On May 20th, Rep. Doug Collins dropped a bombshell when he announced he released the final collection of the remaining transcripts from the House Judiciary GOP’s investigation into decisions that were made at the DOJ and FBI. Collins issued a statement on the House floor, where he stated that he decided to release the transcripts because he believes “the American people deserve the truth.”
Today I’m releasing the remaining interview transcripts from @JudiciaryGOP’s investigation into decisions made at the Department of Justice and FBI. To read the transcripts, visit https://t.co/EcAYT7JPdA. pic.twitter.com/kYy9YKSIZI
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) May 20, 2019
In the transcript of her testimony, Anderson was asked about Lisa Page and if she ever heard any complaints from others within the chain of command at the FBI for bypassing her superiors, and reporting directly to Andrew McCabe?
From the transcript:
Did you ever hear specifically either Mr. Giacalone or Mr. Steinbach complain about the role of Lisa Page, not necessarily her role in what she had responsibility for, but because she had access to Mr. McCabe and she also would get information from Strzok, that those people, Steinbach or Giacalone and I guess Priestap to a certain extent, they would probably be the ones most affected by information not coming through them?
I don’t remember them either raising concerns with me.
Q: What had you heard about the concerns?
A: That there were concerns about Lisa bypassing the chain of command. As you know, the FBI is a very chain of command organization.
Q: Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?
A: My understanding was that he was aware.
Q: And did he do anything to ensure that those executives, the agent executives of his would get the information that they felt they were being denied by her bypassing them, or he was aware but didn’t do anything, your opinion?
A: My understanding was that he did talk to Lisa on several occasions, that he and she talked about it, because Lisa was interested in — she didn’t want to create tension or cause problems, and so she wanted to find a way to work amicably with those executives.
In her testimony, she alleges that the application process for the FISA warrant was handled in an “unusual” fashion and that numerous Obama era FBI officials were involved at the highest levels in pushing it through.
But Anderson stressed “in this particular case, I’m drawing a distinction because my boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application.” She emphasized “this one was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”
Normally, a FISA application would go to the legal department first to confirm that it is indeed proper to press forward with. In this case, top officials informally “approved” the application first, signaling to Anderson that her signature was just perfunctory.
Anderson said that FISA approvals are typically “tracked in a linear fashion” and that someone in the Senior Executive Service “is the final approver on hard copy before a FISA goes to the director or deputy director for signature.” She said the Page FISA was approved outside regular procedures.
“Because there were very high-level discussions that occurred about the FISA,” Anderson said she believed that meant “the FISA essentially had already been well-vetted all the way up through at least the Deputy Director [McCabe] level on our side and through the DAG [Yates] on the DOJ side.” Yates had already signed the application by the time it made it to Anderson’s desk.
… Anderson stressed that McCabe, Yates, and Baker all played key roles in reviewing the Page FISA. “My approval at that point was really purely administrative in nature. In other words, the substantive issues — the FISA had already substantively been approved by people much higher than me in the chain of command,” Anderson said.
Anderson said it “typically would not have been the case” that people such as McCabe and Yates would sign off on a FISA application before she did.
(To read the full transcripts, visit https://dougcollins.house.gov/transparency)