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Intelligence Committee Reveals Weakly Sourced Doc Used for FISA Application

DOJ/FBI withheld issues of dossier author’s reliability

Senior FBI and Department of Justice officials knew when they sought a warrant from the secret court to gather communications of members of President Donald Trump’s team before and after the 2016 presidential election, they were using a “minimally corroborated” dossier paid for the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The officials did not inform the FISA court of this knowledge, according to the much-anticipated four-page memo released by the House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Devin Nunes Friday.

Despite relentless efforts by Democrats, senior FBI and DOJ officials to keep the memo outlining FISA warrant abuse by the Bureau and Justice Department from going public, Trump authorized its release Friday with only minor redactions.

Nunes, R-CA, argued for the release of the memo, saying its release would not damage any national security processes or the intelligence community.

READ: Full Text of FISA Memo

The memo’s findings “raise concerns about the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions” with the FISA court, the memo states.The findings “represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process,” according to the memo.
Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows R-NC, Chairman of the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, said they will push harder for a special counsel to investigate what they say is mounting evidence of violations by the bureau and DOJ to inappropriately utilize the secret court to spy on members of the Trump campaign during a presidential election.

“I think that the message is that a further investigation needs to take place and Congressman Jordan and I are hoping for the appointment of a second Special Counsel to investigate the investigators,” Meadows said. “It’s important to have an independent counsel to make sure our Fourth Amendment rights are not violated by a special court that authorizes the spying on Americans and part of the follow up on this investigation will be to see exactly who signed the FISA applications and what judges granted them.”

Rep. Jordan, who was with Meadows on Friday and had advocated the release of the memo, said it was necessary for the information in the memo to be made public, adding that a “salacious unverified dossier paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign was used by the FBI to get a secret warrant to gather communications of an opponent.”

“They didn’t do it once, not twice but they went four times to the court and didn’t tell the court the information in the dossier, or Steele and never revealed to the court what was actually going happening. This is why it is so important to get out because this is never supposed to happen in our great country.”

The FISA abuse memo revealed that recently removed FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe confirmed to the committee that no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant would have been obtained from the courts without the unverified Christopher Steele dossier information. Steele, a former British spy, was hired by the now embattled Washington D.C. research firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump.

The firm was paid by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee through their law firm to investigate alleged ties between Trump and his campaign officials, while at the same time Clinton was under investigation by the FBI for sending classified information on an unsecured server. According to the memo, Steele was paid $160,000 to conduct the investigation into Trump and the campaign.

The memo also reveals that then-senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who has been demoted twice this past year by the DOJ, had spoken to Steele in the September 2016. At that time, Steele had told Ohr he wanted to stop Trump from becoming president, according to the memo. Bruce Ohr’s wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS on the alleged Russia Trump dossier and she gave her husband all her opposition research on Trump. Bruce Ohr then gave her “opposition research” to the FBI, the memo states.

“During that same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump,” according to the memo. “Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohr’s relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.”

Steele was terminated by the FBI but FBI officials failed to disclose any of the information regarding Steele and his bias when they applied for the warrant to spy on Trump advisor Carter Page.

“This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the same time and subsequently in official FBI files – but not reflected in any of the page FISA applications,” according to the memo.

In September 2016 Michael Isikoff, a senior reporter for Yahoo News cited a “Western intelligence source,” alleging that Russian officials offered Carter Page billions of dollars to end U.S. sanctions. That ‘western official’ was Steele, according to numerous sources who spoke to this reporter. Page, who spoke to this reporter, has repeatedly denied Isikoff’s story and is suing Yahoo News, among other outlets, who reported the same news.

The FISA warrant application, however, relied on Isikoff’s story and according to the memo, “incorrectly accesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo news.”

In effect, the FBI used the Isikoff story, which used Steele’s dossier, to corroborate the dossier.

Meadows and Jordan said more information and new revelations about the DOJ and FBI’s role in the alleged Trump Russia investigation will be released in the upcoming days and weeks. The DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting a separate investigation into the FBI and its handling of Clinton’s use of a private server to send classified information, is expected to release his report in March.

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20 Comments

  1. Seems to me that several senior federal officials willfully committed the offense of deprivation of rights (in this case, 4th Amendment) under color of law.

  2. Whoever commits treasonable acts against the United States of America and her law-abiding citizens shall be guilty as a traitor and high-crimes criminal. Punishment should be hanging until dead in a public gallows for all to see justice that it be done.
    We will need procurement of lots of rope for all the involved criminals.
    Sara, great work. You are an asset to investigative reporting.

  3. Thank you for really digging into the facts regarding the Deep state and there efforts to subvert the election and Will of the People. We are truly indebted to your great work.

  4. Why doesn’t someone simply file a Friend Of The Court petition in the proper Federal Court to Recall the original approval as having been issued under false pretenses–no proper factual basis to warrant the issuance of the order to begin with. When granted, this should automatically cancel the need for a Special Counsel Mueller’s appointment .

    1. Mueller’s not investigating anything to do with the FISA warrant. His charge is to hunt for evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, which so far as we now know has turned up nothing. There’s always the possibility that Mueller’s sitting on evidence that he’ll either release or leak before the mid-term elections in November, but so far, crickets.,

      I’m not an attorney, but I believe a petition such as you describe would only have standing if filed by a signatory to the application itself. A friend of the court brief is simply the opinion of a third party, and has no standing under the law. If the FBI did file such a petition, they would be admitting to perjury, as the application includes an oath that the info in the application is true – which all the various signatories at the time knew to be a falsity.

  5. A second Special Council might be a good idea, but not if Jeff Sessions is any way involved. Doing so would be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars and would accomplish nothing. In that case, we would be better off doing nothing.

  6. If Carter Page threatens national security as a Russian spy, why is he walking the streets? Why would he be suing to clear his name? Why waste the time and money, and why would a lawyer waste his or her time? Why does no one say that Carter Page HELPED the US government deport an actual Russian spy prior to 2016? If the memo is a political hit job, what do you call all the selective leaks of the last year and a half? If a document created by a foreign national was used to spy on an American citizen, why would it stop with just him? When Bruce Ohr told the FBI that Steele was a biased source of information, why did they disregard that and still use the dossier to renew the FISA warrant?

  7. Sara – much focus is directed (rightfully) at the FISA application. Question: Did anyone on the House Intelligence Committee view the actual source documents (FISA application)? If so, who? If not, on what basis can the committee make such absolute claims? Thanks

    1. Jon L – I believe the warrant and supporting documents are still in the possession of the FBI, which is refusing to release them to Nunes’ Committee. The FBI (Wray) did agree to allow them to be seen in the SCIF by (I believe) one member of the Committee and two Committee staffers who have the proper security clearances. Nunes designated(Comey Gowdy to be the Committee member to do the viewing, and after doing so and taking notes, Nunes and Gowdy wrote the memo.
      Also, independent of the source documents themselves, the Committee has heard sworn testimony from a number of involved FBI officials, among them Andrew McCabe,, the then-deputy to Comey, testified that those who signed off on the applications for the FISA warrant (Obama appointees James Comey twice, Sally Yates once) , knew at the time that the Steele dossier had not been verified and was full of holes, if not made up out of whole cloth. McCabe also testified that if the FBI hadn’t had the dossier, the application for the warrant wouldn’t even have been filed. Glen Simpson testified that his organization had been hired by the DNC, and paid by the Clinton campaign, to do opposition research on Trump; he also testified that his organization didn’t attempt to verify any of the info in the dossier.
      A FISA application includes a statement that the signatory swears under oath that to the best of his/her knowledge, the supporting documents are true; failure to inform the court of the source of the dossier and and its non-verification,, and these omissions constitute perjury under the law.
      These facts are all in the public doman, via news articles by various reporters and news organizations, based on leaks from various entities, including House committee members and FBI staffers.
      There is your basis for the Committee’s assertions in the memo. Yo.u could have found all this out yourself, if you’d had the wit to google for the information yourself.

  8. FISA court? Try FISA star chamber. If this is the standard of justice decision making re FISA then its time to suspend the court and establish a court of justice. These judicial officers and their absence of due diligenc bring contempt on their court. Stalin had better procedures and he was a Russian!

    1. Stupid post. See mine above to Jon L. It isn’t the job of a FISA judge to verify the information in an application, as the documents comprising the application are sworn to be true by the signatory to the application; submitting incomplete or untruthful supporting information constitutes perjury under the law. In add’n, FISA judges have neither the resources, the time nor the expertise to conduct independent investigations to verify warrant applications.
      After all, if you can’t trust the FBI to be telling the truth under oath, who can you trust? /sarc

      1. Not a stupid post on my behalf Betsy rather I believe it is the role of a court to carefully consider evidence. All the more so when the accused is specifically prohibited from even knowing the proceedings are being held against them. THAT is a star chamber. I would expect that judicial officers could at least uphold the rudiments of judicial circumspection and interrogate the source and likely veracity of evidence put forward by the FBI. The implications of the proposed spying by the FBI and DOJ were obvious to the dumbest monkey.
        It is reasonable to expect judicial officers in this extraordinary court, that blinds the defendant, have some awareness of the historic record where the FBI has blundered and misled courts from time to time and even deliberately gone after a defendant with malice and ulterior motive.
        On the contrary Betsy it is the job of the FISA judge to exercise due diligence otherwise why not appoint a clerk with a rubber stamp and orders to agree to any submission and stamp it. In this particular case the judicial officers should at least resign. If I were any defendant in this case I would seek extraordinary damages for negligence.

  9. Sara. You and everyone should read this bombshell of news.

    The FISA court document, declassified and released, contains confessions from both the FBI and DOJ that the agencies misled the court and falsely acquired surveillance permission. The FBI and DOJ mischaracterize their deception of the court as “mistakes.” The agencies provide the court with improvements in their procedures so as not to make “mistakes” in the future.

    Why did the FBI and DOJ rush to confess to the FISA court? The reason is that NSA Director Adm. Rodgers discovered their illicit spying, investigated it, and let it be known that he was reporting the FBI and DOJ malfeasence to the FISA court. Adm. Rodgers also informed President Trump.

    All of this is known. Yet the House Intelligence Committee and the White House released the “Nunes Memo” without pointing out that it was already confirmed by the FISA court itself and by NSA Director Adm. Rogers. Why?

    Full Story: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/02/press-prostitutes-lie-teeth-house-intelligence-committee-report/

  10. Sara – Comey briefed Trump in early January 2017 on the dossier. Trump denied the activities in the dossier and asked Comey to investigate the contents of the dossier. Comey refused. At that time did comey know HRC campaign paid for the dossier and did Comey tell Trump? Seems that Comey obstructed the investigation of Russian meddling knowing the information on Trump came from foreign actors.

  11. From the Nunes Memo:

    The following very senior officials are now liable for contempt-of-court charges; namely, the current and former members of the FBI and the Department of Justice who signed off on fraudulent applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court: James Comey, Andy McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rob Rosenstein.

    With the media(aside from Fox news of course) fully supporting the likes of Adam Schiff, and the FBI/CIA/NSA deep state likely to pull out all the stops, the die is now cast. We are in for a highly interesting time over the next few months.

  12. If there is not another independent prosecutor assigned to this, then there are serious problems. Mueller’s witch hunt has cost almost 6million in Tax Dollars and the only thing they have, is nothing to do with the Russia Collusion, so the Libturds now pushing Obstruction, whether there is or not, the President can fire any appointee for any reason or just because they know things need to go in a different direction to help fix a very broken and corrupt system to favor one candidate over another during the election. So what, Carter Page worked as an informal advisors to Kremlin people, he was working on getting them involved in the G20 summit, that is no reason to start an investigation on him from his 2013 work just because he was a minor player on Trumps foreign policy. They then used that information along with the fake phony dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, one in the same as we know, and laundered the payments through her law firm, Perkin Coie who then laundered money to Fusion GPS and Glen Simpson, who then got Steele to get fake dirt on Trump, so basically, they used Carter Page, and notice, Leaker Adam Schiff has not leaked any of that, the fact that Andy McCabe, testified under oath, that, no FISA warrant would have been granted without the Dossier is the icing on the cake, I don’t care how the Dems spin it. Professor Alan Dershowitz would make for a great special prosecutor, though a centrist democrat, he is also a civil libertarian who upholds the Constitution as written. Clearly 4th amendment rights were violated and broke laws. He would shred them on unlawful search and seizure to gain a FISA Warrant based on a fake dossier, which, never included in the Warrant that it was oppo research and paid for by the Hillary Campaign and the DNC, which is one in the same. I would start investigating Feinstein and Schiff for illegally leaking testimonies and classified information. Robert Mueller needs to fired asap and if I were Mike Flynn, I would file for dismissal since he was goated into lying. I would also suspect that Rosenstein is packing up his office and will be escorted out after he resigns on Monday. Not fired, as to give Libturds more ammo, but convinced to resign after he threatened the intel committee with subpoenas to get their text messages from their phones if they continued down the path they went. This makes watergate look like fools gold and there has been no other criminal or corrupt administration headed by a president than Obama. And Sara, when will we see Obama under oath, he emailed back and forth with Hillarys private server, he was getting PDB’s knowing about the phony russian dossier, which is why he expanded the leaking of intell across all the agencies. Many heads should roll!!! Many indictments!!

  13. From Paul Craig Roberts…..These People should be convicted of a Felony… “Period”

    Briefly, the National Security Agency discovered that the FBI and DOJ were abusing the surveillance system. As a favor of one security agency to another, NSA Director Adm. Rogers permitted the FBI and DOJ to rush to the FISA Court and confess their transgressions before the NSA informed the Court. The FBI and DOJ pretended that their deception of the Court in order to obtain surveillance warrants for highly partisan political purposes was not due to their intent but to procedural mistakes. The FBI and DOJ told the Court that they were tightening up procedures so that this would not happen again. The FISA Court Memorandum and Order clearly states:

    “On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court.”

    What this legalese jargon is saying is the the FBI and DOJ confessed to obtaining warrants under false pretexts. These are felonies: https://www.globalresearch.ca/nunes-memo-reports-crimes-at-top-of-the-fbi-and-the-department-of-justice/5628246

    Guilty….Guilty…..Guilty

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