The Top Secret Memo: Indiana Reps on Letting You See It
WASHINGTON, D.C.--A memo that was written by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has some Indiana representatives concerned that the government has too much power to spy on American citizens. The reports talks about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and it's use during the Trump campaign.
The memo has been classified, or made top secret, and members of Congress have only been allowed to view it because they signed a paper promising they wouldn't talk about any details.
"I can't talk about the contents of the memo and that in itself is troubling as a representative of my district," said Rep. Jim Banks (R-3rd Dist, Ft. Wayne), on Tony Katz Today, Friday.
Since then members of Congress have been pushing for a release to the American public. The effort is coming along party lines, with some Democrats dismissing the seriousness of the document.
"It's a short document, but the contents include details of the Dept. of Justice, the FBI investigations related to the Trump campaign," said Banks. "I signed a letter along with dozens of other Republican members of the House of Representatives to call for this document to be released."
"From the contents of that memo I can tell you there is no national security interest. There is no reason that can't be declassified," said Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4th Dist., Clermont), on the Hammer and Nigel Show. "We are working right now on the procedure for declassifying...because the American people, our Hoosiers, need to see what their government, especially under the last administration, has been up to."
You may be hearing the term "FISA Court". That allows for warrants for surveillance to be issued under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Justice, for looking in on the activities of foreign activities within the United States. FISA has also been criticized for warrantless wiretapping and electronic surveillance under the Bush and Obama administrations.
"There's broader issues about the powers of this secret FISA court that we keep trying to reform, and some keep voting against those reforms," said Rokita. "I think the government overuses classification in an overly broad way, especially with documents that frankly, don't have any national security implications."
Rokita said he believes you will eventually be able to see the document.
"It'll take a matter of several weeks and we have got to keep pressure on our elected officials to make sure there's no hemming and hawing and that this gets out."