Sen. Lindsey Graham is turning up the heat on the FISA Abuse Investigation!
Or more appropriately, the lack thereof.
While there appears to be a mountain of evidence swirling around that abuses occurred, there doesn’t seem to be an official investigation.
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Lindsey Graham is looking to change that.
Once again, THANK YOU Lindsey!
Take a look:
Here's more, from the Daily Caller:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is resuming an investigation of potential surveillance abuse by the FBI with an expansive request for records related to the bureau’s vetting of the Steele dossier.
In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General William Barr, Graham asked for all FBI and Justice Department documents related to investigators’ attempts to verify allegations made in the dossier, which was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats.
The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s report to obtain four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Republicans investigated whether the FBI misled the FISA court by relying on the dossier even though its allegations about Page were unverified. They also asserted the FBI failed to tell surveillance court judges that Steele was working on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign on an investigation of Donald Trump.
Graham also indicated in the letter that he is investigating the FBI’s decision to open up investigations of Trump campaign associates in 2016.
He said the Judiciary Committee is concerned vetting proper vetting procedures and the full presentation of facts to the FISA Court “may not have occurred with regard to the applications for FISA warrants for (and the opening of the underlying investigation on) Carter Page and other individuals associated with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.”
The FBI formally opened counterintelligence investigations on four campaign associates on July 31, 2016. The first FISA against Page was granted Oct. 21, 2016.
Graham is seeking all documents provided to the Gang of Eight in May 2018 regarding the Russia probe. He is also requesting the so-called “Woods file,” which would include any materials used to verify the allegations against Page included in FISA applications.
The dossier alleges Page served as the Trump campaign’s backchannel to the Kremlin. He is also accused of coming up with the idea of providing stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks and of meeting with two Kremlin insiders during a trip to Moscow in July 2016.
Page has vehemently denied the allegations. He has testified to special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, but has not been charged in the investigation.
The dossier suffered a heavy blow last Wednesday when Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney, undercut one of Steele’s main collusion allegations. Cohen denied under oathever visiting Prague, where Steele alleges Cohen met with Russian hackers in August 2016.
Graham also wants all documents with the FISA Court “relating to any FISA applications associated with Carter Page or other individuals on or associated with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.”
Page is the only former Trump aide known to have been targeted with FISA warrants.
And from the Washington Examiner:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reignited the investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse on Thursday, demanding from the Justice Department a wide array of documentation related to the surveillance of Carter Page and other members of the 2016 Trump campaign.
The latest salvo in a long-running fight for access to documents, the GOP-led, bicameral effort was weakened when the Democrats ensnared control of the House with no intention of continuing the hunt. But Republican leaders see new hope in new Attorney General William Barr.
In a letter addressed to Barr, who took over the DOJ last month, Graham made targeted document requests that he said will help his committee determine whether proper procedure was ignored when the FBI made its case for FISA warrants to wiretap Page and other Trump campaign officials.
"[T]he Committee is concerned that the Woods procedures and a full presentment of material and relevant facts may not have occurred with regard to the applications for FISA warrants for (and the opening of the underlying investigations on) Carter Page and other individuals associated with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump,” Graham wrote.
Enacted in 2001, the Woods Procedures were intended to protect U.S. citizens from improper surveillance by the government, seeking to "ensure accuracy with regard to the facts supporting probable cause."
Graham expressed optimism in Barr during the confirmation process after meeting with him, saying in January, “I'm going to do a deep dive into the FISA issue, I think he'll be part of it."
Graham, along with other Republicans, have been engaged in a push for documents on the FISA process for years, pointing to the use of the so-called Trump dossier, which contained unverified claims about Trump's ties to Russia, by government officials to gain spy authority.
In the summer of 2017, Graham and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked DOJ and FBI leaders for all applications by the FBI to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. That followed a report by The Guardian in January of that year that said the FBI applied for a FISA warrant to monitor four members of Trump's then-campaign team "suspected of irregular contact with Russian officials" that was then turned down by the court.
Last February, the House Intelligence Committee, then led by Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., released a memo asserting the so-called Trump dossier, which contained unverified claims about Trump's ties to Russia, was used by the FBI to help obtain the FISA warrants to spy on Page, but key information, including its author's anti-Trump bias and Democratic benefactors, was left out. Democrats argued in a rebuttal memo that the FISA process was not abused and the GOP allegations were meant to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
In declassifying the GOP memo that same month, the White House said it "raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens."
Further compounding concerns by Trump-aligned critics was how FISC didn't hold any hearings on the applications targeting Page, as disclosed by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch. However, a bevy of legal experts, some of whom were anti-Trump, argued that it is "the norm" for there not to be any hearings.
Among Graham's demands in his letter to Barr are the disclosure of documents related to the “Woods file” in the Page case, efforts to verify the various claims in the dossier, and the extent of the dossier's role in the FBI's FISA applications to spy on Page.
The author of the dossier, British ex-spy Christopher Steele, also is mentioned. Graham seeks all documents and communications related to Steele's contacts with the media.
The letter additionally targets FBI "302" interview reports with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who has emerged as being Steele's backchannel to the FBI in supplying the contents of his research, and any other official who received information from outside the government that appeared in the Page FISA applications.
Rounding out Graham's nine-point list is a push for records about any defensive briefings offered and given to 2016 presidential candidates as well as documents shared with the "Gang of Eight" in May 2018 related to the federal Russia investigation.
Graham's letter, which is copied to Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and FBI Director Christopher Wray, says the deadline for the documents is March 21.