Schiff Claims He 'Would Have Called Out the FBI' on FISA Abuse 'IF' He Knew About It
Anti-Trump Democrat refuses to admit he was wrong about FBI’s surveillance of Trump aide
Anti-Trump Democrat House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has claimed he "would have called out the FBI" had he known the agency was abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on Donald Trump's election campaign.
During the latest broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Schiff (D-CA) was responding to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia probe.
Schiff refused to admit he was wrong about the FBI's surveillance of the Trump campaign, claiming he was unaware the bureau was abusing FISA to spy on the president's former adviser Carter Page.
“I’m certainly willing to admit that the inspector general found serious abuses of FISA that I was unaware of," Schiff told host Chris Wallace.
"Had I known of them, Chris, yes, I would have called out the FBI at the same time.
"But I think it’s only fair to judge what we know at the time, not what would be revealed two years later, but yes, there were very serious abuses of the FISA process, they need to be corrected, we need to make sure they never happen again.”
Schiff has been one of the FBI’s most ardent defenders regarding its investigation of the Trump campaign, according to the Daily Caller.
He has also aggressively pushed the Steele dossier’s theories that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government.
During a March 20, 2017, congressional hearing, Schiff read out dossier author Christopher Steele’s allegations that Page worked at the direction of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as part of the Russia conspiracy.
He also cited the dossier’s allegations that Page met secretly with a Kremlin insider in July 2016 to discuss a bribe in exchange for a future Trump administration relaxing sanctions on Russia.
Schiff defended the FBI and Christopher Steele’s findings in a memo released Feb. 24, 2018, that rebutted a House Republican memo that accused the FBI of withholding information in its FISA applications.
“FBI and DOJ officials did not ‘abuse’ the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign,” the so-called “Schiff memo” said.
The IG report found otherwise.
Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, found 17 errors and omissions in its applications for FISA orders against Page.
The report said the FBI withheld exculpatory information regarding the former Trump aide, as well as derogatory information about the dossier.
The report stated FBI agents and officials failed to disclose that Steele told investigators Oct. 3, 2016, several weeks before the FBI submitted its first application to spy on Page, that one of the dossier’s key sub-sources was a “boaster” and “embellisher.”
The FBI also failed to disclose to FISA Court judges that Steele’s primary collector of information disputed many of the dossier’s characterizations during an interview with FBI agents in January 2017.
Schiff insisted on Sunday that he was not aware of the FBI’s omissions when he defended the bureau.
Despite those claims, Schiff had access to the same information that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee cited in their Feb. 2, 2018, memo that blasted the FBI and the Steele dossier.