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October 5, 2022 5:18 am

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Ex-FBI Agent: Mar-a-Lago Raid Likely Due to ‘Informant’

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A retired FBI agent told the Daily Mail on Monday that the agency’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was likely the result of a tip from an informant.

Former Special Agent in Charge Michael Tabman said a reported claim Trump is housing classified documents could have come to the FBI through somebody providing “information indicating that these documents are there.”

“I think there was inside information – call it an informant if you want,” Tabman said. “I believe either someone told them something or some other information was stumbled upon, which was kind of conclusive in their minds that they had to go now to get that, or they’re not getting it.”

Tabman, who served within the FBI for 24 years, emphasized that a raid at this level would probably necessitate the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“I believe the Attorney General approved it himself given the sensitivity,” Tabman said, adding that it also could have been delegated to a “deputy attorney general” in order to “avoid perceptions since he is a political appointee.”

If Garland approved the decision through his Justice Department, the proposal would then move to a judge for a final ruling based on proof of probable cause, Tabman said.

Although Tabman does not believe any protocols were broken in the raid of Trump’s Florida home, he noted that he “can’t think of this having happened to a former president.”

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Republican politicians and conservative pundits were quick to condemn the unannounced event by the FBI. That group includes former Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump publicly broke with in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump,” Pence wrote on Twitter.

“Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our system of justice and Attorney General Garland must give a full accounting to the American people as to why this action was taken and he must do so immediately.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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TWEETS BY MIKENOV

mikenov on Twitter: FBI informant at Mar-a-Lago – Google Search google.com/search?q=FBI+i… newsmax.com/newsfront/trum…

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mikenov on Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pledges military training, support for Baltics clbn.us/rNrhi

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pledges military training, support for Baltics clbn.us/rNrhi


mikenov on Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @r_middlehurst: #FBI search of #Trump’s #Florida home was ‘by the book,’ ex-prosecutor says news.sky.com/story/donald-t…

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#FBI search of #Trump’s #Florida home was ‘by the book,’ ex-prosecutor says news.sky.com/story/donald-t…


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Michael Novakhov (mikenov)
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mikenov on Twitter: RT @DrealSherman: @NikkiHaley First he used #Putin to get elected The he used #ukraine to make #HunterBiden look bad Then he used the #pro…

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@NikkiHaley First he used #Putin to get elected
The he used #ukraine to make #HunterBiden look bad
Then he used the #proudBoys to overthrow the government
Just when you think he’s done
#Trump gets the #FBI to put him back on top of the headlines
Genius


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @bulmasan: #FBI #resist #MarALago pic.twitter.com/rkRVa4nzvt

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#FBI #resist #MarALago pic.twitter.com/rkRVa4nzvt



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mikenov on Twitter: RT @SweetPopEye: MSNBC のフランク フィグリウッツィ氏は、「#FBI 捜査官は「襲撃」という言葉を好まない」と述べています。しばらくして、MSNBC は下 3 分の 1 を「捜索令状を執行」するように書き換えます。 #トランプ #DS #DeepState

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MSNBC のフランク フィグリウッツィ氏は、「#FBI 捜査官は「襲撃」という言葉を好まない」と述べています。しばらくして、MSNBC は下 3 分の 1 を「捜索令状を執行」するように書き換えます。 #トランプ #DS #DeepState twitter.com/KayvonAfshari/…

MSNBC’S Frank Figliuzzi says ‘FBI agents do not like the term “raid”‘. Moments later, MSNBC updates their lower third to “executes search warrant” pic.twitter.com/KHCXTzJf6p




1519 likes, 446 retweets


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @SouthwestSky1: A photo of law enforcement doing their JOB – in the face of crazed, brainwashed zealots and idol worshipers. They have a…

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A photo of law enforcement doing their JOB – in the face of crazed, brainwashed zealots and idol worshipers. They have a very selective view of how the process actually works and seem to want special treatment of the criminals in their ranks. #FBIRaid #FBI #SupportFBI pic.twitter.com/unJYzqAjEW



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on Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 2:26pm

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

An Informer Told the FBI What Docs Trump Was Hiding, and Where

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The raid on Mar-a-Lago was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source, one who was able to identify what classified documents former President Trump was still hiding and even the location of those documents, two senior government officials told Newsweek.

The officials, who have direct knowledge of the FBI’s deliberations and were granted anonymity in order to discuss sensitive matters, said the raid of Donald Trump‘s Florida residence was deliberately timed to occur when the former president was away.

FBI decision-makers in Washington and Miami thought that denying the former president a photo opportunity or a platform from which to grandstand (or to attempt to thwart the raid) would lower the profile of the event, says one of the sources, a senior Justice Department official who is a 30-year veteran of the FBI.

The effort to keep the raid low-key failed: instead, it prompted a furious response from GOP leaders and Trump supporters. “What a spectacular backfire,” says the Justice official.

“I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action,” the official says. “They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite.”

Both senior government officials say the raid was scheduled with no political motive, the FBI solely intent on recovering highly classified documents that were illegally removed from the White House.Preparations to conduct such an operation began weeks ago, but in planning the date and time, the FBI Miami Field Office and Washington headquarters were focused on the former president’s scheduled return to Florida from his residences in New York and New Jersey.

“They were seeking to avoid any media circus,” says the second source, a senior intelligence official who was briefed on the investigation and the operation. “So even though everything made sense bureaucratically and the FBI feared that the documents might be destroyed, they also created the very firestorm they sought to avoid, in ignoring the fallout.”

On Monday at about 6 p.m. EST, two dozen FBI agents and technicians showed up at Donald Trump’s Florida home to execute a search warrant to obtain any government-owned documents that might be in the possession of Trump but are required to be delivered to the Archives under the provisions of the 1978 Presidential Records Act. (In response to the Hillary Clinton email scandal, Trump himself signed a law in 2018 that made it a felony to remove and retain classified documents.)

The act establishes that presidential records are the property of the U.S. government and not a president’s private property. Put in place after Watergate to avoid the abuses of the Nixon administration, the law imposes strict penalties for failure to comply. “Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined” $2,000, up to three years in prison or “shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

The act, and concerns about the illegal possession of classified “national defense information” are the bases for the search warrant, according to the two sources. The raid had nothing to do with the January 6 investigation or any other alleged wrongdoing by the former president.

The road to the raid began a year-and-a-half ago, when in the transition from the Trump administration to that of President Joe Biden, there were immediate questions raised by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as to whether the presidential records turned over to the federal agency for historical preservation were complete or not.

In February, Archivist David Ferriero testified before Congress that his agency began talking with Trump’s people right after they left office and that the Trump camp had already returned 15 boxes of documents to the Archives. Ferriero said that in those materials, the Archives discovered items “marked as classified national security information,” unleashing further inquiries as to whether Trump continued to possess classified material.

The basic outlines of the facts surrounding this timeline have been confirmed by the former president. He has previously said that he was returning any official records to the Archives, labeling any confusion in the matter as “an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.” He also claimed the Archives “did not ‘find’ anything” in what he had already been returned, suggesting that there was nothing sensitive. He said the documents had inadvertently shipped to Florida during the six-hour transition period in which his belongings were moved.

According to the Justice Department source, the Archives saw things differently, believing that the former White House was stonewalling and continued to possess unauthorized material. Earlier this year, they asked the Justice Department to investigate.

In late April, the source says, a federal grand jury began deliberating whether there was a violation of the Presidential Records Act or whether President Trump unlawfully possessed national security information. Through the grand jury process, the National Archives provided federal prosecutors with copies of the documents received from former President Trump in January 2022. The grand jury concluded that there had been a violation of the law, according to the Justice Department source.

In the past week, the prosecutor in the case and local Assistant U.S. Attorney went to Florida magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in West Palm Beach to seek approval for the search of Donald Trump’s private residence. The affidavit to obtain the search warrant, the intelligence source says, contained abundant and persuasive detail that Trump continued to possess the relevant records in violation of federal law, and that investigators had sufficient information to prove that those records were located at Mar-a-Lago—including the detail that they were contained in a specific safe in a specific room.

“In order for the investigators to convince the Florida judge to approve such an unprecedented raid, the information had to be solid, which the FBI claimed,” says the intelligence source.

According to experts familiar with FBI practices, Judge Reinhart reviewed the prosecutor’s evidence and asked numerous questions about the sources and the urgency. The judge signed a search warrant allowing the FBI to look for relevant material and the FBI then planned the operation, wanting to conduct the raid while Trump was spending time at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A Secret Service source who spoke on background said the Secret Service director was given advance warning and was later told the specifics of the raid.

Because the Secret Service is still responsible for protecting the former president, his family, and his property, the FBI had to coordinate with the Secret Service to gain access to the grounds.

A convoy of unmarked black SUVs and a Ryder rental truck filled with about three dozen FBI special agents and technicians entered the gates in the early evening. Heavily armed Secret Service agents were also visibly present at the gates. The Palm Beach Police Department was also present at the scene.

The entire operation was conducted relatively stealthily. No FBI people were seen in their iconic blue windbreakers announcing the presence of the Bureau. And though local law enforcement was present, the Palm Beach Police Department was careful to tweet on Tuesday that it “was not aware of the existence of a search warrant nor did our department assist the FBI in the execution of a search warrant.”

According to news media reports, some 10-15 boxes of documents were removed from the premises. Donald Trump said in a statement that the FBI opened his personal safe as part of their search. Trump attorney Lindsey Halligan, who was present during the multi-hour search, says that the FBI targeted three rooms—a bedroom, an office and a storage room. That suggests that the FBI knew specifically where to look.

“This unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” former President Trump said in a statement. He called the raid “prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”

Though Trump and his Republican Party allies are portraying the raid as politically motivated, it is likely the unprecedented nature of the raid on the property of a former president that will have the greatest reverberation. Even Trump’s political rivals have rallied in condemning the FBI.

Former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that “no former President of the United States has ever been subject to a raid of their personal residence in American history.” Mike Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State and CIA director, tweeted that Attorney General Merrick Garland “must explain why 250 yrs of practice was upended w/ this raid. I served on Benghazi Com[mittee] where we proved Hillary possessed classified info. We didn’t raid her home.”

The Biden White House says the president was not briefed about the Mar-a-Lago raid and knew nothing about it in advance. “The Justice Department conducts investigations independently and we leave any law enforcement matters to them,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday afternoon. “It would not be appropriate for us to comment on any ongoing investigations.”

The senior Justice Department source says that Garland was regularly briefed on the Records Act investigation, and that he knew about the grand jury and what material federal prosecutors were seeking. He insists, though, that Garland had no prior knowledge of the date and time of the specific raid, nor was he asked to approve it. “I know it’s hard for people to believe,” says the official, “but this was a matter for the U.S. Attorney and the FBI.”

FBI director Christopher Wray ultimately gave his go-ahead to conduct the raid, the senior Justice official says. “It really is a case of the Bureau misreading the impact.”


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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

# Reviewing Intelligence and the State

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from The Bridge – The Bridge.

House begins with a primer on the intelligence community and the process of turning raw information into usable intelligence to set the stage for the discussion of the interface between consumers and producers of intelligence. Although this may be redundant for readers with experience in the intelligence community, it is a very clear explanation that would be useful to students and those readers whose ideas about intelligence were formed primarily by popular media. Chapter 2 concisely explains the various sources of intelligence—SIGINT, HUMINT, etc—as well as the terminology used in assessments to indicate the level of confidence analysts have in a particular piece of information. This gets to a critical issue that House explores further in the following chapters: the inherent mismatch between what policy makers often desire and what intelligence analysts can provide. As House notes, “analysis is not simply ‘establishing the facts’ or ‘connecting the dots,’ since in many instances some of those facts or dots are unknown or unknowable.”[1] Despite this, policy makers often desire a level of certainty that cannot be provided and become frustrated with the language used by analysts to maintain objectivity. This can result in situations where, “some decision makers regard qualifying adverbs-including ‘apparently,’ ‘probably,’ and ‘presumably’- as being an effort not to report accurately but rather to avoid responsibility for being wrong.”[2]

Intelligence assessments are usually phrased in terms of relative probabilities, which gives policy makers an ability to choose the assessment that comports most closely with their preferred outcome.

Intelligence analysts may have detailed knowledge, but they must also confront the biases inherent in policy makers whom they serve. Intelligence products are rarely definitive, and there are likely different pieces of information that can support conclusions that confirm policy makers’ desired course of action, even if the analysts’ assessment points in a different, even opposite, direction. Intelligence assessments are usually phrased in terms of relative probabilities, which gives policy makers an ability to choose the assessment that comports most closely with their preferred outcome. This is a long-standing problem in the relationship between analysts and policy makers, but it takes on additional importance as increasingly large amounts of raw information are available to anyone through internet search engines. As House notes, “search algorithms frequently identify the most often cited sources, but ‘most often cited’ is not the same as ‘most accurate.’ The subconscious belief that a Google search can correctly answer any question constitutes yet another barrier to communication between decision makers and analysts.”[3]

Chapter 3 gets to the heart of the matter and here the author’s personal experience and expertise shows most clearly. A fairly detailed assessment of the relationship between the intelligence analysis and policy makers in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War is particularly illustrative of the issues raised by the author in the first two chapters. Rather than accept the assessment of intelligence analysts, policy makers continually pushed intelligence analysts to go back to find the evidence needed to support the preferred policy. The lead up to the 2003 Iraq War also demonstrates another significant point to which House gives particular attention: the role of intelligence community managers. The policy makers’ expectation of constant briefings by high-level intelligence community managers means that managers spend much more time on the briefing process than running their departments compared to similarly placed officials in other bureaucracies.

A closely related point raised by House is highly salient: the importance of the right personnel in the key management positions in the intelligence community. High level IC officials must understand the intelligence process and have the confidence of the policy making officials. Yet, those same officials must also not be so close to an administration that they become wrapped up in their policy preferences and offer a level of confidence in intelligence assessments that is potentially misleading. As House states, “Intelligence exists to serve policy decisions, but that does not mean the analytical products should bend to the preferences of policy.”[4] Still, in the inherent dynamic between policy maker superiors and intelligence analyst subordinates, there is always a danger that this can happen with potentially disastrous results.

House devotes a considerable amount of attention to the development of intelligence services in Europe and in the U.S. in chapters 4 and 5. It is an interesting history that makes an important point: most European intelligence services developed before the U.S. did so, and mostly for domestic security reasons. The foreign intelligence component was built in because of international connections to domestic threats to the regimes. But while interesting, there is little connection made to the main themes of the book. The same largely goes for the historical section on the US. It is a useful historical overview, but much of it is not directly relevant to the core ideas of the volume. As a result, the volume often seems disjointed, covering a range of topics without linking them together in a completely coherent manner.

The Paradox of Warning: If the intelligence community gets it right and effective action is taken by policy makers, then the predicted event never occurs, and “…the intelligence officer/agency becomes the boy who cried wolf.

House also focuses on the unwelcome surprises that have confronted the intelligence community. From Pearl Harbor through the September 11th terrorist attacks, there is an unfortunately lengthy list of major strikes against the United States that slipped through the web of the intelligence community. House dives into a number of American cases such as Pearl Harbor, the Chinese intervention in the Korean war, and the Cuban missile crisis, as well as notable cases of warning failure in states as divergent as Nazi Germany and modern Israel. We should be careful to avoid characterizing all surprise as forms of intelligence failure, because as the author stresses, our understanding of surprise is based entirely on the things that slip through the net. Chapter 7 is titled, “The Paradox of Warning” for this exact reason. If the intelligence community gets it right and effective action is taken by policy makers, then the predicted event never occurs, and “…the intelligence officer/agency becomes the boy who cried wolf. The very fact that the intelligence system succeeds causes it to look like a failure.”[5]

Despite the author’s extensive treatment of the key issues at hand, there are also some oddly short-changed sections. Politicization of intelligence is tacked on to a chapter on the more modern history of the US intelligence community, but it seems to be an afterthought. Given the alarming intrusion of partisan politics in the intelligence process documented by both the Robert Mueller and John Durham investigations into Russian interference in American elections, it seems to be a topic that would merit more than a page in a work of this nature. Likewise, there is a section on cognitive biases that is helpful but somewhat incomplete given how important these are to the problems addressed in the book. A bit more detail here and more reference to the voluminous literature on the subject would be welcome. Cognitive biases are well known, and the human mind is highly likely to attach more significance to information that confirms a desired course of action and discount information than disconfirms it. House mentions that analysts are trained to minimize the cognitive biases that often distort decision making, but does not go further on this. It would be an interesting point to bring out because there is a possibility that some of that training could be generalized to a broader policy community.

On the whole, however, the flaws in House’s book are minor compared to the value it offers. Intelligence and the State would be a welcome addition to any course on intelligence at an undergraduate or graduate level, as it provides both historical depth and contemporary relevance in a compact format. It will also hopefully be read by policy makers and intelligence professionals seeking to avoid some of the errors of their predecessors.


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