Some details are coming out about the heavily-redacted Carter Page FISA warrant application. National Review scribe Andrew McCarthy, who has never been a fan of the President, is rather shocked at what it revealed. Interesting. Excerpt:
It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong. The FBI (and, I’m even more sad to say, my Justice Department) brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information.
I am embarrassed by this not just because I assured people it could not have happened, and not just because it is so beneath the bureau — especially in a politically fraught case in which the brass green-lighted the investigation of a presidential campaign. I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards. Any trained FBI agent would know that even the best FBI agent in the country could not get a warrant based on his own stellar reputation. A fortiori, you would never seek a warrant based solely on the reputation of Christopher Steele — a non-American former intelligence agent who had political and financial incentives to undermine Donald Trump. It is always, always necessary to persuade the court that the actual sources of information allegedly amounting to probable cause are believable.
Well, guess what? No one knows that better than experienced federal judges, who deal with a steady diet of warrant applications. It is basic. Much of my bewilderment, in fact, stems from the certainty that if I had been so daft as to try to get a warrant based on the good reputation of one of my FBI case agents, with no corroboration of his or her sources, just about any federal judge in the Southern District of New York would have knocked my block off — and rightly so.
That’s why I said it.
First of all, props to Andrew McCarthy for saying what so many people have trouble saying: “I was wrong.”
Now, as McCarthy also points out, these docs were heavily redacted, and we don’t know what was in the redacted sections. But that doesn’t seem to be the real problem; the problem appears to be that a FISA warrant was obtained under false pretenses, based on information provided by a paid agent of the Clinton campaign, approved by a judge who should be facing disbarment for so doing, all in the attempt to discredit the campaign apparatus of candidate Donald Trump – who went on to win the election anyway.
There really ought to be some pointed questions asked of a whole lot of people in the Imperial City right now. But, claims of 3-D chess by the Trump Administration aside, I’m guessing not much will happen. If recent history has shown us anything, it has shown us that denizens of the Imperial apparatus are not held to the same standards as us poor schmucks outside the Beltway.