“A FISA Court opinion and order declassified today reveals continued FBI abuses of “raw FISA-acquired information.” After a DOJ National Security Division review, the FISA Court noted “the FBI’s failure to properly apply its querying standard when searching Section 702-acquired information was more pervasive than was previously believed.”
This opinion includes these findings:
- One FBI intelligence analyst “conducted 110 queries for analytic paper.”
- Another analyst conducted improper queries for “ongoing vetting of confidential human sources” as well as “overly broad queries” and “mistakenly failed to opt out of querying against raw FISA-acquired information.”
Judge James Boasberg, who presides over the FISA Court, found little issue with these abuses. In fact, Boasberg concluded:
“[T]he Court is willing to again conclude that the improper queries described above do not undermine its prior determination that, with implementation of the documentation requirement, the FBI’s querying and minimization procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements.”
HOWEVER – Boasberg then concludes that the government has reported numerous incidents involving searches of FISA information without warrants.
In other words, the FBI is using FISA acquired information to investigate domestic crimes – not matters of foreign intelligence. These included investigations of “health-care fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists, as well as investigations relating to public corruption and bribery.”
“Public corruption and bribery.” I highlight that last part because it means the FBI continued to improperly use FISA-acquired information to spy on government officials.