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Conservative Leaders Demand FISA Reform: Tell Congress The FBI Must Get A Warrant Before Spying On Americans

The conservative leaders of the Conservative Action Project yesterday released a statement in support of reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to require the federal

government to obtain a warrant prior to conducting queries of American citizens whose information has been collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The addition of this requirement is a vitally important and necessary step toward rectifying the rampant and widespread abuses of the nation’s surveillance powers.


The improper use of Section 702 authorities by the intelligence agencies has been well documented. What was envisioned as a counterterrorism tool directed at foreigners has been turned on Americans in countless ways: over 278,000 improper searches of Americans’ phone calls, texts, and emails using Section 702 authorities were carried out by the FBI in 2020 and 2021. These include illegal queries of a member of Congress, a United States Senator, elected state officials, donors to congressional campaigns, protestors at various political rallies, and personal searches undertaken on an individual that an NSA analyst was dating.



Failing to structurally change FISA in the face of these scandals would be a consequential missed opportunity for a Republican House majority. Simply hoping that the FBI abides by new reforms is not enough. These searches were already illegal, yet analysts engaged them anyway. The only way to force the FBI into compliance with U.S. law and the Constitutional rights of Americans is to require their observance of a court order or a warrant – while making room for the proper and narrow exceptions to protect the national security of Americans, including against timely and imminent threats.


The FBI has proven that if given even a small degree of latitude, they will make an end run around the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans. In a free society, this cannot and must not be tolerated.


A warrant requirement with narrow exceptions for national security purposes is the only way to prevent the abuses the FBI has already engaged in, and which they will continue to engage in if not restrained by the legislature. We strongly support the inclusion of this requirement and urge all conservatives to support it.

 

Among the signers of the statement are:


The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.


The Honorable Jim DeMint

Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute

Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)


Rebecca Weber

CEO, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)


Thomas H. Jones

Founder

American Accountability Foundation


The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell

President

The Leadership Institute


The Honorable George K Rasley Je

Managing Editor


Andy Roth

President

State Freedom Caucus Network


Scott T. Parkinson


The Honorable Russ Vought

President

Center for Renewing America


L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


David Bozell

President

ForAmerica


Alfred S. Regnery

President

Republic Book Publishers


Lori Roman

President

ACRU Action Fund


David N. Bossie

President

Citizens United


Bob Carlstrom

President

AMAC Action


The Honorable Mark Meadows

Senior Partner

Conservative Partnership Institute


Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Senior Legal Fellow

Conservative Partnership Institute


Kevin Roberts, Ph.D.

President

The Heritage Foundation


Wesley Denton

Chief Operating Officer

Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI)


Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.

President and CEO

First Liberty Institute


Chad Connelly

Founder and President

Faith Wins


The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli, II

Senior Fellow

Center for Renewing America


Ed Corrigan Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project and

President & CEO, Conservative Partnership Institute


Myron Ebell Chairman American Lands Council



  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

  • Trump dossier

  • Trump Russian collusion

  • Deep state abuse

  • Section 702

  • warrantless searches

  • surveillance powers

  • January 6 prisoners

  • Justice Deparment

  • Merrick Garland

  • Republican House majority

  • illegal searches

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