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1. With the coming release of the IG report on the 2016 election FISA abuses and, with the hopeful expectation that the Durham report on the origins of the Russian collusion claims against Trump will shortly follow; I thought I'd try to learn more about the FISA process itself.
2. I started with the rules of procedure to discover WHO is responsible for or even capable of, applying for a FISA warrant. This may help us determine who signed the warrant applications to spy on Trump's campaign AND, find out if they were even legally capable of doing so.
3. I hit my first big understanding just a few minutes into this research. Folks, there are MULTIPLE FISA tools and jurisdictions. Each and every single on them has specific instructions, requirements and protocols. And, they each provide a limited specific surveillance approval.
4. Important to understand: there are numerous methods of surveillance and there are borders and jurisdictions to consider. Both the methods and the locations cause the approvals of the warrant to be assigned to or transfered to one FISA judge, or another. Makes sense.
5. There are multiple US Title code sections under which a FISA warrant can be applied for. Each method of surveillance and sometimes even each location in which the surveillance will be carried out, requires a separate application and approval. Some applications can be combined.
6. Once the IG and Durham reports come out, I'm hoping this thread will help us identify which Title code section(s) was used to authorize the surveillance AND perhaps which person(s) was responsible for the applications. Needless to say, this "operation" required a LOT of work.
7. The FISA Rules of Procedure "Title IV" provides the sections that contain specific types of collection methods and the requirements to obtain warrants. Each surveillance method requires a separate application. Some methods require VERY specific people to file the application.
8. 1804(a) - "Each application for an order approving electronic surveillance under this subchapter shall be made by a FEDERAL OFFICER in writing..."

This section is specifically for "ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE".

And, the application requires AG (US Attorney General) approval.
9. Section 1804 contains a very telling section regarding the process for Attorney General approval. This photo shows the requirements of section 1804(d)(1)(A) when regarding a "target" of section 1801(b)(2).

Note who can request review of a warrant application for this method.
10. "Upon written request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency..."

All those people can request this. Not JUST the FBI.
11. We're given a description of a target that falls under section 1801(b)(2). "Agent of a foreign power". The photo below contains the definition, there was too much to cut and paste into this thread.

50 U.S. Code § 1801.Definitions

(b)“Agent of a foreign power” means—
12. If Trump or someone in Trump's campaign was the target of this section the people capable of requesting the review of the FISA application are FBI (James Comey), SecDef (Ash Carter), SecOfState (John Kerry), DNI (James Clapper) or ClA director (John Brennan).


Moving on.
13. Section 1842 covers Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations. If this section was used against the Trump campaign, it had to be requested by the AG or a designated attorney for the government.
14. There's an another section in 1842(c) about a person requesting this surveillance method. The AG or designated attorney must submit the request to the court when asking for this method BUT, a Federal officer can submit the original request to the AG or designated attorney.
15. Section 1861, access to and copying of business records. The request MUST come from the director of the FBI (Comey) or an FBI designee not lower than an Asst Special Agent in Charge.

NOTE: The AG may authorize this warrant WITHOUT THE FISA court approval for an "emergency".
16. Sections in 1881 are different. These FISA warrant applications deal with the location in which the acquisition of "foreign intelligence information" will take place.

There's a specific allowance in each section to cover what the previous does not.

US target = US person.
17. 1881b - collect intelligence INSIDE the US from US targets while the target is OUTSIDE the US.

1881c - collect intelligence from US targets OUTSIDE the US.

1881d - a FISA judge can combine applications to collect intelligence on a US target both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the US.
18. Section 1881b: " acquire foreign intelligence information...(via)...electronic surveillance...stored electronic communications or stored electronic data that requires an order under this chapter, and such acquisition is conducted within the United States."
19. It should be noted that this section, 1881b, deals with the secretive collection of "foreign intelligence information" from locations INSIDE the United States while the "target" is OUTSIDE the country. Just what is foreign intelligence information? Well...the list is long!
20. Section 1881c - to gather intelligence FROM a US target, while that person is OUTSIDE the US.

Something of note. Of ALL the collection methods available, this is the ONLY ONE that has an explained expectation of privacy of the US person and a limited scope of authorization.
21. 1881c, once again, can be requested by a Federal officer, submitted to the AG. Another observation. If the AG believes there's an emergency necessity to collect intelligence under this section, the AG himself can authorize the warrant, just like 1861, 1881b and 1881d.
22. Note: 1881b says "Certain acquisitions inside the United States targeting United States persons outside the United States"

1881c says "Other acquisitions targeting United States persons outside the United States"

1881d says "Joint applications and concurrent authorizations"
23. It looks like there's applications required for the type or method of intelligence gathering to be done. And then, perhaps there's also an application required for where the gathering will be done.

The first 4 sections are how, the last 3 are where.
24. I imagine when a FISA warrant application package is put together it would contain an application for say 1804 to obtain electronic surveillance authorization and then perhaps there would be an 1881b(b) application as well, saying the collection will take place inside the US.

Jeff Sessions was recused. Rod Rosenstein HAD to see and sign off on each application as the acting AG.

26. Well, that's all I got on this. I hope that it helps when the reports hit and the web has to be detangled. I don't know if I'm correct about filing a 2 part application (method/location) but redundancy helps to ensure US PERSON's rights, in theory.
27. Thank you to for their amazing legal resource online. Without them I could never have found my way through this.

God Bless,


28. Dang it! When I tried to submit this thread Twitter beat it up and it lost some of my posts. I had to rewrite some and I'm missing two important things here.

Section 1823 is another FISA warrant application section. It deals specifically with physical (property) searches.
29. Each section is unique.


1804 - Electronic Surveillance
1823 - Physical Searches
1842 - Pen Register and Trap / Trace
1861 - Business Records (to copy/reproduce)
1881b(b) - Collections stateside
1881c(b) - Collections outside the US
1881d(a) - Combine locations
30. With the sections lined up you can see each one is specific for a method or a location that the intelligence-gathering would be done. It'll be interesting to see which sections were used and what warrants were approved and the FISA abuse against Trump's campaign.

- End (X2)
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