The FBI is cleaning house, according to the bureau’s embattled director.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News that the bureau has taken wide-ranging steps to reform itself after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) scandal, and that top officials involved in surveillance abuses are no longer employed, Breitbart reported Wednesday.
Wray has taken plenty of heat from President Donald Trump and his allies for appearing to go easy on corruption within the bureau, which has come to be seen as a swamp of political corruption by many Americans.
Fired over FISA
The FBI suffered a huge black eye when the Justice Department’s watchdog released a report last year explaining how the closely-kept FISA process was abused to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016.
In an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier, Wray sought to assure viewers that the FBI is getting a deep cleaning.
The top G-man claimed that the most “senior people” involved in FISA abuse “are long gone, either terminated — some during my tenure — or retired or resigned,” Fox reported.
“I’ve put in place an entirely new leadership team,” Wray said, according to Fox. “And even though I wasn’t director at the time of all of this, my team and I are fiercely committed to making sure we fix the problems of the past.” He added:
We have accepted every finding and recommendation in that IG [inspector general] report but then gone above and beyond, put in place 40 corrective measures that enhance our training, strengthen our processes, build in more oversight and accountability and have referred employees — current employees — for discipline.
Comments on Flynn
The IG report in December found that the FBI repeatedly lied about its reliance on a salacious and unreliable dossier to obtain FISA warrants to spy on a former Trump campaign aide. In March, the inspector general released a memo describing more systemic problems with how the FBI has used FISA, as Fox reported at the time.
“I think that IG report describes conduct that I consider unacceptable and unrepresentative of who the FBI is as an institution and cannot be allowed to happen again, and I’ve made that very clear to our workforce,” Wray told the network this week.
In addition to the FISA scandal, new evidence of misconduct in how the FBI handled the probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has worsened the bureau’s reputation. Wray ordered a review of the Flynn case in May after the Justice Department moved to drop the case in light of FBI notes suggesting there was a motive to entrap the former Trump adviser, according to the Daily Mail.
Wray said that the Flynn case “raised serious concerns and questions,” according to Fox.
Of course, we have to wonder: is all this just jargon, or a real shake-up? The question remains.