This week, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson asks an important (and scary) question – Can we Trust the People who Signed the Wiretap Applications, to Investigate their own Evidence?
The answer is not as simple as it seems. How can we trust the government to investigate themselves for the “mistakes” that they made? It seems like a foolhardy endeavor.
This week, separate investigations into alleged Trump-Russia collusion and alleged misconduct by U.S. intelligence officials began to intersect in ways that seem inextricable.
Republican senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham released their criminal referral letter asking the FBI to investigate ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
Steele authored the anti-Trump “dossier” leaked to the press during campaign 2016.
But there’s a conflict of interest.
It’s the FBI that secretly used Steele’s dossier to justify wiretapping a former Trump campaign adviser: Carter Page.
The FBI and Justice Department’s own conduct is under congressional investigation.
They allegedly didn’t tell the judge who approved the wiretaps—that some of their evidence was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Even more problematic, the FBI may have violated strict rules — Woods Procedures —
That forbid it from presenting even a single unverified fact to the special court for a wiretap, let alone a lengthy dossier full of them.
Top Obama and Trump officials signed four wiretap applications relying in part on the dossier starting a month before the election:
Then FBI Director James Comey
Deputy FBI Director Andrew Mccabe, who has stepped down amid controversy.
Then-Attorney General Sally Yates, who was later fired by President Trump.
Fbi General Counsel Dana Boente who was Deputy Attorney General at the time.
And current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Can the agencies and officials who signed the wiretap applications— fairly investigate the source of their questioned evidence?
Senator Grassley says when he first moved to release his memo related to all of this last month, the FBI stonewalled, claiming it included classified information.
This week, the FBI allowed the memo to be released… but it was full of redactions—including in the FBI’s explanation for them.
The FBI stated it: “the FBI cannot and will not weaken its commitment to protecting [redacted]. public reporting about [redacted] does not affect the FBI’s policy with respect to classification [redacted] nor does it diminish our obligations [redacted].”
In case you’re wondering, you heard right, three of the four controversial wiretaps on the former Trump adviser were apparently approved –under President Trump. Surprising, since normal processes require an authority appointed by the President certify every wiretap. We asked the White House who President Trump appointed as his certification authority and whether that person shared or withheld the wiretap information from President Trump, but we didn’t get a response.