In October 2016 the FBI presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) an application requesting a warrant to wiretap an individual suspected of spying with or for a foreign government inside the United States. This application named Carter Page, an American citizen and Trump campaign aide as a Russian clandestine suspected to be engaged in an espionage conspiracy to influence the 2016 election. A FISA application requires verified evidence in order to issue a warrant. The Steele dossier is considered a “human intelligence document” and therefore should not be used as hard evidence, but rather as a road map for investigators to follow. The document itself is not enough to stand up in court considering that it is full of unproven allegations and unverified claims.
During the warrant application process, FISA court was not made aware by the FBI that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded Steele’s work. They were also unaware that Steele’s allegations in the dossier had never been verified. The court was asked to rely on the information in the dossier to find probable cause that Carter Page was working as a clandestine agent for Russia. This is a huge problem. The FBI has procedures and processes to follow before obtaining a FISA warrant. One of these procedures requires sending the FISA application to the “appropriate field office(s) to ensure that information appearing in the FISA application that is presented to the FISA Court has been throughly vetted and confirmed.”
What the FBI did present to FISA Court
The FBI presented the court with the allegations made by Steele in the dossier. However, Steele is not the direct source of any of the claims made in the dossier. He was a purveyor of information from unidentified Russian sources who most likely relied on hearsay from even further removed sources. The FBI basically played a game of telephone and presented the final product as fact to FISA court. The FBI’s ‘verification’ of the dossier was nothing more than the fact that they accurately stated the allegations as Steele presented them. This is not actual verification; it is simply accurately describing the allegations, not proving that they are truly accurate. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can ‘accurately describe’ (AKA copy) the allegations to another form, but there remains great responsibility of confirming the allegations to be true. A responsibility that the FBI failed to execute.
Steele’s so-called ‘credibility’
The FBI had relied on the credibility and reputation of Steele and not the actual investigation and verification of Steele’s sources and allegations. One of the most largely reported factoids throughout my research were people attesting to Steele’s credibility as a reason that this dossier should be taken seriously. I don’t care how ‘credible’ someone is, I’m not basing so-called “matters of national security” on someone’s credibility alone. An organization as far-reaching and expansive as the FBI should have exhausted every possible resource to prove every word of that dossier to be true before it was presented to FISA court. The FBI either failed to investigate the alleged claims against Page, or they did and they could not prove any of the allegations to be true. In either case, they did not have sufficient, verified, throughly vetted evidence to obtain a warrant to spy on an American citizen.
Steele himself described the information in the dossier as “raw intelligence” that was “unverified.” As far as I am concerned, Steele’s credibility doesn’t have a leg to stand on considering the dossier was paid for by both the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But for fun, let’s say that he is the most credible man on earth. This still says absolutely nothing about the reliability of his sources to provide honest and accurate information. At the end of the day, the FBI took an unverified Human Intelligence Document and presented it as the main evidence in FISA court, using only Steele’s reputation to vouch for his claims. This is unacceptable, period.
Why You Should Feel Betrayed
As we went over yesterday, Steele was on the FBI’s payroll for a brief time before their relationship ended due to the media leaks of the dossier. Steele has eleven pay stubs from the American Taxpayer which were used to fund an already politically biased dossier in an effort to undermine the Trump Administration.
Carter Page may be a Trump advisor but at the end of the day, he’s an American citizen just like you and me. If I were being spied on by the American government due to bogus claims in a Clinton funded document, I would feel betrayed. Betrayed by our government; the very people who are supposed to protect our rights. The highest levels of the American justice system betrayed the leader of our country and the American people chasing a sensationalized headline: Russian Collusion. We should expect this from the Clintons and the Obama Administration, but the FBI failed an American citizen by obtaining a FISA warrant using nothing more than a politically biased, “salacious and unverified” document. The gross attempt to undermine the Trump Administration who continues to fight for us, the American people, can only be described as corruption and conspiracy at the highest levels of our country’s justice system. It is amazing what he has been able to accomplish with government entities and mass media trying to tear him down at every turn. It’s time to stop accepting this abuse of power and start demanding the support and respect for Trump in Washington that he deserves. As an American people we can no longer stand for Clinton’s far-reaching corruption. We can no longer accept that our own government is undermining our president. We must continue to support and encourage President Trump’s ambitions to drain the swamp because if we don’t, what will come next?