Asha Rangappa+ Your Authors @AshaRangappa_ Fmr FBI Special Agent, lawyer, faculty @JacksonYale. Tiger(ish) mom. @CNN analyst. Editor @just_security. Karaoke, golf, and Shakespeare aficionado. Views mine. May. 19, 2018 1 min read + Your Authors

The purpose of a FISA is to obtain foreign intelligence. If you walked into a FISA court and said you were trying to get evidence of a crime, the FISA judge would tell you to take a hike. This is the entire POINT behind "The Wall" that existed between criminal and CI before 9/11.

Precisely because the probable cause standard is lower and broader for FISAs than for the criminal analog, Title IIIs, a judge would be circumspect about the FBI using a FISA to end-run the 4th Amendment. Hence, "The Wall," which tried to avoid "tainting" FISAs w criminal evid.

Since the USA PATRIOT Act, "The Wall" has mostly come down. Now the FBI has to show only that a "significant purpose" is to get foreign intel. IOW, it's OK to say that there *might* be evidence of a crime. But that cannot be the purpose.

Further, if you get the FISA for foreign intel and then uncover criminal activity, it can be shared with the Criminal Division and be the basis for an investigation. But since that would lead to having to disclose the FISA and its underlying evidence in open court, not typical.

So, please explain this to the writers on your op-ed page. Because they keep proclaiming that certain FISAs have resulted in "no charges" like that means something but apparently don't understand that THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO.

You can follow @AshaRangappa_.


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