Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova is adamant that all four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants issued against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were obtained illegally.
While his claim is unverified, DiGenova asserted that Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz came to that conclusion during his recent examination of the Trump-Russia investigation, according to the Washington Examiner.
Horowitz, who launched his investigation last year, was tasked with examining the DOJ and FBI’s compliance with legal policies and procedures in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in its inquiry into Page’s ties to Russia.
Page was only a part of the larger investigation into the Trump campaign, but the FISA warrants obtained to wiretap him were a major development in the inquiry.
The core of diGenova’s claims isn’t new.
In May, the former U.S. attorney maintained that the three FISA warrant extensions against Page were obtained through illegal means. He was unwilling at the time to make a determination on the original warrant.
Now he believes he can.
“l can report categorically that the inspector general has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal. They were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court. And Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal,” diGenova said on WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” podcast.
Horowitz has reportedly concluded his investigation, the Examiner reported, and the results are expected to be released between mid-September and October.
diGenova based his claim on memos obtained by conservative nonprofit organization Citizens United. He said that the memos revealed that the FBI may have misled the FISA Court in the first warrant application about the dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.
The infamous dossier contained dubious claims about President Donald Trump’s connections with Russia. The FBI based its application for a FISA warrant on those unverified charges and wiretapped Page, a campaign official with ties to Russia.
The original warrant application was submitted in October 2016, with renewals granted in January, April and June of 2017.
The entire investigation was always suspicious to Trump’s supporters, and Citizens United’s memos revealed a possible political motivation for the Steele dossier. According to the memos, Steele admitted that a client had been pressuring him to release his information before the 2016 election.
diGenova has demonstrated in the past that he has reputable sources.
In April, he claimed that a “bombshell” report was on its way, and that it would include criminal referrals for former FBI Director James Comey. While his timing was off, diGenova was indeed correct, and Comey was criminally referred for his handling of memos regarding his conversations with Trump. The DOJ declined to prosecute.
Maybe diGenova is right again. If so, the illegality of the FISA warrants would cast a black cloud over the entire investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
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