Justice says review of FISA applications shows 'sufficient basis' for previously disputed warrants

The procedures and information used by the FBI to run surveillance on members of the 2016 Trump campaign has renewed concerns about the process in which the secretive court grants the warrants

Published: August 4, 2020 4:59pm

Updated: August 4, 2020 5:57pm

The Justice Department says that an internal review of nearly 30 disputed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications had determined that all of them were undertaken with "sufficient basis for probable cause," and that earlier-identified errors within them were overwhelmingly minor. 

Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced in March that a review of 29 FISA warrants had revealed numerous false statements or omissions in the documents, raising fears that the application process for FISA warrants was beset by incompetence at best and corruption at worst.

The procedures and information used by the FBI to run surveillance on members of the 2016 Trump campaign has renewed concerns about the process in which the secretive court grants the warrants.

In a Monday announcement the department disputed those concerns, stating that an internal review of the disputed documents "concluded that all contained sufficient basis for probable cause."

The review further "uncovered only two material errors, neither of which invalidated the authorizations granted by the FISA Court," the announcement by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers continued.

The department "was able to resolve many of the potential issues" identified by Horowitz, the announcement said. It further stated that the FBI and the National Security Division have each undertaken "more than 40 corrective actions" since the report. 

The department "remain[s] committed to improving the FISA process to ensure that we use these tools consistent with the law and our obligations to the FISA Court," Demers said in the announcement.

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