Mike Rogers Says 4 Briefings Recently Makes Up for Withholding Information before PATRIOT Act Vote

Here’s House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers’ response to the White Paper’s revelation, backed by Justin Amash’s reports, that he didn’t invite all members of the House to read notice of the Section 215 dragnet.

The House Intelligence Committee makes it a top priority to inform Members about the intelligence issues on which Members must vote. This process is always conducted consistent with the Committee’s legal obligation to carefully protect the sensitive intelligence sources and methods our intelligence agencies use to do their important work. Prior to voting on the PATRIOT Act reauthorization and the FAA reauthorization, Chairman Rogers hosted classified briefings to which all Members were invited to have their questions about these authorities answered. Additionally, over the past two months, Chairman Rogers has hosted four classified briefings, with officials from the NSA and other agencies, on the Section 215 and Section 702 programs and has invited all Republican Members to attend and receive additional classified briefings on the use of these tools from Committee staff. The Committee has provided many opportunities for Members to have their questions answered by both the HPSCI and the NSA. And Chairman Rogers has encouraged members to attend those classified briefings to better understand how the authorities are used to protect the country. [my emphasis]

So even according to Mike Rogers, Mike Rogers provided briefings to members to answer the questions they’d have no notice they needed to ask before reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act because Mike Rogers hadn’t provided the explanation of what they might want to ask questions about.

And since Edward Snowden exposed all this, he has had 4 briefings.

Nowhere in Rogers’ statement does he deny he failed to pass on the notice that read,

We believe that making this document available to all members of Congress, as we did with a similar document in December 2009, is an effective way to inform the legislative debate about reauthorization of Section 215.

Which, I take, is additional confirmation (in addition to the White Paper and reports from Congress) he failed to pass on notice that DOJ and the Administration claimed they wanted shared with all of Congress.

The legality of the 215 dragnet depends, in part, on whether or not the Executive briefed Congress. And because of Mike Rogers, it appears that that legal case is beginning to crumble.

8 replies
  1. Joanne says:

    For those of us with age induced ADD and who haven’t been in the thickets, could you explain if this calls into question the 2011 vote on renewing the entire Patriot Act or just the 215 provisions?

  2. P J Evans says:

    It would be sweet if the WH case failed because one of their pet congresscritters didn’t do his job. And then lied about it to everyone else.

  3. Arbusto says:

    How many of these critters (vermin), including Obama, Holder, Alexander, Crapper are looking in the archives of plausible deniability. Search criteria: I didn’t know, I wasn’t told, It wasn’t my purview or charter, Who could of imagined, It is in our best interest, We have to balance, I was only following orders, We must make security our, We have to defeat radial, I trust our ….

  4. Snertly says:

    Do you have any idea just how much it slows the process down when one has to actually explain things to Congresspeople? You tell them the part you want them to know. So far, so good. But then, they start asking questions. Questions about how and who, where and when, who decides what. So many damned questions. The more they know, the more questions they want to ask. On the other hand, they can’t ask questions if they’ve no idea what you’re doing or why. Much tidier.

  5. C says:

    @Joanne: Yes.

    I am not sure if it invalidates it legally but it does confirm that congress was voting in the dark and was kept in the dark deliberately by the administration and the intelligence committees. Consequently it tells each and every congressperson that, in the eyes of the administration and the intel committee, they don’t matter at all.

    Congress is often depicted as a hothouse of clashing egos. Nothing deflates an ego faster than being screwed over by “the leadership.” The open question is how will this play itself out? Will all the captive members who voted against the Amash/Conyers Amendment change their votes next time? Will people like Jim Sensenbrenner (who up until recently thought he was in the leadership and now knows he’s been used) push to change things? Or will they just start blowing off other bills left right and center out of offense? We shall see.

  6. Ralph says:

    What we have here is a classical example of a Cabal–Federal judges, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Head of the NSA, with links into the White House–playing free and loose with the 4th amendment–and The People be damned. The only non-Newspeak “Patriot Act” in this story is “The Patriot Act” of Edward Snowden. He has shown more willingness to “support and defend the Constitution” than the elected officials who want to prosecute him for doing their jobs for them. Edward Snowden, Mr. President, is a Patriot, in the highest sense of the word–as Martin Luther King was a Patriot with a dream of a better America, an America living up to its promise. The President should remember Snowden, if only for a moment, when he stands in the Lincoln Memorial on the foot prints of Martin Luther King and celebrates the legacy of the man who sacrifices himself for the American dream–which began with a Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

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