A Department of Justice review of 29 spy applications approved by a secret court uncovered only two material errors, a stark contrast to the 17 major errors discovered in applications to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
The findings bolster the case that the FBI acted with bias against Trumps campaign.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a secret court that operates with little oversight, ordered the FBI to overhaul its spying practices after Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered the major errors in applications to surveil Page.
Earlier this year, Horowitz found the FBI failed to properly support every single application out of the 29 selected for an audit. Probing the Woods files of each application, or records that are supposed to back up assertions in the applications, Horowitz found that no Woods files existed for four of the applications while the remaining applications had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”
The FISC ordered the Department of Justice to review the applications.
That review found all 29 applications contained sufficient basis for probable cause, John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement on Monday. Two material errors uncovered during the review did not invalidate the FISC authorizations. In contrast, the Justice Department conceded early this year that the errors in the Page FISA applications invalidated two of the four warrants the bureau obtained.
The findings, along with the dozens of corrective actions undertaken by the FBI and the departments national security division, “should instill confidence” in the FBIs use of surveillance granted through FISC, Demers said.
A voicemail left for a Horowitz spokesman wasnt returned.
The portrayal triggered some pushback from lawmakers.
“So the FBI made 201 errors in 29 FISA warrants. But dont worry everybody because they reviewed their own files (except the four THEY LOST) and they have assured the court that none of the errors were significant. Nothing to see here. Move along,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) said in a social media statement.
In an 88-page explanation of the review, officials said 48 of the non-material errors reflect typographical errors or misstated dates. Seventy-three others involved “non-material deviations between a source document and an application.” The source of an otherwise factual assertion was misidentified in 13 errors; the remaining four involved assertions that may be accurate, but the supporting document was missing.
Horowitz, the inspector general, instituted the broader review after finding 17 significant errors or commissions in the applications to spy on Page. Many additional errors were uncovered in the Woods files for the applications.
Horowitz concluded that the errors and other failures constitute “serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents.”
The Page FISA applications cited the unverifiRead More From Source