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FISA court’s chief judge issues unprecedented public rebuke to the FBI over serious ‘misconduct’ in warrants to wiretap Donald Trump ally Carter Page – to delight of president who calls case ‘a SCAM!’

  • FBI filed four requests with the secret court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 
  • The requests were for surveillance warrants to spy on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign
  • A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general found 17 omissions or misleading statements in the FISA court warrant applications
  • Now the court’s chief judge is demanding answers from the FBI
  • Court wants a briefing on how the bureau will avoid misleading the court, and reasons why agents should be considered trustworthy in the interim
  • Donald Trump tweeted Wow!’ and added: ‘Means my case was a SCAM!’ 

A federal judge blasted the FBI on Tuesday for repeatedly submitting applications to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that were riddled with errors and omissions, and ordered the government to inform the court on how it plans to reform the process.

The scathing four-page order from Rosemary Collyer, the presiding judge over the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), marks the first time the court has responded to the controversy, which became public last week with the release of a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Donald Trump seized on the order, saying: ‘Wow!’

He quotes a Fox News report and added: ‘Statement by the Court was long and tough. Means my case was a SCAM!’

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office had identified at least 17 significant errors and omissions during the application process, including the altering of an email by an FBI lawyer.

The inspector general said that as the FBI sought to renew those warrants, it withheld from the Justice Department – and, in turn, the surveillance court – key information that the watchdog said cut against the premise that Page was a Russian asset.

The order from the judge is a rare public statement from the court, which operates mostly in secret as it receives applications from the FBI and Justice Department to eavesdrop on American soil on people it suspects of being agents of a foreign power.