Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

FISC Declassifies Opinion about Retention of Carter Page FISA Information

By Tia Sewell
Monday, September 14, 2020, 4:32 PM

On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a declassified opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) detailing limited circumstances under which the government may sequester information that was collected unlawfully.

On Dec. 9, 2019, following a Justice Department Inspector General review that found errors and omissions in Foreign Intelligence Sovereign Immunity (FISA) warrant applications from 2015 and 2016 targeting Trump campaign associate Carter Page, the government strictly limited access to the Page FISA collection. The FISC then ordered the government to explain why any retention of information collected under the faulty Page applications was lawful and to describe "the steps taken or to be taken to restrict access" to information collected pursuant to invalid authorizations.

The newly released FISC decision set parameters for the temporary retention, as well as potential use and disclosure of information about Page that was unlawfully acquired. These parameters addressed Freedom of Information Act litigation, civil litigation initiated by Mr. Page, review of FBI conduct in the Page investigation, Inspector General monitoring and review of government conduct in its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into 2016 Russian election interference.

The ruling does not authorize the government’s retention, use or disclosure of Page FISA information for intelligence purposes.

The opinion is available here and below: