Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI, head of the bureau’s National Security and Cyber Law Branch and long-time deep state fixer coving all Obama’s IRS scandals and other illegal activities, admitted she signed off on an application for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign manager despite not having read it.
“Anderson, whose division was also assigned the Mid-Year Exam—the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server—was responsible for legal oversight of the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications process, and provided a final sign-off before FISA applications were sent to the FBI director level.”
She did not voluntarily reveal the information, but admitted after being forced to clarify, that she was the person responsible at the senior executive service (SES) level for signing off on the original Carter Page FISA application:
Mr. Breitenbach: “You had mentioned earlier that all FISAs have to be signed off, have an approver at an SES level. In OGC? Or is that anywhere inside the FBI?”
Ms. Anderson: “In NSLB, in my particular branch.”
Mr. Breitenbach: “In NSLB?”
Ms. Anderson: “Yeah. Uh-huh.”
Mr. Breitenbach: “Okay. Who was that SES approver for the Carter Page FISA?”
Ms. Anderson: “My best recollection is that I was for the initiation.”
“According to Anderson, the Department of Justice (DOJ) attached a ‘cover note’ that identified potential issues, if any, for her to review with every FISA application. If no issues were identified by the DOJ, then according to Anderson, there would be no need for her to read the FISA application:
Ms. Anderson: “[So] there typically would be a cover note that would summarize the FISA. That cover note is generated by DOJ. And because of the time pressures involved and the sort of very-last-stop-in-the-process nature of the review, the SES review, that’s done, I wouldn’t read a FISA unless there were some sort of issue that was identified based on the cover note.”
Mr. Breitenbach: “You are, though, reviewing for the sufficiency of probable cause –”
Ms. Anderson: “After many people have reviewed that assessment. And so, as I mentioned, this was essentially a backstop to all of the other processes and the rigor that had been applied by DOJ attorneys and by FBI investigative and legal personnel.”
Despite the FISA application’s politicized nature and obvious sensitivity, it appears that no issues were identified in relation to it, as Anderson testified that she had not read the application, only the DOJ cover note:
Mr. Breitenbach: “Does that mean you read the FISA –”
Ms. Anderson: “No.”
Mr. Breitenbach: “Okay. So you did not read the FISA, but you would’ve been familiar then with at least part of the FISA with regard to the legal predication for probable cause in the FISA in order to be able to sign it?”
Ms. Anderson: “I would be familiar based on the cover note, yes.”
Mr. Breitenbach: “On the cover note. Okay. So –”
Ms. Anderson: “In the case of the Carter Page FISA, I was generally familiar with the facts of the application –”
Mr. Breitenbach: “Okay.”
Ms. Anderson: “– before I signed that cover note.”
“The Page FISA application relied heavily on allegations made in the so-called Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
“At the time of the FISA application, none of these allegations had been verified or validated by the FBI when they were presented to the FISA court in support of probable cause, and the Steele dossier remains unverified to this day.”
The House Intelligence Committee noted that “Deputy FBI Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
“Anderson admitted that the Page FISA process was handled outside of normal procedures, receiving early approvals from leadership officials at both the FBI and DOJ—including Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates—prior to the document reaching her desk:
Ms. Anderson: “In this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the case before I did that. Before, I would usually sign the cover note on the FISA application.
“So this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature. And so, in this particular case, I wouldn’t view it as my role to second-guess that substantive approval that had already been given by the Deputy Director and by the Deputy Attorney General in this particular instance.”
When asked to describe the attention the FISA application received from FBI and DOJ leadership, Anderson testified the “Deputy Director was involved in reviewing the FISA line by line. The Deputy Attorney General over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line by line.”
Anderson said her boss, FBI General Counsel James Baker, in the Page FISA review process was “one of the Nation’s leading experts on FISA…one of the best people you could possibly consult about what was contained within the FISA application.”
Anderson claimed that Baker had “personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA.”
“According to Baker’s Oct. 3, 2018, testimony, he had only read a small portion of the Page FISA and specifically did not review the underlying Woods Procedure file, which provided documentation for the accuracy of facts represented in the FISA application:
Rep. Meadows: “And did you read the whole Carter Page FISA application?”
James Baker: “I — my recollection is that I read the factual part of the initiation of the Carter Page FISA. I am not going to say I read –“
“[W]hatever briefing I received from my folks about what was in the application, my assessment was that the information that we were providing was adequate and consistent, it was adequate to put the FISA court on notice of the important information that it needed to know, and we were doing so in way that was consistent with our practice with the FISA court that I have been involved with for 20 years.”
During his testimony, Baker admitted that disclosures regarding the role of DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife, Nellie, had been unknown to him at the time of the Page FISA application. Ohr was passing on information from Steele, and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, to the FBI.
Baker also testified that this information, had he known of it at the time, would have been subject to further consideration for inclusion in the FISA application:
Rep. Ratcliffe: “But you agree with me, generally speaking, that if the number four person at the Department of Justice and his wife both play roles with respect to the creation of a piece of evidence, that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court should have been apprised of that fact.”
James Baker: “If they played a role in the creation of it, and that’s how it came to the Bureau, then that seems like something that at least — again, I would like to know more details about it, but it seems like something that should have been evaluated about whether it should go into the FISA application or not. I would have — what you say concerns me and I would like to know more about it.”
Anderson was asked if she had observed any “improper considerations, including political bias” that might have impacted the FISA process, but she said no. Many people argue what else can you expect from a woman who has made a legal career out of protecting the deep state/
Anderson was then asked if she had observed “any improprieties in that process that would have required subsequent disclosures to the FISA court about content that the FBI had omitted.”
“At this point, Anderson halted her testimony and the FBI counsel interjected.
“Upon resumption, Anderson testified that she had been “advised by the FBI lawyers that I can’t answer that question in an unclassified setting.” The topic of additional or supplemental information provided to the FISA court would be returned to once more during Anderson’s testimony:
Mr. Baker: “Do you know if any additional information, either supplemental or for clarification, was provided to the court for any of the FISAs in the Russia case?”
Ms. Anderson: “This question raises the same classification issue that was raised by the question a few moments ago by the minority staff. And so, based on my consultation with the FBI lawyers, I’m not able to answer that question in this unclassified setting.”
Mr. Baker: “Okay.”
Bottom Line: everything was a a set-up, from beginning to end, and even now, lawyers are trying to conceal, belittle, and ignore the grievous injustice conducted by the FBI and Department of Justice under the Obama regime.