Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he had not “read every word” of the faulty FISA application for a warrant on an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign.
Rosenstein was appearing as part of the committee’s review of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into alleged “Russia collusion.” Rosenstein left the department in April 2019 after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion.
Last year, the Department of Justice Inspector General also released a report confirming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had relied on the “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele in its warrant applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court for surveillance to Trump aide Carter page.
The “dossier” was funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FBI used it even after it was found to be false. The FBI also omitted exculpatory information from its FISA application.
Nevertheless, after President Trump appointed Rosenstein in 2017, he signed FISA applications to renew the warrant.
Under questioning by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rosenstein admitted he had not read every page of the application.
Rosenstein to @SenMikeLee: “I’m not sure I read every page, but I was familiar with what was in it. Plus it had already been approved 3 times — this was just a reauthorization.”
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) June 3, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also asked Rosenstein if he had read what he had signed. The following exchange ensued:
Cruz: You just told Senator [Mike] Lee you read the FISA application. At the time you read the FISA application, did you know that the primary source behind the Steele dossier had disavowed it and said it’s not true?
Rosenstein: At the time I reviewed it — and I’m not sure I read every word, but I certainly reviewed it — and no, I did not know that.
Cruz: At the time you review it, did you know that there was singifincatn exculpatory material that was omitted from it?
Rosenstein: Absolutely not.
Rosenstein also said that he did not know that the dossier had been paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
He also admitted that the Mueller investigation had proceeded even though there was no evidence of collusion in 2017, and told the committee that he would not, in retrospect, have signed the application if he knew what he now knows.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.