Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie told Breitbart News at a sit-down interview in the congressman’s office he believes the reports of former national security adviser Susan Rice unmasking names of associates of President Donald Trump, collected incidentally and cloaked as a constitutional protection against warrantless surveillance.
“You know? I think there is even more to this story than is being revealed right now,” said Massie, who is the only Republican to have voted against Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the beginning of this session of Congress. “For over three years, I have been offering legislation to fix this problem.”
Massie said he agrees with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who told reporters Monday that Rice needs to be brought before Congress and asked questions under oath.
“Oh, I think we should, but if we express all this righteous indignation about these programs? We are obligated to fix these programs,” he said.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, specifically Section 702, authorizes the federal government to access the communications grids of private Internet and telephone service providers. Instead of an individual warrant for each individual or conversation, the federal government receives annual permission from a FISA judge based on a request signed by both the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.
American citizens cannot be monitored or searched by this process because, unlike foreigners or foreign intelligence agencies, they are protected by the 4th Amendment, Massie said.
When Americans are accidentally caught in the FISA dragnet, their identity is masked as a legal device to protect their 4th Amendment rights, he said.
Massie said he suspects that Rice went into the government database and searched for the names of Americans caught in the drag net, which were accessible through the database.
This is a common practice inside the executive branch and law enforcement agencies with access to the database, he said.
“It is unconstitutional, when they go in and search the database–essentially they are doing a virtual wiretap–as soon as you ID a U.S. citizen,” he said.
Repeatedly, Massie tried to make amendments to funding bills that would have required a warrant for each search for Americans, but those amendments have been ruled out of order, because there is a House GOP rule against attaching policy riders to funding bills, he said.
“I have had Republicans, who are now in the news explaining how this program has been abused, I have had them tell me that there was no way this program could be abused, and it can’t be abused, and I am off my rocker for saying these things,” the congressman said.