(NationalSentinel) High Crimes: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes has sent a letter to the Department of Justice in which he said the FBI may have violated criminal statutes and strict internal procedures in pursuit of a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign.
As reported by Fox News, FBI officials used an unsubstantiated “Trump dossier” — a political opposition research document — to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Nunes, California Republican, wrote in his letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that “in this instance, it’s clear that basic operating guidance was violated.”
Fox News reported further:
Nunes cited the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), which was created by the bureau and approved by the Justice Department, to say he believed the FBI violated procedures requiring verified and documented evidence in applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
An Oct. 2011 version of the operations guide states that the “accuracy of information contained within FISA applications is of utmost importance… Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the court.”
In addition, the guidance says that information in a FISA application must be “thoroughly vetted and confirmed.”
Source: Fox News
The letter is addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Last month the Intelligence Committee released a FISA memo containing evidence that the dossier was the primary document used by the Obama FBI and Justice Department to obtain the warrant as part of an alleged counterintelligence investigation.
“Former and current DOJ and FBI leadership have confirmed to the committee that unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of the FISA applications related to Carter Page,” Nunes wrote Thursday.
The chairman listed five criminal statutes that may have been violated. They include obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and contempt of court.
In addition, the letter cites more statutes that make it a crime to willfully deprive someone of a right that is protected by the Constitution as well as another that prevents unauthorized electronic surveillance.
Nunes asks Sessions in his letter whether these protocols requiring verified information have changed, and if not, what steps the Justice Department and FBI have taken to hold officials behind the Page application accountable.
FBI Director Christopher Wray and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz also received copies of the letter.
Sessions confirmed earlier this week that Horowitz is investigating the origins of the Page warrant, though President Donald J. Trump and others are critical of Sessions’ referral of the matter to the IG rather than a special counsel.
“The extraordinarily productive results of HPSCI’s ongoing investigation and associated legal analyses offers a positive role model for both the U.S. Intelligence Community and the Justice Department as that part of the executive branch begins work toward urgent reputational repair and basic standards of integrity within their federal agencies after the unprecedented FISA abuses of 2016,” Page told Fox News.
“Just as Chairman Nunes effectively fought back against frivolously partisan political attacks and cleared his name through competent Congressional oversight bodies following false allegations regarding possible conflicts of interest last year, I hope that the Justice Department’s ethics officials give the Attorney General’s stellar record and benign relationship with the President an unbiased look as well,” he continued, according to the network.
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