FISA Court issues rare public order rebuking FBI over DoJ IG report

The secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court on Tuesday issued a rare public order to the government following the release of a Justice Department Inspector General report critical of the FBI’s handling of warrant applications to spy on a member of the 2016 Trump campaign.

The order from Presiding Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, a President George W. Bush appointee who was further appointed to the FISA Court in 2016 by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, rebuked the FBI over its handling of four surveillance warrants for Carter Page, a one-time CIA asset who briefly joined the Trump campaign as a volunteer foreign policy advisor.

Collyer called the reports of FBI malfeasance by DoJ IG Michael Horowitz “troubling” and described the behavior of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor” owed to the court.

In addition, she ordered the government to explain how it will ensure in the future that such transgressions do not occur again. That explanation is due by early next year.

“The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described” earlier in the order, the document said.

“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” the order continued.

“The FISC expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the Court. Without it, the FISC cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis,” it added.

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