Amidst the furor of the Kavanaugh nonsense comes word that the FBI conspired with the DNC to initiate the Russiagate probe. John Solomon at Da Hill: Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant
Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.Catherine Herridge at Fox News: Top FBI lawyer Baker offers 'explosive' testimony on 'abnormal' handling of Russia probe into Trump campaign: lawmakers
Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.
That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.
The dossier, though mostly unverified, was then used by the FBI as the main evidence seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the campaign.
The revelation was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees, my source tells me.
It means the FBI had good reason to suspect the dossier was connected to the DNC’s main law firm and was the product of a Democratic opposition-research effort to defeat Trump — yet failed to disclose that information to the FISA court in October 2016, when the bureau applied for a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“This is a bombshell that unequivocally shows the real collusion was between the FBI and Donald Trump’s opposition — the DNC, Hillary and a Trump-hating British intel officer — to hijack the election, rather than some conspiracy between Putin and Trump,” a knowledgeable source told me.
Baker was interviewed by lawmakers behind closed doors on Wednesday. Sources declined to divulge his testimony, other than to say it confirmed other evidence about the contact between the Perkins Coie law firm and the FBI.
Former top FBI lawyer James Baker gave "explosive" closed-door testimony on Wednesday detailing for congressional investigators how the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" reflecting "political bias," according to two Republican lawmakers present for the deposition.The upcoming meeting between Rod Rosenstein and President Trump should be an interest one, don't you think? I think this totally resets our thinking of how the investigation was initiated. It was a DNC hit job from the outset.
"Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. "This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That's extremely troubling."
Meadows claimed the "abnormal" handling of the probe into alleged coordination between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign was "a reflection of inherent bias that seems to be evident in certain circles." The FBI agent who opened the Russia case, Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau.
Baker, who had a closely working relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, left the bureau earlier this year.
The lawmakers would not provide many specifics about the private transcribed interview, citing a confidentiality agreement with Baker and his attorneys. However, they indicated in broad terms that Baker was cooperative and forthcoming about the genesis of the Russia case in 2016, and about the surveillance warrant application for Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016.
"During the time that the FBI was putting -- that DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant) during the time prior to the election -- there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI’s Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators.
Collusion with Russia? I got your Russian collusion: Also from John Solomon at Da Hill: FBI’s 37 secret pages of memos about Russia, Clintons and Uranium One
Eight years after its informant uncovered criminal wrongdoing inside Russia’s nuclear industry, the FBI has identified 37 pages of documents that might reveal what agents told the Obama administration, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others about the controversial Uranium One deal.
There’s just one problem: The FBI claims it must keep the memos secret from the public.
Their excuses for the veil of nondisclosure range from protecting national security and law enforcement techniques to guarding the privacy of individual Americans and the ability of agencies to communicate with each other.
It’s a lot like the initial reasons the bureau was reluctant to turn over documents in the Russia collusion investigation, such as former FBI agent Peter Strzok’s “stop Trump” texts or the revelation that Clinton and the Democrats funded the Steele dossier.
The FBI’s declaration and list of withheld documents — entitled simply “Uranium One Transaction” — were posted recently inside its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) online vault.
The bureau actually released a handful of documents, but it wasn’t a big stretch of either freedom or information. It actually just released already public letters from members of Congress demanding answers in the Uranium One case.
. . .
One former U.S. official, who had access to the evidence shared with CFIUS during the Uranium One deal, said this to me: “There is definitely material that would be illuminating to the issues that have been raised. Somebody should fight to make it public.”
That somebody could be President Trump, who could add these 37 pages of now-secret documents to his declassification order he is considering in the Russia case.
Or, those Republicans leading the charge on exposing failures in the Russia probe could use their bully pulpits to pressure for the release.
From what we now know, either the CFIUS process was corrupted or broken, or the FBI dropped the ball.
Either outcome is a matter of national interest.