Congress Shut Out of NSA Updates, Claims Rep. Justin Amash

| by Michael Allen
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Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) recently revealed a letter that may prove information about the NSA's spying program was intentionally kept away from Congress by the heads of the House Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Amash posted the declassified letter on his Facebook page.

The letter from the Department of Justice was addressed to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who head the House Intelligence Committee, noted TechDirt.com.

The letter is actually a cover letter that came with information about the NSA's "bulk collection programs."

The Justice Department letter states in part: "We believe that making this document available to all Members of Congress, as we did with a similar document in 2009, is an effective way to inform the legislative debate about the reauthorization of Section 215.”

Rep. Amash says that Reps. Rogers and Ruppersberger never shared the cover letter or its accompanying documents with Congress.

Amash wrote on his Facebook page underneath an image of the letter:

Less than two weeks ago, the Obama administration released previously classified documents regarding NSA’s bulk collection programs and indicated that two of these documents had been made available to all Members of Congress prior to the vote on reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

I can now confirm that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence did NOT, in fact, make the 2011 document available to Representatives in Congress, meaning that the large class of Representatives elected in 2010 did not receive either of the now declassified documents detailing these programs.

This would contradict President Obama's statement in June: “When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” noted NPR.

Sources: NPR, Facebook, TechDirt.com