Congress divided on FISA court reform

Congress is ensnarled in trying to fix the law that was utilized during the political hoax known as “Collusion Delusion” that Democrats used to impeach President Donald Trump.

Democrats and their media allies kept the hoax alive for four years, knowing all along that the Trump campaign never was involved with Russia. Trump, however, was not removed from office because the Senate knew the charge was spurious.

Part of the problem was that the courts were used by corrupt FBI agents as a tool to get Trump.

Legislation to reauthorize and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was devised. But fixing the problem has been more difficult than it appeared.

A bill just passed in the House saw an unlikely alliance between the Freedom Caucus and the Far Left “Squad” at one point in trying to amend the bill over privacy concerns.

The leftwing Brennan Center for Justice claims that without the amendment the bill will do nothing, but the House Speaker says it will make important and necessary changes. For example, it would impose criminal penalties on anyone leaking information, as the Dept. of Justice did in the case of Gen. Mike Flynn.

As of Friday, the bill was stalled from moving to the Senate by a procedural move.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Jacksonville, voted for the bill.

He said: “The American public’s confidence in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has been rightly shattered by a string of failures to protect Americans’ privacy. I was proud to support the House bill to reform FISA, H.R. 788, the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America (RISA) Act, that will fix the broken FISA process and safeguard Americans’ privacy while continuing the crucial surveillance of foreign adversaries.

“RISA will increase oversight and transparency of the FISA Courts, protect the civil liberties of Americans, and create better accountability for any improper uses through strict penalties. Importantly, the House rejected an amendment supported by the ACLU and the Democrat Squad that would have required a warrant before accessing legally collected data.  This additional warrant requirement would have done nothing to protect Americans’ privacy, but in turn would have tied the hands of the Intelligence Community and given a massive win to terrorists, our near peer adversaries, and other bad actors who wish to do us harm.”

Rutherford told Eye on Jacksonville he demanded an amicus curiae to protect the rights of those being investigated. That would make it an adversarial proceeding and more fair, he said. That provision was added.

 There are 56 changes to the process in the bill as passed, Rutherford said. He planned to vote next week for moving the bill forward, he said.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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