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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:23am

    I fully expect a " ." response

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:31am

    I have to wonder

    What exactly does the "intelligence industry" have on Obama? (Or Holder, or ...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    The response will be a sheet of black paper, because intelligence matters are classified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Ninja (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    If this goes unpunished then it'll be clear that the US Executive considers itself to be above the Congress (and we've seen that this is apparently the case with the Judiciary as well). Seems it's about time the Executive is forced back into its place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    anon, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:38am

    Re: I have to wonder

    They have everything, every conversation, every email, every phone call.... Everything, that is why Obama will not allow the clapper to be prosecuted as he is very scared he will have to answer some serious questions about things he has been involved in throughout his political career and i am sure there is enough on not only Obama but almost every Politician.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    Have to find enough spines in the House of Reps for that to happen.

    How many can you count?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    of course they wont! scared there's more going to come out that implicates some in DoJ!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:01pm

    In the good old days....

    these 7 would just have had "sudden heart attack" syndrome...now there are just too many people watching...well, we'll just wait until after the next election that they all just happen to lose...

    Did the NSA have anything to do with programming the voting machines???

    /nosarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:24pm

    It appears that Congress has finally abdicated so many of their responsibilities to the executive branch that it is finally noticing that much of their authority went with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Of course they won't investigate or prosecute him, if lying to congress was actually treated as a punishable crime, so very many people would be in big trouble...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    The administrations treatment of this lackey is indicative of the administrations' overall attitude towards the possibility of real reform. They will defend the surveillance regime to the political death.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:39pm

    Clapper would be found either innocent or guilty of perjury, but the fact the DOJ refuses to even bring the case to trail speaks volumes about lack of neutrality inside the DOJ.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Response from the DOJ...

    We appreciate your inquiry into this matter, however we have denied your request for an investigation because .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    AricTheRed (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    I think instead of to the death they will defend it "To the Pain!"

    We The People: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase.

    Eric Holder: I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon.

    We The People: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.

    Eric Holder: It won't be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose.

    We The People: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight.

    Eric Holder: I wasn't finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.

    We The People: And then my ears, I understand let's get on with it.

    Eric Holder: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I'll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God! What is that thing," will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

    We The People: I think you're bluffing.

    Eric Holder: It's possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here, doing nothing, because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again...

     

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  15.  
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    Digger, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:21pm

    So... take matters into our own hands

    Citizens arrest the piece of shit, forget to mirandize him and then beat him to within an inch of his life and then record his confession, then shoot him in the head for treason.

     

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  16.  
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    Digger, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    Everyone in the country...

    Call up the FBI and report Clapper for crimes against humanity.

    When the FBI receives 20+ million complaints, they'll have to do something about this rat-fuck piece of shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:15pm

    Clapper WORSE than Cheney

    Where are all those Cheney hating commentators regarding Obama's DOJ protecting Clapper?? I personally think Cheney should be in jail, but those that remain silent when "your guy" is destroying the Constitution is just as criminal.

    Dick Cheney Lies: Claims Not A Single Case Of NSA Abusing Its Authority
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140401/15320926770/dick-cheney-lies-claims-not-single-c ase-nsa-abusing-its-authority.shtml

    BitterReality (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:42am
    What else could be expected?
    Psychopaths can always be depended on to defend and protect fellow psychopaths.

    Pixelation, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:49am
    How do we know Dick Cheney is lying?
    ...His mouth is open.

    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:16am
    Dick "The Fucking Leech" Cheney lied? The sun is warm, the sky is blue and grass is green. Move along now.

    etc...etc...etc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:19pm

    Re: So... take matters into our own hands

    Yes, but which one? clapper or holder?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Jerrymiah, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:20pm

    Re: In the good old days....

    The NSA did have'back doors'installed on the voting machines, as well as the fucked up encription keys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    MondoGordo (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    How many can you count?

    and since they haven't been mostly dead all day ... i doubt they are bluffing!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    MondoGordo (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: So... take matters into our own hands

    um ... both! Yeah , I'd be good with that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    supahTyphoon, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:33pm

    Wrong Flavor

    Give the DOJ a disillusioned angry kid subject to ideas of profound destiny through destruction and you have a happy lot of public servants. Give them a rebellious natured young man whose moral compass points him towards new and fantastic directions by freeing information and they'll order up heaping portions. Give them a whistle blower that attempts to enlighten the world by revealing egregious abuses and they will devour their morsels. Give them one of their own and hunger turns to might and they'll resist their serving with petulant disgust while they continue to try and tell you what is wrong and what is right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 2:34pm

    How can the DOJ prosecute Clapper for lying?

    I mean, Eric Holder has lied multiple times about his illegal arms trading to Congress. He cannot start prosecuting Clapper for perjury and set a precedent.

    The DOJ would have to shut down if lying to congress was considered to be objectionable when done by government officials in higher positions.

    You can either serve your country or serve time, but not both at once.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 3:29pm

    When it comes to government that is anything but corrupt, I'm having a hard time seeing whether it is the GOP or the Dems that are more corrupt. They look the same from this side of the fence. Face it the two party system isn't working.

    That dysfunction shows up in places like this where there is a distinct lack of willingness to enforce the laws of the land or perhaps it would be more accurate to say selective enforcement is supreme. All parties are equally guilty in this.

    It goes to demonstrate that there is no effective oversight without willingness to enforce the laws. As a political member you can break the law with impunity as long as you know it isn't going to take you to court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 4:12pm

    As I see it, a big part of the problem is that Congress seems to have no authority to actually do anything about this beyond making polite requests.

    "Dear Mr Fox, Can you please look into the issue of your fellow foxes eating us chickens?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    corwin155 (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Everyone in the country...

    Sadly the FBI will use the NDAA to lock up all 20 million who complain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Clapper WORSE than Cheney

    I feel that Cheney should face charges the same as Clapper, Alexander and Hayden.

    Everytime Obama says "we have to look forward, and not back" that's just Orwellian double speak for "We are above the law, just like kings and emperors"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    corwin155 (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 7:04pm

    Democrats are the New Nazi party

    If your in the New Nazi social communist Democratic Party , then your Immune from any prosecution.
    only Libertarian, Republican or Independent and whistle blowers are Prosecuted under the New Nazi social communist Democratic party.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 7:12pm

    Sensenbrenner could donate his entire inheritance of his to ACLU, EFF and any related group after voting to repeal all the legislation he's crammed down our throats. I will never forgive him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    As well they should given that every member of the committee already knew the answer to Wyden's question, having been provided same by Clapper in closed, classified meetings.

    "He told the truth on at least two occasions in classified briefings, but when it came to a public forum before the same people who already knew the answer...well, that is at clear attempt to mislead those members of the committee who already had the answer in hand.

    Think what you will about Clapper, but at least fairly and objectively consider the propriety of Wyden did. He knew the answer, he knew that if he disclosed it in public his tush would be in a wringer, and he knew that Clapper gave him the perfect opportunity to let someone else take the fall because of his unwillingness to stick his neck out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    Think what you will about Clapper, but at least fairly and objectively consider the propriety of Wyden did

    The *propriety of what Wyden did*? That's not even in question. He did exactly what he was supposed to do, being a part of the *oversight* committee, designed to make sure that the NSA is not spying on Americans.

    We've gone over your line of bullshit before and it's pure bullshit. If Clapper was afraid of revealing classified information he could have easily said "that's better left answered in a classified session" -- which is the same thing he's said in open hearings both before and after that hearing.

    The idea that he had to lie is a lie. We've told you this before. Why do you keep repeating it? The only possible reason is that you are intellectually dishonest.

    So, why are you so intellectually bankrupt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:27pm

    Re:

    If this goes unpunished then


    What do you mean, "then"? Wasn't it pretty clear when Eric Holder lied to congress multiple times about the "Fast and Furious" weapon trades, was forced to investigate himself for it and decided not to pursue actions against himself?

    How much more absurd do you need this to get in order to get the point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re:

    Wyden's conduct, far from being noble, in my opinion (and that of others you will certainly accuse of being morally bankrupt) is particularly reprehensible and cowardly. He knew the answer, but rather than do what he believed to be the right thing and accept the consequences, he instead chose to throw someone else under the bus.

    Maybe you count Wyden as a friend/ally/other, but the fact remains he already knew the answer and could have just as easily presented it himself from the dais (with, perhaps, even constitutional immunity).

    The fact you seem unwilling to consider the position in which Clapper was placed by Wyden's political stunt strikes me as an unfortunate bias.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    The DOJ is as worthless and useless as the rest of the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 5th, 2014 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wyden's conduct, far from being noble, in my opinion (and that of others you will certainly accuse of being morally bankrupt) is particularly reprehensible and cowardly. He knew the answer, but rather than do what he believed to be the right thing and accept the consequences, he instead chose to throw someone else under the bus.

    You have a bizarre way of looking at how someone on the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to handle public hearings. Very bizarre.

    The point of public hearings is to ask these individuals questions for the public record. Every question at a public hearing involves something that the person asking already knows the answer to. For you to assume otherwise suggests you either are totally ignorant of how this works or you're just lying to cover up for Clapper.

    Weird.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 11:31pm

    Re:

    Actually, despite what some in Congress will tell you, Congress has it's own enforcement arm (like it's own police force) and it's own jail for holding people in contempt. They can actually have people arrested for refusing to testify, though they won't and don't want anyone to know about it. This goes all the way back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "He knew the answer, but rather than do what he believed to be the right thing and accept the consequences,..."

    That really doesn't make any sense. Maybe it wasn't meant to?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2014 @ 4:15am

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2014 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are correct, as always. I should have remembered, as apparently you do, that those on the dais never, ever, present information for inclusion in the Congressional Record. Information included is limited solely to what is answered by those presenting testimony.

    Hence, it would have been totally inappropriate for Wyden to make a statement that data was being collected, the extent of such collection, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    blob (profile), Apr 7th, 2014 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    You forgot Dick Cheney's "Unitary Executive" doctrine.

     

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  41.  
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    blob (profile), Apr 7th, 2014 @ 7:47am

    Re: So... take matters into our own hands

    But cops tell people not to citizen arrest :(

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Crazy Canuck, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    As an outsider, I find it very strange that the American's allow this sort of behaviour. Having a government department basically ignoring to respond to an elected official?

    Even if you had a completely insane official asking the stupidest of questions, perhaps sending a letter to the DOJ asking what temperature to cook a turkey, the department should still respond. Though I would expect in that kind of situation that the DOJ would make public what kind of silly requests that official was making so that the public would decide if they really wanted to re-elect them in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is the committee in charge of oversight. It is their JOB to call those in charge on the carpet for those sorts of things and force them to answer for their actions even if they already know the answer to the questions they are asking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Uh...the person being "forced" to answer is the very same person who had already provided the answer in a classified hearing. The only "forcing" done here was Wyden attempting to throw Clapper under the bus so that he, Wyden, could score political points without running afoul of the law concerning classified information.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point of having a public hearing on the matter is so that it can be investigated publicly. It's not throwing him under the bus. It's about accountability to the public for what is being done in their name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    IOW, every classified hearing where Congress is providing oversight must then be followed by a public hearing so that the public (both domestic and otherwise) can learn about and weigh in on the classified information presented at the classified hearing.

    Why even bother with what people here seem to view as a charade designed to purposely keep people in the dark? Perhaps now is the time to simply scrap the entire notion of classified information and instead opt for a totally transparent, secret-free government. Conducting intelligence gathering activities in country X, invite its officials so they know the full extent of such activities and are provided a detailed PP presentation that they can take back to brief their counterparts. Of course, there would be no demands for reciprocity since or goal would be to show were are a beacon of moral high ground as to which they should strive to emulate.

    Now would not that be a totally splendid system and would embarrass others to do the same.

    There is utopia and there is reality. Just my opinion, but by an overwhelming majority (virtually 100%) others conduct their affairs in the real world and leave utopia to the dreamers largely untouched by reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    IOW, every classified hearing where Congress is providing oversight must then be followed by a public hearing so that the public (both domestic and otherwise) can learn about and weigh in on the classified information presented at the classified hearing.


    Would you quit your idiotic sarcastic strawmen? They just make YOU look stupid.

    NO ONE is saying that everything that is classified must be discussed. But, what you still fail to concede, is that what Wyden asked Clapper was NOT for CLASSIFIED information. He did not ask him to reveal a classified program. He asked a general question about whether or not information was collected on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.

    That could have been answered with a simple yes or no, without revealing the nature of that program.

    I don't know why you feel the need to act like a complete idiot around here. It does not reflect well on you or your buddies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 9:20am

    He did ask for classified information...and the fact you seem unwilling to even entertain this possibility speaks to a profound bias that is presented here and in many of your other articles.

    I am not supporting in any way the underlying program pursued by the CIA. My comment is limited solely to the fact that Mr. Wyden seems unable and unwilling to stick his neck out and do what he believes is right. I call that dishonorable and cowardly. Apparently you do not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Stamp your feet harder, I can almost hear your tantrum from across the planet.

    Sheesh, what a childish little yutz.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Pragmatic, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:16am

    Re: Re:

    ...because .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:18am

    Re:

    ...in the belief that private enterprise could do a better job. As it is, "private enterprise" is pretty much running the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:20am

    Re: Clapper WORSE than Cheney

    You seem to have missed them, AC@2.15pm.

    We bash Obama, Feinstein, and anyone else who craps on the Constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 3:22am

    Re: Democrats are the New Nazi party

    Is Dick Cheney a member, corwin155? He seems to be immune to prosecution after outing Valerie Plame. That's worse than anything Snowden did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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