The surveillance of Carter Page, based in part on the Steele Memo, has been the subject of a House Intelligence Committee memo authored by the Republican majority, and a Democrat counter-memo.

The heart of the dispute is the failure to inform the FISA court that the Steele memo, which is almost entirely unverified, was paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, and that Steele was hostile to Trump. Carter Page, however, clearly was not the target, he was the excuse, as I wrote last month:

That a FISA warrant was issued as to Carter Page was reported last spring. So that wasn’t a surprise, but the surprise is that anyone actually cared about Carter Page. Have you seen the guy on TV? He’s on TV almost as much as Adam Schiff, and they both come across as doofuses. Carter Page was so important the FBI went out on a limb to use a questionable document in court to convince a judge to surveil him? I’m not buying it.

That Carter Page was not the real subject of the surveillance was revealed by the hyperventilated attempts to keep the memo from being released based on claims it would reveal critical sources and methods and damage national security. Now that we’ve seen the memo, we know that those protestations were false.

The surveillance of Carter Page was not about Carter Page. He’s a bit player in a larger drama, and that larger drama is what we need to understand.

The DOJ Office of Inspector General issued the following announcement today, DOJ OIG Announces Initiation of Review

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person. As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.

If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.

Everyone presumes that the “certain U.S. person” referenced in the announcement is Carter Page. CBS News reports:

The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog announced Wednesday that it will review the DOJ and FBI’s compliance with the law and their own policies related to applications for secret surveillance warrants made “related to a certain U.S. person,” in response to requests from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and members of Congress.

The DOJ did not name the “certain U.S. person,” but some Republican members of Congress have asked DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to look into how the DOJ and FBI obtained warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump had previously complained that an IG investigation was insufficient:

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, echoed that sentiment in this statement (h/t Hot Air):

“I welcome the announcement from the Inspector General’s office that it will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and use of political opposition research to obtain a warrant to surveil a U.S. person. However, this is not a substitute for a Special Counsel to investigate this and other matters, including decisions made and not made by the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017, and evidence of bias by DOJ and FBI employees in charging decisions. For instance, the IG’s office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation. The American people demand that the intelligence community, law enforcement, and the courts operate fairly and impartially, and a Special Counsel should be named expeditiously to determine whether these institutions lived up to their expected standards.”

While an investigation is fine, we need to have a person empowered to empanel a grand jury and with the full force of criminal investigatory tools.

Because if the scandal is as many people suspect, we need to be talking about locking people up, not just issuing a report.