The Justice Department has been ordered to identify previous cases and surveillance requests from a lawyer who was connected to the handling of the Carter Page applications in 2016.
The presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court demanded DOJ officials identify cases worked on by the lawyer who was criticized in the report from inspector general Michael Horowitz, according to an order that was made public on Friday.
(Video: Fox News)
In the unsealed Dec. 5 letter, written four days before Horowitz’s report was released, Judge Rosemary Collyer demanded the Justice Department provide the information and report on the accuracy of the surveillance requests as well what was done to discipline the lawyer in question, who has since reportedly resigned his post, Fox News reported. The Horowitz report revealed that he faces possible criminal prosecution.
Former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker believes “this story is not over yet,” and told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that whenever FBI or DOJ executives get involved in investigations, “it always turns out to burn them in the end.”
“This FISA court is really looking for answers and is very suspicious now of what the FBI is doing,” Whitaker said on “Your World” Friday, adding that the mistakes and omissions in the warrant used against the former Trump campaign adviser seem like “intentional acts.”
Though Horowitz concluded there was no political bias in the FBI’s launch of an investigation, he did not rule out that there was no political bias at all in the process.
Earlier in the week, Collyer – who signed the FBI’s first surveillance application for Page in 2016 – had issued a scathing rebuke of the FBI, accusing the bureau of misleading judges in the warrant process, citing the findings in Horowitz’s report.
“When FBI personnel misled [the Justice Department] in the ways described above, they equally misled” the court, Collyer wrote. “The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [inspector general’s] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor” expected of filings under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 18, 2019
The DOJ was given a Jan. 10 deadline to outline steps to be undertaken in an effort to correct problems with the FISA warrant process.
The unsealed order Friday also revealed that Collyer, the 74-year-old presiding judge on the FISA court whose term was set to expire in March 2020, will be stepping down from her position at the end of this year. Collyer, who is also a senior judge on the DC federal court, is leaving the post nine weeks early reportedly due to health issues. Chief Justice John Roberts will be replacing Collyer with her colleague, James Boasberg, who is one of 11 judges on the rotating FISA court.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has reportedly begun to address the FISA court’s issues and has already ordered more than 40 changes at the agency.
“As Director 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 FBI said in a statement. “FISA is an indispensable tool in national security investigations, and in recognition of our duty of candor to the Court and our responsibilities to the American people, the FBI is committed to working with the FISA Court and [the Justice Department] to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the FISA process.”
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