Crosstalk: February 7, 2018
This Crosstalk looked at the 4 page Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) memo that was declassified on Friday. This is the GOP intelligence memo that sheds light on what some believe are subversive, behind the scenes actions of the FBI and the Department of Justice in their alleged war on the Trump campaign.
Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Robert Romano, the vice president of public policy with Americans for Limited Government.
Is the FISA memo trumped-up partisanship or is this a matter of serious concern? Robert believes it's the latter.
The Christopher Steele dossier that was paid for by Fusion GPS (who was, in turn, paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign) alleged that the Trump campaign was involved in Russian collusion and the DNC hack. That dossier was used by the Justice Department in October of 2016 to obtain a FISA court warrant against Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.
The FISA court wasn't told where this document had come from, that it was financed by the Democrats, or that it was salacious and unverified as former FBI Director James Comey testified to in 2017. The former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, testified later that the only thing they could corroborate was the fact that Carter Page went to Moscow to give a commencement address. So the only reason they got the FISA warrant was because of the dossier which Page had been mentioned in, not because he had been in Moscow. That led to the idea that there was some collusion or scheme to steal e-mails from the DNC and put them on WikiLeaks and involving Russia and Trump. Now we know one year later via testimony from those that have looked into this that it was salacious and unverified.
That brings up Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy who was working for Fusion GPS. He was a paid, private intelligence operative for the Democrats responsible for obtaining raw intelligence on Donald Trump, his campaign, and their alleged dealings. Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he didn't verify Steele's sources. Steele never traveled to Russia. Instead, he had 'go-between's' for that purpose so Steele never even talked to his own sources.
There was a lot wrong with the dossier that was used to obtain the FISA court warrant. So Robert believes the fact that the charges against Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos haven't been dropped is rather outrageous and is clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment because there was no probable cause. It was based upon lies. 'Facts' were being submitted that were not facts.
According to Robert, it looks like they took what they thought were travel records of Trump officials and then filled in the blanks with falsehoods. Robert gave the example of Michael Cohen who was supposed to be in Prague in August of 2016 (according to the Steele dossier) speaking with Russian agents about cleaning up the mess per the WikiLeaks disclosure. The problem with this is that Cohen has communicated that he's never been to Prague. So if he wasn't in Prague in 2016, then he couldn't have been there speaking with Russian agents cleaning up the mess dealing with WikiLeaks and the dossier. This means that whoever Steele's sources were that claimed he was there and having such conversations should be called into question.
So is there a link between the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's campaign? Robert handles that question and more as he untangles this very detailed controversy on this edition of Crosstalk.
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