The FBI's FISA Problem Went Beyond Carter Page

Posted: Oct 01, 2021 6:05 PM
The FBI's FISA Problem Went Beyond Carter Page

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

It seems like it’s been forever that the FBI has had a good news day. The damage done during the 2016 election might be irreparable. They couldn’t admit that the 2017 congressional baseball team shooting was an act of domestic terror, though they quietly did so months later. They spent months peddling fake news about Russian collusion. They obtained spy warrants against former Trump campaign officials that contained manufactured evidence. They totally ignored the sexual abuse being committed at the hands of Larry Nassar from a swath of US gymnasts. And they cannot find Brian Laundrie. What good is this agency if it can’t be a top-notch investigative and intelligence agency? They’re considered the gold standard. They have been trash for years. 

When you sign off on a bogus Russian collusion spy operation that only came about from Clinton campaign-funded opposition research—don’t be shocked if people mock you incessantly and doubt your investigative prowess. The fiasco involving ex-FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page has done lasting damage as these two displayed gross bias and unprofessionalism that undermined the agency in tens of thousands of texts between the two. 

Strzok was a top counterintelligence agent at the time who was one of the key people in the Clinton email server probe and the Russian collusion witch hunt. This guy said the FBI would “stop” Trump from becoming president. He later said those texts showed his patriotism before Congress. He was later fired over the texts. Page later said the anti-Trump texts sent between the two had no hidden meanings; they meant what they said. 

David Horowitz, the inspector general for the Department of Justice and an Obama appointee, ripped the FBI over his process in securing a FISA spy warrant against Carter Page. Now, he’s found more “errors” with this process in a new report showing that the FBI’s FISA mess is far from over. They’re still not following its own verification procedures (via Fox News):

A report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released Thursday details "widespread" shortcomings in how the FBI applies for surveillance warrants. 

In the report, the inspector general reviewed over 7,000 FISA applications and found that 183 either had errors in the factual accuracy review procedures known as "Woods Procedures," or were missing them altogether.

What's more, a deeper review into 29 applications found hundreds of errors there.

In 2019, Horowitz released a severely critical report on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the procedures used to open a FISA investigation onto former Trump campaign official Carter Page. Horowitz indicated at the time that his office would take a broader look at the FISA application process. 

DOJ officials noted that FBI Director Chris Wray made reforms to address these problems in March 2020 and the issues of non-compliance outlined in Thursday’s report took place before those reforms.

Yeah, still not good. It doesn’t excuse these errors. It circles back to government overreach and what happens when there are secret courts involved. This isn’t shocking. FISA warrants are usually granted which should raise eyebrows. TechnoFog also had a good post on the FBI’s ongoing abuse of the FISA spy warrant process. 

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