FISA Report: FBI Continues to Violate FISA and Improperly Sought Information on Senator and Judge

In my recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, I warned that, if Congress reauthorized Section 702 without major changes, we have “become a nation of chumps.” The FBI is once again before Congress after years of systemic and massive abuses of FISA and only a nation of chumps would give them the same authority. With each renewal, the FBI has pledged that it has learned its lesson and would stop its abuses . . . only to continue to abuse the authority. Now, a FISA order indicates that the FBI searched the data of a U.S. Senator, a state senator, and a judge.

Notably, in his recent testimony, FBI Director Christopher Wray tried to blame his predecessor James Comey for the abuses, a claim that was recently undermined in the targeting of Republican staff members. Now, it is equally clear that the abuses have continued on his watch.

FBI employees searched foreign surveillance data for the last names of a U.S. senator and a state senator. It also searched the Social Security number of a state judge who alleged civil rights violations by a municipal chief of police, according to the opinion by the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The problem is that Wray has continued to refuse to answer the most basic questions about the FISA abuses, including a baffling denial that he even knew what “parallel construction” means in his testimony before this Committee this week. It was akin to the head of the CDC saying that she did not know what “gain-of-function” research means.

“Parallel construction” has long been a complaint of civil libertarians and defense counsel. It avoids “poisonous tree” problems by replanting the seeds of the evidence to claim independent acquisition. It hides the true origins of evidence from courts and in some cases, Congress. While defendants are supposed to receive notice of Section 702 evidence, parallel construction can be used to evade that obligation. Yet, Wray insists that he has no idea what it means.

The choice is ours: we can be informed citizens or a nation of chumps.

99 thoughts on “FISA Report: FBI Continues to Violate FISA and Improperly Sought Information on Senator and Judge”

  1. Some Democrats support “Defunding the Police”. Some Republicans support “Defunding the Federal Police” and beating up federal police officers in the January 6 coup attempt.

    Anyone that supports either of these dumb ideas will end up on an “unconstitutional lifelong blacklist”.

    A better strategy for voters of both political parties: “Defund Unconstitutional Activities” that is consistent with the Oath of Office of all police officers (from local to federal). Fully fund “constitutional” practices.

    Allow the agencies to keep the extra money for things like hiring more officers, pay raises for officers and community policing. Most rank & file officers and federal officers would likely support you and this would actually solve most of the problems.

    As for the FISA Act – designed to counter Nixon’s abuses of power – we no longer need it.

  2. then I see Christi’s personal attorney was Wray in BridgeGate.

    Christi, slamming Trump and defending Wray in the same interveiw, eliminated him from discussion. He’s on the wrong side of the deep state debate.

    1. re: Iowan2

      Trump master-minding a coup attempt is about as “Deep State” as it gets! More than 60 judges, including Trump friendly judges, ruled unanimously (about 60-0) that Trump lost the election.

      Among the Trump “Deep State” plans was for the U.S. military to seize voting machines and create fake-electors.

      In the previous election, Trump’s “Deep State” FBI Director Comey violated DOJ policy by opening an investigation into Hillary Clinton too close to the election.

      Even with Trump’s FBI Director figuratively placing his thumb on the scale (picking winners & losers), Hillary Clinton still received almost 3 million more votes than Trump received.

      When Al Gore received 500,000 more votes than George W. Bush received, Gore challenged it but acted like grownup, respecting the rulings of the court system.

      It don’t get more “Deep State” than that – subverting our entire constitutional Rukeyser of law system!

    2. Chris Christie, the celebrity, has no market value.

      Chris Christie can’t monetize Chris Christie.

      Chris Christie may realize some worth by denying whatever principles he once pondered or backstabbing people he once knew.

      Alternatively, he may apply for Dog Catcher or County Landfill Tech…somewhere.

  3. If were to turn America into a police state, we could dramatically decrease the probability of terrorism. Police frisking of people walking down the street. Frequent house searches. Frequent lie detector tests. Continual monitoring of all communication. And minimum 20-year sentences for the slightest infraction. In the meantime, we would destroy the foundation of freedom on which America was built. I guess you can’t have everything.

  4. Jonathan, I do sincerely appreciate your continued focus on these issues. The FBI is clearly in breach of its constitutional duties with an enabling president who applauds its profligate campaign of destruction and arrogance. It would be remiss, however, not to point out that the FISA abuse is the failure not only of the FBI, but also of the FISA court itself. Who are these judges who after repeated FBI offenses continue to approve the abuse? How are these judges not somehow complicit in this illegal behavior. If the administration goes bad, you can replace it, when the congress goes bad you can vote it out, but who will correct a corrupt and politically motivated judiciary who have lost all respect for the law and have surrendered themselves to the naked pursuit of power? Who will deliver us from these evil men and women?

  5. The Cult of Competency (Excerpted)
    Address Delivered by Henning W. Prentis, Jr., at the Mid-Year Convocation [University of Pennsylvania, February 1943]

    Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom
    has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent; the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security. The historical cycle seems to be:

    From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

    At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas. New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies. Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas. Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all. Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out. Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States. Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties. The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.

    – Henning W. Prentis

  6. We all might be better off if a small, 1.5 Kiloton device were to detonate in the center of the beltway.

  7. It feels like the DoJ and FBI are a hostile power who has taken over our justice system, and we are too naive to realize it.

  8. “The choice is ours: we can be informed citizens or a nation of chumps.”
    This isn’t a citizen problem. Not at all. It’s a judicial problem. Why do these faceless lifetime appointees on FISA get a pass. Believe me they read the newspaper when it suits them. They could fix it tomorrow with a criminal contempt against the individual petitioning agent or the whole damnable, hopelessly corrupt FBI. We honor, pay and coddle these judges. It’s time they get off their Ivy League arses and do their damn job of enforcing the integrity of the institution that pays for their beach houses.

    1. They’re intimidated, leveraged, or bribed, or they’ve already been made certain to see the consequences of such an action.
      Nothing else really explains it.

  9. When you say “The choice is ours,” but is When actual facts are deemed either hate speech or misinformation or all of the above, and you have to basically revert to the hunter- gatherer model to glean any real information at all from amid the dreck, is being informed really a choice most people even have? Most people don’t even know how to research, they have limited logical and linguistic abilities. They take things at face value. They have been made to feel that doubting the official narrative is a crime. That’s not much of a choice.

  10. The choice is ours: we can be informed citizens or a nation of chumps.

    Remote jobs with the Federal Government number in excess of 450 jobs for this week alone. Many of the jobs pay 6 figures…. for a remote job!

    Chumps it is


    “I have to walk around [D.C.] pretending like these are serious people.”

    – Emma-Jo Morris, Breitbart

    Lies, bribes and corruption everywhere:

    “61 former intelligence officials wrote in a letter that e-mails found on Hunter Biden’s laptop were Russian disinformation operation.”

    – The Hill

  12. One last comment and quoting Eric Hoffer with a modification,

    “If a society is to preserve stability and a degree of continuity, it must learn how to keep its (adolescents) [lawless leftists] from imposing their tastes, values, and fantasies on everyday life.”

  13. There have been many statements today and passed posts about moving various departments out of the DC Swamp. This sounds like a perfect solution to remove advantages for the demigods’ (Crocodiles) who twist and turn to destroy their pray. Bolivia is a fine example of separation of authority, La Paz being the administrative location and Sucre the Constitutional location. Though Bolivia has had their fair share of troubles the government structure has had a calming effect. Moving the Supreme Court may be a great start, but the court system and its composition is troubling when considering Supreme, Appeals, District, Tax Court, International, Trade, Claims, Veterans, Military. The most troubling aspect as I see it is how the Supreme decides which cases to take on. I do not believe they are beyond political persuasions. So would moving this arm of the government be any different than what exists? Moving the department of Justice could be the answer, but how would the structure serve the various parts; Solicitors’, Disputes, Inspector General, FBI and a host of other sub-parts of Justice and removing the influence of politics? Can we actually say the FBI would be any less influenced by partisan efforts if moved to Pueblo Colorado, Wichita, Kansas or for that matter Wichita Falls, Texas? President Trump relocated the headquarter of the Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction, Colorado in 2020, give or take e few months, a year later, the headquarters were moved back to DC (aka-the swamp). Reason given by Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland “… to ensure that it has access to the policy-budget, and decision-making levers to best carry out its mission…”. With the considerations above I’d say moving any agency headquarters out of the swamp would be a wasted effort, but it’s not to say that is the end all. The agencies (all of them) must be held accountable. This will require having the stamina and will power of the legislative representatives, the presidential where with all, and the public’s demand to reform the government located in the DC Swamp. FDR had it right in 1937 when he said “all government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining as usually understood cannot be transplanted into the public service.” Additionally the laws MUST be enforced for those who disregard them, without law and order there is no need for a government. We are on a road to tyranny and an uncivilized society similar to the Old West, where laws were either non-existed or ignored. Again I repeat without equal laws and speedy justice, this great Country, The United States of America is doomed. May God Help us All.

  14. I wondered what the connection between Chris Christi and Wray was, then I see Christi’s personal attorney was Wray in BridgeGate.

    1. Wray was also Miles Guo’s lawyer prior to heading FBI. Does it seem as if he is working with CCP to keep him imprisoned?

    1. FISA should be written off as a failure.

      No warrant is required to gather and use information about a foreigner outside the US. So no secret court is required to authorise that.

      If investigators want to gather and use information about a US citizen, inside or outside the US, they should have to get a warrant in the ordinary way. If they can’t show probable cause that a crime is being committed sufficient to persuade an ordinary judge, they should not be able to do it.

      As to foreigners in the US, I’m not sure about the legal position. I can see an argument for treating them just like foreigners outside the US and leave it to investigators to decide.

  15. “The choice is ours: we can be informed citizens or a nation of chumps.”

    I guess I thought the jury came in with that verdict more than 20 years ago, when the vast majority of Americans — including a strong majority of Congress — got sold on the evidence-free idea that Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” requiring the senseless and counterproductive invasion of Iraq.

    Still waiting for Bush/Cheney to do time for crimes against humanity (among other charges) for destablizing a significant portion of the world and causing yet-uncounted deaths, sometimes estimated in the hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, along with the rise of Al-Qaeda AND ISIS, in a chain reaction that’s still happening.

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