INTL

Podcast: Surveillance Is Back
CQ on Congress, Episode 87

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress disregarded concerns about government surveillance of Americans and on Jan. 18 reauthorized a controversial anti-terrorism law. CQ cybersecurity editor Patrick Pexton explains how the security hawks beat the civil libertarians — energized by the 2013 revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

 

Schiff Wants Fusion GPS Transcript Released
Ranking House Intel member says Republicans have provided selective leaks of testimony

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says Republicans have provided selective leaks of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is calling on Republican chairman Devin Nunes to release the transcript from the committee’s interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Schiff’s office said in a statement to Business Insider said he supported doing so because the role of Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, has been mischaracterized after selective leaks of Simpson’s testimony.

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Ahead of FISA Vote, Trump Sows Confusion
House Dems see ‘latest example’ of Trump ‘undermining’ security

President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office to speak with members of the press while departing the White House last Friday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump sent mixed signals Thursday morning about a controversial law used to collect intelligence on individuals suspected of spying on the United States just hours before the House is slated to vote on reauthorizing it. And a key privacy hawk in Congress contends the president is more in line with him than the White House lets on.

For nearly two hours, the commander in chief even broke with his own White House’s stance on whether the law should remain on the books. But in an apparent clean-up operation, Trump was forced to fire off a tweet declaring this of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: “We need it!”

FISA Vote in the House Pivots on Privacy
Bipartisan group is demanding tougher protections

As provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expire, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is leading a bipartisan group voicing privacy concerns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House is set to vote Thursday on a bill to extend the electronic surveillance powers of the National Security Agency. 

How the House votes could determine whether the bill wins Senate passage for a long-term extension of provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or if lawmakers hit another roadblock and decide to punt again. Facing an impasse before Christmas, Congress passed a short-term extension until Jan. 19. The provisions were due to expire Dec. 31. 

Democrats Push Back Against Graham, Grassley Dossier Criminal Referral
Graham looks like a ‘man possessed’ over dossier obsession, Swalwell says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is among those pushing for a criminal investigation into the author of the Trump Russia dossier. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democrat on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham “looks like a man possessed” as he and other Republican lawmakers amp up pressure on the main actors behind the Trump dossier alleging the president is compromised by ties to Russia.

Graham and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa recommended a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, the dossier author, for making false statements to federal investigators.

Report: Mueller Investigating Former Rep. Vin Weber
Minnesota congressman who served from 1981 to 1993 being investigated for ties to Manafort, source says

Former Republican Rep. Vin Weber is shown here making his introduction as a fellow in the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. (University of Chicago via YouTube)

Former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber is being targeted as part of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.

Weber, who served in the House from 1981 to 1993 and is a partner at lobbying firm Mercury LLC, is being targeted for his firm’s work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Ukrainian lobbying efforts, the AP reported.

Podcast: Congress Aims to Rein In Government Snoops
The Week Ahead, Episode 76

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has a bill that aims to protect Americans' privacy from government surveillance of foreigners.

A bipartisan cast of lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden, plan to curtail the government's surveillance powers that must be renewed by the end of the year, says CQ intelligence reporter Gopal Ratnam.   

Show Notes:

Burr, Warner Should Investigate ‘Fake News Networks,’ Trump Says
Call comes a day after Intel Committee leaders pledged to find ‘any hint of collusion’

Reporters follow Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr earlier this year. President Trump wants his panel to investigate the media, his latest attack on the First Amendment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to probe possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the president wants the panel to investigate one of his self-described enemies: the news media.

A day after the panel’s chairman and vice chairman, GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, announced the entire committee has reached a “general consensus” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. They also formally gave the Intelligence Committee’s endorsement of an intelligence community report issued last fall that delivered a warning about the Kremlin’s meddling.

Lawmakers Push Trump to Release JFK Assassination Files
Bipartisan group introduce resolutions ahead of October deadline

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Patrick J. Leahy want files on the Kennedy assassination released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior lawmakers are calling on President Donald Trump to allow the release of remaining government records on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Resolutions introduced in the House and Senate would call on the president to allow release of documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration, and for the Archives to work to meet a statutory deadline that arrives later in October.