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The McCarthy Report Looks at FISA Surveillance and the Clinton Media Blitz

In relying on the Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against a former Trump campaign adviser, did the Obama Justice Department and FBI become enmeshed in a Clinton campaign blitz – including an intense appeal to the media – seeking to tie candidate Donald Trump to the Kremlin?

In this week’s episode of our NR podcast, The McCarthy Report, Rich and I consider the timeline from summer to autumn of 2016, which includes:

  • August 2016: The “insurance policy” meeting described in a text by FBI agent Peter Strzok after the FBI started to get Steele-dossier info;
  • July – September 2016: Steele-dossier claims of Trump-campaign complicity in Kremlin cyber-espionage conspiracy against election;
  • August 2016: Obama’s CIA Director Brennan told Senate minority leader Harry Reid that, according to intelligence sources, Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was designed to help the Trump campaign;
  • September 2016: Fusion GPS, which had been brought in by Clinton campaign and DNC law firm Perkins Coie to conduct anti-Trump research, organized press briefings for the rabidly anti-Trump former British spy Christopher Steele to leak that the Trump campaign (through Carter Page) was complicit in Russia’s hacking plot against the election;
  • September 2016: Journalist Michael Isikoff, after being briefed by Steele, reported that Reid was demanding that the FBI investigate “intelligence reports” (i.e., Steele’s allegations) that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia;
  • September 2016: Perkins Coie’s Michael Sussman met with FBI general counsel James Baker to convey information about Russia’s interference in election;
  • October 2016: FBI/DOJ obtain FISA warrant on Carter Page, asserting in application that FBI believes Trump campaign was coordinating in Russia’s election interference.

Rich and I try to put things in context in the podcast and consider the implications for the Mueller investigation and the Justice Department’s ongoing investigations of how the Trump investigation was handled.

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