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‘We’ll see who’s right’: Republicans slam Democrats over Carter Page ‘FISA abuse’

Republicans and Democrats clashed during a rare congressional hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as the reauthorization deadline for key surveillance powers looms.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday focused on a number of powers granted to the Justice Department, the FBI, and the National Security Agency under the USA Freedom Act in 2015 that are set to expire in December, hearing from witnesses from the DOJ, the FBI, and the NSA.

Republicans and Democrats generally seemed in agreement about the importance of empowering the agencies to monitor lone wolf terrorists and to conduct roving wiretaps on potential terrorists or foreign agents who might switch phones to evade detection, while both sides also expressed skepticism about the Trump administration’s desire to permanently renew the NSA’s controversial phone call metadata collection program.

But the political parties were deeply divided on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as the impending release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FISA abuse report loomed in the background and as the DOJ watchdog testified in a separate hearing elsewhere in the building.

Columnist Kristen Soltis Anderson on the expanded Washington Examiner magazine
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