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Rep. Andy Biggs DEMANDS information on use of surveillance program in letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray

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POLITICO obtained a letter from Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs calling for FBI director Christopher Wray to provide information on a surveillance program used to gather electronic communications of foreign targets.

According to POLITICO, “The program, known as Section 702, expires at the end of the year, setting the stage for a high-stakes fight that will split Republican lawmakers over whether, and how, to reauthorize it.”

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Biggs has a part in reauthorizing section 702. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio also a Republican, voted against the 2018 reauthorization of section 702 along with other representatives causing stress to those lawmakers who are for the bill.

Biggs’ letter came after a recently declassified report in which an intelligence analyst from the FBI entered the name of a congressman into surveillance databases.  The report noted that the FBI queried the “names of a local political party to determine if the party had connections to foreign intelligence,” according to POLITICO.

In Biggs’ letter to FBI director Christopher Wray he said, “These instances should frighten every American.” The FBI is using section 702 to as a tool for espionage. The FBI needs to be held accountable and kept in check for the safety and privacy of American citizens and members of congress.

FBI director Christopher Wray has until March 3rd to hand over the details of the incidents. Biggs is asking if the member of congress who was searched in the surveillance database was made aware that the FBI had done so. Biggs is also asking what disciplinary steps were taken during the process. Furthermore Biggs is asking how many times political parties, members of Congress or their staffs, candidates and those working on campaigns had been searched in these surveillance databases in the last five years, according to reports.

Biggs is also asking what disciplinary steps were taken for the search of local political parties in these databases in remark to the report stating, “FBI personnel misunderstood the application of the query rules, and they were subsequently reminded of how to correctly apply the query rules.”

 

 

 

 

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China

Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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