News

Politics & Policy

Rod Rosenstein Says He Would Not Have Signed FISA Warrant for Page if He Knew Evidence Was Faulty

Former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, June 3, 2020. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Reuters)

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified to Congress on Wednesday that he would not have signed off on a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant renewal to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page had he been aware then of the unreliability of the underlying evidence.

“If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the application?” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham asked Rosenstein during his testimony.

“No, I would not,” Rosenstein replied.

In December, the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded in a report that the FBI omitted crucial details in its requests for warrants to surveil Page, saying the agency neglected to inform the FISA court that the controversial Steele dossier, cited in applications to spy on Page, was unreliable.

The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who was investigating Donald Trump for an opposition research firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The dossier purported to show connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

However, the inspector general did not say the FISA court should have declined to grant the warrants and nevertheless concluded that political bias did not compromise the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein defended his approval of the warrants, however, saying that “every application I approved appeared to be justified based on the facts it alleged,” and blamed the FBI, which he said “was supposed to be following protocols to ensure that every fact was verified” but failed to do so.

The former deputy attorney general also defended his appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation.

“I decided that appointing a Special Counsel was the best way to complete the investigation appropriately and promote public confidence in its conclusions,” Rosenstein said. “I asked the Special Counsel to review each criminal allegation the FBI considered relevant to Russian election influence operations and recommended whether to close the matter; investigate because it might be relevant to Russian election meddling; or refer the matter to another prosecutor.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More
U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More
World

Putin’s Empire Strikes Back

In 1648, at the negotiating tables of Münster and Osnabrück, a panoply of European diplomats signed a document that would lay down the foundations of the modern world order: the Treaty of Westphalia. Naturally, the signatories did not realize the impact of their contribution to history. Far from a pack of ... Read More
World

Putin’s Empire Strikes Back

In 1648, at the negotiating tables of Münster and Osnabrück, a panoply of European diplomats signed a document that would lay down the foundations of the modern world order: the Treaty of Westphalia. Naturally, the signatories did not realize the impact of their contribution to history. Far from a pack of ... Read More