On Saturday, the Department of Justice released over 400 pages of the FISA document that involves the Trump-Russia Collusion investigation. The heavily redacted warrant was issued against former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who was suspected at the time to be a foreign agent for Russia. There is a lot of misinformation going around about this document coming from both the right and left. So, I’m going to give my basic breakdown of the documents, and give explanations for them.
1. Did the Steele Dossier play a role in the FISA Warrant? As suggested by the Devin Nunes FISA memo, released back in February, the Steele Dossier played a major role in the application for the FISA warrant against Carter Page. Now, what is the Steele Dossier? Well back in 2016, British spy Christopher Steele compiled a dossier that involved Page and the alleged Trump-Russia collusion scandal on the behest of Hillary Clinton and Fusion GPS. The dossier was allegedly handed over to the FBI in 2016. Did it play role? Yes, a major role at that.
2. Was the whole thing not corroborated by the FBI? When Devin Nunes wrote the memo, he had suggested that the whole warrant was not corroborated by the FBI, meaning they based it solely on the dossier. Based on the documents, I do not see the evidence that the whole thing wasn’t corroborated, but I don’t doubt that some of it was.
3. False rumors. The memo had suggested that the actual FISA application had no warnings about its source. This is all false. There is no way the court didn’t know about the source of the dossier. Here’s another one, some on the right have suggested that the FBI got its source for the dossier from a Yahoo report. This is completely false. The application references Yahoo news leak in order to show Carter Page’s reaction to it.
4. Was Carter Page a Russian agent? The big reason why this FISA application had been taken out in the first place was because the FBI had suspected that Carter Page was a Russian agent. So, is this true? Some on the left might say this is true because they think everyone in the Trump administration is a Russian agent. However, seeing how that Page is still walking free, my guess is that they haven’t found anything on him. It is also important to note that Page was not working on the Trump campaign when the FBI started investigating him.
So, what does this all mean for the Trump-Russia investigation? To put it simply, not much. Both the right and left have been overblowing this whole thing. The left is claiming that this proves that the Nunes memo was all a fake and that the FBI is squeaky clean. This is false. The right has been claiming that this completely exonerates Trump and that the entire investigation has been a sham from the start. As of now, this is also false. In reality, the application shows that the FBI had reason to start investigating the Trump campaign but there is a little bit of dicey stuff on how the application was formed. They did in fact use the Steele dossier but we just don’t know how much and in what way, yet. Overall, we just don’t know everything, which is why I’m hesitant on jumping to a particular conclusion. With that being said, there is one easy way to fix this, President Trump can declassify the entire material. Literally, he can do that right now and I hope he does because the American people need to know what exactly happened.