Jason Lewis, a Senate candidate running in Minnesota, released the following statement calling for the FISA Court to be abolished considering the new Department of Justice report showing systemic abuse of power.
FISA, or United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is a U.S. federal court assigned to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies.
Lewis begins by saying, “a new report released by Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirms what we have all feared for quite some time: the FISA Court’s abuse of power is systemic. In a review of 29 different cases pulled from 8 different FBI field offices, not a single one was without error. Four cases were lacking the critical ‘Woods File’ and there was on average 20 issues per case reviewed.” Lewis finds these elevated levels of partisanship and incompetence at high stations of our national government extremely “frightening”.
He notes that this report comes on the heels of the damning Department of Justice exposé from December which revealed “at least 17 ‘errors’ in the Carter Page FISA applications, including omissions of exculpatory information over the use of a wholly fictional ‘Russian dossier,’ and the specter of FISA judges rubber-stamping false affidavits while being misled on the operational status of Mr. Page.”
Everything considered, the FISA Court has all but admitted the abusing its power. The latest findings show that the “Page case wasn’t a one-off lapse in judgment – this is clearly a systemic problem. This should alarm all Americans.”
Finally, Lewis ends by saying, “this is why I went against party leadership and voted against the FISA reauthorization while in Congress. At the time, I pushed for much-needed reforms to FISA, but the reforms didn’t command the support of the majority of the House, despite the much-publicized civil liberties abuses such as warrantless wiretapping. As I said then, I could not in good conscience support the threats to privacy posed by a blanket extension of FISA surveillance without meaningful reforms. Now I think we are beyond the point of reforms. Simply put, it’s time to stand up for civil liberties and abolish the secret court.”