The court that granted the FBI surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has only ordered that the FBI review all warrant applications related to one FBI attorney and not all FBI agents involved in misconduct, according to a report.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) earlier this month ordered the FBI to re-verify all previous Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications involving Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI attorney who falsified evidence in the FBI’s efforts to seek a renewed surveillance warrant against Page.
But according to a report by Fox News’s Gregg Re, the FISC did not order the FBI to recheck warrant applications involving other officials who made significant omissions and errors in warrant applications to surveil Page.
Fox News reports:
The FISC’s failure to request a comprehensive evaluation of previous submissions has stunned court-watchers who have questioned whether enough is being done to deter future misconduct by the FBI. In the past, the FISC has gone so far as to prohibit some FBI agents from appearing before the court after finding impropriety.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Clinesmith had doctored an email that said Page was a source for the CIA to say that Page was “not” a source for the CIA.
However, Horowitz found many more examples of what the FISC itself has called “misconduct.”
In one example cited by Fox News, Horowitz found that an FBI supervisory special agent (SSA) responsible for ensuring that the bureau’s “Woods Procedures” were followed in this case — in that all factual assertions be independently verified and information contradicting those assertions be presented to the court — did not follow those procedures.
The SSA created a digital sub-file where reports by Christopher Steele, ex-British spy working for Fusion GPS, would be uploaded. Those reports were uncorroborated yet used to support the argument that Page was a foreign agent.
The SSA also suspected that Steele was a source for a news report that was included in warrant applications on Page, but he downplayed it in FISA applications. The SSA was also told by a State Department official that Steele was wrong about a claim but that information was not put in any FISA applications.
The SSA also failed to put in other information that was exculpatory for Page, such as Page denying to an FBI confidential human source (CHS) that he knew Russian officials Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin, which Steele had alleged.
The SSA was also aware that Steele had provided his reports to the State Department, but the FISC was told that Steele “only provided this information to the business associate and the FBI.”
Despite this, the FISC’s Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer only ordered the FBI to identify and review all matters that involved the participation of Clinesmith, and advise whether his conduct has been “referred to the appropriate bar association(s) for investigation or possible disciplinary action,” according to Fox News.
Republicans in Congress have demanded reforms of the FISC and FISA, to prevent future abuse of the process.