“VERIFIED APPLICATION [in large, bold type] –- The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001, procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).”
The above certification appeared on each of the applications (one original and three renewals) for warrants to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page that were sent to the FISA court. We now know that the information provided within, primarily the Trump/Russia “dossier” written by highly imaginative British ex-spy Christopher Steele, was NEVER verified for accuracy and was, in fact, considered extremely “iffy” even by the person who created it.
These facts are now undisputed: The FBI went to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (and this is supposed to be a big deal) to get a wiretap on an American citizen it accused of being a Russian agent. It based this outrageous charge not on a “verified application,” as it claimed, but on a salacious and unverified work of fiction financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. It failed to disclose this very important information to the court.
Defenders of the FBI say, “But wait! There was a footnote at the bottom of page 16 of the application that read in part, ‘The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.’” Yes, we’ve seen this finely crafted example of understatement, and we have identified the “identified U.S. person” as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS. Candidate #1 is obviously then-candidate Donald Trump. The FBI obviously included this cryptic footnote to serve as cover, so they could point to it later if they needed to and say, “Looky here! We disclosed that.”
But the information is false and intentionally misleading. Thanks to Bruce Ohr’s testimony behind closed doors on Tuesday, we can confirm that the FBI was well aware of his function as a “back channel” with Christopher Steele. They weren’t “speculating” at all --- they knew for a fact that the “dossier” was all about discrediting Trump and was written by someone who said he was desperate to keep Trump out of the White House. The dossier wasn’t “likely” being used to discredit a candidate for President –- they knew good and well it was. The FISA judges weren’t told any of this.
I don’t know about them, but if I were a FISA court judge, I would be supremely ticked off right now.
Let’s see...what if the footnote had read something like this: “The FBI is aware that the identified U.S. person runs an “opposition research” company who was looking specifically for anything he could put in a report to damage the Republican Presidential candidate. This company was being paid a million dollars by the Democratic candidate’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FBI has been using a DOJ employee whose wife is employed with this company to maintain back channel communications with the author of the information, who was fired from the FBI for leaking information to the media and is no longer officially considered an appropriate source. The DOJ employee informed the FBI that this author, a British ex-spy, is extremely politically biased against the subject of his dossier and that his ‘evidence’ would never stand up in a courtroom, but we used his work anyway because, hey, we really want to spy on this Trump guy.”
Think the FISA court would have approved that application?