Patriot Act author Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) wants DNI James Clapper fired and prosecuted for lying to Congress. During testimony under oath Clapper lied to Senator Ron Wyden about the NSA’s spying programs that involved scooping up information from Americans.
“Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill.
He said the Justice Department should prosecute Clapper for giving false testimony during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.
Clapper later even admitted he lied to Congress saying he gave the least untruthful answer he could. Clapper had been provided the question in writing before the hearing so his perjury was premeditated.
Sensenbrenner said that explanation doesn’t hold water and argued the courts and Congress depend on accurate testimony to do their jobs.
“The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced,” Sensenbrenner said. “If it’s a criminal offense — and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense — then the Justice Department ought to do its job.
Sensenbrenner may be waiting a long time on that one. Eric Holder’s Justice Department has proven to be one of the most dubious and inactive in recent memory when it comes to holding the powerful to account. Holder refused to prosecute Wall Street executives because he claimed they were essentially Too Big To Jail, not to mention many of them were his former clients when he was a Wall Street lawyer.
Holder has also refused to prosecute national security officials for violating the Constitution, though he has obsessively gone after reporters and whistlebowers. If Sensenbrenner is relying on Holder’s DOJ to enforce the law on Clapper because it’s the right thing to do he is setting himself up to be disappointed.
Under the Obama Administration the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.