Speaker Johnson Submitting to Intel Agencies on Spy Powers Reform ‘Prime Example’ of ‘D.C. Cartel’

2024-04-09 09:45:00

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Tuesday that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) kowtowing to the intelligence agencies on a controversial surveillance law is a “prime example” of the “D.C. cartel.”

Biggs spoke as the House Rules Committee prepares to review the process by which the House will consider the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), a bill that attempts to reform Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a controversial surveillance law that is aimed at targeting foreign adversaries; however, it often surveils Americans’ private communications.

Johnson once supported a warrant requirement and also voted for an amendment that would bar intelligence and law enforcement agencies from purchasing Americans’ private information, which is viewed by privacy advocates as a run around the Fourth Amendment. Now that Johnson is Speaker, he reportedly supports neither reform in a surveillance reform bill.

RELATED VIDEO: Rep. Andy Biggs: CDC Purchased $420k Worth of Data to Surveil Americans During the Coronavirus Pandemic:

U.S. House of Representatives

Biggs is the sponsor of the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act, a Section 702 reform bill that advanced through the House Judiciary Committee. Former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) said it is one of the most consequential bills to protect civil liberties in “several generations.”

The Arizona conservative called Johnson’s sudden about-face on privacy reform a “prime example” of the D.C. cartel pressuring leaders to preserve the establishment status quo.

Biggs said, “I think you get swept up in the D.C. cartel. I think they come and tell you that, that blood would be on your hands. And, so the cartel tries to intimidate, put fear into people. And, so some people forget why they were taking the original position.”

Biggs noted that January 6 protesters and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters have been surveilled under section 702.

WATCH: Jim Jordan: There are 204k Reasons to Oppose FISA Reauthorization:

House Committee on the Judiciary / YouTube

“If you can’t speak publicly on an issue anymore without triggering a search and query of you by the federal government, then then how are we different than the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] right now,” Biggs asked rhetorically.

Biggs said the “fix is in” to prefer the Intelligence Committee’s preferred measures for a Section 702 reauthorization bill.

He said that, despite an “uphill climb,” he wants to see the rules process put lawmakers on the record on warrant requirements and other reforms.

The Arizona conservative also reacted to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) motion to remove Johnson as the leader of the House. He said he’s focused on FISA and impeachment, but the Speaker knows he has been “manifestly disappointed” with the current state of the House.

He said, “I’m really unhappy with the continuing resolutions, and this notion of ‘oh, we’re going to set this up for future fight’. How far out is that future fight? [Rep.] Warren Davidson always says, if we ever do fight, it really will be a surprise attack. Because yeah, everybody would be surprised.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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Speaker Johnson Submitting to Intel Agencies on Spy Powers Reform ‘Prime Example’ of ‘D.C. Cartel’


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