It seems like the wheels of justice grind surprisingly slowly.
Especially when it comes to identifying and/or holding folks to account in the FISA abuse and the spying on the Trump team scandal.
But there was just a little further movement today.
The New York Times is now identifying the FBI agent who was behind some of the more significant FISA issues outlined by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FBI FISA abuse, “Case Agent 1.”
The Times is claiming that the agent is Stephen A. Somma, a counterintelligence investigator who works out of the bureau’s New York field office, according to “people familiar with the FBI’s Russia probe.”
From Daily Caller:
“Case Agent 1” is singled in the report as being “primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions in the FISA applications.”
Somma was involved in multiple aspects of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.
According to the IG report, he was the FBI agent who initially sought a surveillance warrant against Page. Somma pushed for a FISA warrant “almost immediately” after the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, the IG said.
Somma’s initial request was rejected, but FBI lawyers later approved seeking a FISA warrant on Page after the bureau received information from former British spy Christopher Steele. In his dossier, Steele alleged that Page was a key player in the Trump campaign’s “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.
Of course collusion was debunked by the Mueller report. Despite the fact that they didn’t verify the Steele Dossier, they proceeded with using it for applications for warrants anyway.
The IG report found that contrary to representations by people like James Comey, that the Steele dossier played a critical role in obtaining the warrants despite the fact that, in addition to not being verified, it was paid for by the DNC and the Clinton team
Somma was supposed to verify the information for the FISA applications and he also was the handler for Stefan Handler who was detailed to surveil people including George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.
Among the things Somma is alleged to have failed to do is to reveal exculpatory information to the FISA Court, namely that the CIA had told him Page was a CIA contact and that Steele’s “primary sub-source” told him that Steele wasn’t accurately representing what he, the sub-source, had told him.
The FISA court recently determined two of the FISA warrants to be invalid because the sub-source information was left out.
That wasn’t all.
From Washington Examiner:
Horowitz showed that Somma omitted significant information provided by confidential human source Stefan Halper — known as “Source 2” in the report. Halper met with and recorded Page in October 2016, before the FBI filed its first FISA application. Horowitz concluded Somma failed to include key “exculpatory” information from that meeting, including Page denying meeting with Russians mentioned in Steele’s report, denying knowledge of the WikiLeaks dissemination of the DNC emails hacked by the Russians, and denying any role in the GOP platform related to Russia.
So can we expect any referral here or further actions? The only referral from the IG has reportedly been Kevin Clinesmith.