Tom Fitton, the president of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, on Saturday called the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, “corruption at its worst.”
Speaking at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition’s 6th Anniversary Convention, Fitton said the “unelected bureaucracy” in the Justice Department and the FBI — in some cases, political appointees of the Obama administration, were “breaking the rules to bring down a duly-elected president,” and violating laws “beyond what Richard Nixon ever contemplated.”
“Nothing in recent American history compares to what we think we know,” he said.
He said those DOJ and FBI officials misused the ability to spy on foreign nations granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on the political opposition, and then leak the classified results to generate a “fake criminal investigation.” It was “part of the conspiracy of the Clinton campaign to target her political opponent,” he added.
Their goal now is to remove President Trump by “indictment or impeachment,” he said. “That’s what’s going on right now.”
So far, it has been revealed that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS through a law firm to conduct anti-Trump research into his business ties in Russia. The research later became known as the Trump dossier.
Fusion GPS’s co-founder, Glenn Simpson, in August claimed that the author of the dossier, ex-British spy Christopher Steele, was so alarmed by a ridiculous story he heard about Trump paying prostitutes during a trip to Moscow in 2013 to perform a “Golden Showers,” that he went to the FBI, fearing the Russians could blackmail Trump.
Weeks later, the FBI launched an investigation into the Trump campaign. The dossier was also reportedly used to to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page from a secret FISA court.
It has also been revealed that during the campaign, senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — who had both worked on the Clinton email investigation and on the special counsel — exchanged hundreds of texts on how much they detested Trump and about an “insurance policy” in the case Trump won.
Fitton said if the FBI was truly worried the dossier revealed a blackmail situation with Trump, they would have gone to then-candidate Trump to warn him and offer their help. Instead, he said, the dossier was used “as an excuse to spy on him and his people. No doubt about that.”
Fitton, whose group’s investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack forced the revelation that Hillary Clinton used a private email server while secretary of state, said those same officials who are still working at the DOJ and the FBI, — and even some Trump appointees — were making it difficult for the group to obtain documents requested by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
He blamed “fear-based decision making” for the resistance, and applauded House Republicans for successfully prying information out of the agencies, after threatening to hold them in contempt.
The House intelligence committee in recent months ramped up pressure on the DOJ and FBI to unveil requested documents and interviews related to their handling of the dossier. The committee has put together a memo detailing their findings, and is set to release it in coming weeks.
“We’re glad that Congress is finally taking some steps to force this information out,” Fitton said. “They had to threaten Trump’s Justice Department and FBI with contempt to get these records.”
But he cautioned that even with the release of the memo, the fight for the truth would not be over. He expressed skepticism that the classified material summarized in the memo would be released, such as the FISA warrant used to get the warrant on Page.
“One memo getting released isn’t going to solve the problem. We have to be persistent,” he said. But, he added, “We’re winning, and there’s a lot more winning to be done.”