10.03.08

To The Attorney General Consolidated Guidelines For FBI Domestic Operations

“The American people deserve a vigilant Justice Department that does not sacrifice or endanger their rights and privacy, but accomplishing this goal takes clear rules, bright lines and close oversight.  As a former prosecutor I know that this can be done.  These new investigative guidelines unnecessarily blur those lines.

 

“I remain disappointed that, despite several bipartisan requests to share these guidelines with members of the Judiciary Committee so that the Committee could provide meaningful input, the Attorney General has instead moved forward to implement new FBI guidelines for domestic operations.  I am concerned that the guidelines continue the pattern of this administration of expanding authority to gather and use Americans’ private information without protections for privacy or checks to prevent abuse and misuse. 

 

“The FBI has itself abused overly broad authorities it has been given in the past, including the misuse of National Security Letters and so-called exigent letters.  It appears that with these guidelines, the Attorney General is once again giving the FBI broad new powers to conduct surveillance and use other intrusive investigative techniques on Americans without requiring any indication of wrongdoing or any approval even from FBI supervisors.  This Committee’s oversight has been crucial to uncovering abuses and misuses of power in this administration; I suspect the oversight of the implementation of these guidelines for domestic operations and investigations will be integral to the Judiciary Committee’s oversight efforts in the next Congress.”

 

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