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Mike Lee: IG report has been a 'big win' for the American people and 'huge loss for the deep state'

Is it time to eliminate FISA?


Leigh Vogel / Stringer

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck spoke with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings regarding Department of Justice's Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report. In particular, they discussed the 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in the FBI's applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for warrants to surveil members of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

During the hearings Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) said he was "embarrassed" to have to admit that Sen. Lee is right to be skeptical of the federal government's surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

"I wanted to say, I wish Mike Lee weren't sitting here two people from me right now because, as a national security hawk, I have argued with Mike Lee, in the four-and-a-half or five years that I've been in the Senate, that stuff just like this couldn't possibly happen at the FBI and at the Department of Justice," Sasse said.

"So as someone who is embarrassed on behalf of the FBI about [the IG] report," he continued. "Mike Lee has warned me for four-and-a-half years the potential for abuse in this space is terrible and I constantly defended the integrity and the professionalism of the bureau and of the department that you couldn't have something like this happen."

Lee called the IG report findings "a big win" for the American people, and "a huge loss for the deep state" because it has exposed how abuse of the FISA program can lead to government surveillance of American citizens.

Glenn asked about the "inaccuracies and omissions" in the inspector general's report, which he argued were not inaccuracies at all, but "forged documents."

"What this tells us is something very significant," Lee said. "Basically, what the facts say in this report about the spying that occurred on the Trump campaign is ... either these FBI agents purposely abused the power of the federal government to wage a political war against a presidential candidate that they despised, or that these agents were so incompetent that they somehow allowed a two-bit foreign political operative to weaponize the FISA program into a spying operation on a rival political campaign.

"Neither conclusion is acceptable," he added. "Neither one of these can simply be tolerated by the American people."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Watch the full episode here.

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