(National Sentinel) Special Counsel: Republicans plan to make the case following the release of the FISA memo that the FBI’s Russia “collusion” probe involving President Donald J. Trump and his campaign team is based on tainted evidence and thus should be ended.
As reported by John Solomon at The Hill, Republicans making that case are basing it on the contents of the as-yet-unreleased FISA memo, which purports to document Obama-era abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The allegations thus far are that some politically motivated officials within Obama’s FBI and Justice Department who did not want to see Trump as president misrepresented an unsubstantiated opposition research document paid for in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign as legitimate intelligence in order to obtain a surveillance warrant so they could spy on Team Trump.
“Another document — an eight-page criminal referral filed with the Justice Department by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — is also part of the GOP case,” Solomon reported.
While the FBI has been waging a public campaign to either halt the release of the memo or have it released in heavily redacted form, the bureau has been working behind the scenes to vet the Graham-Grassley memo, which is also expected to be released soon, in redacted form, Solomon reported, adding:
Republicans believe both documents will back up arguments that evidence used to justify the FBI’s probe came from partisans loyal to Clinton, sources said. They are also expected to play into arguments from some Republicans that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia is based on false information.
GOP arguments that the FBI’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is based on flimsy, perhaps intentionally erroneous information, will focus primarily on the unsubstantiated “Trump dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, commissioned by Democrat-leaning opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and paid for by the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.
Reports have suggested that politically motivated officials within the FBI and DOJ used the dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant so they could spy on a rival presidential campaign.
“They will argue the FBI failed to critically assess the political motives and credibility of Steele and did not fully disclose that evidence came from Clinton supporters as it sought to get permission from courts for surveillance warrants,” Solomon reported.
“The fact that half to three-quarters of the evidence the FBI used to unleash the most awesome of surveillance powers upon Donald Trump’s inner circle came from sources tied directly to his Democratic opponent should worry us all, especially when that happened during an election,” said one senior Republican directly familiar with the evidence, describing the party’s core concerns.
“The FBI allowed itself to be used by Clinton partisans to parlay single-sourced, mostly unverified evidence into a counterintelligence probe with clear weaknesses that weren’t disclosed,” the source added.
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