Public FISA court order slams FBI over surveillance applications

National Security Agency

Presiding FISC Judge Rosemary Collyer released to the public a blistering order in response to last week’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s dishonest applications. How dare the FBI appear before her court without a competing pleader. Therefore the government “has a heightened duty of candor to the [FISC] in ex parte proceedings.”

She says that the IG report found “troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information” to the court “which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession.” FBI officials also hid information from the court that was detrimental to their claim of probable cause that Mr. Page was an “agent of a foreign power.”

The Judge’s order demands that the government must inform the court “in a sworn written submission” no later than Jan. 10, what it has done and what it plans to do in the future to make sure no future FISA warrant applications aren’t tainted. This order is the first public evidence that the FISA judges believe they were deceived.

“The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above,” Collyer wrote in her four-page order (See Below). “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.”

“As [FBI Director Christopher Wray] has stated, the inspector general’s report describes conduct by certain FBI employees that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution,” the bureau responded in a statement Tuesday night. “The director has ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the report’s recommendations, including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG.”

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