By Landmark Legal Foundation, Special for USDR
Landmark Legal Foundation announced today that it has asked the inspectors general of six federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate dozens of illegal leaks to journalists of classified information relating to electronic surveillance of individuals associated with the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump.
The Foundation filed official complaints seeking investigations with the inspectors general of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of State, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), (through its parent agency, the Department of Justice), related to the handling of warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), connected to investigations into possible ties between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and foreign interests. Warrants issued by the FISC are classified under provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
“It’s a felony to even disclose that the Court has issued a warrant, let alone reveal details of an investigation conducted under that warrant,” explained Pete Hutchison, executive vice president and general counsel for Landmark. “Over the past several months there have been dozens of leaks of classified information apparently by federal intelligence and law enforcement officials to journalists for what appear to be political purposes. We’re asking the inspectors general of the Justice Department (for the FBI), the CIA, the NSA, DIA, the State Department, and the Treasury Department, to conduct full investigations into whether these leaks are coming from their departments.”
Landmark is also submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the same agencies seeking information related to a move by Obama Administration officials in their final weeks in office to dramatically expand the number of offices within the U.S. intelligence community who would receive raw surveillance data of foreign nationals gathered by the NSA. “Previously, only officials at five intelligence and law enforcement agencies could see NSA surveillance data,” noted Hutchison. “But in January of 2017, James Clapper, the then-Director of National Intelligence, and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch expanded the list to 17 agencies, adding hundreds of names to the distribution lists. The public has a right to know why they took that action.”
Last week Landmark filed a motion in the FISC requesting that it exercise its constitutional and statutory authority to investigate abuses of any warrants it has issued. “Federal officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution,” Hutchison said. “Breaking the law to curry favor with journalists or gain political advantage is stealing justice from the American people. We’re asking the Court to hold those people accountable.”
Founded in 1976, Landmark Legal Foundation is one of the oldest conservative, nonprofit legal foundations in the nation. It has offices in Kansas City, Missouri, and Leesburg, Virginia.
(For additional information contact Eric Christensen, vice president for development and communications, Landmark Legal Foundation, 19415 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 312, Leesburg, VA 20176, 703-554-6100, 703-554-6119 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org.)
SOURCE Landmark Legal Foundation