Politics

Rep. Doug Collins: House Wont Have Enough Votes for Clean FISA Reauthorization

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said on March 8 he believes Congress does not have sufficient votes for the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) this week, and that he thinks it is a “good thing.”

When questioned Sunday on whether the House will have the votes to clear a “clean” FISA by the looming March 15 deadline, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee said, “No, I dont think we do, and I think thats a good thing.”

“I think thats good for the president,” Collins told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo. “I think thats good for the country … People have lost trust in the Department of Justice. Theyve lost trust in the FISA court.”

The role of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has become a subject of controversy.

President Donald Trumps supporters have called for a FISA reform after the Justice Departments Inspector General Michael Horowitz in December issued a scathing report that faulted the FBI for “at least 17 significant errors and omissions” in applications submitted to the court when it sought to wiretap Trumps former campaign adviser Carter Page as part of its investigation into alleged contacts between Trumps campaign and Russia.

“In my position, I think the Houses position, and actually the president has mentioned this as well, is now is our time to actually look at what needs to happen with the court itself, so that we dont get another Carter Page, we dont get another president, like President Trump as a candidate and as president was attacked by a rogue cabal at the DOJ abusing the FISA process,” Collins said.

“I think the House right now is in no position to pass anything that doesnt have some actual Title I changes—which is the actual court itself—so that we can protect American citizens in sensitive areas.”

Collins, a key defender of the president during the impeachment inquiry, said he has been “working hard” on possible reforms to the law.

Attorney General William Barr on Feb. 25 told Senate Republicans that he favors a “clean” FISA reauthorization that preserves key controversial surveillance provisions, including highly intrusive bulk metadata collections based on telephone records of individuals within and outside the United States.

Barr, who has called the surveillance tools essential for law enforcement, said he thinks sufficient reforms can be implemented administratively rather than going through a legislative process.

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supported Barr, as did most other Senate Republicans, according to media reports, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) made clear they want reforms first and reauthorization later.

Paul on Feb. 26 said Trump told him hRead More – Source