When Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016 was released, it revealed that a top FBI agent involved in the investigation against then-candidate Donald Trump had used a routine security briefing to also spy on then-campaign adviser Michael Flynn.
It has now been revealed that the FBI agent, identified only as a supervisory special agent (SSA1), also utilized that briefing to observe and take notes on Trump himself, not just Flynn, Breitbart reported.
Agent took notes on Trump
According to IG Horowitz’s report, as well as testimony delivered in a Senate committee on Tuesday, SSA1 — who was a top member of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation of the Trump campaign — had been specifically tasked to attend the special briefing in order to secretly spy on Flynn.
Breitbart noted that the FBI’s portion of the briefing involving SSA1 only lasted for about 13 minutes, but the agent reportedly remained in the room for the entire two-hour meeting arranged by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and took notes that were eventually compiled into a three-page document.
In that document and “woven into the briefing summary are questions posed to SSA1 by Trump and Flynn, and SSA1’s responses, as well as comments made by Trump and Flynn,” in addition to questions posed by Trump to other officials.
Additionally, according to SSA1’s recollection, he documented “instances where he was engaged by the ‘attendees’ as well as ‘anything related’ to the FBI or pertinent to the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation, such as comments about the Russian Federation,” not to mention anything else that might prove “relevant” at some point in the future.
Briefing used to spy on campaign
SSA1 was reportedly hand-selected by the top tier of FBI officials overseeing the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and had been tasked to “assess Flynn’s overall mannerisms” and note anything Flynn might say about Russia, in addition to delivering the FBI’s briefing on national security concerns. That also included, in reference to monitoring Trump, “any of the other two individuals in the room, if they, any kind of admission, or overhear, whatever it was, I was there to record that.”
According to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, SSA1’s purview had from the start been broader than just observing Flynn. Baker told the IG, “[I]f somebody said something, you want someone in the room who knew enough about the investigation that they would be able to understand the significance of something, or some type of statement.”
Horowitz confirmed in the hearing that the briefing had been used by the FBI to try and capture “anything” that might prove useful to its investigation and left open the possibility that the same thing occurred in the security briefing provided to then-President-elect Trump shortly before he took office.
It was during that briefing in January 2017 that then-FBI Director James Comey mentioned the now-debunked Steele dossier to Trump, which prompted media reports and the publication of the infamous dossier that ultimately led to two-plus years of Russian collusion nonsense.
No notes on Clinton
It is worth noting that the same agent attended a similar briefing delivered to the Hillary Clinton campaign, and he did not take notes or compile a document of observations afterward. This further suggests that his actions during the briefing with Trump and Flynn were geared toward assisting the FBI’s investigation and were not just about keeping the candidate informed of potential security risks — which, it should also be noted, the FBI failed to do, since it didn’t share with Trump concerns about campaign aides potentially colluding with Russia.
It is more apparent than ever that the FBI unjustly and surreptitiously spied on Donald Trump, and it is high time that somebody is held accountable for it.