Andy Biggs Calls For House Intel Chair Mike Turner’s Ouster over ‘Political Stunt’ of Hyping Russia Threat

Stephanie Scarbrough/AP

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Friday called for the ouster of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) for overhyping the Russia threat as conservatives tried to rein in “warrantless government surveillance.”

“Chairman Mike Turner should lose his job over his political stunt this week. His cryptic statements caused the markets to crash and created unnecessary panic. This stunt conveniently occurred during the week we wanted to curtail warrantless government surveillance,” Biggs wrote on Friday morning, sharing a video of his interview on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon’s show.

Republicans were furious after the Intelligence Committee chairman publicly sounded the alarm over an alleged threat from Russia, in what many believe was a gambit to either pass aid to Ukraine or stymy conservative efforts to rein in government surveillance.

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) on Thursday called for an investigation into Turner’s controversial scheme in a letter to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

Ogles wrote:

In hindsight, it has become clear that the intent was not to ensure the safety of our homeland and the American people, but rather to ensure additional funding for Ukraine and passage of an unreformed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
This act constituted poor judgement at a minimum and a complete breach of trust influenced by the pursuit of a political agenda at a maximum.

“[S]hould the chairman retain his post, you have a duty and an obligation to reassure this body (Congress) and the American people that the processes of the Intelligence Committee have not been corrupted by the very institutions they are charged with monitoring,” Ogles added.

Conservatives raged after a bill to reform and reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was scuttled once it became apparent that reformers were winning the battle during a Rules Committee hearing on Wednesday. Biggs is the sponsor of the Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act, a bill championed by privacy advocates.

Elizabeth Goitein, the codirector of the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote, “HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] leaders have been waging a propaganda campaign all week to try to tank this and other reforms… but it’s not working. They saw the writing on the wall. In HPSCI’s view, if members won’t vote the way HPSCI tells them to on Section 702, they shouldn’t get to vote at all.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) wrote, “Just as we were winning the debate on requiring warrants for domestic spying in the FISA 702 reauthorization, the Speaker yanked the bill and cancelled the rest of Congress this week.”

“It’s absolutely wild that the Intel Committee skipped the Rules Committee, realized they’d lost the debate, and then pouted in a manner that made the Speaker pull any potential FISA compromise. Never seen anything like it,” one GOP aide told Breitbart News.

One source told the Daily Beast, “Jordan and Nadler presented at the Rules Committee. The Intel Committee didn’t even show up. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the Speaker pulled FISA. Talk about taking your ball and going home. Intel was smoked and they know it.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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