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

Val Demings vs. Susan Rice

The website PredictIt now shows California senator Kamala Harris as the clear frontrunner in the Biden veepstakes, with close to a 50 percent chance of getting the nod. The second most likely Biden VP, according to the site, is Florida congresswoman Val Demings -- who is at 14 percent -- and in third place is ... Read More

Val Demings vs. Susan Rice

The website PredictIt now shows California senator Kamala Harris as the clear frontrunner in the Biden veepstakes, with close to a 50 percent chance of getting the nod. The second most likely Biden VP, according to the site, is Florida congresswoman Val Demings -- who is at 14 percent -- and in third place is ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Good Riddance to the Blaine Amendments

It took a century and a half, but the Supreme Court finally rejected the Blaine amendments. The Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a victory for religious believers, schoolchildren, poor and working-class parents, and the rule of law. It is a loss only for bigots, militant ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Good Riddance to the Blaine Amendments

It took a century and a half, but the Supreme Court finally rejected the Blaine amendments. The Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a victory for religious believers, schoolchildren, poor and working-class parents, and the rule of law. It is a loss only for bigots, militant ... Read More

What Are Schools For?

In his excellent new book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies (full review forthcoming in National Review) Thomas Sowell advises that it is necessary for us to remind ourselves from time to time of a first truth: “Schools exist for the education of children.” Sometimes, the most obvious truths prove to be ... Read More

What Are Schools For?

In his excellent new book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies (full review forthcoming in National Review) Thomas Sowell advises that it is necessary for us to remind ourselves from time to time of a first truth: “Schools exist for the education of children.” Sometimes, the most obvious truths prove to be ... Read More
U.S.

Individual Actions Matter

On the menu today: an update from a reader who is the head of research for a top-ten U.S. hospital, some really intriguing rumors about retirements at the U.S. Supreme Court, and another batch of stories that don’t fit the preferred “coronavirus is devastating the red states!” narrative. Individual ... Read More
U.S.

Individual Actions Matter

On the menu today: an update from a reader who is the head of research for a top-ten U.S. hospital, some really intriguing rumors about retirements at the U.S. Supreme Court, and another batch of stories that don’t fit the preferred “coronavirus is devastating the red states!” narrative. Individual ... Read More