The FBI made numerous errors and omissions in its warrant applications targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). FBI Director Christopher Wray “deeply regrets” those errors, at least in how they relate to the court’s trust in the FBI.
In a letter released Friday, Wray concludes that the “FBI has the utmost respect for this Court, and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the [Office of the Inspector General] OIG.” The letter was directed to the FISC.
Page confirmed to The Daily Wire that he has received no similar apology even though he was the target of the deeply flawed warrants.
An Inspector General report released in early December found 17 specific “inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s warrant applications against Page. Among the errors contained within the applications was the FBI’s claim that Christopher Steele (an ex-British Intelligence officer who authored a dubious dossier that formed the basis of the warrants against Page) previously had worked with the FBI and that his prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.” This was a gross exaggeration, as Steele’s past reporting “was not approved by Steele’s FBI handling agent” and hadn’t been used in criminal proceedings. One major omission in the Page FISA warrant applications was the fact that Page had a prior working relationship with multiple U.S. intelligence agencies and had provided information regarding contact “with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application.”
Those were from the initial warrant application. Additional errors and omissions were made in the warrant renewals, including the fact that the FBI was informed of Page’s prior relationship with intelligence agencies before the final renewal application. This fact was still left out of the renewal.
Wray’s letter to the FISC included a 12-point list of corrective measures the FBI would be taking to address the issues with the Page warrants. Wray then gave a detailed explanation of how close to achieving those measures the FBI has come so far, claiming they have already implemented some of the changes. As for training agents in proper FISC application conduct (i.e., not lying to the court to spy on American citizens), Wray gave the bureau a deadline of April 30.
In addition to the IG report released in December, the special counsel report from Robert Mueller in March found that – despite years of media reporting otherwise – no one from the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Wire last month, Page said it wasn’t just political bias that led to him being targeted by the FBI, but policy bias as well.
“The fundamental drivers of the impeachment process have an overlap with factors inherent in the IG report,” Page said. “In each instance, I would say that the primary issue wasn’t political bias per se, such as Democrat versus Republican. The defining aspect of this was instead policy bias.”