08.06.2020 0

Yates says Comey had the FBI ambush Michael Flynn in the White House ‘unilaterally,’ was unaware Steele sub-source folded on Trump-Russia allegations in Jan. 2017

By Robert Romano

“I didn’t authorize that interview because I wasn’t told about it in advance… I was upset that Director Comey didn’t coordinate that with us and acted unilaterally.”

That was former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, telling Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in Aug. 5 testimony that former FBI Director James Comey did not clear with the Justice Department his plan to send FBI agents to interrogate then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 four days after President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

“Did Comey go rogue?” Senator Graham asked Yates.

“You could use that term, yes,” Yates responded, explaining later in her testimony, “Director Comey was part of the Department of Justice and I expect him to tell me about that…”

Comey kept the then-Acting Attorney General Yates in the dark about something that by all accounts was a serious breach of protocol — an attempt to entrap the President’s top foreign policy advisor to take out the President. The agents questioned Flynn on what turns out were routine discussions with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the presidential transition.

Yates was apparently also in the dark about the FBI’s separate Jan. 24, 2017 interview of the primary source used by former British spy Christopher Steele in drafting the dossier falsely alleging President Donald Trump was a Russian agent and that the Trump campaign knowingly assisted Russia in hacking the Democratic National Committee and putting its emails on Wikileaks.

The source ended up contradicting Steele’s allegations in the Jan. 2017 interview, leaving the FBI with no real witnesses of Trump’s supposed treason. According to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ Dec. 2019 report on FISA abuses in the Trump-Russia probe, “the Primary Sub-source made statements during his/her January 2017 FBI interview that were inconsistent with multiple sections of the Steele reports, including some that were relied upon in the FISA applications. Among other things, regarding the allegations attributed to Person 1, the Primary Sub-source’s account of these communications, if true, was not consistent with and, in fact, contradicted the allegations of a ‘well-developed conspiracy’…”

But Yates was apparently never informed of the sub-source interview, and told Graham she did not learn about the inconsistencies in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications until she read the Horowitz report almost three years later.


 

Yates was fired on Jan. 30, 2017 by President Trump. She signed the FISA warrant applications against former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016 and Jan. 12, 2017, which gave the FBI unprecedented access to the campaign, the presidential transition and finally the Trump administration’s phone calls, text message, emails and other documents.

As the top Justice Department official who signed the FISA warrant applications, more than anyone she was responsible for the spying on the Trump campaign. In questioning from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) she remarkably claimed she didn’t know the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign had paid for the Steele dossier even though the warrant applications intimated “The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.”

She told Graham had she known then what she knows now, she wouldn’t have signed the FISA warrant applications: “if I had known that it contained incorrect information, I certainly wouldn’t have signed it.”

Yates added, “I believe the Department of Justice and the FBI have a duty of candor with the FISA court that was not met… I know that now based on the Horowitz report” which she said she “certainly was shocked” by.

Both of these Jan. 24 interviews by the FBI of Flynn and Steele’s primary source were of critical importance not only to the investigation, but of the Justice Department’s position in the executive branch under President Trump.

The FBI under Comey was carrying on a top secret investigation of the White House that not even the Acting Attorney General was fully aware of, and then when the investigation turned up exculpatory evidence calling the whole enterprise into question, the Acting Attorney General was not briefed. Nor was the Justice Department was fully advised. And then the exculpatory evidence was hidden from the FISA court as the department went on to request two more FISA warrant renewals on April 7, 2017 and June 29, 2017.

Comey would go on to later excuse himself for not disclosing the Steele sub-source interview, telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace, telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Dec. 15, 2019: “that doesn’t drive a conclusion that Steele’s reporting is bunk. I mean, there’s a number of tricky things to that. First, you’re interviewing the sub-source after all of the reporting has become public. And so, as a counterintelligence investigator, you have to think, ‘Is he walking away from it because it’s now public?’… This is when it blew up, when it was published by whatever the outfit is — BuzzFeed. It was all over the news and had become a big deal.”

But Comey says he didn’t know either that Steele had been contradicted by the primary sub-source: “As the director, you’re not kept informed on the details of an investigation. So, no, in general, I didn’t know what they’d learned from the sub-source. I didn’t know the particulars of the investigation.”

Taken at face value, even as unbelievable as it appears, if both Yates and Comey are telling the truth, then neither of them knew the Justice Department’s case against Trump had fallen apart four days into his presidency based on the Steele sub-source interview, and neither did the FISA court.

This wasn’t an investigation of gang members or the mob. They were investigating the President of the United States, for crying out loud. If true, then the agents under Comey’s command had gone rogue and were covering up vital information — as unbelievable as that sounds.

Probable cause under the Fourth Amendment is a joke. Nobody responsible for overseeing the surveillance of U.S. citizens or even the President verifies the most important allegations. Not the Justice Department. Not the FBI. And not the FISA court.

At least if Yates or Comey knew about the exculpatory information but simply declined out of corruption to tell the FISA court, that’s corruption that could potentially be charged. But if the overseers themselves were unaware of the details of an investigation into the President, then the system itself is broke.

If true, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is supposed to assist the President in his duties to combat enemies of the U.S. foreign and domestic with the gathering of intelligence, should be abolished immediately.

It offers no protection not even to the President from rogue agents motivated by politics or power in their attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2016 election with false allegations of treason and subvert the will of the American people. The apple has fallen very far from the tree of liberty — and it is rotten to the core.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Copyright © 2008-2020 Americans for Limited Government