Rosenstein Testifies He Would Not Have Approved FISA Warrant Application for Trump Aide If He Had Known of Faulty Evidence
Do you think the FBI should've fully disclosed the nature of opposition research used to justify its FISA application?
What’s the story?
- Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe that found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would not have approved a surveillance application of a Trump campaign aide if he had known he was relying on faulty evidence.
- Justice Dept. Inspector General Michael Horowitz found 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s initial FISA application to surveil Carter Page and the three subsequent renewals. Rosenstein signed off on the third & final FISA surveillance renewal application in 2017.
- Among those inaccuracies & omissions was a failure to disclose that the Steele dossier, which played a “central and essential role” in the application per IG Horowitz, was compiled by political opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by both the Democratic National Committee & Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It was also used to justify the request to surveil Carter Page despite warnings received by the FBI that portions of the Steele dossier may have been part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Rosenstein, “If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application?” Rosenstein replied, “No, I would not.” Rosenstein told senators that he reviewed the application, but didn’t know that he read every page of it, and wasn’t aware of the inaccuracies uncovered by Horowitz.
- Asked by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) whether he and the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges that approved the surveillance application had a duty to validate the information contained in the application, Rosenstein said that was a duty that should’ve been performed by the FBI agents responsible for the investigation and it was approved because they believed the information provided by the FBI.
- Rosenstein said that Andrew McCabe, then the FBI’s deputy director who was later fired on the recommendation of the FBI's Office of Professional Review for lacking candor (e.g. withholding relevant information to present an inaccurate picture) in reports to his superiors and under oath, “was not fully candid with me” and “certainly wasn’t forthcoming” about the investigation.
- Regarding other matters, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) asked Rosenstein whether he had, as media reports suggested, suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump to build support for removing him via the 25th Amendment. Rosenstein said, “I did not suggest or hint at secretly recording President Trump,” and “never in any way suggested that the president should be removed from office under the 25th Amendment.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Internet Education Foundation via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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