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Thread by @prayingmedic: "1) A timeline of events surrounding the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. Thanks to @TheLastRefuge2 & @DaveNYviii for their […]"

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1) A timeline of events surrounding the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign.

Thanks to @TheLastRefuge2 & @DaveNYviii for their work

I'll try to clarify points of confusion found in these discussions.

Our friend @SharylAttkisson's summary is a good place to begin:
2) To begin, it's helpful to understand how and why intelligence agencies are designed the way they are. There are two primary agencies involved in this discussion. They are the Department of Justice and the FBI.
3) The Department of Justice (DOJ) is subdivided into departments. (There are 30 in all.) Examples are Drug Enforcement, Civil Rights, Criminal Enforcement, FBI, Bureau of Prisons, and National Security.
4) The FBI (which is a department of the DOJ) is divided into 6 branches. They are:
Intelligence Branch
National Security Branch (Nat-Sec)
Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
Science and Technology Branch
Information and Technology Branch
Human Resources Branch
5) Note: Both the FBI and DOJ have a National Security Division. This is important. (You'll see why in a minute.)

Each division within an agency has its own ground rules and its own means of oversight.
6) Specifically:
In 2015, Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG) Michael Horowitz asked for approval to conduct oversight over the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
7) Horowitz was blocked by the DOJ from having oversight of the National Security Division. In a lengthy response to the IG’s office, Sally Yates essentially said ‘all DOJ is subject to oversight, except the National Security Division.'
PDF >>…
8) This created a division within the intelligence community that did not have to worry about OIG oversight; a safe place to do unlawful operations if you're afraid of getting caught.
9) The NSA is the primary agency tasked with gathering information for the entire intelligence community. (The CIA has a competing database as well.)

The NSA does 24/7 continuous gathering of intelligence and stores it all.
10) When an agency needs to get intelligence from the NSA database, they must follow prescribed protocols to make the request. These protocols are different depending on the division making the request, the type of investigation being done and the type of target involved.
11) This is where most of the confusion comes in when people talk about terms like:
probable cause
12) In a criminal investigation of a U.S. citizen, suspected of bank fraud, an agent, if he wanted to get phone records, texts or emails would fill out an affidavit showing PROBABLE CAUSE of a crime, He'd submit it to judge and obtain a warrant. Now he can access the NSA database
13) The point being, to obtain intelligence on a U.S. citizen, who is protected by the 4th amendment from unreasonable search and seizure, a warrant is required before surveillance can be done or the NSA database is accessed.
14) When an agency (either FBI or DOJ) wants to obtain intelligence on a foreign citizen, suspected of activity that is potentially harmful, there is no need to show probable cause of a crime. It's not a criminal matter. It's considered a national security matter.
15) National security matters use a different set of rules. Instead of probable cause of a crime, usually, the investigator must show probable cause that the person in question is an agent representing a foreign power and that their activities are a clear and present danger.
16) In most cases, an agent fills out an affidavit and it's authorized by officials in the National Security Branch (FBI) and National Security Division (DOJ). It goes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. If a FISA warrant is issued, the NSA database can be accessed.
17) But there is another way to access the NSA database.
If a counterintelligence or counterterrorism investigation is opened, and if the person in question is believed to pose an immediate threat, the NSA database can be accessed without obtaining a FISA warrant.
18) This is done through what is known as a "query." The query we're concerned with is known as an "about" query which is the # 17 field in the FISA database.

An agent enters a string of characters into the form and if a matching data set is found, a confirmation is given.
19) Once confirmation is received, if the subject of the investigation is thought to be a clear and present danger, the information (raw data) can be viewed immediately, without obtaining a FISA warrant.
20) If, on the other hand, the subject is not considered to be a clear and present danger, the usual process of obtaining a FISA warrant is followed before the data can be viewed.
21) As you can see, there are different pathways one might take to obtain intelligence information, depending on the nature of the investigation, the division you work for and the type of person being investigated.
22) This is at the heart of the discussion between Bob Goodlatte and Chris Wray during their recent hearing. Goodlatte wanted the FBI Director to understand that the committee knew there were inappropriate uses of the warrantless queries being done in non-counterterrorism cases.
23) Goodlatte reiterates that the differences in how intelligence is gathered on U.S. citizens and foreign ones and the distinction between criminal and counterterrorism cases must be observed.
24) With that background:
April of 2016 - the Clinton campaign hired Fusion-GPS and paid for information on candidate Donald Trump. That agreement led to Fusion-GPS hiring sub-contractor Christopher Steele, which eventually led to the creation of the ‘Steele Dossier.'
25) We learned a few days ago, that Steele Dossier’ was used as part of the basis for the DOJ and FBI to seek FISA Court Approvals to monitor the communications of the Trump campaign.…
26) April 10, 2016: President Obama stated publicly that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server but insisted there was no intent to endanger national security, beginning the narrative that her actions were not criminal in nature.
27) Sometime in early 2016 (we don't know exactly when) NSA Director Admiral Rogers was alerted to unauthorized FISA 702 database "About" (#17) queries.

(We know of this from a declassified FISA court ruling concerning those queries.)
Full PDF >…
28) After Rogers discovered the FISA 702 “About Query” problems, he launched a full FISA-702 compliance review.

Sundance has the backstory here:…
29) Admiral Rogers explains the process in this interview. He noted that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowed NSA to continue using 702 items up to and including #16, but not #17.
30) While the NSA compliance review was in the works, Christopher Steele was assembling his dossier on the Trump team (May-October 2016)
31) March 28, 2016 - Paul Manafort, a well-known lobbyist for Russian and Ukranian companies is named Trump's campaign chairman.
32) April 18, 2016, (FISA Court doc) FBI allowed raw Section 702 intelligence to be given to "private contractors" that were not properly supervised for compliance minimization procedures.”

Is this what tipped Rogers off to the unauthorized "about queries?"
33) Note the date (above) – As soon as the FBI realized Admiral Rogers was looking at the about queries, the FBI discontinued allowing their sub-contractor access to the raw FISA information. Effective April 18th, 2016.
34) April 19th, 2016, the day after the FBI stopped allowing access to the FISA database, the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary B Jacoby, went to the White House.

Link to White house logs:
35) Recap: After months of opposition research, including possibly accessing the FISA-702 database as a sub-contractor for the FBI, the wife of Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS), Mary B. Jacoby, with years of Russia-angled reporting –including on Donald Trump– visits the White House.
36) What plan came from that April 19th, 2016 White House meeting?
How did Mary Jacoby and Glenn Simpson propose to use the information they had gathered on Trump's team?
Who would benefit from the information?
And how would they diseminate it?
37) Glenn Simpson and Mary Jacoby (Fusion-GPS) hire Nellie Ohr.

38) DOJ Deputy AG Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr had a prior working relationship with Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Together they worked on a collaborative CIA Open Source group project involving International Organized Crime.
39) The Clinton campaign via Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS (April 2016).
Fusion sub-contracted retired British MI6 agent Christopher Steele to write the opposition research report “The Trump Russia Dossier”
And they hire a former intelligence community colleague, Nellie Ohr.
40) Everyone has their expertise.
Nellie Ohr is a subject matter expert on Russia, speaks Russian, and is well versed in CIA operations. She would know how to build a counterintelligence narrative & give the appearance of authenticity to events that may have been fabricated.
41) Knowing the NSA was reviewing FISA “Queries,” They may have suspected Rogers was on to them. Open, traceable communication, would be risky. The same FISA-702 surveillance they used to gather information on the Trump campaign, could be used against them.
42) May 23rd 2016, Nellie Ohr applied for a HAM radio license.
Was this a move to communicate within the network in a way that was less likely to be monitored?
43) Our suspicion is that Fusion-GPS assembled information on the Trump team they obtained from the FISA 702 database.

They passed the information to Christopher Steele who added his own information. He turned around and gave the end product back to the FBI.
44) The FBI uses Steele's dossier (which they helped compile) as evidence for continued investigation of team Trump.

This is Peter Strozok's “insurance policy.”
45) June 27, 2016 - Bill Clinton meets Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch in a face-to-face meeting on board her plane at an airport hanger in Phoenix, an environment that eliminated a paper trail and likely avoided NSA electronic metadata collection.
46) Late June, 2016 - Peter Strzok contacts Christopher Steele and receives a preliminary draft of the Steele dossier.

Using the dossier as evidence, Justice Dept. seeks a FISA warrant to gather intel on Donald Trump, Carter Page, Paul Manafort.

FISA court denies the request.
47) July 5, 2016 - James Comey, usurping the authority of the Justice Department, holds a press conference, stating that Hillary Clinton and staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," but does not recommend prosecution.
48) October 15, 2016 - DOJ rewrites a narrower request to FISA court omitting Trump. Warrant requested to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.” FISA court (allegedly) approved the request.
49) October 20, 2016, Admiral Rogers is briefed by the NSA compliance officer concerning the compliance review and the FISA 702 "about queries."
50) October 26, 2016, -Admiral Rogers informed the FISA Court of numerous unauthorized FISA-702 (17) “About Query” violations.

As a result, all FISA-702 (17) “about queries” are permanently halted. They are no longer permitted.
51) Mid-late October, 2016 - Realizing Admiral Rogers is a potential threat to their plans, Ash Carter (Pentagon) and James Clapper (DNI) express concerns about Admiral Rogers to President Obama and recommend he be replaced.
52) Knowing that just weeks before the election, where people are concerned about illegal spying, the firing of the head of NSA would be a red flag, Obama keeps Rogers in his position.
53) Mid-late October, 2016 - Possibly sensing trouble is afoot concerning the weaponization of his department, John Carlin, head of DOJ National Security Division resigns.
54) October 28, 2016 - 5 weeks earlier (Sep 21) FBI New York field office received Anthony Weiner's laptop which had additional emails to and from Hillary Clinton. No one told Comey. Fearing he would be accused of a coverup, he reopened the investigation.
55) October 29-31, 2016 - Clinton's lead in the polls begins to wane forcing her to leak classified information about Russian connections and Trump Tower on social media.
56) October 31, 2016 - New York Times publishes a story with the headline, "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link To Russia"
57) October 31, 2016 - The Steele dossier appears in Mother Jones magazine.
58) November 7, 2016. - Louise Mensch (of Heat Street) reports "two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community" confirmed that the FBI was granted a FISA court warrant in October.
59) Given that there is currently no solid evidence proving that a FISA warrant was ever obtained on team Trump, there is speculation that the story by Mensch may have been a cover story to provide a plausible explanation for the previous (unauthorized) surveillance.
60) November 8, 2016 - Donald Trump elected president.
61) November 11, 2016, Devin Nunes announces he has joined the Trump transition team.…
62) November 17, 2016 - NSA Director Mike Rogers makes an unscheduled trip to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Trump without notifying the White House or his boss James Clapper.

Soon after, Carter & Clapper renew their call to have Rodgers replaced.
63) Speculation:
Did Rogers tell the Trump team about the surveillance they had been under by the Obama administration?

Did Rogers set up a SCIF in Trump tower to facilitate the sharing of intelligence?
64) November 18, 2018 - The day after the Admiral's visit, the entire Trump transition team moves their operation to a Trump golf course in Bedminster, NJ.
65) December 15, 2016 - DNI Clapper signs off on NSA directive for new rules of circulating raw intelligence. Entities that have been unmasked may now be given directly to requesting agencies.
66) December 16, 2016 - Inspector General Empowerment Act signed into law giving the OIG access to all information that a target agency possesses, reversing Obama administration's resistance to IG investigations. (DOJ National Security no longer has immunity.)
67) Recent changes:
FISA 702 expires Jan 19. The House has passed a reauthorization. The Senate will vote on it next. It's likely to be reauthorized.
68) Although the FISA 702 act will probably be reauthorized, its past abuse has already created changes. Admiral Rogers permanently shut down the #17 "about queries" that do not require a warrant.

That by itself is a huge win.
69) President Trump issued a memo to his Director of National Intelligence, requiring him to ask every intelligence agency to create a comprehensive plan detailing how they will respond to intelligence requests on U.S. citizens.
70) I believe the President, after being the victim of abuse of the intelligence apparatus, has put in place the necessary safeguards to assure our 4th amendment rights are not going to be abused while allowing us to detect & neutralize legitimate threats to national security.
Hey, @threadreaderapp can you unroll this for me?
If you're interested in learning more, here's a declassified copy of the NSA training on FISA 702 use.
These explanations may help:

FISA – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
702 – An American caught up in the process of Foreign Surveillance
(16) – A search query based on “TO” and “FROM”
(17) – A search query based on “ABOUT”
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