March 12, 2020

Wyden Statement on Claims The President Can Spy on Americans Without Congressional Approval

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement following Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr’s claim that the president can spy on Americans without Congressional approval, even if Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expires:

“On the floor of the U.S. Senate today, Intelligence Committee Chairman Burr said that the president can disregard the FISA law altogether and spy on Americans with no judicial or congressional oversight whatsoever. This position, which is shared by Attorney General Barr, is an invitation to lawlessness, to a police state and to dictatorship. Congress simply has no choice but to stop this. The bipartisan Safeguarding Americans’ Private Records Act includes a critical provision ensuring that the president cannot spy on Americans outside the law. This provision must be added as an amendment to the flawed House FISA bill. The laws governing surveillance on Americans are not optional.”