It’s corruption, all the way down.
A collection of reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, the dossier is now engraved in contemporary U.S. history. First marketed as bedrock evidence that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, the dossier’s legitimacy took a hit after reports showed the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for the work.
The revelation that the dossier was used to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page compromised the integrity of the investigation the FBI had opened on Page and three other Trump associates by the end of July 2016. Nonetheless, that same probe continues today as the special counsel investigation.
The dossier plays a central role in Robert Mueller’s probe. In the unredacted portions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo outlining Mueller’s scope are allegations that Trump adviser Paul Manafort colluded with Russian government officials interfering in the 2016 race. That claim is found in no other known document but the dossier. It is unclear whether further dossier allegations are in the redacted portions of the scope memo.
The dossier operation has not only damaged institutions like the FBI and DOJ, it has also poisoned the public sphere, perhaps irremediably. As a result, it is now accepted journalistic practice to print, and reprint, any garish fantasy so long as it’s layered with Russian intrigue and Trump team treason. Even as the rest of the country sees an institution that has made itself a laughingstock, the press continues to salute itself for its bravery—or the courage and industry required to take leaks from law enforcement and intelligence officials and Democratic operatives in an effort to topple a president it doesn’t like, elected by neighbors it holds in contempt.
How did it come to this?
Easy: a bunch of goddamned Deep State liars cooked it up to cripple and/or unseat Trump for the sole purpose of preserving their own ill-gotten and illegitimate power, and to help Her Herness steal the 2016 election. After the unthinkable happened and it turned out her crippled, deranged, drunken ass couldn’t be dragged across the finish line by hook or (mostly) crook, Job One became covering hers and Obama’s busted attempt to rig the 2016 election—that, along with a whole slew of other criminal behavior besides.
Lee Smith does indeed dive deep into this stinking cesspool of Mordor On The Potomac malfeasance, and he deserves full props for his meticulous spelling-out of the details of the whole sordid tour de farce. It all amounts to a completely damning indictment of the Swamp entire; every single soulless blaggard who touched this turd is besmirched by his or her involvement in it, and prison ought to be the most minor of their worries. Actual revolutions have been sparked by less than has already been revealed of this mess, and we still don’t know the half of it. But for my money, the worst, the most damning part of all, lurks withing the wording of the godawful FISA law itself:
Title I of the 1978 Foreign Surveillance Act—“Electronic Surveillance within the United States for Foreign Intelligence Purposes”—lays it out. Under the definition of “agent of a foreign power,” there are two categories: “any person other than a United States person,” and “any person.” Since Page is an American citizen, he falls into the second category.
According to Wauck, the relevant parts are two paragraphs in Section 101 (b) (2). To obtain a FISA warrant on a U.S. person, the target either:
(A) knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
(B) pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.
Get that? “Any person other than a United States person,” and “any person.” “…involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.” Gee, not much leeway allowed by that weasel-worded bafflegab, eh? FISA casts itself a pretty damned broad net, it seems, the better to be of use in any imaginable situation wherein the Deep State might wish to ensnare itself some prey, whether great or small.
The FISA law should be thrown out entire, immediately. It established one of the most unconscionable kangaroo-courts in history, an all-powerful, unaccountable, top-secret star-chamber of a sort that neither should nor could exist in any but the most brazen and corrupt of tyrannies. Its continued existence is a blight upon this nation, and a condemnation of any people that would countenance it. It is a crime and a disgrace. Its use in promoting the Steele dossiers and the ongoing coup attempt behind them is sickening…and is exactly the kind of thing FISA was designed to be used for from the start.