Ohio Republican Jim Jordan on Monday stood behind a GOP memo alleging surveillance abuse in the case of Carter Page even after the release of the FISA applications contradicted some of the memo’s claims.
“It confirmed everything we’ve been saying for seven months,” Jordan told THE WEEKLY STANDARD on Monday evening. The heavily redacted FISA applications, released Saturday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, revealed that the February Republican Intelligence Committee memo made a number of claims that either misrepresented information contained in the application or were called into question by the material.
For instance, the GOP memo alleged that the FISA application to surveil Page as an agent of the Russian Federation “does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.” But in notes about the surveillance application’s sourcing, the document states that Steele had been hired to conduct his research by people who were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign and makes clear that the FBI had compensated Steele for the information he provided.
“Now we can see that the footnote disclosing Steele’s possible bias takes up more than a full page in the applications, so there is literally no way the FISA Court could have missed it,” writes Lawfare’s David Kris. “The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele’s credibility.”
And although foreign intelligence materials often shy away from explicitly naming peripheral American individuals and entities if it is not necessary to do so, House Republicans argued on Monday that the FISA applications should have been more clear that the Democratic National Committee was funding Steele’s research. (Even President Donald Trump’s name was omitted from the documents, carrying the label “Candidate #1′ instead.)
“It would take a rocket scientist to figure out ‘Candidate #1, Campaign #3, NFL Team #26 who’s got a second round draft pick,” said Jordan. “It was like, what is that?”
Asked whether he would have liked for the application to have explicitly named Trump as well as the DNC, Jordan hedged. “I would like for them to actually have verified the dossier before they took it to a court to get a warrant on a fellow American citizen,” he said.