New York City — On Wednesday night’s airing of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, host Steven Colbert asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) if he thought the FISA memo, which allegedly details the FBI using opposition research — funded by a major donor of GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio, and subsequently paid for by the Clinton campaign — to manipulate the FISA court into allowing surveillance of President Trump’s campaign staff, should be released to the public.
“You said the Bob Mueller investigation was a witch hunt, and you think it is a distraction of Congress’s time,” Colbert said.
“Do you think it should be ended- do you think he should be gotten out of there? Do you think they should get rid of Rosenstein and release the memo, and just blow the whole thing up and forget it ever happened?” Colbert asked.
Paul then took the opportunity to express his concerns, while enlightening Colbert on the danger in allowing secretive intelligence agencies to monitor the private communications of every American — without a warrant signed by a judge — in light of “bias” in the intelligence community, clearly referring to the FBI and DOJ, as allegedly implicated in the now-released FISA memo.
“I’m concerned. My biggest concern is over something that Madison said at the beginning of our country, he said that ‘men are not angels’ and that’s why we need more oversight of government,” Paul said.
“Our intelligence community has the authority to listen to every phone call. Everyone’s phone calls could be listened to if they wanted to. Everyone in your e-mails can be tracked, every one of your phone… who you call and how long you speak can be tracked, every bank transaction can be tracked,” Paul explained.
Paul went on to note that human nature can lead to potential “bias” in the “intelligence community,” and pointed out the critical need for “checks and balances” in the form of “a judge and a warrant.”
“I think because men are not angels and women aren’t either, that there can be bias that can enter into the intelligence community, so we have to be very, very careful that someone gives them a check and balance and that check and a balance should be a judge and a warrant, so one of the things, you know, I fought with over this collection of FISA data, we should go to a judge to get to that,” Paul stated.
Paul then explained that he was “concerned” that Mueller had gone beyond a “Russia Collusion” investigation. The Senator, who has previously called the investigation a “witchhunt” – invoked the indictment of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, which was not for colluding with Russians, but for not being truthful about “what was recorded on the phone call.”
“I’m concerned that we give too much power to a prosecutor who was supposed to be going after Russian collusion,” the Senator cautioned.
“So far he’s gotten somewhat over. He recorded General Flynn and then got him to say something inconsistent with what was recorded on the phone call,” Paul reasoned.
“Think about it from a personal perspective, if I have a thousand phone calls of Stephen Colbert, what I could learn? And then I can interview you, and if you say anything inconsistent with what you said on your private phone calls, I could put you in jail.” Paul explained.
Following the recent release of the memo, Paul issued the following statement on Friday:
“While I applaud the release of this memo, I also call for Congress to take immediate action to help prevent such behavior in the future. It is imperative it start by listening to Americans who have expressed outrage over its disregard for the Fourth Amendment and reexamining the powers it reauthorized right before we learned of the memo. Continuing to ignore the Constitution will only guarantee that others fall victim to government abusing its domestic surveillance powers.”
Watch Sen. Paul explain the dangers of an intelligence apparatus given vast power to spy on Americans beginning at 15:10 in the video below.