Ex-NSA head asks court to toss out lawsuit

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The former head of the National Security Agency (NSA) on Friday asked a federal court to toss out a lawsuit accusing him of personally violating Americans’ constitutional rights.

Keith Alexander filed a motion with the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of himself, President Obama and other top administration officials, claiming he had never been properly served as part of a sweeping lawsuit over the NSA’s powers.

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The lawsuit, from conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, succeeded in a 2013 declaration that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records was likely unconstitutional. The decision provided a major boost to the agency’s critics more than a year before they passed reform legislation on Capitol Hill that curtailed the program.

The lawsuit also personally named Alexander, Obama, former Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director takes center stage in Clinton email case Lynch: I wouldn’t do Clinton meeting over again Racial undercurrents inflame Uber fight over background checks MORE and other officials in both their individual and official roles.

But Klayman waited more than two years to serve those officials notice, Justice Department lawyers argued in Friday’s motion. Procedural rules require him to serve notice within 120 days.

Klayman’s team has “never [emphasis in the original] personally served any of the individual federal defendants with the complaints in which those defendants were first named,” lawyers claimed Friday.

“Because the plaintiffs have no excuse for such delay, their belated attempt to effect personal service on Alexander should be quashed and all of the claims against the individual federal defendants ... should be dismissed,” they added.

Alexander was not personally served about his lawsuit until December, the motion claims, when “an unidentified man showed up at Alexander’s home” and asked his wife to sign for documents.

Other defendants were not notified at all, the government claimed.

Klayman fought back against the government’s response last week, when lawyers met to discuss the long-running case.

At the time, he claimed to have sent notice via registered mail, which was the most effective method. 

“Are they asking me to go to the White House and get arrested as I try to jump over the gate?” Klayman said.

Federal lawyers have insisted that the mail receipts were not signed by Alexander or the other officials being sued, making them useless.