New DOJ FOIA disclosure: FISA Court held no hearings on Carter Page warrant application

New DOJ FOIA disclosure: FISA Court held no hearings on Carter Page warrant application

[Ed. – This is actually pretty significant.  A distinct possibility it raises is that the application was basically a formality, to catch the paperwork up with surveillance that was already ongoing.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch had the authority to start the surveillance before the court handed down a decision — and in fact, if the AG has already launched surveillance, the court is more likely to rubber-stamp the formal application.]

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.

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