Judicial Watch today expects the Justice Department to release redacted documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting the Trump campaign.
Judicial Watch expects the document release to center on FISA warrants targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate. The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a minimally-corroborated “dossier” that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
The pending document production comes in a February 2018 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ rejected a July 19, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)). The lawsuit is seeking:
Copies of all proposed and all final signed FISA applications submitted to the FISC relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, and any known Trump associates regardless of context;
Copies of all FISC responses to the above-mentioned applications in which the Court notified the FBI or Justice Department that it would not grant the proposed applications or recommended changes. If any such FISC responses were provided orally, rather than in writing, please provide copies of FBI or Justice Department records memorializing or otherwise referencing the relevant FISC responses;
Copies of all FISC orders relating to the above mentioned applications, whether denying the applications and certifications, denying the orders, modifying the orders, granting the orders, or other types of orders.
In April, the DOJ told the court it was “processing for potential redaction and release certain FISA materials related to Carter Page,” and agreed to a production schedule for responsive records that is to be completed today, July 20, 2018.
“Judicial Watch may finally get the infamous spy warrants the Obama administration and Deep State used while conspiring with the Clinton campaign to target then-candidate and now President Trump,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It took a year, but the stonewall and cover-up, we hope, begins to end today.”
The Carter Page warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election. On February 2, 2018, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo detailing government surveillance abuse during the 2016 campaign. This document points out that the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s application for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.