Graham: Warrant for Carter Page surveillance was ‘a bunch of garbage’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday slammed the Justice Department’s application for a secret surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser, saying that it was based on a “bunch of garbage.”
Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant obtained on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser on President Trump’s campaign, was justified, Graham insisted that it was not and that the opposition research dossier that helped lay the foundation for the warrant application was bunk.
“If the dossier is the reason you issued the warrant, it was a bunch of garbage,” Graham said. “The dossier has proven to be a bunch of garbage.”
He also said that the warrant application, which was released by the Justice Department on Saturday, served as proof that “the whole FISA warrant process needs to be looked at.”
Documents released by the Justice Department on Saturday detail the case made by FBI officials to obtain the clandestine surveillance warrant on Page. Among the evidence presented was a controversial dossier compiled in 2016 by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.
That dossier alleges ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. But the information has not been verified and has been dismissed by Republicans and Trump as false.
In applying for the surveillance warrant on Page, the Justice Department also failed to disclose to the court that the research had been paid for, in part, by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The use of the dossier in the warrant application has fueled criticism from Republicans that senior Justice Department officials acted inappropriately in obtaining the order.
Some Republicans, however, defended the FBI’s actions after the warrant documents were released. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the bureau did not do anything wrong in obtaining the warrant.
“I don’t believe that them looking into Carter Page means they were spying on the campaign. I also don’t believe it proves anything about collusion,” Rubio said. “He was a guy that was on their screen even before the campaign.”
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