Donald Trump Calls to ‘Kill FISA’ as Speaker Johnson Moves to Enable Deep State Surveillance

Donald Trump
Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday called to “kill FISA” as Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) moves to reauthorize a controversial surveillance law.


Johnson plans to hold a vote that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a controversial surveillance law that is meant to target foreign adversaries; however, it often surveils American citizens’ private communications.

The House on Wednesday will debate and vote on the rule for how the chamber will vote on the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), a bill aimed at reauthorizing Section 702. Privacy advocates on both sides of the aisle, such as Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) want a warrant requirement attached to the bill.

Johnson issued a warning, claiming that if his preferred bill fails, then the Senate will ram through a clean reauthorization.

“I want to be clear about what happens if we fail this week. The Senate is prepared to move a clean extension of FISA and if the House does not pass our bill, we will be forced to accept it next week, because we cannot allow this vital national security tool to go dark,” he said.

Noah Chauvin, a privacy expert at the Brennan Center for Justice, asked rhetorically about Johnson’s claim, “If he can’t get a rule passed for RISAA, how does he expect to get a clean reauthorization through the House?”

Johnson faces a steep uphill climb to pass the rule as House Republicans a razor-thin majority of one vote and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has already promised not to vote for the rule.

He wrote, “I will vote AGAINST the rule to proceed on the FISA bill this week unless we at least have the opportunity to get votes on the things that will fix the problems with it! If @SpeakerJohnson is unwilling to fix FISA, we are left wondering what he is indeed willing to fix.”

Rep. John Rose (R-TN) told Breitbart News in a written statement:

Reauthorizing the FISA Section 702 program without substantial reforms empowers the government to continue warrantlessly surveilling the American people, which goes directly against what the founders intended when they adopted the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Even worse, by denying my amendments aimed at improving and reforming this out-of-control surveillance program, the reauthorization bill is doubling down on forgoing any sort of transparency and accountability that Americans deserve.

The Rules Committee did not make Rose’s amendments in order, which would have:

  1. Requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish a program to allow public witnesses authorized to handle classified information to observe proceedings and review applications and communications of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. § 1881a). Also, requires the development of a secure mechanism for public witnesses to report concerns about potential misconduct to Congress through classified channels.
  2. Modifies the reauthorization of Section 702 authority from five years to two years.
  3. Grants Members of Congress the ability to attend any hearing or oral argument conducted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR).

Rose added, “Allowing the program to die is far from the worst action Congress could take.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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