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Politics Showtime’s The Comey Rule badly distorts Crossfire Hurricane investigation

02:20  29 september  2020
02:20  29 september  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Crossfire Hurricane was the code name for the counterintelligence investigation undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

William Barr pushed back Wednesday on James Comey ’ s assertion that he had no knowledge of the “particulars” of the FBI’ s infamous Crossfire Hurricane During an interview Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Comey attributed the FBI’ s errors in the FISA process detailed by DOJ inspector

Showtime’s miniseries The Comey Rule, based on James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty memoir, plays loose with the facts, botches key timelines, and fabricates nefarious conversations as it tells the fired FBI director's version of how the Trump-Russia saga began.

a man and a woman standing in front of a store © Provided by Washington Examiner

The two-part drama, with an episode which aired Sunday and another on Monday, featuring Dumb and Dumber’s Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as President Trump, is filled with a host of errors that distort what really happened as the Russians sought to meddle in the 2016 election and as the FBI launched an investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion.

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Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI' s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation is a report by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General which was released on December 9, 2019 by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

Watching The Comey Rule , Showtime ’ s two-part limited series (premiering tonight) about former FBI Director Jim Comey ’s rocky four-year tenure straddling the Obama and Trump administrations, is in some ways like stepping into a distant period piece. In the opening minutes, we meet Comey on the

Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn

The show depicts a sinister (and fabricated) meeting inside a Russian palace between Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Putin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov in Moscow in December 2015 prior to a Russia Today gala that Flynn attended. Ivanov introduces Flynn and Putin, with Flynn saying, “I very much appreciate the invitation, Mr. President, and the courtesy of this visit.” Ivanov tells Putin that “Gen. Flynn serves as an adviser to the campaign of Donald Trump.” Putin replies that Trump is “a colorful and talented man,” and Flynn agrees, then telling Putin: "I understand you’re not a fan of our current president, Mr. Obama,” and laughs, adding, “neither am I.” Putin laughs too. Ivanov then tells Flynn that he will be sitting with future Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein at the gala. Flynn says, “Well, I guess that pretty much sums up how you folks feel about Secretary Clinton.” Putin and Flynn then walk to the gala together.

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Crossfire Hurricane also shines a light on Devin Nunes and the battle over Trump within the House intelligence committee, which can be The book also grapples with Comey ’ s conduct of the Clinton investigation , recording voices critical of the press conference in which he announced that Clinton

Operation " Crossfire Hurricane " began approximately 100 days before the 2016 presidential election. To the public, the words were simply lyrics from a Days before the election, Comey reversed course, announcing that the bureau would renew the investigation — a move Clinton believes cost her the

There is no evidence this conversation ever occurred, and at that time, Flynn was not even a member of Trump’s campaign, which he did not join until February 2016. Flynn did attend the RT gala in 2015, but Flynn has insisted that he and Putin merely exchanged a few pleasantries at their table and nothing more. Records released by House Democrats in 2017 indicate Flynn was paid $33,750 plus expenses by RT. Flynn wrote in a December 2015 email that “I had an interesting trip to Moscow (I did meet with Putin),” according to House Oversight records released in 2019. Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, said last year: “Special counsel investigated all of this. There's nothing there. It's just renewed efforts by the Democrats to smear a great man. Please also recall that he was briefed and debriefed by DIA before and after his trip.”

a man and a woman standing in front of a store: This image provided by Showtime shows Holly Hunter, left, as Sally Yates and Jeff Daniels as James Comey in a scene from © Provided by Washington Examiner This image provided by Showtime shows Holly Hunter, left, as Sally Yates and Jeff Daniels as James Comey in a scene from "The Comey Rule." Hunter plays former federal prosecutor Sally Yates in Showtime’s two-part drama, debuting Sunday and Monday, Sept. 27 and 28. (Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS Television Studios/Showtime via AP) Ben Mark Holzberg/AP

The DNC Hack and John Podesta’s Emails

'The Comey Rule': See Brendan Gleason as Donald Trump and More

  'The Comey Rule': See Brendan Gleason as Donald Trump and More Gleeson and Jeff Daniels lead a stacked cast in a Showtime dramatization of James Comey's 2018 memoir, "A Higher Loyalty."Based on James Comey's 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty, the two-night special focuses on Comey's work on two extremely controversial cases: "Midyear Exam," the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails while she was serving as Secretary of State, and "Crossfire Hurricane," which focused on Russia's ongoing attempts to derail the 2016 presidential election.

To get up to speed quickly on investigative journalist George Webb' s investigation of the DNC and their covert communications with encrypted Blackberries

The Crossfire Hurricane investigation came up empty. Trump was elected, but the conspiracy’ s leaders didn’t give up. We know, from Comey ’ s own words, that he wrote memos of at least two meetings with Trump and then gave them to a friend intending them to be leaked to the New York

An alleged conversation between Comey and now-fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe muddles the timeline related to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. In a scene that appears to be at the FBI sometime in March 2016, McCabe tells Comey: “There’s been a cyber breach of the Democratic National Committee. Looks like the hack went all the way up to Podesta … The malware led us to a string of code we’ve seen before emanating from Russia.”

Robert Mueller’s special counsel report states that Russian military intelligence began targeting the Clinton campaign with spearphishing emails in March 2016, including a successful spearphishing operation against Podesta. But the FBI would not be informed of those until many weeks later. The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike publicly accused Russia of hacking the DNC in June 2016, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of emails on July 22, 2016, and the FBI announced an investigation on July 25, 2016.

George Papadopoulos

The next scene jumps to Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer talking in a bar, with the show saying this was “Eight Months Before Election Day,” meaning March 2016, but Papadopolous and Downer had their infamous Kensington Wine Rooms conversation in May 2016, not March 2016. The show depicts FBI counterintelligence official Bill Priestap making the same mistake during an August FBI briefing, claiming that “we just learned that in March [2016], Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that the Russian government had dirt in the form of emails on Secretary Clinton and had offered it to the Trump team.” In reality, Papadopoulos had conversations with mysterious Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, whom the Trump campaign adviser claimed told him the Russians had damaging information on Clinton in April 2016 and spoke with Downer the next month. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements about his communications with Mifsud.

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Crossfire Hurricane began exactly 100 days before the presidential election Comey was briefed regularly on the Russia investigation , but one official said those briefings The result, though, is that Comey broke with both policy and tradition in Clinton’ s case, but hewed closely to the rules for Trump.

This means Crossfire Hurricane , the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, was predicated based on gossip, innuendo and rumors related to George Papadopoulos. The information was relayed by Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer. (Judicial Watch) […]

Crossfire Hurricane

Another scene from August 2016 depicts a PowerPoint presentation by Priestap going over the basics of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Comey asks who picks these file names, and McCabe claims they are “randomly generated in CI [counterintelligence].” But Peter Strzok himself actually named “Crossfire Hurricane” after the Rolling Stones song, according to his new book. The show also depicts the code names for Trump-Russia figures but gets them all wrong — Papadopoulos is shown as “Crossfire Earthquake” but was actually Crossfire Typhoon, Trump campaign associate Carter Page is shown as “Crossfire Tsunami” but was likely actually Crossfire Dragon, Flynn is shown as “Crossfire Volcano” but was actually Crossfire Razor, and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was listed as “Crossfire Tornado” but was likely actually Crossfire Fury.

The Dossier

In another scene, Priestap dramatically announces to the Crossfire Hurricane team members that the FBI has received British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s now-discredited dossier and falsely claims that “the original financier of the dossier was a Republican Never Trumper, and the funds to finish the dossier then came from the Democrats.” The conservative-leaning Free Beacon had hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS but said in October 2017 that it “had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”

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In actuality, Steele was not hired by Fusion GPS (and did not begin compiling his dossier) until Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias of Perkins Coie hired the opposition research firm. According to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, Fusion was paid $50,000 per month from Perkins Coie, and Fusion GPS paid Steele $168,000 for his work. Perkins Coie claimed Fusion approached them in March 2016 knowing Perkins Coie represented Clinton.

In the same scene, Priestap claims: “The dossier asserts that Putin began cultivating Trump as an asset more than five years before his entry into politics … They offered their help with future Trump real estate deals within Russia, including a Trump Tower in Moscow.” The dossier did not mention Trump Tower Moscow, and the FBI did not find out about the project until later.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Page and for the bureau's reliance on Steele’s discredited dossier.

Declassified footnotes show the FBI knew Steele's dossier may have been compromised by Russian disinformation. And newly public documents show the FBI had previously investigated Steele’s main source as a possible “threat to national security” due to his connections with Russian intelligence. The same Steele source later cast doubt on the reliability and credibility of Steele’s dossier.

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Anthony Weiner

During a scene at FBI headquarters in mid- to late October 2016, McCabe tells Strzok that the New York field office just called to ask about emails on the laptop belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner. Strzok says he hasn't gotten a new subpoena yet and tells McCabe, “We now know that the laptop contains 347,000 emails.” McCabe laments: “So, we are now 15 days before a presidential election, and we have to go through 347,000 emails to determine if one of the candidates in that election needs to be indicted.”

In reality, FBI agent John Robertson, who worked in the New York office’s child sex crimes unit and was later cited (though not named) in Horowitz’s 2018 report on the Clinton email investigation, noticed “within hours” on Sept. 26, 2016, that there were “over 300,000 emails on the laptop,” including between Clinton and Abedin. The FBI New York Field Office’s William Sweeney was alerted two days later, and key FBI executives such as McCabe were quickly informed by Sweeney. Horowitz’s report concluded that “by no later than September 29, 2016, FBI executives and the FBI Midyear team had learned virtually every fact that was cited by the FBI in late October as justification for obtaining the search warrant for the Weiner laptop.”

Russians in America

The series also has fake scenes where Russian intelligence officers Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy discuss the alleged social media disinformation campaigns they are conducting to help Trump and harm Clinton while hanging out in Washington, D.C., in 2015 and 2016. A problem with this is neither of those Russians has been alleged to have been involved in Russian election interference, and neither was still in the country in late 2015 or 2016.

In reality, the two Russians were named in a 2015 criminal complaint alleging that were members of the Russian Federation's Foreign Intelligence Service and that they had been conspiring against the U.S. on behalf of Russia in Manhattan since at least 2012, and they left the country. Sporyshev and Podobnyy attempted to recruit Page back in 2013, which Page discussed with the FBI.

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U.S. Attorney John Durham’s inquiry has netted one guilty plea so far, from ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty last month to altering a CIA email during the FISA process to claim that Page was “not a source" for the agency.

Sporyshev and Podobnyy were not among the Russians charged in Mueller’s February 2018 indictment against the Internet Research Agency nor his July 2018 indictment against Russian military intelligence officers.

Mueller's team concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion" but “did not establish” any criminal conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

The second half of The Comey Rule airs on Showtime on Monday night.

Tags: News, Russia, James Comey, FBI, Justice Department

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: Showtime’s The Comey Rule badly distorts Crossfire Hurricane investigation

Hurricane Delta slams into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and heads toward the US Gulf Coast .
Leaving Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday, Hurricane Delta is expected to strengthen back into a major storm as it makes its way toward the same area of the US Gulf Coast still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Laura. © CNN Weather Hurricane Delta is taking aim at the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. A hurricane watch was issued for parts of the coast from High Island, Texas, eastward to Grand Isle, Louisiana, and a storm surge watch is in effect from High Island to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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