Trump, GOP Help Kill Spying Law

Donald Trump

( – In a rare outright rift among Republicans, including between former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson, a group of GOP Congress members have sided with the Democrats to kill a bill for reauthorizing the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

On Wednesday afternoon, a coalition of conservative House Republicans collaborated with the Democrats to thwart a bill aimed at renewing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) while attempting to address long-standing issues related to extensive surveillance operations.

More than a dozen Republican representatives sided with the Democrats to defeat the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act.

This proposed legislation sought to extend FISA’s section 702 for a five-year period, alongside implementing various reforms intended to curtail alleged excesses by the intelligence community, National Review reports.

This development follows extensive deliberations spanning several months over two distinct bipartisan proposals concerning FISA’s authorization, deliberated by the House Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee, respectively.

The Judiciary Committee’s proposal was notable for its stipulation that a search warrant be necessary to conduct FISA searches on American citizens, marking a significant divergence between the two proposals.

A total of nineteen Republicans joined with all voting Democrats to oppose the FISA bill. The measure was rejected in a 193-228 vote.

Ten members abstained from voting, including six Republicans and four Democrats, The Daily Wire reports.

A trio from the House Freedom Caucus, comprising Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and Tim Burchett (R-TN), voiced their opposition to the bill earlier in the day.

Furthermore, former President Donald Trump criticized the FISA re-authorization prior to the procedural vote, as he asserted it had been misused to surveil his presidential campaign.


He was presumably alluding to the FBI’s discredited Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Russian collusion allegations based on the invalidated Steele Dossier.

Special Counsel John Durham identified misuse of the FISA authorization process during this investigation to spy on former Trump adviser Carter Page, despite the absence of incriminating evidence and factual inaccuracies in the FISA applications.

Despite concurring with Trump regarding past misapplications of FISA by the intelligence community, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) advocated for Republican support of the FISA authorization bill.

Johnson highlighted the Trump administration’s use of FISA in counterterrorism efforts and emphasized the bill’s accountability features.

“There are massive new, for example, criminal and civil penalties for using opposition research or leaking FISA applications or illegal spying. If an FBI agent or an attorney is involved in something like that, under these reforms in this reform package, they could get 10 years of jail time. That’s real teeth. And there’s a number of other reforms and measures in there. President Trump used the intel from this program to kill terrorists and we have to kill the abuses,” the speaker had argued.

With FISA’s authorization due to expire on April 19, the future of the program remains uncertain.

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