‘The fix was in’: Former FBI official under criminal probe for alleged falsification of FISA application

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As the nation awaits Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on his investigation of alleged FISA warrant abuses, there is a breaking report that an FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation for allegedly falsifying a document related to the surveillance of former Trump campaign official Carter Page in 2016.

Evidence on the allegedly altered document was uncovered by Horowitz and turned over to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigation the investigators, according to CNN.

The report “is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation” of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the network reported.

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Horowitz’s report is expected to be released in early December, and there were already reports saying that it will contain criminal referrals involving the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Page — this effort relying in part on the unverified dossier from ex-British spy Christopher Steele dossier bought and paid for by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Justice Department and FBI obtained FISA warrants in 2016 to begin spying on Page, an investigation which eventually led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian collusion.

Among those likely targeted in Horowitz’s probe include former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein and Yates reportedly involved in the approval of the first.

The first FISA warrant application was submitted in Oct. 2016 and there were three renewals. Among those approving the applications were Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein and Yates.

CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez said the change to the document “was substantial enough to change the meaning of the document,” and that the former FBI lawyer involved, a line attorney, admitted to altering it.

 

“This is exactly what people close to the president have been saying, that the FBI committed wrongdoing in starting this investigation,” Perez said Thursday during an appearance on The Situation Room. “The question now obviously is, what are the details are going to be part of the Horowitz report released that’s going to be released on December 9th, and how much political hay the president’s allies are going make about this.”

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the allegation, if true, is “really serious.”

“If there was an FBI agent sworn to uphold the Constitution who can be proven to have altered the document in connection with a legal proceeding, including the obtaining of a FISA warrant, that’s really serious,” Bharara said. “It doesn’t get a lot more serious than that.”

The response to the breaking report was swift, with Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Trump, leading the way.

“Good, it’s about damm time they investigate the investigators. The bureaucrats at the top have tarnished the badges of so many honorable law enforcement officers,” he said in a tweet.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino intimated that he may have an idea of who the FBI official is and that this may “get really ugly, really quick.” He also suggested a possible media link.

Here’s a sampling of other online responses from notable figures: