NBC’s Pete Williams on Carter Page FISA Warrant: IG Report Found FBI ‘Screwed Up at Every Level’


NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams said on Monday that the Justice Department’s inspector general found the FBI “screwed up at every level” in using the salacious Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Williams made the comment while reporting on the DOJ’s highly anticipated internal report on the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, which noted that while the IG “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page,” the review did discover “significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised.”

“The FBI failed to document to the court assertions in the FISA application that undercut [Christopher] Steele’s credibility,” Williams noted. “Even though the FBI got information that would raise questions about the credibility of Steele, it failed to reassess it’s own reliance on him, failed to tell the FISA court about these problems, and didn’t press him on the source of his information.”

“Nonetheless, it says it found no political bias in seeking the FISA warrant on Page,” he added. “What it says is the FBI basically repeatedly screwed up at every level, failing to pay enough attention to potential problems with Steele and failing to tell the Justice Department … The IG report says the FISA application was inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported. It says, for example, that the FBI failed to look at some of the problems in Steele’s past work but that was never sufficiently addressed.”

The DOJ’s report discovered 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FISA applications used to surveil Page.

Williams went on to note that the inspector general “is so concerned about these problems, that the FBI so mishandled this FISA application into an investigation into a candidate for president, then how is it doing for garden variety people who are subject to these warrants, and for that reason we learn today that the IG is now opening a new investigation into how the FBI gets these FISA warrants on American citizens.”

In the report, the inspector general also stated, “FBI and department officials told us the Steele reporting ‘pushed [the FISA proposal] over the line’ in terms of establishing probable cause.”

Watch above, via NBC News.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma