FBI: Failures highlighted in Durham report 'never' would've occurred with certain reforms in 2016

The FBI outlined a series of changes it has implemented in a letter to Durham that it claims would have prevented key failures Durham brought to light in his report

Published: June 20, 2023 12:21pm

Updated: June 20, 2023 12:33pm

The FBI says agency failures highlighted in special counsel John Durham's final report on the so-called Russia collusion probe "never" would have occurred had reforms been put in place in 2016.

"It merits emphasis: had the reforms implemented by current FBI leadership and summarized below been in place back in 2016, the failures detailed in your Report never would have happened," wrote Jason Jones, general counsel at the FBI, in a May 15 letter to Durham, who delivered his final report in May.

Jones said the FBI has implemented "wide-ranging and significant improvements" to its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and national security program, including 40-plus corrective actions that were ordered by FBI Chris Director Wray in 2019.

The act hat permits the government to conduct targeted surveillance of foreign persons outside of the U.S.

Jones wrote that in February 2020, the FBI required personnel seeking FISA authorities to use revised versions of two important forms, "completion of which requires specific additional steps that were not mandated in 2016."

One, he wrote, a FISA request form now better ensures any information that may undermine probable cause is identified and evaluated before a FISA application is made. The other is in regard to the Justice Department's National Security Division, Office of Intelligence evaluating of whether it must be included in the resulting FISA application," he also wrote.

The collusion probe focused on possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 presidential presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Durham is testifying about his report during a closed-door briefing before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday and at a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

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