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Honored Social Butterfly

Lawful Unmasking and Political Spying...

The line between lawful unmasking and political spying — and what comes next

 

Investigators looking for possible criminality will likely examine leaks, emails, discussions, and timing of unmaskings.

 

By:  John Solomon

 

When my colleague Sara Carter and I broke the story in spring 2017 about a three-fold increase in the search of Americans' unmasked phone records during President Obama's second term, the immediate fear was that a limited tool created for intelligence analysts had been become so widespread that political appointees might use it to target political enemies.

 

The fear was that if US intelligence increasingly searched phone records of Americans collected by the National Security Agency to learn who they talked with overseas and on what days, it would become more tempting to seek to listen to specific intercepted conversations of political adversaries, i.e. spying on the actual conversations after the fact,

 

Those fears were realized on Wednesday when documents declassified by acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Ric Grenell and made public by two senators showed more than a dozen Obama political appointees sought to unmask more than two dozen intercepted conversations involving then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. And that occurred in just the two months between when President Trump won the election and he took office.

 

Most of the requesters were appointees not career intelligence analysts, and included the likes of Vice President Joe Biden, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, two ambassadors and a half dozen Treasury Department officials including then-Secretary Jack Lew.

 

To illustrate the political ties, one of the requesters listed, then-Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Raskin, is married to Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, one of Trump's harshest critics in Congress. Fired FBI Director James Comey and ex-CIA Director John Brennan, two more Trump critics, also got in on the unmasking action.

 

The outrage over the widespread unmasking of Flynn spread quickly. 

 

"It was the greatest political crime in the history of our country," President Trump declared Thursday in an interview with Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo. "If I were a Democrat instead of a Republican, I think everybody would have been in jail a long time ago,"

 

But outrage aside, the question of whether crimes were committed or anyone gets punished depends on facts, lots of them. And they will have to be answered by investigators. One crime is certain to have been committed: an unmasked conversation between Flynn and Russia's ambassador to Washington was leaked to at least two media outlets. Others are far less certain.

 

Grenell sent the list of unmasking requesters to the Justice Department, providing valuable evidence to John Durham and Jeff Jensen, the two special prosecutors named by Attorney General William Barr to investigate possible crimes committed by investigators in the discredited Russia probe.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson also have promised investigations.

 

"In light of General Flynn’s unmasking by the Obama Administration, the job of Congress will be to perform oversight of these unmasking requests to ensure the process was used for legitimate national security concerns, not reprisals or political curiosity," Graham said Wednesday. “I specifically want to know how many unmasking requests were made, if any, beyond General Flynn regarding members of the Trump campaign team, family, or associates.”

 

Graham's comment zeroes in on some of the key facts that need to be ascertained. Investigators will need to review the emails, text messages and memos of requesters and possibly interview witnesses to determine whether the unmasking requests were lawful. The key is whether the requester had a valid intelligence reason to possess the name, legal experts say.

 

If a Treasury official like Raskin or the U.N. ambassador requested the unmasking because they were trying to deal with a foreign official confused by U.S. policy during the transition, that likely would be deemed a lawful intelligence purpose. But if an official requested the information because they personally did not like the incoming Trump administration or wanted to thwart Flynn during the transition through leaking or other means, it could be deemed an act against a political adversary and a misuse of unmasking.

 

Likewise, if they shared the name of an American or the transcript contents with an unauthorized person, that could be legally problematic.

 

Those officials who requested access to the late December transcript between Flynn and the Russian ambassador almost certainly will be scrutinized about whether they were a source of the leak to the news media. That is the most likely crime to come out of the unmasking fiasco. The list that Grenell sent to the Senate, however, does not identify which officials sought the ambassador conversation.

 

A final question for the investigators resides in the policy question about whether unmasking has become too easy to do and therefore infringes on Americans privacy, specifically the Constitution's 4th Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. On that front, there are already troubling revelations.

 

Power, whose name was invoked for hundreds of unmasking requests, testified to Congress she did not make most of those requests attributed to her. That suggests some dangerous looseness in the unmasking system.

 

The final clue about unmasking and politics resides in the trend lines.

 

First it is important to understand the law. The NSA is not allowed to intentionally intercept Americans phone calls. But if the agency does so incidentally, it was must keep the name/identity of the Americans minimized or hidden in the databases that are routinely searched by intelligence analysts. Unmasking is a request to eliminate that protection and identify either the phone records or actual conversations of those Americans.

 

When Carter and I broke the story in 2017, the number of Americans who had their phone records intercepted by the NSA and their call records (metadata) searched unmasked had exploded from more than 9,500 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2016. About one out of every six times an Americans phone records was searched, there was a request to search the unmasked contents of the call, the records.

 

Both grew about the same pace. Meaning the more searches on phone records there were, the more searches there were to find the content of the calls.

 

Republicans were outraged. And they did something about it. Trump instituted a new policy substantially tightening up the unmasking process and searches of Americans phone records have been cut about in half.

 

For instance, there were just 14,374 unmasked searches of Americans calls in 2018 and that ticked up in 2019 to 16,692, well below the 2016 levels, according to newly released data from the DNI.

 

However, the number of times an agency later sought to unmask the name of American that was originally redacted in a final intelligence report has stayed fairly steady. It was about 9,200 in 2016 and reached a little over 10,000 in 2019. So the Trump reforms have not changed that practice much. In fact, it has gone up a bit, concerning civil libertarians.

 

In a twist of irony, the questions about the conduct of Russia probe investigators have come full circle back to the unmasking of Americans' phone records and their contents, right where they started in spring 2017. But many more facts are needed before history can render a final judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIMTSTL
Honored Social Butterfly

We are getting close to 15 now. You even repost the same nonsense only from good old John S who has never understood anything, or reported the truth on anything.

The JD just closed the probe on this as told us nothing was done wrong and now laws broken.

 

Sadly the new great system allow people to do that and make it look like the first time.

Honored Social Butterfly

You can listen to radical right wing propaganda or do your own research. Check out how many times the Trump administration used masking versus the Obama administration. You will immediately realize this story is pure propaganda. 

 

Masking is legal and it's been used far more often by the Trump Administration than the Obama administration,

Honored Social Butterfly


@CriticalThinking wrote:

You can listen to radical right wing propaganda or do your own research. Check out how many times the Trump administration used masking versus the Obama administration. You will immediately realize this story is pure propaganda. 

 

Masking is legal and it's been used far more often by the Trump Administration than the Obama administration,


Right you are, CeeTee!  Clearly, the DOJ did their own research and found this whole charade by trump, his lame propaganda machine and extremists was a "nothing burger"...


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Esteemed Social Butterfly


@Centristsin2010 wrote:

@CriticalThinking wrote:

You can listen to radical right wing propaganda or do your own research. Check out how many times the Trump administration used masking versus the Obama administration. You will immediately realize this story is pure propaganda. 

 

Masking is legal and it's been used far more often by the Trump Administration than the Obama administration,


Right you are, CeeTee!  Clearly, the DOJ did their own research and found this whole charade by trump, his lame propaganda machine and extremists was a "nothing burger"...


I love the smell of conspiracy theories biting the dust. 😆

 

📰 ‘Unmasking’ probe commissioned by Barr concludes without charges or any public report

Honored Social Butterfly

CriticalThinking:   You can listen to radical right wing propaganda or do your own research. Check out how many times the Trump administration used masking versus the Obama administration. You will immediately realize this story is more propaganda. 

 

 

Of course it's propaganda, but it's the glue that holds the wacky conspiracy theories together. A few minutes of research is all it takes to shoot holes in the stuff, but then what would they be left with except egg on their faces?

Honored Social Butterfly

Good luck on your Snipe Hunt.😂  

 

Susan Rice Email Debunks the “Obamagate” Conspiracy Theory

https://thebulwark.com/45751-2/

Honored Social Butterfly

On Tuesday, the previously redacted paragraph was declassified, and buried behind the blackout were details of the Obama administration’s focus on Flynn:

 

Director Comey affirmed that he is proceeding ‘by the book’ as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied ‘potentially.’ He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.’

This paragraph reveals several significant details. First, Comey distinguished between law enforcement and national security, and was not proceeding “by the book” related to the latter. Second, Obama knew of Comey’s intent and condoned the withholding of information from the incoming administration.

 

Now, thanks to the additional declassification, we know the purported concerns about Flynn were specific: Comey told President Obama he was concerned about the level of communication with Kislyak and raised the possibility that Flynn might pass classified information to Kislyak.

 

Of course, it would be entirely normal and appropriate for Flynn to speak with the Russian ambassador as part of the Trump transition team, and there is no reason to believe Flynn would share classified information with Kislyak. In fact, we know from the FBI’s closing memorandum on Flynn that a thorough investigation had revealed no derogatory information.

But Comey cautioned Obama otherwise. Why? And why did Rice belatedly document this conversation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIMTSTL
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Honored Social Butterfly

Last time I checked, NO ONE with a security clearance who is found to have  conducted multiple SECRET (NO official 3d party-verified record) meetings with agents of a hostile foreign power gets to keep their clearance. It's why none of the tRump kids should have a clearance and why the ToadPOTUS had to override our security agencies to get his kids and in-laws their clearances.

 

Its also why we must rid ourselves of the traitorous Toad who has almost DAILY SECRET CONVERSATIONS WITH Vlad the Stumpy, leader of a most hostile foreign Government.

Honored Social Butterfly

Scout makes a great point in reasking why the trump kid’s have security clearance and why are copies of trump’s talks with putin and other dictators locked away in the super secret WH computer?

And transparentcy, out the window...

we never saw the entire unredacted transcript of trump’s phone call with leader of the Ukraine...which led to trump being impeached. 
Security is a trump lie...we are not secure as a Nation!

Nor should security clearances be passed out like party favors...how many current administration officials do not deserve security clearance?

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Honored Social Butterfly

A final question for the investigators resides in the policy question about whether unmasking has become too easy to do and therefore infringes on Americans privacy, specifically the Constitution's 4th Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That's one of the things I've been most concerned about. I knew it would come to this sooner or later. Congress must fix this, and I don't mean tweak it. Get rid of the Patriot Act and leave American civil liberties alone. 

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Honored Social Butterfly

The line between lawful unmasking and political spying — and what comes next

=====================================

Obama and Biden will have a lot of explaining for what they did.
Honored Social Butterfly


@KidBoy2 wrote:
The line between lawful unmasking and political spying — and what comes next (sic)

=====================================

Obama and Biden will have a lot of explaining for what they did.  Oh Really?  Who do they need to explain about the idiot in the WH, Fox News and William Barr to?  Most intelligent adults already know.

"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

KidBoy2  Obama and Biden will have a lot of explaining for what they did.

 

They managed one of the most successful administrations of the century.  They tryed to explain to Trump how to do that and he would not listen. Now we have Trump world full of death and economic misery.  Not to worry, Biden remembers how they cleaned up the mess after the last Republican administration and can do it again. 

Honored Social Butterfly

They managed one of the most successful administrations of the century. They tryed to explain to Trump how to do that and he would not listen. Now we have Trump world full of death and economic misery.

 

Surprise surprise!  Trump didn't want poverty for all like Obama wanted.  The death was China's doing just in case you missed it.

Honored Social Butterfly


@NOTHAPPENING wrote:

They managed one of the most successful administrations of the century. They tryed to explain to Trump how to do that and he would not listen. Now we have Trump world full of death and economic misery.

 

Surprise surprise!  Trump didn't want poverty for all like Obama wanted.  Bovine excrement...Obama didn't want poverty!  Prove your false accusation...but it IS on trumps watch....

 

8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up 

 

The death was China's doing ...and trumps failures let the virus come unheeded into the US from Europe and China as he failed to quarenteen the 40,000 he allowed in from China...  just in case you missed it.  Just in case you missed it....


 


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

NOTHAPPENING:  Surprise surprise!  Trump didn't want poverty for all like Obama wanted.  The death was China's doing just in case you missed it.

 

 

Just when I think I've heard it all.😂

Honored Social Butterfly

Susan Rice’s Email Proves FBI Had No Legitimate Reason To Question Flynn

 
The recently declassified paragraph in Susan Rice’s email confirms the FBI had no valid investigative purpose for questioning Flynn on January 24, 2017.

 

BY:  Margot Cleveland

 

Yesterday’s release of Susan Rice’s inauguration-day email to herself provided further evidence of former President Barack Obama’s participation in the FBI’s targeting of Michael Flynn. The recently declassified paragraph in Rice’s email, however, proves significant for another reason: It confirms the FBI had no valid investigative purpose for questioning Flynn on January 24, 2017.

 

In February 2018, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham announced that as part of their efforts to conduct oversight of the FBI and DOJ they had discovered “a partially unclassified email sent by President Obama’s former National Security Advisor (NSA) Susan Rice to herself on January 20, 2017—President Trump’s inauguration day.”

 

At the time, the Republican senators noted that in her email Rice “purport[ed] to document a meeting that had taken place more than two weeks before, on January 5, 2017,” and then quoted the unclassified portions of the document:

 

On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.

 

President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.

 

From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.

The next paragraph was redacted, but Rice then concluded by writing, “The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.”

 

On Tuesday, the previously redacted paragraph was declassified, and buried behind the blackout were details of the Obama administration’s focus on Flynn:

 

Director Comey affirmed that he is proceeding ‘by the book’ as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied ‘potentially.’ He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.’

This paragraph reveals several significant details. First, Comey distinguished between law enforcement and national security, and was not proceeding “by the book” related to the latter. Second, Obama knew of Comey’s intent and condoned the withholding of information from the incoming administration.

 

Now, thanks to the additional declassification, we know the purported concerns about Flynn were specific: Comey told President Obama he was concerned about the level of communication with Kislyak and raised the possibility that Flynn might pass classified information to Kislyak.

 

Of course, it would be entirely normal and appropriate for Flynn to speak with the Russian ambassador as part of the Trump transition team, and there is no reason to believe Flynn would share classified information with Kislyak. In fact, we know from the FBI’s closing memorandum on Flynn that a thorough investigation had revealed no derogatory information.

But Comey cautioned Obama otherwise. Why? And why did Rice belatedly document this conversation?

 

Possibility one: Comey, and in turn Rice and Obama, truly believed Flynn was compromised and might hand classified information to the Russians. But if that was the case, it was inexcusable for Comey not to brief President-elect Trump on that fear. And it was inexcusable for then-President Obama not to direct Comey to provide that briefing.

 

The second possibility is that no one suspected Flynn of being a Russian agent, but the FBI needed a pretext to continue to investigate Flynn so it could justify withholding details of the broader Crossfire Hurricane investigation from Flynn and thereby Trump. Either possibility is a huge political scandal that runs right through Comey to Obama.

 

However, there is a second significance to the details released yesterday, namely the declassified paragraph, when read together with other recently released documents, confirms that when FBI Agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka questioned Flynn on January 24, 2017, the FBI had no valid investigative purpose.

 

It was during that January 24, 2017 questioning of Flynn that the retired general purportedly lied to Strzok and Pientka about his conversations with Kislyak. In late 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, but later sought to withdraw his guilty plea.

 

While that motion was pending, U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered an independent review of the Flynn prosecution. That review, conducted by Missouri-based U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, revealed the lead prosecuting attorney—a hold-over from the special counsel’s office—Brandon Van Grack, had withheld exculpatory evidence from Flynn’s attorneys. That evidence included a January 4, 2017, FBI memorandum closing the investigation into Flynn and a series of text messages showing Strzok short-circuited the case closing by orders from above.

 

Also uncovered were handwritten notes discussing the FBI’s planned January 24, 2017 interview of Flynn, and scribbles questioning the motive: Was it to get the truth? Or was it to get Flynn to lie to get him prosecuted or fired?

 

That evidence, and Jensen’s independent investigation, led the DOJ to conclude that the January 24, 2017 interview “was not conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore, even if Flynn made false statements, they were not material.” Based on this conclusion, the D.C. U.S. attorney filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charge against Flynn.

 

Rather than toss out the criminal charge, however, presiding Judge Emmet Sullivan appointed a biased former judge as an amicus curiae to argue against dismissal. Yesterday, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell filed an emergency petition (called a petition for a writ of mandamus) with the D.C. Circuit Court, asking the appellate court to direct Sullivan—or a newly assigned judge—to dismiss the charge.

 

Meanwhile, outside the courtroom, pundits have been debating the propriety of the motion to dismiss. Those condemning Barr’s decision to drop the charge against Flynn have argued that the FBI’s ongoing Russia collusion investigation provided FBI agents a proper predicate to question Flynn. While the FBI may have intended to close the investigation into Flynn on January 4, 2017, critics argue, the discovery of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak raised new questions related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, justifying the questioning of Flynn.

 

Rice’s email spoils that talking point, because she lays out Comey’s supposed counterintelligence concern: that Flynn may be passing classified information to Russia. But between January 5, 2017, when Comey told Obama about his misgivings, and January 24, 2017, when the FBI questioned Flynn, the FBI must have ruled out that possibility.

 

How do we know? Because the handwritten notes discussing the purpose of the interview were silent on that possibility. Bill Priestap, the former FBI counterintelligence head, after asking if the FBI’s goal was “truth” or “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired,” spoke of “getting” Flynn “to admit [his] wrongdoing.” And the only wrongdoing suggested was the Logan Act—an antiquated and most assuredly unconstitutional law that no one even pretends would serve as the basis for a legitimate investigation.

 

So, contrary to the left’s current talking points, the discovery of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak did not provide a basis to question Flynn on January 24, 2017, because the FBI had already ruled out any connection between those conversations and the Russia collusion investigation. And there was no other proper investigative purpose to questioning Flynn. That is why the government sought to dismiss the charge against Flynn.

 

Whether, and when, the government will be able to do so, remains unclear. But we should know more later today on the schedule the D.C. Circuit sets for resolving Flynn’s petition for a writ of mandamus.

 

 

 

VIMTSTL
Honored Social Butterfly

Another day and another article this time from Cleveland a far right nonsense opinion writer. She takes something that proves everything Trump and his crew have been telling us is not true and puts it out there as proof. Now thanks to her all can see how stupid this Trump invented attack on a real President (Obama) has been. Over the next few weeks this will go into the ash can of Trumps other lies about people like his Ukraine nonsense against Biden. We do not hear about that any more on a day to day basis. Another failure on Trump and his handlers. The word on the Street is that the money forces behind Trump have told him to stop attacking Obama as it hurts him.

Well there is one group who thinks good old Margot has a good story. His enablers and you see them all excited and pushing the nonsense even their leaders now know blows up what they were trying to start. Once again the experts are proved correct on what they have told us. See the film 6 billboards.

Honored Social Butterfly

The Susan Rice email that was just declassified and released provides even more clarity of exactly what happened as the corrupt Obama Administration was heading out the door.  The very day President Trump was being sworn into office she was in "CYA Mode". Much more to come, day by day...  Tick Tock!!  It's all coming out now!

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

 

Former FBI Director James Comey suggested to then-President Barack Obama in a January 2017 meeting that the National Security Council might not want to pass “sensitive information related to Russia” to then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a newly declassified email that Flynn’s predecessor sent herself on Inauguration Day.

 

The note from Susan Rice was declassified by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and transmitted to the Justice Department. Fox News obtained a copy Tuesday from GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s office, which had sought access to the document.

 

The Jan. 20, 2017 email Rice sent to herself documented a Jan. 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama and others, where he provided guidance on how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

 

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’” Rice emailed to herself. “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

 

 

 

VIMTSTL
Honored Social Butterfly

jimc91:  Much more to come, day by day...  Tick Tock!!  It's all coming out now!

 

 

Such anticipation......................it reminds me of this.

 

Honored Social Butterfly

The Jan. 20, 2017 email Rice sent to herself documented a Jan. 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama and others, where he provided guidance on how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

Part of Jim's post..

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’” Rice emailed to herself. “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

=========================================================

It shows what the Obama administration was doing to try to make Trump look bad when in fact the Obama administration were the ones that were making our great country look bad. Shame on Obama..as more come out about what has done and has not done his place in history will take a hit, as it should.
Honored Social Butterfly

The Jan. 20, 2017 email Rice sent to herself documented a Jan. 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama and others, where he provided guidance on how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And some are still in denial of this.  

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Honored Social Butterfly

Good old John and Sara at it again. Never will the real truth come from them, and never will the far right enablers stop pushing the opinion they write. In my  opinion they have no idea what truth is, and are part of the Dictator Trump supporters.

Now there is a small change in John this time. He seems to admit the person who wanted to unmask  did not know the identity of the person until they were unmasked. Flynn was unmasked because he was one of the best contacts Russia had in the US and was very active. All of our people who read what he was saying new this Flynn was a top agent supplying info to the Russians. Only John could try and turn a top agent into a victim. In my opinion John is a good agent for Russia since he sure does try and protect them. What is even worse is we have Americans helping him do that by putting out the opinions he writes as fact.

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