By The Federalist. The nation’s top spy court appointed an Obama-era Justice Department official who has denied and downplayed FBI surveillance abuse to assess the FBI’s response to a scathing new report cataloguing problems with how the agency secured authority to spy on a Donald Trump campaign affiliate.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) presiding Judge James Boasberg appointed David Kris to review the FBI’s proposed changes to its surveillance application process even though he spent the past few years running interference for the FBI as substantive criticism of the agency mounted.
Lengthy investigations in the House of Representatives and by the Department of Justice inspector general showed major problems with the claims the FBI made as part of an investigation into whether Trump was a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Those problems include withholding exonerating evidence, undue reliance on shady sources, and outright alteration of evidence.
Kris, who served as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, recently claimed the IG report that catalogued egregious abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) powers actually vindicated the FBI. He also smeared Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, saying his initial sounding of the alarm about those abuses was incorrect, threatened national security, and should be harshly punished. . .
The appointment of a former official who served as an apologist for the FBI signals that the court isn’t particularly concerned about the civil liberty violations catalogued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the year-long surveillance of Carter Page. Page is the Trump campaign affiliate whose phone and email communications federal agents wiretapped, and who had confidential human sources and overseas intelligence assets placed against him. False claims that Page was a Russian spy were leaked to the media by government officials as part of a years-long campaign to paint President Trump as a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. (Read more from “Spy Court Picks FISA Abuse Denier to Tackle FISA Abuse” HERE)
FBI to Follow FISA Court Recommendations on Wiretapping
By ABC 33 40. In the wake of its surveillance abuse scandal, the FBI has said it will follow recommendations made by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. That’s the court that approves government wiretaps on U.S. citizens.
Several weeks ago, the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) reported finding egregious errors made by the FBI in its controversial wiretap of a former Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. In at least one instance, the IG found, an FBI lawyer had doctored a document presented to the court. . .
FBI Agents had repeatedly gotten caught submitting false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify their wiretapping or spying on U.S. citizens.
The new protections called “Woods Procedures” were named for the FBI official who helped devise them, Michael Woods. They require the FBI, all the way to the top, to strictly verify each fact in a wiretap application. According to the IG, FBI officials violated the Woods Procedures when they wiretapped Page repeating the very mistakes the Woods Procedures were set up to avoid 15 years before. (Read more from “FBI to Follow FISA Court Recommendations on Wiretapping” HERE)