Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz just dropped bombshell after bombshell on the FBI in his latest report on their dealings with the secret FISA court during their investigation of President Trump. So many bombshells in fact that it might’ve broken the Geneva Convention on Carpet-bombing. Horowitz’s report entitled “Execution of its Woods Procedures for Applications Filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Relating to US Persons.” draws a sharp focus to the “Woods File” for each FISA request which according to The Washington Post is, “a document meant to ensure the accuracy of all statements made to the FISA court. The file contains the supporting documentation for every factual assertion in a court application, as well as the result of government database searches and information about informants used in the case.”
In his report Horowitz wrote,
“We identified numerous instances of non-compliance with the Woods Procedures in the 25 Woods Files that were made available to us to review, and we reported that the FBI was unable to produce the original version of the remaining 4 Woods Files we requested.”
He continued, “We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures. These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to OI and failing to flag important issues for discussion.”
Oooof, here are just a few examples of the Woods procedure lapses that the Office of Inspector General identified.
- “[T]he representations about Steele’s prior reporting were overstated and had not been approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures.”
- “Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings, which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;”
- “Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and Fusion GPS, his client; this premise was incorrect and contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;”
- “We found that the team had speculated that Steele’s prior reporting had been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings without clearing the representation with Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures.”
- “Failed to correct the assertion in the first FISA application that the FBI did not believe that Steele directly provided information to the reporter who wrote the September 23 Yahoo News article, even though there was no information in the Woods File to support this claim and even after certain Crossfire Hurricane officials learned in 2017, before the third renewal application, of an admission that Steele made in a court filing about his interactions with the news media in the late summer and early fall of 2016;”
And it just keeps getting worse, according to Horowitz auditing even more FISA applications yielded HUNDREDS of requests in similar non-compliance from 2015 to early 2020.
“over 400 instances of non-compliance with the Woods Procedures in connection with those 29 FISA applications”
“over 7,000 FISA applications authorized between January 2015 and March 2020, there were at least 179 instances in which the Woods File required by FBI policy was missing in whole or in part”
A Serious Black-Eye For The Embattled FBI
This latest collapse in the credibility of the FBI couldn’t possibly come a worse time. The summer of 2021 complete with runaway excessive and political punitive prosecution of Jan 6th Capitol Riot participants has driven public trust in the Bureau to heretofore unknown lows.
Andrew McCarthy wrote for National Review,
“In recent years, the FBI has undermined the perception that it is non-political and can be trusted to wield its awesome and insufficiently checked counterintelligence powers. This is confirmed by inspector-general investigations, as well as a probe directed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. These uncovered blatant political bias, serial abuse of FISA (not merely in the Russia-gate investigation), the use of an informant to infiltrate a Republican political campaign based on woefully inadequate suspicions of Russian espionage, strategic leaking to the media, and two-tiered law-enforcement in politically freighted cases, where the degree of investigative aggression varies depending on whether the subject is a Republican or a Democrat.
The erosion of public trust in the FBI is a big problem for the country — for both the rule of law and national security. When such former officials as Frank Figliuzzi exploit their status to peddle the Democratic political narrative, it may help their new careers, but it pours still more fuel on the fire engulfing the J. Edgar Hoover Building.”
Point blank: 15 years of politically driven bunk investigations that saw the bureau weaponized by Democrats as a political cudgel in a way that would make Hoover blush have terminally crushed any confidence the American people ever may have had in their political neutrality and credibility as an independent investigatory body. The FBI hasn’t seen this much infamy since WACO and Ruby Ridge, and the institution may never recover.