Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a press conference Monday to announce that he will be seeking an official investigation into the FBI’s handling of both the probe into Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified email and the Obama-era directive that allowed the FBI to obtain secret FISA warrants.
The Hill reports that, following revelations in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Graham is concerned that the Obama Administration allowed blatant abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and that the so-called “Steele Dossier” — now completely discredited — was used to obtain FISA warrants to wiretap key Trump aides Carter Page and Paul Manafort, who, Mueller now reports, did not attempt to collude with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.
“When it comes to the FISA warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it’s pretty much been swept under the rug. … Those days are over,” Graham said during his presser Monday.
“The FISA warrant issued against Carter Page based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele is at a minimum disturbing,” Graham added. “Whether or not it’s illegal, I don’t yet know, so I’m going to get answers to this.”
Graham has a lot to work with. As (the decidedly not conservative) Matt Taibbi pointed out over the weekend, in a piece taking the media to task for failing to report accurately on the Russia collusion story, perhaps one of the strangest developments of the Mueller investigation is the media’s lack of attention to what appears to be malfeasance on the part of both the FBI and CIA.
The Steele dossier was, according to Taibbi, shopped to multiple news outlets, who ultimately gave the report creedence, occasionally with input from current and former intelligence officials. Once the allegations contained in the dossier made it into print, it appears the FBI used the stories to demonstrate the dossier’s credibility to the FISA court, even though Christopher Steele, who compiled the report, was far from a reliable source.