by Sharon Rondeau

(May 1, 2019) — During his opening remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and testimony from Attorney General William Barr, Chairman Lindsey Graham again promised his committee will examine the “FISA warrant process” used to obtain four surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page by the FBI and Justice Department beginning in 2016.

It is possible others associated with the Trump campaign were surveilled through FISA, as was suggested in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report into Russia “collusion” and interference in the 2016 campaign released April 18.

Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who Graham mentioned in his remarks, has claimed that not only Page, but also Lt. Gen. Michel Flynn (Ret), Paul Manafort and Papadopoulos himself were surveilled under FISA.

Flynn was Trump’s first national security adviser, while Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for approximately 100 days during the summer of 2016.

While Flynn and Manafort took “guilty” pleas for matters unrelated to Russia “collusion,” Page was never charged with a crime.

Mueller’s report confirms that Papadopoulos was the subject of search warrants for his business relationships with Israel.

On April 9, Barr testified to a House subcommittee that he believes “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign and that he would seek to discover whether or not it was properly “predicated.”

The source of the Page warrants was an unverified “dossier” compiled by a contractor working for an opposition-research company, Fusion GPS, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign through DNC law firm Perkins Coie.

Graham made the point that FBI chief investigators into the Hillary Clinton private email server, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, were the same who expressed anti-Trump sentiments in text messages after launching the counterintelligence into the Trump campaign.

As expected, committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, in her opening statement, referenced an article in The Washington Post published Tuesday evening stating that a letter Mueller wrote to Barr on March 27 objected to Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s report, delivered to the Justice Department on March 22.

Feinstein made her case that the Mueller report claimed that the Trump campaign allegedly welcomed support from the Russians during the campaign cycle.

She also argued that Barr was incorrect in his March 24 letter that Trump could not have been found not to have committed “obstruction of justice.”

Mueller’s report cites a number of articles by The Post and The New York Times, which appear to have gleaned much of their information from leaks form Mueller’s own team.  The report does not state how its quoted statements allegedly made by Trump and his inner circle as to whether or not Mueller should have been replaced or removed were verified, i.e., in the form of transcripts or recordings.

Feinstein took issue with some of Trump’s written responses to questions he agreed to answer for Mueller’s investigation.

Mueller’s team consisted of approximately 17 prosecutors, virtually all of whom had supported Democrats financially in the past and/or had represented the Obama regime or Clinton Foundation.

Feinstein said that “Congress has the constitutional duty” to provide oversight and that the Senate Judiciary Committee should obtain testimony from Mueller directly.

At 10:29 a.m. EDT, Graham swore in Barr, and he began his opening statement.

Live streaming of the hearing is here.

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