EMERGENCY HEARING SOUGHT TO STOP NSA ‘SPYING’ ON TRUMP
‘Our own government has committed biggest violation of constitutional rights in history’
Attorney Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, is asking a federal court to hold an emergency hearing on the National Security Agency, alleging “likely” CIA “spying” on President Donald Trump.
In an emergency supplement filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, he said the NSA and “likely the Central Intelligence Agency are continuing to violate the [Fourth] Amendment to the Constitution and related statutes.”
Klayman charged the agencies spied on President Trump, the White House, his former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn and others in his administration.
He is requesting an emergency status conference to determine how to proceed.
Klayman’s newest filing was an addition to his argument to the court that his original cases should not be dismissed, as the government wants.
His issue was the government’s program to obtain and keep metadata from all cell phone calls in the country. He brought the first case several years ago.
“While the media is focused on the so-called Russian election hacking ‘scandal,’ it ignores the fact that our own government has committed the biggest violation of constitutional rights in American history, leaving the intelligence agencies free to continue their pattern and practice of violating the law in its intelligence gathering operations,” Klayman argued against a dismissal.
“As plaintiff Klayman argued in this court on Nov. 18, 2013, ‘We have never seen in the history of this country this kind of violation of the privacy rights of the American citizens. We live in an Orwellian state.’”
His argument continued, “This court concurred, finding ‘the almost-Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived in 1979.”
The arguments this week came shortly after Flynn resigned as national security adviser over his conversations about sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Then on Wednesday followed reports of the leaking of information in the Trump administration.
Klayman argued that the district court, which already is well into an advanced position regarding charges of government spying, should take up the issue. He pointed out that judges are allowed access to classified information behind closed doors and that the “continuing unlawful conduct of the government defendants … is highly destructive of our republic.”
Klayman charged in a filing before the election: “The intelligence agencies’ conscious disregard for the law has been ongoing for decades, and there is no reason to believe that, all of a sudden, they will begin to respect the constitutional right of plaintiffs, and all Americans. Indeed, even today, [then-]President-elect Donald Trump credibly accused outgoing CIA chief, John Brennan, who worked with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, of leaking false news reports and classified information to the media in an attempt to undermine him.”
Trump’s statement at that time was: “‘Outgoing CIA chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand.’ Oh really, couldn’t do … much worse – just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the buildup of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?”
WND reported on Klayman’s case one year ago, when U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who previously said the NSA’s spy-on-Americans cell phone monitoring program likely is unconstitutional, held a status hearing.
The judge had noted the cases were at the “pinnacle of national importance.”
Klayman, at that time, said: “Mass surveillance of the citizenry cannot be permitted when it is likely based on reasons that go far beyond catching terrorists. Indeed, as Judge Leon found on two occasions in issuing his prior preliminary injunctions, Obama and his agents at the spy agencies have not been able to cite one instance when the unconstitutional mass surveillance caught even one terrorist.”
In Klayman’s case, Leon ruled Dec. 16, 2013, and again Nov. 9, 2015, that the NSA program likely was unconstitutional, barring the government agency and Obama from “conducting mass telephonic metadata surveillance over the plaintiffs.”
The cases involve not only telephonic metadata mass surveillance, Klayman said, but mass surveillance of all Americans’ Internet and social media activity.
Klayman, at the beginning of the case, originally sued the NSA, Barack Obama, then-Attorney General Eric Holder and a number of other federal officials. Other defendants include NSA chief Keith Alexander, U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Roger Vinson, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA chief John Brennan, FBI chief James Comey, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI.
Plaintiffs in the case include Klayman, Charles and Mary Ann Strange, Michael Ferrari, Matt Garrison and J.J. Little.
The data that the NSA collects, they explained in a brief, “reveals political affiliation, religious practices and peoples’ most intimate associations.”
“It reveals who calls a suicide prevention line and who calls their elected official; who calls the local tea-party office and who calls Planned Parenthood.”
The groups’ brief said “the relevant fact for whether an expectation of privacy exists is that the comprehensive telephone records the government collects – not just the records of a few calls over a few days but all of a person’s calls over many years – reveals highly personal information about the person and her life.”