DOJ Still Refuses To Investigate James Clapper For Lying To Congress
from the because-high-court dept
By now, it’s well-known that James Clapper directly lied to Congress over a year ago when Senator Ron Wyden asked him whether or not the NSA collected any data at all on millions of Americans (a question he had sent Clapper a day earlier, so he wouldn’t be surprised by it). Clapper insisted the NSA did not, something we now know is completely false. While Clapper first tried to dodge this lie by saying he thought Wyden was asking about a different program, and later claiming that this was the “least untruthful” answer, he eventually admitted that he lied and apologized to Senator Wyden. Back in December, however, a bunch of members of the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (the author of the PATRIOT Act) asked the DOJ to investigate Clapper for lying to Congress, noting that it is a criminal act to “knowingly and willingly” make any “materially false” statements to Congress.
So, how’s that investigation going? Sensenbrenner is wondering that himself, because he received no response at all from the DOJ, leading him to feel the need to send yet another letter, asking whether the DOJ ever planned to get back to him.
On December 19 of last year, I wrote, along with six of my colleagues, to request that you investigate Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for his “erroneous” testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last year. Nearly three-and-a-half months later, we have not received a response or an update on the status of your investigation.
On March 12, 2013, Senator Ron Wyden asked Director Clapper, “Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Director Clapper answered “No, Sir.” Wyden pressed, “It does not?” Clapper replied, “There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”
Now declassified documents reveal that Director Clapper’s testimony was false, and further, that he knew it was false when it was offered. Congress is currently considering proposals regarding intelligence reform. In considering these proposals, we need assurances that we can adequately conduct oversight following new legislation. Congressional oversight, however, depends on truthful testimony. Intelligence officials cannot be permitted to lie with impunity.
I respectfully request an update as soon as possible.
It’s good to see Sensenbrenner following up, though I highly doubt that the DOJ will do a damn thing about it.