Analysis of S.2095 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2017


According to the bill the necessary and sufficient conditions for a rifle/shotgun/pistol to be an assault weapon are summarized in the text and chart below.

A semiautomatic rifle/shotgun/pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the the features in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Sufficient features to classify as assault weapon

Let me first deal with the logical inconsistencies:

  • Per note {1} aren’t a “forward grip” and “a second pistol grip” functionally the same thing?
  • The capacity of the detachable magazine is not specified, but the capacity of a fixed magazine is limited.  Why are shotguns limited to a 5 round fixed magazines while rifles and pistols are allowed 10 rounds?
  • Why is a semiautomatic version of an automatic pistol consider a feature and sufficient to make it an assault weapon, while the same criteria doesn’t apply to rifles or shotguns.
  • Why is a barrel shroud sufficient in the case of a rifle or a pistol but not for a shotgun?
  • Why are revolving cylindrical magazines sufficient to classify a semi-automatic, magazine fed shotguns an assault weapon but rifles and pistols are allowed to have revolving cylindrical magazines.
  • Grenade/rocket launchers are banned (Title II) by National Firearms Act as destructive devices, there is no need to include them here.

What are these features?

Pistol Grip

For illustrative purposes I will use the military select-fire (auto/burst/semi-auto) assault rifle, to illustrate the pistol grip.

Figure 2 Pistol grip with fixed stock

The purpose of the pistol grip was ergonomic, the gunner could, while holding the grip, operate the safety, fire selector, trigger and magazine release.

It is conjectured that the pistol grip aids shooters when ‘spray firing’ from the hip.  I would be interested to know if there is any research to support this, or evidence that it played any part in a mass casualty incident.  NB! shoot from the hip usually implies inaccuracy.

Forward/Second Pistol Grip


Figure 3 Forward Grip

The function of the forward grip is recoil (bounce) control and heat mitigation.

Grenade/Rocket Launcher

Figure 4 Grenade Launcher, an independent rail mounted accessory

The M203 Grenade Launcher has been the United States Military’s primary grenade launcher since the Vietnam war. This model is the newest version, that can attach to any rail system. This version is newly manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT). It is available in either a 9″ or 12″ configuration.

It is a completely separate  gun subsystem that mounts to the a rail system, it is NFA item, and must transfer in accordance with all NFA laws and regulations.

Barrel Shroud

Figure 5 Barrel Shroud

A barrel shroud is a covering attached to the barrel of a firearm, that partially or completely encircles the barrel which prevents operators from injuring themselves on a hot barrel.

Threaded Barrel

Figure 6 Threaded Barrel, Muzzle Brake and Silencer

A threaded barrel allows the installation of either a muzzle break or a silencer.

A muzzle brake or recoil compensator is a device connected to the muzzle of a firearm that redirects propellant gases to counter recoil and unwanted rising of the barrel during rapid fire.

A silencer is a device attached to the barrel of a firearm which reduces the amount of noise and flash.


Detachable magazine outside pistol grip (Pistols only)

Figure 7 Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip

I can only speculate that the magazine is located outside the pistol grip to reduce the complexity of the autoload function, it does not require a slide that extends past the pistol grip.

Figure 8 Pistol grip magazine autoload mechanism

Fixed Magazines

To the best of my knowledge fixed magazines come in two styles, tubular and box.  Tubular fixed magazines are common on semi-automatic shotguns such as my grandfather’s circa 1900 Browning Sweet 16.  My experience with a box magazine is limited to my Army basic training M1 Garand.  This style is also referenced as a stripper clip.

Figure 9 Browning Auto 5 (Sweet 16)

The tubular magazine is located below the barrel from the forward strap attachment to the receiver.

Figure 10 M1 Garand with clips

For more information see Magazine vs Clip – Understanding the Terminology

Revolving Cylinder (Drum) Magazines

Figure 11 Drum Magazine for shotgun (credit:

Even though S.2095 only addresses drum magazines for shotguns they are available for both rifles and pistols.

Semi Automatic version of an automatic firearm

This one is strange enough that I will quote the bill:

“36 –  (D) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
“(i) A threaded barrel.
“(ii) A second pistol grip.
“(iii) A barrel shroud.
“(iv) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
“(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

The closest example of this, I believe, would be the MAC-10 and the Masterpiece Arms (not manufacturer of MAC-10) MPA10T semi-automatic (top cocker) pistol.

Figure 12 Mac-10 automatic pistol
Figure 13 MPA10T semi-automatic pistol with barrel shroud extension

What are the necessary and sufficient, gun specific, condition to decrease the lethality of mass shootings?

  1. cyclic rate-of-fire, e.g. rounds per minute
    1. 900 rounds per minute (rpm) for full auto
    2. 45 rounds per minute for semi-auto rifle
  2. magazine capacity
  3. reload time
  4. muzzle velocity (a function of cartridge and barrel length)
  5. shotgun specific
    1. size of shot
    2. scatter

With the exception of magazine capacity, which is only tangentially referenced none of these are addressed in Senate-2095.  Senate-2095 does address increased cyclic rate-of-fire, via bump stops, but does not address the designed rate-of-fire.


The truth behind “18 School Shooting in 2018”

The citation for 18 school shooting seems to be Everytown Research which only list 17 including the Parkland, Florida incident.

Using this sample the obvious conclusion for legislation to end “School Shooting” is to ban and confiscate all handguns.

By the numbers:

94% involved handguns
12% involved police handguns
47% the shooter was a student

6% involved long guns
41% had no injuries
22 Deaths
22 Injuries

The incidents are:

17 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Long gun, identified as AR-15
17 deaths, 13 injuries

16 – Metropolitan High School

Likely a handgun.
No injuries

Police are investigating after a gunshot was fired in a Bronx school Thursday.

It happened Metropolitan High School in the Longwood section around 3 p.m.

Police responded to the call at 3:20 p.m. They found a bullet hole in the floor of a classroom inside the school.

A 17-year-old is in custody, officials said. He is being questioned at the 41st Precinct.

No injuries were reported.

15 – Harmony Learning Center

Policeman’s handgun.
No injuries

Nobody was injured Monday afternoon when a student at the Harmony Learning Center fired a school liaison officer’s gun, Maplewood police say.

The officer was sitting on a bench talking with some students about 1:45 p.m., when a third-grader pressed the trigger of the officer’s holstered weapon, according to a news release issued by the Maplewood Police Department.

The gun discharged through the bottom of the holster and a bullet struck the floor, the news release said.

The officer, who was unaware that the child was touching his gun, was wearing a department-approved, Level 3 security holster, the news release said. The holster is equipped with a trigger guard designed to prevent a gun from being fired while in it.

Twin Cities Pioneer Press

14 – Oxon Hill High School

It is a real stretch to call this a “school shooting”.  Likely a handgun.
One injury.

Two teenagers are charged in the shooting outside a Maryland high school Monday evening.

A 17-year-old Oxon Hill High School student got into an SUV with the suspects about 5:15 p.m. and was shot in what appears to have been a robbery attempt, Prince George’s County police said. He went into the school for help, and someone called 911 about 5:15 p.m.

Police charged 17-year-old Zanaya Bryant and 18-year-old Anthony Hollingsworth with attempted murder and related charges. The victim knew the suspects, police said.

The victim was taken to a hospital and was released several hours later, police said.


13 – Salvador B. Castro Middle School

Police recovered a semi-automatic handgun.
Five injured.

A shooting at a Los Angeles middle school classroom Thursday that left one boy in critical condition, injured four others and had panicked parents in tears was an accident, police said.

The shooting was reported just before 9 a.m. and within minutes a 12-year-old girl was taken into custody without incident. Police interviewed her and by evening they announced that they would book her on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds.

12 – Lincoln High School

They know shots were fired from at least 3 different weapons.  Likely handguns.
One death.

Thursday, February 01, 2018
MAYFAIR (WPVI) — The 32-year-old man, who was shot and killed outside Lincoln High School in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia on Wednesday has been identified as Ralph Kennedy.

His family says he was a resident of North Philadelphia and the father of 8 with 2 more on the way.

911 calls came in reporting a large fight and shots fired in the school’s parking lot around 3:51 p.m.

Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded in the parking lot during a school basketball game.

Police say there was an enormous fight outside among dozens of people. Many believed to be students from rival schools.


11 – Dearborn High School

Likely handgun.
No injuries.

Someone fired shots from a car Friday night in the Dearborn High School parking lot during a basketball game, but nobody was injured, according to the school district.

Shortly after 8 p.m., two people — who appear to have been students from another school district — had a fight in a hallway at the high school on 19501 West Outer Drive in Dearborn. School officials contained the situation and moved the two outside, where, a short time later, the car pulled up and shots were fired at one of them, according to a Facebook post by the verified Dearborn Public Schools account, signed by Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.

The car was quickly driven away, and no injuries or damage were reported. Police arrived and began an investigation.

Detroit Free Press

10 – Murphy High School

Likely hand gun.
No injuries.

“Mobile, AL – The Mobile Police Department has arrested a Murphy High School student for shooting a gun on campus. The investigation revealed that Jonah Neal, 16, pointed the gun at school administrators and other students in the school before going outside and firing all the rounds in the air.

No one was injured. Neal will potentially face a number of charges. He will be charged as an adult.


9 – Marshall County High School

Two Deaths, fourteen injuries.

The Marshall County High School shooting occurred at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, on January 23, 2018. As students were gathering in an open area prior to the start of classes, a 15-year-old student opened fire with a handgun, killing one 15-year-old at the scene, and wounding another who died at a nearby hospital. Eighteen other people were injured, fourteen by bullets and three critically.


8 – The NET Charter High School

Likely a handgun.
One injury.

On Monday, January 22, The NET:Gentilly campus was placed on lock down due to a shooting outside of the school. The shots came from a car driving by. A 17 year old student, who was outside at the time, sustained a minor abrasion on his arm.

All students are safe and were released to their parents at the end of the day. The school is working closely with NOPD police and detectives to investigate the incident and insure the continued safety of all students and staff.


7 – Italy High School

Semi-automatic .380 handgun.
One Death.

A teenage boy shot a teenage girl in a high school cafeteria in Texas on Monday morning, officials said. The suspected shooter is in custody, and the victim was taken to a hospital.

… the suspect in the shooting at Italy High School is a 16-year-old male student.

Ellis County Sheriff Chuck Edge said the suspect “engaged the victim” and fired several shots from a semi-automatic .380 handgun. Edge did not say at a Monday afternoon news conference how many times the victim was shot.


6 – Wake Forest University

Likely handgun.
One death.

Winston-Salem police are searching for a man in connection with the death of a Winston-Salem State University football player who was shot and killed at an event at Wake Forest University Saturday morning.

Police have obtained warrants for arrest charging Jakier Shanique Austin, 21, with murder and possession of a firearm on educational property.

Police were called to The Barn, an event venue on the Wake Forest University’s campus in the 1800 block of Wake Forest Drive, at about 1 a.m. after a gunshot was fired.

Police said the victim, 21-year-old Najee Ali Baker, was shot following an argument. It happened at an event hosted by the Pi Omicron chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a Wake Forest University student organization.

On Jan. 24, the Winston-Salem Police Department announced that it has made an arrest in the investigation into the Jan. 20 on-campus shooting.


5 – Wiley College

Again a little bit  of a stretch to call this a school shooting, IMHO.

Likely handgun.
No injuries.

(MARSHALL, TX) – The Marshall Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred on the Wiley College campus.  On Monday, January 15, at approximately 12:15 a.m., officers responded to the area of University Avenue near Wiley Avenue on reports of gunshots. Preliminary reports indicate that a black sedan entered the Strickland Hall parking lot and possibly exchanged gunfire with a person who was in the parking lot. It is believed the black sedan was occupied by two subjects. The suspects in the sedan crashed into a retaining wall, causing damage to the retaining wall and the vehicle. The vehicle left the scene prior to officers arrival.

During their investigation, officers discovered that a bullet went through a window in one of the Strickland Hall dorm rooms. Three female students were inside the dorm room at the time of the shooting and no injuries were reported. It is not believed that the dormitories were the target of the shooting.

4 – California State University, San Bernardino

Again a little bit  of a stretch to call this a school shooting, IMHO.

Likely handgun.
No injuries.

Authorities say a gun was fired and a bullet hit a building on a Southern California college campus, but there were no reports of any injuries.

Officials at California State University, San Bernardino said the gunfire was reported at about 6 p.m. Wednesday local time.

San Bernardino police say the shot most likely came from just off campus and hit a window of the visual arts building on its west side.

Police went building-to-building searching for a shooter for hours before giving the all-clear. No shooter has been found, reports CBS Los Angeles.


3 – Coronado Elementary School

Likely handgun.
One death.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday a 14-year-old boy shot himself with a family member’s firearm inside an elementary school bathroom in southern Arizona.

Sheriff Mark Dannels said in a news release that investigators recovered the weapon in Tuesday’s shooting from the bathroom at Coronado Elementary School, located between the towns of Hereford and Sierra Vista. The school serves about 460 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.


2 – Grayson College

Again a little bit  of a stretch to call this a school shooting, IMHO.

Instructor’s (a Policeman) handgun.
No injuries.

School officials said a bullet from an accidental discharge went through a classroom wall, came out through the other side and exited through a window.

It happened at the Grayson College Criminal Justice Center on Jan. 10.

Vice President of Business Services Giles Brown said a criminal justice club advisor was showing two students how to use a computerized firearms simulator before the incident occurred.

He said the instructor took his live weapon and put it in a box so it would not be confused with the training weapon.

We’re told that the box did not have a lock on it, and that the instructor later left the room, taking the training firearm with him.

“One of the students thought the instrument inside the box was the training instrument so she picked it up,” Brown said.

Then, Brown said, she fired it at a target on the wall, realizing her mistake instantly.

“Shot a hole in the wall,” Brown said. “Crossed over and broke a window.”

Brown said the instructor is a licensed peace officer who is permitted to carry a firearm on campus, and, being an officer, has been able to even before the new concealed carry law went into effect last August.


1 – New Start High School

Likely handgun.
No injuries.

A bullet was fired into New Start High School Thursday, but no one was injured, the King County Sheriff’s Office said.

The “round entered office window and lodged in a 3 ring binder,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. “Major Crimes detectives are handling.”

At about 1:30 p.m., the high school AT 614 SW 120th St. was “advised to go into lockdown after two shots were fired outside the building,” said Tove Tupper, assistant director of communications for Highline Schools. “One bullet hit the school’s administrative offices. No one was injured. The school remained in lockdown until dismissal at 3:25 p.m.”




If you are going to propose a gun ban.

In order to get my support for your proposed ban of weapons that have contributed to mass casualty events (vice the catch phrase “assault weapon”) you must:

  • Define the functions, not the visual aesthetics, e.g. cyclic rate of fire, that define the weapons to be banned, with an explanation of how the function has contributed to a mass casualty event.
  • Propose a method to reclaim (confiscate) weapons that are already privately owned.
    • It should include fair-market-value compensation for confiscated weapons.
  • Propose the penalties for failure to comply.
    • Phased in, increasing fines, leading to incarceration at end of phase in.
    • Enhanced incarceration for commiting a felony with a banned weapon.
  • Pay for the administration of your ban via an across the board tax increase, the ban can not increase the national debt.

The ban must apply to all weapons, long guns, shotguns, and pistols that meet the functional description.

Rice’s CYA Memo Memorializing Obama, Comey, Yates Meeting

The CYA or “cover your ass” memo is standard issue body armor in the trenches of white-collar warriors. The CYA nickname suggests a insurance policy taken out by a person who is undertaking or witnessing a course of conduct (or misconduct, or culpable non-conduct) from which the author wants to protect his or her professional posterior.

In a February 8th, 2018 letter to former National Security Advisor (2013 – 2017) Susan Rice, Senators Grassley and Graham (Committee on the Judiciary) referenced an e-mail she sent herself on 1/20/2017 at 12:15:32, about the same time as Donald Trump was being sworn in, following Mike Pence’s swearing in a noon.

The e-mail, a declassified copy from the  OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL RECORD –  NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, was enclosed.  The e-mail was declassified,  with redactions, by National Security Council Director of Access Management John Powers on 6/13/2017, in advance of its scheduled declassify date of 1/20/2027, per the declassification block on the e-mail.


E.O. Categories cited:

(c) intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology
(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources

The memo does not conform to the “Basic Marking Requirements for E-Mails” per 32 CFR Part 2001.

32 CFR Part 2001, “Classified National Security Information”

§2001.23(a), Classification marking in the electronic environment, states:

General. Classified national security information in the electronic environment shall be:
     (1) Subject to all requirements of the Order.
     (2) Marked with proper classification markings to the extend that such marking
is practical, including portion marking, overall classification, 
“Classified by,”
“Derived from,” “Reason” for classification (originally classified information
only), and “Declassify On.”

§2001.23(b), Marking on classified e-mail messages, states:
(1) E-mail transmitted on or prepared for transmission on classified systems               or networks shall be configured to display the overall classification at the
top and bottom of the body of each message. The overall classification
marking string for the e-mail shall reflect the classification of the header
and body of the message. This includes the subject line, the text of the e-
mail, a classified signature block , attachments, included messages, and
any other information conveyed in the body of the e-mail.
(2) Classified e-mail shall be portion marked. Each portion shall be marked to
reflect the highest level of information contained in that portion.
(3) A classified signature block shall be marked to reflect the highest
classification level markings of the information contained in the signature
block itself. (NOTE: most signature blocks are unclassified.)
(4) Subject lines shall be portion marked to reflect the sensitivity of the
information in the subject line itself and shall not reflect any
classification markings for the e-mail content or attachments. Subject
lines and titles shall be portion marked before the subject or title.
(5) For a classified e-mail, the classification authority block shall be placed
after the signature block, but before the overall classification marking
string at the end of the e-mail.
(6) When forwarding or replying to an e-mail, individuals shall ensure that,
in addition to the markings required for the content of the reply or
forward e-mail itself, the markings shall reflect the overall classification
and declassification instructions for the entire string of e-mails and
attachments. This will include any newly drafted material, material
received from previous senders, and any attachments.

The Rice e-mail is missing:

  1. overall classification at the top and bottom of the body of each message
  2. Classified e-mail shall be portion {paragraph} marked. Each portion shall be marked to reflect the highest level of information contained in that portion.
  3. A classified signature block shall be marked to reflect the highest classification level markings of the information contained in the signature block itself. (NOTE: most signature blocks are unclassified.)
  4. Subject lines shall be portion marked to reflect the sensitivity of the information in the subject line itself and shall not reflect any classification markings for the e-mail content or attachments. Subject lines and titles shall be portion marked before the subject or title.

it does contain:

  1. classification authority block shall be placed after the {missing} signature block, but before the {missing} overall classification marking string at the end of the e-mail.
  2. an improperly marked Subject line “Subject: Note to File [TOP SECRET, Record]”, which should be “Subject: (U) Note to File”  {Note to File, is unclassified, it appears the Top Secret in the subject line was intended to replace the “overall classification at the top and bottom of the body of each message.”}

Aside comment, the same can be said for the Nunes memo and presumably the Schiff memo which should have adhered to the same general requirements (§2001.23(a) op. cit.).

I have to comment that my security officer would never have allowed me to create a document or e-mail that did not meet these guidelines, if I had and transmitted the improperly marked e-mail/memo I would have been subject to losing my clearance and therefore my  job.

The memo is a classic CYA memo, usually created immediately following the event, ala the Comey memos, vice on your last day on the job.

The CYA or “cover your ass” memo is standard issue body armor in the trenches of white-collar warriors.  The CYA nickname suggests a insurance policy taken out by a person who is undertaking or witnessing a course of conduct (or misconduct, or culpable non-conduct) from which the author wants to protect his or her professional posterior.

Seth Leventhal

An example of a properly marked e-mail.


FISA Memo Deconstructed


  1. Memo text was OCR’ed, I have made corrections to mis-scans, but typo may remain.
  2. Wikipedia links for individuals were added, for background.
  3. Original Classification was TOP SECRET/NOFORN:
    1. TOP SECRET – shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.
    2. NOFORN – the statement of NOFORN (meaning “no foreign nationals”) is applied to any information that may not be released to any non-U.S. citizen.
  4. The Memo contains no paragraph/portion marking and does not appear to adhere to the guidelines for marking of “Derivatively Classified Information”.  {I am assuming that DOJ/FBI and House marking requirements are similar to DOD requirements.}
  5. The Memo has no “Classification Authority Block” as required by EO-13526CAB
  6. Subsequent to the first page of the memo, the marking are:

    which I have confirmed is incorrect, they should contain the declassification authority.

  7. The threshold for issuing a FISA warrant is; “To issue a FISA order authorizing investigators to eavesdrop on an American, a judge must agree that there is reason to believe the target was knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power that violate American criminal laws — or is knowingly aiding or conspiring with someone else who is doing that.”
    1. Thus Dr. Carter W. Page was either a foreign agent, who reported to a foreign power, or,
    2. Conspiring with someone (President elect Trump, or campaign staff) who was.  But since Dr. Page was not openly associated with the campaign it would be necessary to show that he was clandestinely associated with the campaign.
  8. The memo addresses only the FISA warrant re: Carter Page, it does not address the speculated FISA warrant used to Surveil The Trump Organization Mail Server.  It does not address other campaign staff who are speculated to have been surveilled.

Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server. The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June {2016}, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October {2016} after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.

Read more at:


Continue reading “FISA Memo Deconstructed”

Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

Introduced in 2001, 2009, 2010, 2011 and included in other bills in 2006 and 2007.

107th Congress (2001 – 2003)

Senate: 50 Democrats, 50 Republicans, Republican VP (tie breaker)
House: 210 Democrats, 222 Republicans, 1 Independent

S 1209

The bill was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) with 18 by-partisan (D-12, R-6) cosponsors and was referred to Committee on the Judiciary and reported out on June 20, 2002.  It was place on Senate Calendar on June 20, 2002.  No floor vote was taken.

108th Congress (2003 – 2005)

Senate: 48 Democrat, 51 Republican, 1 Independent, Republican VP (tie breaker)
House: 209 Democrat, 222 Republican, 1 Independent

S 1545

The bill was first introduced in the Senate on July 31, 2003, S 1545 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) with 47 by-partisan (D – 35, R – 12) cosponsors, on July 31st it was read twice and referred to Committee on the Judiciary, it was reported out on November 25, 2003 and place on Senate Calendar.  No floor vote was taken.

109th Congress (2005 – 2006)


S 2075

The bill was first introduced in the Senate on

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Classified Memo On FISA Abuse.

History and Jurisdiction

The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) is a committee of the United States House of Representatives, currently chaired by Congressman Devin Nunes (California). Created in 1977, HPSCI is charged with oversight of the United States Intelligence Community—which includes the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the seventeen elements of the U.S. Government—and the Military Intelligence Program.



Hearings & Meetings (July 2016 – January 2018)

  • Full Committee Business Meeting 7/15/2016, July 16, 2016 @ 1:00
  • Full Committee Business Meeting 9/15/2016, September 15, 2016 @ 9:00
  • Ongoing Intelligence Activities, HVC-304 (closed), November 15, 2016 @ 10:00
  • Intelligence Community Support to the Department of Defense, 1100 Longworth Building (open), November 17, 2016 @ 9:30
  • Full Committee Business Meeting 12/1/2016, December 1, 2016 @ 9:00
  • Full Committee Business Meeting 1/10/2017, January 10, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Ongoing Intelligence Activities, HVC-304 (closed), January 24, 2017 @ 10:00
  • Full Committee Business Meeting 3/2/2017,  March 2, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Open Hearing on Russian Active Measures Investigation, 1100 Longworth Building (Open), March 20, 2017 @ 10:00
  • Ongoing Intelligence Activities, HVC-304 (closed), May 4, 2017 @ 1:00
  • Open and Closed Hearings for Russia Investigation Task Force, HVC-210 and HVC-304, May 23, 2017 @ 10:00
  • Ongoing Intelligence Activities,HVC-304 (closed), June 15, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Russia Investigative Task Force Hearing with Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, HVC-210 (open), June 21, 2017 @ 10:00
  • Ongoing Intelligence Activities, HVC-304 (closed), June 29, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Full Committee Markup: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Closed), HVC-304, July 13, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Russia Investigative Task Force Open Hearing with Social Media Companies, HVC-210 (open), November 1, 2017 @ 2:00
  • Testimony of Carter Page, HVC-304 (Open in a closed space), November 2, 2017 @ 9:30
  • Testimony of Erik Prince, HVC-304 (Open in a closed space), November 30, 2017 @ 3:00
  • Mark-up of the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 4478), 1100 Longworth (open), December 1, 2017 @ 9:00
  • Business Meeting: Consideration of the Public Release of a Committee Transcript, HVC-304, January 18, 2018 @ 9:00
    • Transcripts of interviews with Glen Simpson (Fusion GPS):

Reported Subpoenas

  1. Jan 17, 2018 – House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to [Steve] Bannon for refusing to answer a range of questions from investigators during a combative closed-door interview.
  2. Dec 27, 2017 – The House Intelligence Committee has issued a subpoena to an associate of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over his [David Kramer] connection with the controversial dossier containing unverified allegations about President Trump and his ties to Russia,
  3. Oct 10, 2017 – Political research firm [Fusion GPS] behind Trump-Russia dossier subpoenaed by House intelligence committee
  4. Sep 6, 2017 – House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes lashed out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week in a letter where he threatened Sessions with a public grilling if he doesn’t produce documents about the Russia dossier.
  5. Sep 5, 2017 – The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed records from the Justice Department and the FBI pertaining to a salacious but unverified dossier over objections from the committee’s minority members.
  6. June 29, 2017 – Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., threatened a subpoena to “ensure a satisfactory response” to the question of whether the White House has recordings, memos or other documents detailing meetings the president had with former FBI Director James Comey.
  7. June 1, 2017 – What the House Subpoenas of Rice, Brennan, and Power in the ‘Unmasking’ Probe Means.
  8. May 31, 2017 – WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas Wednesday for testimony, documents and business records from former national security adviser Michael Flynn and President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of an investigation into Russian interference
  9. MAY 24, 2017 – The House Intelligence Committee will issue subpoenas to Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, the committee’s senior Democrat said on Wednesday.

The Memo

There evidently is a classified memo, created by the staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, under the direction of Chairman Devin Nunes and member Trey Gowdy detailing the abuse of the FISA act and electronic collection of information on US citizens associated with the Trump campaign.  The memo is purported to be derived from Classified documents provided to the HPSCI by some of the 17 intelligence agencies it oversees.  If so, the document would carry the highest classification of any of the supporting documents.

It is a partisan document, evidently created without any input from the minority members/staff of the HPSCI, and reportedly they have been prevented from “releasing a minority report characterizing the intelligence upon which the memo is based”.  Adam Schiff, ranking member has stated that the memo is:  “a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the F.B.I. and its handling of the investigation.” He went on,“rife with factual inaccuracies” and “is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the F.B.I.”

Evidently there is a process by which Nunes can publically release the document, if the President doesn’t object, within five days of being notified.  This is contrary to the normal FOIA process where the document would be submitted to the original classification authority for review/redaction before being released.

One of the pillars of handling of classified information is “need-to-know”.  Rep. Nunes has evidently determined that all House member need-to-know, as he has recently made it available for all members, to read.   But, it should be noted that this was done after both houses had debated and passed the renewal of FISA Section 702.  It has been pointed out that this information would have been germain to the renewal discussion, had it been available to both House and Senate.

It should be noted that House and Senate operate under special rules when it come to handling classified information, apparently members and staff are not subject to the same background and vetting process normally required for access to classified information.

Both bodies also have rules that require Members and staff to observe secrecy with respect to classified information.  In the House, Members and staff are required to execute an oath before accessing classified information, and any violation of the oath is considered a violation of the Code of Official Conduct subject to action from the Ethics Committee.  The House and Senate also each
have explicit rules that allow committee proceedings to be closed if public discussion would endanger national security.

Cite: Is “Secret Law” Really Either? Congressional Intent, Legislative Process, and Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act

Alternative Approach

IMHO, the President should appoint a panel of three retired Federal Court Judges, from a pool submitted by the American Bar Association, one appointed by a Republican one by a Democrat and the third by random selection.  They each would have a clerk of their choosing and as a group they would have necessary support staff.  They would be given access to ALL FISA Court Warrant  requested, approved, withdrawn, and rejected, from January 1st, 2016 through March 31st 2017.  They would review each warrant and determine:

  1. if any US Citizen or business enity with ties to the Trump Campaign was targeted in the warrant,
  2. was the warrant request likely based on unmasking of incidental collection, other intelligence, or the “Trump Dossier”.

They would report:

  1. the number of warrants reviewed,
  2. number of US Citizens targeted,
  3. and basis for the warrant (intercept, other intelligence or dossier).

They would produce a majority and minority report with any recommendation they have relative to the warrant process.

Breaking News 1/25/18

The Request

The DOJ [Steven Boyd, United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs] has written Devin Nunes requesting:


The Letter {cite}



Paragraph 1 confirms my version of the creation of the memo, and acknowledges that “it has raised concerns {re: DOJ/FBI FISA process}”

Paragraph 2 is interesting, it appears to indicate that there was a single {a source} who may have been instrumental in obtaining any FISA electronic collection against the Trump team.   The 1000 pages reference open speculation that the source was used in multiple warrants.  It appears to jumps to the conclusion that the “source” may be revealed.

Paragraph 3 is interesting in that it acknowledges that HPSCI members/staff have found evidence {allegation} of “misconduct”.  If members/staff can find allegations of misconduct in the 1,000 pages why can’t the DOJ/FBI do the same and take “appropriate actions” on their own?  It also appears that he is accusing the HPSCI members/staff of fabricating the “wrongdoing”.

The footnote implies a violation of the “access stipulated” but if as I postulated the memo was written by staff under Gowdy’ direction the stipulated access would not have been violated if only two staff members were involved.  Boyd acknowledges that Gowdy was Nunes’ delightee.

Boyd makes a good point in paragraph four.  The answer would be the DOJ/FBI is the subject of the “investigation” and the FBI doesn’t ask the suspect to vet the evidence.  If the three authorized HPSCI majority members have reviewed the document and are willing to go on the record that the memo is classified consistent with the paragraph marking of the “extracted” information and that it has been sanitized to remove any specific source/methods information.  And the President, with advice of staff, has determined that it is appropriate to declassify the memo, it is within his authority to do so.  I would hope that staff would consult with appropriated SSO’s for any Top Secret information being declassified.

Paragraph five, acknowledges that Nunes has not seen the source material and by inference HPSCI has followed the stipulated access requirements.  It does raise a real concern about the possible release of sources/methods.  But the flip side of the coin is if given access to the memo the DOJ/FBI could classify the memo at a level that would preclude release, solely for the purpose to prevent embarrassment.