The FBI is in total damage control after one major scandal broke

No one is surprised when politicians sell out Americans. But the rot in Washington, D.C. runs much deeper.

And the FBI is in total damage control after one major scandal broke.

Joe Biden and the Democrats have been very open about their weaponization of the federal government for political gain.

We all know the stories of pro-lifers and 2nd Amendment activists being targeted for arrests and prosecution for seemingly ridiculous charges.

But the extent of the surveillance is larger than anyone could have imagined.

The FBI is seeking to restore public trust in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Congress must reauthorize by April 19.

As part of its months-long campaign, the FBI just posted a video to X in which Director Christopher Wray attempts to gloss around Section 702.

The bureau’s timely propaganda was not lost on opponents on X, where the post earned a community response that said, “The FBI violated American citizens’ 4A rights 278,000 times with illegal, unauthorized FISA 702 searches.”

Among the critics was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who wrote, “FBI just got called out in a community note on X. Congress — take note. FISA 702 has been used for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of times. Yet FBI demands 702 be reauthorized by April 19 WITHOUT a warrant requirement for searches of U.S. citizens.”

“Many in Congress will want to reauthorize FISA 702 — which is set to expire April 19th — either without modification or (more likely) with fake reforms that fail to impose a warrant requirement for searches directed at Americans,” he said.

But what is Section 702?

It was a provision that Congress enacted back in 2008 that allowed the U.S. government to spy on foreign nationals located outside the U.S. by compelling phone companies and other communication providers to hand over data.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right?

The problem is that the FBI used this supposed monitoring of foreign nationals as justification to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016 without needing probable cause.

Supposedly, going through the courts proved too costly “because of the resources required and because the government couldn’t always meet the probable cause standard, which was designed to protect U.S. persons and persons in the U.S.”

Another issue arose where foreign nationals emailed or called a person located in the United States.

As a result, many American people have been subjected to warrantless monitoring, with their phone calls, text messages, emails, and other communications intercepted and retained.

Americans picked up in unauthorized searches include Jan. 6 protestors, 19,000 congressional campaign donors, and BLM protesters.

The Hill reported that long after the FBI conducted multiple searches of people suspected of participating in the Jan. 6 protests, the Department of Justice found that the bureau had not satisfied the standard required for such a search.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate at the June 2023 hearing, “Your institution is the one that, according to the court, the FISA court, ran 278,000 unwarranted — probably illegal — queries on Americans, right? That was your institution, correct?”

Abbate responded, “With respect to the compliance incident, yes.”

In the wake of the FBI asking for reauthorization, Sen. Lee underlined that he and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D) had submitted a plan to extend 702, but in a way that presumably protects American privacy and liberties.

The so-called Security and Freedom Enhancement Act would require intelligence agencies to get a FISA Title I order or a warrant before accessing the contents of American communications collected under Section 702.

Do you think the FBI won’t find a loophole in that version? We aren’t sure at all.

Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.

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