FISA court selects former Obama administration lawyer to oversee FBI’s surveillance reforms
Inspector General found that the FBI misled the FISA court to keep Carter Page’s warrant alive; former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes weighs in.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified Wednesday that the actions taken by the bureau to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were “unacceptable” and “cannot be repeated.”
During his first congressional appearance following the release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FISA review last year, Wray vowed to reform the FISA system by implementing “specific procedures and safeguards.”
“The failures highlighted in the inspector general report are unacceptable, period. And they cannot be repeated,” Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee.
“I have already ordered more than 40 corrective actions to our FISA policies and procedures,” Wray continued, adding that he has “gone above and beyond” in outlining what “should be changed” and “can be changed” and can provide “accountability,” “rigor” and “discipline.”
“I do not think anyone has carte blanche to bypass rules, and I intend to make it painfully clear that is unacceptable at the FBI today,” he added.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the committee used Wednesday’s hearing as an opportunity to further grill Wray and the FBI.
“I don’t trust your agency anymore,” Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., told Wray, adding that the FBI has “lost the trust of an awful lot of Americans.”
And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested that Wray was not taking the misconduct outlined in the inspector general’s report “seriously.”
“I’m concerned you’re not taking this seriously enough,” Jordan said. “Are you taking this seriously enough, Director Wray?”
The FBI director underscored that activities surrounding FISA during the 2016 presidential election were unacceptable and “unrepresentative of who we are as an institution.”
“Political bias has no place in today’s FBI,” Wray said.
Wray’s testimony comes after the Dec. 9 release of Horowitz’s long-awaited report, which found specific evidence of oversights and errors by several top FBI employees as they sought to obtain a warrant to surveil Page under the FISA statute.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ordered an inquiry into a slew of the FBI surveillance abuses over the past several years but has stopped short of requiring the FBI to reverify several potentially impacted warrant applications.
FISC presiding Judge James E. Boasberg said in a recent letter exclusively obtained by Fox News that the court anticipates “additional rulings will be forthcoming.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.
Source: Read Full Article