FISA Court Selects Lawyer Who Vehemently Denied FBI Misled FISA To Oversee FBI Reforms

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has triggered a wave of condemnations over the selection of David Kris, to oversee reforms of the FBI FISA process. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) presiding Judge James Boasberg, left, appointed Kris, a lawyer that the Washington Post describes as “highly controversial.
Critics have objected that Kris writes for Lawfare, a legal site widely criticized by conservative lawyers for its left-oriented, anti-Trump positions, as well as shows like Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. That objection strikes me as attenuated and unfair. The more serious allegations however is that Kris was one of the most public advocates for rejecting allegations of FBI abuse. In a city where you can throw a stick and hit ten lawyers, FISC went to someone who insisted that allegations of abuse were nonsense and should be rejected. If the court was seeking to assure the public, it has added a new controversy for those who see a “deep state” response to reforms.

Kris served under the Obama Administration and was assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division. He served as an associate deputy attorney general under George W. Bush from 2000 to 2003.

Kris  was one of the loudest critics of the Nunes memo which mirrored some of the findings of the Inspector General’s report: “The Nunes memo was dishonest. And if it is allowed to stand, we risk significant collateral damage to essential elements of our democracy.” He specifically denied the claim that he FBI misled the court about Christopher Steele – a claim that has now been proven to be true.

Kris also maintained that “These applications already substantially undermine the president’s narrative and that of his proxies, and it seems to me very likely that if we get below the tip of the iceberg and into the submerged parts and more is revealed, it’s going to get worse, not better. And it would potentially be dangerous to disclose additional information because some of this relates to ongoing investigations.”

He has also been a prominent critic of President Trump, claiming on Twitter that the “walls” were “closing in” on the President.

Amid the Trump-Russia investigation, Kris had written that Republicans had “falsely accused” the FBI of misleading the FISC in its wiretap applications to spy on the Trump campaign. He stated that “an allegation that was all but debunked by the special counsel’s report and the inspector general’s report,” the Daily Caller noted.

Kris on C-Span

Brookings Institution, which supports LawFare, has been font for experts declaring proven crimes and impeachable acts by Trump. I have often disagreed with the analysis offered by Brookings experts in these controversies. Yet, while I strongly disagree with a great deal of Kris’ analysis, much of that analysis is substantive and interesting. However, there are also these troubling and sweeping statements on the very merits of the dispute over FISA. I was particularly concerned with a March 1, 2018 essay for Lawfare, where Kris dismisses questions raised over the handling of the Carter Page investigation. I have written about the problems in that investigation, including a recent column where I called for an apology for Page over his abuse in the FISA system. Kris was one of those assuring the public that Page was clearly a legitimate target: “It’s disturbing that Page met that legal standard and that there was probable cause to conclude he was a Russian agent.” Those abuses (long denied by Kris) are at the heart of the reforms.

Given those positions, it is curious that Judge James Boasberg thought that he was the best lawyer to assure the public that reforms would be faithfully and thoroughly carried out.

65 thoughts on “FISA Court Selects Lawyer Who Vehemently Denied FBI Misled FISA To Oversee FBI Reforms”

  1. Apparently Judge James Boasberg consulted with Pelosi prio to selecting the “perfect” (A. Dershowitz, D. Trump) overseer of FISA court reforms.

  2. Mr. Turley, would you please comment on the truly important issues, such as Kylie’s latest shade of lip liner or that Norway’s Prime Minister secretly hates lutefisk?

  3. I am a conservative and can admit when I was wrong. The secret courts established by King George III were a huge factor in the American Revolution. Secret courts are simply not consistent with our constitution, our declaration or our way of life. When faced with the scourge of modern terrorism our elected representatives chose to ignore Franklin’s warning “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety..” He was right – we deserved, and got – neither. Despite my deep reservations I supported the law that, among other questionable things, established the FISA court. I believed my government when they assured us that it could be – would be – kept under strict control. I was wrong. 911, for example, was horrific. But it did not – could not – destroy us, our constitution or our way of life. Out of control secret courts can and will. It is time to end The FISA court and all that is associated with it.

    1. Bill:

      Secrecy kills democracies. That’s been known since the time of Socrates. (See Plato, Republic and the Story of the Ring of Gyges*). Amazing that we forgot that.

      *”Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a god among men.

      Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust.

      For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another’s, he would be thought by the lookers-on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another’s faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice.”

      ~Plato, Republic

  4. Starting from where we are now, (so please no academic, or philosophical evaluations of conservatism, or long winded interpretations of the Founding Father’s vision for democracy) the most important thing President Trump can do for the preservation of America is to demand this malignant, self serving corruption of an abusive bureaucracy, which is controlled and manipulated by largely unnamed insiders, and high ranking officials be brought to justice. Each and every person who partook in the various plots, schemes and conspiracies, or failed to stand up in opposition and file formal protest must be ruthlessly exposed and made accountable as prescribed by law. Any meaningful continuance of the republic demands as much.

    The President must not allow legal process to hide behind just enough, any measure of magnanimity, to tie off culpability for purposes of civil and political stability. If Obama is found to be where the ultimate accountability lies, (and who believes he isn’t) then he must be exposed, publicly disgraced and his culpability adjudicated before law. Likewise, if Hillary is guilty of wrong doing, and who would deny she isn’t guilty of selling influence, besmirching her office, the security and interests of America, she too must be exposed and brought to justice. After all, it’s Democrats themselves who hysterically are running about claiming no one is above the law.

    Collateral damage suffered by those in close proximity, involved and, or intertwined shouldn’t be confused, or construed to be damage to America. Their tragedies and the financial set backs to their interests and political causes are the direct result of their own personal, moral and legal failures. Their private setbacks are quite insufficient to the prevention of the restoration and redemption of our body politic. The president must understand everything now hangs on his recognition of just how serious the threats, were and remain to our republic. This criminal and treasonous cancer must be expunged from our body politic,or surely it will return to kill us.

    Assuming the very best of human nature, which is always a mistake doesn’t absolve the likes of Pelosi and Schumer, Nadler and Schiff. Even if anyone were to presume they weren’t personally complicit in the actual crimes, they would have had to have known and understood the severity of both the corruption and the damage to the republic. They consistently chose personal advancement, self aggrandizement and self interest over honor, honesty and duty. They were and remain fully vested in deceit as they advanced and continue to advance the criminality, ongoing cover up and obstruction of justice. They quite consciously calculated their positions, overall strategies and daily tactics and as such are unworthy now of any undue concern, pity, or professional deference.

    It is all of it, of a piece. They are all cut from the same fabric and clothed for the same purpose of subverting a duly and democratically elected President, which is to say the will of the American people. Trump has appointed Barr to see to the law, but the American people elected Trump to see that there is justice and not just some measure, but a good measure.

  5. Sooo…naturally, nobody will do anything to prevent this scam-in-the-making from unfolding, right? Nobody will ensure things are done fairly for a change? Or in the interest of Justice? I mean…we’ll all just nod knowingly and acknowledge that ANOTHER Democrat swamprat is going to (probably blatantly and overtly) tank another critical reform in order to preserve the Deep State. He’ll make sure they don’t lose their most valuable tool of corruption. It’s disgusting. We seem content to cede moral and philosophical ground until we stop recognizing our own country.

    1. I read that the Chief Justice picks FISA judges. Did Roberts pick this Obama judge. I guess he might have since he does not believe that Obama judges exist!

  6. The story following yours on ‘Whatfinger’, Mr. Turley, is this; “Video: Iran Protesters Shot, Tear-Gassed by Police on Tehran Streets”. To me what FISC, and the Deep-State DOJ/FBI is doing is equivalent (figuratively speaking). The message is: “we’ll tell you what the truth is. trust us. And just leave the intelligence gathering to us it’s a matter of national security.”

    The rumor for some time is; Roberts is compromised. Could this be be happening in America? It’s like a Clancy novel. The contractor employee, Dennis Mongomery, from HAMMR, blew the whistle and said Roberts, RBG, and others were spied on by those who use HAMMR (surveillance spy system employed by the NSA etal.). So how deep is the Deep-State in our government, in controlling things?

    If Trump hadn’t been elected, it would have been business as usual; one president passing the baton to the next; with no questioning of integrity, for over 50 years.

    1. If the court would pick this individual, that certainly makes the court look complicit in this whole endevor.
      Start to finish!
      I did not think those judges could be so stupid, as to be tricked so easily.
      It would seem instead, that they are just that crooked!

  7. The Supreme Court can and should fix this assignment to restore FISA court credibility…. else this sure looks like the deep-state has invaded the court as well as the executive branch…

    1. You’ve got four partisan Democrats on the Court. Then you’ve got the Chief Justice, who resembles Herb Tarlek’s ducks-on-the-hot-plate. Turn up the rheostat and watch him dance. They will accomplish nothing. Besides, judges are ‘collegial’ by default and protecting the reputation of other judges is job one. You can see this impulse in some of the moderator’s commentary.

  8. “If the court was seeking to assure the public” No, they apparently weren’t and in fact told the public to pizz off, we’ll do what we like and you can’t do a thing about it.

  9. JT: you are totally wrong about brushing aside criticism of Kris’ appearances on Maddow’s show. For the last three years, Rachel Maddow has been presenting “news” that would make Joseph Goebbels blush. Calling her a journalist is like calling Hunter Biden an undocumented pharmacist.

  10. Kris’s history at best reveals a true believer in the virtue of the FBI national security complex. He is singularly unsuited to assist the FISA Court on this project unless he has figuratively “come to Jesus”. He’ll have a jolly time helping the FBI bury the bodies.

    Disgusting appointment.

  11. And the SWAMP gets wider and deeper. They say that attorneys are stupid,one made this appointment which proves my point. And by the way,I are one too.

  12. Highlighting the following from your comment:

    “Employment Tampering is the preferred tactic in Cointelpro blacklisting.”

    “Bottom line: not to minimize the evil of 9/11 but the government’s “RESPONSE” to 9/11 over 18 years may have destroyed more innocent Americans than the original attack (including premature deaths of innocent people).”

    True and true.

    Cointelpro lives…

  13. The Deep Deep State just assigned the fox to guard the henhouse. The Deep Deep State places its agents where they are needed.

    The entire 7th Floor was lopped off due to corruption. How was Christopher Wray ever appointed to be Director of the FBI? You guessed it. The Deep Deep State runs the place, right before America’s very eyes. Christopher Wray was on the 7th Floor all along. Either Christopher Wray is an incurable incompetent or Christopher Wray is a totally corrupt Deep Deep State operative.

    Speaking of the Bourgeois…

    The “MEGXIT” finds Meghan Markle allegedly residing in British Columbia in the home of Frank Giustra, the billionaire and alleged Clinton operative who sold 20% of America’s Uranium to Russia. Is the Deep Deep State imposing “diversity” in Buckingham Palace and sabotaging British Royalty?

    Speaking of Iran…

    The Deep Deep State told America that a “spontaneous fuel tank explosion” blew up Flight 800 when it was the U.S. Navy that suffered the same missile “accident” as Iran did last week and that Bill Clinton paid the CIA and Boeing to “cover-up” (Nixon “covered-up,” right?) a political disaster that occurred during the critical final days of his 1996 re-election campaign. Bill Clinton should have been ripped out of his candidacy as Hillary should have been ripped out of hers for similarly egregious crimes, lies and fraud. The Deep Deep State thought otherwise.

    Get over it.

    The Deep Deep State told America that Pearl Harbor was a “surprise” attack. That Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. That James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King. That Sirhan Sirhan killed RFK. That 9/11 was not a “controlled demolition” (Building 7 collapsing into its own footprint having been hit by nothing).

    And the Sheeple muddle on.

    Where are George Washington et al. when you need them?

    1. How well I remember my reading assignment in American Thought and Literature – “Rules For Radicals” was a quick and fun read. It remained ensconced between the jackass bookends on my desk; right beneath my obligatory Che poster.

      Alas, these days American Thought and Literature has ‘transitioned’ to global identity and Twitter.

      Ol Saul A was right of course; do it right in front of their eyes and keep on doing it until they’re all so desensitized to corruption that they give up. Wray is as corrupt as Comey, Clinton and the now deceased, Jeffy Ep.

      But soft, what nascent Zephyr – from yonder heartland – stirs the thirsty tree of liberty?

    2. Trump IS the modern Washington, beset by his enemies in every turning he plows them under and proceeds onward… Certainly the Best President of this and the last century…

  14. Any judge with integrity, including FISC judges, should view the full context of facts. For over 18 years, there are no recorded statistics for the 40,000+ Americans watch-listed after 9/11 (over 1 million persons worldwide). Using the government’s own records, if you compare “terrorism-searches versus terrorism-convictions” the failure rate is exceeds 90%. There is no way to be removed from these blacklists. Bottom line: not to minimize the evil of 9/11 but the government’s “RESPONSE” to 9/11 over 18 years may have destroyed more innocent Americans than the original attack (including premature deaths of innocent people). Shouldn’t Congress and judges demand that full context? The DOJ’s NS Division has a log history of Cointelpro tactics likely used against these 40,000+ Americans. Government-watchdog agencies could simply study social security income statements in the years prior to 2001 compared to 2020 to establish probable cause. Employment Tampering is the preferred tactic in Cointelpro blacklisting.

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