WASHINGTON — The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the Nunes memo, proving the FBI and DOJ used unverified, questionable intelligence from the heavily-disputed Steele dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump aide Carter Page. Almost simultaneously, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled to withhold the Comey memos.
The Comey memos document the former FBI Director’s nine private conversations with President Trump, both preceding and during his presidency. It is interesting to note that Judge Boasberg also sits on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same court that granted the warrants allowing the FBI to conduct surveillance on associates of the President.
Boasberg ruled to withhold the Comey memos on the basis that they are being used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his active investigation of said Trump associates. “The Comey memos, at least for now, will remain in the hands of the Special Counsel and not the public,” Boasberg stated.
It is not abundantly clear to what extent the FISA warrants hinged directly on the material provided by Mr. Steele. In December 2017, the Republican memo said, Andrew McCabe, then Deputy Director of the FBI, told the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI would not have applied for wiretap warrants without the information provided by the Steele dossier.
Meanwhile, the Nunes memo has shown that the FBI intentionally withheld the origins of the Steele dossier, as well as its financiers, when presenting it to the FISA Court Boasberg sits on. “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials,” according to the Nunes memo.
As we wait for the Comey memos to be released, the Senate Judiciary Committee also has a memo on Steele, the dossier and the FBI, and is working to get it declassified for public release.
The Nunes memo can be viewed in full here.