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Sunday, March 4, 2018
Devin Nunes Asks Jeff Sessions What He’s Doing About FBI Violations of FISA Protocols
The following article appeared in
Breitbart on March 2nd
By Kristina Wong
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), is asking
Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether the Justice Department is doing anything
what appears to be a “clear violation” of FBI protocols.
Nunes and Sessions
In a letter sent on Thursday, Nunes
laid out the protocols that FBI agents appear to have violated in using the
Steele dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign member
under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
He cited FBI guidelines that
officials must follow when requesting FISA warrants, including that “Only
document and verified information may be used to support FBI applications
[FISA] to the court [FISC].”
Nunes said in his letter that “former
and current DOJ and FBI leadership have confirmed to the Committee that
unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of
the FISA applications related to Carter Page.”
As the committee’s memo laid out last
month, head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division Assistant Director Bill
Priestap said corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of
the FBI’s initial warrant application on former Trump campaign adviser Carter
Page in October 2016.
In addition, then-FBI Director James
Comey told lawmakers in June 2017 that he briefed President-elect Trump on the
dossier in January 2017, even though it was “salacious and unverified.”
Nunes asked Sessions to respond by
March 8, 2018, whether those protocols requiring “verified information” have
changed, and if not, what steps is the Justice Department taking to hold
officials accountable who violated the protocols?
Nunes said in addition, the
presentation of false and/or unverified information to the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court could entail the following violations of criminal statutes
— 18 USC 242
— 50 USC 1809
— Obstruction of Justice
— Contempt of Court.
Nunes concluded in his letter that
the FBI guidelines provides internal oversight and controls over FBI
activities. “However, in this instance, it’s clear that basic operating
guidance was violated,” he said.
So far, several FBI officials
involved in the investigation have been removed from their jobs and reassigned
within the FBI, such as Peter Strzok. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
abruptly resigned from his role last month, but is still at the FBI awaiting
retirement in March.
Nunes’ letter comes as Sessions is
facing increasing pressure on what steps he is taking regarding potential FISA
abuse by FBI officials who were investigating the Trump campaign in the leadup
to and after the 2016 elections. Sessions recently said the Justice Department
Inspector General was looking into FISA abuse, not his prosecutors.