FBI: FISA Corrections Ordered ‘including some improvements beyond’ IG Recommendations
FBI Director Christopher Wray has implemented 40 ‘corrective steps…including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG’ to address the numerous failures raised by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s probe of the bureau’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to a statement from the FBI.
The FBI’s official statement to SaraACarter.com was in response to Tuesday’s scathing four page order by Judge Rosemary Collyer, the presiding judge of the secret 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, ordering the FBI to come up with the reforms by Jan. 10.
Collyer raised serious concerns regarding Horowitz’s findings in his report, which outlined at least 17 misstatements and omissions in application submitted by FBI agents to obtain the warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Page, who is an energy expert, was publicly smeared in numerous media leaks as being an asset of the Russian government. His work as an asset of the CIA against Russia, however, was withheld from the application submitted by the FBI to the courts. The FBI began surveillance of Page in October, 2016, and continued the surveillance until September, 2017.
Wray said during an ABC News exclusive interview Monday that the bureau would implement the corrective measures. On Tuesday, after Collyer’s letter the FBI sent SaraACarter.com an official statement saying the bureau would not only implement the corrective measures but would go above and beyond what was recommended by Horowitz.
“As Director Wray has stated, the Inspector General’s report describes conduct by certain FBI employees that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution,” stated the FBI.
“The Director has ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the Report’s recommendations, including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG. FISA is an indispensable tool in national security investigations, and in recognition of our duty of candor to the Court and our responsibilities to the American people, the FBI is committed to working with the FISA Court and DOJ to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the FISA process,” the FBI stated.
The seriousness of the violations discovered by Horowitz cannot be understated. In November, Congress temporarily reauthorized the FISA program through March 2020, when it comes up again for a vote. This time, however, lawmakers may decide not to reauthorize the program that was intended to target Americans that law enforcement believes may pose a threat to national security.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have stated that the FISA program must be reformed or removed all-together based on what was discovered by Horowitz’s team. Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, said to this reporter that the FISA court should be shut down unless action is taken soon to remedy the egregious problems discovered Horowitz.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who has long fought against the FISA program, pointed out numerous times that the secret nature of the court makes it impossible to conduct appropriate oversight. His warnings about the FISA program were hailed by both Democrats and Republicans during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where many lawmakers apologized to him for doubting his warnings.
Lee told radio talk show host Glenn Beck this week that “basically, what the facts say in this report about the spying that occurred on the Trump campaign is … either these FBI agents purposely abused the power of the federal government to wage a political war against a presidential candidate that they despised, or that these agents were so incompetent that they somehow allowed a two-bit foreign political operative to weaponize the FISA program into a spying operation on a rival political campaign.”
“Neither conclusion is acceptable,” Lee added. “Neither one of these can simply be tolerated by the American people.”
Horowitz’s report revealed that the FBI agents involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump misled the court and omitted information on the applications. There was also 51 Woods procedure violations in the FISA application submitted by the FBI.