WRONG! Giuliani Falsely Claims FISA Application Concealed Steele Dossier Was Oppo Research
Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani spent a good chunk of his wild interview with Chris Cuomo claiming that the government’s warrant application to surveil then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page concealed the fact that the now-infamous “Steele dossier” was funded as opposition research. The facts say otherwise.
During his appearance on Cuomo Primetime Wednesday night, Giuliani spent a solid four minutes spraying false claims at Cuomo regarding the dossier, most notably that the Justice Department failed to tell the FISA court that the Steele dossier was commissioned as opposition research. Giuliani cited an “article” by The Hill‘s John Solomon. The “article” in question is actually an opinion piece by the site’s executive vice president for video, who also used to run the conservative Washington Times.
Giuliani called the piece “devastating,” and said “That article says, from day one — we didn’t know this yet, but from day one, they knew that the dossier was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, $1.1 million. That it was a phony document.”
“They did not think it was a phony document,” Cuomo said, the first of many times he would push back on Giuliani’s claims about the dossier.
Giuliani’s central claim, repeated several times during the interview, was that the warrant application was “fraudulent” because “the affidavit fails to mention that the dossier, on which the case was based, at least in part, whether it’s whole or in part, it was a totally false statement. It did not say to the court that this was an op, op research.”
“That’s not true, either. There was a footnote,” Cuomo parried.
Seconds later, Cuomo corrected Giuliani again, telling him that “They said that it was paid for to get opposition research on a political opponent.”
“No, they did not!” Giuliani shot back. “They said it was paid for by a law firm seeking information on Donald Trump.”
But contrary to Giuliani’s claims, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo that disclosed the footnote to which Cuomo refers, and which makes it crystal clear that the source of the dossier was politically-funded opposition research:
[Steele] was approached by an identified US. Person, who indicated to Source #1 that a US.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1 [Trump]’s ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. person hired Source #l to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.
The “devastating” opinion piece to which Giuliani refers doesn’t actually refute the warrant application in the slightest. The piece cherry-picks leaked quotes from DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s closed-door testimony to Congress, but even those quotes make clear that, just as the application says, he was not certain of the dossier’s exact origin:
“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.
“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”
[…] “These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.
[…] “I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.
Giuliani also claimed that “There is not a single piece of that document [the dossier] that has been substantiated,” but the fact is that much of the dossier has been corroborated, and whatever has not is simply unproven at this point, at least publicly.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
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