FBI officials “coordinated” leaks to the media that were then used in their Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“One of the things that we’ve recently found out … in a new batch of text messages is that there was a coordinated effort by those at the FBI to actually leak to the media,” Meadows (shown above right) told host Laura Ingraham.
“We now have documents that prove it — where they leaked to the media. Then, they used the same information to verify the veracity of their claims and actually use that for a FISA warrant,” said Meadows, who is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“Well, you can’t do both. So the FBI had a ‘leak to the media’ strategy, and it’s troubling,” he added.
Meadows, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, shown above left), a member of both the oversight panel and the House Judiciary Committee, appeared exclusively on “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss their new findings.
The FISA application was based almost entirely on the infamous “Steele dossier” of unproven allegations about Trump alleging collusion with Russian interests. Former British spy Christopher Steele compiled the dossier, which was paid for by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
These events eventually led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Russian collusion allegations.
“You know I’ve been very critical of the DOJ in not producing things, but these are new text messages that, you know, we viewed,” Meadows said, alluding to the congressional committees’ protracted fights with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to view subpoenaed documents.
Meadows, Jordan, and several other lawmakers urged Trump Thursday to declassify the FBI’s Page surveillance warrant renewals, along with other key documents involved in the DOJ’s and FBI’s Russia investigation.
“The American people need to judge for themselves. And we believe that it is time — not a month from now, not two months from now, but days from now — to declassify this information, show it,” Meadows said.
“And you know what we believe we are going to see, based on nonclassified documents, is that information was collected in an abnormal way. It was verified in an abnormal way and was prosecuted in an abnormal way — and all because there was a bias towards this president,” Meadows added.
In particular, Jordan said the American people deserved to know more about the controversial beginnings of the anti-Trump dossier and the role former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr played. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was an employee of Fusion GPS during the time it obtained the negative allegations against Trump from sources linked to Russian interests.
“You’ve got a top Justice Department official whose wife was working for the firm hired by the Clintons to produce the dossier. The dossier was the key. And everyone at the FBI knew about it,” Jordan said, pointing to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former top FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and Andrew Weissmann, now one of Mueller’s top deputies.
Jordan insisted that this information should have been disclosed properly to the FISA court in the FBI’s surveillance warrant application process.
“They knew about it before they went to the court, the FISA court, and that’s the key fact. They knew about the Ohrs’ involvement. They knew about who paid for it,” Jordan said. “And they knew what Bruce Ohr told us, that he told the FBI what Christopher Steele said, that Christopher Steele — the guy who wrote it — was desperate to stop President Trump from becoming president.”