Horowitz Says He Would Not Have Submitted Such a 'Misleading' FISA Application

By Susan Jones | December 11, 2019 | 11:58am EST
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies about the Inspector General's report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on December 11, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies about the Inspector General's report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on December 11, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The Justice Department inspector general's report found that FBI personnel "fell far short of the requirement...that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are 'scrupulously accurate.'"

On Wednesday, IG Michael Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would not have submitted the FISA application on Carter Page as it was presented to the court by the FBI and Justice Department, because the application was "misleading."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the committee chair, asked Horowitz if he, as a lawyer, would have submitted the FISA renewal applications the FBI submitted in January, April and June 2017, which did not reflect current information available to the FBI.

"Let me put it this way, I would not have submitted the one they put in," Horowitz said. "No doubt about it. It had no business going in."

Graham asked Horowitz if it's fair to say that by January -- three months after the initial FISA application was filed -- "the whole foundation of surveilling Carter Page collapses, exculpatory information is ignored, they lie to the court about what the interview was all about. Is that a fair summary so far about the January 2017 (application)?" Graham asked.

"They certainly misled -- it was misleading to the court," Horowitz said.

"In January...when they find more information that could be helpful to Mr. Page, they lie about it," Graham said. "Do you feel like Mr. Page was treated fairly by the Department of Justice and the FBI?"

"I don't think the Department of Justice fairly treated these FISAs, and he was on the receiving end of the FISAs," Horowitz responded.

"You would not want to be on the receiving end of this, would you?" Graham asked.

"I would not want agents or anybody failing to put forward all the information they're obligated to tell the court," Horowitz answered.

According to the IG report, the FBI sought and received a warrant from the FISA court to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page in October 2016.. The FBI then requested renewals of the warrant in January, April and June 2017.

But, as the IG report stated:

We identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed. We found that the problems we identified were primarily caused by the Crossfire Hurricane team failing to share all relevant information with (the attorney preparing the FISA) and, consequently, the information was not considered by the Department decision makers who ultimately decided to support the applications.




 

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