This is a stunning development. But because of it’s nature I get the feeling that it won’t get a great deal of attention from certain members of the “unbiased” mainstream media.
What is it? Oh, nothing much. Just a FISA court body-slamming the FBI for its mishandling of the Carter Page FISA applications. In what I can only call an extraordinary rebuke of the agency, the court goes on to say those abuses by the bureau call into question the accuracy of its other FISA applications. WOW!
Federal Judge Rosemary Collier calls the FBI’s handling of the Page FISA warrants “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor.” She was just getting warmed up.
“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
Now remember, the FISA court has extraordinary powers in the wake of 9-11. The vast majority of their work is done in secret. As such we have VERY little in the ways of checks and balances against possible abuse. It is the closest thing we have to a Star Chamber. Because of that it is imperative that they make decisions based on honest and well-intentioned information-gathering procedures done by federal investigators and prosecutors. That did not happen in this case. And it is perfectly fair to question the FBI’s motives and methods in other cases.
Many of you who know me know I have said relatively little about the entire impeachment affair. What’s to say, really? We more or less know what Trump did. The only question is…does it merit impeachment? Those who hate the very air Trump breathes had their minds made up long before any of this. Ditto those who worship the ground on which he walks.
I have always had a high bar for impeachment. To me, it amounts to the ultimate rebuke against a person who is entrusted with so much power. As such I’ve always held that it should be reserved for Benedict Arnold-levels of treason and malfeasance. Today, though, the terms “impeachment” and “recall” are tossed around like nickels…deployed when there is even the slightest policy agreement with ANY politician. That is not a good thing.
But it is becoming clearer and clearer that the information which led to most of the Mueller investigation (and the ancillary probes) was based on a dishonest and bad faith effort by the FBI. You can try and make the claim that this was a “few rogue agents.” If you believe that you probably bought our former President’s explanation for the IRS scandal as coming from “rogue agents in Cincinnati.” When we juxtapose the FBI’s behavior in this case with the trove of private e-mails of top agents who clearly despise Trump—well, it’s not hard to put two-and-two together.
C’mon now. Even you card-carrying Trump-haters who STILL have one of the Robert Mueller votive candles have to admit this information about the FBI is pretty damned bad. Right? No?
OK then. Imagine if these exact same shady procedures had been done to launch an investigation against then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Would your opinion of the agency be different? Do you think one or two folks *might* have suggested racial bias within the FBI?
No, I get the impression that you would have not been an “ends justify the means” kinda guy under THOSE circumstances.
When we learned from the IG report that the FBI had committed 17 “errors” in the FISA process, the agency’s defenders wrote them off as “honest mistakes” and the agency themselves claimed “vindication.” That was hilarious. All 17 of those “mistakes” went in the same direction. That is to say, all of them were bent in favor of pushing the court to authorize surveillance on Trump. If these were truly “mistakes,” would not some of them have inadvertently fallen in Trump’s favor? Law of averages and all that? You are asking me to believe that a flipped coin landed on heads 17 straight times.
If a cop finds drugs on a motorist during an illegal stop and search on an Interstate, none of that evidence is admissible in court. The officer is fired or disciplined, and every one of his or her previous arrests comes under scrutiny. Will something similar happen with the FBI? They knowingly submitted false information to a FISA court, while simultaneously withholding key information, in order to get a warrant to spy on an American citizen. In a just world agents are arrested, charged and sent to jail. This is a MAJOR violation of the trust we place in the hands of one of the most powerful agencies in our nation.
Of course the smart money says nothing will happen. But I feel perfectly safe in stating that the FBI is a crooked agency and We the People are in trouble.