This is the Absolute Last Guy Who Should Be Cleaning Up FBI Practices
This week, Judge James Boasberg of the FISA Court appointed David Kris as the man in charge of making sure the FBI cleans up its act, vis a vis their applications for foreign surveillance warrants. The appointment was necessary, if not long overdue, in the wake of a blistering Inspector General’s Office report that accused the Bureau of misleading the court, withholding evidence, and shading the truth in their successful quest for a warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2016.
But it’s difficult to imagine the court picking anyone less appropriate to handle this clean-up than Kris.
Since 2016, Kris, the former assistant attorney general for the National Security Division of the DOJ, has been one of the FBI’s prime defenders. Always at the ready to have a go at President Trump and his supporters, Kris spent much of the last three years carrying water for the now-debunked Russia/Trump collusion hoax. As such, he is ill-positioned to review the FBI’s proposed changes; indeed, for the last three years, he was one of those guys who insisted that the FBI had handled this investigation perfectly.
“I suspect that POTUS and his closest advisors are and should be worried that, depending on the evidence, Mueller’s next steps will make it feel like the walls are closing in,” Kris tweeted in 2017.
Of course, it ultimately turned out that Mueller had little to no evidence to bring against Trump or any of his associates; those indictments the special counsel did secure had nothing to do with the central hoax: That Trump was a traitor working with Russia to undermine American democracy.
Kris was also at the forefront of attacking Rep. Devin Nunes for his work exposing the fraudulent information the FBI had used to get the warrant on Page.
“The Nunes memo was dishonest. And if it is allowed to stand, we risk significant collateral damage to essential elements of our democracy,” Kris said.
This goes straight to the heart of why Kris is the wrong man for the job. The Nunes memo revealed that the FBI had gone to great lengths to make the FISA court believe that the Steele dossier was a reliable source of intelligence. In point of fact, it was a piece of political propaganda purchased by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, and it turned out to have virtually no truth to it at all. The FBI propped up the Steele dossier with phony collaboration, hid relevant and exculpatory evidence from the court, and spied on an American citizen with little to no real basis.
THIS is the travesty that was exposed by the inspector general’s report, and this is the injustice that needs to be dealt with in any FBI overhaul. How can it be, though, when the guy in charge of fighting the fire is a proven arsonist himself?