The report into the FBI's surveillance of the Trump campaign is out, all 430 pages of it. It describes how the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page, one of then-candidate Donald Trump's former foreign policy advisers. The application was riddled with errors, as Matt covered in his initial report. And it again confirmed that the intelligence agency used an uncorroborated dossier about Trump and Russia authored by former British spy Christopher Steele to obtain the wiretapping warrant.
The FISA report found 17 errors in total, but it also found no political bias on the part of the FBI and concluded that their investigation was justified.
Still, there was a page near the back of the report that caught the eye of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and made him say "wow." As it turns out, the FBI took advantage of a briefing with the Trump campaign to use in their investigation.
Wow... page 341. IG says FBI used an Aug. 2016 'defensive briefing' with the Trump campaign as an "opportunity to gather potentially relevant investigative information” about Michael Flynn— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 9, 2019
They used defensive briefings for their investigation into the Trump campaign
He was irked again after flipping a few more pages.
Predictably, some media allies of Democrats spinning hard. This is what the investigation was about, pg 361:— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 9, 2019
IG found "numerous serious factual errors and omissions in the FISA applications ... that undercut certain allegations in the applications."
That, alone, is indefensible
He's not the only official to sound off on the FBI's inconsistencies and alleged FISA abuse. Attorney General William Barr said today's report is proof that the FBI relied on the thinnest of suspicions to warrant their surveillance of the Trump campaign.
"The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken," he said.
Even U.S. Attorney John Durham, who rarely issues public statements, spoke up on this occasion.
"Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”