The Washington Post reports:
A white paper released by the White House on Friday argues that Congress knew exactly what it was approving [viz a viz NSA collection of telephone records] when it reauthorized the Patriot Act in 2011.
“Information concerning the use of Section 215 to . . . collect telephony metadata in bulk was made available to all Members of Congress,” the paper says. “Congress reauthorized Section 215 without change after this information was provided.”
But a leading administration critic has disputed that claim. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said he never saw a 2011 letter to Congress disclosing the existence of the phone records program. And neither did dozens of his colleagues.
The Justice Department sent the letter to the top Republican and the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. . . But in a Sunday Facebook post, Amash charged that “the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence did NOT, in fact, make the 2011 document available to Representatives in Congress.”
If that isn’t true, it should be easy for the White House to refute.