Just days after the publication of the Durham report, which detailed extensive abuses of power by the FBI as they launched the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ against Trump with virtually no evidence, another shocking court document has been released indicating that the FBI abused FISA surveillance tools to 278,000 times in recent years against political dissidents.
🚨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
In one particularly shocking finding, the documents reveal that the FBI requested information on 19,000 Americans who donated to a Congressional campaign. Among the 19,000 who they collected information, only eight met the evidentiary standard for FISA surveillance to be granted, according to the Department of Justice.
In another confusing and egregious abuse of surveillance power, the FBI reportedly surveilled the victims of crimes.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) said that despite recent FISA reforms touted by the FBI to clamp down on abuses, it seems as if their misuse of surveillance tools ‘keeps getting worse’.
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“[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 also used FISA surveillance tools, which are supposed to be used only to determine if someone has illicit foreign ties, against US citizens who participated in the January 6th ‘Stop the Steal’ protests and Black Lives Matter protests.
An FBI Spokesperson defended the reforms they have attempted to implement in recent years, saying that they stood up an Internal Audit office to prevent misuse.
“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 further said that the Deputy Director of the FBI now has to approve FISA surveillance requests.
“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.