December 16th, 2017

Cornhead and McCarthy on Strzok and company: the FISA warrant is key

Commenter “Cornhead” (aka lawyer Dave Begley) often comments here. He also has an intermittent blog, and is a very prolific commenter and sometime poster at Powerline. You may remember that during the 2015-2016 campaign he took on the exceptionally daunting task of seeing all the candidates speak and writing his impressions of their appearances, mostly for Powerline. Cornhead started out disliking Trump but ended up being an enthusiast some time before the election.

But perhaps Cornhead’s greatest claim to fame—here, anyway—was his on-spot prediction on Election Day itelf. When he wrote this comment at 1:21 PM on Election Day, I thought the stress had gotten to him and he’d gone off the deep end. But no:

I am predicting a slim DJT win. He wins NC FL IA MI OH PA WI.

Enthusiasm makes the difference.

He called it, when few others did.

In that comment, Cornhead added, “The Republic is saved.” The jury’s still out on that one.

So with that intro I refer you to an esssay Cornhead/Begley has written on the stopic of the Strzok revelations. In it, he advances some interesting speculative theories as to what went on. Here’s an excerpt:

The key to understanding this matter, in my opinion, is Peter Strzok, bitcoin and shaving points…

So, in my opinion, this is what happened. FBI agent Peter Strzok and other unnamed Clinton friends in the FBI and DOJ were in the right spots in the Deep State. They first tried to get a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign and it was turned down. That is a rare event.

So the DNC and the FBI paid former British spy Christopher Steele money in order to develop a completely fake dossier on Donald Trump. That dossier was probably used in the application for another FISA warrant. The American people need to see that second application. Absolutely critical.

The thing that is astounding to me as a lawyer is that a DOJ lawyer may well have presented a knowingly false document in order to dupe a federal judge and get a court order to spy on American citizens…

Interestingly enough, just today Andrew C. McCarthy has written a piece saying that Americans must see the FISA warrant on which the investigation was based:

To summarize, it is entirely possible that a surveillance warrant for Page was obtained based on no information from Steele, or at least no information the FBI had failed to corroborate independently.

Alas, an alternative theory has gathered momentum due to the drip, drip, drip of disturbing new disclosures, coupled with the fact that the Obama administration was in the tank for Trump’s opponent. The Clinton campaign generated the Steele dossier through lawyers who retained Fusion GPS. Fusion, in turn, hired Steele, a former British intelligence agent who had FBI contacts from prior collaborative investigations. The dossier was steered into the FBI’s hands as it began to be compiled in the summer of 2016…

McCarthy then goes into a possible scenario (too lengthy to present here, but please read what he has to say). The point is that if the dossier was presented as the basis for the warrant and the FBI knew the information in it was false or at least unverified and/or suspect in origin, that is an extremely grave matter.

But back to Cornhead’s post. He discusses the Clinton email investigation and the role of Strzok, and compares it to a point-shaving scheme in sports:

Point shavers make their in-game play look like they are performing at their best. Even when shaving points, they can win the contests. But if a team is projected to win by 7 but the actual win is by 3, who is to say that a free throw or three-point shot was missed on purpose? The beauty of a point shaving scheme is that it only takes one or two players to pull it off…

To my knowledge, the full power and effectiveness of a federal grand jury was not used in the Hillary Clinton private server matter. To the extent search warrants and subpoenas were used, they were not used on a timely and aggressive basis. Point shaving.

Reportedly immunity was given to many witnesses, including Cheryl Mills. But what did DOJ receive in exchange for immunity? Little, if anything of value. Point shaving…

Again, it’s too long and complex to summarize, but the dossier and the FISA warrant figure prominently in it as well. His essay ends with a plea for an Elliot Ness-like figure to restore the rule of law within the FBI.

We don’t know what actually happened, but these speculations need to be answered. To do that we need much more information, and a good start would be seeing the basis on which the FISA warrant was granted.

30 Responses to “Cornhead and McCarthy on Strzok and company: the FISA warrant is key”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    1. To be clear, I am not a Clinton conspiracy theorist. Vince Foster was a suicide. But the Clintons are criminals and they would spend millions of other people’s money to stay out of jail and win the election. The Clintons had been paid millions in bribes and the money would only keep flowing if she won the election. Wiretapping Trump’s campaign was the insurance she needed.

    2. Please circulate neo’s post and my blog as best as you can e.g. Twitter and Facebook. I think it would be very effective if the nickname Point Shaver Strzok stuck. And people can relate to The Untouchables.

    3. Weird that McCarthy and I were thinking along the same lines. Andy is a great analyst but he has a big blind spot. He probably can’t get his mind around the fact that FBI agents and maybe DOJ lawyers were crooks and maybe took bribes. I can believe it. Money talks.

  2. Sam L. Says:

    Saved from Hillary, as a minimum. As I see it, it’s getting better every day.

  3. Ira Says:

    “Vince Foster was a suicide.”

    After being unable to wash off the stink that has permeated his entire body as a result of his being within arm’s length of Clintons.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s integrity will be key. He’s an Obama appointee and in the almost four years he served under Obama he apparently found no misconduct by anyone in the Obama DOJ. He also worked for 2 years under Comey at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

  5. Cornhead Says:

    Agree that the IG is key, but he can’t arrest or indict anyone. That’s why Sessions and Wray need to grow some stones and put the new Untouchables on the case.

    And please do your best to circulate neo’s post and my full blog post. The nicknames are the hooks. Recall how effective the Low Energy Jeb nickname was.

  6. Romey Says:

    The Clintons and their lackeys are as dishonest as the day is long. To catalog the violations of public trust would rival Sears.

    I still believe the reason the Left is so irritated by Trump’s victory is they cannot believe the smartest woman in the world lost a rigged election. They are just besides themselves.

  7. Griffin Says:

    The fact that these handful of key figures are/were involved in both the Trump investigation and the Clinton investigation is what just blows my mind. The thousands of federal employees out there and these 4-5(?) unelected people seem to have unfathomable power to effect the future course of the country. Scary stuff.

  8. F Says:


    Thanks for this. I wrote an op-ed about Strzok for the local paper a week ago: it has not yet seen the light of day. But your blog article was much better.

    I have posted to my Facebook account and sent it to m mailing list.

    Thanks again.

  9. Cornhead Says:

    I sent via email the permalink to Rush Limbaugh at

    If enough people here did that, neo’s post and my blog might get noticed.

    I used the subject line: Point Shaver Strzok and the Untouchables. He likes nicknames.

    If Rush references the blog, the word gets out and traffic explodes.

  10. Tom G Says:

    Great notes, both Neo, Cornhead, and Andy McCarthy.

    I think Andy is more right, the FBI is not full of “crooks” — but IS full of partisan Democrats who sincerely believe they can save America by taking illegal actions against Republicans.

    Do-gooders who feel that, because their intentions are good (and pure!), it’s ok to violate the laws.

    Sort of like Harry Potter violating rules in order to do the good things.

    Part of the rot from too many laws and regulations, is that too many folk violate some law or other. Those who are in law enforcement know that “everybody’s guilty” of violating something. So they feel it’s OK to pick and choose which laws to violate, and which ones to enforce — since they know, with 2 months advance, how the “good guy” result has to be.

    They’re not crooks, they’re Machiavellianists. Their good end (Hillary! ??), justifies the not-quite legal means.

    Since I believe Hillary is evil, I call them evil. But understand their own self-delusions.

  11. The Other Chuck Says:

    The myth of Elliot Ness lives on despite the reality that followed in the years after his departure.

    The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971.[6] COINTELPRO tactics are still used to this day, and have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination.

    While the allegations referenced above may be a little exaggerated, there is no doubt that the FBI became almost a rogue entity during the 1960s. This stuff with Strzok and Comey is in line with past actions.

    The TV series “The FBI” with Efrem Zimbalist was nothing more than a propaganda vehicle for J. Edgar.

    Zimbalist maintained a strong personal relationship with J. Edgar Hoover, who requested technical accuracy for the show and that agents be portrayed in the best possible light. Actors who played F.B.I. employees were required by Hoover to undergo a background check.[12] Zimbalist passed his background check with ease. He subsequently spent a week in Washington, D.C., where he was interviewed by Hoover, and at the F.B.I. Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Hoover and Zimbalist remained mutual admirers for the rest of Hoover’s life.[12] Hoover later held Zimbalist up as an image role model for F.B.I. employees to emulate in their personal appearance.

  12. miklos000rosza Says:

    The real Elliott Ness ended up in Cleveland, where he could not solve the Torso Murder Case. (No one ever has.)

  13. J.J. Says:

    The theory of the case, as put forth by Cornhead and McCarthy, certainly makes sense.

    One point that seems a bit sketchy to me – that Strzok was bought off by the Clintons. I’m of the opinion that the texts between Strzok and Lisa Page show strong ideological motives not greed. It’ll take more evidence of some sort of bribery for me to hop that train.

    That Strzok was in the middle of all these different aspects of the Clinton server and Russia collusion investigations cannot be coincidence. It appears that McCabe was able to assign him to these politically important investigations as needed to steer things in the desired direction. Now, McCabe may have been bought off. We know that his wife received $750,000 from Clinton ally, Terry McAuliffe, for a political campaign that never went anywhere. That looks like a possible back door bribe.

    This plot of scheming inside the FBI and DOJ, as it appears now, is something that no fiction editor would accept as a plot for a novel. Couldn’t happen, he’d say.. We will only know if the presently unknown facts can be unearthed.

  14. miklos000rosza Says:

    I don’t think the concept of “point-shaving” is well-known enough at this point in American life to catch on with either females or those who dislike complication. Too subtle, too nuanced.

  15. F Says:

    I just heard back from one of the people I forwarded this to — a smart guy with an excellent analytical mind. He was impressed with the explanation and will be passing it on. Good. Needs to get circulated!

  16. Matt_SE Says:

    Bill, Hillary, and Obama have been career criminals for 40 years. Hillary and Obama are also hard, hard leftists and devotees of Alinsky. They are the sort of habitual liars who use politics as a cover for their enrichment/power schemes. It’s a very cynical exercise that reminds me of what the Black Panthers in the 60s used to do.

    I’ve also noticed that the Clintons have a penchant for installing cronies in institutions so that they can later be used, like sleeper agents. Think: Stephanopoulos, and many others.

    I would bet all the corruption we’re seeing was coordinated from the top. Trump’s biggest mistake was not investigating Obama and the Clintons from day 1.
    Look at all the turmoil they’ve put the nation through as a result. Now the corruption is so great, the Democrats are trying to circle the wagons around the Mueller investigation with not-so-subtle threats of nationwide rioting if the scam is shut down.

    The only way this country is going to be fixed is if many people start going to prison.

  17. Yancey Ward Says:

    On McCabe’s wife- one has to examine that campaign in detail to see who that campaign paid salaries and expenses. I will just about bet it was all family and very, very close friends, along with themselves.

  18. Yancey Ward Says:

    While I have for a long time been about 99% sure Cornhead was Begley, glad to see it confirmed. And, yes, I remember that comment about the election that day- that was an amazing call that no one other than Trump himself made.

  19. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Some people like me mentioned COINTELPRO awhile ago. Don’t think many were paying attention. Their paradigm shift hadn’t occurred yet.

    America and Westerners and even the world, still have quite a bit more paradigm shifts to go into. Last one was Hate. Next one is Fear.

  20. Ymar Sakar Says:

    By conspiracy standards, HRC and the IRS targeting the Tea Party, and then shredding the evidence via magnetic deletion, is classic.

    What happened to the evidence that 9/11 was an inside job or false flag? The government deleted it and killed the witnesses.

    What happened to the evidence that JFK was shot by his SS guard in the car, motivating the wife to climb out of the armored vehicle? The government deleted the evidence and witnesses.

  21. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Another good example is Waco 2.

    Tona starts getting suspicous about the MSM propaganda but you can read for yourself what Neo and others initially thought Waco 2 was.

    Now look at what the recent analysis is, completely different one. Of course, right below that is my analysis, which was more accurate than the MSM’s analysis. Hard not to be.

    Waco 2 was an execution of civilians by the FBI and affiliates, similar to Ruby Ridge or Waco 1. This is accepted by Americans because “conspiracy” propaganda works. Just say X group is a minority and are “Y” bad. Tea Party are racists right, nobody cares what happens to them… unless you care because you are the one getting your face stomped in.

  22. Paul in Boston Says:

    The FBI has been dirty for a long time. Our very own home grown gangster and serial killer, Whitey Bulger, got away with it because of FBI corruption. The State Police were on his trail for quite a while and getting ready to bust him, they think he murdered up to 100 people, when they were called off by a combination of the FBI and his corrupt brother Billy who was President of the Mass. Senate at the time. There are several books about this by Howey Carr and another called Black Mass (get the pun?) by some Globe reporters.

    Some added material, the FISA judge who granted the spying order recently recused herself from everthing relating to the investigation.

    Conservative Treehouse has some interesting observations on how the investigation is unfolding and its class drip, drip style.

    Re Andrew McCarthy. He’s lying to himself if he thinks prosecutors as partisan as Mueller’s team is can be impartial.

  23. Paul in Boston Says:

    Classic drip, drip

  24. neo-neocon Says:


    People can believe any conspiracy theory by saying that the evidence was destroyed.

    Doesn’t convince anyone except the believers in that theory, and certainly doesn’t make the theory correct.

  25. Michael F Adams Says:

    “Vince Foster committed suicide” in one end of the park and then moved to the other end. I do remain skeptical.

  26. kevino Says:

    RE: “The thing that is astounding to me as a lawyer is that a DOJ lawyer may well have presented a knowingly false document in order to dupe a federal judge and get a court order to spy on American citizens…”
    It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    The FBI will readily lie to a Federal judge because they know that there are no consequences. In particular, FISA warrant applications are, themselves, secret, and DOJ has taken to telling Congress that they don’t have oversight. All of this gives the FBI confidence that they will never get caught.

    I live outside of Boston. For years, Whitey Bulger ran a gang with the help of the FBI, who shielded him and helped him escape justice. In the end, the FBI was caught and prosecuted, but the FBI agents involved appeared quite surprised.

    Remember Richard Jewel? He was accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. The FBI searched his house twice, but they came up with nothing. Jewel got a good lawyer who demanded to see the evidence used to obtain the search warrant. The FBI immediately shut down the case, paid off Jewel, and helped him find new employment. All of it done to avoid telling a Federal judge about the probable cause for the search.

    The FBI Lab has been caught falsifying evidence. People get new trials and get taxpayer money. I don’t recall anyone getting prosecuted.

    The FBI can do pretty much whatever they want.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Doesn’t convince anyone except the believers in that theory, and certainly doesn’t make the theory correct.

    Which is why the Left doesn’t believe in Right wing conspiracies such as the IRS targeting Tea Party, the government executing civilians at Waco 1/2, that HRC deleted emails to hide illegal or treasonous activities, plus other things.

    The Deep State has set up the game board, Red vs Blue, and both are merely puppets of other puppets.

    Amongst the normal conspiracy theories, rather than the political ones like Watergate, the idea that there are shills and traitors all around, like a paranoia case, is normal rather than abnormal. It’s why to Democrats voting Trum, the idea that Ted Cruz is a liar and his wife a servant in darkness of Goldman Sachs, was reasonable and could be believed by the American masses. Even before HRC gets put in jail once Trum is elected President. By logic, Trum still isn’t the President.

    People will believe anything that they are fed. Humans are weak. That is not different if someone votes D vs R in the US.

  28. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The FBI can do pretty much whatever they want.

    The Deep State under the Federal Reserve can do whatever they want. So long as the FBi Obeys Authority, they are given a shield.

    It’s why people believe JFK was killed, because JFK was going against the Deep State, even with Marilyn Monroe spying and set as a control observer on him.

  29. Steve57 Says:

    People will believe anything that they are fed. Humans are weak. That is not different if someone votes D vs R in the US.

    Yes, people will believe anything. Perception is reality. I took great advantage of that when I was in the Navy. I could rig a destroyer so it looked like a merchant ship.

    And the pirates would attack it.

    With air support provided by Marine Cobras.

  30. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I heard that was called a Q ship: surprise we have cannons and depth charges.

    The FBI bureaucrats (not the Deep State or even the Leftist alliance) decided Nixon needed to go away into retirement. So when Nixon told the FBI he wanted the Democrats investigated for illegal and foreign donation problems, the FBI got right on it. Using the same tactics they did to get Ayers and his wife free, an illegal breakin, directly ordered by the bureaucrats in charge of the FBI.

    Nixon and Trum fell for the same thing. They both knew they had enemies, yet didn’t know enough to fire them. So they told the FBI to do something, and the FBI said “oh yea, watch this, you think you were actually elected or something”.

    Americans fell for the Nixon watergate con the FBI used. So they’ll fall for the Trum gate the FBI used too. If it wasn’t for the Alt Right and internet, Republicans would have easily bought most of it by now. They still resist. That’s nice, Nixon resisted too and thought he had turned off his White House recording system when he was talking about how to cover up the actions of the FBI that supposedly was working for him. What he didn’t know was that the entirety of DC had COINTELPRO on him and had him wiretapped, that’s why Nixon got caught on “tape” and Americans bought it.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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