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Friday, July 12, 2024

FISA Warrant Shows FBI’s Flimsy Basis for Spying on Carter Page

'"It is a desperate attempt to keep an investigation, which had no predication in the first place, going with conjecture, speculation and manufactured belief...'

A newly declassified copy of the FBI’s final renewal application for a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page showed the bureau’s increasingly desperate efforts to justify the probe as its reliance on bad information became clear, according to Just the News‘s John Solomon.

The application came in 2017, after President Donald Trump already had been elected president and the Steele Dossier had been largely debunked as part of a partisan smear effort orchestrated by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Even Page, himself, had written to the Justice Department to file a complaint about the ongoing harassment.

“Notwithstanding Page’s assertions that the claims against him are false, baseless, and completely fabricated, based on information developed by the FBI through its ongoing investigation of Page that is described herein, the FBI believes that Page’s claims in this letter are self-serving and untrue,” said the application to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

From reading the early background, it would appear that the preliminary suspicions about Page’s cozy relationship with Russians may have been reasonably surmised.

The application outlined Page’s many contacts with suspected Russian agents prior to his work advising the Trump campaign, and it even noted prior FBI interviews dating back several years.

The FBI expressed concern that Page’s influence might have led Trump—who had been critical of former president Barack Obama’s failure to prevent Russian aggression in Ukraine—to make “milder” his position on the territorial dispute.

But when seen in the context of the corruption and ideological extremism of FBI players such as Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, the covert political objectives of the probe appeared to grow more brazen as the so-called evidence unraveled.

It notoriously failed to note the exculpatory detail that Page had been cooperating with the CIA as an informant. Clinesmith had altered this evidence to say the opposite, as later discovered by the Justice Department inspector general.

Moreover, the FBI’s early awareness of Hillary Clinton’s intentional efforts to drive a phony Russia collusion narrative, and the bureau’s knowledge that former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele was an unreliable source of information add to the long list of omissions that it used to manipulate the FISA courts.

By the time of the final renewal request—filed June 29, 2017 and intended to last through Sept. 22, 2017—the rationales offered for continuing the operation seemed increasingly contrived.

“Page continues to be active in meeting with media outlets to promote his theories of how U.S. foreign policy should be adjusted with regard to Russia and also to refute claims of his involvement with Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election,” the application said, while accusing Page of having been coached by the Kremlin.

” … The FBI believes this approach is important because, from the Russian government’s point of view, it continues to keep the controversy of the election in front of the American and world medium, which has the effect of undermining the integrity of the US electoral process and weakening the effectiveness of the current US administration,” it continued. “The FBI believes Page also may be seeking media attention in order to maintain momentum for potential book contracts.”

The final warrant application was cleared by McCabe (then serving as the acting FBI director between James Comey’s May 2017 firing and Christopher Wray’s August 2017 confirmation), as well as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel the month prior to the application’s submission.

District Court Judge Raymond Dearie, a Ronald Reagan appointee, issued the final authorization.

According to Kevin Brock, the FBI’s retired ex-chief of intelligence, the speculative aspects of the information used to justify the warrant flew directly in the face of the FISA requirements, rightfully intended to demand a rigid burden of proof before the bureau could resort to such extreme measures of domestic surveillance.

“It is a desperate attempt to keep an investigation, which had no predication in the first place, going with conjecture, speculation and manufactured belief,” Brock told Just the News.

Solomon, who has been a lead resource in investigating the declassified materials, said that the document itself was evidence of the FBI’s sinister intentions.

While much of it remains redacted, the bureau has released several versions since 2017 with varying levels of detail blacked out.

Those often result in the omission of crucial information for understanding what the FBI’s justification was and how it presented it to the court.

Despite Trump having declassified all of the “Crossfire Hurricane” and related materials in his final week as president, Solomon noted in a separate article that the “vast majority” appeared to have been blocked from release.

Although the investigation by Special Counsel John Durham continues to examine the FBI conspiracy—with some, including former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, saying additional indictments may be forthcoming—the prevailing belief is that there will be little accountability during the Biden administration.

For his role in altering exculpatory evidence against Page, thereby setting off the cascading series of events that thoroughly eroded public confidence in America’s election integrity and intelligence community, Clinesmith was recently issued a year of probation.

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