A week after the internal watchdog at the Department of Justice raised questions about possible misrepresentations made by the FBI to get a surveillance warrant against a former adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, a secret intelligence court ordered the feds to submit information about any errors related to the surveillance actions, and prepare materials to be publicly released.
In a four page order from Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer, the top judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the panel made clear it wants more answers on a series of questions raised in the IG's report about the veracity of some FBI submissions to the FISA court about surveillance requests on one time Trump adviser Carter Page.
"When FBI personnel mislead NSD (the National Security Division of the Department of Justice)," Judge Collyer wrote, "they equally mislead the FISC."
Writing about the IG report, the judge said the details document "troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession."
In Congress, one key ally of President Trump quickly said he would follow up on the FISC announcement with reforms of the FISA process.
"As Inspector General Horowitz’s report describes in great detail, the FISA process falsified evidence and withheld exculpatory evidence to obtain a warrant against Mr. Page on numerous occasions," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
"We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications," Horowitz told Congress earlier this month in his report, saying the "errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information."
"That so many basic and fundamental errors were made on four FISA applications by three separate, hand-picked teams, on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI and that FBI officials expected would eventually be subjected to close scrutiny, raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command's management and supervision of the FISA process," the report stated.
"I think it's fair for people to sit there look at all of these 17 events and wonder how it could be purely incompetence," Horowitz told Senators earlier this month, as he made clear he was not prepared to fully embrace the idea that all of the FISA mistakes were due to intentional acts.
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