial remarks made by President Obama.”
“Will she be charged with crimes this time if her direct involvement is further corroborated by facts, testimony and emails?”