In The Federalist, Margot Cleveland reminds readers of the false evidence used by the FBI to obtain a warrant targetting the Trump campaign in the FISA court, and she suggests that there is no reason for Americans to give credence to new investigations or warrants targetting the president. She explains that “the courts provide no check on a corrupted FBI.” She writes in conclusion:
When the public learned that the Department of Justice had obtained a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, the government and the media cartel assured Americans that the FISA court would only authorize such wiretapping if probable cause supported the surveillance. They also assured us that since Page was no longer a member of Trump’s campaign, the FISA orders did not target Trump. And the FISA application process, we were told, was robust, with multiple layers of review. Worry not, the government soothed, all was on the up and up.
But none of it was true. The FISA application process, far from being robust, consisted of rubber-stamping by FBI and DOJ officials who were, at best, willfully blind to the defects in the applications. And the agents who wrote the applications or supposedly reviewed and checked the information provided, either lied, withheld material information, included information disputed by the purported sources, or some combination of the three. In total, the Office of Inspector general found 17 significant inaccuracies or omissions and missed another one.
Later the public learned that in the process of renewing the Page FISA application, attorney Kevin Clinesmith lied and altered an email to hide Page’s work with the CIA and to allow the surveillance to continue. Eventually, the DOJ admitted there was no probable cause to surveil Page.
Americans would also learn later that notwithstanding the claims that the wiretapping of Page did not reach Trump’s team, that the surveillance did indeed sweep up campaign communications and later conversations between Page and Trump advisors.
Equally damned was the FISA Court which approved the four warrants based on double and triple hearsay of unknown and unverified sources and based on media reporting: Even if every word in the applications were true, the lack of verifiable sources rendered the applications insufficient, as a matter of law, to establish probable cause. Yet, the FISA Court issued not one, but four surveillance orders, none of which was legally justified.
The DOJ, FBI, and the courts likewise proved themselves untrustworthy in the case against Michael Flynn, a Lieutenant General who served this country with bravery and honor for decades. The FBI opened an investigation into Flynn shortly after receiving false information from Stefan Halper that implausibly claimed Flynn left Cambridge with a young woman with Russian roots. Then, after FBI agents decided to close the investigation against Flynn as unfounded, the 7th Floor intervened, and a kill shot was taken against Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s later extracted a plea from Flynn for purportedly lying about a conversation he had during the transition period, by threatening his son. Then, after an independent investigation of the Flynn case revealed there was no basis to charge Flynn, a federal court refused to dismiss the charges — again proving that the courts provide no check on a corrupted FBI.
This synopsis barely scratches the surface of the duplicity and lies advanced by the FBI and the DOJ to destroy a Lieutenant General and a CIA source, all to “get Trump.” And the courts tolerated the abuse.
So, no, Americans do not need to wait for Garland or Wray to explain the basis for the raid; and we do not need to defer to the court that issued the warrant. The same deep state willing to lie and connive to destroy a presidential campaign and the president will be willing to do so again to destroy a former president and potential future presidential candidate.
The lesson has been learned. The question now is what to do, besides dismantling FBI Headquarters.
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