The Justice Department is ever so slowly starting to comply with demands for information relating to the start of the Russia collusion investigation. Over the weekend, the FBI released the original application to the secret FISA court seeking a warrant to monitor communications from Carter Page, a low-level advisor to the Trump campaign.
The heavily redacted documents confirm that the FBI relied heavily on the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. But that dossier was nothing more than partisan opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign. It never should have been used to justify spying on Carter Page and the Trump campaign.
Why is this important? As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes, the FBI is supposed to verify to the greatest extent possible any information it submits to the FISA court.
Indeed, the FBI declared to the court that this was a “VERIFIED APPLICATION.” But it wasn’t verified at all. Fired FBI Director James Comey described the Steele dossier in congressional testimony as “salacious and unverified.”
During his congressional testimony, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe could not identify anything in the dossier that the Bureau was able to confirm or verify.
Moreover, the FBI reportedly told the FISA court on multiple occasions that Steele was not the source of the Yahoo News article about Page’s 2016 trip to Moscow. But Steele was Yahoo’s source. Thus, the Yahoo article is not independent corroboration of anything.
McCarthy is stunned by the revelation as it goes against every standard he followed when he worked with the FBI.
“It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong,” McCarthy writes. “The FBI . . . brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information. . . I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards.”
Reacting to this news, the White House announced this afternoon that President Trump was considering revoking the security clearances of several ex-deep state officials including: former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
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