IG Report Proves Democrats Were Wrong, and Nunes Right, About FISA Warrant

IG Report Proves Democrats Were Wrong, and Nunes Right, About FISA Warrant

UNITED STATES - MARCH 2: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., right, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center after a briefing with FBI Director James Comey about Russia, March 2, 2017. (Photo By Tom …

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

JOEL B. POLLAK

9 Dec 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG)’s report Monday on the FBI’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants found that the agency misled the FISA court, though not due to political bias.

It also found that the decision to initiate an investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was adequately founded — although Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham disagree.

Both Republicans and Democrats claimed that the report corroborated their respective political narratives. Republicans said that President Trump’s rights had been abused, and Democrats said no political bias was shown. . . .

. . . The Democrats’ memo made several factual assertions, many of which were partly or fully refuted in the IG report:

  • The Russia “dossier” by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Trump’s opponents, did not cause the FBI to initiate its investigation. Verdict: PARTLY TRUE . The IG states that the FBI had already started its investigation, thanks to a tip about George Papadopoulos, but that Steele’s information did convince the FBI to approach the FISA court for a warrant to start surveillance on Trump aide Carter Page.
  • The DOJ’s October 2016 application to the FISA court “carefully” offered a “multi-pronged rationale” for surveillance of Carter Page. Verdict: FALSE. The FBI provided a “rationale” but also omitted exculpatory information about Page and about the campaign that the court needed before making its decision.
  • The FBI was “transparent” with the FISA court about Steele’s sourcing. Verdict: FALSE . The IG found that the FBI left out important information that cast doubt on the sources . . .
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Gives Nunes something to run on, I guess, in light of being investigated by the ethics committee.

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