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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 469)

FISA Slams FBI Over Surveillance Of Trump Adviser Carter Page

Westlake Legal Group facebook-default-wide FISA Slams FBI Over Surveillance Of Trump Adviser Carter Page

The secret court that oversees foreign intelligence work rebuked the FBI and Justice Department, essentially asking for the government to prove why its judges should believe what they submit.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The FBI is facing more blowback over its surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. This time, the criticism comes from the secretive court that oversees foreign intelligence surveillance. It’s accusing the FBI of misleading the court when seeking approval for surveillance on Page. We’re joined now by NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas.

Welcome back to the studio.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Thank you.

CORNISH: What did the court have to say in this order today?

LUCAS: Well, first off, it’s incredibly rare to hear anything from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and this is the court that basically signs off on surveillance of Americans for intelligence surveillance purposes. It operates very much behind closed doors, so any public order is really a big deal. And in this case, we’re talking about a four-page order from the court’s chief judge. Her name is Rosemary Collyer, and she has some pretty sharp criticism for the FBI over its applications for surveillance on Page. She says the court makes its decisions based on facts submitted by the FBI. And in the case of Page, she says the FBI misled the court. It withheld information. Its applications were riddled with errors.

The bureau, she says, has a duty to be fully forthcoming with the court. And in Page’s case, the FBI’s actions were antithetical, she says, to that duty. In fact, it’s handling calls into question information in other FBI applications is what the chief judge says. So she’s ordering the government to say what it has done so far and what it plans to do to ensure that this does not happen again, and she’s given the government a January 10 deadline to do so.

CORNISH: Why is this all happening now?

LUCAS: So remember. The Justice Department’s inspector general released his big report on the early stages of the Russia investigation last week. A big part of that looked at the FBI surveillance of Page, and the inspector general documented 17 significant errors or omissions in the FBI’s applications for surveillance on Page. The FBI, for example, did not inform Justice Department lawyers who oversee this whole process of information that undercut the case for surveillance on Page. A few days later, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the inspector general’s report.

Republicans and Democrats right now, of course, don’t agree on a whole lot. One thing that they did agree on in this hearing, though – people on both sides of the aisle – was the need to look at possible changes to the process for getting court’s – the court’s approval for foreign intelligence surveillance.

CORNISH: So you have the inspector general’s report and then criticism from lawmakers and now word from the FISA court itself. Are we likely to see changes in the law?

LUCAS: You know, it’s hard to say right now. It is still very early in this process. The inspector general’s report just came out last week. But certainly, advocates for change are eager to seize on this opportunity right now. The American Civil Liberties Union said that Congress has to radically reform this process to increase accountability. They say that the whole process for getting surveillance from this court as it stands right now is really ripe for abuse. But national security folks say that, you know, this surveillance power is critical for the FBI. It’s critical in both counterintelligence and counterterrorism cases.

But nobody is defending the errors and mistakes that were made in the case of Carter Page and documented in the inspector general’s report. FBI director Christopher Wray said that he accepts the inspector general’s findings. Wray says he’s already vowed to make changes to how the FBI handles its applications for this kind of surveillance in order to make sure that the information that the FBI is providing the court is completely accurate and is complete. There has been rumbling, of course, from the Hill, as I said earlier, to make changes. But it really is too early at this point to say whether that will reach the critical mass to actually get something done.

CORNISH: That’s NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas.

Thank you.

LUCAS: Thank you.

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Trump’s Trade Deals Raise, Rather Than Remove, Economic Barriers

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-chinatrade-01-facebookJumbo Trump’s Trade Deals Raise, Rather Than Remove, Economic Barriers World Trade Organization United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy United States Trump, Donald J North America Mexico Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Factories and Manufacturing Customs (Tariff) China Agriculture and Farming

WASHINGTON — For years, America’s trade agreements have tried to break down economic barriers between nations by removing tariffs and other impediments to cross-border commerce. President Trump’s trade deals have turned that approach on its head.

Mr. Trump’s new trade deal with China promises to lower some of the walls Beijing has erected for foreign companies — including opening its financial markets, streamlining imports of American agriculture and offering greater protection for intellectual property.

But it leaves in place tariffs on the bulk of Chinese imports — more than $360 billion worth of goods. And it requires voluminous Chinese purchases of American products — $200 billion of additional sales over the next two years, according to the Trump administration — a significant shift that experts say moves trade policy away from promoting free markets and back toward an earlier era of managed trade.

Mr. Trump’s newly revised North American trade deal similarly contains provisions that open up markets for dairy, digital services and other industries. But its most transformative changes are to tighten the rules for North American automotive manufacturing to try to spur more production within the continent, a move some Republican lawmakers say will weigh on trade.

The agreements are the product of Mr. Trump’s transactional trade approach, one that aims to wield America’s economic power to force other nations to buy more American products. His “America First” philosophy looks upon global supply chains and the free trade deals they were built on with suspicion, and seeks to force sprawling multinational companies to move operations to the United States, in an effort to bolster American growth and lower the trade deficit.

His administration also sees little use for the type of multilateral organizations that have tried to lift economic growth around the world by promoting free trade. Last week, the administration effectively crippled the World Trade Organization’s ability to resolve trade disputes after a sustained campaign against a critical part of the body.

Mr. Trump promoted his approach in a round table with governors at the White House on Monday, saying that past trade rules set by “globalists” had allowed factories and wealth to flow out of the United States.

“I would watch as they close plants, everybody gets fired. They move to Mexico or some other place, including China,” the president said. “And some people are happy. But no, not me.”

He praised his China deal for increasing sales of American products and said his revised North American trade deal had built strong barriers to keep companies from leaving the United States.

“It’s very hard to move,” the president said. “Economically, it makes it really prohibitive to get out. And it was very important to me.”

Doug Irwin, a trade historian at Dartmouth College, said the pacts were a substantial departure from those enacted under Mr. Trump’s recent predecessors — both Republicans and Democrats — who worked to lower global tariffs and build an international system that enshrined freer trade. “Most trade agreements that we’ve seen in history are agreements to liberalize markets, to get government out of trade in some sense,” he said.

But Mr. Trump and his advisers display little ideological commitment to free trade, which has animated the Republican Party for decades. They argue that political paeons to free trade have largely been cover for multinational companies — and their lobbyists — to outsource production, with devastating results for American workers.

In an interview with the Fox Business Network on Tuesday, Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s top trade negotiator, acknowledged that the agreements were not likely to please those who prioritized free markets.

“I understand the people that believe in just protecting investors and pure market efficiency,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “They’re not going to be happy because we are making it more expensive to operate in some other areas and less expensive in the United States.”

“The president’s objective is to help manufacturing workers in this country. It’s to help farmers in this country,” Mr. Lighthizer added. “Global efficiency is a nice objective, but he always says he got elected president of the United States, not president of the world.”

Mr. Trump’s aggressive approach to reworking the global trading system has been praised by some parts of industry as an attempt to fix a situation they say has been disastrous for American workers.

“Trump and team have what appears to be a strong deal,” Daniel DiMicco, a former steel industry executive who leads the Coalition for a Prosperous America, said of the China trade pact. “The cost of maintaining the status quo is infinitely greater.”

Yet many economists and trade experts fear the approach could backfire on the United States, by degrading the international trading system and raising the cost of manufacturing, resulting in lower productivity and economic growth.

In an analysis published Tuesday, Mary E. Lovely and Jeffrey J. Schott, two economists at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, projected that the provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would hurt American industry, by driving up the cost of making cars and weighing on growth.

Analysts at Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that the China deal had raised their estimates for global growth, but done less to lower trade barriers than anticipated. The trade truce leaves the effective American tariff rate on Chinese products at 16 percent, below the 25 percent level that Mr. Trump had threatened to raise it to, but up from roughly 3 percent before the trade war, they said.

The North American and China pacts, which together cover countries responsible for more than half of America’s trade, are the first translation of Mr. Trump’s trade ideals into policy.

But they also bear the imprint of Mr. Lighthizer, who has a long history of favoring a managed trade approach. As a trade negotiator for the Reagan administration in the early 1980s, Mr. Lighthizer made a mark negotiating agreements with Japan to limit the amount of products it exported to the United States. The World Trade Organization later banned agreements that seek to restrain a country’s exports.

Mr. Lighthizer left government in 1985, but the Reagan administration continued with a managed trade approach, pushing Japan and South Korea to agree to import a certain amount of products. The Clinton administration also considered the tactic, but faced criticism that it would encourage state interventionism as the United States was pushing Japan to adopt a freer market, said Mr. Irwin, the historian.

That history has direct parallels to China, where American officials have been urging the government for decades to reduce its role in the economy. Trump administration officials, including Mr. Lighthizer, have also criticized Beijing for using preferential policies, subsidies and central planning to give its businesses an advantage over American ones.

But the trade deal announced Friday appears to make little progress on those issues. Instead, its largest feature appears to be purchases that are likely to be beneficial for American businesses but may wind up further strengthening the hand of the Chinese state.

Some of the purchases, which Mr. Lighthizer has projected will roughly double American exports to China by 2021, are expected to happen naturally, as China lowers trade barriers to American goods. But others, including in agriculture, energy and aviation, would most likely be done by fiat, through China’s state-controlled entities.

Critics say this approach could end up giving the Chinese state even greater discretion over certain markets. Some agricultural producers have expressed concern that the trade deal’s firm targets could undercut their ability to negotiate with Chinese customers.

Nicholas R. Lardy, a China expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the purchasing agreement “could go against longer-term U.S. goals” to encourage China to adopt a market-oriented system, “but we have to see what the exact language is.”

“If it’s an ironclad commitment, then I think it’s a move in the wrong direction,” he said.

Mr. Lighthizer and some supporters say the targets are an effective way to deal with a country like China that does not play by market rules.

Clyde Prestowitz, the president of the Economic Strategy Institute and a former Reagan official, said purchasing commitments are “anathema to dyed-in-the-wool free traders and contrary to mathematical free trade models.” However, he said, they offer “a buffer between truly open, competitive free markets and markets that are wholly or partially government managed.”

When it comes to China, he said, “to imagine that foreign players can just move in and compete as they do in the U.S. or the E.U. is to be dreaming.”

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AOC, Sanders, Warren back legislation seen as ‘first step’ towards decriminalizing sex work

Westlake Legal Group Sanders-AOC-Warren_AP AOC, Sanders, Warren back legislation seen as 'first step' towards decriminalizing sex work Sam Dorman fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9243fcc0-811a-556b-8256-6b8f34bafcce

Prominent progressives are calling for additional scrutiny over anti-sex trafficking legislation by supporting a House bill which is seen by its sponsor as a potential first step to decriminalizing sex work.

The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would study the effects of two anti-sex trafficking bills — the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act [SESTA/FOSTA] — that became law last year. Opponents say the new law makes consensual sex work more difficult. According to Khanna’s office, the law has forced sex workers off of online platforms and into more dangerous situations.

“Sex workers have relied on such internet platforms to screen clients and negotiate boundaries for consensual, transactional sex services, including condom use and other harm reduction strategies,” Khanna said in a press release on Tuesday,

“While SESTA/FOSTA was intended to curb online sex trafficking, by banning the ‘promotion of prostitution,’ a host of internet platforms relied on by sex workers have shut down,” he added.

IS THE ONLINE SEX TRAFFICKING ERA ABOUT TO MEET THE ‘DELETE’ KEY?

Khanna’s legislation has received support from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — all of whom have expressed openness to decriminalization. According to the release, Sanders is an original co-sponsor. The bill, introduced on Tuesday, also received backing from Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramilia Jayapal, D-Wa., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

While the release didn’t specifically call for decriminalizing sex work, Khanna’s office confirmed that the congressman saw the study as a “first step” towards decriminalization.

KAMALA HARRIS CALLS FOR DECRIMINALIZING SEX WORK, INSISTS TRUMP IS RACIST

A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who sponsored the original legislation, suggested the study would help facilitate illegal activity.

“We have no interest in doing a study on how to facilitate any further illegal activity,” spokesperson Emmalee Kalmbach told Fox News.

Portman defended the legislation in a statement provided to Fox News.

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“Passage of SESTA was an important milestone and hard-fought victory for the victims and survivors of online sex trafficking. In this century, in this country, no man, woman, or child should be subjected to sex trafficking,” he said.

“Thanks to the enactment [of] SESTA, prosecutors can now go after these online traffickers, victims of this abhorrent crime can now have their day in court, and websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking are being shut down and being held liable for their actions.”

Spokespersons for Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.”

Westlake Legal Group Sanders-AOC-Warren_AP AOC, Sanders, Warren back legislation seen as 'first step' towards decriminalizing sex work Sam Dorman fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9243fcc0-811a-556b-8256-6b8f34bafcce   Westlake Legal Group Sanders-AOC-Warren_AP AOC, Sanders, Warren back legislation seen as 'first step' towards decriminalizing sex work Sam Dorman fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9243fcc0-811a-556b-8256-6b8f34bafcce

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7 Days That Shook 7 Decades Of World Trade

Westlake Legal Group rts2udf1-bfd92c3de86221bfc33f6b0355a61fab04b27136-s1100-c15 7 Days That Shook 7 Decades Of World Trade

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks Dec. 10 in Mexico City during an event to sign an updated trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It was just one development in a week that exposed deep cracks in the global trading system. Henry Romero/Reuters hide caption

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Henry Romero/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  7 Days That Shook 7 Decades Of World Trade

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks Dec. 10 in Mexico City during an event to sign an updated trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It was just one development in a week that exposed deep cracks in the global trading system.

Henry Romero/Reuters

It took seven decades after World War II to put together a system of free trade around the world. That system has been rocked in just the last seven days.

Last Tuesday, congressional Democrats agreed to an updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Three days later, China agreed to its own, preliminary trade pact with the United States.

“Friday was probably the most momentous day in trade history, ever,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told CBS.

Both deals purport to foster cross-border trade, but they also include protectionist measures. And to get there, Trump put up roadblocks — ordering stiff tariffs against Canada, Mexico and China.

“It does show that President Trump’s example of being a tough, hard-nosed bargainer on trade and economic matters works,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News.

That same week, conservatives in the U.K. won a resounding victory in parliamentary elections and Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to push forward with Brexit, “no ifs, no buts, no maybes.”

On both sides of the Atlantic, populist leaders are challenging long-established notions of how trade should be conducted.

“We have leaders today saying they want to be connected to the world, but only on terms that they dictate and only according to the criteria for what constitutes ‘winning,’ ” said Matthew Slaughter, an economist who served in the George W. Bush White House.

That zero-sum approach is at odds with the rules-based international order that the U.S. spent decades helping to build.

While Johnson is bent on withdrawing from the European Union, Trump is knee-capping the World Trade Organization. Trump has blocked appointments to the WTO’s appellate body, which lost its ability to referee trade disputes last Tuesday.

With no referee, Trump is freer to follow his own protectionist instincts, slapping tariffs on friends and foes alike. Critics say when other countries follow that example, the global economy suffers.

“If we’re all going to go out unilaterally and just impose tariffs, it’s going to have friction. And friction can explode,” said former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills.

Tariff battles in the 1930s contributed to the Great Depression and the war that followed.

“Most historians look back and say the economic frictions were the match that ignited the fire,” Hills said.

After the war, the U.S. and other countries worked to build a rules-based international trading system in hopes of fostering peace and prosperity, and preventing stronger countries from taking advantage of others.

To be sure, that system hasn’t worked equally well for everyone. While some American industries have thrived with greater access to global markets, others have suffered from overseas competition.

Slaughter, who is now dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, said populist leaders like Trump and Johnson may be well-intentioned in catering to those who feel hurt by globalization. But he warned that protectionist trade agreements and a withdrawal from global engagement are not the answer.

“Most people don’t want just walls,” Slaughter said. “They get that globalization in general is good. What they really want are bridges that will build ladders of opportunity at the same time so people have a chance to thrive and benefit from all the dynamism of innovation and globalization.”

The last seven days have exposed deep cracks in the global trading system. The months to come will show whether those cracks can be repaired, or if the system is bound to crumble under populist pressure.

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Mexico’s ex-public security secretary charged with taking bribes from ‘El Chapo’ cartel is denied bond

Mexico‘s former public security secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna, was held without bond at a Texas jail on Tuesday, as he awaits trial for accepting bribes from the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for ignoring their criminal activity.

Garcia Luna, 51, was indicted on three counts of conspiring to traffic cocaine, and a false statements charge, according to The Associated Press.

A judge reportedly ordered him to be held in Texas until U.S. Marshals could arrange for his transfer to New York, where the infamous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was tried in 2018.

Garcia Luna was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Dallas last Monday on charges of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel, which was run by “El Chapo.”

MEXICAN CARTELS SUBJECT TO TERRORIST LEVEL SANCTIONS UNDER NEW GOP SPONSORED BILL

Westlake Legal Group El-Chapo-sentancing-AP Mexico's ex-public security secretary charged with taking bribes from 'El Chapo' cartel is denied bond Nick Givas fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc article 51864df0-69b3-54b8-8460-ec287264809c

In this courtroom sketch, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, second from right, listened to his sentence via interpreter while surrounded by U.S. Marshals and flanked by his defense attorney Marc Fernich, during his sentencing in federal court on July 17 in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

“Garcia Luna stands accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel while he controlled Mexico’s Federal Police Force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said.

“Today’s arrest demonstrates our resolve to bring to justice those who help cartels inflict devastating harm on the United States and Mexico, regardless of the positions they held while committing their crimes,” he added.

Garcia Luna allegedly took bribes from 2001 until 2012. He served as Mexico’s public security secretary from 2006 to 2012.

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During El Chapo’s trial in Brooklyn, former cartel member Jesus Zambada testified that he personally made at least $6 million in hidden payments to Garcia Luna.

Fox News’ Robert Gearty and The Associated Press contributed to this report 

Westlake Legal Group Genaro-Garcia Mexico's ex-public security secretary charged with taking bribes from 'El Chapo' cartel is denied bond Nick Givas fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc article 51864df0-69b3-54b8-8460-ec287264809c   Westlake Legal Group Genaro-Garcia Mexico's ex-public security secretary charged with taking bribes from 'El Chapo' cartel is denied bond Nick Givas fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc article 51864df0-69b3-54b8-8460-ec287264809c

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Montana casino shooting kills 3; police kill suspected gunman

Three people died during a shooting in a Montana casino early Tuesday and the suspected gunman was killed by police hours later, officials said.

The shooting occurred at 2 a.m. in the Emerald City Casino in Great Falls, the Great Falls Police Department said in a statement.

Police responders found the three victims inside the casino upon arrival. The gunman was killed by police just before 6 a.m. in a residential neighborhood a mile away from the casino, according to police.

TEXAS EX-COP PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDERING PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND

Westlake Legal Group a8846df0-Capture Montana casino shooting kills 3; police kill suspected gunman Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/montana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d4cd0a07-09aa-51a6-9af2-3cfbf26406fb article

A shooting at the Emerald City Casino in Great Falls, Mont., left three people dead early Tuesday. (Google Maps)

“The response from the Great Falls Police Department was almost immediate,” Great Falls Police Superintendent Tom Moore told the Great Falls Tribune.

The identity of the suspect and a motive for the shooting were not released. An elementary school near where the suspect was killed canceled classes and rescheduled a holiday concert.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

A fourth person injured in the shooting was recovering at the Benefits Hospital from his injuries, police said.

A hospital spokesperson told The Associated Press the victim was in stable condition. The shooting is being investigated by local and federal officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group a8846df0-Capture Montana casino shooting kills 3; police kill suspected gunman Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/montana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d4cd0a07-09aa-51a6-9af2-3cfbf26406fb article   Westlake Legal Group a8846df0-Capture Montana casino shooting kills 3; police kill suspected gunman Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/montana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d4cd0a07-09aa-51a6-9af2-3cfbf26406fb article

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Secretive Court Rebukes FBI Over Errors In Russia Probe

Westlake Legal Group 5df948b62500003a0298e754 Secretive Court Rebukes FBI Over Errors In Russia Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief judge of a secretive surveillance court said Tuesday that the FBI provided “unsupported” information when it applied to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign adviser and directed the bureau to report back by next month on what steps it was taking to fix the problems.

The four-page order from Judge Rosemary Collyer followed a harshly critical Justice Department inspector general report that said the FBI had withheld key information when it submitted four applications in 2016 and 2017 to monitor the communications of Carter Page.

The order is a rare public statement from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which operates mostly in secret as it receives applications from the FBI and Justice Department to eavesdrop on American soil on people it suspects of being an agent of a foreign power.

“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” Collyer wrote.

She directed the FBI to report by Jan. 10 on what it has done and what it plans to do to ensure the accuracy of information it submits in its wiretap applications.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told The Associated Press in an interview last week that the report had identified “unacceptable” problems and said the bureau was taking more than 40 steps to deal with the issues.

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A Female ‘60 Minutes’ Producer Sues CBS, Claiming Discrimination

Westlake Legal Group 17CBS-facebookJumbo A Female ‘60 Minutes’ Producer Sues CBS, Claiming Discrimination Television Suits and Litigation (Civil) sexual harassment News and News Media CBS News CBS Corporation 60 Minutes (TV Program)

An associate producer at CBS’s signature newsmagazine program “60 Minutes” claimed she was sidelined after making a formal complaint about her boss, according to a lawsuit filed against the network Tuesday.

The producer, Cassandra Vinograd, said that Michael Gavshon, a senior producer, sent her an inappropriate photo of himself and another man urinating on a pile of smoldering coal. The lawsuit also accused Mr. Gavshon of drinking excessively at work.

Ms. Vinograd, who joined the London office of “60 Minutes” in June after working at NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press, is still a producer on the show. In the lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, she claimed that she had been stripped of assignments after complaining about Mr. Gavshon, who worked with her in the London office. She is seeking a jury trial to determine damages.

The lawsuit is the latest example of women making accusations against men in positions of power at CBS. The network has made efforts in recent months to repair its public image, with mixed results.

A little more than a year ago, the former CBS Corporation chief executive Leslie Moonves was ousted after more than a dozen women made allegations of sexual misconduct against him. At the network’s news division, the anchor Charlie Rose was fired in 2017 after he was accused of sexual misconduct, and the longtime “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager was dismissed last year after sending a threatening text message to a CBS journalist who had asked him for comment while reporting on allegations of inappropriate behavior against him.

Since those firings, CBS has instituted new policies and procedures for dealing with sexual harassment complaints. Two writers recently quit the Patricia Heaton sitcom “Carol’s Second Act” after they claimed they were made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace after reporting that Ms. Heaton’s husband, David Hunt, an executive producer on the show, touched one of them inappropriately. (Mr. Hunt said he had no recollection of touching anyone inappropriately and disputed his accuser’s account.)

In her lawsuit, Ms. Vinograd, 35, claimed that Mr. Gavshon, a “60 Minutes” veteran who has won multiple Emmy Awards, texted the inappropriate photo in September, after they had been on assignment in Hungary. (Mr. Gavshon’s texts to Ms. Vinograd, including the photo, are included in the legal complaint.) In the photograph, which appears to have been taken decades ago, Mr. Gavshon and another man appear to be urinating on a wheelbarrow filled with coal while two other men look on.

The lawsuit said that Ms. Vinograd thought “it was creepy and gross to receive a picture of her boss’s penis and urine stream.”

According to the suit, Mr. Gavshon apologized to Ms. Vinograd with a second text message that said, “So so sorry.” In a third text, he added that he had sent her the photo by mistake, having intended to text it to his sister.

Days later, Ms. Vinograd sent an email to CBS executives, including Susan Zirinsky, the head of CBS News, and the network’s human resources division, saying that she wanted to make a complaint about “highly inappropriate, unprofessional and upsetting events,” but wanted their assurance that she would not be retaliated against for doing so. In a phone conversation later that day with two people from human resources, she went into detail, according to the suit.

She was told the network would investigate the matter, and that if she was uncomfortable working with Mr. Gavshon, she should be the one to stay home and avoid the office, the lawsuit said.

After completing an investigation, CBS said it had not corroborated Ms. Vinograd’s claims about Mr. Gavshon’s drinking. It also concluded that he had texted the photo by mistake, describing it as an isolated incident with “no malicious intent.”

After the investigation, Ms. Vinograd claimed that she was excluded from emails, calls and meetings, and that stories she had been involved with were taken away from her. As a result, according to the suit, co-workers have avoided her “as if she committed wrongdoing.”

CBS and Mr. Gavshon did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Ms. Vinograd is represented by Wigdor L.L.P., the law firm that supplied counsel to women who made sexual harassment accusations against the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who was forced out of the network in 2017.

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Cowboys’ Jerry Jones responds to Troy Aikman’s criticism, believes he would want heavy hand in decision-making

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones responded on Tuesday to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman’s criticism of his leadership in a radio interview.

Aikman, who recently said he would be interested in being a general manager in the NFL, said he wouldn’t want to work for Jones because he has a stranglehold on the position.

TROY AIKMAN ‘ENTERTAINED’ THOUGHT OF BEING NFL GM, SAYS COWBOYS ROLE WOULD BE ‘A REAL LONG SHOT’

“It’s a real long shot,” he told 1310 The Ticket in Dallas last week. “It’s unlikely Jerry will ever bring somebody in who can help this team in that regard because he’s been real stubborn and steadfast that he’s the one in charge.”

Westlake Legal Group ddds Cowboys' Jerry Jones responds to Troy Aikman's criticism, believes he would want heavy hand in decision-making Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article a95fd2f9-3d76-5e09-8ad6-24540a4e9fc2

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones responded to Troy Aikman’s criticism in a radio interview. (AP)

Jones, however, brushed off Aikman’s criticism. He said if Aikman was in his shoes and bought a team like he did, that Aikman would want to run the team with his own vision.

“Now I would wager that if he [gave everything] to buy the team, he would do it exactly like I do it,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “I would wager that. Because you just want to, ultimately, with that much on the line and that much at stake, you want to break any ties and make the calls.”

Jones said people who think he operates in the dark are misunderstood.

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“It’s a misnomer to think I just throw darts and just say, ‘We’ll do it this way, that way,’” he said of his management style. “I’ve never done that. But as I’ve said many times, I’ve never not made the ultimate decision.”

Jones added: “Knowing [Aikman], I know how he was attentive to [then-Cowboys offensive coordinator] Norv Turner, I know how he had deference to many people to get better. He would be a great listener, or a great acceptance of direction and advice. Hopefully I have that, as well.”

Westlake Legal Group Troy-Aikman Cowboys' Jerry Jones responds to Troy Aikman's criticism, believes he would want heavy hand in decision-making Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article a95fd2f9-3d76-5e09-8ad6-24540a4e9fc2

Troy Aikman on the field before a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 4, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Rams 45-35. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Aikman has criticized Jones plenty of times this season about keeping coach Jason Garrett at the helm for so long. Jones said he has the ability to make certain decisions — like the one on Garrett — because he is the team owner and general manager, and thought Aikman would feel the same way.

TERRELLE PRYOR’S APARTMENT COMPLEX LOOKING TO KICK HIM, GIRLFRIEND OUT AFTER STABBING: REPORT

“Listen, I’ve had a lot of lunch and a lot of great times with Troy,” Jones said. “He’s someone that I can’t tell you how much I respect him and how much I appreciate his lineage with the Dallas Cowboys. Apart from these kinds of issues, we’ve had business together. So we’re doing fine.”

“I know this: He certainly would like to be, it sounds like, he’d like to be involved in the long-term involvement in a team, maybe the Cowboys. I understand that,” Jones added. “Can you think of anybody… who would understand that more than me? I did everything and anything I could to get to live the life I live and that’s to be involved in everything from socks to jocks that there is with the Dallas Cowboys.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Dallas is 7-7 this season and is still in first by a hair in the NFC East division. They have a pivotal game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Westlake Legal Group Troy-Aikman-Jerry-Jones-Reuters Cowboys' Jerry Jones responds to Troy Aikman's criticism, believes he would want heavy hand in decision-making Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article a95fd2f9-3d76-5e09-8ad6-24540a4e9fc2   Westlake Legal Group Troy-Aikman-Jerry-Jones-Reuters Cowboys' Jerry Jones responds to Troy Aikman's criticism, believes he would want heavy hand in decision-making Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article a95fd2f9-3d76-5e09-8ad6-24540a4e9fc2

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Court Orders F.B.I. to Fix National Security Wiretaps After Damning Report

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165689457_68b5fa1d-845f-4bda-96be-4db849961c9b-facebookJumbo Court Orders F.B.I. to Fix National Security Wiretaps After Damning Report Wiretapping and Other Eavesdropping Devices and Methods United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Surveillance of Citizens by Government Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Page, Carter Justice Department Inspectors General Horowitz, Michael E Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Federal Bureau of Investigation Espionage and Intelligence Services Collyer, Rosemary M

WASHINGTON — A secretive federal court accused the F.B.I. on Tuesday of misleading it about the factual basis for wiretapping a former Trump campaign adviser and ordered the bureau to propose changes in how investigators seek permission for some national security surveillance.

In an extraordinary public order, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Rosemary M. Collyer, gave the F.B.I. a Jan. 10 deadline to come up with a proposal. It was the first public response from the court to the scathing findings released last week by the Justice Department’s independent inspector general about the wiretapping of the former Trump adviser, Carter Page, as part of the Russia investigation.

“The frequency with which representations made by F.B.I. personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other F.B.I. applications is reliable,” Judge Collyer wrote.

The court “expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing,” she added.

While the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, debunked the claims by President Trump and his allies that senior F.B.I. officials were part of a political conspiracy, his investigation also exposed a litany of errors and inaccuracies by which case agents cherry-picked the evidence about Mr. Page as they sought permission to eavesdrop on his calls and emails.

The order specifies no particular reforms for the bureau’s policies for seeking permission to wiretap people under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. But it indicated that the court will weigh in on whether the F.B.I.’s proposals are sufficient.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week about the report’s findings, the chairman of the panel, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, addressed the FISA court directly, telling the judges that they needed to take steps to preserve political support for the national security surveillance system.

“The FISA system, to survive, has to be reformed,” Mr. Graham said. “To the FISA court: We’re looking to you to take corrective action. If you take corrective action, that will give us some confidence that you should stick around. If you don’t, it’s going to be hurtful to the future of the court, and I think all of us are now thinking differently about checks and balances in that regard.”

Mr. Horowitz suggested several changes. He recommended that the F.B.I. overhaul the forms used to ask the Justice Department to submit a FISA request or renewal to ensure they identify any information that cuts against suspicions about a target; surface any reasons to be skeptical about an informant whose information is included; and require agents and supervisors to reverify factual assertions repeated from prior applications when they seek renewals.

In a statement issued when the report was released, the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, said he accepted Mr. Horowitz’s findings and embraced the need to make changes. He said he was ordering “concrete changes” to ensure that that FISA process was “more stringent and less susceptible to mistake or inaccuracy.”

Among the other ideas floated by reform proponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union: appointing a third party to critique the government’s cases for wiretapping people, at least in sensitive investigations, or allowing defense lawyers with security clearances to see the government’s evidence presented to the FISA court on those rare occasions when it is used to prosecute a suspect.

Mr. Horowitz has already begun an audit of other, unrelated FISA applications to see whether there is a broader pattern of problems in how the F.B.I. is portraying the evidence about suspects. Another possibility for reform is that going forward, the bureau’s general counsel could oversee recurring audits of a random sampling of FISA applications, so that case agents will always have to take into account that someone may later second-guess their work.

In his report, Mr. Horowitz scrutinized the four applications that the Justice Department submitted between October 2016 and June 2017 to wiretap Mr. Page, whom F.B.I. agents suspected might be a conduit between the Trump campaign and Russia during its covert operation to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.

The review uncovered a deeply dysfunctional and flawed process riddled with inaccuracies and material omissions. Investigators highlighted facts that made Mr. Page look suspicious while failing to mention potentially exculpatory ones, and when they sought to renew the wiretap, they failed to correct earlier statements whose credibility had since come under serious question, the report found.

Justice Department lawyers who deal directly with the FISA court passed that misleading portrait onto the judges. While Mr. Horowitz’s findings placed most of the direct blame on a handful of case agents and their supervisors who worked directly with the raw evidence, his report also blamed senior officials for permitting a culture in which such actions could happen.

The report said Mr. Horowitz’s investigators had found no evidence that political bias against Mr. Trump was behind the problems — as opposed to apolitical confirmation bias, gross incompetence or negligence. But the inspector general said the explanation the F.B.I. offered — that the agents had been busy with other aspects of the Russia investigation, and the Page FISA was a minor part of those responsibilities — was unsatisfactory.

Congress enacted FISA in 1978 to regulate the government’s use of domestic surveillance for national-security investigations — those aimed at monitoring suspected spies and terrorists — as opposed to ordinary criminal cases. The law sets up a special court, made up of 11 sitting district court judges who are selected to serve staggered terms by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and decide whether the evidence shows a target is probably a foreign agent.

In 2018, government records show, the court only fully denied one of 1,080 final applications submitted under FISA to conduct electronic surveillance. However, the court also demanded unspecified modifications to 119 of those applications before approving them. There were 1,833 targets of FISA orders, including 232 Americans, that year.

National-security wiretaps are more secretive than ordinary criminal ones. When criminal wiretap orders end, their targets are usually notified that their privacy has been invaded. But the targets of FISA orders are usually not told that their phone calls and emails have been monitored, or that their homes or businesses have been searched.

And when people are prosecuted for crimes based on evidence derived from ordinary criminal wiretaps, the defendants and their lawyers are usually allowed to see what the government told judges about them to win approval for that surveillance, giving them the opportunity to argue that investigators made mistakes and the evidence should be suppressed.

But defense lawyers, even those with security clearances, are not shown FISA applications for their clients. As a result, there is no prospect of second-guessing in an adversarial court setting to keep F.B.I. agents scrupulous about how they portray the evidence when seeking to persuade FISA judges to sign off on putting a target under surveillance.

In the absence of that disciplining factor, the Justice Department and F.B.I. have developed internal procedures that are supposed to make sure that the evidence presented in FISA applications is accurate and includes any facts that might undercut the government’s case. But that system failed in the Page wiretaps, Mr. Horowitz’s report showed.

At the Senate hearing, one of the rare areas of agreement between Republicans and Democrats was the need for change to the FISA system. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who has unsuccessfully proposed legislation to tighten restrictions on national-security surveillance in the past, said he welcomed the moment.

“I hope my Republican colleagues who have been so vocal and vehement about the dangers of potential FISA abuses will join me in looking forward and reform of that court,” Mr. Blumenthal said, adding: “I hope that we can come together on a bipartisan basis to reform the FISA process.”

Adam Goldman contributed reporting.

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