The term “FBI investigation” has struck terror in the heart of many a wrong-doer over the years.
Now, however, it could mean an investigation OF the FBI.
Specifically, whether its interaction with the secret court that must approve spy operations constituted illegal acts.
It is the chief of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who is asking the head of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to determine whether the FBI did things that were wrong – like lying – in order to set up spy operations on members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“As the Presiding Judge of the FISC … you are privy to information which could potentially verify or contradict our understanding of abuses of the FISA process,” he wrote to Judge Rosemay Collyer, currently the chief judge in the secret court.
“Ultimately, to protect the integrity of the process, we believe such an investigation is necessary,” he said.
“We write to encourage you to investigate the possibility FISA has recently been weaponized for political means.”
The issue is not a small one.
The court repeatedly issued warrants to spy on those linked to Trump.
But it appears that much of the foundation for the FBI’s demands to do that spying rested on the so-called “dossier,” an opposition research compilation of unfounded allegations about Trump.
The dossier was created by an ex-British spy on the payroll of a company funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Meadows already is one of the lawmakers on a congressional task force investigating the FBI review of “possible collusion” between the campaign and Russia.
Russians have denied the allegations. Trump has denied the allegations. The only convictions that have come from Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office have been procedural counts, unrelated to any purported collusion.
The report by the Daily Caller News Foundation explains Republicans “so far are focusing on the FBI’s requests for four FISA warrants against onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”
They were issued by the FISA court from October 2016 to June 2017.
To obtain those, the report said, the FBI had to provide probable cause that the target of the warrant was acting as an agent of a foreign power.
The FBI relied on that unverified “dossier,” but Republicans say that shouldn’t have happened.
“In his letter to Collyer, Meadows said that the dossier contained ‘hearsay evidence’ that dossier author Christopher Steele gathered from intermediaries. Other Republicans have noted that much of the dossier was unverified at the time that the FBI cited it in its FISA applications,” the report said.
Steele claims Page met secretly with two sanctioned Russians in 2016, and that Page was the Trump campaign’s “back channel to the Kremlin.”
No evidence has been made public that supports those suppositions.
“Over the course of our congressional task force’s review into certain investigative and prosecutorial decisions made by the FBI and broader Department of Justice surrounding the 2016 elections, concerns have mounted related to the veracity of information presented before the FISC,” Meadows wrote.
Part of the problem is that the FBI concealed from the FISA court that the “dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign.
Meadows said the obvious concern is that the court “may not have lived up to the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
WND reported only months ago that Bruce Ohr, a former top Justice Department official at the center of the anti-Trump dossier scandal, confirmed the FBI was aware when it submitted the dossier as evidence to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign that the document’s author was biased against Trump and that Ohr’s wife worked for the company that produced it.
But that was withheld from the FISA court.
At the time, he said, “Let me tell you, every FISA warrant based on facts submitted to that court have to be accurate.”