Fringe outlets and fake news purveyors are attacking a decision from a judge on the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a warrant to monitor the communications of President Donald Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page. They're claiming the ruling was based on a dossier that detailed some alleged associations between the Trump campaign and Russia, which they say was largely without merit. But the FBI would have had to corroborate the information on its own to obtain a FISA court warrant, and the agency confirmed in February that pieces of the dossier were confirmed through other sources.
FBI Used Russian Dossier Allegations To Help Obtain FISA Warrant On Carter Page
CNN: FBI Used “Corroborated” Dossier To Help Get “Approval To Secretly Monitor” Carter Page. CNN reported that the FBI “used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor” former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. According to the report, officials said that “even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation.” From the April 18 article:
The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.
The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks, as one of the sources of information the bureau has used to bolster its investigation, according to US officials briefed on the probe.
This includes approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor the communications of Carter Page, two of the officials said. Last year, Page was identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser on national security.
Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated. [CNN.com, 4/18/17]
Fringe Outlets And Fake News Purveyors Attack FISA Court Decision By Attempting To Discredit Dossier Used As Evidence
Political Insider: The FBI Used The “Widely Discredited Dossier” To Monitor Page. Fake news purveyor Political Insider claimed that a “widely discredited” and “fabricated” dossier was used “as evidence in order to target and monitor a former Trump campaign advisor.” It added that the FBI was “using a document it can only ‘partially’ verify as a way to spy on an American citizen.” From the April 18 article:
As time rolls on it is becoming evident that the Trump-Russia scandal is made-up nonsense. Democrats and their friends in the intelligence community tried to push a widely discredited dossier as proof that President Trump was being blackmailed by the Russians.
Well it turns out that the dossier was used for more than just embarrassing our President, they actually used the fabricated document as evidence in order to target and monitor a former Trump campaign advisor[.]
So the FBI is using a document it can only “partially” verify as a way to spy on an American citizen? Remember when the Democrats claimed that Trump was “paranoid” for claiming Obama spied on his campaign?
Well, it seems like he’s been vindicated once again. The FBI used a phony dossier that they “partially verified” in order to spy on an American citizen who happened to work for a political opponent of the sitting President. [Political Insider, 4/18/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]
TruthFeed: FBI Used “Laughable And Debunked ‘Russian Dossier’” As Evidence Of Collusion Between Trump And Russia. Fake news purveyor TruthFeed highlighted CNN’s report, claiming that the “laughable and debunked” dossier “is the reason the FBI believed there was collusion between Trump and Russia during the campaign.” The post noted that “an entire federal investigation,” and Page’s monitoring, were “based on an absurd dossier that has been discredited time and time again.” [TruthFeed, 4/19/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]
Zero Hedge, Infowars, And Before It’s News: Comey “Used The Largely Discredited ‘Trump Dossier’ To Secure A FISA Warrant To Secretly Monitor” Page. An April 19 Zero Hedge piece that was republished in Infowars and fake news purveyor Before It’s News, titled “Obama, Comey Relied On Discredited Dossier To Obtain FISA Warrant On Trump Campaign,” claimed that the FBI “apparently used the largely discredited” dossier to get a FISA warrant for Page. It added that the dossier was “almost immediately discredited,” and that it “brings into question the level of stupidity and/or pure corruption that must have been involved in this process given the shear (sic) number of people whose approval was undoubtedly required to authorize the issuance of a FISA warrant.” From the April 18 article (emphasis original):
James Comey, the man who refused to bring charges against Hillary Clinton despite a mountain of concrete evidence that she, and several members of her staff, knowingly violated several federal laws, apparently used the largely discredited “Trump Dossier” to help secure a FISA warrant to secretly monitor Trump's former campaign aide, Carter Page, according to CNN.
Of course, as we reported back in January (see “Here Is The Full 35-Page Report Alleging Trump Was ”Cultivated, Supported And Assisted" By Russia") the dossier, compiled by ex-British intelligence official Chris Steele, was almost immediately discredited by the public at large after numerous glaring errors were quickly identified and salicious stories of 'golden showers' and other sexual acts were also dismissed as pure rubbish.
All of which, once again, brings into question the level of stupidity and/or pure corruption that must have been involved in this process given the shear number of people whose approval was undoubtedly required to authorize the issuance of a FISA warrant that paved the way for Comey and the Obama administration to secretly monitor the Trump campaign. [Zero Hedge, 4/18/17; Infowars, 4/19/17; Before It’s News, 4/18/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]
Aspects Of Dossier Were Corroborated By The FBI In February
CNN: “US Investigators Corroborate Some Aspects Of The Russia Dossier.” CNN reported in February that federal investigators had “corroborated some of the communications” in the dossier related to “conversations between foreign nationals.” The collaboration, according to CNN, “has given US intelligence and law enforcement ‘greater confidence’ in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier.” From the February 10 article:
For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump's inauguration.
None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.
But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.
The corroboration, based on intercepted communications, has given US intelligence and law enforcement “greater confidence” in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents, these sources say. [CNN.com, 2/10/17]