Ball of Collusion and FISA Reform

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz arrives to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, December 11, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
The participation of the court allows executive officials to evade accountability.

[Author’s Note: This week’s release of the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on FISA abuse (among other investigative irregularities) in the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation has spawned a welcome public discussion of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. What follows is an excerpt from my recently released book, Ball of Collusion, which undertakes to explain why I have long been a naysayer of FISA, which I first encountered in the early 1990s as a prosecutor handling terrorism cases — one of rare contexts in which FISA surveillance evidence sometimes seeps into criminal prosecutions. The discussion that follows is a prelude to

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