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Rep. Gaetz: Did you read the FISA application before you signed it?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: I won’t comment about any FISA application.
Rep. Gaetz: You won’t say to the committee whether or not you read the document you signed that authorized spying on people associated with the Trump campaign.
Deputy AG Rosenstein: I dispute your characterization of what that FISA is about, sir.
Rep. Gaetz: Did you read it or not?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: I’ll be happy to discuss details with her.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Peter Strzok brief you on it?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: No.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Lisa Page brief you on it?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: No.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Sally Moyer brief you on it?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: Let me explain the process if I may.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Trisha Anderson brief you on it?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: No FBI personnel briefed me on it. The process, sir, that these FISA applications or renewals first come up through the FBI chain of command. They are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. I’m not the affiant. Rep. Gaetz: But you signed it? Did you thoroughly review it yes or no?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: Let me explain the process to you.
Chairman: The time of the gentleman has expired. The witness will be permitted to answer the question.
Rep. Gaetz: Did you thoroughly review it, yes or no?
Deputy AG Rosenstein: I’d like to explain the process. Director Wray can explain it, too, sir. My responsibility at that time was to approve the filing of FISA application applications. Because only three people in the department are authorized to sign it: the Attorney General, the Deputy, and the Assistant Attorney General for national security, which was vacant at the time. It’s my responsibility do that. I had been relieved of that responsibility. Director Wray still does it every day and I don’t know what his process is, sir, but we sit down with a team of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All of whom review that and provide a briefing for us for what’s in it. And I’ve reviewed that one in some detail, and I can tell you the information about that doesn’t match with my understanding of the one that I signed, but I think it’s appropriate to let that Inspector General complete that investigation. These are serious allegations. I don’t do the investigation — I’m not the affiant. I’m reviewing the finished product, sir. If the Inspector General finds that I did something wrong then I’ll respect that judgement, but I think it is highly, highly unlikely given the way the process works.
Page claims in a lawsuit filed in Oklahoma federal court on Monday that from June 2016 through at least September 2016, the DNC, its law firm Perkins Coie and two of the firm’s partners, Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann, intentionally spread the contents of the dossier to media organizations and to entities in the US government. Page says he wants to hold them accountable for “funding and distributing to the media an extensive series about him they knew to be false.”