Republicans worried about leaks consider cutting back surveillance authority

by
June 7, 2017

CIA Torture Report
WASHINGTON – A small revolt in corners of the Republican Party bedevils plans for reauthorization this year of surveillance capabilities considered the “crown jewels” of the U.S. intelligence community.

Those capabilities, subject of a Senate intelligence committee hearing Wednesday, has some Republicans worried that they could get caught up in the same secret government intercepts of communications that helped to land President Donald Trump’s short-lived national security adviser in legal jeopardy.

Indeed, some conservatives on Capitol Hill think intelligence sources could leak information on them too, as they did on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and routinely flout laws limiting how they use surveillance.

“To folks in that world, it’s crack,” said an aide to a Republican congressman, who spoke without authorization of the aide’s boss and asked for anonymity. “You’ve got to get the genie back in the box, and that’s really hard.”

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