Politics

Inspector General Finds 17 Significant Errors in Applications for Spying on Trump Campaign Associate

Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the four warrant applications to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page contained 17 significant errors, according to a report released on Dec. 9.

“We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures,” the report states, referring to the procedures guiding the verification of claims in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications.

“These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to OI and failing to flag important issues for discussion,” the report continues, referring to the Office of Intelligence and the National Security Division at the FBI.

Horowitz concluded that the errors and other failures constitute “serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents.”

FISA report
FISA report
The cover page of the report issued by the Department of Justice inspector general is photographed in Washington, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Jon Elswick/AP Photo)

In late October 2016, the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump-campaign associate Carter Page. The bureau renewed the warrant three times, surveilling Page for a total of twelve months.

The FISA warrant application featured claims from an unverified dossier of opposition research on Trump. Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier by using second- and third-hand sources with ties to the Kremlin.

“Steele himself was not the originating source of any of the factual information in his reporting. Steele instead relied on a Primary Sub-source for information, who used his/her network of sub-sources to gather information that was then passed to Steele,” the report said.

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee ultimately paid for Steeles work, a fact the FBI did not disclose in the warrant application.

While the extent of the surveillance granted in Pages case remains classified, FISA warrants allow for some of the most intrusive spying under the law. Under the so-called “two-hop” rule, investigators could collect the communications of every person Page interacted with as well every person who communicated with Pages contacts. As a result, it is possible that the FBI obtained the communications of the entire Trump campaign, both retroactively and in real-time.

A number of FBI officials directly involved in preparing and signing the FISA warrants have all either left or been fired from the bureau, including DirecRead More – Source

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