Former FBI Director James Comey expressed reservations Wednesday about his decision to authorize surveillance warrants against former Trump aide Carter Page, though he largely defended the bureau’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
“Knowing then what you know now about all the things that we’ve come to find, would you have still signed the warrant applications against Carter Page in October, January and April?” Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Comey during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“No, I would want a much more complete understanding of what we were doing,”Comey replied.
Comey signed off on warrant applications against Page in October 2016, January 2017 and April 2017. The FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications to assert that there was probable cause that Page was a Russian agent.
A Justice Department inspector general’s report found that the FBI withheld “significant” pieces of evidence that undermined the credibility of the dossier. The Justice Department deemed the final two FISA orders against Page to be invalid, including the one Comey authorized in April 2017.
Comey was largely defensive of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign during the hearing Wednesday. He denied behind aware during the probe that there were problems with the dossier. (RELATED: DOJ Watchdog Says FBI Made 17 ‘Significant’ Errors In Carter Page FISAs)
Comey is now the third former official who has expressed regrets about signing off on the FISA warrants.
Former deputy attorney generals Rod Rosenstein and Sally Yates told the Senate Judiciary Committee in recent hearings that they would not have authorized Page FISAs that they signed while in office.
The Justice Department attorney who put together the FISA applications against Page also said that they would not have signed the warrants if they had known about the information withheld by the FBI.
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