The FISA Court strikes back
Dec 18, 2019
Now that Inspector General Horowitz has delivered his report, the chief judge on the FISA court has felt compelled to write a letter to the FBI condemning their actions. The first two pages of the letter just give some background material. Then the Presiding Judge (Rosemary Collyer) launches into a full-fledged whipping of the FBI for its obviously illegal conduct.
On December 9, 2019, the government filed with the FISC public and classified versions of the OIG Report. 6 The OIG Report describes in detail the preparation of the four applications for electronic surveillance of Mr. Page. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. 7 It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. 8 In addition, while the fourth electronic surveillance application for Mr. Page was being prepared, an attorney in the FBI's Office of General Counsel (OGC) engaged in conduct that apparently was intended to mislead the FBI agent who ultimately swore to the facts in that application about whether Mr. Page had been a source of another government agency….
The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above. The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable. The FISC expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the Court. Without it, the FISC cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis.
THEREFORE, the Court ORDERS that the government shall, no later than January 10, 2020, inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application. In the event that the FBI at the time of that submission is not yet able to perform any of the planned steps described in the submission, it shall also include (a) a proposed timetable for implementing such measures and (b) an explanation of why, in the government's view, the information in FBI applications submitted in the interim should be regarded as reliable….
The FISA court (FISC) was set up originally to curb abuses of power conducted by the government and its agencies, such as the FBI. The problem is that this Court does not conduct its own investigations to see if the information provided by the FBI (or other agencies) is actually complete and accurate.
In this case, the FBI intentionally misled the FISC, and Justice Rosemary Collyer is holding the FBI accountable for its actions. While IG Horowitz was reluctant to impugn the FBI for “bias,” and he did not rule on the legality or illegality of their actions, he did not exonerate them either. He just told the facts that he had uncovered and left it to the DOJ to say which actions were illegal and worthy of prosecution.
Most of the IG’s findings have been known for more than a year already. Anyone who has listened to unbiased reports would have known this. The Horowitz report confirmed nearly everything in the Nunes memo that the congressman wrote back in February of 2018, a memo which, at the time, the Democrats and their news media claimed were just a pack of lies and half-truths.
Now, of course, Congressman Adam Schiff, who was privy to all of the same information as head of the House Intelligence Committee, has been “surprised” at the findings. He pretends that he did not know, but if Nunes knew, then Schiff knew also. Both serve on the same committee and have had access to the same documents from the beginning.
Even the Chicago Tribune, a prominent mainstream newspaper from Obama’s home town, ran an editorial by John Kass on December 12, wondering who will call out Adam Schiff for his lies.
Column: Horowitz report finally unmasks Adam Schiff. Who’s going to call him out on his lies?
Now that the Horowitz report is out, revealing all those lies told by the FBI as it worked to hamstring a presidency with a debunked Russia collusion theory, here’s a question:
Where do U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff — the Inspector Javert of Trump Impeachment Theater — and Schiff’s eager handmaidens of the Washington Democratic Media Complex go now to get their reputations back?
Nowhere. There is no place for them to go.
It really doesn’t matter where Schiff goes. The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will be blamed when impeachment boomerangs on the Democrats….
It was Schiff who insisted all along that FBI and Department of Justice officials did not abuse the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts or hide information from judges.
But according to Horowitz, that’s what the FBI did.
The “DOJ met the rigor, transparency and evidentiary basis needed to meet FISA's probable cause requirement,” insisted Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in a 2018 memo that should be carved in marble.
But the FBI didn’t meet those rigorous standards. It didn’t offer transparency. Officials hid evidence from the court, or fabricated evidence to get what it wanted.
Earlier, Schiff had claimed to have documents proving with no shadow of doubt that Trump had colluded with the Russians. If so, he failed to give that evidence to Robert Mueller, who was investigating that very issue. Mueller found no such evidence himself, even though he was a personal friend of former FBI director, James “Corney.”
Mr. Corney himself was forced to issue an apology of sorts. He signed the first three of these FISA warrants, according to the Nunes report in February 2018.
According to Nunes’ FISA memo, then-FBI Director James Comey signed the first three FISA applications on behalf of the FBI and then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed the fourth one.
And now the IG report has exonerated Devon Nunes and has shown Schiff to be the liar-in-chief. Ironically, Horowitz was an appointee by none other than President Obama. So no one dares to claim that he was a biased Trump shill. A Trump supporter would have been eager to accuse the FBI of bias and would have specified that the FBI actions were, in fact, “illegal.”
So now the fall-back position is for the House Democrats to try to impeach AG Barr before he is able to further expose their lies. If they can undermine Barr’s credibility, the unsuspecting public (those who listen to CNN) will not believe the hard documents that prove his statements. Of course, that propaganda too will go up in flames when the case actually goes to court and when the evidence forces the court to agree with Horowitz, Barr, and the FISC Court Judge Collyer.