Comey Lied: FBI Illegally Shared Raw Intel on Americans
May 26, 2017
According to newly declassified government documents the FBI illegally shared raw intelligence on Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections
(VERO BEACH, FL) Flying in direct contradiction to his final congressional testimony under oath as the Director of the FBI, newly declassified top secret U.S. Intelligence memos have revealed that when James Comey told lawmakers that his agency only used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant “when it was lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked,” he may have been lying.
The newly available documents cite numerous instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.
Included in the document trove is a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) ruling with nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules under Comey’s leadership.
The FBI admitted to the FISA judge they had been engaged in illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties and had accessed intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight.
“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling from the FISA judge read.
Under Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Act, the NSA was authorized to share spy data collected without a warrant with the FBI, which includes the communications of Americans with “foreign targets.”
The Justice Department inspector general’s office also shared the FISA judge’s concern and believed as early as 2012 that the FBI was being less than transparent with its activities of gathering spy data gathered on Americans without a warrant.
In a 2015 declassified report, the DOJ’s IG office accused the FBI of submitting ‘deficient” reports in relation to their compliance with Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Act, and “easily” found evidence that the FBI accessed NSA data gathered on a person who was likely in the United States, making it illegal to review without a warrant.
“We found several instances in which the FBI acquired communications on the same day that the NSA determined through analysis of intercepted communications that the person was in the United States,” the declassified DOJ IG report revealed.
Full story by Circa investigative Reporter Sara Parker is available here
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