06:57 GMT06 July 2020
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    An FBI official was personally involved in getting the FISA warrant while heavily relying on an unverified "Trump dossier" funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign through the Perkins Coie law firm, Trump tweeted on 22 January, citing documents obtained by Fox News.

    Former FBI General Counsel James Baker has admitted that he was personally involved in securing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in 2016 to spy on then Donald Trump aide Carter Page and confirmed that there had been other "abnormal" and "unusual" steps in handling the so-called "Russia probe" by the FBI, Fox News reported Monday, citing Baker's testimony transcript.

    "Former FBI top lawyer James Baker just admitted involvement in FISA Warrant and further admitted there were irregularities in the way the Russia probe was handled", US President Donald Trump tweeted on 22 January. "They relied heavily on the unverified Trump 'dossier' paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign, and funded through a big Crooked Hillary law firm, represented by her lawyer Michael Sussmann (do you believe this?) who worked Baker hard and gave him Oppo Research for 'a Russia probe'".

    "I was aware of the [Russia] investigation", James Baker told congressional investigators in October 2018, as quoted by the media outlet.

    The transcript still remains under government review and has yet to be released publicly.

    The aforementioned warrant was largely based on an unverified "Trump dossier" compiled by former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele for the private investigative firm Fusion GPS. As it turned out later, the intelligence firm's inquiry was hired in April 2016 and secretly funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign through the Perkins Coie law firm, the media outlet highlighted.

    On 4 October 2018, Fox News broke that a lawyer working with the DNC and Clinton campaign had handed the FBI general counsel documents for the Russia inquiry in late 2016 while the FBI prepared the warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, citing sources close to the congressional investigation.

    Speaking to Fox News on 7 October 2018, then Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes said that there was "absolute proof" that the FBI had failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the partisan interest in facilitating the FISA warrant.

    Nunes elaborated that the disclosure was particularly important because Baker reported directly to then FBI Director James Comey and because "numerous officials at the DOJ and the FBI have told us under oath" that they did not know about the dossier.

    "Now you have one of the top lawyers for the Democrats and the Clinton campaign who was feeding information directly to the top lawyer at the FBI", the politician pointed out, citing the FISA abuse.

    For his part, prize-winning investigative journalist John Solomon reported on 16 January 2019 that Bruce Ohr, then a senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official, warned both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 "that the British intelligence operative's work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign and might be biased".

    "Ohr's activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day", Solomon highlighted in his op-ed for The Hill.    


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