FISA Memo Raises Corruption Concerns at the FBI and DOJ

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump approved the request of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Committee) to declassify a classified memorandum provided to the Committee regarding requests by the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to place surveillance on individuals formerly associated with the Trump campaign.

“The memorandum raises serious concerns about abuses by the FBI and the DOJ regarding individuals at the highest levels who weaponized the government against President Trump,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “The FBI and the DOJ abused their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. Using the obviously biased dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI and the DOJ repeatedly failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) of the biased source,” said Staver.

The Federal Intelligence Act (FISA) is a United States federal law which establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism. The act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. To surveil an American citizen, the FISA court must be presented with information to support “probable cause” that a violation of federal law has occurred or is occurring.

The highlights of the four-page FISA memo are:

  • British spy Christopher Steele, a longtime FBI source, was paid more than $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign to obtain derogatory information about Donald Trump.
  • Senior DOJ and FBI officials were aware of the DNC funding behind the dossier but never disclosed that information to the FISA court. The FBI and DOJ were also aware that Steele informed the then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Yet, in the initial and three subsequent extensions of the FISA warrant neither the FBI nor the DOJ informed the FISA court.
  • The FISA application never discloses on four separate occasions the association of the Steele dossier with the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
  • The Anti-Trump dossier was used to obtain a warrant from the FISA court to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a sometimes foreign former policy advisor to the Trump presidential campaign.
  • FISA application for Carter Page cited a Yahoo News article about Trump’s 2016 visit to Russia as evidence, as though this was a corroborating source. However, neither the FBI nor the DOJ informed the FISA court that Christopher Steele leaked his dossier to Yahoo News and Mother Jones.
  • By leaking information to the media and openly expressing bias, Steele violated the cardinal rule of violating confidentiality and thus demonstrated he could not be trusted as a reliable witness.
  • The FBI suspended Steele as an FBI source for unauthorized disclosure, but even after this suspension, the DOJ continued to use him.
  • The FBI and DOJ would not have secured surveillance warrant without the biased dossier.
  • Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general, provided the FBI with Trump opposition research that came from Ohr’s wife, who was employed by Fusion GPS, which was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

“It is understandable why some people objected to the release of this memorandum. Former FBI Director James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, then-Associate Deputy General Bruce Ohr, and more appear to have used the FBI and the DOJ as a political weapon against Donald Trump. You would expect this level of corruption to occur in a Banana Republic. Sad to say, this is America. The swamp in Washington is worse than we imagined. The only good thing about the recent revelations and no doubt those to come is that a thorough cleansing of the swamp can begin,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel Action is a 501(c)(4), nonprofit, grassroots lobbying organization advancing religious and civil liberties, the sanctity of human life, the family, limited and responsible government, national security, and support for Israel.