FISC: FBI Lawyer Who Altered Carter Page Warrant Must Be Reported To Bar. Court Reviewing All Warrant Applications

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer released a public order Friday, demanding to see all the applications handled by the FBI attorney, who is alleged to have changed the details in the FISA application on Carter Page. In the two-page Dec. 5, order Collyer also requested that the bureau advise the court if FBI Attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who was involved in altering Page’s application has been reported to the appropriate bar association for disciplinary action.

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Page, who was a short term campaign volunteer for President Donald Trump, was wiretapped by the FBI. The bureau was given approval by the secret court to spy on Page based on the information it provided in the application to obtain the warrant from the court. Earlier this week Collyer released her public order giving FBI officials a Jan. 10 deadline to address how to remedy the extraordinary malfeasance that led to the FBI’s baseless warrant to spy on Page. That was the first time the court has spoken since the Department of Justice Inspector General released its findings on the FBI’s now debunked investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

Friday’s order, which redacted the name of FBI Attorney Clinesmith, criticized the government for failing to provide all the information requested by the court. Horowitz named Clinesmith in his shocking report released earlier this month on the significant abuses discovered by his team regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe into the Trump campaign.

Collyer also asks the FBI to advise the court if Clinesmith’s conduct “has been referred to the appropriate bar association(s) for investigation or possible disciplinary action.”


In her letter Collyer states that “the Supplemental Letter identified the the USGA and provided additional information on the matter, some specific requests made by the Court concerning the conduct of the FBI OGC attorney and the nature of Page’s prior reporting relationship,” Collyer stated. “The United States noted, however, that not all of the detailed findings of the OIG regarding those issues were contained in the letter and the full OIG’s report, which was still being finalized, would be provided to the Court.”

“To date, the Court has not received any part of that report in any form,” she says. “The United States also noted that a separate Rule 13 letter describing other information of which it had become aware as a result of the OIG investigation was being prepared.” 

Further, Collyer advises that the court is reassessing the surveillance procedures utilized by the FBI in an effort to obtain the warrant to spy on Page. Horowitz discovered more than 17 significant errors and omissions in the application provided by the bureau to court. One omission was so imperative that it may have changed the court’s decision that allowed the bureau to spy on Page. The FBI was aware at the time it applied for the warrant, which accused Page of being an asset of Russia, that Page, a foreign policy specialist, had actually worked with the CIA to provide information on Moscow.

On December 5, the FISC ordered the executive branch to identify for it “all other matters currently or previously before this Court” that involved Clinesmith. Collyer also demanded  descriptions of how the DOJ and the FBI verified that Clinesmith’s submissions were accurate.

From Collyer’s order released Friday: 

It is further ORDERED that by written submission on or before December 20, 2019, the United States shall:

(1) Identify all other matters currently or previously before this Court that involved the participation of the FBI OGC attorney whose conduct was described in the Preliminary Letter and Supplement Letter;

(2) Describe any steps taken or to be taken by the Department of Justice or FBI to verify that the United States’ submissions in those matters completely and fully described the material facts and circumstances; and

(3) Advise whether the conduct of the FBI OGC attorney bas been referred to the appropriate bar association(s) for investigation or possible disciplinary action.


The seriousness of the violations discovered are forcing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to reassess whether or not to keep the FISA program, which comes up for reauthorization in March. The FISA court was founded in 1978, under the enactment of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It was created to authorize the “most intrusive surveillance techniques modern technology allows” and many contend it conflicts with the basic tenants of the Fourth Amendment, noted criminal defense and civil rights attorney David Schoen, who spoke last week to

Collyer’s letter addressing the FBI’s failure in the Page case is significant and was the first time the court has been given information that law enforcement officials directly violated the court standards to wiretap an American citizen.

“This order responds to reports that personnel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided false information to the National Security Division (NSD) of the Department of Justice, and with held material information from NSD which was detrimental to the FBI’s case, in connection with four applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for authority to conduct electronic surveillance of a U.S.citizen named Carter W. Page,” stated Collyer, in her first order issued earlier this week.