In a follow-up audit of the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses against Trump campaign officials, the Justice Department’s Inspector General discovered widespread and systemic failures throughout the FBI’s FISA warrant application processes over a period of years.
The Office of Inspector General report released Tuesday detailed an audit of all 29 FISA applications under review from 2014-2019, and concluded it has “lack of confidence” in the bureau to properly follow its procedures to validate information.
“As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy,” the OIG said in a memo to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Specifically, the Woods Procedures mandate compiling supporting documentation for each fact in the FISA application.”
“Our testing of FISA applications to the associated Woods Files identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications we reviewed, and the interviews to date with available agents or supervisors in the field offices generally have been confirmed the issues we identified.”
The audit also found the FBI and DOJ’s National Security Division did not conduct the proper oversight for these applications or even attempt to document following its protocols in several instances.
“We could not review original Woods Files for 4 of the 29 selected FISA applications because the FBI has not been able to locate them and, in 3 of these instances, did not know if they ever existed,” the report states.
“FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures,” the report adds.
The IG did not evaluate whether the errors would have changed the FBI’s decision to file the applications or the FISA Court’s decision to approve them.
The IG report released in December 2019 found the FBI misled the FISC with at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in its FISA application of Trump campaign associate Carter Page, prompting the DOJ to invalidate the final two Page FISA warrants.
The massive abuse by the FBI against Donald Trump’s campaign prompted Inspector General Michael Horowitz to openly question whether it was an isolated incident or part of a “wider problem.”
“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?” Horowitz told Congress in December.
The audit appears to confirm that the FBI’s abuses are part of a systemic problem within the bureau.
Read the IG’s full report below:
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The President’s Lawyer, Jay Sekulow, addressed the secret FISA Court memo that Alex Jones and NSA whistleblower William Binney exposed 2 years ago.
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