In light of the Inspector General’s latest report, how worried should we be about the state of the FISA process?
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The inspector general’s latest report on FISA implementation at the FBI is not as bad as it looks, but it’s not good either.
The same arguments used to defend Michael Flynn could be used against the prosecution of FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith. Yet Flynn’s supporters have remained silent.
The Justice Department reported that most of the errors identified by the Office of the Inspector General were minor and none invalidated surveillance authorizations.
The investigation as it developed should not have been conducted by a federal prosecutor, and Attorney General Barr’s public commentary has seriously (and somewhat mysteriously) damaged the credibility of whatever Durham uncovers.
It appears that the facts presented in a lot of FISA applications are not reliable.
A new report released by the Justice Department inspector general found errors or lost information in all of the U.S. Person FISA applications it reviewed following its report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into members of the Trump campaign. Each of the 29 applications reviewed contained inaccuracies, including missing files in four FISA applications and errors or inadequately supported facts in the 25 other applications.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has declassified an order about the Department of Justice's handling of 2016 and 2016 applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The Dec. 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report about the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election devoted considerable discussion to the Page warrants.
The investigation may have taken steps that the inspector general thinks unwise, thinks should have been forbidden by policy, and thinks should have required more Justice Department consultation. But it was, in fact, about Russia. It was always about Russia. Full stop.
The Horowitz report poses a deep challenge to those of us who have broadly defended expansive surveillance authorities over the past several years. That challenge is not the one President Trump and his supporters have lodged against the FBI and its integrity.