The FBI used the unverified anti-Trump dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to obtain the warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court (FISA), investigative journalist Sara Carter reported Wednesday.
Representatives of four committees — the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee — have been able to examine FISA documents in a secure room at the Justice Department, according to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York.
They were not allowed to take the documents out of the room or to copy them, but they could make notes. They thus know the answer to the was-the-dossier-used-for-spying question.
The answer to the question is classified, however, and as of Wednesday morning, no one had yet leaked.
Nevertheless, later in the day, according to Carter, multiple sources told her that “the dossier was used along with other evidence to obtain the warrant” from the FISA court. Fox News’ Sean Hannity corroborated the news on his show Wednesday night, reporting that three separate sources told him the same thing.
Most of the 35-page dossier, which was put together by former British spy Christopher Steele for the liberal opposition research firm Fusion GPS, has either been proven wrong or remains unsubstantiated. In spite of this, the FBI used the DNC/Clinton campaign-sponsored dossier to seek and gain approval from the FISA court to surveil members of Trump’s campaign, sources claim.
“It’s outrageous and clearly should be thoroughly investigated,” a senior law enforcement source with knowledge of the process told Carter.
According to Carter, the sources “also stressed that there will be more information in the coming week regarding systemic ‘FISA abuse.’”
The dossier “certainly played a role in obtaining the warrant,” added another senior U.S. official with knowledge of the dossier. “Congress needs to look at the FBI officials who were handling this case and see what, if anything, was verified in the dossier. I think an important question is whether the FBI paid anything to the source for the dossier.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said on Hannity Wednesday night that he couldn’t comment on confidential information, but acknowledged that there was “a growing body of members who believe that this dossier was a significant factor” in securing the warrant.
He said the broader question was: “why would the FBI use a Democrat-paid-for dossier to actually surveil another campaign?”
Another question that has not yet been nailed down is whether the FBI paid Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.
Hannity said that he’s heard that either Comey or McCabe had paid Steele for his work.
“I’m hearing both stories, Sean,” Carter said. “We’re hearing there’s a possibility that they did pay. I’m hearing from other sources that they did not pay,” she said.
Hannity pivoted to the issue of FISA abuse, saying that some of the details he’s heard “are beyond our imaginations.”
The chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Meadows, agreed, saying that “some of the things that will be coming out are so unbelievable that the FBI and DOJ would actually allow it to happen and I would also say there are other agencies within the federal government.”
“So we’re over the target — we’ve been right all along?” Hannity asked.
“You’re over that target and let me just tell you, we’re focusing in — homing in on that target,” Meadows replied, adding that “it’s time now.”