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With Steele 'Dossier,' FBI Covered for Clinton and the Democrats

Trey Gowdy, who was instrumental in the writing of the Nunes memo, and who will not run for re-election to the House this fall from South Carolina, has this to add about apparent FBI malfeasance in the whole "Russian collusion" mess:

The House’s top investigator on Sunday said the FBI failed to notify a surveillance court it was relying on material funded by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign when it asked to snoop on an adviser tied to the Trump campaign.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, also said judges wouldn’t have authorized and repeatedly renewed a warrant to spy on the former Trump aide, Carter Page, if it hadn’t been for that very material, compiled by investigator Christopher Steele in a controversial dossier.

“They could have easily said it was the DNC and Hillary Clinton. That would have been really easy,” Mr. Gowdy told CBS’s Face the Nation, referring to footnotes in the agents’ request to the court. “It took longer to explain it the way they did, than if they just come right out and said, ‘Hillary Clinton for America and DNC paid for it.’ But they didn’t do that.”

Mr. Gowdy was involved in drafting a four-page memo by the House Intelligence Committee that details the FBI’s decision to rely in part on Clinton-backed material to spy on Mr. Page in October 2016. It also explores the role of top Justice Department officials in renewing those snooping powers.

The Friday release of the memo has led to much media masticating over the past two days, very little of it about the underlying issues of institutional bias and politicization on the part of the FBI and the Obama Justice Department, and almost all of devoted to harum-scarum and partisan poo-flinging.

It’s kicking up a political firestorm, with Democrats chastising its lead author, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, for peeling back the curtain on the secretive U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its sensitive processes. They say the memo amounts to a misleading “hit job” designed to sow doubt about probes into the Trump campaign’s alleged interactions with Russian actors. And they say it doesn’t reflect all of the material that went into the government snooping application.

That drew a rebuke from Mr. Gowdy. “I wish that they were equally concerned about what’s not in the FISA application, which is a lot of really important information about the source, and its sub-sources, and the fact that he was hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, and the fact that he was biased against President Trump,” said Mr. Gowdy, who last week said he will return to the legal field instead of seeking re-election.

“I would argue it’s also somewhat unprecedented to rely on political opposition research to instruct and inform an application, and it’s really bad precedent and unprecedented to not tell a court that a source has this level of bias,” he said.