Tags: james clapper | perjury | statute of limitations

Lawmakers Want James Clapper Prosecuted for Perjury

Image: Lawmakers Want James Clapper Prosecuted for Perjury
Former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper (Ron Sachs/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:34 PM

Republican lawmakers are urging prosecution of James Clapper for perjury and false statements before statutes of limitations hit in March, the Washington Examiner reports.

At issue is that Clapper, former director of national intelligence, testified in March of 2013 that the National Security Agency (NSA) was "not wittingly" collecting data on American citizens, an assertion exposed as untrue by Edward Snowden's massive leak of NSA documents.

Clapper subsequently apologized, saying he had forgotten about the collection of phone calls, but later said he intentionally gave an untruthful answer because he was caught in a catch-22 moment — lie or reveal classified information.

Not good enough, lawmakers say.

"Yes, he should be prosecuted," GOP Rep. Thomas Massie told the Examiner. "He admitted to lying to Congress and was unremorseful and flippant about it. The integrity of our federal government is at stake because his behavior sets the standard for the entire intelligence community."

"The time for the Department of Justice and the FBI to bring the accusations against James Clapper in front of a grand jury is long overdue," GOP Rep. Ted Poe told the Examiner.

However, one defense attorney told the Examiner a conviction would be a longshot.

"Clapper was faced with a difficult choice: reveal classified information or respond in a [manner] that is not accurate," defense attorney Mark Zaid told the Examiner.

Though "there is no specific national security defense" for perjury, "an argument can be made that (Clapper) didn't lie to Congress because that committee knew the information already. [Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron] Wyden essentially trapped him intentionally."

That's an assertion that Wyden disavowed last week.

"That's why Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's lie about mass surveillance was so damaging to public trust in government. Clapper said he made an error, but that's not how I see it. He didn't just lie to me, he lied to the American people," Wyden wrote for The Cipher Brief.

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Republican lawmakers are urging prosecution of James Clapper for perjury and false statements before statute of limitations hit in March, the Washington Examiner reports.
james clapper, perjury, statute of limitations
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2018-34-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:34 PM
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