Of Course It Troubles Me. Are You Kidding Me?
posted at 10:05 pm on May 16, 2013 by Duane Patterson
Paul Ryan on the eve of hearings in the House Ways And Means Committee, on the news the Justice Department grabbed phone records from the House of Representatives’ Press Gallery, from Hugh Hewitt Show’s earlier this evening.
HH: Your colleague, Devin Nunes, was on the program yesterday, and brought to my attention what I had not realized, which is the extent of this snooping on AP reached the House of Representatives.
HH: And he used the wrong term. He said wiretapping. He meant snooping, because they just swept up the phone records. Does that shock you that the DOJ without a court order and on their own initiative, swept up the phone records of the House of Representatives?
PR: Well, it’s the Cloak Room, excuse me, it’s not the Cloak room where members of Congress used the phones. They call it the Press Gallery, which is not far from the Cloak Room. It’s in the same House floor, it’s off the House floor. But my understanding is they took the records of the House Press Gallery AP. Members of Congress use the phones in what we call the Cloak Room. I don’t think they took those records. So I don’t think you could say they swept up the records of members of Congress’ phone calls. They took the records of AP reporters in the House Gallery who were doing, were reporting on Congress.
HH: But if they can do that, if they can go into the House, can’t…
PR: Yeah, look, I’m not making an excuse. I’m just trying to make sure that we’re accurate here.
HH: Does it trouble you?
PR: Of course it troubles me. Are you kidding me? Look, this is why, again, the point I’m trying to make here is let’s not think of this as just, oh gosh, some bad people at the IRS did those dumb things, and then oh, some overzealous prosecutor at the Justice Department did that, and oh, gosh, you know, some low level person at the State Department did this. We should not be thinking like that. We should be thinking this is what you get with big government in practice. This is what you get when you have a government that just has gone beyond its moorings, that has gone beyond its scope, and this is the kind of government you get with progressive politics. And that’s just not in keeping with our Constitution. That’s not what we deserve. We want equality under the law, and that’s not what we’re getting, whether we’re a reporter, a taxpayer, or a citizen.