During the Trump administration, the FBI paid $5 million to an Israeli software company for a license to use its "zero-click" surveillance software called Pegasus. Zero-click refers to software that can download the contents of a target's computer or mobile device without the need for tricking the target into clicking on it. The FBI operated the software from a warehouse in New Jersey.
Before revealing any of this to the two congressional intelligence committees to which the FBI reports, it experimented with the software. The experiments apparently consisted of testing Pegasus by spying -- illegally and unconstitutionally since no judicially issued search warrant had authorized the use of Pegasus -- on unwitting Americans by downloading data from their devices.
When congressional investigators got wind of these experiments, the Senate Intelligence Committee summoned FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify in secret about the acquisition and use of Pegasus, and he did so in December 2021. He told the mostly pliant senators that the FBI only purchased Pegasus "to be able to figure out how bad guys could use it." Is that even believable?