FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
UPDATED 8:37 AM PT — Thursday, February 6, 2020
In his first congressional appearance since the release of last year’s Horowitz report, the director of the FBI has assured he’s committed to reforming the FISA system.
On Wednesday, Chris Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee to highlight the alleged “failures” in the Inspector General report and asserted “they cannot be repeated.” He said he’s already planning to make changes to FISA policies.
“I am adding more than 40, over 40, corrective actions to address all of those things in a way that’s robust and serous,” said Wray. “And we’re determined to learn the lessons from this report and make sure the FBI emerges from this even better and stronger”.
His statements follow the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s former foreign policy advisor Carter Page over his alleged ties to Russia during 2016 election.
FILE – Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters following a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
However, Republican lawmakers have argued Wray’s testimony makes the FBI agency as a whole appear “untrustworthy.” That’s according to congressman Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who said the FBI has “lost the trust of an awful lot of Americans.”
Additionally, congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also suggested Wray’s testimony downplayed activities surrounding the 2016 election and didn’t take the matter seriously.
Back in December, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report outlining several mistakes made by top FBI agents, including how a warrant was obtained to spy on Page.
In addition to slamming FISA’s’ system, the FBI director also criticized Facebook’s proposed privacy plan, which would restrict the platform’s access to data. If the plan moves forward, Wray believes Americans “will be blinded.” Meanwhile, Facebook has claimed it doesn’t support government attempts to “build backdoors.”