White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn, is now searching for FISA warrants that were supposedly issued by Obama’s administration of Trump’s ties to a suspicious Russian bank. A senior White house official says that McGahn’s office wants access to any order issued by the very secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to Donald Trump, his campaign or his accomplices.
However, these documents are generally available to law enforcement, and even though the White House has the authority to request access to the documents, they usually don’t- since the Department of Justice is supposed to be independent
In 2016, the DOJ began investigating a Russian bank for any possible flow of money between the bank and Trump’s Presidential campaign. Sources indicate that the FBI sought permission from the FISA court to investigate a server which is now believed to be located in Pennsylvania.
The Heat Street reports:
That warrant was turned down, but another, more “narrowly drawn,” according to The Intercept, was not. After that, the story isn’t so clear: the FBI could have found nothing, it could still be investigating, or it could have requested other FISA warrants, with more specific details about Donald Trump’s inner circle.
If the White House retrieves the alleged FISA documents, Trump will have the executive option to declassify whatever information remains about the warrants and the ensuing investigation.
That, of course, is a double-edged sword: if Trump declassifies the information, it could certainly reveal that President Obama had ordered a large scale investigation into his contacts with the Russians. It could also reveal that Trump’s inner circle did, in fact, have contacts with the Russians.
The White House Counsel’s office says that they are only now beginning, on the Administration’s orders, to explore how to obtain the possible FISA warrants. White House press Secretary Sean Spicer told the media, in an emailed statement, that the office is “reviewing what options, if any, are available to us.”