Facts

    A vast report of over 400 pages was released last December by the inspector General – the person who is tasked with overseeing the intelligence agencies in the US government – which documented the actions of the FBI and other agencies in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. It raised red flags about the process and conduct of several intelligence agencies during that period. Both sides of the political world saw the report as a vindication, democrats claiming it showed that mistakes were made in procedure but that intentions where good, while Republicans saw a litany of missteps and abuses of power by the deep state who were attempting political manipulation. In reality, the report was inconclusive, at least in the arena of public opinion. A new development may change that perception, however. Thursday the Department of Justice unsealed court filings that show at least two of the renewals of the FISA warrant (a secret warrant to spy on potential national security threats) were made illegally, the FBI willfully mislead the court. Judge James Emanuel Boasberg, a federal district judge who sits on the FISA court stated,

    “The court understands the government to have concluded, in view of the material misstatements and omissions, that the court’s authorizations in (two applications) were not valid.” 

    Judge James Emanuel Boasberg

    Left

    David Ignatius wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post where he lays out the facts and concludes that serious and inexcusable mistakes were made. These mistakes, however, don’t speak to a vast conspiracy to bring down President Trump but rather show an inept group of people trying to do good. For Ignatius, the abuses by the FBI are seen in the light of many other cases of abuse of power, the highest of which are those of Trump in the Ukraine. He writes,

    “Some Republicans have seen a deep-state conspiracy in these actions. But to me, the Horowitz report suggests the opposite. The intelligence community was so sloppy and disorganized — and so disoriented by the Trump investigation — that it couldn’t coordinate simple tasks, let alone organize a plot… This is a tale of dazed, incompetent bureaucrats covering their backsides, not a coup.”

    David Ignatius

    Right

    The Wall Street Journal outlines the newly disclosed information and questions the legal basis for the spying on Trump’s associates. Sean Davis writing for the Federalist goes even further and connects the dots to Robert Mueller’s Indictment of several individuals who were prosecuted with information collected under the FISA warrant for Carter Page. Davis wrote on twitter, 

    “In a blockbuster ruling, the FISA court declared that least two of the four Carter Page spy warrants were illegal, meaning ANY evidence collected from that surveillance is now invalid… This could have huge implications for every case brought by Mueller.”

    Sean Davis

    By Daniel Luster

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