House Democrats were all set to vote on reauthorizing the use of advanced surveillance tools under the FISA court system, but they adjourned last night without voting after President Trump threatened to veto it. He tweeted, "Our Country has just suffered through the greatest political crime in its history. The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it!"
Trump also urged Republicans to vote no "until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!”
Supporters of the FISA system argue that it’s needed to give intelligence agencies the tools they need to secretly intercept threats such as terrorist plots. However, as we’re learning more every day, when the people in charge don’t follow the rules, it can quickly become an unconstitutional, Soviet-style “secret court” system targeting US citizens without them even knowing it. We were assured that safeguards had been built in to prevent that, but they’re only as secure as the people entrusted to follow them – people like Peter Strzok, need I say more? I’m reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s comment on due process rights, that it’s better that 100 guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer.
My “Huck’s Profiles in Cluelessness Award” goes to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who declared that we need to extend the FISA system because “if we don't have a bill, our civil liberties are less protected." Tell it to Michael Flynn! Come up with a bill that protects our civil liberties from the people running the FISA courts and then we’ll talk.
PS - Big props to Newsmax for picking the perfect photo to illustrate the story of Trump’s veto threat stopping this bill. I’ll bet when Nancy Pelosi pulled this little stunt for the cameras, she never imagined it being used to illustrate her own loss to Trump.