HOUSE INTEL CHAIRMAN CHALLENGES USE OF “UNVERIFIED INFORMATION” TO OBTAIN SPY WARRANTS ON TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 1, 2018) — As Fox News reported on Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the FBI appears to have committed “a clear violation” of its own “protocols” and requested that the Justice Department answer two key questions within the next week to aid in the committee’s oversight of the agency.
FNC’s Sean Hannity opened with the news on his 9:00 p.m. program. His first guest, Fox News Legal Analyst Gregg Jarrett, said that the guide Nunes referred to in his letter, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), is like “the Bible” for the FBI.
Nunes’s latest claim augments the committee’s investigation into whether or not the FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, acted improperly when it signed applications for warrants on Carter Page and submitted them to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Page was a short-time foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign who has traveled to and lived in Russia on business. He has not been charged with a crime and has two pending lawsuits against media outlets for allegedly defaming him as a result of their reportage about him in connection with the FISA warrants.
On February 2, a letter authored by Republicans on the committee was declassified by the White House which alleged that the now-infamous, unverified “Trump dossier” assembled by British citizen Christopher Steele during the 2016 campaign was used to convince the court to issue four warrants to allow the surveillance, which spilled over to others with whom Page conversed.
The FBI continued to gather Page’s communications through June of last year.
The dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC), a fact not divulged to the court.
Last Saturday, Democrats on the same committee released their own memo, much longer than the Republicans’, with the intent to “correct the record” and contradicting the opposing party’s claims that the court had been misled by the presentation of the dossier as evidence to obtain the warrants.
Other than Fox, the mainstream media did not appear to have reported the development as of Thursday night.
At 9:37 p.m., Hannity hosted attorney and newly-minted FNC host Mark Levin, who began his remarks on the dossier matter by stating that the FISC judges “have not been scrutinized,” becoming heated as he read from a motion his own legal foundation filed last spring asking pointed questions about the methods used to obtain the warrants.
Levin revealed that in response, a FISC judge said that “Although presented as a request to appear, there is no matter pending before the court…”
Levin argued that because there were four continuous warrants requested and granted and was “still before” the court, Judge Rosemary Collyer was misleading in her response. “You know what that tells me? Something smells like a rat,” Levin concluded.
“We presented this judge with the evidence and filed it. Congress needs to find out now why these judges, even now, aren’t holding people accountable,” Levin later told Hannity emphatically. “A court needs to protect itself…federal judges every day hold people to account.”
Levin further said that the FISA court should be abolished, to be replaced by a court which would oversee counterintelligence issues.
Nunes’s letter is copied to FBI Director Christopher Wray and the DOJ’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, the latter of whom is expected to release a comprehensive report this month dealing with whether or not political bias and conflicts of interest were exhibited by FBI and DOJ personnel as they investigated the Trump campaign for alleged “Russian collusion.”
In the letter, Nunes suggested that if the FBI violated the DIOG in obtaining the Page warrants, those responsible could have also committed violations of five other federal statutes.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.