Back to the Future with FISA

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Lloyd Billingsley

Last month DC Circuit Court Judge James Boasberg gave FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith probation, a small fine, and community service instead of the five years in prison and the $250,000 fine his crime deserved. As it happens, Boasberg is also presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that Clinesmith had defrauded. More than a travesty of justice, Boasberg’s action lifted the robe of secrecy on the FISA court, whose unchecked power troubles many in Congress.

“The FISA court is a judicial body with no parallel in American history,” Sen. Ron Wyden explained in 2013. “A group of judges operating in complete secret and issuing binding rulings based solely on the government’s arguments.” As Sen. Richard Blumenthal clarified, the FISA court “exercises vast invisible power.” From the start, that powerful court was all about targeting American citizens. 

“FISA was originally enacted in the 1970s to curb  widespread abuses by both Presidents and former FBI officials of bugging and wiretapping Americans without any judicial warrant,” Sen. Patrick Leahy testified in 2002. One of the victims was the leftist Morton Halperin, who wrote in Defense Strategies for the Seventies that the Soviet Union constituted no danger to the United States, and the USSR never contemplated the use of military force against Western Europe. Halperin’s telephone was illegally tapped by officials in the Nixon administration.

“It is a great pleasure for me to testify again on FISA,” Halperin said in the same 2002 hearing. “As you know, I was deeply involved in the process that led to the enactment of it. I urged the Congress to support it. I still think it is in the national interest and plays a vital role.”

Sen. Edward Kennedy introduced the FISA Act in 1977, during the administration of Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan’s defeat of Carter so enraged Kennedy that he sought help from the Soviet Union, then headed by the KGB’s Yuri Andropov, a hard-line Stalinist. Kennedy offered to help Andropov deal with Reagan and in return the Soviet boss would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.

Sen. Kennedy collaborated with a hostile foreign power to influence an American election. The FISA process failed to stop or expose this criminal collaboration, which did not emerge until the 1990s. Greater failures were yet to come. As Sen. Arlen Specter also testified in 2002, FISA played no role in stopping the terrorists of September 11, 2001.

“The failure to obtain a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for Zacarias Moussaoui was a matter of enormous importance,” Specter said. If American officials had gotten into Moussaoui’s computer, and followed up on reports of terrorist flight training, Specter said, “9/11 might well have been prevented.” It wasn’t, yet the FISA court, a body with no parallel in American history, continued to wield unchecked power.

By 2016, the “composite character” David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama had transformed the nation into a more authoritarian arrangement. The outgoing president picks his successor and rigs the FBI and DOJ to support Hillary Clinton and attack Donald Trump. His campaign was not collaborating with Russia, so the task for the FBI and DOJ was to get creative. Enter Kevin Clinesmith, of the FBI’s national security and cyber law division.

The FBI lawyer falsified an email to say that U.S. Navy veteran Carter Page was not a CIA asset, when in fact he was.  That exposed the Trump associate to surveillance under FISA. Were it not for DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the crime would have gone undiscovered.

In August 2020 Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying the email, so in January 2021 he was an admitted felon awaiting sentence, not a “defendant,” as Boasberg described him. The FISA court boss also told the court Clinesmith had made a “misstatement,” a strange description of deliberate falsification. The FISA warrant to surveille Carter Page, Boasberg also explained, would have been approved even without the lawyer’s misstatement.

Judge Boasberg made these statements in open court, and his conduct is evidence of the way he acts as presiding judge of the FISA court. That body holds a distinct advantage over the U.S. Supreme Court, which operates in public, with rulings and opinions endlessly analyzed.

In 2014, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Boasberg to the FISA court, but there was no public hearing to determine his fitness to serve on that body.  The president of the United States can be impeached and so can justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. It remains unclear if FISA court judges can be impeached, and whether the secret court would allow any impeachment attempt to be made public.

Boasberg knew the FISA court would have approved the warrant on Carter Page without Clinesmith’s falsification. So Boasberg doubtless signed off the entire process, bogus dossier and all. The FISA court boss then slips back into his circuit court robe and lets Clinesmith go with a tap on the wrist. This has no parallel on the U.S. Supreme Court.

John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas et al cannot let stand a lower court ruling then step down to the lower court and participate in the sentencing process. So even without lifetime tenure – FISA court judges have a seven-year term – Boasberg holds a distinct advantage. In effect, Boasberg is the nation’s most powerful justice, and the FISA court the most powerful in the land.

Kevin Clinesmith was the only person to face criminal charges from the investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham. The alleged man of integrity brought no charges against FBI director James Comey and FBI counterintelligence boss Peter Strzok. They operated above the law and got away with it, and that travesty of justice will have serious consequences going forward.

If the FBI wants a warrant to spy on any American for partisan purposes, presiding FISA court  judge James Boasberg will be okay with it. Meanwhile, Morton Halperin, who was “deeply involved” in the creation of FISA, is now a senior advisor with the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros. The leftist billionaire is surely delighted with the way things have turned out.

Open Letter to Congress

Open Letter to Congress




It’s astonishing to watch members of Congress go on live television and pretend they don’t know how the Russian Delusion happened. A Republican congressman went on Fox and said, “we are going to look into what happened and look for ways to prevent it from happening again.” Translation: We are going to use this to pass more tyrannical laws that restrict and oppress the people. For the record, Congress, you enabled the scam by creating an unconstitutional secret court, a Star Chamber, to spy on American citizens. Remember FISA, congressman?

FISA court enabled the Obama administration to violate the Constitutional rights of everyone involved in the Trump campaign

As a matter of fact, a FISA court enabled the Obama administration to violate the Constitutional rights of everyone involved in the Trump campaign including the President, but there’s not one member of Congress, other than Rand Paul, who has acknowledged that fact. That begs the question: Is Congress so stupid that they can’t figure out how it happened, or is it that Congress doesn’t really want to prevent it from happening again? Either way, Congress has a reputation for side stepping issues, kicking the can down the road and creating new problems.

Moreover, Congress has a long standing reputation, well deserved I might add, for being a bunch of self serving politicians. The are many reasons why Americans think you are self serving politicians, and it goes all the way back to 1912 when Congressional Democrats sold America out to foreign bankers through the Federal Reserve Act. Congress not only turned America into a debtor nation, they put the American people on the hook for the debt—without the people’s consent.

Furthermore, Congress not only gave the farm away to foreign banksters they farmed out their constitutional responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats who run federal agencies that Congress created for that purpose. Congress created an alphabet soup of federal agencies run by unelected bureaucrats that have the power to make laws under the guise of rules and regulations. Congress also created the Department of Education that turned U.S. schools and universities into indoctrination centers that turn out a steady stream of socialist morons that think the electoral college is a university.

On top of that, Congress gave their Constitutional duty to regulate foreign trade and commerce to foreign bureaucrats under the guise of trade agreements. Talk about sell outs!

Republicans had a chance to restore faith in the Republican party by repealing Obamacare

Additionally, another Republican congressman went on Fox and said, “the American people don’t trust government anymore, and we have to do what we can to restore faith in government.” Hey congressman, try listening to the people who elected you and keeping your promises. Republicans had a chance to restore faith in the Republican party by repealing Obamacare. Remember Obamacare, Congressman, that you promised to repeal? We are still waiting for you to fulfill that promise. We don’t want another socialist replacement for Obamacare, we want it repealed, period.

To put it into perspective, the socialist Affordable Care Act caused the cost of health insurance to become UN-affordable for most Americans, but Congress didn’t share in the inflated costs because they voted themselves a Rolls Royce heathcare plan at the public’s expense. And even though Obamacare is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court, charged with protecting and preserving the Constitution, found a way around it. What’s irritating about it is that the majority of Americans were opposed to Obamacare, but we had no voice in the matter.

Furthermore, Congress has proven, time and time again, that the people do not have a voice in government. Congress passes tyrannical legislation like the phony Patriot Act, reinstated as the phony Freedom Act, that violates our constitutional rights, but we have no way to redress these wrongs, no voice speaking on our behalf, although that’s what Congress is suppose to be – our voice not our oppressors. We don’t have faith in government because we have to accept anything Congress, bureaucrats and courts throw at us, whether it’s constitutional or not.

Speaking of throwing things at us, Congress occasionally throws some scraps at us. The last Social Security raise is a good example of that. An elderly widow, who gets $960 a month, was excited when she heard that a generous Congress approved a 2.8 percent increase in her monthly allowance. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that 2.8 percent of her monthly government allowance wouldn’t buy much. But that’s how socialism works. The government decides how much the people get to live on as well as the quality of healthcare they get.


Congress gives away billions of dollars to foreign governments each year

Hey Congress, I know that law school graduates aren’t required to be proficient in math, but 2.8 percent of nothing is still nothing no matter how you figure it. The cost of living raises you approve isn’t enough to cover the inflation of 20 years ago. Generous? I don’t think so. You are only generous with other people’s money if there’s something in it for you.

Furthermore, Congress gives away billions of dollars to foreign governments each year, but giving a decent social security raise is too costly for Congress to consider. There’s just nothing in it for Congress, and it might cut into the billions of dollars Congress gives to oppressive governments, that people are fleeing from. It might also take away from the trillions of dollars that Congress wastes each year on government contracts to their friends, family and associates. And Congress wonders why we call them self serving politicians.

To sum it up, Congress enabled the Russian Delusion scam by passing unconstitutional legislation like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that circumvents the Constitution, and by creating an overblown federal bureaucracy where unelected bureaucrats have the power to make laws and pull off political scams like the Russian Delusion. In a nutshell, all the problems that we face today were created and facilitated by Congress.

Finally, if Congress is really serious about preventing another Russian Delusion and restoring faith in government, they will start by repealing FISA and all the other unconstitutional and oppressive legislation they passed. They will also start dismantling the useless federal bureaucracies they created, including the Department of Education. Unless Congress does all that, they are not fooling anyone except themselves and morons who voted for the likes of Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, AOC and Bernie Sanders.

Judicial Watch: Justice Department Discloses No FISA Court Hearings Held on Carter Page Warrants

‘[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.’


Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.

In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.

The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.

The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).

In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.

“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”

A Bombshell House Intelligence report exposing extensive FISA abuse could lead to the removal of senior government officials


Sara Carter

A review of a classified document outlining what is described as extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse was made available to all House members Thursday and the revelations could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, several sources with knowledge of the document stated. These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates.

The House Intelligence Committee passed the motion along party lines Thursday to make the classified report alleging extensive ‘FISA Abuse’ related to the controversial dossier available to all House members. The report contains information regarding the dossier that alleges President Trump and members of his team colluded with the Russians in the 2016 presidential election. Some members of the House viewed the document in a secure room Thursday.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., offered the motion on Thursday to make the Republican majority-authored report available to the members.

“The document shows a troubling course of conduct and we need to make the document available, so the public can see it,” said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the document. “Once the public sees it, we can hold the people involved accountable in a number of ways.”
The government official said that after reading the document “some of these people should no longer be in the government.”

The document also apparently outlines “several problematic” issues with how FISA warrants were “packaged, and used” state several sources with knowledge of the report.

Over the past year, whistleblowers in the law enforcement and intelligence community have revealed to Congress what they believe to be extensive abuse with regard to FISA surveillance, as previously reported. 

The dossier was used in part as evidence for a warrant to surveil members of the Trump campaign, according to a story published this month. Former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier in 2016, was hired by embattled research firm Fusion GPS. The firm’s founder is Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who has already testified before Congress in relation to the dossier. In October, The Washington Post revealed for the first time that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC that financed Fusion GPS.

Congressional members are hopeful that the classified information will be declassified and released to the public.

“We probably will get this stuff released by the end of the month,” stated a congressional member, who asked not to be named.

But the government official, who viewed the document said “it will be tough for a lot of people to see this and especially the media, which has been attempting to deemphasize the dossier. It’s going to punch a hole in their collusion narrative.”

The House vote to make the report available to all members is a major step in exposing the long-guarded classified documents obtained by the House Intelligence Committee over the past year. It allows members of the House to view the report and could quickly lead to a motion to declassify the report for the public, numerous House members told this reporter.

“It’s a (House Intelligence) committee document that deals with the assessment on the Department of Justice, FBI and the oversight work that is being conducted by the committee,” said a congressional source, which spoke on condition that they not be named.