Every Intelligence Committee Democrat votes against letting full House see facts about Trump campaign wiretap warrants

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday January 19th, 2018

What are they afraid of?

Remember how hard the Justice Department and the FBI fought to not have to turn over documents concerning their pursuit of a warrant to wiretap Trump campaign official Carter Page in 2016? Remember how the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the documents in August, but had to deal with constant foot-dragging and excuses until Paul Ryan had to threaten them with a contempt of Congress charge to finally get access to the documents?

If you're any sort of critical thinker, it made you wonder what they were hiding - especially since it appears they may have used the fake Steele dossier to convince the FISA court to issue a warrant to wiretap Page. That would mean a Democrat administration got permission under false pretenses to spy on a Republican presidential campaign. That's bigger than Watergate.

Well. The House Intelligence Committee finally got to see the documents it wanted, including the FISA warrant application. So if the Steele dossier was in fact the primary basis for that wiretap warrant, the committee members are now aware of it. But they didn't get to keep copies. They were only allowed to view them and take notes. As a result, some committee members drafted a memo summarizing the facts they learned from viewing these documents. And on Thursday, the committee voted to make these memos available to all House members.

That measure passed, but guess who voted against it. Yep. Every Democrat on the committee:

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes also moved Thursday to release to the public his committee’s interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Every Democrat joined Republicans in voting for that public disclosure. Yet every Democrat voted against letting the rest of the House see a memo that will list the facts about the FBI’s use of FISA warrants to surveil members of the Trump campaign in 2016. Strange. What are Democrats afraid of?

Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff has been a loud voice for accountability regarding the Trump-Russia probe, but his outrage evaporates regarding the role that Fusion GPS and its Democratic financiers may have played in persuading the FBI to seek a warrant to eavesdrop on American civilians. What were the FBI’s reasons and the evidence it used to seek such an extraordinary writ?

All of this is relevant to the House’s recent vote to extend Section 702 that allows law enforcement to monitor foreigners. Mr. Nunes provided two closed briefings to Republicans last week as they prepared to renew Section 702, and he assured Members that he’d seen no evidence that government had abused 702 powers. But he also said he had seen evidence that law enforcement misused powers involving the surveillance of U.S. citizens as part of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign.

Thus the vote to let all Members see a memo describing relevant classified documents at intelligence agencies. The Constitution and Congress impose strict rules on government surveillance of U.S. citizens, and the FISA court relies on the integrity of law enforcement when granting warrants. If a senior Member of the House is attesting to abuse, all of Congress should see the evidence before deciding how to respond.

The FBI is telling members of Congress that sharing this document with the entire House will endanger national security. But every member of Congress has a high-level security clearance, although I can understand why you'd be nervous about letting the likes of Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee or Hank Johnson see truly sensitive information. But remember, they're not releasing the FISA application itself - only a summary of the facts learned from looking at it. I don't know how explicitly the memo writer laid out the facts, but my guess is that he/she took care to protect sources and methods in the course of doing so.

Then again, are sources and methods not what the FBI and Democrats really fear at all? Democrats are invested in nothing like they are the Trump/Russia collusion narrative, and it's learned the whole thing was based on a pack of lies, they're going to have a hard time recovering from that politically. As for the FBI, if they were the ones who took the lies and ran with them out of partisan motives to influence a presidential election, the agency is going to have a very hard time recovering its reputation.

Did that happen? It seems this memo offers us some answers. And only one of the two parties wants the full House to see what's in it.

Why do you suppose that is?

Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!