Promises to increase training and oversight to avoid future problems
While former FBI director James Comey defends the deceptions that took place under his watch and instead said his FBI was “sloppy,” the current FBI director Christopher Wray has apologized to the court in a public filing (link to pdf).
A chastened F.B.I. told a secretive court on Friday that it was increasing training and oversight for officials who work on national security wiretap applications in response to problems uncovered by a scathing inspector general report last month about botched surveillance targeting a former Trump campaign adviser.
In a rare unclassified and public filing before the court that oversees wiretapping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the F.B.I. also said it would extend its overhaul to requests for orders permitting it to collect logs of its targets’ communications and other business records — not just wiretaps of the contents of phone calls and emails.
“The F.B.I. has the utmost respect for this court and deeply regrets the errors and omission identified by” the inspector general, wrote the F.BI. director, Christopher A. Wray, in a statement included with the filing. He called the conduct described by the report “unacceptable and unrepresentative of the F.B.I. as an institution.”
FISA court appoints David Kris, former Obama-era national security leader at Main Justice, as amicus counsel: https://t.co/cX8PTEgPs5
— Mike Scarcella (@MikeScarcella) January 10, 2020
This is who the FISA Court appointed to assess FBI proposals to clean up their FISA act.
A vocal @DevinNunes critic and apologist for FBI misconduct.
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) January 11, 2020
Included in the FBI’s filing were the fixes that it proposes to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
The NYTimes continues:
The new filing, which detailed 12 steps, like enhancing checklists for preparing filings, added granular detail. It came in response to an unusual public order last month. Rosemary M. Collyer, then the presiding judge on FISA court, ordered the F.B.I. to propose fixes to its process by Jan. 10 to ensure the problems would not recur.
“The frequency with which representations made by F.B.I. 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 F.B.I. applications is reliable,” Judge Collyer wrote.
On Jan. 1, Judge James E. Boasberg took over Judge Collyer’s role on the FISA court. He will now have to evaluate whether the proposed changes are sufficient to restore the judges’ confidence in the factual affidavits F.B.I. officials submit or if more is necessary.
It is not clear whether Judge Boasberg will take such potential steps as appointing a “friend of the court” to critique the F.B.I.’s proposal before he issues any order.
Additionally, the proposal includes using the shockingly dishonest Page filing as a teachable moment for future FBI FISA requests.
Wray, who took over the FBI more than a month after the fourth and final Page FISA had been approved, said that one remedy he plans to implement will be to use the Page FISA as a case study in training sessions that FBI personnel will be required to undergo.
“FBI personnel will be instructed on the errors and omissions that were made in the Carter Page FISA applications and associated processes,” Wray said.
The training will include a test “to confirm that personnel understand the expectations and the materials,” as well as certification for FBI employees who have completed the training, he added.
Wray set April 30 as a deadline to complete the training.
It seems to me that a quick memo to all relevant FBI personnel would be sufficient: “Do not falsify emails or other documents to obtain FISA warrants; do not withhold exculpatory information on the target; do not lie, break the law, or otherwise bring shame on the FBI.” But they knew all that at the time and did it anyway. Because Orange Man Bad.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.