On Friday afternoon the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's December 17th order to address the Court's concerns about the accuracy of the Bureau's filings. That order came as a result of the Justice Department Inspector General's finding that the FBI had, as the New York Times characterized it, “cherry-picked and misstated evidence” they submitted to secure a wiretap on one-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The FBI's response outlined the steps the Bureau intends to take (and already has taken) to prevent a recurrence of the tendentious and misleading presentation of evidence to the FISC. The tone throughout is contrite, and the filing concludes, "The FBI has the utmost respect for this Court, and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the OIG. The OIG Report and the affiliated Rule 13(a) letters describe conduct that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution. FISA is an indispensable tool in national security investigations, and in recognition of our duty of candor to the Court and our responsibilities to the American people, the FBI is committed to working with the Court and DOJ to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the FISA process."
Criminal investigations into two business email compromise scams affecting local government, one in New York, the other in Texas, are in progress. The New York case has had, so far, a happier ending: Nassau County has recovered $710 thousand its Comptroller's office paid to crooks pretending to be a county contractor. The money, Newsday reports, bounced around a bit, first to an elderly Seattle woman's account from where it was distributed to several other accounts, all of which were quickly frozen. The funds were recovered, and the Seattle woman is an unwitting victim and no sort of accomplice. Police hope to make arrests in the near future.
The other case involved the Manor Independent School District in Manor, Texas. Three separate payments totaling $2.3 million were made in November to scammers who succeeded in deceiving school district personnel with phishing emails. The Manor Police Department told CNN they have "strong leads" in the case, but beyond that authorities remain tight-lipped.