CONGRESSMAN CLAIMS “COORDINATED EFFORT” TO “TAKE DOWN” TRUMP
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 28, 2019) — On Saturday night’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC11) said that the upcoming Justice Department inspector general’s report on “FISA abuse” will not only hold people “accountable” from the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative, but also, “we’ll start to see the rest of the story that was behind this, which was, in fact, a coordinated effort by Democrats to take this president down, and we will finally have justice.”
Meadows has long been a critic of the Special Counsel Trump-Russia probe, which ran for 22 months and cost taxpayers more than $30 million, ultimately finding insufficient evidence of “collusion” between anyone in the Trump campaign and Russian-government operatives to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
Based on unsubstantiated allegations, the FBI officially launched an initial counterintelligence investigation into the campaign on July 31, 2016, although some in Congress say it began much earlier. In May 2017 Special Counsel Robert Mueller assumed the FBI’s probe after FBI Director James Comey was fired.
During his interview with Pirro which Meadows shared with Rep. Jim Jordan ($-OH4), Meadows added that although he has not seen the inspector general’s anticipated report, he expects recommendations for criminal charges to be made by DOJ IG Michael Horowitz.
The report was originally expected in “May or June,” as stated by Attorney General William Barr earlier this year, but was delayed, reportedly as a result of new information conveyed by previously-unwilling witnesses and an interview with Russia “dossier” compiler Christopher Steele overseas.
Steele, a British citizen and former MI6 agent, reportedly harbored an anti-Trump animus and indicated to a State Department employee that it was crucial for him to circulate the dossier prior to the 2016 U.S. election. To date, the contents of the dossier have not been verified.
The alleged abuse of the “FISA” process on which Horowitz will reportedly focus in his next report stems from four successive surveillance warrants applied for and granted to the FBI, which included as its “verified” evidence Steele’s dossier. In addition to Comey, numerous other FBI and Justice Department officials approved the warrant applications, according to their closed-door testimony to members of Congress in 2017 and 2018.
In a report highly critical of Comey’s decision-making regarding seven memos he wrote about his interactions with President-Elect and President Trump in early 2017, Horowitz found Comey to have violated federal law as well as FBI/DOJ written policies after he stored some of the memos in his personal safe at home and transmitted several of them to his team of three attorneys who he retained after Trump fired him on May 9, 2017.
According to policy, Comey should have obtained permission to remove the memos from FBI premises, to which Comey responded that he considered the memos to have been a personal memorialization of his conversations with Trump.
The Justice Department chose not to prosecute Comey or his mishandling of the memos, some of which contained classified information, as the FBI determined later.