Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Monday that congressional Republicans plan to appeal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) over its choice to oversee the FBI’s surveillance reforms in the wake of a damning inspector general’s report regarding the bureau’s wiretapping of Carter Page.
In an interview with journalist Sara Carter, Meadows criticized the FISC’s pick of former Justice Department official David Kris to assist the court to ensure that the FBI implements the reforms.
“I can tell you that a few of us are not only appealing this to the judge who has now taken over the FISA process but we are also looking at this when it comes to renewing the FISA process within Congress,” Meadows told Carter.
Judge James Boasberg, who presides over the FISC, tapped Kris on Friday to serve as what’s known as an amicus curiae. Boasberg said that Kris, who served in the Obama Justice Department, will assist the FISC by monitoring the FBI’s surveillance reforms.
The IG report found “significant” errors and omissions in the FBI’s applications to surveil Page. The report said that FBI agents withheld exculpatory information related to Page, and information that was damaging to the credibility of former British spy Christopher Steele.
FISC Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered the FBI on Dec. 19 to come up with a plan to address the failures laid out in the IG report. Collyer said that the FBI made “false” and “misleading” statements in applications for the Page surveillance warrants.
Rep. Devin Nunes and Page immediately criticized the choice of Kris because of his well-known defense of the FBI’s activities during the Trump-Russia probe.
Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Kris’ appointment was “shocking and inexplicable.”
As a media pundit, Kris downplayed Republicans’ concerns that the FBI misled the FISC in order to obtain wiretap warrants on Page.
He also suggested in an essay published on March. 1, 2018, that he believed the FBI’s characterization of Page as a Russian agent, and that Nunes had “falsely accused the FBI of deceiving the FISA Court.”
Kris went as far as suggesting that Nunes should be charged with obstruction of justice because of his critique of the bureau.
“If there were any hope for the system fixing this FISA mess, it extinguished with David Kris’ appointment,” Page told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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