This ‘order’ is sickening in its complete lack of any ramifications, and it basically gives both the DOJ and FBI the freedom to continue the abuses.. but hopes they won’t.
If anyone was hoping that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court would be ready to recommend ramifications for being lied to, tricked, and connived into conducting an investigation that attempted to impact the 2016 election and remove a sitting president, they were solely mistaken.
Many of us knew this was coming after David Kris, a career Obama ‘fixer’ was placed in charge of issuing the ‘reform’ recommendations.
Since congress wasn’t apparently able (thanks to public outcry and opposition from President Trump) to sneak through a FISA renewal along with the coronavirus legislation, suddenly, the FISA court has ‘responded’ to the proposed ‘improvements’ issued by the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning the massive illegal activity that went on for the past four years.
And the ‘response,’ is sickening to most Americans. [FISC Link Here].
Basically, the court said, ‘shame,’ and ‘don’t do it again,’ but they ordered no real ramifications, allowing the DOJ and FBI to continue in the same fashion. The court did ‘suspend’ a few agents who actually falsified records from making requests in the near future, but not permanently.
Conservative Treehouse reported yesterday:
In the opinion & order today, written by Presiding Judge Boasberg, the court does not address the ongoing downstream investigative consequences from the fraudulent Carter Page FISA application.
Instead the presiding judge focuses narrowly on the DOJ and FBI proposals for future applications.
The issues of what evidence the FBI/DOJ gathered from the exploitation of the fraudulent warrant is not addressed.
Nor does the court deal with the downstream issues of what cases may have been enhanced with illegally obtained surveillance authority.
Additionally, how the DOJ and FBI are attempting to round-up (“sequester”) any evidence that was gathered as a result of the fraudulent and unlawful FISA application is also not addressed.
Instead, within his opinion & order Judge Boasberg focuses exclusively on the recommendations from Amici Curiae David Kris, the appointed arbiter and liaison between the court and the DOJ, along with the changes proposed by FBI Director Christopher Wray and U.S. AG Bill Barr to the FISA application process.
The FISC opinion and order is embedded below and available in pdf form here.
The only FISC reform proposed, that could dissuade corrupt exploitation of the court, is simply a ruling that no DOJ or FBI official is allowed to participate in the FISA process if they are caught -and under review- for engaging in illicit conduct.
There are no legal consequences upon any DOJ or FBI member for any fraud upon the court in the past, present or future; they just get put in time-out.
The court walks through some of the Carter Page issues that need to be addressed by the FBI to ensure they do not take place again.
The court then asks the obvious question: How to keep it from happening again?
The court points out that reminding FBI and DOJ officials they are not allowed to falsify information to the FISA court is a little weak… all things considered:
The court also notes, obliquely, that unlawfully accessing a database to acquire evidence to support a FISA application is itself an issue of unlawful application assembly.
Hence the FISC notes the FBI is committed to “short and long-term technological improvements” that might stop the unlawful exploitation of databases containing the private information of Americans…. That’s the unwritten and implied message.
So that’s nice.
The court ends up agreeing mostly that FISA applications are based on the honor system, and in that process the only thing the FISC can suggest/order is for the FBI to have stronger attestations to the truthfulness and fullness of the application itself.
The court revises the language suggested for compliance forms and asks the DOJ and FBI to change the applications to include these more strongly worded promises and affirmations.
However, when there’s no legal punishment (serious prison time) for lying or manipulating the FISA applications, there is no reason to believe that double-dog swearing and promising will mean anything different when it comes to corrupt intents and purposes within the secret court process.
The mainstream media is highlighting only the part about the agents.
FBI officials involved in the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page have been blocked, at least temporarily, from appearing before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in regard to other cases, in rebuke that exceeded the remedial recommendations made by the independent monitor recently appointed by the court.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence to support a slew of Steele dossier claims, including that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague as part of a conspiracy with Russian hackers, that Page had received a large payment relating to the sale of a share of a Russian oil giant, that Russia was running a disinformation campaign through a nonexistent consulate in Miami, or that Russians possessed lurid blackmail material on the president.
“Omissions of material fact were the most prevalent and among the most serious problems with the Page applications,” Boasberg wrote. The judge pointed out that the inspector general had found that the FBI did not disclose to the court that it knew Page had a prior relationship with another intelligence agency from 2008 to 2013 — a period in which Page had voluntarily told the agency that he had contacts with Russians.
That apparently deliberate falsification of the FISA warrant evidence is believed to be among the subjects under review by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is analyzing all stages of the Page FISA and other matters in an ongoing criminal inquiry.
Last month, Attorney General William Barr told Senate Republicans he would be taking action to clean up the errors and omissions cited by Horowitz and the DOJ. [Yeah, sure.]
Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has been concerned with FISA warrant abuse, said Barr’s executive changes were “pretty comprehensive [and] very impressive.”
In his December report, Horowitz said four applications submitted to the FISA court, requesting approval to conduct surveillance on Page, presented an incomplete and inaccurate account of the evidence arguing for the surveillance – such as omissions of details that would have raised questions about FBI claims that Page was a Russian agent.
Horowitz found multiple instances in which the FBI did not follow its so-called “Woods Procedures” to independently verify facts presented by a third party. Instead, those facts were simply included in the FISA applications to monitor page.
Meanwhile, Joe Pientka — an FBI agent who Horowitz found was deeply involved in the Page FISA application process, as well as the bureau’s fateful interview with former national security adviser Michael Flynn — has been transferred to San Francisco and his name removed from the FBI’s website. Graham has recently sought to question Pientka, among others.
So, we have nothing. No real changes to the most invasive and unconstitutional activity in the nation.