Weeks After Voting To Approve FISA Surveillance Abuses, Republicans In Congress Are Complaining About FISA Surveillance Abuses
This week, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are raising a ruckus over a memo that they wrote themselves. They say that the memo contains evidence that a Trump appointee to the FBI, Rod Rosenstein, asked judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to grant permission for continued surveillance of Carter Page, a foreign affairs adviser to the Trump for President campaign. Congressional Republicans are saying it was an abuse of FISA surveillance powers for federal government spy agencies to spy on Carter Page.
The thing is, the FBI request to the FISA court was backed up by probably cause of a criminal activity, supported by oath or affirmation. That’s a sizable portion of what’s required by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
There multiple lines of evidence providing probable cause justifying surveillance, including evidence that Carter Page had been recruited to conduct intelligence operations on behalf of Russian government spy agencies. Carter Page went to Russia and lied to Congress about the visit, using an airline ticket paid for by Russians. Not only did Carter Page meet in Moscow with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in July 2016, but Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions knew about the visit at the time that it took place.
Only a fool would say that this doesn’t provide probable cause substantial enough to warrant court approval for government surveillance of Carter Page’s activities. Yet, Republican politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives are saying that the FBI should not have been tracking Carter Page’s interactions with spies working for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
The FBI has issued an official warning to the American people that the Republican memo, written by Devin Nunes, is an inaccurate document. “With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI says.
If the House Republicans are upset that someone was spied on under the FISA Amendments Act after probable cause was provided, then they must be even more outraged about people being spied on through the FISA court without any probable cause at all, right?
Just two and a half weeks ago, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were given the opportunity to put an end to genuine abuses of the FISA Amendments Act, through which government spy agencies are able to spy on Americans who are not suspected of any crime, without establishing any probable cause whatsoever. Instead, House Republicans voted FOR the abusive FISA surveillance of Americans.
This bears repeating: Just half a month after:
1) Republicans in Congress voted to allow FISA spying on Americans who aren’t suspected of criminal activity, without probable cause,
2) Republicans in Congress are now saying they’re upset about FISA spying against a man who is suspected of felony crimes in cooperation with a hostile foreign dictatorship, even though probable cause of the criminal activity was provided.
The next time you see a Republican politician claiming to be patriotic, ask this question: Why are Republicans in Congress willing to allow the government to spy against you with no reason, but are rushing to protect a man known to have been recruited by Russian government spies working on attacking the United States of America?
Among the Republican congressional leaders who are engaged in this rank hypocrisy is Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The names of the hundreds of other FISA hypocrites among congressional Republicans are:
Adam Kinzinger, Adrian Smith, Andy Barr, Ann Kuster, Ann Wagner, Austin Scott, Barbara Comstock, Bill Flores, Bill Huizenga, Bill Johnson, Bill Posey, Bill Shuster, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Bob Gibbs, Bob Goodlatte, Bradley Byrne, Brett Guthrie, Brian Fitzpatrick, Brian Mast, Bruce Poliquin, Buddy Carter, Carlos Curbelo, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Charlie Dent, Chris Collins, Chris Smith, Chris Stewart, Chuck Fleischmann, Claudia Tenney, Clay Higgins, Dan Newhouse, Daniel Donovan, Darin LaHood, Darrell Issa, Dave Trott, David Joyce, David Kustoff, David Mckinley, David Reichert, David Rouzer, David Schweikert, David Valadao, Dennis Ross, Devin Nunes, Don Bacon, Doug Collins, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Drew Ferguson, Duncan Hunter, Ed Royce, Elise Stefanik, Erik Paulsen, Evan Jenkins, Francis Rooney, Frank Lobiondo, Frank Lucas, Fred Upton, French Hill, Gary Palmer, George Holding, Glenn Grothman, Greg Gianforte, Greg Walden, Gregg Harper, Gus Bilirakis, Harold Rogers, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jack Bergman, Jackie Walorski, James Comer, Jason Smith, Jeb Hensarling, Jeff Denham, Jeff Fortenberry, Jim Banks, Jim Bridenstine, Jim Renacci, Jodey Arrington, Jody Hice, Joe Barton, John Carter, John Culberson, John Curtis, John Faso, John Katko, John Moolenaar, John Ratcliffe, John Rutherford, John Shimkus, Karen Handel, Kay Granger, Keith Rothfus, Ken Calvert, Kenny Marchant, Kevin Brady, Kevin Cramer, Kevin McCarthy, Kristi Noem, Lamar Smith, Larry Bucshon, Leonard Lance, Liz Cheney, Lloyd Smucker, Lou Barletta, Luke Messer, Lynn Jenkins, Mac Thornberry, Mario Diaz-Balart, Mark Amodei, Mark Walker, Markwayne Mullin, Martha McSally, Martha Roby, Matt Gaetz, Mia Love, Michael McCaul, Mike Bishop, Mike Bost, Mike Coffman, Mike Conaway, Mike Gallagher, Mike Johnson, Mike Kelly, Mike Rogers, Mike Simpson, Mike Thompson, Mike Turner, Mimi Walters, Mo Brooks, Pat Meehan, Pat Tiberi, Paul Cook, Paul Mitchell, Pete Olson, Pete Sessions, Peter King, Peter Roskam, Ralph Abraham, Randy Hultgren, Richard Hudson, Rick Crawford, Robert Aderholt, Robert Latta, Robert Pittenger, Rodney Davis, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Roger Marshall, Ron DeSantis, Ron Estes, Ryan Costello, Sam Graves, Sam Johnson, Scott Desjarlais, Scott Taylor, Scott Tipton, Sean Dunn, Sean Maloney, Steve Chabot, Steve King, Steve Knight, Steve Russell, Steve Stivers, Steven Palazzo, Susan Brooks, Thomas Rooney, Tim Walberg, Todd Rokita, Tom Cole, Tom Graves, Tom MacArthur, Tom Marino, Tom Reed, Tom Rice, Trent Kelly, Trey Gowdy, Trey Hollingsworth, Vern Buchanan, Vicky Hartzler, Virginia Foxx, and Will Hurd.