President Donald Trump last Friday decided to declassify a memorandum which alleges FBI abuse of power and unconstitutional conduct on behalf of the agency with far-reaching powers.
As it turns out, the memo is not primarily about the president, or even about Robert Mueller's Russia investigation; it is actually about a not very well-known Trump campaign volunteer named Carter Page.
In 2016, he was suspected to be an agent of the Russian government, an unproven claim.
FBI officials went to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court arguing that Page was a foreign agent four times.
Three out of those four times in total former FBI Director James Comey personally signed off on the request to the FISA court, which decides whether FBI surveillance of an American citizen is in order.
At this point it would be useful to point out that since their establishment in 1978, FISA courts have approved a staggering 35,434 of the total 35,529 submitted to them; a 99.73 percent approval rating.
Deputy Director Andrew McCabe put his name on it as well.
We now know according to the memo that they used the infamous "Trump Dossier" as part of the evidence they submitted to the FISA Court, which had ridiculous assertions regarding the president's sexual activities as well as claims of contacts with Russian agents.
The dossier was released in January 2017 by the unreliable news source BuzzFeed, which later the president criticized as a "failing pile of garbage."
Most media outlets as well as the intelligence committee did not treat the dossier seriously and its claims have never been confirmed either.
The dossier was seemingly produced as part of opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS on behalf of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign during the race. Fusion GPS had contracted former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to compile the dossier, who later gave it to BuzzFeed for release.
The Trump dossier made spying on Carter Page possible, we are sure of this because Deputy Director McCabe said so under oath to Congress this past December.
The dossier had been cross-examined by the FBI before it had been submitted to the FISA court by Comey. Astonishingly, they found the dossier's claims to be only "minimally corroborated."
The fact the FBI knew that the document was unreliable at best did not prevent them from submitting it as part of evidence to the aforementioned FISA Court; in fact it was the lead piece of evidence submitted.
The FBI also knew that the document's author, Steele, was unreliable. Steele had even admitted to the DOJ's Bruce Ohr that he was "desperate and passionate" about Trump not being President.
With all this information on the FBI's hands before any of this was made public it is baffling how not only the FBI used the Trump dossier as evidence to get a surveillance warrant, but also that the FISA court approved the action to spy on Carter Page.
President Trump commented on Twitter, that is to say that he quoted The New York Times.
"'The four page memo released Friday reports the disturbing fact about how the FBI and FISA appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath […]The FBI failed to inform the FISA court that the Clinton campaign had funded the dossier […] the FBI became tool of anti-Trump political actors. This is unacceptable in a democracy and ought to alarm anyone who wants the FBI to be a nonpartisan enforcer of the law […]The FBI wasn't straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators.' Wall Street Journal."
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