July 24, 2018

“If this is the way the FISA courts are going to behave, if you can take political dirt, open up investigations into political campaigns, this is how a democratic republic falls apart.  It’s just unacceptable...If the shoe was on the other foot, you would have protests in the street, cars being blocked, fires in the street, tires being burned, and I guarantee you, all the heads would have rolled already at the FBI and DOJ.  You’d have all the major newspapers, all the media saying what a crime this was that this happened.”

 RELATED READING:  Blacked-out document dump of FISA applications confirms suspicions

So said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on the air with FOX News host Laura Ingraham Monday night.  And we all know he’s right.  Just imagine if the intelligence agencies had pulled something like this to sabotage, say, the Obama campaign and it had been discovered.  We would hear about nothing else EVER AGAIN.  (The outrage would be justified, by the way.)  Heads would roll?  Oh, yes, and perhaps literally.  Compared to Democrats’ explosive reaction, that volcano in Hawaii would look like a tealight.

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But since the weekend dumping of the 412-page stack of heavily redacted FISA court applications for warrants to surveil former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, Trump’s political opponents and most major media have gone into complete denial mode, trying to minimize the damage by maintaining that the one intentionally cryptic and convoluted footnote about the origins of the Steele “dossier” indicated honesty and transparency on the part of the FBI and DOJ.  But they’re wasting their breath; the footnote obviously was added as a “CYA” –- something agents could point to if the application were ever questioned (like NOW).  In no way was it made clear to the court that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid for the material as “opposition research.”

 And certainly the FISA judges were never told that the material was unverified.  Just the opposite, for as Andrew C. McCarthy points out, each FISA application --- the first one, and all three renewals --- carried the label “VERIFIED APPLICATION.”  (For the first one, it was in bold type, total caps.)  This was done even though the application was never verified for accuracy.


According to the DIOG (the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide), FISA applications are to be sent to “appropriate field offices” so that the Bureau can “ensure that information appearing in a FISA application that is presented to the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has been thoroughly vetted and confirmed.”  The way this is supposed to work in practice is that the field office gathers supporting information, perhaps by debriefing witnesses or searching for official records, to verify allegations made in the application.


This never happened with the Steele dossier.  Remember, Steele wasn’t actually the source for any of the allegations; he was simply the conduit for hearsay from unidentified Russian sources.  You might be surprised (I was) to learn that Christopher Steele hasn’t been to Russia for 20 years.  So the FBI needed to look into the veracity of what his sources had to say –- to VERIFY that there was anything to them –- before passing their FISA application to the court.


“Verification” doesn’t just mean that the FBI  accurately communicated Steele’s claims.  It means they confirmed the accuracy of those claims.  Those are two different things.  Perhaps they did the former, but they did not do the latter.  In fact, when former deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe testified before Congress, he said the only part of Steele’s information they could verify was that Carter Page traveled to Russia in 2016.  (It was well known that he had made the trip, as he had done this openly to give a school commencement address.)


Even Steele, in British legal proceedings, described the information as “raw intelligence” that was “unverified.”  It should never have been included in a FISA application without being VERIFIED.


If you think this should have been enough to discredit the dossier and, by extension, the FISA application, you’re right –- but McCarthy brings up even more issues with it.  He also admits he was embarrassed after offering assurance on TV that the FBI would never take an unverified dossier and present it to a court as evidence.  Wrong!!  He says his mistake was thinking this FBI was like the FBI he knew from working with them as a federal prosecutor for 20 years.


It’s not.







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Comments 1-7 of 7

  • Donald Eileen Lupkes

    07/28/2018 12:48 PM

    WHEN is Congress going to start punishing the FBI and CIA liars? We get 30 lobbyists' letters everyday promising that if we donate, they will let the government know we are "fed up". If we voted on impeaching starting from the top of the FBI instead of voting for Senators and Representatives this fall, the FBI and CIA would lose a lot of people. ROSENSTEIN would be first.

  • Merle Frances Douglas

    07/25/2018 11:49 PM

    Well......since the Russia investigation is basically made up or Democrats, why don't the Republicans get an investigation going for Hillary? I am not going to hold my breath that she will ever be interrogated or indicted, but I am tired of her getting away with everything crooked that she has done, still invited and showing up on TV to state her two cents worth.

  • Robyn Johnson

    07/25/2018 04:03 PM

    Ruth, first - FISA: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I quite often forget which initials stand for which so I just put it in my browser and ask "What does ???? stand for and the answer is given. Easiest way I know. Hope it helps.

  • ruth conley

    07/25/2018 10:54 AM

    I wish people in the media would not use so many initials. All of a sudden something will pop up like FISA. I have no idea what it stands for but its used about million times a day in the news. Maybe I am just one of those deplorables that aren't educated enough to know what things/words stand for.
    Thank you


    07/25/2018 10:09 AM


  • Barbara M Bennett

    07/25/2018 06:42 AM

    This is what I don’t understand. Why isn’t the Republican Party making an uproar over this. You are right in that if this was happening to a Democrat, their party would be screaming. Why do the Republicans sit back and let this happen?? I am a registered Republican but I have been thinking for a long time about changing my party affiliation. I am sick to death of the Republicans sitting back and letting our President fight alone. They are not defending him or our party. If it wasn’t for Pres Trump, this party would be nothing!!

  • Kenneth Michael Murray

    07/24/2018 06:35 PM

    This FISA garbage, against President Trump, is as illegal as illegal aliens roaming the countryside of America illegally accumulating and benefitting by, everything the American government will give them, including education and health benefits, ILLEGALLY!!!
    This FISA application was illegally approved, as it went totally against FBI procedures.
    The FISA application, those who presented the FISA application to the judges, the judges themselves, all of those involved in this investigation especially Mueller, Rosenstein and Sessions, I might add, knowingly when against the Rule of Law. Collectably "Knowing" the application was Unverified, FALSE. AND THE KEYWORD IN ALL OF THIS IS "Knowing". They committed Perjury.
    My question is why in the hell is this Meuller investigation still going on??? Why was it allowed to continue, for more then a day after finding out that the whole thing was Illegal, from the start.
    And how can Mueller or Rosenstein or anyone bring anyone that's being investigated before the courts when they themselve's should have been brought up before the courts, at least a year ago.
    And the mainstream media (MSM 13-A notoriously destructive G), as I have coined them, has been purposefully Lying and Misleading the American People and the World, and I believe are guilty of Defamation of Character, pertaining to President Donald J. Trump.
    KMM-USMC Combat Vet-170% Disabled.