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Rep. Holt on DNI McConnell

September 11, 2007

From Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), Chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel:

HOLT QUESTION'S DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE'S STATEMENT BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE

House Select Intelligence Panel Chairman Disputes McConnell's Characterization of Intelligence Law in German Terrorism Case

(Washington, D.C.) — Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, issued the following statement regarding Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell's testimony on the role of the “Protect America Act” (Public Law 110-55) in the recent arrests of terrorism suspects in Germany:

“Contrary to DNI McConnell's remarks before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee yesterday, the so-called 'Protect America Act' played no role in uncovering the recent German terrorist plot. Those arrests were made with the assistance of intelligence gathered under U.S. laws in effect earlier this year. The DNI knew that going into the hearing. The questions remain why he asserted otherwise during the hearing, and why he has yet to correct the record.

“The German terror case in question is another example of why I voted against the 'Protect America Act' when it came to the House floor in August. Our existing collection activities are working well overall, uncovering potential terrorist plots in Europe and elsewhere. While some technical adjustments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) might be in order, the bill the Congress passed last month went far beyond what was necessary by effectively suspending the Fourth Amendment. I'll be exploring these issues with DNI McConnell in future oversight hearings.”

See Chairman Conyers’ letter to McConnell on the same issue >>