On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray caught hell from Rand Paul over the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation in 2016.
The Senate hearing came after Democrat lawyer Michael Sussman was indicted by special counsel John Durham, who is investigating the origins of the “Russian collusion” narrative that sprung up after Trump won an improbably victory over Hillary Clinton.
At issue was the FBI’s role in seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants on Trump associates – Durham’s indictment contends that Sussman was working for the Clinton campaign when he fed false information to the FBI, and lied about his ties to Clinton.
A clip from Senator Rand Paul’s exchange with FBI Director Wray regarding FISA court and Crossfire Hurricane. pic.twitter.com/VAMNlYgTKB
— Jennifer Asper (@j3669) September 21, 2021
Sen. Paul Rips FBI Using FISA Against American Citizens
Sen. Paul had questions about the FBI applying for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants to surveil former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Particularly, Paul has a problem with American intelligence agencies trying to subvert Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.
“You think there was not any problem with this investigation in the Crossfire Hurricane?” Paul asked. “You think it was all completely appropriate, nobody in the chain of command was biased and it just occurred because they were curious?”
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Paul continued, “We just indicted one of the Clinton lawyers yesterday for lying to you guys. You guys took it hook, line, and sinker and said, ‘Oh well we’ll just investigate a major presidential candidate.'”
“And if you don’t see there’s a problem and that we need more controls on this and that we need to somehow obey the Constitution, I would say the same for President Biden, I would say the same for a president of any party,” Paul added.
“What a crazy upturned world, the bias is there,” Paul went on. “The reason we have checks and balances with the judiciary is so we can kind of get over the potential bias that occurs in the FBI or the CIA or anywhere else.”
Wray conceded that some of the actions taken by the FBI during the Crossfire Hurricane were unacceptable. As The Daily Caller notes, an Inspector General report from 2019 found over a dozen problems with FISA court warrant applications sought by the FBI.
Among them, the FBI withheld from the court information that raised doubts about the validity of their claims.
Wray claimed to Paul that the problems laid out in the IG report could “never happen again.”
Rand Paul currently asking Wray about bias in the FBI: "James Clapper notoriously lied, as we all know, to Congress about this massive surveillance program. He's now paid to deliver highly partisan rhetoric on a left wing news outlet."
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) September 21, 2021
Paul Stresses The Need For Checks And Balances
Paul said, “If you’re not a U.S. citizen and you’re investigating someone overseas and you’re eavesdropping on them, I’m actually fine with the FISA standard.”
“But I’m not fine with the FISA standard for Americans, particularly Americans who are running for office,” Paul added. “Particularly for the person running for the highest office who is interconnected with all kinds of countries and always will be.”
The Republican senator worried that the U.S. Intelligence community can “take over our political process.”
Watch Paul and Wray spar here:
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