Griffith Calls for Sanctions in Response to FISA Abuses

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement after U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court Presiding Judge Rosemary M. Collyer condemned the misconduct regarding surveillance applications into the Trump campaign uncovered by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz:

“The Justice Department’s inspector general found numerous abuses of the FISA process when investigating one of President Trump’s campaign advisers. The FISA court is right to be sharply critical of these abuses. But I believe these abuses call for stronger action.

“We need to be clear. Lawyers who practice in a court are considered ‘officers of the court.’ ‘Officers of the court,’ including James Comey and others, misled the FISA court. During my career practicing law, I found that sanctions imposed by judges on ‘officers of the court’ engaged in misconduct to be the strongest remedies. Such sanctions send a distinct message that misconduct will not be tolerated.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that federal judges have virtually full power in their courtrooms, so the FISA court has the power to sanction. Considering the serious and real abuses of power uncovered by the inspector general’s report, sanctions on the ‘officers of the court’ who perpetrated them not only would be justified but are necessary in order to prevent future abuses.”