Here is what we know as facts now and it should worry every American. A political party, the Democrat National Committee, and a Presidential candidate’s (Hillary Clinton) campaign paid a company Fusion GPS to put together a file of documents (referred to as a dossier) to be used to defeat the opposing Presidential candidate (Donald Trump). It has come to light that the Clinton campaign feed false information to Fusion which became part of the dossier. And we have learned that Christopher Steele, the person at Fusion GPS who put together the false dossier, leaked info to Yahoo news who reported it.
Fusion initially tried to leak the details of the dossier to the media to harm the Trump campaign. Only a couple of outlets bit on the information. Even the main stream media, who were working had to take Trump out, passed on the information because they knew it was bogus. The dossier was later used by the Obama administration to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. The yahoo story was used to corroborate the dossier. So, the dossier was corroborated by the author.
FISA warrants require renewals every ninety days. Then-FBI-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications on behalf of the FBI, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Signing on behalf of the DOJ were the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the Department of Justice.
In December 2017, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified under oath that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.” So in another words the warrants were obtained under false pretenses.
This is chilling. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, signed into law in 1978, requires the government, when eavesdropping on communications on domestic soil for national security purposes, to obtain permission from a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The judge must agree that the target is probably an agent of a foreign power and will probably use the specific email accounts or phone numbers that the Justice Department wants to wiretap. The Patriot Act amended FISA and greatly expanded the scope of surveillance allowed under US law. Foreign intelligence information could now be gathered from both Americans and foreigners. Government agencies no longer needed to prove that a target is an agent of a foreign power. The maximum duration of surveillance and investigations were lengthened.
Americans were generally ok with these processes because of the threat of terrorism. However, the risk of abuse is high and Libertarians and the ACLU opposed this because of this risk of abuse. Here and now we have experienced the abuse that many feared might happen. A sitting President knowingly used false information which was paid for by his Party to obtain warrants to spy on the opposing Party’s candidate. This is much more serious of a scandal than Watergate yet the media has suppressed this from half of America. This is expected. And the ACLU’s silence is expected as well. But why are the Libertarians silent?