The long awaited House Intel Memo was released earlier today, which Republicans have been hailing as a shocking revelation showing a politically motivated effort within America’s law enforcement and justice system to target then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Democrats, as well as their media allies, have been quick to preempt the memo’s release as a “nothing burger” and a Republican tactic to discredit the Mueller investigation, which
First, it’s important to note that the “Trump dossier” was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign through an opposition research firm called Fusion GPS. This firm then hired retired British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Donald Trump, which Steele was only too happy to do. Steele allegedly used Russian sources to put the dossier together, which contains numerous inconsistencies, errors and outright falsehoods.
As revealed by today’s memo, Steele was far from an unbiased intelligence source. In fact, Steele openly stated he was “desperate” to stop Trump from being elected, despite the fact he is a British citizen and would not be impacted in any way by an American election, which indicates Steele was simply following his own emotions when writing his dossier rather than facts.
Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. In September 2016, Steele told Ohr, he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Ohr later relayed this evidence of Steele’s bias to FBI, where it was recorded in official files, but not included in any of the FISA application
Also revealed by the House Intelligence Committee’s memo today, the Steele dossier formed the basis for the surveillance efforts launched against Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. This document was used as “evidence” presented to America’s FISA court, which is needed to approve spying operations involving US citizens, and resulted in the FISA judge approving the spying after previously denying the warrant months before. This means that at first, the FISA judge felt there was not enough evidence to justify a spying operation on a presidential candidate’s campaign and denied the initial attempt to secure a warrant. Then, the Steele dossier was used during the second attempt at a FISA warrant, which the FISA judge approved this time, presumably based on the “revelations” revealed in the Steele dossier.
This means that the entire surveillance operation on Donald Trump and his campaign, in addition to the basis of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation alleged “Russian collusion”, was based on nothing more than opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign.
However, the FBI and DOJ conveniently excluded the fact that the Steele dossier was funded by Clinton’s campaign as opposition research when they presented it as “intelligence gathering” to the FISA court.
a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). 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.
So the FBI/DOJ knew the questionable origins of the Steele dossier as paid opposition research, yet hide that information from the FISA court in order to obtain a warrant to spy on a member of Trump’s campaign.
To put this action is perspective, imagine if during the future 2020 presidential campaign that Trump’s campaign paid for a salacious and unverified dossier on his opponent, which was then used by the FBI and Justice Department to launch a surveillance operation on his opponent and their campaign. One could only imagine the outrage on the part of the left if the roles were reversed and this blatant abuse of America’s surveillance court was revealed to take place under Trump’s administration.
In essence, the entire Steele dossier operation was collusion with a foreign agent on the part of elements of the FBI and DOJ to influence a presidential election. The FBI and DOJ were essentially weaponized during the 2016 election and wielded as a weapon against Donald Trump in order to prevent him from getting elected.
If these revelations are a “nothing burger” as the anti-Trump media would have you believe, then it is now acceptable for Trump’s campaign in 2020 to pay for opposition research and use it as justification to spy on his political opponent?
Just take a look at a the headlines being manufactured by the anti-Trump media, all using the term “nothing burger”, as if they coordinated together in order to discredit explosive revelations of extreme lawlessness and abuse within America’s justice system.
- Esquire: ‘Nothingburger’ Doesn’t Do This Memo Justice
- Salon: “Worse than a nothing burger”: The Nunes memo lands with a thud
- New York Times: Devine Nunes’s Nothingburger
If the memo’s revelations are so insignificant, then why did the Democrats and their media allies fight so viciously to suppress and prevent its release?
Without the false Steele dossier, the FISA court would never have authorized the surveillance operations against Trump’s campaign, which means simple funding by the Clinton campaign and some creative writing on the part of admitted Trump-hater Christopher Steel is all it took for Americans to be spied on by their own government.
Remember, the leaders of the FBI and DOJ are suppose to be safeguarding American citizens against government abuse, not spearheading them. They are suppose to be the best and brightest, and beyond reproach. Unfortunately, those who find themselves in positions of power are oftentimes more likely to become corrupt by the power and protections they enjoy.
Also revealed in the memo, former FBI Director James Comey admitted to President Trump that the Steele dossier was ”salacious and unverified.”
According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial
Page FISA application. In early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, a document he later described as “salacious and unverified.”
In summary, the entire Trump dossier was created by a man who hated Donald Trump and wanted him to fail in the election. Elements within the FBI and DOJ under Obama knew the dossier was opposition research, yet presented it to the FISA court as legitimate intelligence obtained by America’s best and brightest. The FISA judge approved the warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign, which was subsequently renewed 3 times, and even after the election was over the FBI continued to pay Chris Steele to find dirt on Trump. A series of lies were told to the FISA court, and it worked.
And all of this happened under Barack Obama’s administration. Do you think that these rogues within the FBI and DOJ using false pretences to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign was all occurring without Barack Obama’s knowledge?
The entire special counsel led by Robert Mueller was established under false pretenses of “Russian collusion” and is nothing more than a Democrat-run operation to unseat a duly election president. If anything, a special counsel to investigate the massive abuses that took place within the FBI/DOJ establishment should be created to bring law and order back to America’s once honorable institutions.
Additional details revealed by the House Intel Memo are as follows:
The anti-Trump dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee formed an “essential” part of the initial and all three renewal surveillance applications against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page;
The political origins of the dossier were “known to senior DOJ and FBI officials,” but those origins were not included in applications to obtain the warrant;
Also used to justify the surveillance warrants against Page was a news story supposedly corroborating the dossier, that was pushed by the dossier author Christopher Steele himself — yet the FISA application incorrectly says Steele did not provide the information in the article.
Perkins Coie — the law firm for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee hosted a meeting with Steele, Fusion GPS and media (this revelation makes it harder for the Clinton campaign and the DNC to deny they knew about the dossier, though Clinton and other top DNC officials at that time have denied knowing about it);
Steele was “suspended and then terminated” as an FBI source, after the FBI learned that he made an authorized disclosure of his relationship with the FBI to liberal media magazine Mother Jones, and he lied to the FBI about his previous media contacts with Yahoo! and other outlets;
Steele — although portrayed as a “boy scout” by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson — had personal bias against candidate Donald Trump, telling senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president”;
Ohr’s wife Nellie Ohr assisted with the dossier, but the FBI or the DOJ did not disclose this connection in the application for the FISA warrant, even though Bruce Ohr worked “closely” with Deputy Attorney Generals Sally Yates and then Rod Rosenstein — who both signed off on at least one FISA application or renewal;
At the time that the FBI used the dossier to obtain the spy warrant on Page in October 2016, head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division Bill Priestap had assessed that the corroboration of the dossier was still in its “infancy,” and after Steele was terminated as a source, an FBI unit assessed his reporting as only “minimally corroborated”;
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 that no warrant would have been sought without the dossier;
The FISA warrant also mentioned information related to another Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, even though there was no evidence of cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos;
The memo does not state what the information about Papadopoulos was, but said that information was the trigger to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation on Russian meddling and collusion in late July 2016 (he had told an Australian diplomat at a London bar that a Maltese professor connected to Russia had told him he had dirt on Clinton in the form of emails);
Peter Strzok, the No. 2 at the FBI’s counterintelligence division opened the bureau’s investigation on Russian meddling and collusion (text messages between him and fellow FBI official and lover Lisa Page show that he held an anti-Trump bias);
The FBI authorized payments to Steele, but never disclosed that in any of the FISA warrant applications.
Below is a PDF of the entire House Intel Memo: