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Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took to Twitter on Saturday to call out the Biden administration for allegedly turning law enforcement into a “political team” that pursues their critics but turns a blind eye to their allies.
In the tweet, Gabbard pointed out that former White House official Steve Bannon – who served under former President Donald Trump – was found in contempt of Congress while the Biden administration has not prosecuted any indictment against former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan – both of whom served under former President Barack Obama.
She accused Clapper and Brennan of lying to Congress.
STEVE BANNON FOUND IN CONGRESS OF CONGRESS FOR IGNORING JAN. 6 HEARING MISSION
“Whatever you think of Bannon, the fact that he was charged with contempt of Congress, but Clapper, Brennan and others who lied to Congress were never charged, shows how the admin/l Biden elite has shamelessly turned law enforcement into a political squad,” Gabbard tweeted.
The Justice Department charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress on Friday after ignoring a subpoena from the House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
He faces 30 days to a year in prison for each misdemeanor charge.
Gabbard’s comments come nearly a month after she appeared on “Jesse Watters Primetime,” where she suggested without going into detail that some Democrats were operating outside the law.
“We have to stay within the bounds of the Constitution and the rule of law. I think the thing that I have frankly heard from some Democrats is something even more dangerous than the fear that you are talking about, which is that they feel like they have to do whatever they have to do to save America,” Gabbard said on June 24. “And that’s a dangerous mindset.”
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She also compared the actions of Democrats to dictators who say and do what they need to to stay in power.
“You look through history, pretty much every dictator who does what they think they should do, they feel like their cause is right, and so when we have people in positions of power – yes, in government, but in other sectors of our society as well, who feel they must do whatever they can to save the country, to save the people, and yet they are defying our Constitution and undermining our democracy and are ruining our country in the process,” she said. “That’s what we need to protect ourselves, our country and our future.”
Brennan and Clapper were first accused of lying to Congress in an open court hearing in March 2013, when they denied that the NSA has a database that collects “any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans”.
At the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked, “Last summer, the director of the NSA was at a conference and was asked a question about surveillance of the Americas by the NSA. He replied, and I quote ‘The story that we have millions upon hundreds of millions of records on people is completely false.'”
“The reason I ask the question is that having been on the committee for a dozen years, I don’t really know what a file is in this context. So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes. or no answer to the question, does the NSA collect any type of data on millions upon hundreds of millions of Americans?” Wyden asked.
“No sir,” Clapper replied. “Not consciously.” Brennan also denied such a program.
Three months later, former NSA intelligence consultant Edward Snowden released classified documents proving otherwise – and the campaign for Clapper and Brennan to clarify their statements began.
In a letter to Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, Clapper admitted to giving a ‘clearly wrong’ answer which he was forced to ‘openly correct’ because he ‘just didn’t think’ about the program mass collection.
During a speech at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C. the following year, Brennan blamed the media for “distortions” of his statements.
At the same summit, Clapper said, “When I was accused of lying to Congress because of a mistake…I had to respond on the spot about a specific classified program in a general and insecure setting,” MSNBC reported.
The accusation of lying is something no intelligence official could shake – but none have been formally charged.
“I didn’t lie, I made a big mistake, and I just didn’t understand what I was being asked about,” Clapper said during a 2019 interview with CNN. Thought of another surveillance program, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, when I was asked about Section 215 of the Patriot Act at the time, I just didn’t get it. “
The NSA had a mass metadata harvesting program at the time of Clapper and Brennan’s testimony, which the federal government authorized in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he later said.
Clapper also admitted the system exists in the same 2019 interview, but said he viewed the mass surveillance system as a “backup or insurance policy”.
“This program was set up as a direct result of 9/11, and the purpose was to be able to quickly follow a foreign communicator talking to someone in this country who might have been plotting a terrorist plot, and was set up during the Bush administration for that reason,” Clapper said at the time. “I always thought of it as a sort of guarantee or insurance policy, so that if the need arose, you could refer to it.
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Gabbard is a former United States House Representative from Hawaii and served as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
Since retiring from the House in 2021, Gabbard has become a vocal critic of the Biden administration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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