tv National Security Division Assistant Attorney General Confirmation CSPAN October 31, 2017 5:28pm-6:22pm EDT
colin gett of twitter, stretch, and kent walker. watch both hearings on c-span3, line at cspan.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. earlier today the senate intelligence committee held a confirmation hearing for john demers, president trump's nominee to be the assistant attorney general for national security. he spoke about the re-authorization of a surveillance law known as section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. here's that hearing now.
>> i'd like to call this hearing to order. i'd like to welcome our witness today, john demeares, president trump's nominee to be the next assistant attorney general for national security at the united states department of justice. john, congratulations on your nomination. mr. burr: i'd like to start by roigs the family that you've brought here with you. i understand your wife is here, as well as your children, elizabeth and matthew. your sister also. in a statement for the record, john speaks strongly about the
support each of you have provided him over the years. i know from personal experience just how important a supportive family is and to each of you, i thank you for the sacrifices you make. our goal in conducting this hearing is to enable the committee to consider the nom nation -- nominee's qualifications and to allow for thoughtful deliberation by committee members. mr. determines has provided -- demers has provided substantive written responses to over 30 questions submitted by the committee and today. of course members will be able to ask additional questions and hear from him personally in open session. mr. demers is a graduate from the college of holy cross in harvard law school. served as a clerk of the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit court. and then for the late honorable justice, antonin scalia. mr. demers served in the department of justice national security division as deputy assistant attorney general, are we also served as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general. while at the d.o.j.'s national
security division, mr. demers additionally completed a detailed as counsel to the deputy attorney general. following his tenure at d.o.j., john joined the boeing company, are we served as vice president for international affairs, the vice president and assistant general counsel for global law affairs, the chief counsel fournettework and space systems and currently as the vice president and assistant general counsel for regulatory and government law. john's also currently an adjunct professor at georgetown university law certainty. john, you're being asked to lead the justice department's division responsible for our national security related investigations during a period of significant debate about what authorities and tools are lawful and appropriate. as you know the committee recently reported out a bill that would renew fisa's title seven authorities for eight years with additional privacy productions fosh -- protections for u.s. persons. i'm hopeful that this bill will
pass the senate and ultimately be signed into law as it provides the department and the intelligence community the needed tools and authorities. i'm also hopeful moving forward you'll be in an influential -- you'll be an influential and forceful advocate for those foreign intelligence tools you believe are necessary to keep citizens safe, like section 702. as i mentioned others during their nomination hearing, i can assure you that this committee will faithfully follow its charter and conduct vigorous and real-time oversight over the intelligence community, its operations and its activities. we will ask difficult and probing questions of you and your staff and whether he expect honest, complete and timely responses. you've already successfully negotiated one hurdle, having been favorably reported out of the senate judiciary committee 20-0 on october 19, 2017. i look forward to supporting your nomination and ensuring its consideration without
delay. i want to again thank you for being here. i would notify members that we're under a fairly tight time frame. so it's my intention to move this nominee as quickly as we possibly can. with that, i now recognize the vice chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. demers. congratulations on your nomination to serve as assistant attorney general for national security at d.o.j. i have reviewed your statement, questions for the record, and testimony before the senate judiciary committee, on october 4. i appreciate your candor and forthright responses to the question. mr. warner: i also appreciate the broad. a bipartisan support you've got from dodge officials in terms of -- d.o.j. officials in terms of your nomination. if confirmed as assistant attorney general for national security, you will lead an organization that was established after 9/11 to ensure that our counterterrorism, intelligence and counterintelligence activities are properly and sufficiently coordinated across both law enforcement and intelligence communities. as you're aware, another
critical role of this position is to shepherd the department's review and approval of requests to the fisa courts for surveillance activities, including section 702, as the chairman just mentioned. we had a very productive session on 702 last is -- last week. and last week the committee supported a bipartisan bill to re-authorize 702 that seeks to maintain its operational capacities. while increasing the privacy and civil liberty protections of u.s. citizens. this includes strengthening judicial and congressional oversight of the government's queries of lawfully collected u.s. persons' data. i'll be interested in your comments on the 702 program. in particular, i'll be listening closely to your responses, to be assured that you recognize the need to conduct reviews in a manner that protects these privacy concerns. in your written responses to the committee and to the judiciary committee, you wrote,
quote, that your loyalties lie with the constitutional laws of the united states, unquote. and you would tell the president and attorney general no if asked to perform any task that was contrary to the constitution or laws of the united states. i very much appreciate these words and let me assure you, we'll try hold it you to them. i would also like to hear your commitment that you will always seek to provide unbiased, unvarnished and timely responses to the president, his cabinet, his advisors and the congress. facts are facts. and i expect you to be truthful to them while service to this nation. you're also aware that this committee is conducting an investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. this morning, and i will ask you during the question-answer session, i want to hear your assurance that you will fully cooperate with this review and provide this committee with all the information requested in a timely fashion. i will ask you -- that you faithfully inform this committee if you become aware
of additional relevant information in the course of your duties, if you're confirmed. i believe yesterday's indictment of president trump's campaign manager and deputy campaign manager, but his special counsel and the guilty plea by campaign advisor george pop diop louis is further evidence that these investigations are serious and that this country needs to hold accountable any of those two do a disservice to our nation. this investigation, let me make clear, is not about relitigating the election or playing gotcha with the president. it's about following the facts where they lead and ensuring the sanctity of our democratic principles through free and fair elections, untarnished by foreign interference. again, congratulations on your nomination. i look forward to this morning's discussion. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. burr: thank you. mr. demers, will you please stand. raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god. mr. demers: do.
mr. burr: please be seated. before we move to your statement, i'll ask you to answer five standard questions the committee poses to each nominee who appears before us. they just rare simple yes or no answer. do you agree to appear before the committee here or in any other venues when invited? mr. demers: yes. mr. burr: if confirmed do you agree to send officials from your office to appear before the committee and designated staff when invited? mr. demers: yes. mr. burr: do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities? mr. demers: yes. mr. burr: will you both ensure that your office and your staff provide such materials to the committee when requested? bob: yes. mr. burr: do you -- mr. demers: yes. mr. burr: do you agree to fully brief all members of the committee of the intelligence activities and covert action rather than only the chairman and the vice chairman? mr. demers: yes. mr. burr: thank you very much. we'll now proceed to opening statements, after which i'll recognize members by seniority
for five minutes and i would once again remind members that pursuant to senate resolution 400, the committee received this nomination on referral from the judiciary committee and we have 20 calendar days within which to report this nominee to the full senate. it's my intention to move to this as quickly as we can in a business session. with that, mr. demers, the floor is yours. mr. demers: great. thank you very much. chairman burr, vice chairman warner and distinguished members of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you here today and for considering my nomination. during my last time at the national security division, i worked closely with this committee to draft and negotiate the fisa amendments act of 2008. should i be confirmed, i hope that this hearing will be only the beginning of working with you again on issues critical to the nation's security. issues best addressed when the congress and the executive work constructively together. public service is never an individual endeavor and i'd
like to thank my wife, cindy and children, lizzy and matthew, who are here behind me and have graciously fwreed to join me on this next chapter. their love and the fun we have together provide me always with a focus and sense of calm i think will be needed. i'd also like to thank my parents, whose example and encouragement have inspired me to be here today. my sister-in-law and friend, sue, is here as well and i'm grateful to her and to the other close friends and colleagues here and watching remotely for their love and support. and because i come from a family of teachers, i would do well to thank all the teachers i have had along the way. i owe them more than they and i will ever know. i'm grateful for and humbled by this opportunity to return to the department of justice. and to the national security division. protecting the national security is at the highest priority of the department and the national security division is at the forefront of these efforts. although the thinking behind
the division may seem obvious now, those of who you have worked these issues since before september 11 know that the reorganization that created the division was revolutionary. it brought together the lawyers prosecuting terrorism and espionage offenses with those working on intelligence investigations. and then created a strong link between the department and the intelligence community. more broadly, it recognized the effectiveness of this combination of law enforcement and intelligence efforts, in combating a variety of threats ness he danger and needless of drawing lines between criminal and intelligence investigations. since that time, the capabilities and the mission of the division have broadened to confront new manifestations of old threats. the women and men of the division have worked tirelessly with the intelligence community and the other parts of government to help guard our security, regardless of whether the threats come on airplanes or over the internet. the dedicated lawyers and professionals of the division
understand that without this security, the promise of liberty and try -- enshrined in our founding documents would be an empty one. they also understand that without liberty, security ises into purpose. and they recognize that the guaranteor of both is the rule of law. having worked with many in the division, and followed the division since i left, i know this firsthand and would consider it an honor to return to serve with them. critical to our security and our liberty are the statutory and other authorities that the investigators and prosecutors use every day. i look forward to working together with you and your colleagues to ensure that the intelligence community and prosecutors have the tools they need and that these tools keep up with changes in technology and the threats that face us. i also understand that the only way to keep the confidence of the american people in these tools is to use them lawfully and wisely. thus i look forward to furthering the oversight function of the division and supporting the proper oversight conducted by the congress and
the foreign intelligence surveillance court. the threats we face are real. the objectives of our adversaries are plain. to weaken our culture, our democracy, our values, our economy, and our resolve to lead. indeed, to undermine the very idea of america. i appreciate that you have always taken these threats seriously. i look forward to working with you to ensure that this country continues to thrive and that all americans enjoy both liberty and security under the rule of law. thank you again for the opportunity to be here today. i look forward to answering your questions. mr. burr: thank you very much. i'll recognize members based upon seniority for up to five minutes. the chair would recognize himself first. mr. demers, leaks of classified information are deplorable and put sensitive sources and methods at great risk. i'm increasingly alarmed at the number of individuals who feel they can safely disclose classified details to the press
under the cloak of annumberity which seems to be the most common last name in america today. how do you plan to proceed with investigations and prosecutions of those who leak classified information? mr. demers: thank you, senator. i agree with you that the leaks of classified information present serious threats to the national security, as you mentioned. in particular to the sources and methods we use. but also in revealing what we know to others, what we know about them. and let's make no mistake, sometimes those sources are uman beings. the cases themselves, the investigations need to be pursued fully and on the facts. following those facts, wherever they may go. and then the prosecutions need to be considered carefully as well, taking into account, of course, the equities of the intelligence community, as well s the need to deter, obviously incapacitate folks who are leaking now but also deter future leakers as well.
i will work closely with the career attorneys at the department who have been doing these cases for many years, who continue to focus on them today. and just follow the facts wherever they lead us. mr. burr: will you commit to communicate with the committee on the progress of investigations and potential prosecutions? mr. demers: i think within the bounds that i can. that is, as long as it's not interfering with the investigation itself, i will. mr. burr: good. we mentioned fisa title seven authorities, including what is well known as section 702. and they expire at the end of the year, as you're aware. the committee has significant interest in re-authorizing these authorities. based upon your experience, how critical is re-authorizing to our nation's national security? mr. demers: senator, i saw the world before the fisa amendments act of 2008. i saw what it was like without this authority.
and it was very difficult for the intelligence community and it was very difficult for the lawyers at the justice department. and we were focusing a lot of our resources at that time on folks who, you know, non-u.s. persons outside the u.s., folks without constitutional rights. and i saw in the very early days the implementation of this law. i followed it, of course, in the news since then. i understand the intelligence community considers it to be a critical if not one of the most critical tools it has in the work that it does. i've also seen the review that the privacy and civil liberties board did of this authority and i take note of the fact that they found no intentional misuses of this authority. so it strikes me that as best i can see from the outside, this is a critical authority. i support its re-authorization. and i look forward to working with the committee on that if i'm there in time. if not, then working with you on your oversight efforts of the authority, making sure it's
used effectively and well. mr. burr: i thank you for that. deputy attorney general rosenstein called cybersecurity attacks and threats against our nation's security and infrastructure one of the department's highest priorities . how do you foresee furthering the department's cybersecurity efforts from within the national security division? mr. demers: so i think the cybersecurity is the dwhrar has -- the area that has changed the most since i was there last, about nine years ago. now it seems to permeate all of the work of the division. whether it's on the counterterrorism side or on the counterespionage side. so whether we're talking about folks who are being radicalized or radicalizing themselves on the internet, we're talking about nation states and the actions that they've tried to take. cybersecurity is there. i note that in the prior administration, they developed a separate unit in the division to focus more squarely on cybersecurity. i support that. i'm going to be looking
closically at that to be sure that it's resourced correctly and that the correct focus is on cybersecurity issues. i think they're going to be one of the biggest parts of the job going forward. mr. burr: greath. thanks. vice chairman. mr. warner: again, welcome, sir. as you're obviously aware, one of the most important investigations this committee's involved in at this point is the russian investigation into activities in 2016. i just want to get you on the record. do you promise to fully and completely cooperate with this committee's investigation of russian interference in the 2016 election, including by turning over all materials in your possession to the committee as requested, as promptly as possible? mr. demers: i do support the work of this committee and that investigation. i think it's a very important one. and i do pledge to cooperate with you on that investigation. obviously in terms of turning over everything, from the
outside i don't know all the rules. i'd have to talk to other folks at the department about it. but i do support your -- mr. warner: within the constraints of the rules, obviously. we need that cooperate. mr. demers: yes. you'll have it. mr. warner: we've had it from many. there are some entities, i think we still have a ways to go. i also just want to, again, i think you've answered this before, but i want to get it on the record here. i think one of the most important functions of the i.c. is speaking truth to power. can you talk about the assistant a.g.'s role in ensuring that the intelligence community will continue to provide unvarnished assessments to congress, to the attorney general? and to the president? regardless of politics? mr. demers: well, for sure, senator. politics has no place in the work of the intelligence community. partisanship has no place in the work of the intelligence community. nor in the work of the national security division. as part of those efforts. and it's critical for all of us to speak truth to those within
the executive branch and also here on the hill. so i pledge to do so and pledge to support the efforts of others to do so. mr. warner: the chairman's already raised 702. we had a spirited debate last week on this important tool. i believe that we strengthened 702 in terms of putting additional responsibilities in place in terms of protections of americans' prive sis. so my colleagues didn't fully agree with it far enough. but i do think it's important and i'd like to hear your comments about the oversight spobblets of the assistant a.g. for national security, to ensure that there is that full and robust oversight of the fisa legislation, including 70 2 and what you're going to do to make sure that representations made by the
united states government to the fisa court are always accurate. mr. demers: so, i've not read the bill that came out of committee. but i do support obviously the oversight within the bill. there was i think significant oversight in the law as it stands today as well. the role of the assistant attorney general and the national security division, when it comes to any fisa collection, whether it's section 702 or title one, is of course to conduct that oversight of the use by elements of the intelligence community of these authorities, to be sure that the minimization procedures are being followed accurately. that the orders are being followed. and in this case, that the targeting procedures are being followed as well. and then to promptly report any noncompliance, both to the fisa court, which has authorized the use of those targeting minimization procedures, but also to the congress. and then to look and see, you
know, to really do a root cause analysis what have the reason for that noncompliance is. and to fix it going forward. mr. warner: i would strongly urge to you please take a look at that legislation. we've added additional requirements. while not perfect, i think they go a long way, should a non-american be in any way queried, to make sure that , re is a simultaneous promote review. it will add some additional challenges. but i think those challenges are appropriate in terms of balancing the very, very critical privacy protections. this is a tool that, again, i think is as your comments indicated, while there's been no keafings abuse, -- indications of abuse, because there are americans swept up in the 702 foreign to foreign contact information, i think we
have to go the extra mile and i a d hope that would you do thorough review of what at least this committee has passed out and would look forward to getting your comments on whether you think we've struck that right balance. thank you, mr. chairman. about -- >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. demers, i want to follow up on the questions on section 702, which have been a matter of great debate before our committee. and ultimately before the full senate. ms. collins: collins as you're well aware, if a u.s. person is in contact with a foreign target of section 702 collection, some of their communications could be collected incidentally, to the intent of targeting the communications of a foreigner located overseas. the question that has been a
matter of debate is whether the f.b.i. should be able to search the content of the section 702 database using a u.s. person identifier or search term without first securing a warrant. i have a couple of questions for you. first, are you confident that such a process does not violate the fourth amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures? and second, since you have worked in the national security division before, could you tell us from an operational perspective what harm you would see if congress were to require the f.b.i. to get a warrant every single time it sought to uery these section 702
database using u.s. persons identify fire? mr. demers: thank you, senator. i think here we're talking about the querying of lawfully acquired information in the government's possession. information which the government acquired by targeting non-u.s. persons outside the u.s. and as you say, you know, can and does incidentally pick up communications of u.s. persons as well. as i understand it, every court to consider this has found that there is no fourth amendment government that the get a search warrant before looking at this information. before querying this information for a u.s. person identify fire. and that's consistent -- identify fire. and that's consistent, i think, with the general principle that the government doesn't need a search warrant to look at information lawfully in its possession. so i believe that is the state of the case law today.
in terms of the operational question that you posed, again, it's been a little while, i'd have to talk again to the f.b.i. but if what we're talking about is getting the equivalent of a fisa order every time you query the database, a fisa order is a fair bit of work, one. to put together. because you have to have probable cause. so it's not just about the amount of work. it's of course also about at what stage of an investigation you're willing to do this. and whether you have enough information to do probable cause sofments not just, well, it will take x number of hours, but it's, can you do it at all based on the information you have to tie that u.s. person to being an agent of a foreign power or a foreign power? so i think if you had a warrant requirement, it would slow things and it would also limit the amount of querying that you're able to do. ms. collins: thank you. this year's intelligence
authorization bill includes a provision that i drafted with senator manchin and senator lankford that would require you , assuming you're confirmed to your position, to report to congressional intelligence committees every six months regarding the status of every criminal referral made in the last year from the intelligence community to the department of justice about any unauthorized disclosure of classified information. if you are confirmed and if our provision does become law, do you commit to faithfully reporting the information required by this provision to serve as the deterrent to would-be leakers of classified information? mr. demers: thank you, senator. yes, i will certainly follow the law, if it's enacted.
and as i mentioned, just be careful that we're obviously not interfering with the investigation itself. but to that -- beyond that, yes, to share that information with you. ms. collins: thank you. fine fine thank you very much, mr. chairman -- ms. feinstein: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i had the opportunity to meet with mr. demers before his hearing in judiciary on october 4. and i've since voted in support of his nomination to be assistant attorney general for the national security division and i'm very pleased, sir, that you have prior experience in that division. i think you're well qualified to lead the division. so i assume i'm going to vote again for you here. having said that, i must tell you, i disagree strongly with your answer to senator collins' question. and let me try and explain why. and let me preface this with the fact, i am not a lawyer. but the 702 re-authorization
gave me cause for really serious study. and as i understood the ninth circuit case in muhammad, what it upheld was that the incidental collection of an american in the program initially did not essentially detract from the constitutionality of the program. no court to my knowledge has played a role in determining whether a second query or a query of that separately by the f.b.i. for a civil criminal case would require a warrant or not. i moved such an amendment in the intelligence committee. i was voted -- i did not have the votes. i voted for the bill as is. but i very strongly believe that that second part is really open to conjecture and i think
some discussion. do you have any comment to make? because you spoke about incidental collection. once that incidental collection is achieved, the use separately is a different item. mr. demers: yes, that's true, senator. and certainly this question is open for legal discussion and debate. there's no question about that. t i do think that there is a general principle of fourth amendment law which is that searching information that is lawfully in the government's possession does not require a court order. now, perhaps that principle isn't applicable here for some reason, that i'd have to give some more thought to. but at least as a starting point, that is, as i understand it, the general principle. ms. feinstein: i would like to ask that when you're in the job you'd follow up on this and
perhaps write your thoughts. because i think this is going to be a problem in the future. mr. demers: right. i'll certainly be doing a lot of thinking about this, yes. ms. feinstein: ok. written to one of my questions, it was question question number 7, two american citizens apprehended, the article stated this are being held as enemy combatants and may s. transferred to iraqi here's the question i asked in writing, what is the legal status of an american apprehended while fighting in syria? should that individual be returned to the united states for trial and held as an enemy
combatant and you said i'm not familiar with the facts of these individuals or their detention. i'm committed to identifying and considering all legally available options and pursuing the options that best protect national security and the liberty interests of americans. well, much more has been said in the press about these two people. what is your view today? >> i don't know it would be any different. mr. demers: i don't know the facts of this case. my view is in general folks who are detained on the battlefield or captured on the battlefield can be detained by the u.s. armed forces. but the question becomes, well, what are you going to do in the long run with these folks and especially with an american. and you would need to know the facts and circumstances to know
that determination. when it comes to americans, my leaning and this is not a definite rule, but leaning is that we should, if we can, bring them here and try them. a e fine i'm going to make small personal request and that is you -- i have voted for you and i'm going to vote for you again. however, i would like you to take a look at this and give me an answer in writing, if you can. and after you are confirmed, it's fine with me. i would appreciate your advice on that question, thank you very much. >> get your testimony and press on what the chairman brought up earlier about leaks.
senator portman: leaks to other individuals that may talk to others. one of the challenges has been prosecution of those individuals. one thing to identify the leak and one thing to identify the universe and where it came from and what can you put into place to make sure to yes, there is a leak and identify the individual and prosecute though individuals. mr. demers: these investigations are difficult to do to define the facts, who did they pass it to, and maybe who did they leak it to further to the public. but there are difficult considerations about whether you move forward with prosecutions because the prosecution could risk having to use classified information or classified information that could be raised. i don't have the answer to your
question coming in from the outside, but i do acknowledge the importance of the issue. and this is certainly i will be working with the folks that have been doing those cases and with the f.b.i. and others who are investigating these cases. senator lankford: what would you do different than what was done in the past. because what has been done in the past is not closing the deal to find those individuals and be able to prosecute? mr. demers: i can't tell you from the outside what i would do differently. senator lankford: we will look forward to resolve those. talk about the coordination with the director of national intelligence. there is a unique role. how do you perceive that with your office and their office? mr. demers: last time, i worked with the office of the director
with the general counsel who was there with the chief of staff and the other folks who were there and worked on the fisa amendments act and also on other issues as well. i have met with the director as part of this process to just begin to establish a relationship with him. is my view of what the role of the national security division when it comes to the director is that really, i'm to be the main link to the odni and also to appreciate and be the voice of the equities of the intelligence community within the department, whether we are talking about legislative or policy issues or particular prosecutions. and what equities of the intelligence community may be affected by a particular
prosecution. i anticipate regular communications with that office, with the director, with the general staff and counsel. senator lankford: that is in relationship to the office and look at it and say i plan to change this or this? mr. demers: i don't know enough to answer that question. >> thank you for coming by yesterday. i very much enjoyed the conversation and your history with some of the people sitting behind me in 702. like i indicated, there is absolutely nol disagreement, none, about the need for this government to have the tools to go after threats overseas. senator wyden: 15 people on the committee and everybody is on the program with respect to that. the question is what happens particularly as global
communications have changed when law-abiding americans are swept up in searches? and i'm troubled by the answer you gave my colleagues, senator feinstein and senator collins on this point. and i'm not going to go into it in further but you went into the former c.i.a. director, the government ought to have a warrant to search for americans' communications in 702 collections. we will delate it more. but i find it troubling that you are disagreement in what i heard senator feinstein and senator collins say and the former c.i.a. director and i want you to know that. but i want to talk about what we talked about in the office and we could call it the bridge-guy
issue and this is presented by director ray and he gave an example of somebody taking pictures of a bridge at night. the government ought to be able to go directly to reading the content of this american's communications based on what somebody thinks could be suspicious behavior. now, i personally think there are legal arguments of why you shouldn't be able to do it. but again from a security standpoint, it's unnecessary. the government has a lot of authorities for obtaining .nformation about americans and we are going to know about bridge guy and basically all knowing who they are talking to. there is an emergencies provision and there is no delay. i put that into every single
proposal to be an emergencies exception. the question here is, why should the government be reading the content of americans' communications based on the smallest little sliver of suspicion when it's got the authority to obtain noncontent information first? very significant authority? mr. demers: i find that hypothetical after we spoke last night and having read it, i do understand your concern as you just expressed it is that we go rom a noncriminal, but suspicious act to reading the content of some aspect -- senator wyden: i want to stop you right there, you think that is a valid concern? mr. demers: i do understand the
concern, yeah, definitely. and then this brings us to, then if the solution is the warrant requirement as we also discussed last night and talking about today, it becomes a question, then we are putting a warrant requirement in to search information that is lawfully collected targeted and no court has held that a warrant is required to do so and where if you -- we have been chastised for not connecting the dots in the past and that is the worry of the f.b.i. but they should speak for themselves on that and if you are ever interested in the american and really to surveil the american, you would have to go get a fisa warrant, i would say that on balance at
least where i'm coming from right now, i don't think you should look at those communications that are in the government's possession. senator wyden: if the government wants to read the content of communications, they could also use the questionery. so we are going to put in these emergency provisions. i think there is plenty of authority to 215. and you acknowledged this is a valid concern. and my time is up. i also have written questions with respect to encryption, because given the fact that mr. rosenstein has gotten us back in the about business of what he encryption. i think that is troubling as ell.
senator: this is a reversal of the stance of the attorneys general who have said they would not seek to imprison members of the news media doing their jobs. do you believe that journalists should be jailed for seeking the truth? mr. demers: i think that -- first of all, i would hate to go down the path like that. and i understand the importance of journalists in our political
system and the significant first amendment concerns that are raised by taking an action like that. i think, you know, at least, as i say, coming in from the outside, you know, i don't want to say that something could never happen. it always depends on what the facts are of that investigation. i can't imagine it would ever be lightly undertaken. and i would be loathed to do it. i hate in the abstract just saying, i can't imagine anything that would ever cause the government to go in that direction. senator: do you understand why we should change that policy and raising the specter has people highly concerned? mr. demers: i could understand and it would be a question of
how you changed it. senator: the justice department guidelines with regard to the media state, in light of the importance of the news process, the department seeks to use tools of evidence using the evidence as an extraordinary measure and such tools should be used as a last resort. do you agree with that statement? does that line up more accurately. mr. demers: they are extraordinary. and they would be a last resort or close to a last resort. senator: as you note in your testimony you helped draft section 702 and you working in the department of justice when it was first implemented and i understand your support and particularly section 702. as collection 702 has grown and
we still don't have data to show how many americans' communications are being swept up in that collection. do you believe there is a potential point at which incidental collection of americans becomes so preponderance preponderance, so significant there might be a policy or constitutional issue associated with the current standard? mr. demers: well, i think in the abstract, if the incidental collection was getting so significant that there has been reverse targeting taking place, that would be a serious concern. senator: when fisa passed the fisa amendments in 2008, do you believe it was the intent of congress to use that to be intentionally searching
americans' commune kigse using this 702 section or is that an after thought? mr. demers: i think the intent of congress there is expressed in the language to use the authority against nonu.s.-persons and not engage in reverse targeting. senator: since 9/11, the intelligence community has shut down the stove pipes but we heard from the f.b.i. that they cannot count how many times f.b.i. agents searched the section 702 holdings for communications of americans and they reference that stove pipe issue and said they would have to rebuild the stove pipe to know that data. i'm concerned that the f.b.i. is hiding behind that argument. i would frankly suggest it is a
fairly mundane issue or i.t. issue. i can't imagine google saying it is impossible to count the number of queeries. o you think that is data to be properly do our oversight role? mr. demers: i'm not concerned to comment on those. i can sigh why the committee would want to know. the numbers of questioneries that were being done, but i can't talk to how the computer systems work. senator: thank you, mr. chair. bureaucracy seeing no additional members here, the job is pretty easy. and matthew, it lasted a lot
longer than i thought it would. [laughter] bureaucracy thank you for your family to come back into the government one more time and it's always a tough decision, but you have performed there in an exemplary fashion prior to this. the folks at boeing would like to keep you there. but to have you at the national security division as the chief there is advantageous to this country. we look forward to moving your nomination. at this point, this hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] nick nick nick -- captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org
and expand registration. we'll talk about the selective service with the director. and then author and former obama administration official talks about his book "impeachment. a citizens' guide." join the discussion. twitter,entatives from facebook and google testified. complete live coverage available on the c-span networks. wednesday, two hearings, at 9:30, the senate intelligence committee and 2:00 p.m., the house select intelligence . mmittee hear testimony watch both hearings on
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