Sunday, December 17, 2017

McCabe, Ohr, Ohr's wife, and Strzok Fall While Clintons and Obamas Stay Free, Fat, and Sassy??

nationalreview |  Did the FBI and Justice Department use Steele’s information to get the FISA warrant? One certainly hopes not, for two salient reasons. 

First, the dossier, particularly as it relates to Page, is incredibly far-fetched. I am assuming that, at the time it began receiving the dossier reports, the FBI did not know that Steele was working for the Clinton campaign — indeed, we do not yet know whether Steele himself knew who, ultimately, was paying for his work. If the bureau were aware of the Clinton campaign’s role, using the dossier would be indefensible. We should assume for now, though, that if investigators were scrupulous enough to resist seeking a warrant for Page while he was officially connected to the Trump campaign, they would doubly have avoided using one campaign’s information as a basis for spying on its opposition. 

Nevertheless, the explosive information was unverified. There were abundant reasons to doubt its veracity when it came to Page. And the FBI could easily have taken measures less drastic than seeking court-ordered surveillance; it could, for example, have interviewed Page, who had cooperated with the FBI in the past. 

The second reason to hope the dossier was not used is more alarming. If the FBI and Justice Department relied on it, this would very likely mean that they fell victim to an influence operation, based on false information, by Russian intelligence services. Steele’s sources are unidentified Russians, at least some of whom knew Steele to be a spy for hire. It is possible, if not likely, that these Russians fed Steele false information in order to see if Western intelligence services would bite and, if the Kremlin got lucky, to sow discord and chaos into the American political system. 

I hope they did not succeed, but we need to find out. One more disturbing fact: Because Page is a U.S. citizen, the Justice Department and FBI would have had to show the FISA court not only that he was acting as a foreign agent for Russia but that his activities involved or may have involved violations of federal criminal statutes. (See Section 1801(b)(2) of Title 50, U.S. Code.) I don’t know of any basis for attributing criminal activity to Page other than the Steele dossier — but, of course, I don’t know everything the FBI knows. 

Was the August 2016 decision to spy on a Trump associate based on a Clinton campaign screed’s claim of a corrupt Trump-Russia deal? Did FBI and Justice Department officials lose their professional objectivity because Steele’s information fit their anti-Trump bias? Was the Steele dossier, in effect, the “insurance policy” Agent Strzok had in mind? President Trump can provide the answers to these questions: He just needs to order the FBI and Justice Department, led by his appointees, to cooperate with Congress’s investigations.