The right wing is passing around a timeline as “proof!” that Devin Nunes’s FISA memo is correct and that Obama should be convicted for treason because of it. Here’s the timeline, and then below we debunk the main lies and inaccuracies in this timeline:
1. The DNC believes the only threat to a Clinton presidency is Bernie Sanders.
2. The DNC rigs the Democratic Primary Election against Sanders.
3. Trump gains popular support, has large rallies, emerges as probable Republican nominee. Clinton becomes concerned.
4. June 27, 2016, Bill Clinton meets in secret with AG Loretta Lynch at Phoenix Airport.
5. July 2016, Obama administration seeks FISA court surveillance of Trump, his family, his transition team, and associates using the pretext that normal pre-election contacts between the Trump transition team and other nations is suspicious.
6. The Court reviews the application and denies it.
7. Donna Brazil advances Clinton presidential debate questions on at least one occasion
8. The DNC, Obama Administration, and HRC need more probable cause to return before the FISA Court.
9. The DNC and HRC through their law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS pay Trump hating former British MI6 agent and active FBI informant Christopher Steele to come up with dirt on Trump.
10. In September, 2016 Steele begins “secretly” meeting with the mainstream media to propagate the story of Trump/Russian election collusion with the approval of the DNC/HRC.
11. On October 7, 2016, the mainstream media releases a taped conversation about Trump talking about grabbing pussy.
12. Between June and December 2016, Steele fabricates the “Trump Dossier” in segments which the FBI calls “Salacious and Unverified,” Steele is labeled as a fraud and further terminated as an FBI informant for having meetings with the press.
13. Despite Steele being labeled an “unreliable source” by the FBI, he maintains contact with Assistant Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr (and others at the FBI). Ohr’s wife Nellie, like Steele, is being paid with DNC/HRC money by Fusion GPS to “investigate” Trump.
14. On October 21, 2016, the FBI uses the Trump Dossier as probable cause to get a 90 day Federal (FISA) Court Order to wiretap Trump. The FBI renews the order 3 times over the course of the next 270 days despite Steele’s known lack of credibility, his personal animus and political agenda, without confirming the substance of the report, and knowing that it had been purchased by the DNC and Clinton campaign.
15. The FBI fails all 4 times to inform the Federal Judges who issued the FISA orders that the probable cause being presented was unverified, came from a discredited source, came from a source with personal animus and a political motivation, or had been purchased by the DNC and Clinton campaign.
16. FBI Director Comey signed and swore before the Federal Court that the probable cause presented to wiretap Trump was true on 3 occasions. Deputy Director McCabe did so once on behalf of the FBI.
17. Deputy Director McCabe was the chief investigator of the HRC e-mail scandal. McCabe’s wife, Jill, had received a $700,000 “donation” from the HRC in a failed run for a Virginia senate seat in 2015.
18. Deputy Attorney Generals for the DOJ Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein each signed and swore before the Federal Court that the probable cause presented to wiretap Trump was true at least once.
19. Trump wins the General Election.
20. On December 29, 2016, Obama tries to give the ruse of Russian election interference credibility by expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the US.
21. Obama changes Executive Order 12333 to allow more agencies to have access to surveillance data.
22. In January 2017, the House Intelligence Committee announces its investigation into Russian election interference and cyber attacks.
23. On January 10, 2017, the Trump Dossier is leaked to the press.
24. On January 20, 2017, Trump takes office.
25. On January 30, 2017, Acting AG Yates is fired by Trump for refusing to obey a lawful executive order on immigration.
26. On May 9, 2017, Trump fires Comey for obstructing the HRC e-mail investigation.
27. On May 16, 2017, former FBI director Robert Mueller interviews with Trump for reappointment as FBI Director.
28. On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former Obama FBI Director and Comey confidant Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.
29. In July 2017, lead FBI Agent Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller team after text messages between Strzok and his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, reveal strong HRC sentiments and deep-seated bias toward Trump, the orchestration of leaks to the media, and a possible conspiracy, or “secret society” of McCabe and top FBI officials gathered to fix the 2016 election and later, impeach Trump.
30. Strzok was a lead investigator in the HRC e-mail scandal.
31. Mueller fails to inform Congress of the Strzok/Page matter.
32. On December 3, 2017, Congress threatens to hold Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress after months of refusing to produce records to the House Intelligence Committee investigating FBI/DOJ corruption associated with the Trump Dossier.
33. On December 7, 2017, it is revealed Mueller team member attorney Jeannie Rhee defended the Clinton Foundation in 2015 against a racketeering lawsuit brought by Freedom Watch, and personally represented Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a lawsuit seeking access to her private emails.
34. On December 13, 2017, a portion of the Strzok/Page texts are released, but the FBI claims that 5 months of key text messages were lost due to a computer glitch. The IG recovers them in 2 days.
35. On December 22, 2017. McCabe testifies under oath to Congress that the FISA warrants used to wiretap Trump never would have been possible without the fake Trump Dossier.
36. The HIC makes public that it has summarized its investigation to date in a 4 page memo form. Stiff resistance to its release is raised by Democrats and the FBI.
37. On January 28, 2018, FBI director Wray and Agents from the bureau’s counterintelligence division and legal division review the Memo and cannot point to any factual inaccuracies.
38. McCabe promptly steps down.
39. On February 2, 2018, the 4 page “FISA” Memo is released.
A few problems with the timeline:
1. The FBI had a FISA warrant against Paul Manafort in 2014. This is long prior to the Trump campaign even existing.
2. Fusion GPS was first hired by Senator Rubio during the primary.
3. George Papadopoulos was under surveillance prior to the issuance of the FISA warrant against Page.
4. Steele’s relationship with the FBI was ended due to his disclosure of the relationship to the media, and not because he was unreliable.
5. We do not have a copy of the FISA application, (and we shouldn’t) making it impossible to say what was or was not disclosed to the court about Mr. Steele.
6. Carter Page first came under investigation for his contacts with Russian agents in 2013. The FISA warrant wasn’t issued against him until a month after he left the Trump campaign.
7. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct 5, 2017 at which time he would have begun cooperating with the DoJ, further substantiating the possibility that information from a source other than the Steele dossier could have served as the basis for the FISA warrant against Mr. Page.
8. The Nunes’s memo misrepresents McCabe’s testimony to Congress. He did not say the wiretap would never have been issued without the dossier.
It remains unknown whether the President himself or members of his campaign “colluded” or otherwise acted illegally with regards to contacts with Russian agents. We do know that multiple individuals in the campaign acted as unregistered agents said of foreign powers.
From the New York Times: “Russian intelligence operatives tried in 2013 to recruit an American businessman and eventual foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign who is now part of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia’s interference into the American election, according to federal court documents and a statement issued by the businessman. The businessman, Carter Page, met with one of three Russians who were eventually charged with being undeclared officers with Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the S.V.R. The F.B.I. interviewed Mr. Page in 2013 as part of an investigation into the spy ring, but decided that he had not known the man was a spy, and the bureau never accused Mr. Page of wrongdoing.”
The investigation of the Trump campaigns connections to Russia did not rely on the Steele dossier exclusively. There were at least two independent basis for the investigation. The first was Manafort’s relationship with Russia which was already underway in 2014. The second was Mr. Papadopoulos’ contacts with Russian operatives.
Either one or both of these investigations could have provided independent corroboration of some or all of the contents of the Steele dossier
(with thanks to Jeffrey Schilling for help on the rebuttal)