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

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Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (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.

{mosads}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 Nunes (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 Trump 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 Schiff (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.”

Tags Adam Schiff Devin Nunes Donald Trump Richard Burr

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