Among the documents released by Rep. Doug Collins was the testimony of FBI attorney Trisha Anderson. She said the application process for the Carter Page FISA warrant was handled in a very “unusual” way by high-level Obama-era FBI officials who pushed it through.
She said it was handled in reverse order procedurally. Usually it’s linear and it would pass through her for approval before they signed off, but the opposite happened here.
High-level political appointees approved the application before anyone else in the process saw it.
She is probably passing the buck somewhat here. She had an obligation to review the October 2016 FISA application on Carter Page, but, basically, she rubber-stamped it after the fact. According to her, she had no reason to suspect it wasn’t handled thoroughly.
Typical pencil pusher!
ANDERSON POINTED THE FINGER AT MCCABE, YATES, BAKER, AND COMEY
Anderson claims she didn’t need to second guess it because of the high-level involvement. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signed off on the application before she did.
Anderson said normally all FISAs need to be signed off on in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch, where she was assigned at the time. Anderson said she was the Senior Executive Service approver for the “initiation” of the Page FISA, including determining whether there is legal sufficiency.
But Anderson stressed, “in this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application.” She emphasized, “this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”
You would think a spy warrant (on a former Trump campaign official) would have made her curious.
The publicly available Carter Page FISA documents show then-FBI Director James Comey also signed off on it. However, she didn’t think he read it necessarily.
It was approved at the highest levels so she wasn’t skeptical.
“I wouldn’t view it as my role to second-guess that substantive approval that had already been given by the Deputy Director [McCabe] and by the Deputy Attorney General [Yates] in this particular instance,” she said.
Asked why this FISA application was different, Anderson said she believed “the sensitivity level of this particular FISA resulted in lots of very high-level attention both within the FBI and DOJ.”
Baker Also Looks Bad
“The General Counsel [Jim Baker] … personally reviewed and made edits to the FISA, for example,” Anderson said. “The Deputy Director was involved in reviewing the FISA line by line. The Deputy Attorney General over on the DOJ side of the street was similarly involved, as I understood, reviewing the FISA application line by line.”
You would think that would have made her more curious.
These people don’t do their jobs. Do they see their jobs as rubber stamps?
Baker recently defended the FBI’s handling of the FISA process, saying “we took [the dossier] seriously” but “we didn’t necessarily take it literally.” Baker didn’t go into the investigative steps they took to verify it.
Maybe that’s because it wasn’t verified.
Baker also claimed they were worried about how Comey appeared. He was afraid Comey would look like Hoover, blackmailing people.
We doubt Baker was worried about Comey since he almost threw him under the bus with those statements.
At Best, Comey Was Useless and Incompetent
Former FBI Director James Comey still referred to the dossier as “salacious and unverified,” even in 2017.
Anderson, however, didn’t think Comey would necessarily read a full FISA application either since he had more than a dozen a day. So he doesn’t do his job either?
This was a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign official and it included the dirty dossier that Comey said was unverified. He wouldn’t read that?
The FISA warrant allegedly claimed everything in it, which would include the dossier was verified.
Basically, Anderson stressed McCabe, Yates, and Baker were key in reviewing the Page FISA.
ANDERSON WAS JUST A USELESS RUBBER STAMP
In her mind, her signature meant the package was ready to go forward and her role was perfunctory.
Heck, she signed it and no one at that level should sign something without reviewing it. That’s ridiculous. It was her job.
According to Anderson, even in normal circumstances, she probably wouldn’t read the full FISA application before signing off on it because of time constraints. She didn’t read it the day she signed it but she read it at some earlier time.
Then why do we need her? There’s a job that can be eliminated.