The Nunes memo dropped today and revealed that the FBI had used the unverified dossier to get a warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, despite knowing that it was paid for by the DNC and by Hillary Clinton. Moreover that they failed to inform the judges when they applied for warrants or warrant extensions that the material was paid for political propaganda. This is already blowing up on social media.
But another element that is receiving less coverage is how the FBI utilized the willing media to justify their spying on the Trump team.
They relied on the dossier, which FBI deputy director said they wouldn’t have been able to get the warrant without. That despite it not being verified and being paid-for Democratic propaganda.
But they also used a newspaper report in their application to help get a FISA warrant. Problem? The report itself was planted by Fusion GPS (read: the Democrats) through Christopher Steele.
From Daily Caller:
But the memo reveals that the FISA application “extensively” cited an Sept. 23, 2016 news article that was in effect planted by Fusion GPS.
That is significant because the article, written by veteran reporter Michael Isikoff, is itself based on the unverified dossier. Isikoff was among a small group of reporters who in September 2016 was briefed on the dossier by Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.
A private investigator who knows both Steele and Isikoff told The Daily Caller last year that the pair are good friends, having been fixtures of the Washington, D.C. journalism circuit for decades.
The FISA application made no mention of the link between the Isikoff article and the dossier. Instead, the article was treated as corroborating evidence for the dossier. The memo says that the FISA application “incorrectly assesse[d]” that the Isikoff article was based on information separate from the dossier.
That wasn’t the only attempt to use reporters.
While Steele and Simpson met with reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker as well, Isikoff was the only journalist initially briefed on the dossier to publish an article based on the document.
The memo says that Perkins Coie, the Clinton campaign law firm that hired Fusion GPS, hosted a meeting with Simpson, Steele and reporters.
That would appear to conflict with reporting about Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer who served as general counsel for the Clinton campaign and DNC. Though Elias was who set up the deal with Fusion GPS, CNN reported in October that a source familiar with the project said that Elias was not involved in pitching the media on behalf of Fusion GPS.
Elias did not respond to a request for comment on that potential discrepancy.
Isikoff’s article, which claimed Page met with Russians, was actually based on Steele and the dossier. And the information has never been verified, despite attempts. So it wasn’t independent corroboration, it was a planted article using the same information from the same ultimate source – Fusion and the Democrats.
Then, as though to add insult to injury, the Clinton campaign cited the story, saying “Look, ‘officials’ are saying this Trump guy was meeting with Russians.”
The FBI never told the judges when they applied for the warrants that the dossier information was paid for by the Democrats and the Clinton campaign. They never told them that the Yahoo article was basically planted by Steele and came from the same info as dossier and wasn’t separate information. They never told them that they authorized payment to Steele themselves and they never told the court that they themselves viewed Steele as unreliable and he was later fired for talking with media (translation: he’s letting too many people know what the FBI was doing).
Steele leaked to Mother Jones’ David Corn, who is co-writing a book with Yahoo’s Isikoff, published an article on Oct. 31, 2016 in which he quoted Steele anonymously and revealed details of the dossier.
Who was involved in the applications and the material misrepresentation of the facts to the court?
The memo also focuses heavily on McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s involvement in obtaining FISA warrants against Page.
The memo says that Rosenstein signed off on one renewal for the Page warrant shortly after taking office in April. McCabe, who abruptly quit as FBI No. 2 earlier this week, signed off on one application, and James Comey okayed three applications when he served as FBI Director. On the Justice Department side, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dan Boente also approved warrant applications.
So all these people are on the hook for making a false representation to the court.
And anything found as a result of the warrants could theoretically be suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree if there actually had been anything.
Page is now suing and he says he said that he “look(s) forward to updating my pending legal action” in the case to include the allegations from the memo. He said “That’s insane” when told that the Isikoff article contributed to getting a warrant on him.
And in another stunner, it was revealed in the memo that demoted DOJ official Burce Ohr had been used to pass information to the DOJ. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS and helped compile information against Trump.
Steele confessed to Ohr that he “desperately wanted to prevent” Trump from becoming president.
Trump commented on the release of the memo, “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves. And much worse than that.”
Amen. Talk about collusion with the media, both to help a political campaign and to spy on an American citizen.
Heads should roll and people should go to jail.
And this should never be allowed to happen again.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]