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Gowdy: Dossier Used to Get Warrant, But Memo Won’t Impact Russia Probe

Gowdy: Dossier Used to Get Warrant, But Memo Won’t Impact Russia Probe

“So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who co-authored the infamous GOP memo, told Face the Nation that without the disputed Christopher Steele dossier, the FBI wouldn’t have been able to receive a surveillance warrant.

Gowdy is the only Republican on the committee that has seen the warrant applications. He also told Brennan that the public will not ever know if the FBI had justification to have surveillance on Carter Page. He explained that the application relied on three things: “the dossier, a reference to a Yahoo News article and other information available to the FISA court judges who approved warrants.”

The memo stated that the FISA application says that dossier author Christopher Steele did not provide the information to Yahoo! News for an article on Page’s trip to Moscow that the website published in September 2016.

However, as the memo states, that Steele did admit that “he met with Yahoo News-and several other outlets-in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS.” It also alleges that Perkins Coie, the law firm that hired Fusion GPS, knew about Steele’s “media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.”

From the transcript:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Would it have been authorized were it not for that dossier?

REP. GOWDY: No. It would not have been.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How can you say that? Because it was authorized four times by separate judges.

REP. GOWDY: Right. And the information was in there all four times.


REP. GOWDY: And the judge doesn’t do independent research. There are three Republicans that have seen every bit of information. Three of us: Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the Judiciary; Johnny Ratcliffe, who’s a former terrorism prosecutor and U.S. attorney in Texas, and me. All three of us have total confidence in the FBI and DOJ to be able to do the jobs that they have been assigned. We have confidence in Bob Mueller, and we have serious consideration– serious concerns about this process. So, we have all three of those things in common, including being concerned about what–what happened in 2016.

People have said the memo vindicates President Donald Trump and tried to use it to discredit the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but Gowdy insists that the memo will not affect it:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Saturday, President Trump tweeted that the memo “totally vindicated Trump” in the Russia probe. We sat down earlier with South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, a key House Intelligence investigator and asked him if he thought the president had been vindicated.

REP. GOWDY: I actually don’t think it has any impact on the Russia probe for this reason —

MARGARET BRENNAN: The memo has no impact on the Russia probe?

REP. GOWDY: No– not to me, it doesn’t — and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it. There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss having Gowdy in Congress.


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You’d have to be a fool or liar to not see the connection between the two. Somebody is pushing an agenda.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Matt_SE. | February 5, 2018 at 11:43 am

    “After announcing an intent to retire from congress & find a role for himself within the Justice System, congressman Trey Gowdy waxes philosophically about politics having infected the highest ranks of that system. In this role Gowdy is attempting to forward-position himself as the heir apparent to Robert Mueller. The positioning is transparent: The Institutions Must Be saved.

    Gowdy has, as a survival instinct, split himself away from accepting what those institutions represent today – and how they have been manipulated. Instead Mr. Gowdy replaces current reality by projecting his vision of the institutional intent as formed by his own moral compass. Unfortunately, corruption is fully metastasized within the upper-ranks. Curative approaches will not work; culling is needed.

    The FBI FISA abuses are symptomatic; they are not the disease itself. Chairman Nunes, Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Grassley have accepted the pathology reports (Horowitz) and are working on a curative treatment. Gowdy cannot bring himself to believe the scope of the pathology within his beloved institutions. Mueller is of the same ideological mind as Gowdy from the position of having created the system that must now be deconstructed and rebuilt anew.”

Confused here. Is he saying that even if the FISA warrant was illegally obtained, there are four other lines of Russia investigation not poisoned by it?

1) a Meeting at Trump Tower
2) an email to Cambridge Analytica
3) George P’s meeting in Britain
4) some undefined obstruction of justice

    jnials in reply to Fen. | February 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    He is saying there is a Russia investigation without any of these.

    This whole thing stinks of a classic disinformation campaign. Feed a bunch of stuff to Steele to destabilize our government. Attempt to influence in other ways. Either way, they win. Because we have been destabilized.

But we have evidence that the Hillary campaign, the DNC, the law firm Perkins Cole, and Fusion GPS actually conspired with British and Russian operatives to influence the election.

Why aren’t these people being raided by the Feds?

Why aren’t the names of players at Perkins Cole and Fusion GPS not being reported?

Why do we not know the names of journalists on Fusion GPS’s payroll?

Fuzzy things up enough and all but the most politicaly oriented will just drop out and the average LIV will glance at CNN in the waiting room and accept that as fact.

Wouldn’t anything gleaned from the Mueller investigation fall under the “Fruit of the poisoned tree” doctrine? It would seem to a nonlawyer that if the original premise is faulty then anything discovered from that premise would not be admissible.

    Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | February 5, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Admissible where? None of this is ever going to see a courtroom, because even if it were all true, even if it were proven that Trump asked Putin to release the DNC and Podesta emails, no crime would have been committed. At most it might lead to impeachment and a trial in the senate, at which all relevant evidence would be considered, regardless of how it was obtained.

    Semper Why in reply to inspectorudy. | February 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Probably not. At this point, they’re going for obstruction of justice charges. These would be about events that occurred after the investigation started. It actually is a crime to interfere with the government as they travel down a rabbit hole.

      Milhouse in reply to Semper Why. | February 6, 2018 at 12:05 am

      They can’t charge the President with obstruction of justice, because if he felt like it he could quite legally have simply ordered Comey to lay off Flynn. The only place to take such a charge, if they could substantiate it, is the House of Representatives.

“So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”

We don’t need a dossier … we don’t need evidence … we don’t need no stinkin’ badges … what we have here is a gen-u-whine perpetual motion machine. And Bob Mueller will be immortalized as the Energizer Bunny of Washington politics.

I think he is right, as far as he went.
Unsaid is that this calls into question the competence and honesty of those at the top of the justice department who signed the applications using the dossier as justification.
Further, the casualness to obtain a warrant using such unproven “evidence” makes it look like the practice is routine. Since all this is done in secret, how many others are done this way? A rubber stamp court that routinely accepts this type of stuff as evidence isn’t enough for me.

What kind of game is Gowdy playing? I’d think that having two major supports for that warrant show up to be fake/politically generated would overcome any other ‘alleged’ support for that warrant. No one has ever come up with any proof of Russian interference in our election. By anyone. Just those pitiful social media ads which aren’t interference by any definition of the word.

    Granny in reply to rabidfox. | February 4, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    No Russian interference by anyone except perhaps those who paid for and assembled the Steele Dossier. There were purportedly Russians involved in that.

I wasn’t perturbed about Gowdy’s comments re the Mueller probe. The Mueller probe is a juggernaut; nothing can get in its way or affect its outcome. Oh, most of the lawyers on his staff are solid Democratic supporters and aren’t even making a pretense of an arm’s length relationship? Nothing to see here; move along.

My guess is that Mueller will find all sorts of crap because, let’s face it, you sift though a garbage dump (i.e., everything inside the beltway), you’re bound to find some garbage.

The key point here is the answer to two simple questions: [#1] Did Trump collude with Russia during the election? and [#2] Did Trump obstruct justice?

To me, nothing else matters. Flynn, Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos, maybe Trump, Jr., etc., etc. are all collateral damage. I do not think Trump colluded and I do not think he obstructed justice. I don’t think he did it because I don’t think he needed to do it. Clinton sank herself.

Everyone says Trump is stupid, and I can’t say either way on a purely intellectual level. But I do think he is crafty. And I think he is smart enough not to have done something so stupid during the campaign or during his first year in office that would bring his administration down. Trump knows the stakes; he knows that if he can’t turn this thing around right here and now, it’ll be game over. The United States as it has existed for almost 250 years will cease to exist as we know it.

Mueller will get his guys, of that there can be no doubt. But he’ll have spent a year and more than $20 mio. of the taxpayers’ money trying to prove something against Trump, and he will fail at that. Yes, Trump might have had a bunch of people on his team that were on the margins, and some of them may go down, but I don’t think that Trump, per se, will have had anything to do with it.

And when Mueller finishes—with all of the time and financial resources used—my guess is that the consensus of the American voting public will simply roll their eyes and say, “Is that all there is?” BFD.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to tiger66. | February 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    As an aside with regards to President Trump’s intelligence, I never considered that he is stupid. Yet, with so much hype in the air, who knows what to believe. So, it was with considerable interest that I read “CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Trump asks ‘sophisticated questions’ during intelligence briefings” published in The Washington Examiner (January 23, 2018).

    I cite a few statements from the article. CIA Director Mike Pompeo observes, “I have seen 25-year intelligence professionals receive briefings, . . . I would tell you that President Trump is the kind of recipient of our information at the same level that they are.”

    And, “Trump frequently cites details from past briefings during National Security Council meetings, Pompeo said.”

    Another: “The president asks hard questions. He’s deeply engaged. We’ll have [a] rambunctious back and forth,” Pompeo said.”

    I hope this is as helpful for you as it was for me.


    rdmdawg in reply to tiger66. | February 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    This misses the point, Mueller is in search of dirt not for any criminal case against anyone, though if he snipes a few Trump associates here and there, he’ll take it.

    He is collecting dirt on Trump for the 2018 impeachment effort. They’re still confident that they’ll retake the house in 2018 and need Trump punished. No outsider can get away with what Trump is getting away with.

      VaGentleman in reply to rdmdawg. | February 4, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      Actually, they don’t even need an impeachment. They may not even want one. Mueller declares he has enough evidence to press criminal charges against Trump. If Sessions declines to prosecute, Ds claim the ‘fix is in’. If Trump stays and fights, the Rs have to spend their efforts defending him and the Ds don’t need to have any policy but attack Trump. If he resigns, the Ds say ‘toldja’, Pence assumes office and is neutered by association, and the Rs would probably lose the congress.

        Which of course would be a coup d’etat . . . and an unconstitutional removal of a sitting POTUS. BAD precedent.

        Milhouse in reply to VaGentleman. | February 5, 2018 at 12:40 am

        What criminal charges could there be? Conspiring with Putin to release the DNC/Podesta email is not a crime. Asking Comey to go easy on Flynn, or even ordering him outright, is not a crime. The only potential crime I can think of would be if he’d asked Putin to obtain that email in the first place. But it’s inconceivable that he would do so, because surely the Russians did that long before any possible deal could have been made.

          VaGentleman in reply to Milhouse. | February 5, 2018 at 1:31 am

          They didn’t have any evidence to start the investigation, so they made it up. All they need to do is fabricate something or interpret something in a way that looks criminal, and recommend filing charges. If they know it isn’t criminal, so what? It just has to appear to possibly be criminal and they will get 20 dem ‘legal experts’ to swear that it needs to go to court. The purpose is not to get a conviction, it’s to get him out of office or neutralize him if he stays. The legal system has been totally weaponized by the dems. (See AK, TX, VA, WI, et al) Counting on the law to set things right or logic to end the insanity is futile. This is just a naked abuse of power by the dems for political gain. And it’s working. The admin has been tied up for a year and no end in sight. They argue that lack of evidence = need for more investigation and proof of the depth of the corruption. The only place in American courts where justice MAY be served is in the case of an alleged child molester who is NOT a member of the political power base. Common theft to murder, its all been corrupted by the SJWs.

          Gowdy thinks the legal system still works – fool.

    Granny in reply to tiger66. | February 4, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I’m fairly adept at pinpointing someone’s intelligence. It is said that Donald Trump has an IQ of 160 and I would buy that. I think that he is one of those exceedingly rare individuals that can simultaneously be both a genius and have a unique ability to communicate with those who are not.

      DieJustAsHappy in reply to Granny. | February 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      I wouldn’t doubt the IQ. And, he’s a character alright, who happened to come along at just the right time. I’d like to be alive 30 or 40 years from now and read some of the biographies written about him!

Gowdy can be vexing. He says, incoherently, the Russia investigation should go on unimpeded. Based on what? Without the Steele dossier, there’s no basis for the claim, pace the stupid behavior of Don Jr.

Then Gowdy says the dossier has nothing to do with the “obstruction of justice” investigation, which continues along merrily. The entire obstruction gambit is an attempt to get Trump impeached. It has nothing to do with any crime.

Mueller was not chartered, as I understand it, to go looking for an obstruction charge. He is looking into collusion. Maybe next he’ll go after Trump on some sex charge.

Other thing about Mueller. If he really believes or suspects that Trump committed treason, then he’s a stupid man. But he’s not stupid. So what’s he up to? After all this time, Mueller can’t figure out that this whole affair was a piece of sludge Hillary and her gang threw against the wall? There’s no there there!

    rdmdawg in reply to Titan28. | February 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    There would’ve been no “justice” to obstruct without the steele dossier being used to obtain a FISA warrant.

Graham and Gowdy, SC going to renamed “The Weasel State”.

Gowdy still believes in the institutions that have been corrupted. He seems to be having a hard time coming to grips with this fact. During his entire tenure in Congress, he has provided great sound bites and compelling YouTube clips during hearings, but has not accomplished much else. The Benghazi hearings were a disaster and that is probably why he has not been given a prominent role in any of the investigations into the DOJ/FBI corruption. I think he has chosen well in going back to private life.

Trump should fire Mueller now along with everyone working for him, with the instruction that anything of actual substance his team may have developed be referred to DOJ for further disposition. End of story.

What is truly terrifying is that AG or acting AG is to be presented with the findings of the SC and he decides what if any further action is needed. Guess who is the acting AG? That’s right, Rosenstein! He not only signed one of the FISA warrant applications but is up to his eyebrows in this whole mess. I don’t believe Hollywood would even attempt to make a movie about this because no one would believe the things that are actually true in this case. Today it has been learned that the FBI, in the shooting in Oregon in 2016 as an offshoot of the Bundy case, told the local cops to NOT wear their body cameras! The Boy Scouts in the FBI are not quite the choir boys they claim to be.

I had enjoyed Goudy’s various appearances and questionings, but despite how effective he was with his scalpel like parsing of the words and exposing the lies, nothing ever happened. He has made a number of statements which have left me baffled before, as it doesn’t seem to match with the other things he has put together.

Either I am just not seeing the paths as he does, even though he seems to lay out a case almost as clearly as Comey did against Hillary, and yet does the same damned thing Comey did, backs off and says nothing to see here.

I do not have a lot of trust in the FBI. Sure, there are plenty working there that are trustworthy and doing a fine job, but higher ranks have become politically motivated and when they are doing the directing, it should be troubling to a lot of people. Goudy helped craft the memo, which basically showed that the FISA warrants should never have been granted, therefore the information gleaned from those warrants is tainted. How does that lead to a conclusion that this drummed up Russia collusion and following obstruction of justice push should still have merit?

Had I been questioning Goudy, I would have asked him if he felt Mueller’s investigation should continue, why wouldn’t he have a problem with it, given that the whole thing came from a warrant that he just said wouldn’t have been granted? How can he claim so much faith in the FBI when McCabe and Comey were both involved with the phony dossier, and Comey leaked classified information to a friend of his with the purpose of getting Mueller his current job? How can he have such confidence given the team Mueller has put together, with obvious bias and agendas of their own? How can he have faith that Rosenstein isn’t tainted with this whole phony dossier, and him being in charge (supposedly) of Mueller’s investigation?

I think Goudy has gone in a similar manner that Roberts has. I feel both are compromised in some manner, and it is his not being comfortable with selling out that is the main reason he isn’t seeking reelection. It just seems with Goudy, that he puts out the formula and then adds in some strange factor bringing out an entirely different result than the points he makes would lead. If he has other information which leads to that other path, why the comment that the warrants would not have happened? That first part negates all the rest.

Gowdy is just telling us straight up, what he knows in light of the facts. It isn’t opinon, so far as the probe goes.
I don’t blame him for quitting.
I read today that the reject rate for FISA warrants is .03 Percent.
That is three in ten thousand.

I’m trying to understand Gowdy. Its understood that they warrant would never have been acquired without the dossier, and yet he suggests that the probe continue? Is he trying to say that Mueller is capable of re-directing the probe in the right direction? I’m confused…

The instigation of the Mueller probe was illegitimate. It was based on illegally leaked documents by Comey who is totally tainted, run by a tainted team selected by a tainted leader, i.e. Mueller who answers to a tainted Dep. AG, Rosenstein who violated the law by misleading the FISC and appointing a Spec. Counsel without a proper violation of law. All based on illegal surveillance of American citizens in violation of the 4th Amendment of that pesky Constitution. Oh yea, Gowdy is really a patriot (from the deep state). S/O

DieJustAsHappy | February 5, 2018 at 4:46 am

“Trey Gowdy is retiring because he thinks he was a ‘lousy politician'” – The Washington Examiner, February 4, 2018.

In light of this article, perhaps he thinks the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller ought to continue because it would be only “fair” to do so.

Why can we not see or hear one thing about what the Russians DID during the election to affect it?

Wait wait wait. The shiny object known as Trey Gowdy is a prosecutor by profession.

How can this clown know that warrants were obtained by presenting manufactured evidence in court and at the same time claim that illegally obtained warrants don’t impact the investigation that is solely dependent on the illegal warrants?

    Arminius in reply to gwsjr425. | February 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    As you say, he’s a prosecutor. And investigators, prosecutors and federal attorneys routinely violate laws and ethical standards to gain what they want such as convictions.

    The DoJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (heh) knows this full well.

    “The violations include instances in which attorneys who have a duty to uphold justice have, according to the internal affairs office, misled courts, withheld evidence that could have helped defendants, abused prosecutorial and investigative power, and violated constitutional rights.

    From fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2013, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) documented more than 650 infractions, according to a Project On Government Oversight review of data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and from OPR reports.

    In the majority of the matters—more than 400—OPR categorized the violations as being at the more severe end of the scale: recklessness or intentional misconduct, as distinct from error or poor judgment.

    The information the Justice Department has disclosed is only part of the story. No less significant is what as a matter of policy it keeps from the public.

    As a general practice, the Justice Department does not make public the names of attorneys who acted improperly or the defendants whose cases were affected. The result: the Department, its lawyers, and the internal watchdog office itself are insulated from meaningful public scrutiny and accountability…”

    “…Did the government’s lawyers lie? Or did they make a months-long mistake? That was the question posed to the DOJ’s legal team by a visibly angry Judge Hanen in a hearing in Brownsville, Texas, last Thursday. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Hartnett could not explain why multiple DOJ lawyers — herself included — told the court multiple times over two and a half months that DHS would not be accepting requests for deferred action under the challenged order until mid February. She implausibly claimed that the legal team thought the injunction request did not apply to the expansion of DACA under the president’s November order — despite the clear words of the states’ initial filings and explicit statements made in court.

    It seems clear what Hanen thinks happened: “When I asked you what would happen and you said nothing, I took it to heart. I was made to look like an idiot,” Hanen told Hartnett. “I believed your word that nothing would happen. . . . Like an idiot, I believed that.” If Hanen was, in fact, duped, he would not be the first one. This administration has been happy to employ dishonesty for political gain, and in Eric Holder’s wildly politicized Department of Justice, lawyers playing fast and loose with the truth would be no surprise. If the government’s attorneys did not willfully deceive, then the only credible alternative explanation is staggering incompetence — which should be alarming in its own right.

    Read more at:

    Mike Nifong, anybody?

    Of course, Nifong was a state official. When is the last time you’ve heard of a federal prosecutor going to prison for committing crimes such as witness intimidation, or even being disciplined.

    I mention that because Mueller’s lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissman, did exactly that in the Enron case. He also routinely makes up crimes that don’t exist to aid with that intimidation, and withholds exculpatory evidence. In one trial of a former Enron executive the guy took the plea deal an plead guilty. The amazed juge asked him if he knew he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that didn’t exist.

    Typical Weissman tactic.

    In the four highest profile Enron convictions, every single one was overturned. Weissman convicted former Merrill Lynch executive William Fuhs to a maximum security prison in Oklahoma (there are prisons closer to his Denver home, but Weissman did that out of pure spite so his wife and children couldn’t visit him). I actually don’t know what Fuhs was convicted of, because his attorneys eventually got him released on bail while his appeals were still pending. And the 5th Circuit vacated his conviction, saying that there was no evidence upon which a reasonable jury could have had any basis to find that Fuhs had violated the law.

    Ted Stevens’ conviction, the late former Senator from Alaska, had his conviction set aside on appeal due to egregious prosecutorial misconduct. In fact, the judge excoriated the prosecutors and ordered a criminal inquiry into their prosecutors conduct. But Obama wanted to change the make up of the Senate. Does anyone imagine those prosecutors got into any trouble with their boss for delivering the win-at-any-cost purely political conviction he wanted?

    I just don’t think Gowdy thinks what Comey’s FBI and Lynch’s Doj did to get that FISC warrant is any big deal.