As 2017 ends, what was old has become new again: the Trump dossier remains the focal point of great controversy.
In the past few weeks, information has emerged that the FBI potentially utilized the Steele dossier, a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research, to persuade the Obama administration to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump and his campaign.
If true, this means that the investigation against President Trump was based on unconfirmed research paid for by his opponent.
FISA Warrant and Unverified Claims
Christopher Steele, the MI-6 ex-official and creator of the scandalous Trump dossier, had a good working relationship with the FBI as he had once lent his talents to the bureau.
Given Steele’s history with the FBI and several high-ranking FBI official’s preference for Hillary Clinton, it is no wonder that the unverified claims in the Trump dossier were believed wholesale. Andrew McCarthy from National Review summarizes it beautifully:
In sum, the FBI and DOJ were predisposed to believe the allegations in Steele’s dossier. Because of their confidence in Steele, because they were predisposed to believe his scandalous claims about Donald Trump, they made grossly inadequate efforts to verify his claims.
The widespread bias in the FBI and the preference for Hillary Clinton might mean the unproven and unverified dossier was used to get a FISA warrant to spy on specific officials in the Trump campaign. McCarthy explains:
At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they’d be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era’s Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden.The best laid schemes . . . gang aft agley.
The FBI may have thought there wouldn’t be a trail of evidence to link the dossier to Clinton. Due to FISA courts and warrants being highly classified, Clinton could remain insulated from any negative consequences.
Though we don’t know enough to be certain, it would be unsurprising to find out that the FBI used the dossier to get a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. In short, the FBI might have unethically acted as a political arm of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party.
If that’s true, it’s a troubling reflection of the corruption of supposedly impartial government institutions by the left.