As the deadline of March 15th approaches, should Congress even reauthorize FISA?
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live we discussed the pending Congressional action on the FISA law.
Why is FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) in the news so much right now? Well it’s not just because of the Horowitz Inspector General Report. It’s not just the wrongdoing we know about, the lies, and the fact that a senior Justice Department attorney misused and edited information to get the FISA warrants on Former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. It’s not just about that.
It’s because FISA is up for renewal. It must be renewed by March 15th or the FISA law, and the court system that follows with the law, will expire. Congress is working on a very short deadline for them. We’re talking about a couple of weeks.
Yesterday in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, controlled by Congressman Jerry Nadler, he once again showed as he did during the impeachment that he is not able to keep control of his own members and run his committee. They had to actually pull the House reauthorization from the Judiciary Committee.
ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett made the following point:
The Judiciary Committee was supposed to consider it yesterday. It was a reauthorization package, pretty much a clean reauthorization. It was put together by Chairman Nadler and Congressman Adam Schiff.
The dissension they got in the ranks was from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. You’ve got three members that were all impeachment managers, all worked very closely together, who are now disagreeing on this.
This is what frustrates me: How many years have we on this broadcast been telling people how important FISA is but also how significant the problems are within it and how much the abuses are. We’re within three weeks before the reauthorization before this bipartisan group, basically the House Democrats, have acknowledged what has been patently clear for a long time. My view is that the program does need to be reauthorized but it’s clearly been abused.
Congressman Steve Scalise was asked on Fox News where Congress stood on the FISA renewal negotiations. He responded:
Well I think they serve an important role in our national security, and we did see abuses with the FISA court. I have very strong concerns about that, I’ve been vocal that the people who abused the FISA process need to be held accountable, and if people go to jail for abusing that court, I don’t think we’re going to see those kind of abuses in the future.
You can listen to the entire episode with more analysis of Congressional action on FISA as well as discussion on the state of the race for the presidency, here.
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