Press Releases

Jordan and Johnson Press Wray on Broken FISA Process

Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson just sent FBI Director Christopher Wray a letter raising new concerns about the Bureau's use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities.

From the letter: 

"We continue to conduct oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities. On December 2, 2021, the Committee received both unclassified and classified briefings from FBI officials about its FISA authorities. The FBI subsequently provided additional information about section 702 of FISA via a letter dated December 23, 2021. We write to follow up on a number of matters raised during the December 2 briefings and the December 23 letter."

"Section 702 authorizes the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, subject to limitations, to jointly authorize warrantless surveillance of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. In November 2020, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) issued a memorandum opinion and order finding that the FBI had committed “apparent widespread violations” of privacy rules in conducting surveillance under section 702 of FISA."

"It is imperative that Congress is fully informed about the FBI’s steps to improve its respect for the constitutional and statutory parameters of FISA—including section 702, which will be up for reauthorization in 2023. Therefore, to assist the Committee’s oversight of the FBI’s use of FISA and its related provisions, we ask that you please provide the following documents and information:

1. Quantify the number of FBI employees who have access to section 702 FISA-acquired data;

2. Identify the frequency of batch queries of FISA-acquired data for 99 or fewer queries, and explain why users must only obtain attorney approval before conducting a batch search of 100 or more queries;

3. Explain the processes developed by the FBI’s new Office of Internal Auditing relating to FISA, including section 702 compliance measures;

4. Explain whether the FBI has located all of the missing Woods Files identified in the OIG’s September 2021 report, and provide the reason(s) why the FBI cannot locate all missing Woods Files;

5. Provide an update on the FBI’s implementation of the five recommendations from the OIG’s September 2021 report that the FBI has not yet implemented; and

6. Produce all guidance documents or training materials issued to FBI personnel with access to FISA-acquired data.

Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 10, 2022. In addition, we ask that your staff provide a staff-level in-person review of the FBI’s FISA processes, which the FBI offered during its December 2, 2021, briefing."

Read the full letter here.