Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, joins FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
SANDRA SMITH, SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES GUEST-ANCHOR: FBI Director Christopher Wray ordering an internal review of the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to determine if there were any errors or misconduct by Bureau officials and recommend improvements in procedures. The move coming after pressure from GOP lawmakers. Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs joins us now. He sits on the House Judiciary Committee. He also chairs the House Freedom Caucus. I heard one of your colleagues — good morning to you, Congressman — by the way. REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Yes, good morning. SMITH: I heard one of your colleagues, Trey Gowdy, Friday evening with Martha say, why now? What’s the answer to that? BIGGS: Yes. I mean, it’s really hard for me to get, why now, when this thing started three years ago. And all’s I can say is that the revelations that have come out, finally, that show clearly that there was evidence that tended to exonerate Michael Flynn that was suppressed, and you see all kinds of misconduct now coming out publicly that we in Congress had known about, maybe that has put the pressure on them. I don’t know why this didn’t happen a long, long time ago. And this is — inures to the suspicion that some people have now of Christopher Wray. SMITH: So, to be clear, this will be conducted internally by the Inspection Division. BIGGS: Yes. SMITH: You have been on this for quite some time. Regardless of the timing of it, what do you think of this move by Director Wray? BIGGS: Well, I — I think it’s long overdue. I think it’s a good move. This is kind of like an internal affairs investigation, where they’re going to see if there was any kind of criminal conduct or misconduct, and then they’re going to take internal discipline. They don’t have the power to bring criminal charges. That’s up to the attorney general. But when we start talking about this, and take a look at it, we know that they have suppressed evidence and documents from Congress, from Michael Flynn’s attorneys for more than two years. And that is — they were under court order to disclose it. The law requires that they disclose it. And we also know that this investigation of Flynn itself was started for a political purpose. And we have seen documents come out recently because of that. And this hasn’t been because of Christopher Wray, Director Wray. This is because of the inspector general looking at them and this other pressure that’s been put on them. And so that’s — the timing of it is what’s most dubious. The action itself is appropriate. But it should have been done a long time ago. SMITH: Got it. It’s going to be called an after-action review. It’s going to have a twofold purpose, I’m told, evaluating the FBI’s role in the case and, secondly, determining whether any — quote — “current employees engaged in misconduct.” Do you believe, ultimately, there will be any accountability that will come from this? BIGGS: Well, we haven’t seen any so far. I would hope so. I hope the — I hope the attorney general goes after the folks that were at the top of that order that committed the coup. Then you have — then you have — or attempted the coup. Then you have some others along the way that were following orders from those people. And we need to get to the bottom of that. I hope somebody is held accountable for this. SMITH: Ultimately what happens — what happens with the FISA process is of keen interest to you. You have been pushing on this. You recently introduced a Fourth Amendment Restoration Act as part of the push for tougher FISA reforms. Now we know that this modified FISA surveillance law passed by the Senate heads back to the House. What happens next with all of that, Congressman? BIGGS: Well, I would like to see my bill go through. It’s not going to get a chance. We’re going to have our first proxy vote series this week on the FISA. The question is whether Speaker Pelosi will allow us to make amendments. But there’s not going to be any real substantive changes. I think the Lee-Leahy provision, which provides amicus, is a nice provision, but it doesn’t get at the substantive root of the problem. And that is that you don’t — aren’t having an Article 3 court make a determination on probable cause. And what that means is that Carter Page — and this is the root of all this — Carter Page would have had the same lack of protections after this bill passes as he had before. In other words, there were no protections in place for somebody like a Carter Page. SMITH: OK. So, we will continue following up on that. Meanwhile, final question to you on this letter that you have written now to the Internal Revenue Service. You’re going after the IRS, expressing what you label as grave concerns about poor taxpayer services amid the coronavirus pandemic. You’re hearing a lot of problems in your district about people being able to make phone calls to the IRS, get their paper returns done. What are you seeing and hearing? And what are you asking for? BIGGS: Yes. So, first of all, you’re right. I’m getting a lot of calls in my district, people who have — who are waiting for refunds who filed by paper, and that — that’s just their preferred way. And they’re making calls to inquire enquire about various issues with the IRS. They’re just not getting the responses that they need to get. So, that’s the — that’s the push here, is to try to get the IRS to say why we’re not getting those responses. I know that they’re inundated, because they were the ones processing some of these checks that were going out to everybody in the country. But the bottom line is, you have to take care of your root business, your foundational business. And that is the constituent service of getting back the refunds that are due to these people, and responding when they have a question or a complaint. And they’re not doing that. And so we’re hoping that IRS will give us a reason why and step up their game. SMITH: OK, so no response yet, Congressman? BIGGS: No response. Yes, no response. That’s a long way of saying no response yet, Sandra. I’m sorry.