Every federal department has its own assigned “watchdog” to make sure that all the laws and regulations are properly followed. With each report he sends out, instead of a fierce and growling Doberman, the Inspector General for the Department of Justice seems more like a soft and cuddly “pussycat.” Michael Horowitz keeps finding illegal deep state lies and corruption, but all he does is issue a stern warning not to get caught doing it again. His latest audit report is no different.
Department of Justice ignores its own rules
Michael Horowitz, Inspector General for the Department of Justice, sent a report over to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday, with the results of his audit into how well the Federal Bureau of Instigation follows their own rules. The answer is not very well at all. They basically ignore them.
Horowitz was digging into the “FBI’s execution of its “Woods procedures” for applications filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.” He was following up on his December, 2019, report that looked at the FISA application for a wiretap warrant on Carter Page. Page was an advisor to then candidate Donald Trump. After it was granted, the wiretap was renewed three times, which kept it going long after the election.
In December, Horowitz found that the FBI flat out lied to the judges at least 17 times, and hid information that would have exposed the FBI’s illegal deep state weaponization of the FISA court for political gain. “We found, for example,” Horowitz wrote Monday, “numerous instances where the Woods File did not include supporting documentation for factual assertions contained in the FISA applications, as required by FBI policy.” They also forgot to include the required documentation into the reliability of their Confidential Human Sources.
He’s not naming names but it’s not hard to figure it out. The CHS would be Christopher Steele and Horowitz is tap-dancing around having to admit that the FBI hid vital information from the judges. Facts like telling the court that Steele was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton, his material was pure fiction or he was already in disgrace with the FBI. If they had known any of those things, the plug would have been pulled instantly. Horowitz did absolutely nothing about it except recommend the department come up with some changes.
A deeper dive into murky shadows
Because of what he uncovered in December, Horowitz team dove back into the files to do some spot checks on less high profile cases. What he found is not encouraging. They looked at files going back 5 years, to October of 2014 in 8 different FBI field offices. They pulled 29 applications to look at, making sure not to pull any that were currently active. He wouldn’t want to find anything wrong which could stop a current operation. He also makes a point of saying that they won’t even try to find out if the mistakes and errors would have made a difference. He found a whole bunch of mistakes and errors though.
After talking to the Justice Department agents and their supervisors, Horowitz relates that the oversight is non-existent. In four of the 29 cases, the file which was supposed to hold all of the hard evidence with notes saying how it had been cross checked and confirmed couldn’t be found. For three of the four files, nobody could say for sure a file ever existed. that’s not good because the FBI acknowledges that these particular files need to be “scrupulously accurate.” Even when somebody did take the time to look at the files, the bureau had a heads up ahead of time to straighten out the file before it was looked at. Not that it mattered. Nobody was checking the accuracy of the information, only looking to see if some was listed.
“We do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy.” Even in the files they could find, they “identified apparent errors or inadequately supported facts in all of the 25 applications we reviewed.” Every single one. These files are supposed to be checked and rechecked for accuracy. The supervisors are supposed to go through them once a year to check for mistakes. Despite all these checks and balances, “we observed that errors or unsupported information in the statements of fact that we identified in the initial application had been carried over to each of the renewal applications.” This practice, the AG writes, “directly contradicts FBI policy.”
What will be done
The Inspector General recommends that the FBI “systematically and regularly examine the results of past and future accuracy reviews to identify patterns or trends in identified errors.” They also recommend “that the FBI perform a physical inventory to ensure that Woods Files exist for every FISA application submitted.”
They sent a copy of the memo over to Christopher Wray who solemnly agrees that they can do better and promises to get right on it and round up the missing paperwork. Average American citizens are howling that despite all the obvious incompetence and corruption, heads never seem to roll and the rats keep getting placed in charge of guarding the cheese.