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DOJ IG Report: “We do not have confidence that the FBI” acted “in compliance with FBI policy” on FISA applications

DOJ IG Report: “We do not have confidence that the FBI” acted “in compliance with FBI policy” on FISA applications

“a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications”

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowowitz released a report today on FBI practices in making Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications to the FISA court. If the entire country were not focused (understandably) on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, this would dominating the news.

As background, IG Horowitz found pervasive problems with the FISA applications regarding Carter Page, leading to an FBI apology, FBI Apologizes for Deceiving FISA Court in Order to Surveil Carter Page.

The current Report (pdf.), in the form of a Management Advisory, is a follow up focused more broadly on FBI practices, and concludes that the problems went far beyond the Carter Page applications. Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the Report:

As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy. Specifically, the Woods Procedures mandate compiling supporting documentation for each fact in the FISA application. Adherence to the Woods Procedures should result in such documentation as a means toward achievement of the FBI’s policy that FISA applications be “scrupulously accurate.” Our lack of confidence that the Woods Procedures are working as intended stems primarily from the fact that: (1) we could not review original Woods Files for 4 of the 29 selected FISA applications because the FBI has not been able to locate them and, in 3 of these instances, did not know if they ever existed; (2) our testing of FISA applications to the associated Woods Files identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications we reviewed, and interviews to date with available agents or supervisors in field offices generally have confirmed the issues we identified; (3) existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms have also identified deficiencies in documentary support and application accuracy that are similar to those that we have observed to date; and (4) FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures.

… we believe that a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications through its Woods Procedures undermines the FBI’s ability to achieve its “scrupulously accurate” standard for FISA applications.

This may sound like a lot of technicalities and dense. But Tobia Hoonhout explains the importance at National Review, IG Horowitz Found ‘Apparent Errors or Inadequately Supported Facts’ in Every Single FBI FISA Application He Reviewed:

The Woods Procedure dictates that the Justice Department verify the accuracy and provide evidentiary support for all facts stated in its FISA application. The FBI is required to share with the FISA Court all relevant information compiled in the Woods File when applying for a surveillance warrant.

“FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures,” the report states.

The OIG concludes by recommending that the FBI “systematically and regularly examine the results of past and future accuracy reviews to identify patterns or trends in identified errors” relating to the Woods Procedure, as well as double-checking “that Woods Files exist for every FISA application submitted to the FISC in all pending investigations.”

What will happen to the FBI officials involved in these failures to follow FBI policy?

(You must be new around here.)


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Deep Plunger is still clearing the muck from Water Closet. A certain, but necessary distraction, and a plausible first-order forcing of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change and collateral damage. I guess they didn’t predict the migration of Wuhan-virus (SARS-CoV-2).

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to n.n. | March 31, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Can’t we just Lay Off all of them?


    As the Press Begins Laying Off “Journalists,” Suddenly “Journalists” Discover That There Is an Actual Cost to Economic Shutdown

    It didn’t matter, and was a cost that could be cavalierly dismissed — until our precious “journalists” started losing jobs.

“a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications”

Lying liars who repeatedly lie they are, then.

    JOHN B in reply to guinspen. | March 31, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    People are in prison for “lying” to FBI agents.

    But FBI agents lying to a federal judge is merely not following procedures?

    And they will get away with it because the virus will give thme cover for a long time.

    Owego in reply to guinspen. | April 1, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Or, in FBI speak when speaking of each other, they were “less than candid.”

bobinreverse | March 31, 2020 at 9:29 pm

Better to do what Barry asked wanted presently and worry about consequences later than defy him and lose your job or maybe worse – get labelled the ever popular ray cis.

FBI Apologizes for Deceiving FISA Court in Order to Surveil Carter Page.

Christmas In Jail, if only.

    Apology not accepted.

    An apology needs to be consist with self-invoked restitution.

    What is the restitution? – Resignation, full public disclosure, etc.

    This is COMPLETE b.s.

    What’s next, renaming ‘Pelosi Center’ (formerly known as the Kennedy Center) ‘FBI Center’?

    Man, how America’s trust in that agency has been destroyed. And how Christopher Wray remains in charge of it is dark comedy.

    And how AG Barr-Sessions can keep a straight face is more dark comedy.

Wouldn’t even rate page 10, the msm would bury it. Can’t have our hero obungle be less than perfect.

What would the US DoJ do to a state or local agency that ginned up a bunch of fake warrants? I know this is an apple and oranges comparison, but look no further than Joe Arpio. The US DoJ and fbi have been political weapons for a long time.

Screw your apologies. We want guilty pleas and jail time.

    puhiawa in reply to txvet2. | March 31, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Horowitz is a huber.

      Worse: at best, he’s a patsy, and if he is, quite a pathetic.

      But, a real patsy would be VERY pissed at being so played, and would be exacting retribution. He’s not too pissed, is he?

      We would have never heard of this useful idiot if it weren’t for the election of PDJT.

So they were fucking liars that didn’t do what the LAW said they were supposed to be doing.

Forget indicting them. When are they going to FIRE the first one.

Wray needs to be fired yesterday. He has zero interest in doing anything about this lawlessness.

Blah, blah, blah, blah…

Speaking of blah,blah, blah, blah: AG Barr-Sessions should be dumped.

We need a non-swamper as our AG.

JusticeDelivered | March 31, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Are heads going to roll?

This is a surprise to absolutely no one. It has been clear for 3 years that the FBI/DOJ is nothing but a criminal cabal from the lowliest person to the very top, including Wray. In fact there is likely not a single jurisdiction in the country, not one, that does note participate in process crime, extortion and bribery. The jury is out on Barr…who has done absolutely nothing to deter institutional crime. And the longer he does nothing, the more he becomes embedded in the system and the rewards and punishment it metes out.

    lichau in reply to puhiawa. | April 1, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Not three years for anyone paying attention. Read any bio of J. Edgar Hoover. Corrupt since the get go.

Subotai Bahadur | March 31, 2020 at 10:43 pm

The article headline is wrong.

“We do not have confidence that the FBI” acted “in compliance with FBI policy” on FISA applications.

They acted in absolute compliance with FBI policy which is to ignore the law and the Constitution to serve the Left in all things. It is what it is. Until there are consequences commensurate with getting caught trying to overthrow the Constitution with malice aforethought, there will be no changes in FBI policy.

Subotai Bahadur

Katy L. Stamper | March 31, 2020 at 10:46 pm

We knew they were dishonest.

The question is, why hasn’t a damn thing been done to put these people in jail.

Any normal American would have been jailed and worse.

A.G. Barr, are you able to act in a manly or honorable fashion, to do your duty to prosecute ANYONE for the criminality involved? Or do you intend for us to endure coups on a regular basis while normal Americans go to jail for far far less.

If so, resign, and save us the double standard.

    “were” dishonest?

    And is lois lerner in prison? Is clinton? Kerry? Biden? Pelosi?

    Barr has failed us. Whatever he does, it will likely be too little, too late.

    That said, is he saving it all for the summer? Unlikely. Will durham submit a fingerwagging report that is also redacted? Likely.

    SOLUTION: Re-elect PDJT and DEMAND Barr-sessions be fired.

    The most incredible revelation in all this is how CORRUPT the ‘news’ media is in this country. Not even all of us knew how sinister and treasonous it really has become. Just ask the Chi-Comm Dept of Bribery.

Something about the wheels of justice, and grinding fine.. blah blah blah,,, but, they aren’t even moving..Not as far as I can tell.

I had such high hopes… I used to have a retirement fund too.
Good times.

Katy L. Stamper | March 31, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Oh- and A.G. Barr — spare us the EARN IT act.

There’s no damn reason we should have all of our communications unencrypted so the likes of these bottomfeeders can have access to all of it.

The federal government has done not one damn thing to earn the privilege of pouring over every Normal American’s communications.

What was it with the Garland, Texas thing anyway? How far does the FBI have to go, to let the R.O.P. use Americans for target practice?

We’re overdue for a revolution. Trump was our best try, and if the deep state and the left continue to nullify that effort, you’re not leaving many options on the table.

Oh, and the whole Jamie Gorsuch (sp?) thing, erecting a wall between domestic and foreign intelligence so that 3,000 Americans could jump off roofs, etc.

So WHY should we go along with this intrusion into our private papers in violation of the 4th Amendment?

Does ANY amendment mean anything to the federal government employees? I’ll tell you how much it means to them: the same it meant to Abraham Lincoln, which is to say nothing. He never met a constitutional principle he didn’t violate.

Katy L. Stamper | March 31, 2020 at 10:56 pm

And indicting Venezuelans? We got rotting fish in our own pond and he goes to another lake thousands of miles away and wants to clean IT???

What the hell is that?

I don’t want law enforcement in other countries, I want it here in the good ole U.S. of A.

Are we the world’s policemen? What the hell?

    MarkSmith in reply to Katy L. Stamper. | April 1, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Well it is a little more complex than that. Considering the the Dems have been using Venz and Ukrine and Syria to funnel money to their liberal causes, it is a BIG deal. The question is will they act on it, or is it just show like the the Obama’s expelled Russians and the Mueller weak charges that were dropped on the Russians.

      Close The Fed in reply to MarkSmith. | April 1, 2020 at 11:31 am

      Interesting point.

      But we had an attempted coup here.

      Not as “complex,” but more important.

        Subotai Bahadur in reply to Close The Fed. | April 1, 2020 at 2:29 pm

        What basis is there to say that “we had an attempted coup here”? What justifies the use of the past tense? In the absence of any consequence, punishment, or protective measures to stop it; the present tense would seem to be more appropriate.

        Subotai Bahadur

“a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications”

Check me if I’m wrong, but if bodies can’t support their “factual statements,” are said statements indeed “factual?”


Take it away, Loudon.

Dead Skunk

I’m not terribly overtorqued about failure to follow FBI policies. “Policies” are of little interest to the victims of depredation.

A law enforcement agency’s failure to adhere to law, however, is intolerable.

I also see a failure—no, a collapse—of the FISA court, its procedures, and its personnel. Can’t blame that on the FBI.

“…this would dominating the news.”


you’re a great guy Professor, but even if it was a dead news day, with no big story, this would be ignored, just as the credible allegations against Slow Joe Biden are.

no one is going to jail, no one is getting fired, no one will even get a letter of reprimand, or a transfer to the Aleutian Islands.

business as usual will continue: The Deep State protects its own.

So essentially the entire FISA Court system is a complete failure in all possible regards?

    Owego in reply to Voyager. | April 1, 2020 at 8:21 am

    I’m guessing there have been successes, how many and for how long are unknown, and that is the reason for the continued stonewalling about much if not all things FISA. It’s work has probably turned over much of little consequence about multitudes of publicly recognized names many of whom would howl were it made public (many of who also ignore the current deficiencies and disclosures). All that said, it’s time to 1) kill this star chamber-dead, and 2) proceed with full disclosure and prosecutions of EVERYONE, from the lowliest clerk up through the Comeys and Muellers, who ever had any role in or knowledge of any of these shenanigans. Argue as others will, the time has come when the cost of this star chamber has apparently exceeded its value to the country and its body politic. Kick it open and let the country decide whether it added anything to its safety.

They’ve had a prima facia case against agent Clinesmith for evidence tampering since last December. Where’s the indictment?

I had such high hopes for AG Barr.

    snopercod in reply to BKC. | April 1, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Have you ever read about Barr’s involvement in Ruby Ridge? I’m afraid that Barr is a swamp dweller from way back.

      I was about to write: “It’s turning out that way,” but let’s face it: it’s turned out that way.

      Only solution: relection of PDJT and firing of Barr on the day after the election.

      For all those interested in reading about Barr-sessions and Ruby Ridge/FBI sniper killings:

      After Randy Weaver, an outspoken white separatist living on a mountaintop in northern Idaho, was entrapped by an undercover federal agent, U.S. marshals trespassed on Weaver’s land and killed his 14-year-old son, Sammy. The following day, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi killed his wife, Vicki, as she was standing in the cabin doorway. Horiuchi had previously shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of the cabin. The suspects were never given a warning or a chance to surrender and had taken no action against FBI agents. Weaver survived. After an Idaho jury found Weaver not guilty on almost all charges, federal judge Edward Lodge slammed the Justice Department and FBI for concealing evidence and showing “a callous disregard for the rights of the defendants and the interests of justice.” A Justice Department internal investigation compiled a 542-page report detailing federal misconduct and coverups in the case and suggested criminal charges against FBI officials involved in Ruby Ridge. Barr told the New York Times in 1993 that he was not directly involved in the Ruby Ridge operation. Two years later, the Washington Post revealed that “top officials of the Bush Justice Department had at least 20 [phone] contacts concerning Ruby Ridge in the 24 hours before Vicki Weaver was shot,” including two calls involving Barr.

      We are one election away from ourselves being declared “white separatists” – even if you’re black!

      Remember obama’s statements:

      Obama Calls for Civilian Force as Large as the Military!

      Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’

      These statements, from a muslim sociopath.

Well, certainly no surprises in this. The report is broad, general, omits specifics, and asks more question than it answers. I’ll just put two here: 1. Admittedly having read only the professor’s excerpts, why, as with virtually all other releases regarding this whole stinking mess, has it not addressed the FISA judges? Are we to believe these folks were completely oblivious about what was going on around them, were a collection of innocents and babes-in-the-woods? That’s asking an awful lot. 2. The report found that accountability measures needed improving (or something to that effect, can’t go back for the exact quote while typing this), so what were they? It was established long ago that the 302s were faulty and outright fraudulent; why would anyone assume at this late date that accountability measures even exist, never mind need improving? My guess is that any such things that did/do exist were written – er, “crafted” in beltway speak – to exclude DoJ and other lilly white, dedicated public servants who would, unquestionably, never conduct themselves in anything but the most honorable manner.

The report is something, but not much. Cynicism and disgust continue unabated.

And yet, NOTHING happens. Confidence in government? There needs to be a real downside for these actions. Honest citizens are in prison and have felony records because of FBI agents lawbreakers.

Can we stop calling them “errors”?
Those were no errors. That was intentional abuse of power. Let’s stop the kiddie gloves treatment and start arresting people.

I think we all know now, that 302s are whatever the FBI decides to put in them.

The dogs bark, but the Kabuki Karavan rolls on…

It’s amazing how convenient is has become for the deep state to “lose” records but oh yeah, they have records of every one of us back to our first high school job. If they can’t find the records the records keeper needs to be prosecuted with the same fury as the people who hid/destroyed them.

But once again these clowns will see not so much as a slap on the wrist.

I’m sure this is incorporated into the language but one of the central issues was again the FBI’s relying on “302 reports” in lieu of taped records for interviews. Mueller fought Congress in the past and prevailed on this issue. That needs to be changed. It has clearly become a key component to Team Mueller’s framing people going back decades and I can’t understand why Congress agreed to allow it to continue. As it stands, truth is whatever the FBI says it is and the the system is set up to keep it that way.

I read the report. Short version:
1) The National Security Division, Office of Intelligence is supposed to to audit FBI compliance to Wood’s procedures;
2) They didn’t because the FBI didn’t bother sending them the documents for audit
3) Nobody gave a happy crap about it
4) The results of what few audits the NSD-OI did perform were to be used by the FBI for internal improvement and training
5) The FBI ignored them
6) Nobody gave a happy crap about it.

The report also included the FBI response, which was:
“I guess we’re supposed to start caring about this stuff.”

JackinSilverSpring | April 1, 2020 at 11:04 am

Regretfully, DOJ and the FBI are headwd by two cyphers. Nothing will happen until they are replaced by people willing to clean up the Augean stables.

inspectorudy | April 1, 2020 at 11:10 am

Go back to the Ted Stevens case and we find serious “Misconduct” by the federal prosecutors in that trial. Andrew Weisman was part of that team and no punishment was enforced against any of them for criminal misconduct. That was like an early warning that the federal system was way out of control. But it also means that judges and DoJ/FBI too were pushing the laws to suit themselves. Then obama comes along, appoints cronies to every position of power, including federal judges, and the entire system is now broken to the point that law enforcement is totally political. But the most devastating thing is that the IG and all of the usual watchdogs are part of the same corruption!

As the FBI is not a Constitutional authorized agency, shut it and the plethora of other alphabet agencies down, return to the Constitution.

I’ll state this very simply and very plainly, they don’t care. They know full well that there will be no consequences for taking whatever shortcuts they deem needed to get the warrants signed.