House Republicans Threw a ‘FISA Fest’ Party after Renewing Domestic Spying Tool


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The lawmakers responsible for allowing the FBI to continue its warrantless spying on Americans threw an actual party to celebrate that fact, according to a report in Wired.

The tech publication reported Wednesday that the House Intelligence Committee had a party scheduled for that night, to celebrate last month’s renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows for the warrantless collection of Americans’ communications.

“The US House Intelligence Committee is throwing a party Wednesday night to celebrate the recent extension of the 702 surveillance program, multiple sources tell WIRED,” the publication reported.

“House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner and ranking member Jim Himes blasted out invitations announcing a ‘bipartisan celebration’ of the 702 program’s continuation last week. The event, which the lawmakers have dubbed FISA Fest, is being held in a reception room in the US Capitol building Wednesday night.”

House Intel communications director Jeff Naft, who is also the spokesman for chairman Turner, has not responded to a request for comment as of the publication of this article.

As Headline USA has reported, Speaker Mike Johnson and the House Intel Committee were key in killing legislation that would have required the FBI and other agencies to obtain a warrant before using Section 702 on Americans.

The House had until April 19 to renew Section 702, and there were two competing bills: one from the Intel Committee and one from the Judiciary Committee, the latter which would have imposed warrant requirements.

After pulling the Judiciary’s bill, Johnson helped jam the Intel bill through the House without warrant requirements.

Civil libertarians tried to put a provision to requirement in the legislation at the last minute, but Johnson helped defeat that proposed amendment, too. The April 12 vote was 212 to 212, with Johnson serving as the tiebreaker to defeat the warrant requirements. Johnson was long one of the most vocal proponents for requiring U.S. intelligence agencies to obtain warrants, but he recently changed his position after receiving a “confidential briefing” from U.S. national security officials.

Now that FISA’s 702 is again law for at least another two years, the FBI’s deputy director is urging his agents to use it liberally.

 “To continue to demonstrate why tools like this are essential to our mission, we need to use them, while also holding ourselves accountable for doing so properly and in compliance with legal requirements,” FBI deputy director Paul Abbate said in an April 20 email obtained by Wired.

“I urge everyone to continue to look for ways to appropriately use US person queries to advance the mission, with the added confidence that this new pre-approval requirement will help ensure that those queries are fully compliant with the law.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at


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