Patriot Act Author: James Clapper Should Be Prosecuted

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the original author of the Patriot Act, told The Hill newspaper in an interview published Friday that he believes Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

“Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” Sensenbrenner said. 

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Clapper told lawmakers that the National Security Agency does not collect information on Americans in bulk, at least “not wittingly.” After secret NSA documents were leaked by Edward Snowden, Clapper apologized for the comment and called it the “least untruthful” answer available to him. That did not satisfy Sensenbrenner. 

“The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced,” Sensenbrenner said. “If it’s a criminal offense — and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense — then the Justice Department ought to do its job.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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