FBI errors in 2 dozen wiretap applications were mostly typos

dublinbay z6 (KS)

Trumpsters kept trying to undermine the FBI investigation into the Russian influence on our elections by spreading rumors about how error-laden those wiretap applications were.

Turns out they were partially right--lots of errors--but, as usual, making mountains out of molehills.


-----------------------

"The FBI said Thursday that it found mostly minor errors during a review of more than two dozen applications for national security surveillance warrants, suggesting the problems were less serious than the Justice Department inspector general had made them out to be earlier this year.

The FBI statement appeared aimed at countering the findings of a harshly critical audit issued in March by the Justice Department's watchdog. . . .

[. . .]

Taken together, the reports fueled criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike that the FBI's process for applying for surveillance warrants in terrorism and espionage investigations is riddled with significant errors that undermine the bureau's credibility.

But the FBI said Thursday that it and Justice Department lawyers had conducted their own review of the same 29 applications that the inspector general had examined. The FBI said it found only two material errors, and neither was believed to have affected a judge's decision that there was probable cause for the surveillance.

The FBI said that out of nearly 7,000 facts in the applications, there were rough 200 nonmaterial errors, such as typographical errors, misspelled words and date inaccuracies.

[. . .]

A December report from the watchdog office found significant errors and omissions during applications submitted to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, and said the FBI had failed to update the court when it received new information that undercut the premise for the surveillance.


https://news.yahoo.com/fbi-review-surveillance-applications-found-193223964.html

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Oh--all that fuss and noise raised by Trumpters to oppose the investigation into Russian "collusion" was about spelling and typing errors.

Oh.

Well, OK--let's get some better typists in the FBI--maybe check over how accurate or not spellcheck is--and voila! problem solved. Nothing left for the Trumplicans to hollar about.


Kate

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elvis

Uh-huh.

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lurker111

They made some typo's in the phony documents. Wow!

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Ziemia(6a)

But the FBI said Thursday that it and Justice Department lawyers had conducted their own review of the same 29 applications that the inspector general had examined.

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Ziemia(6a)

The FBI said it found only two material errors, and neither was believed to have affected a judge's decision that there was probable cause for the surveillance.

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Ziemia(6a)

Well, we do have some here who consider typos to be significant & material errors.

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elvis

So...the FBI says that the FBI didn't really make any mistakes that matter, despite what DOJ said. We see!

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mudhouse

Oh--all that fuss and noise raised by Trumpters to oppose the investigation into Russian "collusion" was about spelling and typing errors. Oh. Well, OK--let's get some better typists in the FBI--maybe check over how accurate or not spellcheck is--and voila! problem solved. Nothing left for the Trumplicans to hollar about.

No, Kate, you're wrong about that. The OP article is about a deeper sample audit that the FISA court ordered, after a Carter Page FISA application was found to have 17 significant errors and omissions on its own.

So in this completed audit, the FBI found only two material errors in 29 other applications (not the Carter Page FISA warrant applications) to surveil other American citizens. The two errors weren't serious enough to have changed the FISA Court’s decision to grant the underlying surveillance orders being requested.

That's good news for the FBI (and good news for the country) because it means the kinds of serious errors and omissions found in the Page warrant weren't happening on a regular basis.

But none of this changes the fact that the 17 problems in the Carter Page warrant were so problematic that the Justice Department invalidated two FISA orders granted to surveil Page. And the rate of 17 serious errors and omissions in one warrant application for Page is a huge difference when compared to only two material errors found in 29 warrant applications for other people.

The results of this audit show that the Carter Page warrants were handled in a way that wasn't representative of the usual FBI procedures. It adds evidence that Page's FISA applications were handled with intentional bias, and adds weight to the argument that Page was targeted by corrupt FBI officials.

So, pretty much the opposite of your conclusions in your opening post.

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Ziemia(6a)

However, those material errors were NOT found in the initial FISA concerning Page.

They were found in some of the following ones.

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Ziemia(6a)

"Horowitz had asked Durham whether he had evidence to support a right-wing theory that the investigation began as a setup by U.S. intelligence using a Maltese professor to entrap the Trump campaign, according to people who saw the draft. Durham said he did not"

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elvis

So let's get to the meat of Mud's post^^^:

...The OP article is about a deeper sample audit that the FISA court ordered, after a Carter Page FISA application was found to have 17 significant errors and omissions on its own.

So in this completed audit, the FBI found only two material errors in 29 other applications (not the Carter Page FISA warrant applications) to surveil other American citizens...

The results of this audit show that the Carter Page warrants were handled in a way that wasn't representative of the usual FBI procedures. It adds evidence that Page's FISA applications were handled with intentional bias, and adds weight to the argument that Page was targeted by corrupt FBI officials.

So, pretty much the opposite of your conclusions in your opening post.

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Ziemia(6a)

NOT the initial FISA....

As a personal note, I would expect that when such an investigation involves someone connected to a candidate for US president that special handling is a good thing.

Wonder if we'll see a clear description of the entirety in Durham's report. See, MH not specifying which warrants she's referring to is leaving out material information.

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adoptedbyhounds

"Oh--all that fuss and noise raised by Trumpters to oppose the
investigation into Russian "collusion" was about spelling and typing
errors."

Not so, Kate. That second audit was focused on FISA applications and the FBI's repeated violations of surveillance rules. In April, it was the FISA Court noting FBI failures, and they weren't talking about spelling errors.

FTA: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI after the Justice Department inspector general this week released new findings that the FBI repeatedly violated surveillance rules.

The court’s presiding judge ordered the FBI
to turn over the names of the 29 cases for which the inspector general
found had found no documentation to support accusations lodged in the
surveillance warrant applications.

An internal audit by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz concluded the FBI could not even locate supporting documentation, known as the Woods File, in four of the 29 cases. In three of those cases, Mr. Horowitz said, the FBI did not know if the files ever existed.

Source: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/3/fisa-judge-rips-fbi-orders-disclosure-targets-faul/

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FTA: Horowitz noted in the March, 2020 report that
his agents reviewed the FBI applications, “and met with available case
agents or supervisors who were responsible for them, to assess whether
the FBI complied with its Woods Procedures for FISA applications
submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).”

The
Woods Procedures were put into effect by the FBI in April, 2001. They
were meant to ensure that all the information presented to the FISA
Court when applying for a warrant to spy on a United States citizen was
fully vetted and verified by the Bureau.

Further, Horowitz stated in the
report that his investigator “obtained and reviewed information from the
FBI and the Department of Justice’s (Department or DOJ) National
Security Division (NSD) about their FISA application oversight
mechanisms. Specifically, in addition to interviewing FBI and NSD
officials, we reviewed 34 FBI and NSD accuracy review reports covering
the period from October 2014 to September 2019—which originated from the
8 field offices we have visited to date and addressed a total of 42
U.S. Person FISA applications, only one of which was also included among
the 29 FISA applications that we reviewed.”

source: https://saraacarter.com/ig-horowitz-we-do-not-have-confidence-that-the-fbi-has-executed-its-woods-procedures/


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mudhouse

Ziemia: As a personal note, I would expect that when such an investigation involves someone connected to a candidate for US president that special handling is a good thing.

The Justice Department believes that the surveillance of Page should have ended, at minimum, with the expiration of the second warrant, in early 2017. But FBI officials made sure that surveillance of Page could continue by "handling" the last two applications in such an egregious way that they were both invalidated by the DOJ.

You're calling the falsification of supporting information "special handling" that should be expected? And a good thing?

The FISA court was so furious at the revelation of the errors that they ordered the audit, now completed as explained in the OP. Collyer cited frequent representations by FBI personnel in the Page warrant applications that were unsupported and even contradicted by evidence in their possession.

And as the articles in adoptedbyhound's comment explain, there were four instances in the 29 audited warrants that indicate a lack of compliance with the Woods Procedures that are designed to ensure accuracy; a fact that Kate's article in the OP fails to mention.

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mrskjun(9)

Twisting themselves into pretzels. Hurry up Durham.

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Iris GW

Hurry up Durham.

What do you expect to get out of that report that it should be hurried?

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Ziemia(6a)

I keep referring to the INITIAL FISA warrant.

Not to the subsequent ones........... I have been consistent.

So, MH, you are carefully & clearly TWISTING my words. While ignoring that initial one.

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mudhouse

Ziemia, I really have no idea what you're going on about; I haven't typed one word about the initial FISA warrant; it was the last two FISA warrants that were invalidated by the Department of Justice (as I clearly posted above.)

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mudhouse

Ziemia, if the first Carter Page FISA warrant was flawlessly executed, would that excuse what the FBI did on the last two of the four, that were later invalidated because of serious errors and omissions?

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Ziemia(6a)

MH, which comments of mine are directed at you? Start there? I started by asking something about which you were concerned with - as I wonder about your selective context. (Ignore the start of the FISA thread of warrants) - and emphasize the sloppiness in later ones.

By not identifying that the later ones are later ones, it sounds like ALL of them are tainted by this investigation.

Edited

PS: I don't find that the later ones were that material. I am no particular fan or doubter of the FBI. The FBI has done horrible things locally (protecting murderous mob bosses) and also fantastic things.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

How about if we all go back and check dates? Seems like I'm talking about news that occurred just a few days ago, whereas all the Trumpsters rushing to refute anything I say are citing material from 4 or 5 months ago--heck, some of it goes back to Dec. 2019.

In other words, we are not talking about the same things.

My OP is a response to those claims made back in March-April--indicating what was wrong with what was said back then.

Here is what the OP said (taken from the linked source since I did not reproduce all of this here on HT):

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"The FBI said Thursday [July 30, 2020] that it found mostly minor errors during a review of more than two dozen applications for national security surveillance warrants, suggesting the problems were less serious than the Justice Department inspector general had made them out to be earlier this year [March-April 2020].

The FBI statement appeared aimed at countering the findings of a harshly critical audit issued in March by the Justice Department's watchdog, which identified problems in all 29 wiretap applications that it had reviewed, including apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in 25 of them.

The audit came months after an inspector general report on the FBI's Russia investigation found significant errors and omissions in applications the agency had submitted to wiretap a former Trump campaign aide.

[. . .]

. . . the FBI said Thursday that it and Justice Department lawyers had conducted their own review of the same 29 applications that the inspector general had examined. The FBI said it found only two material errors, and neither was believed to have affected a judge's decision that there was probable cause for the surveillance.

The FBI said that out of nearly 7,000 facts in the applications, there were rough 200 nonmaterial errors, such as typographical errors, misspelled words and date inaccuracies.

The FBI also said that each of the applications was submitted before FBI Director Chris Wray announced more than 40 changes aimed at improving the process and fixing problems identified by the inspector general."

-----------------------------

This is updated info., and not a rehash of what was said months and months ago.

Kate

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elvis

I like the fact that Mud made it very, very clear that the FBI made serious errors in the Carter Page FISA warrant applications.

While I am sure that was not your intent, to many who don't read carefully here, and we know there are many, your OP could be misconstrued, IMO.

I'm also glad to see that Mud pointed out the fact that a review of more recent applications reveals that the sorts of errors the FBI made in the Carter Page FISA warrants were not typical of the FBI, thereby making a glaring case for prejudice on the part of the FBI in the matter of the Carter Page FISA warrants.

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mudhouse

Kate, I lead with your words in my first comment in this thread because I was replying to your conclusions that the problems found were spelling and typing errors, and also to your comment that if the FBI could fix their spelling problem, Trump supporters would have nothing to be upset about.

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soupgirl53

It should be noted that there was sufficient probable cause for the initial FISA warrant relating to Carter Page and, most likely, the second one but the third and fourth FISA warrant applications had errors according to the inspector general and were invalidated by the Justice Department which is under the control of the highly partisan William Barr so no surprise there.

Because Carter Page was not charged with any crime and the FBI has taken the steps recommended to fix problems with its FISA application procedures, the article Kate posted is, in my opinion, the FBI finally standing up for itself after years of being trashed by Trump and Barr.


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heri_cles

Wait a second. Carter Page was suspected of being a Russian spy years before Trump hired him. And why was he hired? Who recommended him? Did they know he was suspected of being a Russian spy? What were his job responsibilities? What did he accomplish for Trump during his employment ?

When the answers to those questions are not apparent, you probably should investigate, and they did. .

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