Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Just How Bad Was The FBI's Russian FISA?

Er...I'm no expert, obviously...but sounds pretty bad:
   The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.
   A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: “Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is
   For those who don’t speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.
   To put that in perspective, former Trump aides Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos were convicted of making single false statements to the bureau. One went to jail already, and the other awaits sentencing.
   The FBI made nine false statements to the court.
   And the appendix shows the FBI made another nine factual assertions that did not match the supporting evidence in the file. In another words, the bureau was misleading on nine other occasions.
   The vast majority of remaining Woods violations — 33 in total — involved failing to provide any evidence in the Woods procedure backing up assertion in the FISA warrant application.
   This is one of those cases in which a lack of expertise matters, IMO. If you've never dealt with such things before, you have no context to put this in. Though...I guess I'd be pretty alarmed if this were something near to par for the course...
   Even if the FBI makes this many seemingly significant errors routinely in a case like this, there's no ignoring the fact that it's a fair number of errors...and they all seem to go in the same direction. So...that's just chance? I haven't read the report. I was initially relieved to hear the conclusion. But I've got to say...now having read these details, it's actually a bit more difficult for me to believe that there was no bias at work.
   Even worse: these are the rules we're playing under when we interact with the FBI? One allegedly false statement, we go to jail. 51 false or unsupported allegations by the Bureau...hey, no problem!?
   Maybe it's really not as bad as it sounds. But I don't see why we're supposed to think that it doesn't even sound bad.


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