Dan Bongino Explains Why the Unmaskings Left Little or No Paper Trail

 

Everytime I watch a Dan Bongino podcast, I learn something new about Spygate. I hear information that I find nowhere else and I spend hours everyday reading/watching the news. Recently, Bongino interviewed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) whose investigative work, particularly in 2018, (along with that of John Solomon and Bongino) did so much to uncover the activities of the FBI in 2016. During the interview, Nunes said that, at a certain point during their investigation, he and his team began to track Bongino because they couldn’t believe the information he managed to obtain. Nunes said his team would receive classified information and Bongino would be simultaneously telling his listeners the same thing.

Anyway, recently the New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney John Durham has turned his attention to former CIA Director John Brennan. Durham has requested Brennan’s communications records from the CIA and is said to be looking into various testimony he has given – possibly searching for discrepancies.

In a podcast last week, Bongino addressed a rarely covered – and little understood – aspect of the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Trump campaign. Specifically, how did they manage to pull off this spying operation without leaving a paper trail?

Bongino begins by referencing an article published in April 2017, by The Daily Caller’s Richard Pollock entitled, “Former U.S. Attorney: Susan Rice Ordered Spy Agencies to Produce ‘Detailed Spreadsheets.'” Apparently Rice, who was Obama’s National Security Advisor, ordered the National Security Council to produce detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls between candidate Donald Trump and his campaign aides. According to Pollock, this information, including unmasked names, was then distributed to, wait for it, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as well as to other officials at the National Security Council and the Department of Defense.

Predictably, Rice has denied it, but the story was confirmed by several sources.

Former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova told Pollock, “The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with. In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”

Bongino highlighted the following passage from this article:

Michael Doran, former NSC senior director, told The DCNF Monday that “somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics.” This “was a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in that wall,” he said.

Doran charged that potential serious crimes were undertaken because “this is a leaking of signal intelligence.”

“That’s a felony,” he told The DCNF. “And you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We’re not supposed to be monitoring American citizens.

Rice, as the National Security Advisor, was tasked with providing national security information to the President, not political opposition research. This represents a serious breach of the firewall.

Bongino explains, “There’s a wall. You should not be using the National Security infrastructure to gather political information on your opponents…But if Susan Rice managed to breach that wall, to use the Security Council’s tools, the intelligence community’s tools…how did she manage to do it without leaving a paper trail?… This has been an open question…This is what I think Durham might be looking at.”

He brings up an article written by investigative journalist Lee Smith from March 2018 entitled, “Robert Mueller’s Beltway Cover-up.”

Coincidentally, the owner of the Post also has a major stake in letting Mueller do his work to preserve America’s surveillance and spying complex. In 2013, the same year that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought the paper that broke Watergate for $250 million, Amazon Web Services landed a $600 million deal with the US intelligence community. According to a 2017 Washington Post story, AWS created a “cloud storage service designed to handle classified information for U.S. spy agencies,” including the CIA. The cloud technology was to “usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily.”

And now some intelligence and data experts believe that the CIA cloud is how the Obama administration could have minimized its trail after unmasking US persons. “The NSA database, with its large and ongoing collection of electronic communications, can be accessed through the NSA’s cloud,” says one former senior intelligence official. The NSA can audit it and find out if analysts are violating rules. The NSA does not audit the CIA’s cloud, which is audited by the CIA’s IT people and Amazon Web Services employees who are given security clearances. Says the former official: “There are people in the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Council staff who can move information from the NSA cloud into the CIA cloud. That seems the likeliest scenario to explain how Obama officials first unmasked US persons and then shared information without leaving a trail that could be audited independently, or immediately, at every step. Since unmasking, by itself, is authorized for lawful purposes, it’s the processing and sharing, as with Susan Rice’s spreadsheets, that tell us if the information was being misused.”

Bongino’s analysis:

The NSA had access to the Trump team phone calls, the unmaskings, the Trump team texts, and emails. It stored in this NSA cloud. The NSA cloud was being run by the NSA Director, Mike Rogers, who was, at one time, quite concerned about what was happening with the NSA database. He complained to the FISA Court that there were abuses going on…

Now, we have information that the National Security Council, according to this intelligence official, had the authority to move information from the NSA cloud, which was audited, to the CIA cloud, where it was under the custody of John Brennan.

That could be a big problem if that’s where the spreadsheet information came from that Susan Rice was compiling.

I’m sure there’s a paper trail in the CIA that was probably covered up a bit by John Brennan, but it’s not going to be entirely. There’s always going to be a forensic footprint left behind.

Is that where Susan Rice was getting this information from? And if Susan Rice is getting this information from Brennan or intel people, how did Obama not know?

[This] would explain a whole lot on why there’s no paper trail. And it would explain a whole lot about the lack of whistleblowers in this case. (He is often asked why there were no whistleblowers.)

If the information was transferred from the NSA cloud to the CIA cloud, kept in a sealed bubble of higher-ups loyal only to Brennan, well that would make sense. Nobody other than Brennan and his people had access to it.

(There were no whistleblowers in the FBI either. These cases were taken out of the field offices and brought into headquarters.)