The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is calling for possible disciplinary action against the Federal Bureau of Investigation's internal lawyers, in connection with how the FBI obtained telephone records in national security investigations.
At issue is the FBI’s use of so-called “exigent letters” — informal requests for information from telephone companies, as opposed to the more formal requests submitted under the USA Patriot Act. In a 306-page report completed in January, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that the hundreds of letters circumvented the law and violated FBI guidelines.
In a news release, Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) cited the Office of the Inspector General’s report (PDF). The committee held a hearing on it today, with testimony from Inspector General Glenn Fine and FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni.
“Today’s hearing showed that the FBI broke the law on telephone records privacy and the General Counsel’s Office, headed by Valerie Caproni, sanctioned it and must face consequences,” Conyers said in a statement. “I call upon FBI Director [Robert Mueller III] to take immediate action to punish those who violated the rules, including firing them from the agency.”