Wednesday, September 2, 2020

AG Barr: 'What happened to the Trump presidential campaign ... must never happen again'; Tightens Rules for FBI Surveillance of Political Candidates, Staff

AG Barr: 'What happened to the Trump presidential campaign ... must never happen again':
Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday issued new guidelines and restrictions on the FBI's ability to conduct surveillance of elected officials, candidates, and their staff members and advisers, saying such investigations must be "justified and non-partisan."
The new rules, which involved requiring the FBI to consider briefing an official, candidate or adviser that they might be compromised by foreign governments before applying for a surveillance warrant, were part of department-wide changes to address problems in the early stages of the Russia investigation.
Barr and President Donald Trump's Republican allies have been critical of the Russia investigation and on the FBI's surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser during the early stages of the probe.
An inspector general's report found several errors, omissions and misstatements in the FBI's warrant applications to wiretap Carter Page in 2016 and 2017. A former FBI lawyer has pleaded guilty to falsifying an email that investigators used to justify continued surveillance of Page. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Barr Tightens Rules for FBI Surveillance of Political Candidates, Staff:
Attorney General William Barr put new restrictions Tuesday on government surveillance of political campaigns, the latest fallout from an inspector general report that found problems with the way the FBI sought to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser.
One new rule requires officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to consider warning a political candidate, elected official, aides or staffers that a foreign government might be targeting them before seeking a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to secretly tap their communications. If the agency opts not to do so, the FBI director must document the reasoning for such a decision in writing. The application must go through several layers of review, including a signoff from the attorney general.
Another new policy sets up an internal office within the FBI to more broadly scrutinize the bureau’s national security work.
“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,” Mr. Barr said in announcing the policies.
The rules, which Mr. Barr outlined in a pair of memos, are the latest in a number of changes to the Justice Department’s surveillance procedures in response to the findings of an inspector general who reviewed the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. --->READ MORE HERE

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