December 05th, 2023
L&T Opinions Page

larry phillips mugshotGUEST COLUMN, Larry Phillips, Kismet


Just when Americans are starting to see the reality of criminal abuse by top officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, they are discovering how deep the sewer really is. The depth of corruption is now seeping into the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and possibly, even the Supreme Court of the United States.

Who would’ve dreamed it – and how could this happen in America? The world’s envy of justice and the rule of law being turned upside down by federal law enforcement officers and corrupt judges who are selected by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

After the release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report in December 2019, outlining “at least 17 significant errors” in the FBI’s efforts to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, then-presiding FISC Judge Rosemary M. Collyer belatedly stepped up a week or so later demanding answers from the FBI.

In her weak order, she asked for a report by Jan. 10 as to how the FBI will correct its (illegal) abuse of FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) requests. Republicans demanded more information and accountability since reauthorization of FISA is in the balance.

And what did the FISC judges do, they “stunned court-watchers by selecting David Kris – a former Obama administration lawyer who has appeared on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ and written extensively in support of the FBI’s surveillance practices on the left-wing blog Lawfare – to oversee the FBI’s implementation of reforms,” according to reporting by Gregg Re at FoxNews.com.

The appointment of Kris to investigate such important charges in the IG report against the FBI, has riled Republicans who have been deeply involved in investigating the abuses by the FBI and DOJ during the 2-year Robert Mueller inquiry.

“House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told The Daily Caller that Kris’ appointment was ‘shocking’ and ‘inexplicable,’ Re wrote.

“‘It’s hard to imagine a worse person the FISC could have chosen outside (James) Comey, (Andy) McCabe, or (Adam) Schiff,’ Nunes said. Speaking to Fox News contributor Sara Carter, Nunes added: ‘It’s a ridiculous choice. The FBI lied to the FISC, and to help make sure that doesn’t happen again, the FISC chose an FBI apologist who denied and defended those lies. The FISC is setting its own credibility on fire,” added Re in his report.

During an appearance on the Rachel “Mad Cow Disease” Maddow Show, Kris commented on whether unredacting FISA materials posed a challenge to the FBI’s investigation.

He said “a lot of water (was) already under the bridge thanks to the back-and-forth precipitated by Nunes – knocking the key House Republican for pushing to release some of the secretive documents,” according to an article posted Monday by Joshua Nelson at FoxNews.com

“On Twitter, Kris also insisted the ‘walls’ were ‘closing in’ on Trump – a common refrain on liberal cable news networks during the Russia probe,” Nelson added.

Kris not only called Nunes names and suggested Nunes should be arrested for his claims he and his committee had found abuses by the FBI back in 2018. 

The assertions by Kris that “the ‘walls’ were ‘closing in’ on Trump” was made with his full knowledge that was not true, and he knew the FBI was dealing from the bottom of the deck with FISA warrants.

In other words, Kris is a known and proven political partisan hack – and a liar.

Even President Trump chimed in Sunday with a Tweet; calling Kris “highly controversial” and slamming the FISC’s decision (to appoint Kris).

Other Republican leaders are incensed. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows told conservative commentator Sara Carter on Monday, “A few of us are not only appealing this to the judge who has now taken over the FISA process, but we are also looking at this when it comes to renewing the FISA process within Congress.”

The selection of Kris was made by James Boasberg, the new presiding judge over the FISC, since Collyer announced her immediate resignation after her public order to the FBI. Her sudden departure was nine weeks before her term was set to expire. Suspiciously, she said it was for health reasons. I wonder? Maybe she has the FGJI Flu (Federal Grand Jury Investigation).

Ironically, Boasberg is, “… the first judge appointed by a Democrat to lead the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since 1995,” according to a Dec. 20, 2019, New York Times report by Charlie Savage.

And Boasberg was appointed to that position by none other than Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who has remained invisible in this chaos. It is he who oversees and appoints all the FISC judges.

What the heck is going on here?

I emailed the SCOTUS Public Information Office asking Roberts if he had any involvement in appointing Kris or approved it. Naturally, I got shoved off to another office.

“Dear Mr. Phillips, We are writing in response to your email to the Supreme Court of the United States. You may wish to contact the Public Affairs Office at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts at 202-502-2600, or at the following address:” Blah, blah, blah,” the email noted.

Roberts has a long-held dislike of Trump, and it is well documented. Roberts has broke all historical standards and traditions by speaking out against a president of the United States, and he has done it numerous times.

So why is Roberts so curiously silent about his 11 FISC judges’ illicit warrant approvals and their partisan (Kris) maneuverings? Why did he appoint Boasberg? Why did he allow Boasberg to select Kris to head up investigation of the FBI?

The appointment of Kris to look into this mess won’t cut it, Roberts. You can say goodbye to FISA and all the corrupt judges you have appointed. Kris has to be removed and FISA must be abolished. 

And if the GOP takes back a majority in the House in November’s election, that’s what will happen.

Nunes was right Sunday when he said of Kris, “Of all the people in the swamp ... this is the guy that you come up with? The guy that was accusing me of federal crimes? The guy that was defending the dirty cops at the FBI? ... The court must be trying to abolish itself. There is long-term damage.”

Amen and good rid­dance.