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Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 10, 2020

FBI Director: Carter Page Surveillance Was Illegal

Wray appears to change his tune on the IG's report finding FBI abuse of the FISA court.

While much of the country’s attention was focused on the Senate voting to acquit President Donald Trump of the House Democrats’ impeachment charges on Wednesday, a potentially criminally significant moment was occurring in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where FBI Director Chris Wray answered questions regarding the FBI’s abuse of the FISA court. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) cited Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which found that the FBI had failed to follow the law with its FISA warrant applications to surveil Carter Page. Ratcliffe asked Wray to “acknowledge that this was illegal surveillance with respect to at least several of these FISA applications because there was no probable cause or proper predication — correct?” Wray responded in the affirmative, simply answering, “Right.”

That’s quite an admission and an about-face from Wray’s comments last December when, in an interview with ABC News, he sought to downplay the seriousness of the IG report. “I think it’s important for the American people to know that when the FBI opens an investigation it does so with proper predication, with proper authorization, based on the facts and nothing else,” Wray stated then. “I think it’s important that the inspector general found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.” Now he’s acknowledging that the FISA application for surveilling Page was illegal. This will certainly help Page in his lawsuit against the Justice Department and FBI.

Once again, it appears that Trump has been proven correct. He blasted Wray’s characterization of the IG report, asserting, “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

While the wheels of justice may turn slowly, the good news is that they are still turning.

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