Editor’s note: This is the first of a two part series on the Obama administration’s plan to surveil the Trump campaign, discredit Trump’s election, and eviscerate his presidency, based on an exclusive in-depth interview with acclaimed former federal prosecutor and prolific author Andrew McCarthy, which will air Sunday, August 25 on Liberty Nation Radio.
The real collusion in the 2016 presidential election was not between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. It was between the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration.
That’s the explosive conclusion of an important new book, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency, assiduously researched and authored by the widely respected Andrew McCarthy.
The former federal prosecutor – and the man responsible for the conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind sheik,” from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – unmasks the plan to lure Trump campaign operatives into a trap that led to surveillance of the Trump campaign by high-ranking Obama administration officials and ultimately to the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation. But after Mueller’s almost two-year-long probe came up with nothing on Trump, other than claims by the left that he tried to obstruct an investigation that failed to uncover a crime, the tables are turning.
Trump’s Justice Department is investigating the investigation, and we will soon learn about the origins of this plan, which many Trump supporters have labeled a soft coup d’état. Mr. McCarthy joined us for an exclusive in-depth interview, which will be aired on Sunday August 25 on Liberty Nation Radio.
Tim Donner: As we await the results of two Justice Department investigations on the matter, what do we already know as fact – not speculation or analysis, but indisputable fact – when it comes to the origins of the Obama Justice Department and intelligence assets spying on the Trump campaign?
Andrew McCarthy: Well, what I try to demonstrate in the book is that I think the investigation that we came to know as Crossfire Hurricane, which is the FBI counterintelligence investigation, formally, and I stress the word formally, opened in the end of July of 2016. And when I stress formally, I mean it really was form over substance. They were investigating this for a long time before then. What joins into that formal investigation are strands of intelligence that go back to the second half of 2015 and really begin more with foreign intelligence services then and the CIA than the FBI. I think the FBI was kind of late to the game in the overall scheme of things. It’s clear that intelligence assets were used, whether you call them spies or informants or what have you, to monitor the Trump campaign. It’s also clear that foreign counterintelligence law provisions were used to justify surveillance, this would be the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and I think also not just the part of FISA that allows the government to monitor alleged agents of foreign powers, but also other aspects of FISA, which allow the government to conduct other forms of surveillance and result in the incidental collection of intelligence on Americans.
All of those things were used, and what we really don’t know in terms of the origins of the investigation are exactly what triggered it and why. That the Trump campaign was monitored by the Obama administration, using counterintelligence authorities in federal law is not something that ought to be subject to dispute. That clearly happened.
Tim: Let’s talk about the infamous Steele dossier. It was bankrolled as opposition research by the Clinton campaign, included all manner of scurrilous claims about Trump, and was then used by Obama’s FBI to secure a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign as you outlined. Two questions on that: Was the Steele dossier the sole basis for the FISA warrant? And do we know if anything in that dossier was true? Some of it, none of it?
Andrew McCarthy: Well, we know that it was not the only source for the FISA warrant. After all, the FISA warrant wasn’t sought until mid-October of 2016. The FBI began getting the Steele dossier reporting in early July, so a number of months went by. We also know from the redacted version of the reports that we’ve seen that there’s other information, mainly about Russia and its operations against the election, that are poured into the FISA application, but we also know from testimony from people, from the FBI, particularly, and the former deputy director Andrew McCabe, that had it not been for the Steele dossier, they would not have had enough evidence to claim that there was probable cause to believe that Carter Page was a foreign asset, namely a Russian asset.
The Steele dossier contains the allegation that there was a conspiracy of cooperation in cyber-espionage operations between the Trump campaign and Russia and that Carter Page, who was the subject of the surveillance, was basically the go-between between the two camps, that is between the Trump campaign on the one side and the Kremlin on the other.
We don’t have any reason to believe that, and I would point out two things. Number one, FISA law requires that when you allege that someone’s an enemy or an agent of a foreign power, that means they are knowingly and willfully involved in clandestine activities on behalf of the foreign power that are a probable violation of federal law. So this is not something that somebody can inadvertently sort of stumble into. And secondly, I’d note that Carter Page was never charged, notwithstanding that the FBI and the Justice Department went four times to the FISA court and alleged that there was a probable cause that he was a Russian agent. He’s never been alleged or arrested or otherwise complained about in a formal way for being a Russian agent.
And so, without the Steele dossier, they would not have had enough probable cause to seek anything on Page, and I don’t think the Steele dossier gave it to them either. I think there’s a lot of questions that ought to be directed at the FISA courts for the way that the information they were given was handled, was analyzed.
On the other thing that you’ve asked me about, whether there was anything true in the Steele dossier, I think it would be wrong to say that there’s nothing true in it, but the point is that there’s nothing that is important that’s true in it. So, for example, what I mean by that is the Steele dossier alleges that Carter Page took a trip to Russia in July of 2017. There’s no doubt that that happened, and in fact, Page made no secret of it happening. So that fact is alleged in the Steele dossier, but it’s not a controversial fact. Nobody has denied that that happened. What is in dispute is what happened when he was in Russia, where the Steele dossier alleges that he met with these top-level Kremlin officials, and Page himself vehemently denies that. And there’s evidently been no corroboration that Steele’s allegations were true.
In part two of this series tomorrow, Mr. McCarthy discusses what role, if any, President Obama played in the plan to surveil the Trump campaign, as well as the involvement of FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and other top-ranking Obama administration officials.