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We now know: The dross of April Doss revisited

Last year one April Doss published articles at the Atlantic and the Weekly Standard on the FISA warrants taken out on Carter Page. Doss had served as senior minority counsel on the Senate Intelligence Committee (she worked for the Democrats). She also spent over a decade at the National Security Agency, where she was associate general counsel for intelligence law. Doss touted her professional experience and expertise to assure us that the FBI had dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s when it took out FISA warrants on Carter Page. In the process of assuring readers that all was in order with the FBI’s work on these warrants, Doss also disparaged Devin Nunes (whose memo laying out problems with the warrants had been released in February) as a crazy conspiracy theorist.

I disputed Doss at the time in several posts on Power Line, as in “Contra the dross of Doss (3).” With the Department of Justice Inspector General Report on the FISA warrants, we can see that I was right (as was Standard executive editor Fred Barnes, who praised Nunes in the same issue of the Weekly Standard that published Doss’s story) and Doss was wrong.

On Friday last week the Wall Street Journal cruelly quoted the July 27, 2018 Weekly Standard article by Doss that I had addressed last year in the post linked above. In its Notable & Quotable feature the Journal quoted Doss without comment under the heading “Conspiracy Theory”:

[House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin] Nunes insisted on releasing a memo that endorsed a new conspiracy theory about how a Democratic administration had: abused the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] process by using salacious opposition research (with the implication that the funding source made the information itself suspect), incorporated that suspect research into a FISA application, and sent the application to the secret proceedings of the FISC without telling the court there could be bias in the information. Through this complicated string of subterfuges, Nunes claims, the Democrats managed to pervert justice in order to spy on the Trump campaign.

Over time, the conspiracy theory would deepen: Since the dossier included information from sources in Russia, that meant that the Hillary for America campaign had colluded with Russia to provide fake information to Christopher Steele, who slipped the fake news to the FBI, which then pulled the wool over the eyes of a succession of four FISC judges, each of whom signed off on further surveillance against Carter Page.

It’s an exhausting theory to contemplate, and yet one that many people, fueled by conspiracy-mongering rumors on the Internet about the workings of the “deep state,” believed.

Brit Hume looked back at Doss’s Atlantic piece “The FISA Fiasco’s Silver Lining” in the tweet below. He posed a simple rhetorical question:

I emailed Doss on Friday afternoon:

Dear Ms. Doss: I wrote repeatedly and at length about your Atlantic and Weekly Standard articles on the Carter Page FISA warrants last year. I had written frequently for the Standard over the years, become friendly with several of the editors, and was shocked by how blatantly erroneous and deceitful your pieces were. I said so at length in several posts on the site Power Line. I’m inserting the URL to one such post below [i.e., the URL to the post linked above].

Now thanks to the Horowitz IG report we know more or less definitively how wrong you were. I wonder if you have any intention of revisiting the subject for the benefit of readers whose ignorance you exploited last year.

Scott Johnson

Doss hasn’t responded. If she does, I will post her response verbatim. However, I am not hopeful of hearing back from Doss. While noting she was waiting in CNN’s green room to “talk impeachment” on Friday, Doss’s Twitter feed has remained silent on the Inspector General report.