The good news is that the FBI engaged in a completely routine investigation in this case.
The bad news is that this every one of the 29 investigation was defective:
A Justice Department audit of the FBI’s use of secret surveillance warrants has found widespread problems with the law enforcement agency’s process for ensuring that facts are backing up the claims made to judges when seeking a warrant.
The finding of broader failings in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act program came in a review launched by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz after an earlier inquiry found numerous errors in applications to monitor former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. In a bid to assess whether the faults in the Page’s surveillance process were an aberration or a chronic problem, Horowitz’s audit team zeroed in on 29 applications for surveillance of U.S. citizens or green-card holders over a five-year period.
Horowitz found an average of 20 errors in each of the applications.
The systemic failures in the FBI’s FISA process are sure to animate allies of President Donald Trump who have claimed that the surveillance tool was weaponized against the president’s campaign in 2016. But the findings also bolster arguments by critics of that claim who have suggested that errors in the Page application were likelier attributable to systemic sloppiness than sinister intentions.
For each of the 29 applications, Horowitz’s team reviewed whether the “Woods procedures” for justifying an application were properly followed.
“We do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy, or that the process is working as it was intended to help achieve the ‘scrupulously accurate’ standard for FISA applications,” Horowitz wrote in “a management advisory” addressed to FBI Director Chris Wray.
It should be noted that I am pretty sure that the FBI considers this is a feature, and not a bug.
Having a compliant court that allows the FBI to get bullsh%$ warrant requests approved was always the goal of the FISA program.