House Minority Whip Steve Scalise wants to see jail time for those who abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process during the early days of the investigation into Russian election interference and President Trump’s campaign.
The Louisiana Republican called for major reforms to the FISA warrant process after the report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed at least 17 “significant errors or omissions” took place while obtaining the FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
In a separate investigation, U.S. Attorney John Durham has been tasked with inspecting the origins of the investigation into Trump’s campaign. While Horowitz could not say whether anti-Trump bias influenced the decision to grant a FISA warrant, Republicans are hoping Durham conducts a thorough look at the entire decision-making process leading up to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in order to uncover any other abuses that may have taken place.
During a Wednesday interview on Fox News, Scalise noted that Rep. Jim Jordan has been working on reforms to strengthen punishments for those who abuse the FISA process in the future but has struggled to move anything forward in the Democratic-controlled House. In the meantime, he said Attorney General William Barr and Durham need to “name names” and hit people who abused their positions with the appropriate punishments.
“The Durham report, I am hopeful, is going to literally name names. List the people who did abuse the FISA court and lay out penalties that then Attorney General Barr can go and carry out,” Scalise said. “There is still a lot left to do by the attorney general to hold people accountable who abused the process, and I hope he does.”
He continued, “Again, to maintain the integrity of this program that’s important to national security, you have to hold the people accountable who abused it. And I hope that Attorney General Barr uses all the tools he has available. I want him to have even more tools, but he does have some existing tools in place that he can use and hopefully will use when the Durham report comes out to hold those people accountable, and, frankly, I think people should go to jail for those abuses, and that’s still possible under current law.”
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is under criminal investigation by Durham for his role in the botched FISA process, which included allegedly altering documents to ensure that the agency could obtain the warrant against Page.
Durham’s investigation is not yet complete. During an upcoming hearing before a House committee, Barr is expected to address whether Durham has the resources needed to complete the full investigation.
Author: Madison Dibble
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘Name names’: Steve Scalise hopes John Durham report leads to jail time for FISA abusers