Newly declassified court documents indicate that the FBI failed to comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in targeting Americans while searching through NSA records during President Trump’s administration and after James Comey’s tenure as FBI director.
An October 2018 ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) found that the FBI violated Section 702 by not keeping track of searches that pertained to “United States persons,” and that proposed changes were still not enough to comply with the law. That ruling was later affirmed on appeal in July 2019. The documents were declassified and released Tuesday.
FISA Section 702, which deals with targeting people outside the U.S. for gathering foreign intelligence information, places restrictions on gathering information when it comes to Americans or people located in the U.S.
“Because the FBI’s proposed procedures do not require it to keep records that ‘indicate whether terms are United States person query terms,’ the FISC held that these procedures do not comply with Section 702(f)(l)(B),” said the decision from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISC-R), which heard the appeal.
The queries examined took place between 2017 and 2018, which would largely be during FBI director Chris Wray’s tenure and during the Trump presidency. The FBI did not immediately return a request for comment. (Read more from “Newly Declassified Court Documents Reveal FBI FISA Violations in Targeting Americans” HERE)