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Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:00 PM

Senator Leahy demands answers from Barr on potentially illegal surveillance programs

Vermont Business Magazine
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) wrote to Attorney General William Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday, demanding information on whether and how the Trump administration has halted mass surveillance programs authorized by now-expired Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions under the USA FREEDOM Act. The senators also demanded information on whether the administration is conducting surveillance that bypasses their statutory authorities, under any illegal claim of inherent surveillance powers.

Past administrations have tenuously relied on Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981, to conduct surveillance operations wholly independent of any statutory authorization. With the expiration of three duly-passed statutory surveillance authorities, the executive branch may be secretly relying on this or other alleged inherent powers to continue its intelligence collection efforts. This would constitute a secret system of surveillance with no congressional oversight potentially resulting in programmatic Fourth Amendment violations on a tremendous scale.

“Congress and the American people have a right to know if this or any other administration is spying on people in the United States outside of express congressional approval, with no or diminished guardrails,” wrote the senators.

The senators continued: “The rights of all Americans depend on their government exercising its power responsibly, adhering to the rule of law, and upholding its duty to act transparently. Any surveillance conducted in the absence of statutory authorities and congressional oversight would be extraordinarily concerning and illegal.”

Leahy and Lee authored the USA FREEDOM Act in 2015, which provided the first major overhaul of executive surveillance authorities in decades. In May, the senators also authored an amendment to H.R. 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020, to strengthen the amici process and improve the disclosure of exculpatory evidence in the FISA court system. That amendment was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate by a vote of 77 to 19 and the underlying legislation, with the Lee-Leahy amendment included, then passed the Senate by a vote of 80 to 16.

Read the letter here. https://www.leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Leahy_Lee-Letter_to_Barr_and_Ratcliffe_re_FISA-072120.pdf

(Link to article) https://vermontbiz.com/news/2020/july/22/leahy-demands-answers-barr-potentially-illegal-surveillance-programs

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Reply Senator Leahy demands answers from Barr on potentially illegal surveillance programs (Original post)
FM123 Jul 2020 OP
gratuitous Jul 2020 #1
BComplex Jul 2020 #2
FM123 Jul 2020 #3
BComplex Jul 2020 #4
FM123 Jul 2020 #5
BComplex Jul 2020 #6

Response to FM123 (Original post)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:14 PM

1. I realize this is a necessary step

I hope they have a Plan B for when Barr just blows off the request.

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:27 PM

2. This country has to stop Bill Barr before he takes one more step.

Trump isn't smart enough to be more than a chaos creator. Bill Barr is DELIBERATE, and dangerous as hell to our democracy, and he's pulling trump's strings and making trump dance to a tune he is predisposed to.

We have to stop barr.

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Response to BComplex (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:41 PM

3. You make such a good point!

Trump is inept - without Barr & McConnell he can't even find his tricycle. We must stop Barr. At the very least we must make sure he is so tied up and "stuck in traffic" he can't get back to Trump to help him steal the election.

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Response to FM123 (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:44 PM

4. I'm with you!

How can we do this? Nancy Pelosi has to start proceedings to impeach bill barr, or SOMETHING has to happen! I don't know what strategy would be most appropriate. Maybe we should ask the Lincoln Project?

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Response to BComplex (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 02:35 PM

5. I wish I knew.

I know that Barr is currently being sued by both civil rights groups and individual protesters over Lafayette Square as well as Michael Cohen for his re-imprisonment. But that is not "tied up" enough, he has to be disabled if not stopped. I know congress did not want to go forward with impeaching him since it is so close to election, but they can't do nothing.

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Response to FM123 (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 22, 2020, 02:39 PM

6. The democratic party has a reputation of being way too fluffy against very dangerous

republican aggression. I'm sick of it.

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