Former top DOJ official: There's 'zero' chance the FISA court was conspiring

ABC News contributor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen joins ABC News' Martha Raddatz and chief legal analyst Dan Abrams to analyze the fallout from the GOP memo.
5:16 | 02/04/18

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Transcript for Former top DOJ official: There's 'zero' chance the FISA court was conspiring
We'll look at that. That goes a little far. Let's get to Martha Raddatz, Dave Abrams and I want to begin with Matt. Three years under president bush you over saw the FISA application process. Your reaction to the memo? Just on the four corners of the memo it's politically motivated. It's short and leads to more questions than answers. The sprcentral claim in the memo we now know that's not true. That's my experience overseeing the lawyers in the justice department. You heard congressman Hurd saying the information is unverified. Walk us through what it would take too get a judge to approve this kind of warrant? That's an important point. These take weeks, months to prepare. There are agents in the FBI, overseen by lawyers in the FBI. They're 50 pages or more. They are -- every fact a vetted and scrutinized by lawyers. They sit down with the agents. Starts with agents and moves up. Multiple levels of lawyers and approved at the department of justice. That's before it gets to the FISA court. They're independent justices who have staff. They ask questions. The changes there was a conspiracy of all these people to provide misleading information is a zero. That's the initial application. It was then renewed three separate times. What's the standard for renewal? Probable cause the target is an agent of a foreign power. There has to be some additional information that shows the investigation is advances, the surveillance is advancing the investigation. Dan, you're saying it's what happens in court every single day. In just about every high profile case I cover, the defense argues that the vest guy ors and prosecutors had tunnel vision. They were out to get the defendant from the beginning, they included all sorts of unverified information and warrant applications. This is a relatively weak legal argument coming from the nunes memo. In the end they're talking about motivations. They're not talking about facts they got wrong or laws that were broken. Really this is nothing new. The idea that, you know, I can compare this to the O.J. Simpson case where they said they had it out for him from the beginning that's what it sounds like. They're saying they wanted to get them. That's what defense attorneys argue every day. Martha, what a break down between the president and the intelligence committee, the house intelligence committee and the professionals they deal with. Exactly. The intelligence professionals I talkinged to say they're not so concerned about sources and methods. I know the Democrats talked about national security and the threat of that. They will tell you -- these are career professionals that it is incomplete and there is bias in there. What concerns them most is the attacks on the FBI, the attacks on the intelligence community but the president can say it's not the rank and file, it's just the leadership. I don't think that's the way the public sees it. That permeates in the say way they say fake news. They feel it up and down the rank. Up and down. That brings up something that John McCain -- he responded to this. He said the latest attacks serve no American interests, no party, no presidents. The nation and president must stop looking at this through the warped of politics and bipartisan. It is paying off every day in spades. He won the super bowl. Putin has won the super bowl here. Exactly what he wanted to happen in this country, this discord and mistrust of institutions is exactly why they operate this way. This memo is just about Carter page who is not relevant in the big picture in the investigation. He wasn't even a member of the trump campaign at the time the application was made. For someone to link that to the Mueller investigation is such a leap because Carter page isn't a central part of the Mueller investigation. As you point out Matt, you don't believe a judge would have approved this if there weren't huge suspicions. You have a person whose a suspected agent of Russia. That's the take away. We'll be back with the round table and we take a look at the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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