News & Politics

Mark Levin Blasts FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer: 'You Chose to Sit on Your Hands!'

Mark Levin speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Source: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

On his popular conservative radio show on Tuesday, Mark Levin lashed out at FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer. Collyer rebuked the FBI for their “irregularities” in the FISA process. This criticism, Levin explained, is too little and especially too late.

“I want to admonish this judge,” Levin said. “She had an opportunity to act when it mattered. Back on April 20, 2017, the Landmark Legal Foundation under its president, Pete Hutchison, filed a motion — a secret motion — with this court. And it was a motion informing the judge of the violations that had occurred based on published reports because it was known back in April of 2017. Some of it, if not much of it. And those exhibits were provided to the judge. Five days after we filed that […], the judge ruled” to deny the request arguing there was “no matter pending before the court with respect to which such an appearance would be proper.”

“That was always a disingenuous reply,” Levin went on to say, “but this judge, and apparently she changed her mind today. Apparently she changed her mind more than 2.5 years later and realized: ‘Oh, I have jurisdiction. The matter is pending I suppose.’ Although that never made any sense because a judge is free, even when a matter is done, to call parties before them in their courtroom if in fact the judge believes wrongs have been committed in the court and against the court.”

“And so Judge Collyer did not protect the federal judiciary, she did not protect her own courtroom, she did not protect the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Levin said. “For more than 2.5 years, she allowed these perpetrators to get away with what they did. And she could have brought an end to this. She could have had an evidentiary hearing or a contempt hearing if you will, and she chose not to.”

“Now she’s jumping on the bandwagon,” Levin continued, “after the OIC report, after FBI Director Wray has announced 40 different reforms that he’s going to take a look at. After I and others, including Mike Lee, have said, ‘you know, we have to abolish the court.’ [The court has] failed to do its job and I suspect they won’t do its job.”

“Only now does Judge Collyer issue her decision. Only now. Because part of the problem is Judge Collyer and any other judge” working as a FISA judge, he said. “They don’t read these documents. Over a 1,000 of them were presented to the FISA courts in 2018 and only one was denied. That is almost a 100 percent approval record. Now that’s absurd,” Levin explained. “So Judge Collyer has some answering to do. And if Congress is serious about getting to the bottom of this, she and others need to be called before Congress in a legitimate oversight function, not to investigate her for criminal reasons, but to find out exactly what she and others did.”

“Did they read it? Did they raise any questions? Because the persons being targeted or the groups being targeted, they have no presence in these secret courts. None,” said Levin.

“So, more than 2.5 years after this judge rejected Landmark Legal Foundation’s very appropriate, pertinent motion calling on her to investigate what has taken place and what was taking place, claiming in essence she didn’t have jurisdiction anymore since the matter isn’t before her anymore, now she pulls jurisdiction back claims the matter is in front of her and orders reforms and orders this and that… The FISA system is broken — and in part because the FISA courts are broken. Including what Judge Rosemary Collyer did.”

“So I’m not impressed with what she’s done here,” Levin concluded, “I’m disturbed that it took her so long.”

As Levin went on to explain, the FISA court — Judge Collyer included — could have dealt with this matter years ago. They could and should have investigated it. Yes, the FBI misbehaved, but Judge Collyer and her fellow judges are just as responsible for this mess as the FBI.

“There were serious missteps by you, Judge Collyer, by you and your colleagues,” Levin said while addressing the judge directly. “Because without you and your colleagues there wouldn’t have been a warrant, regardless of what the FBI did. You chose to sit on the sidelines for 2.5 years and watch it all play out. You chose to sit on your hands and watch it all play out until you could get cover from the Inspector General’s report rather than conduct your own judicial inquiry. That is appalling to me.”

“And this is why when Senator Mike Lee was on my program last night. I said I don’t have a whole lot of faith that they’re going to be able to reform this system. Not when we have judges like this who even after the fact take their damn good old time addressing what was obvious over 2.5 years ago.”

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