New “DOJ” Notes Show They Panicked After Trump Called Them Out

( Two days after former President Donald Trump’s March 4, 2017 tweet accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower and spying on his campaign, panicked FBI leadership held a high-level meeting with Justice Department officials.

Handwritten notes taken during that meeting were released last week by the attorneys representing former Clinton campaign lawyer, Michael Sussmann. Sussmann’s lawyers presented the notes as evidence in their client’s defense. And while the notes do little to exonerate Sussmann on the charge that he lied to the FBI, they do reveal quite a bit about the agency.

By March 2017, the FBI knew the allegations about Russian collusion were almost certainly false. And when Trump tweeted that his campaign was being spied on, it sent a shockwave through the FBI leadership who were panicking about how the former President knew so much about the agency’s efforts to link him to Russia.

From the notes provided in Sussmann’s case, it is clear the FBI was scrambling to cover its tracks.

The bulk of the March 6, 2017 meeting, which included FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and acting Attorney General Dana Boente, was spent discussing Trump’s tweets.

Notes of the meeting were taken by three DOJ officials, Tashina Gauhar, Mary McCord, and Scott Schools. In one note, McCabe is recorded saying Sussmann had been representing clients when he brought the FBI his “evidence” on Trump’s connections to Alfa Bank.

Mary McCord had written that McCabe told DOJ officials that the FBI was “trying to determine what was behind POTUS tweets.”

Despite knowing the Russian collusion claims were false, it is clear from the notes that the FBI was continuing to double down on the collusion claims while keeping key details from the DOJ officials attending the meeting.

During the meeting, the FBI officials repeatedly described the debunked Steele dossier as “crown reporting,” while representing it as the product of some sort of official government intelligence from the UK.

The same misrepresentation was applied to the FISA warrant on Carter Page, which McCabe described as “fruitful.” We know now, thanks to the DOJ Inspector General, that the Page FISA application contained “significant errors.”