The Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz has released another staggering report in his investigation of FBI Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant process abuses.
And once-redacted footnotes from his previous 2019 report, which have now been declassified, expose even more outrageous FBI conduct.
Now, additional information has been released indicating Russian disinformation infected Christopher Steele’s infamous “dossier.” We now know the FBI relied upon it to mislead the FISA Court – and that disinformation “may have been widespread” within the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team. The new information shows that the FBI had evidence back in 2017 of Russian operatives feeding disinformation to Steele.
According to Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray: “Because these facts show the intention, means, and ability to plant Russian disinformation in Steele’s reporting, they suggest that the prevalence of such disinformation in the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation may have been widespread.”
These Senators have asked Director Wray to hand over intelligence documents reviewed by the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team so they can get to the bottom of how widespread the infection actually was.
Senator Lindsey Graham also recently released enlightening information: less-redacted versions of the FBI’s four applications for surveillance orders against Carter Page. The applications show the FBI relied heavily on information from Steele to obtain authorization to spy on Page using invasive tactics like eavesdropping and physical property searches.
New information now being made available to the public just keeps exposing more and more violations and misconduct that plagued James Comey’s FBI.
The process of accountability is well underway.
At the end of 2019, after being tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr with investigating suspected FISA abuses by the Deep State FBI, Inspector General Horowitz released a report summarizing his investigation into the FBI’s spying on Trump campaign staffer Carter Page. His review revealed “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
That information prompted the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to ban anyone within the FBI or DOJ that had involvement in the mishandling of the Carter Page FISA warrant from “participat[ing] in drafting, verifying, reviewing, or submitting” any FISA warrants.
As we've reported, FBI agents used a salacious, unconfirmed report to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Page – a U.S. citizen:
This spying campaign as the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General’s report shows was riddled by a parade of constitutional errors including significant factual inaccuracies and omissions regarding whether there was probable cause to believe that Carter Page, a minor campaign official, was an agent of the Russian government. In fact, quite the opposite was true. Mr. Page had actively assisted the United States government in the past but this crucial fact was not disclosed to the FISC. In addition, the federal government omitted statements that Mr. Page had made to a confidential human source contradicting the FBI’s theory of the case. Taken together, this gives rise to overwhelming evidence that Mr. Page’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated as part of Cross Fire Hurricane, which led to the special counsel Russia collusion investigation and the most recent effort by House Democrats to cripple the Trump Administration.
It now appears those 17 errors that IG Horowitz reported were just the tip of the corruption iceberg. After releasing his initial report in December, the Inspector General announced that further investigation would be necessary to see if these four reports were indicative of a bigger issue within the FBI.
As IG Horowitz explained at the time:
“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?”
It now appears his concerns were well founded.
According to a report released by the Inspector General’s office, of twenty-nine FBI FISA applications reviewed by the Inspector General’s team, errors or omissions have been found in ALL twenty-nine.
The Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI’s FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”
There were problems with 100% of the applications reviewed. This cannot be shrugged off as human error or coincidence.
The Inspector General’s office released a new FISA investigation report listing specific violations of established FBI policies regarding its FISA warrant process:
As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy. Specifically, the Woods Procedures mandate compiling supporting documentation for each fact in the FISA application. Adherence to the Woods Procedures should result in such documentation as a means toward achievement of the FBI’s policy that FISA applications be “scrupulously accurate.”
Our lack of confidence that the Woods Procedures are working as intended stems primarily from the fact that: (1) we could not review original Woods Files for 4 of the 29 selected FISA applications because the FBI has not been able to locate them and, in 3 of these instances, did not know if they ever existed; (2) our testing of FISA applications to the associated Woods Files identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications we reviewed, and interviews to date with available agents or supervisors in field offices generally have confirmed the issues we identified; (3) existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms have also identified deficiencies in documentary support and application accuracy that are similar to those that we have observed to date; and (4) FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures.
This alarming new information has prompted Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham to call on Inspector Horowitz to give further testimony before a Senate Committee:
“I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz’s audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release. “I intend to have Inspector General Horowitz come to the Committee to explain his findings and receive his recommendations about how to change the program.”
This is just further evidence of the systematic abuse and corruption lurking inside the Deep State FBI that the ACLJ has been sounding the alarm about for years. Deep State actors willfully subverted the law in order to spy on American citizens.
The ACLJ been fully engaged in multiple federal court cases – uncovering numerous abuses and political bias at the top levels of the FBI, DOJ, and other senior officials from the Obama Administration. We are actively continuing to pursue our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the FBI and the intelligence community to expose and defeat the Deep State corruption in this area.
It is high time these Deep State operatives be rooted out and held accountable for their corrupt actions. They have placed the security of our constitutional republic at grave risk for their own personal biases.
This can never be allowed to happen again.
As we aggressively fight to defeat the Deep State in court, we need YOU. Have your Tax-Deductible gift DOUBLED today. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.
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