DOJ silent on spy chief investigation

DOJ silent on spy chief investigation
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Months after requesting an investigation into Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe curious timeline for taking down Trump Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Schiff: Barr 'weaponizing' DOJ 'to go after the president's enemies' MORE for lying to Congress, lawmakers have yet to get an update from the Justice Department.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), the original author of the Patriot Act, and six other House Republicans called for a criminal probe into Clapper last year for falsely testifying that the government was not collecting bulk information on millions of Americans.

Months later, Sensenbrenner said there’s been no response.

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“Intelligence officials cannot be permitted to lie with impunity,” he wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday. “I respectfully request an update as soon as possible.”

In a hearing last year, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper whether the National Security Agency collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

“No, sir,” Clapper responded. “There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.” 

Leaks about the NSA’s operations from former contractor Edward Snowden showed that that claim was not true. In fact, the NSA has the authority to collect virtually all Americans' phone records.

Clapper has since claimed that he attempted to give the “least untruthful” answer possible about the classified program.

President Obama and lawmakers across Capitol Hill have called for an end to the NSA’s phone records collection program.

In his letter, Sensenbrenner said Congress needed to be sure that it could trust its witnesses before moving forward.

“In considering these proposals, we need assurances that we can adequately conduct oversight following new legislation,” he wrote. “Congressional oversight, however, depends on truthful testimony."

A Justice Department spokesman said that the department was reviewing Sensenbrenner’s letter but did not comment further.