DOJ Tells Senator Wyden That Incoming FBI Director James Comey Has No Intention Of Answering His Questions

from the probably-not-the-best-idea dept

On Monday, the Senate overwhelmingly confirmed James Comey to be the new FBI director, despite significant concerns raised about his views on civil liberties and surveillance. Senator Rand Paul had blocked the vote for a while, claiming he wanted answers concerning whether or not Comey believed the FBI could use drones without a warrant. The FBI finally responded to Paul saying that it believed that it had the authority to use drones without a warrant, prompting Paul to stop the block (which would have been overridden shortly anyway), and then he was the lone “no” vote against Comey, who was approved 93-1. However, at least the DOJ was willing to answer Senator Paul’s questions.

Senator Ron Wyden also expressed concerns about Comey’s views on surveillance, and had sent a letter asking a variety of questions about Comey’s views on the subject, “including whether he believes warrantless wire tapping is legal, and whether he would commit to explain how much evidence the FBI needs to track Americans using their cell phone location data.” In response, the DOJ basically told Wyden to get lost:

Mr. Comey could have answered most or all of these questions without disclosing any properly classified information, but the Justice Department informed me today that he will not be responding to any of them.

Remember, Wyden serves on the Intelligence Committee, which is in charge of oversight of the intelligence community. One would think that flat out refusing to answer his questions is not the best way to respond to a member of the committee in charge of your oversight. In the end, Wyden voted “present” rather than “no,” but stated that he could not vote in favor of Comey.

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Comments on “DOJ Tells Senator Wyden That Incoming FBI Director James Comey Has No Intention Of Answering His Questions”

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art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

^ a million times this…

one of our major problems in a nutshell: draconian consequences for you and me in the 99% for copying bits, eating pop tarts in the shape of a gun, or, well WHATEVER the fuck they want to jack us up for today (the criminalization of living); but scumbags who betray the constitution, steal the wealth of the country, lie with impunity, get nothing but cushy jobs and medals of freedom…

world gone crazy…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Is the DoJ subject to the purview of the Intelligence Committee? One of the more important points of American law enforcement is that the military (intelligence) and civilians (law enforcement) are supposed to be extremely distinctly separated. This is why there’s been a lot of concern over the CIA “loaning” personnel to the NYPD and so on. Not that it’s appropriate for the DOJ to stonewall congress in general, but I doubt there’s direct oversight of the FBI from the senate intelligence committee.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Re: Wow

There are big differences between Dems and Repubs, but they have one similarity that overrides those differences – they are all rich, and their friends are all rich, and keeping rich people rich trumps any party ideals.

It’s not the D or R after their name we should be looking at, it’s the $ in their bank accounts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The “FU” letter was written yesterday. That’s well after the vote. He can’t brazenly call everyone out on everything. He’s the minority. He has to pick carefully when he goes completely crossways with others in Congress and make sure the squeeze is worth the juice. If he wasn’t smart about things like this he would never have ended up on the Intelligence Committee in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

So now the Director of the FBI no longer has to submit himself to congressional oversight either?

This is not how the Founding Fathers intended this country to operate.

We no longer have a Constitution, that’s been rewritten by the secret FISC court. We can’t even read the laws anymore, because the laws are secret.

There’s no longer any checks and balances in government anymore, because the FBI does not need to answer congress’ questions.

Now all we need to do is start throwing elections, and the downfall of of this countries democracy will be complete.

kitsune361 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Now all we need to do is start throwing elections, and the downfall of of this countries democracy will be complete.”

We had the Supreme Court effectively decide one in 2000, and Republican state houses have been trying really hard to stack the deck for future elections for the last few years. There are few if any places where you see any sort of push back from the judiciary.

If that’s your criteria I’d say it’s all over except the concession speech.

btr1701 says:

Re: Re: Re:

and Republican state houses have been trying
really hard to stack the deck for future
elections for the last few years

Let’s not pretend the Dems are any better when it comes to gerrymandering. There’s a district in Texas, drawn back when the Dems were last in charge of things, that looks like a piece of spaghetti. Less than a mile wide, it winds and corkscrews from one end of the state to the other, over 800 miles, coicidentally only passing through areas that highly favor Democrats.

Anonymous Coward says:

and you still think that the USA isn’t fast becoming ‘a police state’? how can it be possible for one of the persons that decides the fate of a security agency to be told that, basically, ‘you can take a hike’? it smacks to me that these agencies are of the opinion that they can do and say what they want and are answerable to no one! doesn’t that frighten anyone else? it scares the crap out of me!

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