We got a hint of this finding in a preemptive (i.e. damage control) leak a few weeks ago, but today’s IG report confirms that the FBI did doctor evidence in their quest to mislead the FISA court. This of course revolves around a warrant on Carter Page, which was renewed multiple times relying on bad information within the Steele Dossier.
With the report now in our hands, The Federalist provides the details.
A wide-ranging investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general (IG) found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deliberately doctored evidence it presented to the nation’s top spy court in order to gain authority to spy on a key Trump affiliate.
The 476-page report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI falsely claimed to the FISA Court not only that Carter Page was a Russian agent, but also falsely claimed that an unnamed intelligence agency had told the FBI that Page was “not a source” in their efforts to surveil and curtail Russian intelligence efforts.
What this deals with is the now revealed fact that Carter Page worked for the CIA as an informant prior to anything to do with Donald Trump. For years, that allegation was called a conspiracy theory (including by a former writer on this site), but it turned out to be true.
Instead of letting the FISA court know that, the FBI chose to deliberately lie and claim Page never worked for the intel community. Further, the FBI chose to claim that Carter Page was a Russian spy. This despite the fact that they had no evidence of such.
So what were they relying on? You guessed it, the Steele Dossier.
FBI relied on Steele's two most ridiculous claim about Carter Page — that he was involved in the "conspiracy" with Manafort, and that it was Page's idea to release DNC emails through WikiLeaks. pic.twitter.com/sSku3pKqXC
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) December 9, 2019
Things got even worse, as an FBI lawyer doctored an email that also played a part in lying to the FISA court. That’s the aforementioned action at the beginning of this article that we got leaks of recently.
The FBI’s malfeasance in the matter did not stop there. Ahead of an application to renew the spy warrant in 2017, a top FBI lawyer doctored evidence from the unnamed agency which confirmed that contrary to FBI claims that he was a Russian spy, Page had in fact assisted the United States in its efforts to counter Russian operations. An e-mail from the agency that clearly stated Page was “a source” for them was doctored by Kevin Clinesmith, a top FBI national security lawyer, to give the opposite impression to the federal spy court.
This was all done to keep the judge in the dark about who Carter Page really was. Far from being a Russian agent, he was actually a past friendly source for the FBI and CIA. Had the judge known this, he likely would have concluded the warrant was not proper and lacked credible evidence. Instead, bad information was coupled with lies about Page’s prior work and the warrant was granted.
The lawyer who changed the email, a Mr. Clinesmith, is now under criminal referral for his actions and will almost certainly be prosecuted by John Durham’s investigation.
While the report does not go so far as to definitively claim bias against Trump in the investigation (mostly due to the ridiculously high standard of proof Horowitz set), it is still a damning rebuke of FBI misconduct. Anyone claiming this exonerates James Comey or clears the department is lying to you. We also know that Durham’s investigation is heating up and that he claims to have evidence Horowitz doesn’t have. Things are going to get very interesting in 2020.
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