Nadler CANCELS Key Hearing On FISA Reform

Republicans and Democrats were expected to pass legislation to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Wednesday, but infighting inside of the Democrat party has led to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler delaying the key hearing. Three critical tools used by the FBI and NSA in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are set to expire March 15th, which would significantly disrupt surveillance operations within the two agencies if Congress doesn’t act before the deadline.

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Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler have reportedly been working to introduce reform to the legislation for months with the help of their committees.

Both parties have argued that Nadler’s proposed changes to FISA do not go far enough in response to the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse in the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump. The IG report highlighted “17 significant inaccuracies and omissions” in their warrants obtained against Trump campaign staffer Carter Page last year.

From The Washington Times:

Mr. Nadler’s proposal would have eliminated a program aimed at stopping suspected terrorists, but also collects data, including call dates and times of Americans, with whom they are in contact.

The rest of the bill was largely smaller changes that match recommendations detailed in the inspector general’s report, including giving FISA judges more freedom to have warrant applications reviewed by outside expires and require the FBI to candidly correct errors.

Republican Jim Jordan and Democrat Zoe Lofgren have both been fighting for changes in the legislation that would more broadly limit the government’s powers, with Lofgren ready to introduce five amendments to the bill. Some Democrats now believe Lofgren’s amendments will sidetrack from Nadler’s proposal, however, most of the representatives are reportedly in agreement of the amendments.

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There is speculation in the Republican party about the hearing being delayed because of the bipartisan support for these changes.

Matt Gaetz told The Washington Times:

“The reason we are not having the hearing today is that there was a consensus among the pipe-swinging progressives and the libertarian Conservatives to roll the establishment of both parties. We would have had the votes today, which is why the markup is canceled.”

Republican Representative Greg Stuebe similarly explained:

“I think, internally, the Democrats are having problems.”

Representative Doug Collins also spoke on the sudden cancellation, suggesting it has endangered America’s national security.

“Critical counterterrorism provisions are hanging in the balance because Democrats chose to delay an already ill-timed markup.”

The “Democrats’ bill does not address the serious issues in our FISA system. I’m not at all surprised that all Republicans, and apparently, even some Democrats, agree,” he added.

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