Investigative journalist John Solomon spoke to Fox News’ legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, who was hosting “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, about the latest developments unfolding in the Durham investigation.
Solomon, a long-time Washington reporter, has an extensive network of connections inside the intelligence community and very often provides information one doesn’t hear anywhere else.
They began with a discussion of FISA Court Judge Rosemary Collyer’s recent rebuke of the FBI’s omissions and lies on their applications for the warrant (and renewals) to spy on Carter Page which both described as feeble. Jarrett said, “The message here is this. You can lie to the FISA Court and there will be no accountability or punishment. If you get caught, the court will merely demand remedies for the future.”
Jarrett asked Solomon if he was disappointed that more aggressive action hasn’t been taken by Collyer or her boss, Chief Justice John Roberts.
Solomon said he tries to remain neutral as a reporter, but that he has spoken to a lot of people, both liberals and conservatives, “who are concerned the Court has become a rubber stamp…There’s now a widespread body of evidence and they want to narrow it down to a couple of questions.” He believes that because the Court and the FBI are reluctant to act, it’s up to either Attorney General William Barr or Roberts to do so.
Jarrett pointed out that in 2002, 75 FISA violations by the FBI were exposed. Robert Mueller, the FBI Director at the time, “promised to fix it. He didn’t. And the FBI continued to deceive the FISA Court. The Court does not work.”
On Thursday night, Solomon appeared on “Hannity” where the issue of FISA Court abuses came up again. Solomon said:
Let’s look at the history of the Court’s behavior. In 2002, there were more than 70 violations and they called Mueller in. And they said, ‘Create some new procedures.’ In 2007, there were problems with National Security Letters. ‘Create some new procedures.’ In 2016, as Obama was exiting his presidency, his Justice Department dropped hundreds of violations belatedly on the Court. No one got a consequence then. That’s why the greatest political dirty trick in American history was allowed to be carried out.
No one fears the FISA Court. And now we’re three years into this. We have 51 known false statements, misleading statements or uncorroborated statements that were submitted before the Court. And we’re talking about procedural issues and maybe one lawyer. The temptation to do this again will be greater if AG William Barr doesn’t do something far more drastic.
The conversation turned to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who was fired for lack of candor. McCabe lied twice under oath to the inspector general, once to former FBI Director James Comey and once to the Office of Professional Responsibility, and is now suing the DOJ for “unlawful” termination. Jarrett asked if this lawsuit is a subterfuge by McCabe. Solomon replied:
It’s designed to distract us from the fact that he was in the chain of command that approved this very bad FISA. It was on his watch that a lot of these omissions and outright lies were presented to the Court…These legal stunts on the side are just a distraction.
He and James Comey have tried to pretend that they weren’t in this line of approval and yet they were deeply involved. They took this case out of the field and took it into headquarters which is a rare act in and of itself. And now, it’s time for them to be held accountable.
Andrew McCabe and James Comey were at the head of this machine. And so far, they’ve been able to bob and weave. It’s time for AG Barr to mete out some discipline to those who should have been supervising much more closely.
Jarrett brought up the recent news that the Durham team has requested the communications records of former CIA Director John Brennan and asked if they were looking at John Brennan as “the instigator for what became the Russia hoax?”
There are two things to watch for. One, was the CIA meddling, probing or targeting Trump before the FBI got involved? They lay a bread crumb trail for the FBI to go follow that led them to Christopher Steele…
There’s another possibility here which is they’re looking at Comey and McCabe for false statements and they may find corroborative statements from someone like Brennan or CIA officials that the stories that James Comey has been giving to Congress were not true. What I’m hearing is that’s one of the focal points right now. They’re looking at false statement cases against some of the leadership and Brennan’s notes and his records could be key evidence against someone like a James Comey if they ever took that action.
“Brennan told Congress under oath, if I recall, that the dossier was not used as part of the Intelligence Community Assessment,” said Jarrett. “That’s untrue. Is that one of the things they’re looking at?”
Solomon said that very well may be. If you look [at the IG report], you’ll see at the very last minute, the CIA was fighting to keep that out of the Assessment and it made it into some of the footnotes…That’s another place where McCabe and Comey played a big role. I don’t think McCabe and Comey’s stories add up to the evidence that now has been put into the record by Horowitz. I think they’re two guys whose testimony is being looked at closely.