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Tipsheet

Rand Paul: Trump Isn't Going to Reauthorize FISA Without Major Reforms

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

While everyone was busy with Super Tuesday results Tuesday night, Republican Senator Rand Paul was at the White House meeting with President Trump about the FISA court, which is up for reauthorization. 

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According to Senator Paul, President Trump won't issue final approval for FISA in the coming weeks unless serious reforms are made. 

"I just came from the White House and the President made it absolutely clear, no quibbling about it, absolutely clear he will not sign clean reauthorization of the Patriot Act unless we reform FISA," Paul told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs. "The proposal I gave him was this: don't use FISA, which is a foreign intelligence court, to spy on Americans. Simply say that Americans, if you want to spy on them, you have to go to a constitutional, Article III court to get the wiretap. This would protect Americans from the abuses that happened in the Trump campaign, but these abuses could happen to Republicans or Democrats if we have biased people in the FBI or the intelligence agencies. So I think the best reform is lets take Americans out of FISA and lets keep the foreign surveillance court targeted toward foreigners." 

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Democrats in the House are refusing to reform the FISA court ahead of the March 15 deadline for expiration.

In January, the FISA court issued a memo verifying that spying on Trump campaign official Carter Page was improper and unwarranted based on information withheld from the court by the FBI. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz also found rampant abuse of the system. 

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