Politics

Former Attorney General Says FBI ‘Very Irresponsible’ on FISA Application

Michael Mukasey said the bureau messed up if it didn't disclose the Steele dossier's complete background when seeking surveillance warrants for Carter Page

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the FBI’s apparent failure to completely disclose the anti-Trump dossier’s role in seeking surveillance warrants was “very irresponsible,” speaking during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

President Donald Trump declassified a memo from GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence alleging that the FBI relied on the dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, to justify spying on former Trump campaign official Carter Page.

The GOP lawmakers claimed that the FBI did not disclose key information to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court about the dossier, which was funded by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, which she controlled as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.

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“I think it’s important … for us to find out what that application, what that FISA application warrant on Carter Page actually said,” Mukasey, a member of former President George W. Bush’s administration and former U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, told host Laura Ingraham.

“The money claim against [Page] was that he met with two people named [Igor] Sechin and [Igor] Divyekin who were actually big shots. He denies that meeting,” Mukasey continued. “The claim that he also went to Russia in July 2016, nobody denies that, it was disclosed. He denies meeting with these hot shots. And we need to know whether there’s anything other than that that was used to get the warrant on him.”

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Claims that Page met with Sechin and Divyekin appear in the Steele dossier, Mukasey said, noting that the GOP lawmakers claimed the dossier “was really the ingredient that resulted in the issuance of the warrant” to surveil Page. “And if that’s true and its background was not completely disclosed, that’s very irresponsible.”

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Page told Ingraham on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” earlier in February that he had “never met Sechin in my life.”

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“That was the money claim, that there were these two people — Sechin and Divyekin, the other one who he also says he did not meet — who supposedly, they were the people that might provide a basis for a claim that there was some sort of Russian influence on the campaign,” Mukasey said. “Yet [Page] has a credible denial.”

Related: Carter Page Says Court ‘Absolutely’ Should Unseal Warrant Transcripts

Trump issued a series of tweets Tuesday morning quoting various pieces of evidence revealing “NO COLLUSION” between himself and the Russians during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. When Ingraham asked Mukasey if he believed Trump’s tweets were irrelevant or unwise, Mukasey answered, “Between not smart and irrelevant.”

“The tweet storms I don’t think are helpful,” Mukasey said. “And to say that there wasn’t any collusion is by and large irrelevant. He wasn’t the one who it was claimed colluded, but rather people in his campaign. So, again — his tweets don’t weigh one way or another in my view.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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