Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article titled, “FISA court orders DOJ to review flawed surveillance applications and provide names of targets.”
The article reports:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court demanded answers about whether FISA applications were invalid after a new Justice Department inspector general report found pervasive issues with the FBI not following fact-checking procedures.
Friday’s ruling came days after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a memo showing FISA flaws were not just limited to the surveillance of Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
The findings of Horowitz’s audit released on Tuesday focused on the FBI’s requirement to maintain an accuracy subfile known as a “Woods file.” Investigators found serious problems in each of the 29 FISA applications they examined.
“We believe that a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications through its Woods Procedures undermines the FBI’s ability to achieve its ‘scrupulously accurate’ standard for FISA applications,” Horowitz concluded.
The article continues with information that might indicate the FISA court is not happy about being misled:
“It would be an understatement to note that such lack of confidence appears well-founded. None of the 29 cases reviewed had a Woods File that did what it is supposed to do: support each fact proffered to the Court. For four of the 29 applications, the FBI cannot even find the Woods File,” presiding Judge James Boasberg said. “For three of those four, the FBI could not say whether a Woods File ever existed. The OIG, moreover, ‘identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts’ in all 25 applications for which the Woods Files could be produced. Interviews with FBI personnel ‘generally have confirmed’ those deficiencies, not dispelled them.”
Boasberg said the wide-ranging problems “provide further reason for systemic concern” about the FBI’s FISA process and “reinforces the need for the Court to monitor the ongoing efforts of the FBI and DOJ to ensure that, going forward, FBI applications present accurate and complete facts.” The judge said, “When problems are identified in particular cases, furthermore, the Court must evaluate what remedial measures may be necessary.”
The article concludes:
In a rare public order last year, the FISA court criticized the FBI’s handling of the Page applications as “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above” and demanded an evaluation from the bureau. The FISA court also ordered a review of all FISA filings handled by Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer who altered a key document about Page in the third renewal process. He is now under criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham, a prosecutor from Connecticut who was tasked by Attorney General William Barr with investigating the origins and conduct of the Russia inquiry.
I will not be impressed with any of this until people actually go to jail for violating the civil rights of American citizens. I am still not convinced that will ever happen.