FBI Director to FISA Judge: So Sorry We Screwed Up the Russia Investigation
FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the bureau's plan to address the 17 errors uncovered by the inspector general in applying for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Wray told the judge in a letter that the bureau "deeply regrets" the "errors and omissions" cited by the IG in his report.
That didn't satisfy Donald Trump.
“The FBI has the utmost respect for this [FISA] Court, and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the OIG,” Wray wrote, referencing the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General report released in December.
In the rare public court filing, Wray acknowledged the report found “conduct that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution.”
Trump has long accused the FBI and Justice Department of launching an unwarranted, politically motivated probe into his campaign in order to undermine his White House bid. He continues to point to anti-Trump text messages from Lisa Page, then an FBI lawyer, and Peter Strzok, the former FBI head of counterintelligence, as proof the bureau was out to get him.
Despite the errors in the application process, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz found no political bias or intentional misconduct surrounding the launch of the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.
That the top agents demonstrated personal political bias -- rank hatred of Trump, to be sure -- is not at issue. The question has always been were they able to maintain a professional detachment and keep that bias out of their entire investigation?
The answer is, of course they weren't, silly. But in Washington, you're supposed to pretend that the FBI is full of upstanding, honorable, professional men and women -- even though Page and Strzok were cheating on their spouses together and talking gleefully of preventing Trump from getting elected.
Even the FISA court judge pointed out the FBI lied to get the warrant:
"The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above," then-presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in a four-page court order issued Dec. 17. "The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable."
Of course, they don't call it "lies." The information was "contradicted" or "unsupported."
But a lie is a lie whether it's told by your 5-year-old child or the head of the FBI's Counterintelligence unit. Semantics aside, no apology from Wray for the damage his agency did to the nation will ever suffice. Their hatred of Trump handed Democrats a potent weapon and attempts to bring the president down will no doubt continue even if he wins a second term.