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Lexy @PoliticallyRYT
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THE MEMO FISA Abuses at the DOJ & the FBI
On Oct. 21, 2016, DOJ & FBI sought & received a FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign.
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Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the AG, (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed AAG for the National Security Division. The FBI & DOJ obtained one initial
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FISA warrant targeting Carter Page & three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute, a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days & each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three
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FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, & Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, & DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ. Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence
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activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public's confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court's ability to hold the government to the highest standard particularly as it relates to surveillance of
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American citizens. However, the FISC's rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90 day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government's production to the court of all material & relevant facts. This should include
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information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However,
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our findings indicate that, as described below, material & relevant information was omitted. 1)The "Steele dossier" compiled on behalf of DNC & Clinton campaign, formed major part of Carter Page FISA application. Steele was an FBI source who was paid over $160K by the DNC &
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Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie & research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Trump's ties to Russia. a)The application in Oct-16, nor renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding
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Steele's efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ & FBI officials. b)The FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS & principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law
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firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC & Clinton campaign, or that the
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FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information. 2)The Carter Pg FISA app also cited extensively a Sept-23-16, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the dossier
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because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself. The Pg FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide info. to Yahoo. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo & several other outlets in Sept 16 at the
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direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele's initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in D.C. in 16 with Steele & Fusion GPS to discuss. a)Steele was suspended & then terminated as an FBI source for what FBI defines as the most serious of
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violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an Oct. 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo & other outlets in Sept. before the application was
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submitted to the FISC in Oct.—but Steele improperly concealed from & lied to the FBI about those contacts. b) Steele's numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality & demonstrated that Steele had become a less
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than reliable source for the FBI. 3)Steele maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates & later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing
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Ohr & documenting his communications with Steele. In Sept-16, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against Trump when Steele said he "was desperate that Trump not get elected & was passionate about him not being president. "This clear evidence of Steele's bias was recorded by
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Ohr at the time & subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications. During this same time period, Ohr's wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of
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his wife's opposition research, paid for by the DNC & Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs' relationship with Steele & Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC. 4)According to the FBI Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in
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its "infancy" at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele's reporting as only minimally corroborated. In January 2017, Director Comey briefed President
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-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was according to his June 17 testimony "salacious and unverified." While the application relied on Steele's past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters , it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump
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financial & ideological motivations. McCabe testified before the Committee in Dec. 17 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier. The FISA app also mentions info regarding Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there
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is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page & Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos info triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned for improper text with his mistress, FBI Atty Lisa
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Page where they both demonstrated a clear bias Trump & in favor of Clinton. The texts also reflect discussions on investigation, orchestrating leaks to media, & include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an "insurance" policy against President Trump's election.
End
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