President Donald Trump questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray about his regret over the “errors” committed by the bureau in the FISA application process.
The president tweeted Saturday in response to Wray’s letter to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court acknowledging “the errors and omissions” in obtaining surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“FBI Director apologizes for FISA Errors (of which there were far to many to be a coincidence!).” @FoxNews Chris, what about all of the lives that were ruined because of the so-called “errors?” Are these “dirty cops” going to pay a big price for the fraud they committed?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
“Chris, what about all of the lives that were ruined because of the so-called ‘errors?'” Trump asked. “Are these ‘dirty cops’ going to pay a big price for the fraud they committed?”
Wray’s letter on Friday was a response to the FISC order dated December 17 which required the agency to provide its plans for how it would handle avoiding the issues that were addressed in a scathing report in December by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“The FBI has the utmost respect for this Court, and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the OIG,” Wray wrote, calling the failures “unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution.”
Horowitz’s report, which was released at the beginning of December, identified 17 errors and omissions committed by the FBI in the FISA application process against Page.
“The FBI is committed to working with the Court and DOJ to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the FISA process,” Wray wrote, responding to Judge Rosemary Collyer’s demand that the agency explain “what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application.”
More than 40 “corrective steps” were ordered by Wray who set an April 30 deadline for completion of training of personnel with “repeated messaging” intended to “result in a substantially renewed institutional focus on ensuring accuracy, transparency, and completeness in all FISA applications.”
FBI Replies to FISA Court order on FISA Abuse: more training and paperwork
Wray: I sent a video to the FBI to tell them how serious I am ?
No mention of discipline
And- there is a sealed(?) filing re: FBI atty Clinesmith (altered evidence)
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) January 11, 2020
But Trump’s tweeted question to Wray drew attention to the players involved in what Horowitz revealed were multiple instances of agents purposefully withholding evidence when applying to the court for the warrants to surveil Page.
“What has been described as a few irregularities become a massive criminal conspiracy over time to defraud the FISA court, to illegally surveil an American citizen, and to keep an operation open against a sitting president of the United States, violating every norm known to the rule of law,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said last month, telling Horowitz that he had “serious concerns about whether the FISA court can continue unless there is fundamental reform.”
“People at the highest level of our government took the law into their own hands. And when I say defraud the FISA court, I mean it,” he added.
Only one FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith – who has since left the bureau – was referred to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation for allegedly altering a document about Page.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity blasted Wray for the weak response, saying “that’s not enough.”
(Video: Fox News)
“Where’s the accountability? Where is the equal application of our laws?… With all due respect Director Wray, that’s not enough! Sorry!” the Fox News host said on “Hannity.”
“A premeditated fraud on a FISA Court to spy on a candidate, and a transition team, and a president. I’d like to see a little more outrage from you,” he added. “This is the world’s premier, number one, intelligence agency, 99% of FBI guys are the best in the world. Really? That’s your reaction?”
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