(ReliableNews.org) – Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump have been calling for investigations into the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants for years, sounding the alarm about abuses while the media downplayed them. In December 2019, they were vindicated when the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (IG) found “significant errors and omissions” in FISA applications regarding the Russia probe.
Now, the American public’s learning the FISA mistakes are significantly farther reaching.
#FISA Audit from Oct2014 to Sept2019 has significant overlap FBI Director Comey. IG Horowitz: “testing of FISA applications to the associated Woods Files (underlying records) identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications..” @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/j6Vp9KJVIQ
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) March 31, 2020
On March 30, the Justice Department Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, released a memo outlining the broken FISA system. In short, the IG’s team went to 8 FBI offices over the last 2 months and selected 29 applications related to the surveillance of Americans. The investigation was to determine whether or not the FBI followed Woods procedures when submitting FISA applications to the court.
Woods Procedures Violated
When the FBI is completing a FISA application, they must submit a substantial amount of paperwork to support their claims. Then the application goes through a verification process known as Woods procedures to ensure the surveillance request is backed up by evidence. The IG’s team found agents did not do this properly.
Horowitz’s team found an “average of about 20 issues per application.” One application had 65 errors. Some of the mistakes include not attaching supporting documents to back up claims. The IG’s team also noticed some of the files were missing the sign-offs from handling agents about the reliability and trustworthiness of their confidential informants. Further, FBI agents compiling the information didn’t follow department policy and reverify it in some cases.
The IG’s memo stated the law enforcement agency was not executing its Woods procedures in “compliance with FBI policy.” In other words, the important applications that they had to use to conduct surveillance on American citizens were incomplete.
The system has to be reformed or the abuse will continue. Americans need to demand change or who knows, they could be spied on next.
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