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FBI Director ‘Deeply Regrets’ FISA Court Errors in Surveillance of Trump Adviser

January 13, 2020

FBI Director Christopher Wray has apologized to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for the way it conducted surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the 2016 election.


The FBI headquarters instructed the New York field office to open a counterintelligence investigation into Page shortly after he joined Trump’s campaign, according to details from a report released in December last year by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG).


The bureau believed he was “collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government” at that time, a claim which he repeatedly denied and that has proven to be untrue by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy investigation.


In a court filing (pdf) made public on Jan. 11, Wray expressed “deep regret” over the bureau’s errors and outlined steps that it is taking to ensure it doesn’t make the same mistakes again.


“The FBI has the utmost respect for this court, and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the (OIG Office of the Inspector General)” Wray wrote in the letter, before describing the agency’s conduct as “unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution.”


“FISA is an indispensable tool in national security investigations, and in recognition of our duty of candor to the court and our responsibilities to the American people, the FBI is committed to working with the court and DOJ to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the FISA process.” he added.


Wray said in his letter to FISC, the secret court that handles national security investigations, that he has ordered more than 40 corrective actions, 12 of which are specific to the FISA surveillance application process, to ensure the bureau doesn’t make the same mistakes again.



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