"I have grave concern that the court was defrauded intentionally ... There was some type of agenda, an inappropriate agenda beyond an objective intelligence or criminal investigation," said Kevin Brock, a retired FBI assistant director for Intelligence who helped implement most of the intelligence and informant rules the FBI uses today.
"I struggle to find any other explanation," Brock told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Any other explanation just doesn't pass the smell test. I mean, the glaring — the Steele dossier, for an experienced counterintelligence agent in the field, was blinking red lights Russian disinformation campaign, and yet you're going to have the highest levels of the FBI executives use that to create an investigation?"
Brock believes the FISA reforms that FBI Director Christopher Wray has implemented are well intentioned and legitimate, and that the current FBI repudiates what the Comey FBI did during the Russia case. "I have been in audiences where the director has spoken — not open to the press — that reassured me greatly that he was just as taken aback by all that occurred under the Comey administration. So I am heartened by that."
The biggest challenge for the FBI, he said, is finding the right balance between technology that can solve crimes and thwart attacks, and the protection of personal liberty.
"I actually wrote an article on this recently, because I think it's vitally important. Technology is increasing so rapidly and so powerfully that we need to have an honest conversation about law enforcement use of these kinds of tools. There are many, many ways that law enforcement can follow people around and find out who the bad guys are. And we want those tools available to find legitimate bad guys who want to hurt other people," Brock said.
"But the fear is the pendulum — you put those tools in the hands of the intelligence community and law enforcement, and they will be misused. Can't blame them. We saw them misused with the FISA court on a U.S. citizen in the Russia collusion thing."
Brock explained the necessity of checks and balances while admitting that it can sometimes be difficult for law enforcement to do their job of protecting innocent people when privacy laws are in place.
"So you know, there should be checks and balances. The other pendulum is that the privacy advocacy is so loud that it stunts law enforcement's ability to use these powerful tools to find abducted children, to find serial killers and rapists, and those who are doing serious damage in our communities. And so where do we strike that balance?"
Brock continued, "So the big conversation I would love to see happen is, what are the proper boundaries? And let's include the privacy side in these conversations so that we know with transparency that law enforcement is deploying these tools in a way that is only directed against those where probable cause exists to use them against them."
He also dispelled the myths of Hollywood when it comes to law enforcement surveillance.
"And also knock down the fallacy — because I chuckle about it all the time — because of TV and Hollywood, Americans tend to believe that law enforcement and the CIA and others, can and will watch everybody all the time. No, the FBI doesn't have the resources to cover all the bad guys — even a fraction of the bad guys. So they don't have the luxury of looking at innocent people, nor do they want to. But, again, powerful technology needs powerful controls."
Brock is confident the FBI will bring violent liberal activists to justice for their mayhem last summer as they have with the Capitol rioters.
"I feel confident that the FBI is doing what it needs to do to investigate the violent actors this summer, identify them, get them indicted federally where they can, get them indicted on state laws where it's more appropriate," Brock said.
"The wild card, particularly on the federal side, is prosecution. Because it's a two-part equation. You can do the investigation, you can identify, establish probable cause, get them arrested, they still have to be prosecuted by the Justice Department … So it's really going to be up to the Justice Department at this point to show evenhandedness in the application of federal law, where it can be, through all the violent actions we've seen all summer long and up through January 6."