Judicial Watch, which investigates and prosecutes government corruption, says the FBI misled the FISA court to obtain a search warrant targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
On Saturday, the Justice Department released documents used by the government to justify surveillance against Page. The heavily redacted 412-page document was released a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the public interest group Judicial Watch. On Monday, President Trump tweeted that the heavily redacted materials show that the Steele "dossier" was a major component of the 2016 FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court surveillance warrant.
During an appearance Monday morning on American Family Radio, Chris Farrell – director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch – explained that the dossier is the foundation for the entire Russia hoax.
"All the hysteria and the wild claims of 'Russia! Russia!' are grounded in this," he told AFR talk-show host Sandy Rios. "All of this blather that you've heard – now, unfortunately for years – rests on this conspiracy theory, this phonied-up warrant, that was used as a means to go after this Carter Page guy."
Page's significance has been blown way out of proportion, Farrell continued.
"He never had a job with respect to the Trump campaign and Trump administration. He's just a guy who said I'm a foreign policy guy and I support Trump – that's the beginning and end of his involvement with respect to the president," said the Judicial Watch spokesman. "He never met the president. He never participated in any policy meetings. Zero – nothing."
Appearing earlier today on Fox & Friends, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton stated that the entire surveillance effort "was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump – and the DOJ and FBI and the Obama gang behind it need to be held to account."
It was "all about getting at the Trump campaign," says Judicial Watch. "It is a gross abuse of the counter-intelligence process and legal procedure and of the courts. They went to three different judges and lied in order to keep the smear going," Farrell added.
Judicial Watch also argues that the just-released document supports criticisms in a February 2018 Republican-written memo that criticized the FISA targeting.