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So Much Worse than Watergate
By Rob Chambers
Washington, D.C. is reportedly in dire straits, and it’s not about a government shutdown. Arguably, it’s much worse.
A classified, four page document, dubbed the “FISA memo” has been made available to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives. It highlights extensive and abusive surveillance by federal agencies. The document is said to summarize and provide detail on high-ranking federal officials who conspired in manufacturing false or deceptive information to secure a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant from a federal court. It is further alleged that they used this ill-gotten warrant to illegally spy on the Donald Trump for President Campaign and even Mr. Trump himself both prior to and following the 2016 presidential election.
Securing a FISA warrant requires submitting a request to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The FISA Court administers and issues these requests to conduct surveillance against foreign spies within the United States. This court is composed of eleven Federal District Court judges designated without Senate confirmation by the Chief Justice of the United States. All eleven judges serving on the FISA Court have been designated since 2011 and during the tenure of Chief Justice John Roberts. FISA Court rulings are reviewed by three judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and are also designated by the Chief Justice. All have been designated since 2011.
Requests for a FISA warrant most often come from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The “FISA memo” that members of Congress have read raises serious questions about the Obama Administration’s FBI that was headed by James Comey and the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice first headed by Eric Holder and then Loretta Lynch.
Members of Congress have recently made alarming comments about the FISA memo. Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) stated that the FISA memo “raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called (Mueller Russia-Trump) collusion investigation.” Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), said, “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
In order to obtain the FISA warrant, an intelligence agency had to present to the FISA Court compelling evidence to justify surveillance. This is a point of contention. According to the FISA Court, warrants issued are based on “applications submitted by the United States Government (FBI, NSA, e.g.) for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.”
Government officials who have read the FISA memo report that it is suspected that the Russian dossier is a fake and was created with help from the FBI and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. They also claim the fake dossier was created to present so-called “compelling evidence” to the FISA Court that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the presidential election. If proven to be true, constructing and presenting fabricated evidence before a federal court is a serious offense with grave consequences.
The FISA memo quite possibly includes information about Robert Mueller’s FBI Special Counsel on the investigation of possible collusion between the Donald Trump for President Campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election. One of Mueller’s team members on the team included Peter Strzok. It was Strzok who presided over the email investigation of Hillary Clinton “and played a role in failing to put Mrs. Clinton under oath when her interview took place.”
Based on recently released text messages it is believed that Strozk and another FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, met with Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s Deputy Director, in August 2016. Peter Strozk’s text to Lisa Page said, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
The “insurance policy” is believed to be the discredited or fake Russian dossier on Trump Campaign officials and even Mr. Trump himself. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) questioned Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, last month at an Intelligence Committee hearing. When Wray was questioned about the dossier and the Russian investigation the congressman said the dossier is “fake news, National Enquirer garbage” and that it was “all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA Court, and presented as a legitimate intelligence document.”
Congressman Jordan also said upon reading the FISA memo that, “It is so alarming the American people have to see this.” Other recent reports claim that “the memo details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice, including the controversy over unmasking and FISA surveillance.”
Americans deserve to know to what extent U.S. agencies and elected officials have abused their power and illegally and unjustly conducted surveillance on its own citizens. Because of these alarming and credible reports about the FISA memo, AFA Action, the governmental affairs affiliate of the American Family Association, has issued an action alert urging the declassification and release of the memo.
AFA Action is urging its grass roots supporters to send an email urging President Donald Trump, their member of Congress, and their members of the Senate to take the necessary steps to declassify and publicly release the four-page FISA memo.
Citizens, in good faith, entrust those in political authority to justly exercise their duty within the bounds of law and to resist the abuse of power, and if American citizens can’t be informed on abuses of power by its own government, then trust in that political system is irreparably damaged.