16 Jan 2018

Glenn Greenwald on Democrats Who Voted to Give Trump More Spying Power

Glenn Greenwald 3 Comments

Here’s a great article from Glenn Greenwald. An excerpt:

Despite opposition from GOP House leadership and the Trump White House, Amash was able to secure the commitment of dozens of House Republicans to support his amendments to limit the ability of Trump’s FBI to spy on Americans without warrants. The key provision of his amendment would have required that the FBI first obtain a warrant before being permitted to search and read through the communications of Americans collected by the National Security Agency.

To secure enactment of these safeguards, Amash needed support from a majority of House Democrats. That meant that House Democrats held the power in their hands to decide whether Trump — the president they have been vocally vilifying as a lawless tyrant threatening American democracy — would be subjected to serious limits and safeguards on how his FBI could spy on the conversations of American citizens.

Debate on the bill and the amendments began on the House floor yesterday afternoon, and it became quickly apparent that leading Democrats intended to side with Trump and against those within their own party who favored imposing safeguards on the Trump administration’s ability to engage in domestic surveillance. The most bizarre aspect of this spectacle was that the Democrats who most aggressively defended Trump’s version of the surveillance bill — the Democrats most eager to preserve Trump’s spying powers as virtually limitless — were the very same Democratic House members who have become media stars this year by flamboyantly denouncing Trump as a treasonous, lawless despot in front of every television camera they could find.


3 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald on Democrats Who Voted to Give Trump More Spying Power”

  1. Harold says:

    “Amash needed support from a majority of House Democrats. ” Really?

    Votes were Yeas, Republicans 191, Dems 65. Nays Republican 45 Dems 119.

    A huge majority of Democrats voted Nay; almost 2:1, yet the bill still passed. It seems that Greenwald is wrong that Amash needed support form a majority of house democrats. He had that.

    Who is to blame? I think the votes speak for themselves. Dems voted 2:1 to reject. Republicans voted nearly 4:1 to pass. It is republicans who are responsible.

    • Andrew Keen says:

      Greenwald is talking about a vote on amendments to the bill, not the final vote for whether the bill passed. According to Greenwald, A majority of Democrats voted against amendments that would have added hurdles and transparency to the powers granted by the final bill.

      • Harold says:

        Not quite. You are correct that it was the vote on the amendment, not the final bill. However, that vote did have a majority of Democrats supporting it.

        “On Thursday, the House failed to pass an amendment to the bill offered by Rep. Justin Amash, R.-Mich., which would have required federal law enforcement agents to get a warrant before searching NSA data for information on Americans. The amendment was defeated 183-233, with 125 Democrats voting for it and 55 Democrats against, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.”

        Again, the Democrats voted more than 2:1 for the amendment. It was the republicans that stopped it, with 58 supporting and 178 opposing the amendment, a ratio of 3:1 against.

        Don’t get me wrong, I would support the amendment and it is a shame that even more Democrats did not support it. It could never have got through with a simple majority of Democrat support, since it actually had 2:1 Democrat support.

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