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DOJ office finds errors in audit of FBI's surveillance applications

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a memorandum to FBI Director Christopher Wray Monday that his office has found a lack of compliance with Woods Procedures, in 29  FISA applications. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a memorandum to FBI Director Christopher Wray Monday that his office has found a lack of compliance with "Woods Procedures," in 29  FISA applications. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- The Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General has found errors in an audit of the FBI's compliance with factual accuracy review procedures for 29 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications.

A December report that found "fundamental and serious errors" in the FBI's compliance with factual accuracy review procedures, known as "Woods Procedures," in four applications for surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page sparked the broader audit of 29 FISA applications, Inspector General Michael Horowitz' memorandum shows.

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The new audit focused on 29 applications for surveillance "relating to U.S. persons and involving both counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations" over a five-year period. It found "apparent errors or inadequately supported facts" in 25 applications and no sub-file known as the "Woods File," which contains documentation to support every factual assertion in the FISA application, for four applications.

"We do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy," Horowitz wrote in a "Management Advisory Memorandum" to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday based on the new findings.

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The Office of the Inspector General also lacks confidence that "the process is working as it was intended to help achieve the 'scrupulously accurate' standard for FISA applications," Horowitz added.

The FBI should work with the National Security Division to "identify patterns or trends" in errors and "enhance training to improve agents performance in completing the Woods Procedures," the Office of Inspector General recommended in the memorandum.

The FBI should also "perform a physical inventory to ensure that Woods Files exist for every FISA application submitted to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] in all pending investigations," the memo said.

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The audit was conducted from a sample of 29 applications out of 700 from October 2014 to September 2019.

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