Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz unloaded on the FBI after a report that indicated former FBI Director James Comey signed a warrant to surveil former President Donald Trump’s loyalists without probable cause.
Last week, Fox News reported on an email exchange between Comey and former Director of National Intelligence Director James Clapper about a week before Trump was inaugurated.
The pair discussed the anti-Trump dossier compiled from Russian sources by Christopher Steele, a former British spy hired by a contractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Clapper noted that the intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in the document is reliable.”
Comey then offered a bit fancy double-talk.
One on hand, according to the report, Comey urged Clapper not to use that language. The FBI, he wrote, had “concluded that the source is reliable and has a track record with us of reporting reliable information.” But the notation should say that intel officials believed it was “important enough” to be added, Comey said.
“Much of what he reports in the current document is consistent with and corroborative of other reporting included in the body of the main IC report,” Comey added.
He then wrote to Clapper, “That said, we are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting to include it in the body of the report.”
In other words, Comey told Clapper that Steele had been reliable in the past, and this info he furnished sounds legitimate, so it should be included, even if the FBI could not itself verify it is true.
To that end, Comey, on the same day he said his agent could not confirm the authenticity of Steele’s info, signed a request for FISA warrant to keep tabs on Trump associate Carter Page, based on Steele’s dossier.
That warrant was a key component of spawning the investigation into Trump’s alleged collaboration with Russian operatives, which was eventually revealed to have never happened.
Appearing on Fox hose Sean Hannity’s program last week, Gaetz unloaded on Comey and the FBI under former President Barack Obama.
“Not only did our own Justice Department set up the president on the Russia hoax, they did it with rotten information, and they knew the information was rotten when they did it,” said Gaetz.
“That is premeditated effort to try to dislodge the duly elected president of the United States.”
Gaetz then told Hannity, “You know, I know, and all of the viewers know that there’s not going to be accountability under the Biden Justice Department because none of the career people there think the way to move up in the Biden Justice Department is to expose the Russia hoax.”
“Instead,” he said, “they’re going to be targeting the president (Trump), his family members, and the supporters of the America First movement.”