FBI leaked information to the media, then used the leaks to get FISA warrants

Monday night, Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted this: “FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press, and then used those same press stories as a separate source to justify FISA’s.”

Late last night the Daily Caller published a story fleshing out this claim in more detail.

During a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Friday, Special Agent Jonathan Moffa told congressional investigators that the FBI and Justice Department have leaked stories to the press and then used them to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“He more or less admitted that the FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press and then used stories from the press as justifications for FISA warrants,” a source who took part in Moffa’s interview told TheDCNF.

Moffa, the FBI agent, apparently did not go as far as to say this is what happened with the FISA warrant targeting Carter Page, i.e. the one that helped launch the Russia investigation. From Fox News:

The source told Fox News that Moffa did not specifically confirm the practice of using leaked information to bolster warrant applications was employed with regard to the dossier…

The source familiar with Moffa’s testimony told Fox News that his statements raise concerns that the bureau indeed used this practice with the dossier, referencing an article written by Yahoo! News’ Michael Isikoff.

The Isikoff article was published on Sept. 23, 2016, focusing on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. According to a House GOP memo earlier this year, the Isikoff article did “not corroborate the Steele dossier” as the article was “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” Yet the subsequent FISA application to spy on Page cited the Isikoff article, among other pieces of evidence.

The DC reports that there’s no indication the FBI spoke to Isikoff directly, so this doesn’t appear to be a case where the FBI leaked information to Isikoff and then relied on that information to request surveillance. However, the FBI did treat the Isikoff article as a separate source when it was really just Christopher Steele working behind the scenes.

Was Steele, who had worked with the FBI and seemed to know how the FBI worked, aware that he was laying the groundwork for surveillance by talking to reporters without telling the FBI he was the source? Maybe it wasn’t the FBI gaming the system, maybe it was just Christopher Steele doing so on behalf of Fusion GPS.

Rep. Meadows discussed this on Fox News Tuesday morning. The FISA warrant comes up in the second half of this clip:


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