So, the FISA memo has been released. In short, it shows that the dossier compiled by former MI6 spook Christopher Steele was a key in securing a FISA warrant against former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Research firm Fusion GPS hired Steele after the Clinton campaign retained their services during the 2016 election. The Washington Post reported that the FISA court knew that the warrant request was based on information paid for by a “political entity,” though the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee were not cited:
The court that approved surveillance of a former campaign adviser to President Trump was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, although the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
A now-declassified Republican memo alleged that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was duped into approving the wiretap request by a politicized FBI and Justice Department. The memo was written by House Intelligence Committee Republicans and alleged a “troubling breakdown of legal processes” flowing from the government’s wiretapping of former Trump aide Carter Page.
Some see this memo release as anti-climatic, but others seem to think that using information from a partisan opposition research venture to secure a FISA warrant to spy on the opposing campaign is a bit unnerving. For investigative reporter Sara Carter, now a Fox News contributor, she feels quite adamantly that the FBI knew the dossier was false, and that Hillary paid for it (via Real Clear Politics):
SARA CARTER, FOX NEWS: Well, I think what we're going to to see was a concerted effort, like you said, Sean, to use the dossier in order to verify the warrant. And I think it's going to go beyond that. I think that the FBI with this memo is going to expose is that the FBI used other information in an effort to get that warrant.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Did they know it was false? Did they know Hillary paid for it?
SARA CARTER: I believe they did know it was false. And I know that they knew that Hillary paid for it.
There are still more questions that need answering that’s for sure.
GOP House intel memo released. Still many unanswered questions on these FISA applications. Transparency needed: underlying docs, Dems Memo, Grassley/Graham referral. JudCmte will keep searching for answers & FBI/DOJ shld cooperate!— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) February 2, 2018