Thanks to the intrepid journalism of Judicial Watch, we now know that the FISA court, which should be one of the most deliberative, cautious legal bodies in America, never held a single hearing about the Justice Department’s request for a foreign surveillance warrant against Carter Page, who was and is an American citizen. The warrants, which have come under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that the FBI intentionally downplayed the political origins of their main evidence – the Steele dossier – were apparently just rubber-stamped by the court with little or no debate.
From Judicial Watch:
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.
The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that Americans should be disturbed at the lack of due process that led to the FBI spying on a citizen.
“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”
Well, that would require there to be someone in charge of the Justice Department actually interested in following up on these scandals. Unfortunately, with Jeff Sessions recused and Rod Rosenstein taking an adversarial position against all things Republican, this is unlikely to transpire. The Democrats/Obama administration are well on their way to getting away with the scandal of the century, simply because the people inside the DOJ are more interested in covering for their friends than they are in getting to the truth.