The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently declassified a November 2020 opinion memo raising concerns about the FBI’s “apparent widespread violations” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) are demanding that FBI Director Chris Wray answer to the opinion. The two lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday, which also asked Wray how he is reforming the FBI to ensure the process is being used in a constitutional manner.
In their letter, Jordan and Biggs note that the ODNI’s memo highlights the misuse of FISA’s Section 702, which states that the government can permit the surveillance of foreigners outside the U.S. for national security purposes, to spy on American citizens.
The two Republican lawmakers also cite Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December 2019 report showing abuse of the FISA process to illegally spy on members of the Trump campaign. The report revealed 17 “errors and omissions” and 51 incorrect points used as a basis for the surveillance.
Wray previously said the FISA warrant obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page wasn’t justified and he’s promised to reform the system, but Jordan and Biggs aren’t convinced that anything has changed.
The FBI declined to comment on the letter, in an email to this reporter.
The Republican Congressmen ask Wray to provide the following:
“The recently released FISC opinion only raises more questions about the FBI’s respect for the constitutional and statutory parameters of FISA. Given the seriousness of this matter for civil liberties, please provide the following information immediately:
1. Please explain why almost a year after the OIG’s report about FISA abuses, the FISC found the FBI to still be abusing its warrantless surveillance authority under section 702.
2. Please provide a detailed accounting of every instance since December 2019 in which the FBI has queried, accessed, otherwise used information obtained pursuant to section 702 for purposes unrelated to national security.
3. Please explain what actions you have taken in the wake of the FISC’s November 2020 memorandum opinion and order to prevent the FBI from using its section 702 authorities to surveil, investigate, or otherwise examine U.S. citizens.”
You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer
Seven GOP members of the House signed a letter on Wednesday promising they will not take any donations from Big Tech companies. The effort was led by Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado and Chip Roy of Texas.
“With this pledge, we, as conservatives, are taking a firm stance against Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter,” Buck told The Federalist.
Other signees include Reps. Greg Steube of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Burgess Owens of Utah, and Andy Biggs of Arizona. The congressmen say Big Tech companies have “reached monopoly status” and “stifle innovation.”
“As conservatives, we firmly believe in the free market and the free exchange of ideas,” the letter states. “We will not continue to accept donations from companies who violate those convictions. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter have reached monopoly status in their respective markets. In the business sphere, each one of these companies has used their monopoly power to stifle innovation and destroy competitors.”
In the past, these signees had received about $3,500 in donations from the companies they are condemning, as reported by The New York Times. Moving forward, they claim they will not accept any more donations from the corporations.
Last week, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa condemned Big Tech’s “sweeping immunity” under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
“When Section 230 was signed into law, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube did not exist. Today they’re dominant tech giants,” Grassley said. “Many argue that these private companies have their own terms of service and are able to enforce them as they wish, that they’re not covered under the First Amendment. Yet these platforms are now the new public square where it’s important that all voices and viewpoints are able to be heard.”
CEOs from Facebook, Twitter, and Google went before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March where Republicans criticized the groups for silencing conservative voices on their platforms. Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington told the CEOs that “Big Tech platforms are my biggest fear as a parent” considering their efforts to manipulate and influence children.
“The threat posed by these monopolies is a real and present danger to conservatives, libertarians, and anyone who does not agree with these corporations’ ultra-liberal points of view. Therefore, we pledge that we will not accept donations from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, their Political Action Committees, or individual donations from any executive employee thereof,” the letter dubbed the “Pledge for America” concludes.
McALLEN, Texas — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) led several Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee on a two-day visit to McAllen this week where they witnessed the ongoing border crisis, and all the members — as they recapped their visit — said the Biden administration was at fault for surging numbers of illegal migrants.
Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 170,000 migrants crossing the southern border illegally in March, a 72 percent increase from February. As Breitbart News reported, in the first two full months of President Joe Biden’s time in office, February and March, apprehensions were at a combined total of nearly 210,000, while in the last four months of former President Donald Trump’s tenure, apprehensions were at a combined total of just over 280,000.
Jordan, the ranking Republican member on the Judiciary Committee, gathered from speaking with Border Patrol agents that the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, also known as Remain in Mexico — which Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suspended on his first day as president — is imperative to reinstate as a first step in controlling the migrant influx.
Jordan told Breitbart News on Wednesday near the conclusion of his visit, “This is … not just Jim Jordan talking, not just Republican members of the Judiciary Committee talking. This is the Border Patrol agents themselves, what they’re telling us. That’s what we’ve got to get done, and we have to talk about this and try to persuade our Democratic colleagues this is just good common sense. This is for the good of the country, and frankly, it’s for the good of these kids and these families who are making that treacherous trek up through Mexico to get here.”
The MPP program allowed border officials to return asylum-seeking migrants back to Mexico while they await the processing of their claims, which the Trump administration at the time of implementing the program, in January 2019, said would serve as a deterrent for illegal migration and help control an “unprecedented number” of “fraudulent asylum claims.”
Opponents of the MPP program argue sending asylum-seekers back to Mexico puts them in potentially unsanitary or dangerous conditions and creates nearly insurmountable barriers to being granted asylum if they do actually qualify for it.
However, as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) detailed during a roundtable the delegation attended Wednesday, halting the MPP program has served as one cause — among several other Biden policies — of what has now become America’s “massive humanitarian crisis.”
“We know that it’s policy driven,” Biggs said. “We know that it’s this Biden administration’s policies that have done this. Why do we know that? Because we simply have to look at when those policies were in place. I’m talking MPP, the Remain in Mexico policy. I’m talking about the agreements with the Northern Triangle states, with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. I’m talking about the incentive factor. We all respond to incentives. How about $1,400 per illegal alien in the COVID relief package? How about a free education? How about, you’ll get transported wherever you need to go? And once you’re in, it’s almost impossible for you to be sent out, and that’s really what’s going on. And so, President Trump found a problem, and he solved it. President Biden saw a solution and now he’s dissolved that and created a massive humanitarian crisis.”
Biggs, at a press conference later on Wednesday, referred to comments Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made: “That’s why the president of Mexico said this is Biden’s mess. It is Biden’s mess.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), who also attended the trip, agreed asylum claims are a “predicate for people entering the country.” He told Breitbart News of the MPP program, “It was an innovative, strategic policy to eliminate the perverse incentive in asylum claims. They can assert their asylum right, but you don’t want as the price of that to have any unlimited numbers of people coming into the country.”
The House Judiciary Committee is the committee that has primary jurisdiction over immigration policy. Jordan said at the press conference the committee’s Democrat members were invited on the trip and declined the invitation. Breitbart News reached out to committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to inquire about the reason for this and did not receive an immediate response.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), the lead Republican on the committee’s subcommittee on immigration, said the Biden administration also shares blame for the swell of illegal migration because of his 100-day moratorium on most deportations. “My assessment is that Biden’s executive order on returning criminal illegals, deporting them after they’ve served their terms, now essentially makes the United States a sanctuary nation,” McClintock said during the roundtable.
Despite a federal judge blocking Biden’s moratorium in February, a Wall Street Journal analysis found Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s job priorities have still changed under the new administration’s policies as indicated by a drop of 50 percent in deportations in March compared with deportations in the months at the end of Trump’s tenure.
Biden’s DHS issued a memo on his first day in office justifying calling for the moratorium, saying DHS must “surge resources” to the southern border to “ensure safe, legal, and orderly processing, to rebuild fair and effective asylum procedures that respect human rights and due process … and to prioritize responding to threats to national security, public safety, and border security.”
The delegation’s consensus, however, was that Biden’s immigration policies and rhetoric about such policies have created a magnet for illegal migration and resulted in what has become growing and uncontrollable numbers of illegal migrants.
Two other members of the Judiciary Committee in attendance, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) and Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), railed against Biden for failing to acknowledge the issue. “Not dealing with this issue, not looking at the policies, I think it’s a complete lack of leadership and disregard,” Spartz told Breitbart News.
Owens surmised, “It’s either incompetence or it’s on purpose.”
Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs (R) told “The Sara Carter Show” podcast host Sara Carter Monday that Democrats’ immigration policies are “inhumane.”
“But the reality is, people know, [illegal immigration] is a real issue. They feel it intuitively. They know it intellectually. But the left cows them and says, ‘If you want secure borders, if you want people to immigrate legally, then you are inhumane,’” Biggs said. “The reality,” he added, is that “the other side that wants open borders, they are the ones that have very promiscuous, inhumane policies. And that’s where we need to draw the line.”
Carter agreed with the Arizona Republican, saying, “And I think that this is a humanitarian crisis, it’s a crisis of our time, and if we really care about human trafficking and the suffering of children, and the suffering of people, we will not perpetuate this kind of behavior.”
“I think you can’t be more humane than to say that, ‘We are going to stop you from building your coffers off of the backs and deaths of human beings,’” Carter continued. “That’s what the cartels are doing, they’re killing our children with drugs and they’re killing the people coming up to this country in these caravans without any kind of proper security, and young children traveling alone and pedophilia and everything horrific that you can imagine these children have experienced.”
Carter herself penned an opinion piece for Fox News last week on President Joe Biden‘s immigration policy, saying: “What the Biden administration isn’t addressing or is refusing to acknowledge is that the lax policies lead to more human suffering.”
“Biden’s new immigration policies, like those of his predecessors, do not address the real dangers facing the migrants,” she also wrote. “These people are used as political footballs and the hundreds of millions of dollars they collectively pay to the cartels yearly have given rise to deadly cartels like, Sinaloa, Juarez, Los Zetas and numerous others that wage war on our nation, plague our neighbor Mexico with corruption and poison our children with narcotics.”
On the floor of the House of Representatives before Wednesday’s impeachment vote against President Donald Trump, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a devoted ally of the President, said in his two-minute statement criticizing impeachment that such an action would make Trump’s movement stronger, a similar sentiment that’s been expressed by other Republicans opposing impeachment.
The article of impeachment accuses the soon-departing President of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for “incitement of insurrection” regarding last Wednesday’s Capitol riot. While the House is expected to pass the article, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday sunk any efforts to reconvene the U.S. Senate for a trial until January 19 without all 100 senators consenting.
“It is with weariness and an unhealthy, morbid curiosity that I watch the beast attempt to devour President Donald J. Trump again,” Biggs said at the opening of his brief statement during the House floor debate on whether to vote for impeachment.
“But your craving was neither a Biden victory nor was it even a Trump defeat. You believe that your hunger will be finally satiated by impeaching this president without completion of his full term of office,” Biggs continued. “You don’t merely seek victory but you seek obliteration of your nemesis.”
“Even if you are successful today and were the Senate to convict President Trump, yours would be a pyrrhic victory; for instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will grow stronger; for you will have made him a martyr,” he argued.
Biggs then railed against media and corporations, claiming that the Democrats’ “allies in the media seek to censor conservative voices,” and went on to tout Trump’s economic and political agenda.
At the closing of his remarks, Biggs doubled down on his argument that impeachment will only make the Trump movement stronger.
“I urge you, please, do not […] attempt to douse the remaining burning embers of this movement with gasoline,” he said.
Biggs’ remarks come as he is being accused of helping organize the January 6 event that took place just before the deadly assault from rioters on the U.S. Capitol, according to Ali Alexander—one of the lead “Stop The Steal” event organizers—in some December livestreams, The Interceptreported Monday. Alexander also mentioned Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and another Arizona Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar, as being involved in the planning.
News of Biggs’ reported link to Alexander began to pick up steam Sunday, when The Arizona Republicreported it. The congressman’s spokesperson, Daniel Stefanski, denied that the pair had ties in a statement to the publication.
“Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,” Stefanski said. “He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests.”
House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) called for Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WI) ouster as the House Republican Conference chairwoman Tuesday night after she came out in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement Tuesday, announcing her support for impeaching Trump.
The announcement engendered a swift denunciation from House conservatives such as Rep. Matt Rosendale and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the House Freedom Caucus chair.
“When Representative Cheney came out for impeachment today, she failed to consult with the Conference, failed to abide by the spirit of the rules of the Republican Conference, and ignored the preferences of Republican voters,” Rosendale said in a statement Tuesday.
“She is weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead. She must step down as Conference Chair.”
“She should resign her position as a conference chair and should not be serving this conference. That’s it,” Biggs told the Washington Examiner.
The call for Cheney’s ouster reached a boiling point Tuesday, even though House conservatives have sparred with the third-ranking House Republican for months.
House conservatives launched a revolt against Cheney last July during a conference, which drew the support of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Donald Trump Jr.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a Freedom Caucus cofounder and one of Trump’s top allies in the House, attacked Cheney for the several times she opposed Trump. The Ohio conservative noted that Cheney had attacked Trump’s response to the coronavirus, his Twitter account, and his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan. Jordan said that these attacks do not help Republicans.
Biggs said that Cheney’s attacks against the president undermined the president’s ability to win back the House.
“Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK. #realmenwearmasks,” Cheney wrote, tweeting a picture of former Vice President Dick Cheney, using the same phrase that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used to attack the president.
One House GOP senior staffer told Breitbart News in July, “The rank-and-file House Republicans are attempting to get leadership that actually reflects their voters on issues.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said in July that Cheney should step down as the House Republican Conference chair.
“Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. House Republicans deserve better as our Conference Chair,” Gaetz wrote. “Liz Cheney should step down or be removed.”
In July, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Biggs also lambasted Cheney for supporting Rep. Thomas Massie’s (R-KY) primary opponent.
House conservatives also noted that Cheney sponsored an amendment to the now-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would tie the president’s hands on withdrawing from Afghanistan.
In an interview with Breitbart News Tonight host Rebecca Mansour, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, called Cheney’s amendment “egregious” and “exactly the opposite of what we should do.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
Nearly 30 Republicans from the United States House of Representatives have vowed to object to the certification of Electoral College votes in favor of Joe Biden on January 6.
On Wednesday, GOP Reps. Jeff Duncan of South Carlina and Randy Weber of Texas voiced their concerns and reasons for objecting to the certification, with Duncan saying in a statement that his oath to protect Americans “comes with the vital role of ensuring the legality of our free and fair election system.”
Reps. Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), along with Rep.-elect Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), announced that they would also object to the certification of the results on Thursday.
As of Thursday, 29 Republicans who serve, or will serve, in the House, along with lone Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), have voiced support for President Donald Trump in objecting to the results. Those who plan to object include:
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), Rep.-elect Jerry Carl (R-AL), Rep.-elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep.-elect Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-VA), Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), Rep.-elect Yvette Herrell (R-NM), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), Rep.-elect Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Rep.-elect Barry Moore (R-AL), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) , Rep.-elect Burgess Owens (R-UT), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Rep.-elect Diana Harshbarger.
Earlier this week, Hawley, the only United States senator who has announced his intent to object to the 2020 Electoral College vote when the results are presented to Congress, said his aim in objecting will be “to highlight the failure of some states, including notably Pennsylvania, to follow their own election laws as well as the unprecedented interference of Big Tech monopolies in the election.”
In a release announcing his decision, Hawley also vowed to “call for Congress to launch a full investigation of potential fraud and election irregularities and enact election integrity measures.”
In a segment airing on Saturday, Georgia’s Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene toldThe Kyle Olson Show that her colleagues will object to electors from six states.
“We refuse to certify a stolen election,” Greene said. “As members of Congress, it’s our duty to protect the integrity of our elections.”
Two House Republicans have also told CNN that they expect more than 140 House Republicans to object to the electoral college certification on January 6.
In an intervciew with Breitbart News Daily and host Alex Marlow, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said that “there may very well be a big fight in Congress over whether the votes of the electors of those states where they changed the rules without legislative action should be accepted.”
Alabama Republican Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville has also signaled he may object to the Electoral College certification on January 6. Earlier this month, Tuberville told Yellowhammer News that he is “always going to support President Trump,” adding that “he’s the best president of my lifetime and has done more for the people of this country and the state of Alabama than anybody.”
“But we want to make sure we do the right thing,” Tuberville added.
American taxpayers still reeling from coronavirus lockdowns will be shelling out billions to foreign countries if Congress passes a $2.3 trillion spending bill unveiled Monday.
The 5,593 page budget-busting bill was posted online Monday afternoon, only hours before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a vote would be held.
For some countries, Christmas came early:
$169,739,000 to Vietnam, including $19 million to remediate dioxins (page 1476).
Unspecified funds to “continue support for not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan that are accessible to both women and men in a coeducational environment” (page 1477).
$198,323,000 to Bangladesh, including $23.5 million to support Burmese refugees and $23.3 million for “democracy programs” (page 1485).
$130,265,000 to Nepal for “development and democracy programs” (page 1485).
Pakistan: $15 million for “democracy programs” and $10 million for “gender programs” (page 1486).
Sri Lanka: Up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter,” which is a type of patrol boat (page 1489).
$505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States” (pages 1490-1491).
$461,375,000 to Colombia for programs related to counternarcotics and human rights (pages 1494-1496).
$74.8 million to the “Caribbean Basin Security Initiative” (page 1498).
$33 million “for democracy programs for Venezuela” (page 1498).
Unspecified amount to Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago “for assistance for communities in countries supporting or otherwise impacted by refugees from Venezuela” (page 1499).
$132,025,000 “for assistance for Georgia” (page 1499).
$453 million “for assistance for Ukraine” (page 1500).
Rep. Andy Biggs slammed the bill before the details even emerged:
We still don’t have text yet for this massive spending bill, and we’ll likely be expected to vote on it later today.
Just another bill we have to pass before the American people discover all the goodies that special interests jammed into it over the past week. https://t.co/l2A6ygSEPF
“It’s not good enough to hear about what’s in the bill,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
“Members of Congress need to see & read the bills we are expected to vote on. I know it’s ‘controversial’ & I get in trouble for sharing things like this, but the people of this country deserve to know. They deserve better,” she said.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays–download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.
Moms for America is hosting a “Keep Christmas” rally on the National Mall at 11 a.m. on Sunday to stand for the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to assembly and the freedom to exercise religious beliefs in the public square.
“This event will unite participants together in One Human Race, Under God, to celebrate the birth of the only King in America, and Americans’ Constitutionally protected rights to worship, pray and sing,” the announcement for the rally said.
Confirmed speakers include Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), businessman Mike Lindell, Rose Tennent, and the Rev. Brian Gibson and his wife, Jessi.
There are “Keep Christmas” rallies planned across the country for “coast to coast caroling,” according to an announcement.
Kimberly Fletcher is the founder and president of the national, non-profit 501(c)(3) “rooted in the principles of liberty and virtue upon which our nation was founded, and focused on promoting these principles, values, and virtues in the home and family through the women and mothers of America.”
“This has been a challenging year for America and a very bad year for freedom,” Fletcher, a mother of eight, said. “Politicians have used Covid-19 as a massive power grab, usurping the Constitution while exempting themselves from their own draconian mandates.”
The event is set to last until 1 p.m. More information is available here.
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