In response to FISA abuse and politically motivated bias during the 2016 presidential election, the Department of Justice announced a major overhaul and reforms of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tuesday.
“Today, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation press forward with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance reforms. In consultation with FBI Director Wray, I issued two memoranda — one that authorizes the establishment of an FBI Office of Internal Auditing and directs the FBI to undertake aggressive compliance measures, and the other that establishes protocols to ensure the accuracy of FISA applications and the effective oversight of any surveillance applications targeting elected officials and political campaigns,” Attorney General Bill Barr released in a statement. “FISA is a critical tool to ensuring the safety and security of Americans, particularly when it comes to fighting terrorism. However, the American people must have confidence that the United States Government will exercise its surveillance authorities in a manner that protects the civil liberties of Americans, avoids interference in the political process, and complies with the Constitution and laws of the United States. What happened to the Trump presidential campaign and his subsequent Administration after the President was duly elected by the American people must never happen again.”
In December 2019, Department of Justice inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a lengthy report detailing misconduct at the FBI and significant inaccuracies with the FISA application submitted on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Eventually, the FISA court ruled the approval of the application invalid based on false information used to obtain the warrant.
CBS News’ Herridge: IG found “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in FISA application pic.twitter.com/tFs2xgnsFb— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 9, 2019
“Since the Inspector General’s Crossfire Hurricane report was issued last December, I have made clear that it describes conduct that was unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an organization,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said about the reforms. “That’s why I immediately ordered more than 40 corrective actions, including foundational FISA reforms, many of which went beyond those recommended by the Inspector General. The FBI has been working diligently to implement these corrective actions. The additional reforms announced today, which we worked on closely with the Attorney General’s office, will build on the FBI’s efforts to bolster its compliance program. FISA is an indispensable tool that the FBI uses to protect our country from national security threats, and Americans can rest assured that the FBI remains dedicated to continuously strengthening our FISA compliance efforts and ensuring that our FISA authorities are exercised in a responsible manner.”
Americans must have confidence that govt will exercise its surveillance authorities in way that protects civil liberties, avoids interference in political process, complies w/ the law. What happened to the Trump campaign and his subsequent Administration must never happen again. https://t.co/UAShRxK6Un— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) September 1, 2020