FISA Docs: Court Was Misled, Nunes Committee Was Right
The release of the highly redacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) documents on Carter Page, a former short-term, volunteer advisor with the Trump campaign, confirms that the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice and FBI misled the secret court with unsubstantiated erroneous evidence.
The FISA documents appear to confirm that the Russia report investigations conducted by the House Intelligence Committee and its chairman, Devin Nunes (R-CA) are true and that Page’s constitutional rights were apparently violated when members of the intelligence and law enforcement community weaponized the tools of their trade by allowing surveillance of Americans for political reasons, said a former senior intelligence official.
“This may now have set a new world record in the ‘reckless disregard for the truth’ category…”
The official said that the American people and the nation’s intelligence apparatus were “lied to by corrupted officials bent on removing or stopping a duly elected candidate from taking office.” Due to how close the corrupt officials were to stopping Trump from getting elected, the source said, “This is something that should shake all of us to our core.”
Page told SaraACarter.com, “This may now have set a new world record in the ‘reckless disregard for the truth’ category.” He noted that his life has been turned upside down by the false accusations and said, “even more shocking than the civil rights abuses inherent in today’s FISA abuse documents and its testament to (Former FBI Director James) Comey and Co’s very poor legal judgement, is the complete ignorance it shows regarding Russia.”
More concerning is that the documents expose Comey’s apparent false statements that he gave in an interview with Fox New’s Brett Baier when he insisted on April 26, that the “dossier” was not a “critical part of it (the application).”
“My recollection was it was part of a broader mosaic of facts that were laid before the FISA judge to obtain a FISA warrant,” Comey told Baier.
Comey stated that “there was a significant amount of additional material about Page,” but according to the FISA warrant, the bulk of that information came from the dossier and those connected to former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele was a significant source for the FBI despite the fact that he had lied to the FBI about speaking with journalists regarding the information he had collected; and despite the fact that Steele, himself, had not verified the facts that were given to him by former and current Russian intelligence officers.
“Since when do wiretap application rely heavily on speculative news reports?”
The FISA application also conveniently left out information that Page assisted the FBI in unveiling a Russian spy ring years earlier. The bureau never interviewed Page about his contacts with Russia when they obtained the FISA and more importantly, charges have never been brought on Page for being a spy for Russia. These are all questions that make the FISA application even more dubious.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, told CBS’s Face the Nation that the FISA application to wiretap Page was “garbage.” He said the entire process of obtaining the application needs to be reviewed.
“The warrant on Carter Page was supported mostly by a dossier that came from Steele, who is being paid by the Democratic Party to do opposition research and the dossier was collected, I think, from Russian intelligence services and if you ask the FBI today how much of the dossier on Trump has been verified,” Graham said. “Almost none of it.”
New FISA docs uncovered by @JudicialWatch lawsuit show DOJ/FBI misled the courts to spy on @RealDonaldTrump. The president should step in and declassify more details of corrupt FISA warrants. htps://youtu.be/0fImRTqXizk pic.twitter.com/1N6d9WDczo
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) July 23, 2018
Judicial Watch, The New York Times, and with other news organizations had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit roughly one year ago against the DOJ for the FISA documents. Page had no access to the documents and he contends, like many other lawmakers and investigators, that his character was assaulted and used as means to spy on the Trump campaign.
The FISA document states,“This application targets Carter Page…The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.” The document does not reveal that Steele was being paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee.
The document is highly redacted and many Republican lawmakers are still fighting to eliminate those redactions. Nunes, who has been at the center of the battle against DOJ since last year, said Sunday in a tweet that it is “time to eliminate the redactions” as he noted that his committee’s Russia report was vindicated by the release of the FISA.
Shocker! Nunes memo accurate…LOL!…media/Dems go on wild rants…TIME TO ELIMINATE REDACTIONS…PLEASE RT https://t.co/FZCYV1giwF
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) July 22, 2018
Here’s what the House Intelligence Committee released on Sunday:
- Everything in the released material supports the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) memo on these FISA applications.
The Democrats claimed the Steele dossier was not heavily relied upon in the FISA warrant. However, the unredacted material shows that the dossier, a politically funded opposition research hit piece paid for by the opposing campaign, was in fact used as an essential part of the FISA application and renewals.
- The Yahoo News article sourced to Christopher Steele himself was also cited extensively in the applications.
- The FBI falsely denied Steele was a source for the Yahoo News article – the author of the article, Michael Isikoff, has since confirmed publicly that Steele was a source.
- A crucial allegation against Carter Page, which justified the FISA warrant by establishing him as an agent of a foreign power, is that he met with two Kremlin-connected Russians, Igor Sechin, and Igor Divyekin. The only information in the warrant attesting to these meetings comes from the Steele dossier and the Yahoo News article sourced to Steele himself. Page has repeatedly denied meeting with these individuals, and no evidence exists showing these meetings took place.
- The footnote about the funding of the Steele dossier failed to disclose that it was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
- There are no indications in the FISA warrant that the FBI verified the information from the Steele dossier before presenting it to the FISA court. The FBI solely relied on Steele’s credibility from his former work with the FBI. However, Steele improperly leaked information from his dossier to the press and lied about those leaks to the FBI. This damaged his credibility. But, even after the FBI terminated him, they continued to cite to the FISA court his past work to show his credibility.
- As stated in our memo, Rosenstein signed the third FISA renewal (i.e. the fourth application).
- HPSCI supports further declassification of the applications because there are further FBI/DOJ misdeeds hidden under the redactions.
Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst with Fox News and author of the newly released book The Russia Hoax, The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, also noted several important disclosures in the FISA document:
- NO WARRANT WITHOUT DOSSIER: The application supports what Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors (there is a transcript of it, although it hasn’t been released publicly) that there would have been no FISA warrant without the “dossier”.
- FISA COURT DIDN’T KNOW DOSSIER WAS A POLITICAL DOCUMENT: Nowhere do we see that the “dossier” is described as a political document, as Democrats have persistently claimed; only that it was commissioned (by Glenn Simpson) to damage Trump. The judges were never advised that Clinton and Democrats paid for it. There are some cryptic references, but important facts were concealed and the court was misled. It was a fraud upon the court.
- FBI RELIED ON NEWS ACCOUNTS AND LIED TO JUDGES: Since when do wiretap application rely heavily on speculative news reports? Especially since those reports are derived from the same source as the author of the “dossier”. This is the now-infamous “circular sourcing/reporting”. The FBI & DOJ’s application makes it appear that the news reports are based on a second, independent source. In truth, it was the same source. Importantly, the FBI & DOJ represented to the judges in each of the applications that Isakoff’s Yahoo News story was an independent corroboration of Steele’s “dossier.” They knew this was untrue, yet they lied to the FISA court: “THE FBI DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT SOURCE # 1 (STEELE) DIRECTLY PROVIDED THIS INFORMATION TO THE IDENTIFIED NEWS ORGANIZATION THAT PUBLISHED THE SEPTEMBER 23rd NEWS ARTICLE.”
- STEELE LIED BUT WAS STILL “CREDIBLE”: Footnote on page 16 describes Steele as reliable and credible. Yet in subsequent warrant renewals, the FBI continued to describe the information he provided as credible, even though he’d been fired as an FBI source for lying.
Andrew C. McCarthy, a former prosecutor, and columnist for National Review Online, who has written extensively about the subject stated on Monday that based on the facts revealed in the FISA application, the bulk of evidence that the FBI relied on was on the unverified and flimsy dossier.
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) July 23, 2018