The fallout from the Justice Department Inspector General’s (IG’s) report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has been very bad for Donald Trump’s foes, but few have been so singularly embarrassed as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
The report undercut years of “reporting” on the Trump–Russia collusion hoax while vindicating Republican Devin Nunes (R-CA), who authored a memo in 2018 that first brought the FISA controversy to national attention.
At the time, Democrats called Nunes a conspiracy theorist and upheld a counter-memo from Schiff claiming that the Christopher Steele dossier was tangential, not central, to the FBI’s applications to spy on a Trump campaign member.
Americans now know that Schiff was wrong and Nunes was right, as the Wall Street Journal explains in a recent editorial.
IG discredits Schiff, vindicates Nunes
As Democrats proceed to impeach Trump over Ukraine drama this week, Americans have learned that the Russia hoax that came before it was nearly totally fabricated. The mainstream media has spent all week trying to spin Michael Horowitz’s report as a victory for themselves and the FBI, despite its damning contents.
The report uncovered that the Christopher Steel dossier was “essential” to spying on Trump campaign member Carter Page and that the FBI repeatedly lied about the dossier’s reliability to continue surveilling him, according to The Epoch Times. In other words, it tells the same story then-Intelligence Chairman Nunes told in April 2018, and which Democrats dismissed at the time as a crackpot theory.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, Schiff’s counter-memo claimed that the FBI made “narrow use” of the Steele dossier — a claim repeated often by the media at the time — but Horowitz found just the opposite, that it played a “central and essential role.” As for reliability, Schiff said that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) “did not abuse the [FISA] process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign” when in fact Horowitz discovered an alarming pattern of errors and willful distortions.
Horowitz found 17 “significant” omissions pertaining to the dossier, its credibility and the reliability of its author, as well as the omission of exculpatory information that might otherwise have undercut the FISA applications, according to NBC News.
As WSJ notes, Schiff claimed that the FBI was “straight” about Steele’s past work with the FBI (which fired him when he leaked the dossier), when in fact Horowitz found that the FBI “overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting” and hid unsavory rumors about Steele’s “lack of self-awareness” and “poor judgment.”
Scandal exposed while impeachment advances
As Breitbart notes, many Democrats carried water for Schiff last year by smearing Nunes as a “conspiracy theorist.” Besides embarrassing Schiff, the IG report is blistering in its judgment of the FBI, and it proves that the media lied about the Steele dossier’s validity, about Carter Page — who was made out to be a Russian asset by the media –and much else about the collusion probe.
In his testimony Wednesday, Horowitz said he was so alarmed by “basic and fundamental errors” in the FBI’s applications that he recommended a performance review of the entire “chain of command” involved in the FISA process. He was also careful to note that his report did not vindicate anyone, according to The Washington Times, despite his ultimate finding that the FBI’s overall investigation of the Trump campaign was well-founded.
While some in the media have grudgingly admitted that the IG report uncovered a huge scandal, many Democrats, media allies, and Trump foes like James Comey have sought to argue that it proved them right about Trump and Russia. Some have even tried to claim that the FBI didn’t spy on Trump at all — Horowitz was just as circumspect, for what it’s worth — despite the stinking pile of evidence Horowitz found to the contrary.
This has been an immensely clarifying week, although it hasn’t brought many surprises for those who always knew that Nunes was right. We don’t expect Schiff to admit his fault.