Where the bodies are buried
While a great deal of intensity is properly focused on FISA warrants relating to the supposed "Trump-Russia collusion" investigation, there remain two aspects to this story as yet unexamined by major media. The first is the circumstances and particulars of the original FISA application made in the early summer of 2016, which was rejected by the Court (the first application rejected in nearly three years, and only the twelfth ever, which likely speaks to its egregious scope and weak foundation). The second is the number of national security letters (NSLs) requested by agencies and granted by the court relating to the "investigation."
NSLs are issued when a petitioning agency wants access to the specific electronic records of an individual (emails, texts, phone call data) held by a business through whom the communications were made or by which they were facilitated.
While FISA warrants are issued in the hundreds each year – between 1,200 and 1,600 generally – NSLs are issued in the tens of thousands and do not need to be tied to a pre-existing FISA warrant. They can stand on their own.
In the latter half of 2016, Apple alone reported 5,999 NSL requests, representing a doubling of the number received in the first half of that year. This is Apple alone, not counting all the other device-makers and service-providers in the digital realm.
Gag orders are generally issued concurrently with NSLs, preventing the involved parties from discussing the letters under penalty of law.
While there were two FISA applications relating to the fraudulent collusion investigation (one denied and one granted, then renewed three more times), there are likely tens of thousands of NSLs generated by the same investigators – NSLs that would point quite specifically to the targets of the investigation, providing a schematic diagram of sorts to the persecutors' plans.
The FISA warrants and their attending applications are the cemeteries, if you will, and the NSLs are the graves where the bodies are buried.
Let's dig 'em up!
The author writes from Omaha, Neb. and welcomes visitors to his website at www.dailyherring.com.