Congressman Eli Crane told The Gateway Pundit on Wednesday that he believes the federal government will abuse FISA authority to spy on President Trump and Americans if Section 702 is not overhauled immediately.
“Anytime you try and change stuff up here in Washington, DC, the fearmongers always come out and start threatening people. I think Speaker Johnson fell prey to that,” said Crane after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) pulled FISA reform legislation from the House Floor.
The Gateway Pundit recently reported on Rep. Andy Biggs’ (R-AZ) Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA), bipartisan legislation to overhaul Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
As The Gateway Pundit reported, House Speaker Mike Johnson delayed a vote on Biggs’ bill and another relating to FISA Section 702 extension, making it so that the unconstitutional Section 702 will be renewed without change until April 2024. On Thursday, Johnson also voted yes on the clean FISA renewal.
Days earlier, Rep. Andy Biggs slammed Johnson for his “weak leadership” after he caved to the intelligence community. “It looks like just an absolute, utter capitulation on his part,” Biggs said of the New Speaker.
GOP Rep. Andy Biggs: “Utter Capitulation on His Part” – House Speaker Mike Johnson Pulls Judiciary Committee’s FISA 702 Overhaul and Intel Committee’s 702 Reauthorization Bills, Will Not Consider Either Until After The New Year
Simply put, the bill would limit the FBI’s ability to surveil Americans and end the current practice of collecting, storing and digging through Americans’ communications without a warrant.
The issue of warrantless searches and targeting of the Trump campaign under FISA 702 was also highlighted in a recent op-ed by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), published on The Gateway Pundit. Read more about why Congressman Gosar opposes reauthorizing Section 702 here.
The other bill, advanced by the House Intelligence Committee, would reauthorize Section 702 for eight years with minimal provisions to protect Americans’ rights to privacy.
Eli Crane spoke to The Gateway Pundit correspondent Jordan Conradson on Wednesday to share why he believes the House Judiciary Committee’s FISA reform is necessary.
Conradson: Congressman Crane, yesterday we learned that Speaker Mike Johnson’s pulling this FISA 702 reform and the clean renewal of it from the floor. It’s gonna get renewed until April 2024, I believe. Can you talk about the dangers of this, getting the clean renewal, and then the possible other bill that wants to renew it?
Crane: I think it’s a disaster, honestly. You know, I think anytime you try and change stuff up here in Washington, DC, the fearmongers always come out and start threatening people. I think Speaker Johnson fell prey to that. They’ve tried to do it to me multiple times back in January, the motion to vacate. And it’s just kind of the way the system works. Anytime you try and make change up here, I’ll be honest, there is always risk involved. It’s important that people understand that, but when you have our government that ends up regularly spying on the American people to the tune of hundreds of 1000s of times a year, clearly, there needs to be some reforms to that program. And so, I think many of us were excited to see that, you know, Andy Biggs and Jim Jordan and others from Judiciary took so much time and effort to bring a good bill to the floor. But then the downside of that was extremely disappointing to see the intel communities, Homeland Security and others pushing back against that and fear-mongering our leadership into not even bringing them to the floor so we could see where our representatives were at.
Conradson: What are the implications for the 2024 election? We know they have a history of spying on President Trump. Do you worry they might use FISA to spy on the Trump campaign or conservatives leading up to the 2004 election?
Crane: Well, sadly, and I hate to say it, but my concerns about what they’ll do to President Trump go far beyond that. I think they see him as such a threat that they would use any means necessary to get rid of him. They’re trying to get rid of him with lawfare right now. I believe they would spy on him in a heartbeat, or quite frankly, any one of us that they felt like was a serious enough threat. And that’s why I think it was so important that we actually look at that. I just don’t think a lot of folks up here realize, you know, just how backward this government has become, how dangerous it is becoming, and we definitely don’t play to win as a party, and it’s a problem.