WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) issued the following statement after the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its memo on alleged abuses by the FBI and the Department of Justice:
“While I applaud the release of this memo, I also call for Congress to take immediate action to help prevent such behavior in the future. It is imperative it start by listening to Americans who have expressed outrage over its disregard for the Fourth Amendment and reexamining the powers it reauthorized right before we learned of the memo. Continuing to ignore the Constitution will only guarantee that others fall victim to government abusing its domestic surveillance powers.”
Glen Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide, which details surveillance and intrusion by America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ and how government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens, paints a disturbing picture of the intelligence community. Now we have the memo released by the House Intel Committee, which alleges that the FBI and DOJ lied to the FISA Court about the grounds for a warrant on Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page. According to the memo, the Fusion GPS dossier, compiled by Christopher Steele and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was the central basis for the FISA warrant against Page. The dossier and its origins were never turned over to the FISA court. The memo states, “The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of — and paid by — the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”
The FBI did not independently verify the claims of the Steele dossier in any serious way before seeking the FISA warrant. Those involved in the application include current deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
Note: “People with bias like Page and Strzok shouldn’t be allowed to search a government database that has America’s information.” – Rand Paul
Most importantly, the Carter Page application was NOT the launching point of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. If the Page FISA warrant had been the centerpiece and launching point of the investigation, Trump might have grounds to shut the whole thing down — Trump could claim, rightly, that the FBI, DOJ, and Hillary campaign worked together to trump up these charges, and then weaponized our intelligence and law enforcement community against him. But the memo itself states that “The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. …The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.”
The fuss over National Security voiced by Democrats and Justice officials (including Comey) seems fraudulent. The memo does little if anything to endanger national security. Sounds more like a an attempt to avoid culpability for an attempted political hit on Trump (#cover up).
The Carter Page FISA application apparently cited a Yahoo News article that was based on leaks from Steele to the news outlet. However, this does not constitute corroborating evidence in the Steele dossier. Steele was later suspended and terminated from the FBI for “an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.”
Steele voiced a disdain for Donald Trump, but this information was not included in the FISA application. Steele told associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Ohr didn’t report that in the FISA application, nor was information that Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS on compiling opposition research on Trump revealed to the FISA Court.
The FBI and DOJ clearly cut corners in an effort to push forward the Trump-Russia investigation. They worked with Fusion GPS materials to do so, and didn’t tell the FISA court. And then they apparently lied to the American people about the supposed risks to the intelligence community if the public found out about their original lies by omission.