The former Justice Department official who authorized the government’s spying campaign against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page joined the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as an adviser this month, the Daily Caller reports.
Mary McCord not only supervised the FBI’s botched Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump’s potential ties with Russia through her position as assistant attorney general for national security, but she also personally evaluated the intelligence agency’s erroneous application authorizing them to spy on Page.
The court McCord joined as one of the eight amicus curiae beginning on April 15 is the same court that previously ruled that the FBI’s investigation into Page was illegally obtained and contained “violations of the government’s duty of candor in all four applications.”
It was then that the FISC ordered the government to “temporarily retain, and potentially use and disclose, the information collected, largely in the context of ongoing or anticipated litigation” based on the 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the investigation brought forth by then-DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. McCord’s name appears in that incriminating report at least 25 times.
While McCord is not necessarily blamed in the report for the faulty spy campaign, she admitted that the DOJ believed “surveilling Page would help the FBI investigation.”
“She said the collective thinking was that filing the application was a legitimate investigative step even though it may later be criticized unfairly,” the IG report stated.
McCord also claimed that she advised the FBI that the spy application could use more details about Christopher Steele, author of the disproven Steele Dossier the FBI largely relied on for its faulty investigation. Specifically, McCord urged then-deputy director Andrew McCabe, to include who hired Steele in the documents.
McCord then told the IG that she was not heavily involved with the management of the investigation and that she “did not attend any of the DOJ national security division’s weekly meetings about the probe held before the 2016 election.”