In a normal world, there would be front page screaming headlines of the FBI’s complete failure regarding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. As the Obama appointee Inspector General Michael Horowitz reported on March 30:
As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy. . . . our testing of FISA applications to the associated Woods Files identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications we reviewed, and interviews to date with available agents or supervisors in field offices generally have confirmed the issues we identified
The Woods Procedures are essential for the courts to have confidence in the granting of FISA warrants. As National Review describes them:
The Woods Procedure dictates that the Justice Department verify the accuracy and provide evidentiary support for all facts stated in its FISA application. The FBI is required to share with the FISA Court all relevant information compiled in the Woods File when applying for a surveillance warrant.
This damming report drew justifiably harsh reactions from Republicans.
We r learning FBI flubs on Carter Page spying case r just tip of iceberg IG audited 29 other spying applications on Americans+found problems w EVERY ONE OF THEM! Constitutional rights r at stake when FBI fails 2justify use of spying tools Reforms needed 2protect civil liberties— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) March 31, 2020
Unbelievable. Inspector General Horowitz found 4 of the 29 Woods Files were missing... and in 3 instances, it’s possible they never existed.— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) March 31, 2020
This is exactly why we need to reform our #FISA system. We can’t let what happened to @realDonaldTrump in 2016 ever happen again! https://t.co/ixcXrEI71a
One person who is particularly vindicated is Rep. Devin Nunes. When Nunes pointed out problems, the mainstream media backed Rep. Adam Schiff and bolstered his attacks on President Trump in the bogus Russian-collusion story. As Sara Carter writes:
Ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, told SaraACarter.com Tuesday that “regardless of whatever ‘reforms’ FBI leaders voluntarily adopt, it’s clear their operations require close oversight by congressional leaders who actually care about Americans’ civil liberties and will not approve of improper spying when it’s aimed at their political opponents.”
When Nunes was Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee his team of investigators were the first to reveal the litany of abuses that occurred at the FBI. In fact, those abuses were first reported by Nunes then in his committee’s Russia report released in April, 2018.
Thank you, Rep. Nunes. All sides should agree that this sort of abuse should not be allowed to happen again.