The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for “misconduct” in the Carter Page surveillance warrant. Some would call this accountability. Others will more rightly call it the FISC’s “shocked to find gambling” moment.
Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her four-page rebuke of the FBI Tuesday, after a Justice Department inspector general report publicly exposing the FBI’s abuses. The judge blasted the FBI for misleading the court by providing “unsupported or contradicted” information and by withholding exculpatory details about Mr. Page. The FISC noted the seriousness of the conduct and gave the FBI until Jan. 10 to explain how it will do better.
The order depicts a court stunned to discover that the FBI failed in its “duty of candor,” and angry it was duped. That’s disingenuous. To buy it, you’d have to believe that not one of the court’s 11 members—all federal judges—caught a whiff of this controversy until now. More importantly, you’d have to ignore that the court was directly informed of the FBI’s abuses nearly two years ago.
On Feb. 7, 2018, Devin Nunes, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Judge Collyer informing her of its findings in his probe of the FBI’s Page application. He wrote that “the Committee found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information” that went to the court, “misled the FISC regarding dissemination of this information,” and “failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.” Mr. Nunes asked the court whether any transcripts of FISC hearings about this application existed, and if so, to provide them to the committee.
Judge Collyer responded a week later, with a dismissive letter that addressed only the last request. The judge observed that any such transcripts would be classified, that the court doesn’t maintain a “systematic record” of proceedings and that, given “separation of power considerations,” Mr. Nunes would be better off asking the Justice Department. The letter makes no reference to the Intelligence Committee findings.
Mr. Nunes tried again in a June 13, 2018, follow-up letter, which I have obtained. He told the court that Congress “uncovered evidence that DOJ and FBI provided incomplete and potentially incorrect information to the Court,” and that “significant relevant information was not disclosed to the Court.” This was Mr. Nunes telling FISC exactly what Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the world—18 months sooner. Mr. Nunes asked Judge Collyer to “initiate a thorough investigation.” To assist her, the same month he separately sent FISC “a classified summary of Congress’s findings and facts” to that point. The letter was signed by all 13 Republican members of the Intelligence Committee.
Judge Collyer blew him off. Her letter on June 15, 2018, is four lines long. She informs Mr. Nunes she’s received his letter. She says she’s also received his classified information. She says she’s instructing staff to provide his info to “the judges who ruled on the referenced matters.” She thanks him for his “interest” in the court.
This is stunning, given the House Intelligence Committee has oversight jurisdiction of FISA. And Mr. Nunes didn’t come to the court with mere suspicions; he provided facts, following a thorough investigation. The court at the very least had an obligation to demand answers from the FBI and the Justice Department.
It didn’t—because it didn’t want to know. One of the biggest criticisms of the FISA court since its inception is that it is a rubber stamp for law enforcement. The FISA process is one in which government lawyers secretly and unilaterally present their case for surveillance to judges, with no defense attorney to argue in opposition. The system relies on judges to push back, but they don’t. Until recently, the FISA court routinely approved 100% of the applications before it.
Just as it rubber stamped the Page warrant. That application made clear the FBI was asking to spy on a U.S. citizen associated with a presidential candidate. And the court was provided a footnote indicating political operators were involved in producing the allegations. If ever there was time to grill a few government lawyers, this was it. Yet from the inspector general’s evidence, the court whipped through the warrant with barely a blink.
Where is Greg screaming about oversight?
Judge Rosemary M. Collyer was appointed to the United States District Court in January 2003. She had been a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP from 1989 to 2003. Judge Collyer served as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (1984-89) and Chairman of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (1981-1984). She graduated from the University of Denver College of Law (1977) and Trinity College Washington, D.C. (1968). She practiced law with Sherman & Howard in Denver, Colorado, before her government service. Judge Collyer is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American Bar Association Foundation.
No experience in counter intelligence, if she needs instruction on a matter she should have a cup of tea with the Chief Justice of SC as she seems clueless in running her own court.
Better yet just kill this unconstitutional establishment.
Who do you believe; some Republican on a committee or the honor and integrity of the FBI? Slowly but surely, the reality of the deep state is exposed and the damage done to institutions we HAVE to depend on is revealed. Democrats have made the effort to undercut every institution we depend on for our safety and security, turning them into their own political weapons.
Exposure is the first step. Repairing the damage is next.
Presiding FISA judge Rosemary Collyer will be stepping down early due to ‘health issues’ reported NY Times.
Chief Justice Roberts tapped Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee to replace Collyer.
Collyer will apparently remain a FISA judge; her term ends in March.
These FISA judges seem oblivious to what goes on in the real world.
They just take the word of the FBI for everything.
We need to stop thinking like democrats, this court doesnt work, end it, stop pouring good money after bad into it.
The presiding Justice wants those that ignored all the rules, and this isnt the first time, to tell her how they are going to fix it while some of the perps still collect US tax dollar paychecks.
Signed into law by Jimmy Carter who also gave us the Department of Education, I dont need to tell you how our educational system has thrived under federal control.
I would guess the judge failed to roll over because Nunes is an obvious Trump tool who was working every possible angle to undermine investigations of his master. He had already been caught reporting back to the White House concerning the committee investigation the previous year, and cleverly weaseled out of recusing himself.
Now, of course, things have got to the point where McConnell can openly confess to being a White House tool who intends to rig the Senate impeachment trial per White House instructions, and no one on the right even blinks. But this is now, and that was then. People have been led a long way further down the garden path. It has all happened—and continues to happen—so gradually that the frog hasn’t jumped out of the pan.
Were you crushed when the founder of your go to site for all things anti-Trump admitted he was wrong about the Nunes memo?
“On a Thursday podcast hosted by Stewart Baker, a partner at the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, the blog’s founder, Bobby Chesney admitted that the damming report from the DOJ IG documenting FBI abuses and vindicating the infamous Nunes memo on the discredited Steele Dossier alleging Russian collusion has been destructive to his publication’s reputation.
“Is there somebody who since the release of the Horowitz paper, someone in political life or a pontificator looks better or worse as a result of this report and why?” Baker asked the panel of three legal experts who specialize in the intelligence community.
I feel like all of us, who, you might call us the ‘Lawfare crowd’ who were often denounced or criticized at least in the older days as being too quick to credit and too trust the good faith and completeness of the efforts of the FBI in this kind of context. A lot of us look bad right now and we’re sort of watching anxiously to see how the broader OIG investigation sheds light on whether this was a one-off problem or a broader problem but there’s not question that a lot of our positions don’t look as persuasive as a result of how this has turned out.”
You didn’t bother to link to The Federalist article, and the Federalist article didn’t bother to link to the podcast they’re spinning.
The fact that Nunes got something right in his memo doesn’t change the fact that the inspector general determined there was adequate justification for the FISA warrants and the investigation of the Trump campaign’s interaction with the Russians.
Nunes is a tool. Every investigation of Trump has been fully justified. McConnell is complicit in a cover up, and has publicly announced his intention to provide Trump with a rigged Senate trial. Witnesses with direct, first-hand knowledge who Trump blocked from testifying should be called and compelled to testify. If McConnell thinks that should include Hunter Biden, so be it. Let the pieces fall where they may. Let’s see who can survive full disclosure of the truth.
So what? Do you deny that Bobby Chesney was quoted correctly? And how do you spin a pod cast when people can listen for themselves?
Nunes not only got “something” right, he was right over the target. That is why he caught so much flak. And yes, it might be the impression of the IG felt there was a predicate for the investigation, but he also stated that by January 2017 the FBI knew their basis for the investigation was all hog wash. Yet, the FBI persisted. Can you at least admit that much or are you so indoctrinated you are incapable of accepting the truth?
As is Nancy Pelosi and Chuck (The Schmuck) Schumer, only for the other side.
Wow!!! You really are an idiot, aren’t you?
Wrong. McConnell has announce that he intends to proceed with the trial in the same manner, using the same rules, as was done in the Clinton impeachment.
Your beloved Socialists (the Democrats) could have gone to court. But remember, impeachment vote was too important to actually take the legal steps to compel testimony by court order so they rushed it through only to have Pelosi now sit on it.
I have no desire to see Hunter Biden testify. I want to see JOE Biden testify. Remember, even a past VP can still be impeached.
@retire05: Let me give you what Gregs boobtube slate vox angle will amt to.
No political bias, investigation, had adequate justification, Barr is a tool, Durham is a tool, anyone that goes on the basis of innocent until proven guilty is a Trump tool.
So what is that the quote had a context, which the article omits along with a link so their readers can listen for themselves. The Cyberlaw Podcast: Examining the DOJ Inspector General’s FBI-FISA Report. Maybe you should listen to it, if you’re going to expound on its significance.
As is pointed out during the discussion, the faults Horowitz found with the FISA warrant application process don’t mean the counterintelligence wasn’t adequately justified. The facts were sufficient to justify the investigation.
Maybe they though McConnell would have enough integrity to conduct a real and impartial trial, as he will take an oath to do, but has stated he will not. Maybe they will take the matter of Trump ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas to court, and put the entire process on hold until they’ve got a decision.
What were those facts? The super verified dossier? Steele and his Russian disinformation?
You made the statement back it up.
BUT… Nunes was proven to be totally accurate and correct. So, is it your practice to just discard facts and truth if it is associated with someone you don’t like? I THINK that is the general practice of your entire party. It’s how they ran the impeachment “hearings”.
What was it Nunes got wrong? Please explain. And, the IG report PROVED the FISA warrants were NEVER in any way justified. The only justification was a political justification; Obama wanted to know what Trump was doing to help Hillary. He even called off the efforts to block Russian intervention because they were going to help Hillary.
You DO know that McConnell has said he wants to use the exact same rules the Democrats all supported for the Clinton impeachment… right? The actual problem is that Democrats don’t WANT a fair trial; they want one like they ran in the House.
Greggie continues to post silly posts because as I have said before he has no capacity to reason. Nunes was proven right. It matters not what people think about him when “FACTS” not hearsay are proven to be correct. It is the facts that determine the truth. Greggie and his kind lack the capacity to even recognize facts when presented. It is not profitable to argue with a rock.
Nunes was not the first one to try to bring reason to the FISC. Landmark Legal filed with the FISC advising the court of the shenanigans going on and it was totally ignored.
Those FISC records need to be released. In a FISC, it is the responsibility of the government to present both sides of a case, including exculpatory evidence. That was not done. And that is a violation of FISC rules.
Ok…not a serious person having a serious conversation.
Great work, buddy.
The inquiry was not fair nor impartial. To make the Dems deal with their own findings is beyond fair.
McConnell has already said he’d conduct the trial the same way as Clintons, but that doesn’t allow the Dems to pull more tricks, so they are pissed.
This is all a miscarriage of justice by the Dems, and the Reps own the Dems no impartiality or giving up of their legal powers.
After the farce in the House, that’s only fair.