The Justice Department has concluded that two of the four court orders allowing the FBI to conduct secret surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were not valid, according to a newly declassified judicial order released on Thursday, Jan. 23.
Judge James Emanuel Boasberg noted that the DOJ found “there was insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power” because of the “material misstatements and omissions” in the warrant applications.
#FISA Government found two of four surveillance warrants for Trump campaign aide Carter Page invalid and decision pending on remaining two, citing “misstatements and omissions.” This sets up possible scenario FBI/DOJ October 2016 application and three 2017 renewals ALL invalid. pic.twitter.com/ACPQC3zKWz
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) January 24, 2020
The Justice Department’s admission came after the Office of Inspector General (IG) released a report last month that found “significant errors and omissions” in four applications submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to surveil Page.
Following the report, the court admonished the FBI for mistakes it made and ordered the agency to detail how it will improve its warrant applications in light of the errors. In response to the IG report, the FBI said it is implementing more than 40 “corrective steps.“
Boasberg also said the Justice Department did not take a position on whether the remaining two were valid. He demanded that the government provide more detailed information concerning the damning findings of bureau misconduct contained in the IG recent report.
The IG report confirmed that the FBI’s FISA applications to monitor Page heavily relied on former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier which has been proved unsubstantiated. It found that FBI agents withheld information that undercut the idea that Page was conspiring with Russia and failed to disclose that Page was voluntarily working with the CIA concerning Russian business and intelligence interests.
The report also said that Steele’s primary source disputed information in the dossier during an interview with FBI agents, stating that Steele misrepresented and embellished information attributed to him.
“Today’s unprecedented court filing represents another step on the road to recovery for America’s deeply damaged judicial system,” Page said in a statement to Fox News.
“I hope that this latest admission of guilt for these civil rights abuses by the Justice Department marks continued progress toward restoring justice and remedying these reputationally ruinous injuries,” he added.