How Often Do the FBI and the Department of Justice Seek Search Warrants and Subpoenas?
(22 Aug 2022) From January through June of this year, federal prosecutors made 883 applications to federal judges to authorize search warrants and issue subpoenas or a summons, according to the most current government records. A long list of federal agencies were the requesters, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation topped the rolls with 309 requests, 35 percent of the total.

Such requests have become a political issue during this period. Investigations headed by the Justice Department, including those from the FBI, accounted for three out of four (74 percent) of these 883 applications. But dozens of other investigative agencies were behind one or more of these court filings.

These results are based on case-by-case internal records from each U.S. Attorney's office. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University obtained and analyzed the records after decades of litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Records show that applications were filed throughout the country. Federal prosecutors were active in all federal judicial districts within the United States.

The volume of search warrants and subpoenas sought thus far during 2022 was not unusual. Indeed, before the pandemic struck, the number of search warrants, subpoenas, and summonses recorded each year was 2,000 or more.

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In addition to these most recent figures, TRAC continues to offer free monthly reports on other selected government agencies such as the DEA, ATF, DHS and the IRS. TRAC's reports also monitor program categories such as white-collar crime, immigration, drugs, weapons, and terrorism. Even more detailed criminal enforcement information for the period from FY 1986 through June 2022 is available to TRACFed subscribers via Express and Going Deeper tools. Go to for more information.

Customized reports for a specific agency, district, program, lead charge or judge are available via the TRAC Data Interpreter, either as part of a TRACFed subscription or on a per-report basis. Go to

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