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FISA Court Issues Rare Public Order Condemning FBI for Russia Probe Abuses and Demanding Reforms

(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

In a rare public order issued Tuesday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court condemned the FBI for the errors and omissions in its application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page and gave the bureau until January 10th to propose reforms to prevent future abuses.

The order follows the release of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which detailed 17 “significant errors and omissions” in the warrant application to surveil Page.

“The frequency with which representations made by FBI 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 FBI applications is reliable,” wrote the FISA court.

“Therefore, the Court orders that the government shall, no later than January 10, 2020, inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application,” the order continues.

The publication of the IG report caused Senate Republicans to call for reform of the FISA application process, and several publicly acknowledged Utah Senator and FISA-skeptic Mike Lee as a leader on the issue.

“I wish Mike Lee weren’t sitting here two people from me right now, because as a national security hawk, I’ve argued with Mike Lee in the four-and-a-half or five years that I’ve been in the Senate that stuff just like this couldn’t possibly happen at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,” Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) said during a Senate hearing on the IG report.

“Because we’ve now seen the abuses we were warned about, you can smirk again, you were right,” Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) told Lee.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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