Following a scathing report from the Justice Department’s inspector general highlighting serial abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court by FBI agents investigating alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham pledged Tuesday reforms are coming next year.
“Very pleased to see the FISA court condemn the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] warrant application and process against Carter Page,” Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement.
“As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I’ll be working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to reform FISA in a fashion to better protect civil liberties; while maintaining our ability to monitor foreign surveillance directed against our economic and national security interests,” he added.
“FISA reform will be a top priority for the Judiciary Committee in 2020.”
Graham’s statement followed a rare public order from the FISA court imploring the government to make changes to ensure future abuses do not occur.
Judge Rosemary Collyer, the presiding judge of the FISA court, sent a letter to the FBI criticizing it for misleading the court over its surveillance-application process.
The letter also told the FBI that it has until Jan. 10 to come up with a solution.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report on Dec. 9 that found 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the application and renewals for the FISA warrant the FBI used to spy on Page, who briefly served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.
The IG’s report also noted that Page was a former CIA asset, and that the agency informed the FBI of this.
However, the report noted further that an FBI lawyer hid that admission in surveillance warrant affidavits filed with the FISA court, misleading judges.