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Trump thwarts Pelosi’s FISA vote with unlikely alliance of Republicans and ‘progressive’ Dems

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Thanks to an uncanny alliance between conservative Republicans, far-left “progressive” Democrats, and President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to “take an L” and adjourn the House on Wednesday without getting what she wanted.

What she’d hoped to accomplish Wednesday was to reauthorize key parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, those plans fell by the wayside due to a new alliance of surveillance-critical conservatives and liberals hellbent on limiting the power of the federal government’s “deep state” operatives.

Leading the alliance was the president, who tweeted late Wednesday that he’d veto the bill if it made it through Congress on the grounds that it does too little to address his concerns about the “massive abuse of FISA” powers orchestrated during the Russian collusion delusion investigation:

According to The Intercept, “[l]eaders from both the Republican minority and the Congressional Progressive Caucus” likewise told their members to vote no.

Why this joint front? Because of concerns about civil liberties.

“The civil liberties argument has gained new traction in recent months, with Trump’s outrage over the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, Court’s handling of surveillance of his campaign, particularly the deeply flawed application for a warrant to surveil Carter Page,” the outlet noted in a report Wednesday.

“Although it was initially designed to review intelligence surveillance applications for suspected agents of a foreign power, after 9/11 the secretive FISA court signed off on expansive interpretations of surveillance law. Now, as Trump feels victimized by it, he and his allies have found religion on the question.”

Justifiably so.

But standing in their way has been mainstream Democrats like Pelosi, who, despite their bellyaching about Trump allegedly being tyrannical in his ways, have been eager to grant his administration all the surveillance powers in the world.

Speaking at a House Rules Committee earlier Wednesday morning, Rep. Louie Gohmert expressed befuddlement at the clear-cut dichotomy.

“It sure seems strange to me,” he said. “For Democrats to vote for this reauthorization, even with these amendments, would have to be sort of saying, we have so much trust in Donald Trump and the people he’s appointed that they would never lie to a FISA court, they would never just go after their enemies.”

“We feel like he can be trusted and so can all the people he’s appointed. We know he’s cleaned out some folks at the Justice Department, FBI, I mean, think about it.”

Listen to his full remarks below:

Moving on to specifics, the standoff that occurred Wednesday happened in part because of obstruction from the usual suspects, including House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff.

After Memorial Day weekend, Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Republican Rep. Warren Davidson introduced a bipartisan amendment designed to prohibit the FBI from searching through one’s Web browsing history without first obtaining a warrant.

But according to reports, Schiff chose to water down the legislation — a move so slimy that it inspired even his left-wing defenders to label him the “biggest hypocrite in Congress.”

House Democrats had an opportunity to enact meaningful protections that would have kept people safe,” Evan Greer, the deputy director of the left-wing Fight for the Future nonprofit, reportedly said in a statement. “Instead they let Rep. Adam Schiff throw it all away at the last minute.”

Frankly, Schiff may be the biggest hypocrite in Congress. He constantly talks about how the Trump administration is dangerous and authoritarian. And he’s right. But time and time again he has done everything in his power to ensure that the Trump administration has essentially limitless domestic surveillance authority that can be weaponized to target immigrants, activists, journalists, and religious minorities.”

He’s certainly no right-winger …

As he noted in tweets late Wednesday, however, the fight isn’t over now that Pelosi has backed down.

Look:

Who would have ever thought that someone like Greer, who clearly dislikes the allegedly “dangerous and authoritarian” president, would wind up inadvertently siding with the president against mainstream Democrats?

But by no means is Greer the only one.

“David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, which lobbied against the legislation, said that Pelosi and Schiff’s apparent own-goal came from too close of an alliance with the national security establishment, which, he argued, ‘has led them to line up against reforms that could have passed, and in support of a bill that harms Americans, might not pass, and would likely be vetoed,'” The Intercept reported.

Ironically, the president would likely wholeheartedly agree.

Vivek Saxena

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