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Turn over enough stones…

The United States of America was born out of a revolt by the original colonies against their British controllers – controllers who taxed too much, took away too many rights and asked too much. When our new country rose from that great war for independence, we formed a nation which believed in individual rights over the rights of the state and a country who put protecting the constitutional liberties of each and every American above all else. Unfortunately, as it relates to the most recent presidential election, we are beginning to learn more and more about how those rights were trampled upon by actors at some of the most integral levels of your government.

The American public deserves to know how this was allowed to happen. With the release last week of the memo from the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence, we now know more than we ever did before – with even more still to come. What was shared with the declassification of the report from the Intelligence Committee was information that government entities requested and were granted the right to spy and surveil a component of President Trump’s campaign. We now know that some of the information they used to convince a judge to grant that right was a dossier written about President Trump by someone who had a strong bias against Donald Trump, and that he was paid to do it by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton Campaign. That’s right, a government agency used a campaign opposition research piece to convince a judge to allow them to spy on the campaign of our next President of the United States.

Oversight, or making sure our government is doing the right thing for the people, is one of the top responsibilities of Congress. What we have uncovered so far is that the author of the dossier on President Trump is someone who has said in meetings during the months leading up to the November 2016 election that he was “desperate” for Donald Trump to not get elected and “passionate about him not being president.” Yet it was this same individual’s ‘report’ which was used and presented as evidence in a court in order to have a judge grant permission for the government to spy on associates of the Trump campaign. Beyond that, the dossier’s author was someone who even the FBI had themselves earlier fired for being a leaker and for serving as an unauthorized source to media. In other words, the government used fake information, written by an anti-Trump activist, funded by the Clinton campaign to get authorization from a secret court to spy on the Trump Campaign.

As if a politically motivated, fake dossier wasn’t enough, using that information to justify spying on a United States citizen is even more concerning. It eats away at the core foundation of our nation. You have a right to know what happened and what reforms will make sure it never happens again. You also deserve to know who authorized what and how they will be legally required to answer for their actions. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent or not politically affiliated at all, every American should want answers, want action and want accountability for this very disturbing revelation. Justice is not supposed to be biased, it is not supposed to have a party affiliation, it is supposed to be exactly what it is – fair, impartial, and by definition incorruptible. As your voice in Congress, it is my responsibility to continue to get these answers for you and ensure no one in Washington tramples on your freedoms while running away with an unchecked amount of power.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

This report was filed Feb. 9, 2018

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