Trump says 'KILL FISA' after Congress adds 'carve out' for Congress members in reauthorization of program allowing warrantless spying on Americans

"If there’s nothing wrong or unconstitutional in this program, why does Congress want a carve out for itself?"

Former President Donald Trump has urged for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to be killed, coming as legislation to reauthorize the controversial act that allows for the warrantless spying on Americans is moving to the House floor for a final vote this week, including a carve-out in the bill for members of Congress.

"Kill FISA, it was illegally used against me and many others. They spied on my campaign," Trump wrote.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act extends Section 702 of FISA for 5 years, which "permits the government to conduct targeted surveillance of foreign persons located outside the United States.” The database of foreign intelligence also includes information on US citizens who may have been communicating with people overseas.

However, the proposed law does not apply to members of Congress.

According to the legislation, “The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall promptly notify the appropriate congressional leadership of any query conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation using a query term that is reasonably believed to be the name or other personally identifying information of a member of Congress and shall also notify the member who is the subject of the inquiry.”

Additionally, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation may not for the exclusive purpose of supplementing the contents of a briefing on the defense against a counterintelligence threat to a member of Congress conduct a query that is the name or restricted personal information… of that member unless the member provides consent to the use of the query term.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who posted the relevant section on X, wrote, “Congress gives itself a carve out in the reauthorization of FISA 702 warrantless spying on Americans. The bill requires the FBI to notify and seek consent from Congress before violating the privacy of Congressmen.”

He noted, “This will persuade many members of Congress to vote yes.”

Massie added, "Ask yourself: If there’s nothing wrong or unconstitutional in this program, why does Congress want a carve out for itself?"

According to Just The News, progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans are working together to include a warrant requirement for the FISA renewal.

Some members of Congress previously stated they would oppose reauthorizing FISA without ending warrantless surveillance. 

Amendments including those to end warrantless surveillance will be considered by the House.

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday voted for a bipartisan amendment banning "warrantless searches of U.S. person communications in the FISA 702 database, with exceptions for imminent threats to life or bodily harm, consent searches, or known cybersecurity threat signatures."

An amendment by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) would require the FBI to "report to Congress on a quarterly basis the number of U.S. person queries conducted. Additionally, grants the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Committees on Judiciary and Intelligence in the House and Senate, in addition to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the Minority Leader of the House, access to attend FISC proceedings," also passed.

An amendment offered by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) would enable the "use of Section 702 information to vet foreigners traveling to the United States," also passed and will now go to the House floor for consideration.  
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