A new report reveals that Department of Justice officials were concerned with “possible bias” of materials used by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants to spy on a top Trump campaign aide.
Text messages between former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page which were recently released reveal more levels of bias against President Donald Trump as it seems top officials at the DOJ were clashing with the FBI over “continued concerns” just nine before the agency applied for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, according to Fox News.
At least two anti-Trump blog articles were also circulated by bureau officials according to the 2016 text messages, the report Friday by Catherine Herridge and Gregg Re revealed. Trump was described as possibly “among the major threats to the security of the country” in a Lawfare blog post after Election Day. Trump was called a “useful idiot” for Russian President Vladimir Putin in another article sent by Page in July 2016.
According to Herridge:
Page told McCabe that then-FBI Director James Comey had “surely” read that piece. Both articles were authored in whole or part by Benjamin Wittes, a Comey friend.
Further, the texts show that on Sept. 12, 2016, Page forwarded to McCabe some “unsolicited comments” calling then-House GOP Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy a “total d–k.” Gowdy, at the time, was grilling FBI congressional affairs director Jason Herring at a hearing on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
But perhaps the most significant Page-McCabe communications made plain the DOJ’s worries that the FISA application to surveil Trump aide Carter Page was based on a potentially biased source — and underscored the FBI’s desire to press on.
The FBI reportedly did not disclose to the DOJ that British ex-spy Christopher Steele worked for a firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“OI [Office of Intelligence] now has a robust explanation re any possible bias of the chs [confidential human source] in the package,” Lisa Page wrote to McCabe on Oct. 12, 2016. “Don’t know what the holdup is now, other than Stu’s continued concerns.”
“Stu” likely referred to Stuart Evans, who at the time was the DOJ’s National Security Division deputy assistant attorney general. Then FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok had sent Page a text saying he was “Currently fighting with Stu for this FISA” in 2016.
Page sent a text to McCabe in late 2016 saying, “If I have not heard back from Stu in an hour, I will invoke your name to say you want to know where things are, so long as that is okay with you.”
After more than a year of federal surveillance, Trump’s former foreign-policy adviser during his 2016 presidential election campaign has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Page is now also among a vast list of over 80 entities and individuals who have been requested to turn over documents by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler in his newly launched investigation into Trump and his associates.
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