By Duncan Smith
You’ve no doubt heard of the abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court by Barack Obama’s FBI and Justice Department (and then Donald Trump’s FBI and Justice Department before he figured out what was happening to him).
You know what some elements within both of those agencies were doing: They were lying to the FISA court using a bogus ‘dossier’ so they could spy on a presidential campaign and then a president, under the false premise of a ‘counterintelligence operation.’
We’ve learned a lot about “Spygate” in recent weeks but there is a lot more to know, we’re sure of it, and with some luck, there will be more revelations and convictions prior to the November elections as U.S. Attorney John Durham lines ’em up and knocks ’em down.
In the meantime, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray have been busy adopting reforms to ensure that rogue elements within the deep state don’t ever have another opportunity to defraud the FISA court and trample the civil liberties of Americans, and especially presidents.
The Washington Examiner reports the details:
The leaders of the Justice Department and FBI jointly announced Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reforms following revelations about mistakes within and abuses of FISA during and after the 2016 presidential election.
Attorney General William Barr authored two memos, dated Tuesday, that the Justice Department said will 'empower the FBI to build a more robust internal compliance program' and 'will ensure, among other things, the accuracy of FISA applications, as well as the active oversight of applications targeting federal elected officials, candidates for federal elected office, and their staffs.'
The announcement of the changes comes roughly two months out from Election Day, featuring a contest for the White House between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump, who accuses Biden of being involved in a plot to spy on and undermine his 2016 campaign and his administration.
'FISA is a critical tool to ensuring the safety and security of Americans, particularly when it comes to fighting terrorism. However, the American people must have confidence that the United States Government will exercise its surveillance authorities in a manner that protects the civil liberties of Americans, avoids interference in the political process, and complies with the Constitution and laws of the United States,' Barr said.
'What happened to the Trump presidential campaign and his subsequent Administration after the President was duly elected by the American people must never happen again.'
We agree. In fact, there were already oversight measures in place — in Congress, especially — but those failed because the people charged with ensuring that laws are followed allowed their partisan political beliefs to take over.
What’s to stop that from happening again? Not a policy, that’s for sure.
But a prosecution — or several prosecutions — would go a long way towards ensuring that political hacks posing as DoJ officials or FBI agents think long and hard about abusing our systems and our trust again.
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