House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., spoke about the push to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on “Sunday Morning Futures” saying, “We need to restore the American people’s trust in it.”
Collins told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., “is the chairman of one of the best committees in Congress, most prestigious committees, and yet he’s ruining it because we don’t actually delve into ideas.”
The panel is set to consider reforms during a so-called “markup” this week. “We put this off in December because [Democrats] were in the middle of the sham impeachment and they couldn’t deal with the FISA stuff that needed to be authorized,” Collins said, referencing “things that we need in our intelligence committee,” including roving wiretaps.
“But, they didn’t want to deal with it, so we just put it off,” Collins added.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz released a report last year detailing significant inaccuracies and omissions on the part of the FBI in its FISA warrant applications, misleading the court in the process. A major aspect of the report exposed the degree to which the FBI had relied on the unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele as part of opposition research for Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Collins went on to say, “instead of actually having hearings, and taking the Horowitz testimony, actually having Mr. Horowitz come in, talk about the problems he found in those FISA warrants, talk about how the court approved these warrants that actually spied on an American citizen... we’ve have no hearings, we’ve had no discussions and now we’re going to put forward a bill that really, I don’t think is going to address the issues.”
Collins noted that there will be “some say about what we’re going to be putting forward.”
Also speaking with Bartiromo on Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., revealed key questions he had ahead of his panel’s investigation this week into the start of the Russia probe that began in secret during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, as well as the FBI’s use of FISA to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Collins went on to say that if America could not trust FISA, “then people will not have confidence that our intelligence communities are doing what they need to be doing and being able to use this court properly.”
Collins also said, “Hopefully we’ll be able to make some changes to it” so that it could restore the “trust factor.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.