The most terrible power of a Law Enforcement Officer, Federal, State or Local, is the power of arrest. When an LEO arrests you, this means to their belief and knowledge, you have violated a law and you need to be held to account for that crime. This simple act and the accompanying words, "You are under arrest for..." changes people's lives. Like the Dark Side of the Force, once you start down that path, it will dominate your future life. Guilty or innocent, your finances will be ruined, your family will be disgraced and your young children will not understand why this Bad Man is taking you away from them. That's all on top of any prison time you may have to serve. If you manage to get a "not guilty" decision from the jury, you are still out thousands, if not millions of dollars spent on your defense and there will always be whispers about you. In the words of former Department of Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan after his acquittal, “What office do I go to to get my reputation back?”
The following applies to ANY warrant, be it an arrest warrant, a surveillance warrant, whatever:
The integrity of an LEO has to be beyond question. His word when he appears before a judge to ask for a warrant has to be nothing less than impeccable. The LEO swears, "The information I am about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Every piece of information use to obtain a warrant must be true. Either the LEO can produce the physical evidence, or testify that they witnessed/heard the information, or can produce the witness who made the statement. One hundred percent, nothing less. The truthful information in a warrant can't be 51%, or 67%, or 95%, not even if 99 44/100% of the evidence is true, the warrant must not be signed. To have any amount of false information in a warrant and presented as the truth to the judge, the judge will make the incorrect decision.
The reason why the word of an LEO must be impeccable is this: If the LEO is caught lying/falsifying information in a case, for whatever reason, every other case he has been involved with, not matter how tangentially, is now cast doubt on. Every case this LEO has been involved with, every person who has been convicted because of information he gathered and his testimony can now be retried. If that LEO has put 1,000 people in jail in a 30 year career, every one of those convicts can now sue the LEO and the jurisdiction that tried them. For every case he testifies in going forward, the first question any good defense lawyer will ask will be, "You lied in [this case], how can we trust and believe you now?"
Now let's get to the meat of the matter. Here is the application for a surveillance warrant presented to the FISA court to monitor Carter Page, and it's three subsequent renewals.
The "TOP SECRET/NOFORN" at the top and bottom of every page declares that there is information in this document containing information that has been classified as Top Secret. The NOFORN means that this information is not to be shown to any non-US citizen, even if they possess a TS clearance. The (U), (S), (S/NF) and so on at the beginning of every paragraph declares if that bit of information is Unclassified, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret or NOFORN.
Let's start at page 15 of the original application, with the first piece of evidence supporting why this warrant should be signed:
First, according to information provided by an FBI confidential human source (Source #1), [REDACTED] reported that Page had a [REDACTED].
Source #1, who now owns a foreign business/financial intelligence firm, was approached by an identified U.S. person, who indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1's ties to Russia (the identified U.S. person and source #1 have a long-standing business relationship). The identified U.S. person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1's campaign.
Source #1 tasked his sub-source(s) to collect the requisite information. After Source #1 received information from the sub-source(s), described herein, Source #1 provided the information to the identified U.S. person who had hired Source #1 and to the FBI. [REDACTED]
Notwithstanding Source #1's reason for conducting the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia, based on Source #1's previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source #1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source #1's reporting herein to be credible. [REDACTED].
Just to make things clear, Candidate #1 is Trump, Source #1 is Christopher Steele, and the "identified U.S. person" is Daniel Jones. Who is he? A former staff person for Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Jones raised $50 Million to hire Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to generate this dossier. This same dossier which in January 2017 FBI Director James Comey briefed President-Elect Trump about, which was in Comey's words, "salacious and unverified."
Now, if this was an intelligence or counter-intelligence operation, indirect information given by a reliable source is considered acceptable and "actionable," meaning we can use this information to conduct the operation. Except this is a criminal investigation. For a court of law, a "dependable source" who vouches for the information they got from someone else won't cut it. Vicarious credibility (I trust Bob, who says this fact he got from someone else is true, so I believe the fact is true) does not exist in a court of law. Well, it does, but it's called hearsay and it's not admissible.
No criminal charges can be brought against anybody using any information that is discovered from Page's texts, emails or phone calls from this warrant. Because the basis of the warrant to gather that information was false, this corrupts everything derived from it. This is known as the "fruit from a poisoned tree."
Bottom line: On page 54 of the document, it reads, "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information regarding Carter W. Page is true and correct." Signed October [REDACTED} 2016, [REDACTED], Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation. When we the people find out that the agent who signed this application, his name will be MUD.