"I remain convinced that the FISA warrants that were twice sought to target associates of Trump (and possibly Trump himself) are the key to blowing up the Russia narrative.
As Andy McCarthy regularly points out, it was all done under the cloak of a counterintelligence (CI) investigation–and FISA techniques are at the heart of any CI investigation.
Any FISA application encapsulates most of the predication for the investigation itself, and without FISA techniques the investigation likely goes nowhere.
In a CI investigation focused on a foreign power, that’s not a problem since FISA on the foreign power (say, Russia) is already in place–all that needs to be done is to identify a foreign national as the agent of that power (Russia) and, presto, you get FISA coverage of anything that’s not already covered.
Where it becomes an acute problem is when the CI investigation is a ruse to cover domestic spying on political opponents.
In that case FISA on the foreign power is of no use–not if, as appears to be the case, there was no significant contact or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
If, in fact, the real target was Trump himself–and we are told that Trump himself was named in the rejected July 2016 FISA application–you need to gin up a FISA on someone who really IS in contact with Trump, no matter how far-fetched the reasoning.
He’ll do in a pinch, right?
And now Sperry tells us:
But it’s now clear his “intelligence reports,” which together run more than 35-pages long, were for the most part worthless. And the clients who paid Fusion GPS (which claims to go “beyond standard due diligence”) for them got taken to the cleaners. [Not if they needed something, anything, to get the FISA order, and eventually got it.]
Steele’s most sensational allegations remain unconfirmed. For instance, his claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen held a “clandestine meeting” on the alleged hacking scheme in Prague with “Kremlin officials” in August 2016 unraveled when Cohen denied ever visiting Prague, his passport showed no stamps showing he left or entered the US at the time, witnesses accounted for his presence here, and Czech authorities found no evidence Cohen went to Prague.
Steele hadn’t worked in Moscow since the 1990s and didn’t actually travel there to gather intelligence on Trump firsthand. He relied on third-hand “friend of friend” sourcing. In fact, most of his claimed Russian sources spoke not directly to him but “in confidence to a trusted compatriot” who, in turn, spoke to Steele — and always anonymously..."