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LETTER: FBI tramples FISA laws

In the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigations in 2016-17, FISA warrants for electronic surveillance on Trump associates Carter Page and others were acquired through the testimony under oath by senior FBI officials that information contained in the Steele dossier was valid and verified. In fact, those testifying knew that information was unverifiable and possibly false. A statement recently released by the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs describes current reforms and corrective actions now in place that could have prevented these “missteps” identified by special counsel John Durham.

I am a retired FBI agent (1970-95). My career was in foreign counterintelligence activities against Soviet Intelligence Services. As a supervisor at FBI headquarters when the FISA courts were created in about 1978, I drafted affidavits to support some of the very first requests taken before that new court and testified under oath to their veracity. I can’t overemphasize that every agent testifying in such circumstances should have excruciatingly tested the facts he or she provides in obtaining this most intrusive authority that courts can grant to override Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.

I will never forget the feelings I had each time I appeared before that court and raised my right hand to affirm the truth of my testimony — a palpable, intense feeling of responsibility. Now it has been shown by Mr. Durham that FBI officials testified before the court knowingly aware of false or unverifiable information therein.

These are not “missteps” or even “mistakes.” A mistake is losing your car keys. No, these are intentional felony violations of the FISA laws. Those who wrote and/or knowingly testified under oath to false or unverifiable information should be immediately prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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