The FBI has completed its audit of 29 separate FISA applications to look for evidence of possible systemic errors. Some who’ve routinely defended the FBI’s behavior were hoping the random sampling would provide evidence that the “errors” in the Carter Page warrant were simply mistakes that are often made. That was a line used by many cable news “experts” to obfuscate from what had obviously happened.
Unfortunately for those wishing to handwave this all away, the findings show the opposite.
NEW: FBI says only 2 “material” errors found in 29 audited FISA applications.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) July 30, 2020
Translation: There were no underlying systemic issues that caused unforeseen, repeatable errors in the Carter Page FISA warrant. This was pure bias and corruption on display.
The FBI said Thursday that the bureau found just two “material” errors in an audit of 29 applications to surveil American citizens, an error rate that pales in comparison to the 17 “significant” problems discovered in applications for surveillance orders against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
In a statement, the FBI said that the two errors found in the 29 applications likely would not have changed the FISA Court’s decision to grant the underlying surveillance orders.
“None of the errors that had been identified by DOJ-OIG undermined or otherwise impacted the validity of the FISC’s orders,” the FBI said in a statement, according to Fox News.
Of the 29 warrants surveyed, all the FBI found were two material mistakes, neither of which impacted the validity of the warrants. Meanwhile, there were 17 significant errors in just one of Page’s FISA warrants. There’s no longer any argument those errors were the result of negligence or innocent mistakes. No, you have to try hard to be that corrupt and the FBI’s leadership were up to the task.
The Page warrants were rotten from the beginning. The FBI and DOJ under Barack Obama (and counting under Trump) had their pet conspiracy theory about Russia and the Trump campaign. No amount of evidence or lack thereof was going to stop them from their pursuit. Carter Page, via the retroactive nature of FISA warrants, was the obvious target. They already had a history with him and he was an easy mark given his connections in Russia. When it became obvious they lacked the evidence for a warrant, they simply lied and omitted information to get one. That then allowed them to search through his communications from when he was still part of the Trump campaign.
Of course, they ended up finding nothing again because there was never anything to find. The fact that they had destroyed Page’s life and sawed off the knees of a new President didn’t matter though. In all of their arrogance, the FBI and its leadership still felt they did nothing wrong.
Will anyone actually pay a price? That’s also the biggest question. We’ve heard lots of saber-rattling around the Durham investigation lately, but there is still nothing concrete. All I know is that if no one is held accountable here, there will never be a reason to trust these institutions again.