FBI agents in Carter Page probe barred from FISA court requests

Ban applies to requests for FISA surveillance authority

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FBI
FBI
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Last Updated:
March 5, 2020 - 11:14am

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The FISA court has temporarily banned FBI agents under disciplinary review in the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page from requesting surveillance authority from the court.

The ban was imposed in an opinion issued Wednesday by the secretive court’s chief judge, James E. Boasberg.

“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,” Boasberg wrote. 

The judge also said in his 19-page opinion that the same restrictions apply to any Justice Department attorney under disciplinary review, as well as any DOJ or FBI personnel who are the subject of a criminal referral related to their work on FISA applications.

Boasberg also stated that the FBI had “omitted or mischaracterized” pieces of information pertaining to the credibility of former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and the now largely debunked dossier he produced.

The FBI’s FISA application implied that Page’s Russian contacts were secret and suspicious, though in reality Page has disclosed them.

The ruling also points out that, according to Michael Horowitz’s Inspector General report, someone in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel went so far as to add additional text to an email from another agency stating that Page was not a source, thereby falsifying FISA warrant evidence.

The temporary ban comes days before a March 15 deadline for Congress to decide whether to renew several post 9/11 FISA tools.