Sharyl Attkisson: The Six Red Flags We Missed Regarding the FBI’s Abusive FISA Witch Hunt Against the Trump Campaign

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Posted: Dec 26, 2019 5:26 PM
Sharyl Attkisson: The Six Red Flags We Missed Regarding the FBI’s Abusive FISA Witch Hunt Against the Trump Campaign

Source: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Well, the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuses during the 2016 election is out. It revealed that the FBI made glaring errors when applying for the FISA spy warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official. Page was viewed as a possible foreign agent and dark lord of the Sith concerning this Russian collusion allegation that turned out to be a total myth. Page was not a foreign agent. In fact, he had worked with the CIA—a piece of information that was left off of the FISA application process. It was one of 17 errors made. Michael Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector General, said that this failure was systemic regarding the omission or exclusion of exculpatory information on the Page warrant. Someone should be fired. 

And all of this Trump-Russia nonsense was borne from the infamous Trump dossier, a politically biased opposition research project that was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrats. The Clinton campaign retained the services of Fusion GPS who then hired ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele to compile a document to smear Trump. It was largely unverified. It was total garbage. And it was cited as credible evidence in the process of obtaining a spy warrant against Page. The report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller debunked this dossier. And this DOJ IG report delivered the final kill shot. Yet, the damage is done. Page’s name is ruined. And the liberal media kept the Russian collusion narrative alive and well in the news cycle, despite there being zero evidence to back up any of the claims. They wanted it to be true. They peddled fake news to ensure this tall tale would get legs in the new cycle. And it all blew up in their faces. 

Veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson noted six red flags that were all blind to concerning the FBI’s FISA abuses. And these activities have been well documented. She notes the 2008 FISA reauthorization bill as a red flag since there was supposed to be a safeguard measure attached to it. It was voted down. She also cited the loosening of the unmasking protocols under Obama as another sign of what was to come within the halls of the DOJ concerning the DOJ FISA abuse report  (via The Hill):

Despite many public reports of government surveillance abuses, Congress passed up its most recent opportunity to exercise much-needed oversight. Two years ago, in January 2018, Congress reauthorized Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. It allows the U.S. intelligence community wide latitude to spy on U.S. citizens. Shocking abuses of this government authority were exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Yet Congress voted down a measure to reform the law by adding significant safeguards. Insiders told me that a majority of Democrats and Republicans had favored reforms, but shortly before the vote, the parties’ leaders directed members to renew the surveillance authority without them.

[…]

The FISA court has documented numerous serious government surveillance abuses over the years, including a scathing review issued by the court in the fall of 2016 accusing the National Security Agency (NSA) of a problematic “lack of candor” that raised constitutional questions. Yet the court remained publicly silent these past three years amid questions, a crisis of confidence and evidence that it had in hand about FBI wrongdoing. The court spoke out only in recent days, well after the damning findings in the IG report.

[…]

Following sporadic reports of intelligence officials misleading Congress about surveilling U.S. citizens — even spying on journalists and political figures and their staffs — there was a series of red flags in 2016 and 2017 that should have drawn attention and action. Some of the same intelligence officials who we now know wanted to keep President Trump from winning the White House apparently modified rules to make it easier to share and leak intelligence involving innocent U.S. citizens (including people connected to the Trump campaign). Obama administration requests reached a crescendo to “unmask” the identities of Americans whose private information supposedly was collected “incidentally” during the monitoring of other targets.

[…]

As I have written, FBI Director Christopher Wray falsely testified to Congress that there have been no 702 surveillance abuses. Surprisingly, nobody questioned him about this incorrect claim, even though many documented abuses are in the public record.

And this all strikes close to home for Attkisson, who alleges that she was spied on by the government. What is confirmed that is that someone or some agency did hack into her computer back in 2013.  Attkisson was an investigative reporter with CBS News. She took to Twitter noting that while the FISA court has ordered the FBI to overhaul and revamp the warrant process due to these egregious oversights, it first starts with her case—another red flag concerning the abuses that occurred during the 2016 election.