Given that most of the application that Barack Obama’s Department of Justice submitted to the FISA court to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page has been redacted, what we can say about the application is limited. Still, a few things stand out.
First, the FISA application expresses confidence that Page was an agent of the Russian government, and engaged in criminal activity:
But Page has never been charged with anything. Accordingly, the least we can say is that Obama’s FBI and DOJ were wrong.
Second, the application’s description of Christopher Steele and the provenance of his dossier was misleading at best:
The “identified U.S. person” is Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS. Source #1 is Christopher Steele. The DOJ’s statement that “the FBI speculates that the identified U.S person [Simpson] was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s [Trump’s] campaign” could only have been an intentional effort to deceive the FISA judge. The FBI was perfectly well aware that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Simpson through their lawyers, and the purpose of doing so was to attack candidate Donald Trump. References to “speculation” about “likely” motives are entirely dishonest.
Third, the application relies to an astonishing degree on anti-Trump news stories published in the Democratic Party press. Does the FBI really get surveillance warrants on the basis of partisan press accounts? Apparently so. For example:
Notwithstanding such speculation in the Democratic Party press, the Trump administration has, in fact, agreed to send a $200 million military aid package to Ukraine. So the Carter Page warrant was obtained, at least in part, on the basis of groundless speculation in anti-Trump newspapers.
Amazingly, the FISA application relies on “speculation in U.S. media” for the proposition that Russia was behind the phishing of DNC emails:
This is truly pitiful.
Fourth, we still don’t know who at the FBI assembled the FISA application, since that person’s signature is redacted. But we do know who approved it–hyper-partisans James Comey and Sally Yates:
That probably tells us all we need to know about the veracity of the FISA application. Perhaps one day we will learn that Peter Strzok was the Democratic Party activist who prepared the application.
What I really want to know is the identity of the judge who signed off on the surveillance of Carter Page, based on such flimsy grounds. Some are speculating that he must be from Hawaii.