Last week we learned that the FBI had violated American constitutional standards and federal law five times over by:
1) lying about terrorism emergencies that did not exist
2) to obtain phone records of American citizens
3) who were reporters
4) without a warrant
5) in order to figure out who in the government had been sharing information with those reporters
Yet again, an impartial investigator has found that the past administration systematically violated the law and overstepped its authority based on trumped up claims about national security. The abuse of power described in this report, including the targeting of reporters, is disgraceful. While some positive steps have been taken, it is clear that there is much more to be done to ensure that the overreaching and outright misconduct described in this report never occurs again.
Conyers’ statement is strongly worded. But John Conyers is not chairman of the Making Statements Committee. He’s chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which is about the practice of investigation, prosecution and incarceration. If Conyers wants to make a dent in the problem of illegal FBI surveillance, he ought to begin by holding a hearing on the matter and getting more public disclosure from the FBI. Not only has Conyers not scheduled a hearing on FBI misconduct, but he’s allowed an FBI oversight hearing to be canceled. If Conyers wants to make a dent in the problem of illegal FBI surveillance, he ought to write a bill that would put a stop to the FBI’s behavior; Conyers hasn’t done this either.
Watch John Conyers as winter melts into spring. See if his mighty words translate into action.