With no disclosure who paid for it, or how supportive media reports came from same pro-Clinton operatives
The Department of Justice released the FISA documents, 412 pages total (pdf.), related to the surveillance of Carter Page, an advisor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The heavily redacted documents show that officials used “the infamous and unverified Steele Dossier” to receive the warrant in 2016 and the renewals.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 22, 2018
The New York Times reported:
“This application targets Carter Page,” the document said. “The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.” A line was then redacted, and then it picked up with “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law. Mr. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for U.S. president.”
Mr. Page has denied being a Russian agent and has not been charged with a crime in the nearly two years since the initial wiretap application was filed. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
Other pages tell us that the FBI told the court that Page “’has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers’; that the bureau believed ‘the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with’ Mr. Trump’s campaign; and that Mr. Page ‘has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.'”
From what we can see in the documents, the dossier remained unverified. From Fox News:
The FISA records also reveal that a September 2016 Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff was a significant part of the government’s warrant application.
But London court records show, and Republicans emphasize, that Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the Steele Dossier.
The newly released FISA warrant application, however, seems to indicate the Yahoo News article was an independent piece of corroborating information that justified the surveillance of Carter Page. Republicans question whether the story is an example of circular reporting that merely repeated information from Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the dossier.
Based on what is visible, the dossier is not described to the FISA court as a political document, as the Democrats have asserted; in fact, the FBI speculates to the FISA court that it was commissioned to damage Candidate 1, who is Donald Trump.
The application used claims from the dossier that while in Moscow in 2016, Page “met with two senior Russian representatives and discussed matters like lifting sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine and a purported file of compromising information about Mr. Trump that the Russian government had.”
The Republicans blasted the FBI and the courts for relying on the unverified dossier.
The Democrats argued that the intelligence officials used information not in the dossier, which is true, but…that information goes back to 2013:
But Democrats noted that the application also contained evidence against Mr. Page unrelated to the dossier, and an unredacted portion of the application discussed efforts by Russian agents in 2013 to recruit Americans as assets. It has previously been reported that Mr. Page was one of their targets, although any discussion of Mr. Page’s interactions with them in the application is still censored.
Yeah…2013, which is three years before the election. Someone explain to the Democrats how to math.
The fact is the intelligence officials used an unverified dossier:
No matter what you read or hear today, the fact is this; Hillary’s unverified RUSSIAN sourced opposition research was used by the DOJ as an excuse to spy on an American citizen as a bridge to spy on Hillary’s opponent….then they lied about it for two years.#FISA #CarterPage
— Steph (@steph93065) July 22, 2018
The FISA applications make clear that Steele was the source for at least three streams of information used justify the warrant, that DOJ never disclosed Hillary/DNC paid for the information, and falsely claimed media information never came from Steele. https://t.co/DlHF9bALD7
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) July 22, 2018
Exactly. Why conceal that simple fact from the court unless you think it would undermine the likelihood of getting your warrant to surveil a rival presidential campaign? Says much about the motives of the FBI. https://t.co/wHSqFlRfad
— Randy Barnett (@RandyEBarnett) July 22, 2018
Page appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper:
Carter Page on Sunday called the accusations against him detailed in the foreign surveillance warrant application released by the FBI “so ridiculous.”
“You talk about misleading the courts, it’s just so misleading,” Page said about the warrant application in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper.”
“It’s literally a complete joke,” he told Tapper.
Page on Sunday denied claims that he worked for the Kremlin, and called accusations that he had advised Moscow “spin.”
“No, I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “I may have, back in the G20 when they were getting ready to do that in St. Petersburg, I might have participated in a few meetings that a lot of people — including people from the Obama administration — were sitting on, and Geneva, Paris, et cetera, but I’ve never been anywhere near what’s being described here.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) believes the FBI didn’t do anything wrong:
The @FBI had many reasons to look into this guy. And looking into him is not “spying” on Trump campaign, because as the White House made clear last year, he was “not an ‘advisor’ to Mr. Trump in any sense of the word.” https://t.co/rhRUB87OVa
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 22, 2018
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Bret Baier on Fox News Sunday that “Carter Page is more like Inspector Gadget than Jason Bourne or James Bond.” He also reminded viewers “that the FBI never indicted Page following the investigation.”
Gowdy also believes that that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) would have leaked any collusion evidence during this 18-month investigation. From The Daily Caller:
“I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia, and neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured Adam Schiff would have leaked it,” Gowdy said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“That’s why they’ve moved off of collusion onto obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation,” he added.
Formal federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy analyzed the documents on Fox & Friends. Trump responded on Twitter:
Andrew McCarthy – “I said this could never happen. This is so bad that they should be looking at the judges who signed off on this stuff, not just the people who gave it. It is so bad it screams out at you.” On the whole FISA scam which led to the rigged Mueller Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
Others couldn’t believe what McCarthy said, but he explained that unless we see all the blacked out information we’re at an impasse:
With due respect to you, Brad, I expressly said there were extensive redacted passages and we don’t know what’s in them. That said, what we can see – and the fact that it was repeated for months without correction – is appalling.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) July 22, 2018
You’re a good lawyer, so you know my role was to answer questions, not tell them what to ask. No one has made the point that POTUS should have declassified months ago more than I have – I don’t know how much he watches, but if he listened to me, this would have happened long ago.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) July 22, 2018
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.