Christie: NSA Can’t Get a Warrant Because You Need Probable Cause for One

New Jersey Governor and Republican Chris Christie argued that fellow GOP presidential candidate Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s argument that the NSA should get a warrant was incorrect “Because if you don’t have probable cause, you can’t get a search warrant” in an interview broadcast on Thursday’s “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel.

Christie addressed his verbal scrap with Paul over the NSA by saying, [relevant exchange begins around 2:45] “the problem with Senator Paul is that he’s never done this, and he doesn’t understand it. When he makes the ridiculous statement that [paraphrasing] ‘I want to take more from terrorists and less from innocent people.’ How do you know Greta? and then he yells, [paraphrasing] ‘Go get a search warrant.’ Well, that’s not the way it works.”

After he was asked why he couldn’t get a search warrant, Christie stated, “Because if you don’t have probable cause, you can’t get a search warrant. Let’s remember something, we had in — pre-9/11, we had folks over here who had no apparent terrorist ties, but were getting phone calls from people who did have terrorist ties from out of the country. If we had had the NSA program then, we very well could have matched those phone numbers up, that would have been — given us probable cause to go after the folks who were here in the country before 9/11. I don’t know if that would have prevented 9/11, but it would have given us a much better chance than the one we had. Senator Paul doesn’t understand this because when you’re in Congress — and this is why the American people have no respect for Congress, they don’t have to do anything. They’re not responsible for anything. I was the US Attorney post-9/11, and I was responsible for protecting the lives of our citizens, when you have that responsibility, I’ll tell you this, as president of the United States, there’s one step within the law that I wouldn’t take to prevent the killing of one American. And that’s the difference between me and Senator Paul.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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