Thursday, February 1, 2018

FISA Abuse Memo on the Verge of Public Release

The following article appeared in Frontline Magazine on January 31st

After McCabe's departure, is Deputy AG Rosenstein the next to go in surveillance scandal?

The House Intelligence Committee, by party-line vote, voted Monday evening to release a potentially explosive memorandum its staff compiled that could blow the lid off the long investigation into alleged collusion – so far unproven - between the Trump campaign and Russia. President Trump has five days to decide whether to approve the memo’s release to the public or seek to block it. Thus far, despite opposition from the Department of Justice, the White House has been signaling receptivity to the memo’s release. The memo reportedly accuses leaders near the top of the Department of Justice and FBI hierarchies of misusing their authority for political reasons to obtain a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order to spy on at least one former Trump campaign official, Carter Page. 
Mueller and Rod Rosenstein
If the claims said to be set forth in the memo turn out to be true, the original surveillance order approved by the FISA court was likely obtained under false pretenses. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reportedly sought to perpetuate the charade by approving a renewal application for continued surveillance of Carter Page to the FISA court without proper vetting of the sources used to justify the requested surveillance. The original order reportedly relied at least in part on an unsubstantiated dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. The FISA court was allegedly not fully informed either of the dossier’s serious shortcomings or the fact that it had been paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 

Add the shaky provenance of the dossier used to justify the surveillance of an American citizen to the many text messages authored by two intensely anti-Trump senior FBI officials who were then involved in the Russian collusion investigation and appeared to be looking for a way to sabotage Trump’s candidacy and presidency. Together, they confront the nation with a constitutional scandal that makes Watergate look like child’s play.
Comey, McCabe and Strzok
The two politically biased senior FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, have been reassigned and are no longer involved in the Russian collusion investigation. However, while they were heavily involved in the investigation as well as with each other as lovers, Strzok wrote a text message to Page, which stated, "I want to believe the path that you threw out for consideration in Andy's office that there is no way he [Trump] gets elected, but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40." It is widely believed that the “Andy” referred to in the text message was the now former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

(Article continues HERE)

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