Sunday, December 22

No Surprise...Misconduct Atop FBI

The latest DOJ IG report adds to the FBI's long history of executive misconduct, but Louis Freeh somehow remains in an unofficial "witness protection program"

Ray Blehar
December 22, 2019,  10:03 AM EST

On Monday, December 9th, DOJ IG John Horowitz reported that top FBI officials made 17 errors and omissions to the FISA court in order to justify surveillance on a U.S. citizen.   The report also found 51 violations of the procedures used for verifying and validating information in the FISA warrant submissions (a.k.a. the Woods Procedures).

Topping the list of misrepresentations, an FBI Office of General Counsel (OGC) attorney altered an email in order convince the court to renew a FISA warrant to spy on President Donald Trump.  The OGC attorney changed a single phrase in an email to make it appear that Carter Page, an associate of the Trump campaign and a CIA source, was not a CIA source.

The DOJ IG also found that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the court that likely would have put an end to the investigation almost immediately after it was opened.

Errors and omissions.
Alteration of email.
Withholding of exculpatory evidence

Sound familiar?

They should because reported similar episodes in its review and analysis of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's investigation of Penn State University (PSU).

The FBI took another hit when FISC judge Rosemary Collyer issued an strong rebuke of the FBI's handling of the case and called into question the reliability of evidence in other FISA applications.

"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." 

Rolling back the calendar to 2002, then FBI Director Robert Mueller was called into the FISC to address 75 instances of FISA cheating prior to him becoming the agency's head.

And who was at the helm before Mueller?  Louis Freeh.

While IG Horowitz's report did not answer why the most recent FISA cheating occurred, the answer seems rather obvious. FISA operates in secret and there's little chance that anyone is going to check the work, especially when the work is done at the executive level.