IG: ‘17 Significant Inaccuracies and Omissions’ in FBI Applications for Warrant to Spy on Trump Campaign Adviser

Terence P. Jeffrey | December 9, 2019 | 5:41pm EST
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(Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
(Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

(CNSNews.com) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation committed “17 significant inaccuracies and omissions” in four sequential applications it made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when it successfully sought warrants to place surveillance on Carter Page, a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice reported today.

“At the request of the FBI,” said the IG report, “the Department [of Justice] filed four applications with the FISC seeking FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] authority targeting Carter Page: the first application on October [date redacted], 2016, and three renewal applications on January [redacted]. April [redacted], and June [redacted], 2017.

“A different FISC judge considered each application and issued the requested orders, collectively resulting in approximately 11 months of FISA coverage targeting Carter Page from October [redacted], 2016, to September [redacted], 2017,” said the report.

“We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications—7 in the first FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application,” the IG report said.

“As a result of the 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions we identified relevant information was not shared with, and consequently not considered by important department decision makers and the court, and the FISA applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probably cause was stronger than was actually the case,” said report.

“We determined that the inaccuracies and omissions we identified in the applications resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to department attorneys and failing to identify important issues for discussion,” said the report.

“Moreover,” said the report, “we concluded that case agents and SSAs did not give appropriate attention to facts that cut against probably cause, and that as the investigation progressed and more information tended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the FISA applications, the agents and SSAs did not reassess the information supporting probable cause.”

This took place in an FBI investigation probing the campaign of one of the major parties’ presidential candidates.

“We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI,” said the report, “even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny.”

According to the report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in March, Carter Page volunteered in January 2016 to serve as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

“In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump Campaign,” said the Mueller report.

“Carter Page worked for the Trump campaign from January 2016 to September 2016,” said the Mueller report. “He was formally and publicly announced as a foreign policy advisor by the candidate in March 2016.”

The Mueller report concluded that Mueller’s investigation “did not establish” that either Page or the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election.

“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” said the Mueller report.

“[The investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” the report said.


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