Durham Docs Reveal FBI Abused FISA Surveillance 278,000 Times in Recent Years
Earlier this week, the results of the Durham report were released found indicated that the FBI had no factual basis to investigate former President Donald Trump for Russia ties at the outset of the investigation, court documents revealed just days after the probe revealed even more damning allegations.
Durham found that the FBI misused FISA surveillance tools almost 278,000 times from the outset of the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ investigation, from probing the foreign ties of January 6th protests to tens of thousands of political donors to a Congressional campaign.
🚨BREAKING: FBI improperly used FISA warrantless search powers more than 278,000 times ahead of 2022 elections against American citizens, FISA court filing reveals pic.twitter.com/mRmm0YKUxj
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 19, 2023
Durham said the FBI violated standard procedures and surveilled thousands of Americans without any ‘analytical, investigative or evidentiary purpose.’
In one particularly egregious instance, the FBI collected the information of 19,000 Americans who donated to a Congressional campaign because they believed the campaign had ties to foreign actors.
The Department of Justice concluded that of the 19,000 who the inquiry was submitted on behalf of, only ‘eight identifiers’ were used in the search that ‘had sufficient ties to foreign influence activities to comply with the querying standard.’
Breaking: FBI searched massive spying database improperly in targeting Jan 6 protestors. FBI also used spy database to investigate 19,000 donors to congressional candidate. Even leftist rioters targeted. The database contains digital and other information collected on foreign… pic.twitter.com/uU0OUfD17T
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 19, 2023
In an even more bizarre admission that resulted from the Durham probe, it was revealed that the FBI was surveilling not the perpetrators of crimes but crime victims.
The report found that the FBI requested FISA warrants on ‘individuals listed in police homicide reports, including victims, next-of-kin, witnesses, and suspects.’
Representative Jim Jordan, R-Oh., who also chairs the House Weaponization Subcommittee, said that FISA reforms aimed at clamping down on abuse were insufficient.
‘[FBI Director] Chris Wray told us we could sleep well at night because of the FBI’s so-called FISA reforms. But it just keeps getting worse.’
Chris Wray told us we can sleep well at night because of the FBI’s so-called FISA reforms.
But it just keeps getting worse.https://t.co/KhyRtckRp5
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 19, 2023
The FBI responded to allegations made in the Durham report regarding FISA warrants and Section 702, saying that they have made ‘extensive changes’ to prevent abuses.
‘Although we cannot comment on specific queries, the FBI has made extensive changes over the past few years – changes that post-date the period covered in the reports raised in the hearing today – to address 702 compliance issues, including standing up a whole new Office of Internal Audit currently focused on FISA compliance and instituting new policies requiring enhanced pre-approval requirements before certain ‘sensitive’ U.S. person queries can be run,’ said an FBI spokesperson at the time.
They went on to say the high-level searches that include elected officials now require approval from the Deputy Director of the FBI.
‘For example, ‘sensitive’ queries involving elected officials now require Deputy Director approval. We look forward to sharing the impact of our reforms. The FBI takes seriously its role as stewards of our 702 authorities, which are indispensable to fulfilling our mission of protecting Americans from foreign threats from countries like China, Russia, and Iran,’ the statement continued.
Still, elected officials have said the FBI needs further reform after the damning allegations released in the Durham report.
As a former DOJ prosecutor, the findings in the Durham report are disturbing. Durham’s report confirms that the FBI repeatedly disregarded critical protections that safeguard Americans from unlawful surveillance.
Accountability and reform is needed at the FBI.
— Darin LaHood (@RepLaHood) May 16, 2023
‘I want to make clear the FBI’s inappropriate querying of a duly elected member of Congress is egregious and a violation not only that degrades the trust in FISA, but is viewed as a threat to the separation of powers,’ LaHood further said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.
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