The Senate is scheduled to go back into recess March 13, 2020. Additionally, the DOJ/FBI response to the FISA court order (due February 5th) has still not been made public. If congress is going to reauthorize the controversial FISA provisions, they have ten days.
In November of 2019 buried deep in the congressional budget Continuing Resolution (CR) was a short-term extension to reauthorize the FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act. As a result of the FISA CR inclusion the terminal deadline was pushed to March 15, 2020.
Representatives requesting FISA reform prior to renewal include: Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Doug Collins, Jody Rice, Devin Nunes and Steve Scalise. Additionally, Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul are trying to force reform or let the current version expire. The American people want it scrapped, or, at a minimum strongly revised.
Congress is trying to hide the FISA renewal within the Coronavirus appropriations bill.
Prior to the December 9, 2019, inspector general report on FISA abuse, FISA Court judges Rosemary Collyer (declassified 2017) and James Boasberg (declassified 2019) both identified issues with the NSA bulk database collection program being exploited for unauthorized reasons. For the past several years no corrective action taken by the intelligence community has improved the abuses outlined by the FISA court.
Keep in mind the deadline for the DOJ to respond to the FISA court about the abusive intelligence practices identified in the Horowitz report was February 5th, more than four weeks ago. The responses from the DOJ and FBI have not been made public.
FISA Court Order – FISA Court Notice of Extension.
It appears the DOJ is trying to get the FISA reauthorization passed before the FISC declassifies the corrective action outlined from the prior court order. This response would also include information about the “sequestering” of evidence gathered as a result of the now admitted fraudulent and misrepresented information within the FISA applications.
The FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], again all parts of the Patriot Act, must not be reauthorized without a full public vetting of the abuses that have taken place for the past several years.
At a minimum the pending DOJ/FBI response to the FISA court needs to be made public prior to any reauthorization by congress. And to better understand the scale of the issue, the consequences when the system is abused, the upstream sequester material needs to be made public.
Let the American public see what investigative evidence was unlawfully gathered, and let us see who and what was exposed by the fraudulently obtained FISA warrants. At a minimum congress and the American people need to understand the scale of what can happen when the system is wrong – BEFORE that exact same system is reauthorized.
Declassification of existing records would reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse as outlined in the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Who exactly are these private sector FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries? This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer – SEE HERE]
The U.S. constitution’s fourth amendment is being violated by the continued abuse of bulk metadata collection, particularly when private contractors and government officials illegally access the system. The 2016 FISA review (party declassified in 2017) and the 2018 FISA review (party declassified in 2019) both show ongoing and systematic wrongdoing despite all prior corrective action and promises.
This needs to be stopped.