While testifying on Thursday before a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on crime and federal government surveillance, Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz blasted the DOJ for conducting more than 1 million “backdoor searches” on American citizens in 2020 and more than 3 million in 2021.
Horowitz informed Congress of very “concerning” problems with FISA’s use or misuse.
The main incentive for investigating misuses was the FBI’s application of the now-debunked Steele Dossier to probe Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
In response to a question from Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, Horowitz stated that there’s a concern that there are so many searches, and what is particularly concerning is the error rate. According to his office, the percentage of incorrect searches conducted under Section 702 was “around 30%.”
Horowitz told New York Democrat Jerry Nadler that he had not gotten an update on a letter he provided to the Director of National Intelligence in 2016 detailing FISA abuses. He believes their official stance is that they don’t think a precise estimate is attainable, which worries him.
The investigation into former President Trump’s alleged ties with the Kremlin was where the DOJ watchdog first discovered issues in the federal government’s use of FISA rules. Congressmen like Adam Schiff told the public time and time again that they had proof of Russian collusion. It was a lie.
According to Horowitz, the FBI was hiding evidence from the prosecutors, which was one of the significant issues they uncovered with the Carter Page FISA. They were also hiding the fact that they didn’t have evidence.
Horowitz criticized the current FISA enhancements, saying they “haven’t been sufficient,” even though most of the watchdog’s concerns had been resolved.
As part of Congress’s deliberation on renewing FISA powers, the House Intelligence Committee quizzed FBI Director Christopher Wray and other spy officials in a separate meeting last month.