Warrants to Spy on Carter Page Obtained Without FISA Court Hearings, DOJ Filing Reveals

By Craig Bannister | August 31, 2018 | 3:15pm EDT
Carter Page (Screenshot)

A Justice Department (DOJ) filing in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals that neither the initial warrant, nor any of its three renewals, to spy on Carter Page were subjected to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) hearing for approval.

On Friday, Judicial Watch announced the DOJ’s filing in response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request regarding the warrants granted to spy on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page:

“Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.”

“In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

“[Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.”

Indeed the DOJ filing posted by Judicial Watch affirms multiple times that no FISA court hearings were held:

“Specifically, FOIA staff consulted with knowledgeable subject matter experts in the Office of Intelligence. Those experts confirmed that, as is typical in proceedings before the FISC, no hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged Carter Page FISA applications, and thus no responsive transcripts exist.”

….

“In light of recent public disclosures about Carter Page, NSD confirms that it has conducted a reasonable search and that no such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist, and the partial “no records” response was proper.”

….

“Those supervisors reviewed their records and confirmed that, as is typical in proceedings before the FISC, no hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged Carter Page FISA applications, and thus no responsive transcripts exist.”

See full Judicial Watch report.

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