Rep. Devin Nunes is accusing the FBI of a “clear violation” of its internal rules and procedures over its applications for spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, reports The Daily Caller.
The California Republican sent a letter Thursday to Attorney General Jeff SEssions about how using the unverified Steele dossier violates the bureau’s requirements that only “documented and verified” information may be used in applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court.
The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee is asserting that someone at the bureau may have broken the law by violating the procedures.
Nunes’s letter cited the most recent version of the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide to make the case.
“The accuracy of information contained within FISA applications is of utmost importance,” reads a section in the guide in a section regarding the “verification and accuracy” of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application procedures.
“Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications [FISA] to the court [FISC],” reads an unredacted version of the guide, which is dated Oct. 15, 2011.
According to the now released Democratic Memo that was released by Rep. Adam Schiff just last week, it confirms that the FBI relied heavily on the dossier in its four applications for FISA warrants to spy on Page.
The dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, alleges that Page met secretly with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, on July 2016.
The 35-page dossier also claims that Page was part of President Trump’s campaign’s effort to collude with Russian official during the 2016 presidential campaign, which any evidence of has yet to be found.
Page has vehemently denied the dossier’s claims, which have of course remained to be verified.
Current and former Justice Department and FBI officials have confirmed that unverified information from the dossier “comprised an essential part” of the FISA applications related to Page, according to Nunes’ letter and now eve the Democratic memo.
The FISA warrants — the first of which was granted on Oct. 21, 2016 — also failed to disclose that the Clinton campaign and DNC were the only ones funding the dossier. Though the FBI knew that Democrats paid for the document, the FISA application stated only that the bureau “speculates” that the dossier information came from a source who sought to “discredit” Trump’s campaign.
In his letter to Sessions, Nunes is asking whether FBI protocols were changed since the 2011 protocols by presenting “false and/ or unverified information” could constitute criminal conduct. He cited possible conspiracy, obstruction of justice and contempt of court.
The Republican also flagged possible violations of 18 USC 242 and 50 USC 1809. The former statute makes it illegal to use the “color of law to conduct a targeted investigation based on the pretext of law enforcement.” The latter pertains to “surveillance conducted under color of law in a manner not authorized by FISA.”
You can read Nunes’s full letter here: