Tags: Cyber Security | Money | National Debt | NSA/Surveillance | Rand Paul | Trump Administration | fisa

Rand Paul: Spending Bill Should Not Have FISA Clause

(Fox News' "America's Newsroom")

By    |   Thursday, 21 December 2017 03:31 PM

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., along with fellow Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, have both promised to vote against any spending bill that would add in a section to reauthorize the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but Paul said Thursday he is not a fan of shutting down the government.

However, he insisted to Fox News' "America's Newsroom" he is a "fan of defending the Bill of Rights," and he wants the law that allows the government to spy on Americans as part of its surveillance of foreign targets to come to an end.

"Right now, we have a spy program that spies on foreigners," Paul said. "I'm okay on that."

However, the program collects a great deal of information on Americans, and Paul said, along with Lee, and other opponents do not agree it should do that.

"We think millions of phone calls, millions of emails, and Internet searches are caught up in the database and shouldn't be used on Americans without constitutional protections," Paul said. "Our fear is they can sort through all this information and accuse you of a domestic crime, but you don't get the protection of the Fourth Amendment or the Constitution. So, this is very, very troubling."

At the very least, Paul said, there should be a warrant, as it is "collected with a less than constitutional standard" and should not be used to investigate domestic crime.

"It should be used for what it was intended, to be used to prevent foreign terrorists from attacking us," Paul said.

He added he does not agree with putting the extension with the spending bill, as that is a "trick" Washington uses to try to pass ruling with no debate, but the FISA program needs to be debated.

Meanwhile, Paul said he believes there will be a short-term extension to keep the government funded, and he also thinks there needs to be more oversight of the FBI and Department of Justice.

"There is now allegations that both in the FBI and in the Department of Justice that basically was collusion to try to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president," Paul said. "This kind of group of people that has such enormous power and needs more oversight, not less."

Show anchor Bill Hemmer told him that was a strong statement, and asked if he had evidence.

"We have an FBI agent talking to his mistress, and then also saying that we met together in this office to discuss basically ways to have an insurance policy that Donald Trump doesn't get election," Paul said. "I think that should be a fireable offense and sounds like collusion. Then you also have the Department of Justice where you have a high-ranking official, whose wife works for the group doing opposition research on Trump, being paid for by the Democratic National Committee. That sounds like a lot of high-ranking people colluding to try to prevent Donald Trump from being president."

And maybe, he aadded, "we need an investigation about high-ranking Obama officials colluding to try to prevent Trump from being president. That's more serious than even Watergate."

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., does not want a government shutdown, but he is also adamant the new government spending deal does not include a reauthorization of the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
fisa, budget, continuing resolution, government shutdown
Thursday, 21 December 2017 03:31 PM
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