This week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham provided an unclassified summary report to Attorney General William Barr noting that the primary sub-source for retired British spy Christopher Steele’s bogus ‘dossier’ was a Russian agent — Igor Danchenko — who had long been known to the FBI.
Only, when it came time to obtain a surveillance warrant to spy on the Trump campaign from the secretive FISA court, the FBI conveniently left out that little detail.
“To me, failure of the FBI to inform the court that the Primary Sub-source was suspected of being a Russian agent is a breach of every duty owed by law enforcement to the judicial system,” Graham said in a statement.
A press release posted to the Senate committee’s website noted additionally:
The FBI summary provided to the committee reveals that the Crossfire Hurricane team was aware of this information in December 2016, yet failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Further, they continued to seek three FISA warrant applications using the Steele dossier as a basis.
You got that? The agents involved in this sham knew they were violating procedures and the law just to entrap a president they didn’t like.
How do we know? Because some of the agents and officials involved in ‘Spygate,’ which included setting up Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, actually bought liability insurance to protect them from lawsuits if anyone found out about their treachery.
“[W]e all went and purchased professional liability insurance,” one agent texted on Jan. 10, 2017, the same day CNN published a story claiming that President-elect Trump had been briefed by then-FBI Director James Comey about the discredited dossier by Christopher Steele.
“Holy crap,” another agent responded in an email, as first reported by The Federalist. “All the analysts too?”
“Yep,” the first agent noted. “All the folks at the Agency as well.”
“[C]an I ask who are the most likely litigators?” an agent asked. “[A]s far as potentially suing y’all[?]”
“[H]aha, who knows….I think [t]he concern when we got it was that there was a big leak at DOJ and the NYT among others was going to do a piece,” the first agent replied.
As for the FBI and the FISA court, Graham has a little surprise in store.
“In light of this newly declassified information, I will be sending the FISA Court the information provided to inform them how wide and deep the effort to conceal exculpatory information regarding the Carter Page warrant application was in 2016 and 2017,” he said.
“A small group of individuals in the Department of Justice and FBI should be held accountable for this fraud against the court. I do not believe they represent the overwhelming majority of patriotic men and women who work at the Department of Justice and FBI,” he added. (Related: Horowitz’s report on Obama-era FISA court abuse uncovers MASSIVE corruption: 51 violations and nine false statements by FBI.)
Graham went on to say that Congress must “reform the system so it never happens again.”
How’s that going to work?
The FISA court meets in secret; it has to be that way because the intelligence agencies and FBI seeking surveillance warrants often present top secret information. The court’s location is not known; the judges on the court are known but they hear evidence without a defendant’s lawyer president.
In other words, the entire surveillance warrant process operates on highly secretive ‘honor system;’ the FBI agents involved in Spygate were not honorable, but how are the FISA court judges supposed to know? And how will they know when they’re being duped in the future?
The best ‘reforms,’ then, are lengthy trials and long prison sentences for convictions. Otherwise, ’Spygate’ will happen again.