The FISA Court and the Dossier

Mollie Hemingway has one of her outstanding “What You Should Know” posts up about the FISA dossier that dropped last Saturday night. As always, it was released then to avoid attention, well that no longer works. Mollie says:

Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, a former volunteer foreign policy advisor to President Trump. The highly redacted documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests show how the FBI was able to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant for a year of his life.

The wiretap was applied for and granted in October 2016, shortly before the end of the presidential campaign. Approved applications last for 90 days. The Department of Justice requested and received three renewals, for a total of one year of surveillance. Despite claiming to the court in 2016 that “the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government,” the government has yet to charge Page with breaking any of the serious laws it alleges he knowingly transgressed.

Here is what the highly redacted FISA applications show us thus far.

She lays out the salient points here with explanations. I’m not going to, read her article. I’m just going to bullet point it.

  • “The Dossier Provided an Essential Part Of Application
  • The Dossier Was Not Verified
  • The Applications Employed Circular Reporting
  • Cites Steele’s Credibility, Despite Overwhelming Evidence To Doubt It
  • The Applications Made Materially False Claims”

In other words, it was an amateurish, even clownish, put up job, that can’t stand the light of day.

As Sens. Graham and Grassley wrote earlier this year:

In Steele’s sworn court filings in litigation in London, he admitted that he ‘gave off the record briefings to a small number of journalists about the pre-election memoranda [i.e., the dossier] in late summer/autumn 2016.’ In another sworn filing in that case, Mr. Steele further stated that journalists from ‘the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker, and CNN’ were ‘briefed at the end of September 2016 by [Steele] and Fusion at Fusion’s instruction.’ The filing further states that Mr. Steele ‘subsequently participated in further meetings at Fusion’s instruction with Fusion and the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News, which took place mid-October 2016.’…

The first of these filings was publicly reported in the U.S. media in April of 2017, yet the FBI did not subsequently disclose to the FISC this evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI. Instead the application still relied primarily on his credibility prior to the October media incident. […]

That’s true. Donald Trump shows up in the application as Candidate #1 and Hillary Clinton shows up as Candidate #2. The Republican Party is identified as Political Party #1. So it would have been easy to note that the dossier was secretly bought and paid for by Candidate #2 and Political Party #2. Instead, a veritable word salad is deployed to hide that significant fact.

The court is told Source #1 was told “that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia” and that Source #1 wasn’t told about the motivation behind the research. The FBI surmises that Source #1’s boss — Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson — wanted information to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

On and on and on it goes. And as it does it becomes obvious, that everything Rep Nunes and his associates have said is the truth, and everything that these government functionaries have said is a lie, designed to undercut and remove the duly elected President of the United States.

The ‘Deep State’ in action. Careless, perfectly willing to lie, to do anything, in fact, to protect bureaucrats like themselves from the legitimate wrath of the people. And mind you, if Hillary had won, we wouldn’t know any of this and by the time she left office, we would not have a chance to reclaim our government.

It’s going to be a near run race as it is, but thanks to some very brave people, we do have a chance, so let’s take it in both hands and run with it.

Outside the Philadelphia Courthouse, Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government the convention had given us, here is his answer, as relevant as ever.

A Republic, if you can keep it.

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