The FBI's FISA Warrant on Carter Page
“The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.”
Investigative journalist John Solomon has an explosive article in The Hill about the FBI FISA warrant obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. As is now well known, the FBI relied heavily on the so-called Steele Dossier, a report compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was hired to dig up dirt on then candidate Trump. Much of the money for his work was paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. To this day, the report contains unverified details about Trump including a report that while in Moscow, he paid Russian hookers to urinate on the bed of his Ritz Hotel suite because the Obamas had previously slept in it. It raises the question of how federal agents could use such shaky and unverified information in a FISA warrant.
It could be worse than that. According to Solomon’s sources, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the House Intelligence Committee chairman, has requested that President Trump de-classify emails between top FBI-DOJ officials that reveal their own doubts about the Steele dossier-even before they used it in their FISA application.
If true, that is serious. Here is Solomon’s article in The Hill.
In my years as a Customs/DEA agent, I participated in my share of wiretaps (on drug cases). Our application affidavits went through the regular federal courts since FISA courts are for national security cases. I can tell you though that in both cases, the agent(s) making the affidavits have a legal duty to ensure that the information they are swearing to is true to the best of their knowledge and belief. If information comes from a “reliable informant” (that is a legal term) whose name you don’t want to divulge, that is one thing. But when you know yourself that the reliability of the information and the source are questionable, that is a major problem. You don’t hand such an affidavit to a federal judge-FISA or otherwise- and swear to it unless you are confident about the content to the best of your belief. Does that mean if I get a search warrant based on “reliable” information that there are large amounts of drugs in a particular house, and subsequent search fails to find drugs, that I am in legal jeopardy? No. But if it can be shown that I willingly misled the judge and submitted a false affidavit, then I have a problem.
If it is true that FBI and DOJ agents rammed through a FISA warrant on Carter Page- and three subsequent renewal applications every three months- and there is a paper trail showing that they had doubts about the information and the source, these people are in serious legal jeopardy.