The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found requests to conduct surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser were rife with errors and omissions, but also found something far more fascinating.
The Department’s inspector general said in a new report that a bogus dossier put together by counterintelligence specialist[ Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6), played “a central and essential role in the decision by FBI OGC to support the request for FISA surveillance targeting Carter Page, as well as the FBI’s ultimate decision to seek the FISA order.”
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FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created a secret court by which federal officials can petition a judge to conduct physical and electronic surveillance and the collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.
The Steele Dossier included allegations that members of the Trump campaign joined forces with Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 election to help President Trump win. The report — partially funded by the Clinton campaign — also claims Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. And the report included a claim that Trump was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.
The DOJ report, released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, laid out 17 separate inaccuracies across three surveillance applications, including the one dealing with Carter Page, who served as foreign-policy adviser to Trump during his 2016 presidential election campaign.