Appearing on Fox News’ show The Story with Martha MacCallum Tuesday evening, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said that it is past time for Congress to take active steps against the FISA court. The ranking Republican member on the House Intelligence Committee said that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is just as responsible for the improper wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as the FBI. And, he said, the court knew about it years ago, yet decided not to act.
Rep. Nunes’ statements came after FISC Judge Rosemary Collyer publicly blasted the FBI. “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” she wrote in a four-page order.
“I’m glad to see the FISC court come out and make a statement but your viewers need to know that the FISC court is also culpable in this madness, and I say that because we sent them two letters—very specific letters,” Nunes told MacCallum Tuesday night. He then went on to explain that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee sent Collyer the first letter in February of 2018. The second letter was sent in the summer of that same year. In both cases, Collyer and her fellow FISA judges decided to do… absolutely nothing.
“The point here, Martha, is the court knew about all this,” Nunes explained. “I’m glad they’ve acted, I’m glad they said something, but the court has to be ended.”
After saying that the FISC court — the court that approves FISA warrants — “had to be ended,” Nunes clarified that he’s not going to speak in “absolutes, but I will say that the way that the courts conducted themselves is totally inappropriate. They ignored clear evidence that we presented to them. Remember, they had this. The American people did not have it, we had seen it, they had it, they did absolutely nothing about it. So they’ve left really Congress no choice but to have to step in and fix this process.”
Asked whether there are particular judges on the FISC court(s) that didn’t treat this properly, Nunes answered, “Well, if you have the evidence that we presented to them, and you do nothing about it, and now they come out… and I’ll have to look closely at the letter they sent out today… because I’m not so sure that they’re being entirely truthful. Because I’ve read what we sent them, I just read it a few hours ago. Back in the summer of 2018, they had a lot of this information that they claim they just found out about.”
In other words, Judge Rosemary Collyer and her fellow FISC judges may very well be involved in some serious damage control; they’re putting it all on the FBI while they are just as culpable for this mess as all those dirty agents. After all, it’s their job to make sure that the system isn’t abused. They have to carefully check the requests. As Mark Levin explained on his radio show Tuesday evening, the fact that just about 100 percent of all FISA requests are approved shows that FISC judges don’t take their responsibilities seriously.