A dossier compiled against President Donald Trump was not a small part of the evidence used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Rep. John Ratcliffe, who has seen the FISA applications, said Monday.
“I’m one of the few folks that have seen not just both memos but the underlying FISA applications themselves,” the Texas Republican, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “Carter Page does have some ties to Russia. He had been in contact with the FBI for quite some time. But none of that does anything to eliminate the obligation that the government had with respect to seeking a warrant to surveil him.”
In their memo rebutting a GOP document claiming the dossier played a major role in the warrant, Democrats claimed that the dossier was not a major part of the evidence.
“Having reviewed the underlying applications, I can tell you that the dossier wasn’t a small part,” said Ratcliffe. “It was the central part of what was submitted to the court.”
There has been argument about whether it should have been revealed to the FISA court that the document was funded in part by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, but Ratcliffe said that when a warrant is sought to surveil an American citizen, the court should be told about the political motivations of the people involved.
“The law is very clear that the government has the duty of full disclosure for it to be clear and unequivocal and disclose the good and the bad,” said Ratcliffe. “You have the duty; you know what are the best parts of your case and the worst parts of your case. The lawyers here knew that the dossier would be subject to scrutiny if the judge knew that it was paid for and commissioned by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. They should have been very upfront and disclosed that fact. There was no one there to disclose that fact besides the government.”
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe said he has his doubts over Page’s ability to either be a Russian agent or to influence Moscow.
“By about page three of the four phone books worth of information I looked at, I was shaking my head saying, you know, it’s very clear that Carter Page is no more likely a Russian agent capable of influencing government officials, the certification that they would have to make, than any Wal-Mart greeter across America.”