President Donald Trump on Feb. 3 responded to evidence contained in a House Intelligence Committee memo that shows top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials knowingly used unverified information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign volunteer.
The memo, which was released to the public on Feb. 2, comes after nearly a year of research by the House Intelligence Committee headed by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
It details the origins of the FISA surveillance warrant that was used to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. The FISA warrant could also have been used, through a practice called unmasking, to expand the number of people spied on to include other member’s of Trump’s team.
FISA warrants are considered sensitive in nature, since they involve potential 4th amendment issues, and to obtain such a warrant it has to be established an American is knowingly working with a foreign government.
However, as the memo reveals, in the case of Page, information known to be unverified was used to obtain the FISA warrant. Furthermore, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was then left in the dark about the fact that the claims were unverified and also about what their source was.
The source of the claims was Christopher Steele, a former British spy hired by Fusion GPS, through the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to produce opposition research on Trump.
After the initial FISA application, the FBI and DOJ filed three extensions for the FISA warrant. A FISA warrant is granted for a 90-day period, during which all communications of the person(s) involved are monitored. This means that Page, and by extension other members of the Trump team, had been under surveillance for up to almost a year.
In response to the memo, President Trump wrote on Twitter that this totally vindicates him. He has consitently said that there was no collussion with Russia, and instead, that communications of the Trump tower had been monitored by the Obama administration.
Despite a year of investigations, no evidence of collussion has been found. Instead it has been revealed that the false allegations were driven by the so-called Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Clinton Campaian and DNC.
Last year already it was revealed that top Obama officials, including National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, each made dozens, if not hundreds of unmasking requests for the identities of members connected to the Trump team during and after the elections.
“But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead),” President Trump wrote on Twitter.
“This is an American disgrace!”
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2018
Aside from the House Intelligence Committee memo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is seeking to declassify a memo his committee produced as it relates to the criminal referal that was made for Steele for lying to the committee and the FBI.
The Department of Justice Inspector General is also working seperately on a report investigating bias among the ranks of the FBI and the DOJ.
Other probes are expected to come as a result of the evidence laid out in the memo.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said in response to the memo that it showed “clear and convincing evidence of treason.”