James Clapper poised to get away with lying to Congress

In 2013, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified under oath before Congress about the mass surveillance of U.S. citizens.  The following year, Edward Snowden's document dump revealed that Clapper had lied to Congress about the extent of the program.

Clapper admitted that his testimony was "clearly erroneous."  For five years, the Department of Justice has dithered about whether to charge Clapper with perjury.  Today, the statute of limitations on the crime of lying to Congress will expire, and there's no sign that DoJ plans on prosecuting him.

Washington Examiner:

"He admitted to lying to Congress and was unremorseful and flippant about it," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner.  "The integrity of our federal government is at stake because his behavior sets the standard for the entire intelligence community."

"Political consideration should not affect the Department of Justice from pursuing this matter," Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said ahead of the deadline.  "Complete and truthful testimony is imperative for Congress to conduct effective oversight.  It is clear from the evidence and Director Clapper's own admission that he lied."

Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman declined to comment on Clapper or how perjury cases typically would be handled, saying in an email, "No comment or information to be provided."  Clapper, speaking through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Clapper's problematic testimony occurred a few minutes before noon on March 12, 2013, when he told Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., "No, sir," and, "Not wittingly," in response to a question about whether the NSA was collecting "any type of data at all" on millions of Americans.  Wyden later said he provided the question to Clapper before the hearing and unsuccessfully asked Clapper to correct the record.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign and was indicted for "'willfully and knowingly' making 'false, fictitious and fraudulent statements' to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia's ambassador."  Apparently, one man's "clearly erroneous" testimony is another man's perjury.  The difference could be that Mr. Flynn worked for a president whom the career prosecutors at the Department of Justice hate while Mr. Clapper worked for President Obama.

Flynn shouldn't have lied to the FBI and will be punished for that.  But what about Clapper?  He "knowingly and willfully" made false statements to a congressional committee.  Clapper lied about the most expansive invasion of privacy of American citizens in history.  And he will apparently get a pass.

Double standards when it comes to justice are intolerable in a republic.  But that's what we have today, and it's an open question whether the United States of America as a democratic republic can survive.

In 2013, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified under oath before Congress about the mass surveillance of U.S. citizens.  The following year, Edward Snowden's document dump revealed that Clapper had lied to Congress about the extent of the program.

Clapper admitted that his testimony was "clearly erroneous."  For five years, the Department of Justice has dithered about whether to charge Clapper with perjury.  Today, the statute of limitations on the crime of lying to Congress will expire, and there's no sign that DoJ plans on prosecuting him.

Washington Examiner:

"He admitted to lying to Congress and was unremorseful and flippant about it," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner.  "The integrity of our federal government is at stake because his behavior sets the standard for the entire intelligence community."

"Political consideration should not affect the Department of Justice from pursuing this matter," Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said ahead of the deadline.  "Complete and truthful testimony is imperative for Congress to conduct effective oversight.  It is clear from the evidence and Director Clapper's own admission that he lied."

Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman declined to comment on Clapper or how perjury cases typically would be handled, saying in an email, "No comment or information to be provided."  Clapper, speaking through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Clapper's problematic testimony occurred a few minutes before noon on March 12, 2013, when he told Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., "No, sir," and, "Not wittingly," in response to a question about whether the NSA was collecting "any type of data at all" on millions of Americans.  Wyden later said he provided the question to Clapper before the hearing and unsuccessfully asked Clapper to correct the record.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign and was indicted for "'willfully and knowingly' making 'false, fictitious and fraudulent statements' to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia's ambassador."  Apparently, one man's "clearly erroneous" testimony is another man's perjury.  The difference could be that Mr. Flynn worked for a president whom the career prosecutors at the Department of Justice hate while Mr. Clapper worked for President Obama.

Flynn shouldn't have lied to the FBI and will be punished for that.  But what about Clapper?  He "knowingly and willfully" made false statements to a congressional committee.  Clapper lied about the most expansive invasion of privacy of American citizens in history.  And he will apparently get a pass.

Double standards when it comes to justice are intolerable in a republic.  But that's what we have today, and it's an open question whether the United States of America as a democratic republic can survive.