Reports: Wiretapping of Manafort based on discredited Russian dossier

by WorldTribune Staff, September 19, 2017

U.S. officials investigating alleged Trump-Russia collusion obtained a FISA warrant to wiretap former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, before and after the election, based on the bogus dossier of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, reports say.

Fox News’s Ed Henry reported that the warrant was obtained “after the FBI embraced some of the details of that Russian dossier of then-President-elect Trump that has since been discredited.”

Paul Manafort. / Getty Images

Henry’s unnamed sources also said that the federal judges who approved the FISA warrant “are privately miffed” that the warrant was tied to the Steele dossier, which was funded by a political ally of Hillary Clinton.

Related: Democrat accusers made heavy use of disinformation from Russia to target Trump, Sept. 15, 2017

CNN reported on Sept. 18 that surveillance of Manafort lasted through early this year, when he was said to still be in touch with Trump.

Trump tweeted in March: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

Roger Stone, a former business partner of Manafort’s and informal adviser of Trump’s, said the new revelations support Trump’s claim.

“The overwheming evidence is that Trump was also under surveillance, as he claimed overlapping with the time Manafort was being monitored,” Stone told The Daily Caller, adding that “the fruits of the surveillance were used for political purposes” against Trump.

Investigators reportedly also cited the Steele dossier in an application for a FISA warrant against Carter Page, who served as a volunteer on Trump’s campaign foreign policy team.

In the dossier, Steele cites a source who claimed that Manafort and Page were part of “a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership to help Trump win the presidency. Manafort “managed” the effort, using Page and others as intermediaries, Steele wrote in a memo dated sometime in late July.

Steele had reportedly provided copies of reports in the dossier to FBI agents he knew from previous spy projects.

“The possibility that the dossier served as the basis for the FISA warrants against Manafort and Page raises the stakes for the controversial document,” The Daily Caller said in its Sept. 19 report. “Republican lawmakers have started questioning how significant the dossier was to the FBI’s collusion investigation and how extensively investigators vetted the claims made in Steele’s reports.”

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