“A former Justice Department official picked Friday to oversee the FBI’s reforms of its surveillance procedures in the wake of a damning inspector general’s report was one of the many pundits during the Russia probe to defend the bureau’s surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
David S. Kris, a former assistant attorney general for national security, was also an outspoken critic of Rep. Devin Nunes and other congressional Republicans who accused the FBI of misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in applications to wiretap Page.
An inspector general’s (IG) report released Dec. 9, 2019, largely vindicated Republicans and Page. The report identified 17 errors and omissions the FBI made in its four applications to surveil Page. The IG also said the FBI was unable to corroborate allegations that Page was a Russian agent.
Judge James E. Boasberg, who presides over the FISC, tapped Kris [to] serve as amicus curiae for a review of the FBI’s handling of the Page surveillance warrants. In that role, Kris will “assist” the FISC in assessing the FBI’s implementation of a series of reforms to address the problems uncovered in the IG report.
Nunes and Page both panned the choice of Kris given his past commentary defending the FBI.
“It’s hard to imagine a worse person the FISC could have chosen outside Comey, McCabe, or Schiff,” Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The choice is shocking and inexplicable.”
Page also weighed in on Kris’s selection to oversee the FBI’s reforms.
“If there were any hope for the system fixing this FISA mess, it extinguished with David Kris’ appointment,” he told The DCNF.
“Nobody trying to fix the rampant abuse and coverup plaguing the entire FISA process would have picked Kris,” continued Page, who called Kris a “longtime FISA apologist.”
“Instead, you appoint Kris for only one reason: you don’t want the system fixed. You just want it to look like you do.”