The chief judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has barred Justice Department and FBI officials under review for wiretapping former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page from appearing before the Court.
In a 19-page opinion, Judge James E. Boasberg ordered that “FBI personnel under disciplinary review in relation to their work on FISA applications accordingly should not participate in drafting, verifying, reviewing, or submitting such application to the Court while the review is pending.” He added that any “DOJ or FBI personnel under disciplinary or criminal review” are also prohibited from working on FISA applications.
Boasberg also called for a higher bar in regards to the disclosure of exculpatory evidence, and ordered agents to swear in future cases that any FISA warrant application contains “all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information or the reasonableness of any F.B.I. assessment in the application, or otherwise raise doubts about the requested findings.”
DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz detailed in his December report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation how the Bureau knowingly omitted details of Page’s prior working relationship with the CIA, as well as numerous potentially exculpatory statements he made to other sources, which undercut the Steele Dossier’s allegations used in the FBI’s warrants.
Horowitz also described how “FBI officials at every level” — including former deputy director Andrew McCabe and former director James Comey — reached a consensus that Steele was a reliable source, despite overhead concerns that his allegations could be biased given that he had been contracted by the Democratic National Committee through the research firm Fusion GPS.