Tag Archives: abuses

John Brennan Claims FISA Abuses were Committed by ‘Overly Aggressive’ FBI Agents ‘Doing Their Level Best’

John Brennan Claims FISA Abuses were Committed by ‘Overly Aggressive’ FBI Agents ‘Doing Their Level Best’Former CIA director John Brennan on Tuesday defended the FBI agents who committed errors in applications for warrants to surveil Trump-campaign associate Carter Page and pushed back on the allegation that they were motivated by partisanship, but admitted that "there were mistakes made.""Well clearly, there were mistakes made based on the inspector general's report," Brennan told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "And I know a lot of people attribute it either to incompetence or politicization. Well, I just might attribute it to, these were FBI agents who were doing their level best to try to prevent Russia interference in the election."In a report on the FBI's Russia probe released earlier this month, the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that the bureau omitted crucial details in its requests for warrants to surveil the Trump campaign. The FBI failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the controversial Steele dossier, which played a "central and essential" role in the application to spy on Page, contained unreliable information and was indirectly commissioned by the Clinton campaign.Inspector General Michael Horowitz also found that an FBI lawyer doctored an email used in the warrant application to conceal the fact that Page served as a source for the CIA, a potential crime prosecutors are now investigating.However, Horowitz nevertheless concluded that no political bias tainted the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation."They were probably overly aggressive, they didn't pay careful enough attention to some of the details, they may have ignored some aspects of the work that was uncovered," the former CIA director said. "But I think the IG was very clear that politicization did not seem to creep into any aspect of their work either at the initiation of the investigation or throughout."Brennan emphasized, however, that the concerns with the FISA court "really need to be addressed" given the court's "tremendous authority" to allow the FBI to surveil U.S. citizens.The former CIA chief also said he sees partisanship on both sides among the lawmakers responsible for Congress's oversight responsibilities."The Republicans are not the only ones that engaged in this partisan activity. I experienced some of it on the Democratic side when I was director of CIA and at the White House," Brennan said.



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FISA Court Issues Rare Public Order Condemning FBI for Russia Probe Abuses and Demanding Reforms

FISA Court Issues Rare Public Order Condemning FBI for Russia Probe Abuses and Demanding ReformsIn a rare public order issued Tuesday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court condemned the FBI for the errors and omissions in its application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page and gave the bureau until January 10th to propose reforms to prevent future abuses.The order follows the release of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report, which detailed 17 "significant errors and omissions" in the warrant application to surveil Page."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," wrote the FISA court."Therefore, the Court orders that the government shall, no later than January 10, 2020, inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application," the order continues.The publication of the IG report caused Senate Republicans to call for reform of the FISA application process, and several publicly acknowledged Utah Senator and FISA-skeptic Mike Lee as a leader on the issue.“I wish Mike Lee weren’t sitting here two people from me right now, because as a national security hawk, I’ve argued with Mike Lee in the four-and-a-half or five years that I’ve been in the Senate that stuff just like this couldn’t possibly happen at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,” Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) said during a Senate hearing on the IG report.“Because we’ve now seen the abuses we were warned about, you can smirk again, you were right,” Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) told Lee.



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Nunes Urges Schiff to Accept the IG’s Findings on FBI FISA Abuses: ‘You Are in Need of Rehabilitation’

Nunes Urges Schiff to Accept the IG’s Findings on FBI FISA Abuses: ‘You Are in Need of Rehabilitation’Ranking House Intelligence Committee Republican Devin Nunes rebuked committee chairman Adam Schiff in a Sunday letter, telling Schiff he is "in need of rehabilitation" if he is to fully accept the Justice Department's inspector general report detailing the FISA abuses committed by the FBI during their Russia probe."After publishing false conclusions of such enormity on a topic directly within this committee's oversight responsibilities, it is clear you are in need of rehabilitation, and I hope this letter will serve as the first step in that vital process," Nunes wrote in a Sunday letter.After originally dismissing Nunes's concerns about the warrant process, Schiff admitted that the FBI committed significant errors in its application to the FISA court to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page."FBI and DOJ officials did not 'abuse' the [FISA] process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign," Schiff wrote in a memo last year, adding a claim that the warrant applications "made only narrow use of information from Steele's sources."However, the inspector general's report documented 17 "significant errors and omissions" in the process and said the FBI failed to inform the FISA court about the partisan origins of the Steele dossier, which they also failed to independently corroborate.On Sunday, Schiff said he "certainly accepts" that "the inspector general found things that we didn't know 2 years ago."Nunes commended Schiff for that acknowledgement, calling it "a valuable first step—a baby step, but a step nonetheless—in your rehabilitation.""As part of your rehabilitation, it's crucial that you admit you have a problem—you are hijacking the Intelligence Committee for political purposes while excusing and covering up intelligence agency abuses," Nunes wrote. "Rehabilitation will be a long, arduous process."The intelligence committee held an impeachment hearing last week and the lower chamber is expected to hold a full House vote this week to impeach President Trump over accusations that he engaged in a quid pro quo involving temporarily withheld U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Trump is accused of witholding the aid to coerce Ukrainian officials to announce the opening of a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.



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Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses began by 1985, targeted 13-year-old, lawsuit claims

Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses began by 1985, targeted 13-year-old, lawsuit claimsFinancier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of girls and young women began as early as 1985 and targeted victims as young as 13 years old, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by nine accusers against his estate. The accusers, known as Jane Doe I through Jane Doe IX, are among more than 20 women so far to formally seek compensation from Epstein’s $ 577 million estate, after he killed himself on Aug. 10 in a Manhattan jail cell. Epstein’s death at age 66 was ruled a suicide, and came five weeks after his arrest on federal charges he trafficked dozens of underage girls from at least 2002 to 2005.



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Business class passenger racially abuses Asian crew member and demands to be served by 'white girl', court hears

Business class passenger racially abuses Asian crew member and demands to be served by 'white girl', court hearsAn IT consultant racially abused a female British Airways cabin crew member and demanded he be served only by a “white girl,” a court has heard.Peter Nelson, 46, became irate after being woken up by Sima Patel-Pryke while flying business class from London’s Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, jurors were told.



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Allegations of labor abuses dogged Mississippi plant years before immigration raids

Allegations of labor abuses dogged Mississippi plant years before immigration raidsLast August, Illinois-based poultry supplier Koch Foods settled a multi-year lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of more than 100 workers at the Morton, Mississippi, plant over claims the company knew – or should have known – of sexual and physical assaults against its Hispanic workers. Mark Kaminsky, chief operating officer at Koch, said the company admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement and maintains, after fighting the matter in court for more than eight years, that all the allegations contained in the lawsuit are false.



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Report alleges ethical abuses at UN agency for Palestinians

Report alleges ethical abuses at UN agency for PalestiniansAn internal ethics report has alleged mismanagement and abuses of authority at the highest levels of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees even as the organisation faced an unprecedented crisis after US funding cuts. The allegations included in the confidential report by the agency’s ethics department are now being scrutinised by UN investigators. The agency — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — said it is cooperating fully with the investigation and that it cannot comment in detail because the probe is ongoing.



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Charity says 24 Polish bishops covered up sex abuses of minors

Charity says 24 Polish bishops covered up sex abuses of minorsA Polish charity helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests accused 24 bishops on Thursday of concealing perpetrators of sexual molestation of minors. The “Have No Fear” charity made the allegation in a report released as Pope Francis convened Catholic leaders from around the world to address scandals over child sexual abuse by priests that have ravaged the Church’s credibility over the last three decades. The report, which has been delivered to the pope, named Polish bishops whom it said had “concealed clerical crimes and moved pedophilic priests from one parish to another”.



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Facebook bans Myanmar army chief, top brass over rights abuses

Facebook bans Myanmar army chief, top brass over rights abusesFacebook banned Myanmar’s army chief and other top military brass on Monday after a UN investigation recommended they face prosecution for genocide for a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. Facebook acknowledged this was the first time it had banned a state or military actor, noting it was a “unique” situation. “We’ve taken this step in Myanmar following findings by international experts, including a recent UN-commissioned report, that many of these officials committed serious human rights abuses in the country,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja said.



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After a ‘Fox & Friends’ appearance in which he praises Kim Jong Un, Trump takes questions from reporters on North Korea’s human rights abuses

After a ‘Fox & Friends’ appearance in which he praises Kim Jong Un, Trump takes questions from reporters on North Korea’s human rights abusesAfter an appearance on “Fox & Friends” in which President Trump praised and joked about Kim Jong Un, he answered questions from reporters about North Korea’s human rights abuses.



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