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FBI, DOJ claim errors in FISA court filings did not impact orders

The FBI and the Department of Justice claimed in a Wednesday filing that an investigation of 29 FISA court applications that had been audited by the DOJ inspector general showed that there were no errors that affected how the court ruled.

The inspector general’s report, released in March, came after a review of the bureau’s practices related to so-called “Woods Procedures,” which require agents to independently verify facts presented by a third party before including them in a FISA application to monitor an individual. The report showed that 29 applications did not meet the standards of the Woods Procedures.

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“Yesterday, in a joint filing by the FBI and DOJ, the Office of Intelligence at DOJ informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that, in its judgment, none of the errors that had been identified by DOJ-OIG undermined or otherwise impacted the validity of the FISC’s orders,” the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI noted that after the Inspector General’s report came out, the bureau and the Justice Department examined the 29 applications that the IG said contained errors.

The filing did not dispute that there were inaccuracies in the warrant applications, it only claimed that those inaccuracies did not ultimately affect the outcome of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s orders.

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The FBI and DOJ also stated that the 29 applications in question were filed before FBI Director Christopher Wray ordered actions to reform how the bureau handles the FISA process. Those measures were ordered after DOJ Inspector Michael Horowitz revealed that there were significant inaccuracies in applications for warrants to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The March report showed that failures in the FISA process existed beyond the Russia investigation.

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“All 29 applications selected by the OIG for its audit predate the 40-plus corrective actions ordered by Director Wray in December 2019 to reform the FISA process, and the FBI remains confident these actions will fully address the findings and recommendations made by the DOJ-OIG,” the FBI’s statement said. “The FBI considers FISA an indispensable tool to protect the United States against national security threats and is dedicated to the continued, ongoing improvement of the FISA process to ensure all factual assertions contained in FISA applications are accurate and complete.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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