GOP Senate Intel chair: There were 'sound reasons' for surveillance warrant on Page

GOP Senate Intel chair: There were 'sound reasons' for surveillance warrant on Page
© Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns GOP senators divided over approach to election security GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-N.C.) said Tuesday that there were “sound reasons” behind the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

His comments to CNN stand in contrast to GOP leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, who have repeatedly criticized the surveillance against Page.

"I don't think I ever expressed that I thought the FISA application came up short," Burr told CNN. "There (were) sound reasons as to why judges issued the FISA.”

The Department of Justice released hundreds of pages of redacted documents last week from the applications for the warrants.


The newly released documents say that intelligence officials believed Page may have been targeted for recruitment by the Russian government in their efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

House Republicans have maintained that the materials used by the government in applying for the FISA warrant prove the existence of political bias in the Justice Department and FBI. Championing that argument is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (R-Calif.), whose staff authored the committee’s GOP members’ memo earlier this year accusing the agencies of anti-Trump bias and abusing their authority in obtaining the warrant against Page.

Nunes’ memo was declassified for release by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE earlier this year, despite opposition from officials in the FBI and Justice Department. The redacted documents used by the GOP in the memo have now been released to the public, and most Republicans say they further prove the Nunes argument.

But, echoing House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify Mueller to give extended testimony after appearance postponed Mueller testimony likely to be delayed for one week MORE (D-Calif.), Burr expressed concerns that the documents were released at all.

"I [never] cease to be amazed by how much stuff we release publicly now," Burr told CNN.

Page has disputed the contents of the documents and the FBI's argument, telling The Hill that he is “having trouble finding any small bit of this document that rises above complete ignorance and/or insanity.”