In his book A Higher Loyalty, former FBI Director James Comey portrays himself as a public servant with high standards of integrity and morality. However, the drip, drip, drip of what went on under Mr. Comey’s tenure at the agency is crumbling this façade of smug self-righteousness. The latest example of this comes from the Justice Department, which declared two of the four FISA warrants in Operation Hurricane were improperly obtained and, therefore, invalid.
The presiding judge of the U.S. FISA Court, James Boasberg, concluded that there was insufficient evidence that former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page was “acting as an agent of a foreign power.” This, of course, dovetails perfectly with what Mr. Page has maintained all along. Going a step further back, one can see how this fits in with the inspector general report critical of the FBI for its many misstatements and omissions. So, it turns out that giving the legal go-ahead to spy on Page was not defensible, merited, or justified.
How could this have happened? Who was standing at the pinnacle of this house of cards?
The Federalist dug into the weeds and found that James Comey and Andrew McCabe personally signed the two warrants now ruled invalid. Former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was implicated as well. He signed off on one of the two FISA warrants now ruled invalid. And let’s not forget that the IG report recommended Comey and McCabe undergo scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution for their actions in Crossfire Hurricane. This probe, led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, is underway, and the results are pending.
A Quick FISA Primer
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a federal law that outlines procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance of foreign intelligence information between foreign powers suspected of espionage or terrorism. It also clearly states that American citizens – like Page – can’t be spied on unless they are acting as foreign agents. Thus the need to “make” Page a foreign agent in order to obtain the FISA warrant.
But a FISA warrant is not limited to just one person. It involves all the people that the “target” communicates or comes into contact with. This two-hop rule, as outlined by The Federalist, “allows the government to spy on and collect information and communications from individuals who are two degrees separated from the actual surveillance target. Therefore, even if Page never personally spoke to Trump on the phone, the government could still eavesdrop on Trump’s conversations if Page spoke to someone who had spoken to or electronically communicated with the president.”
The FISA warrant against Page lies as the foundation for this house of cards, which was then used by special counsel Robert Mueller for his investigation. This coupled with the notorious Steele Dossier formed the pillars upon which the Mueller report was built. The Dossier itself has been revealed as nothing more than a black operation to dig up dirt on Trump run by the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps James Comey and friends figured that this tangled web of omissions, exaggerations and falsifications would be too difficult for the American people to unravel. Or perhaps they believed that their positions of power would shield them from accountability.
Another possibility is that sheer hubris could have been at the center of their shameful and nefarious actions. Any way you cut it, the noose around the neck of Mr. Comey is tightening.
In the center of the seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation lies three words – fidelity, bravery, integrity. As America’s top cop, James Comey has revealed by his many actions that he sorely lacks integrity, and his fidelity is sworn to himself rather than the United States of America.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.