Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for congressional hearings on the National Security Agency’s data collection on Sunday, while saying that much of the program is unconstitutional and likely can’t be improved by oversight.
“You know, I think it would be better with more oversight, but there are some things they are doing that I fundamentally think are unconstitutional,” Paul said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Our founding fathers, when they wrote the Fourth Amendment, said a single warrant goes toward a specific individual and what you want to look for. … The constitution doesn’t allow for a single warrant to get a billion phone records. … They basically, I believe, are looking at all of the cell phone calls in America every day.”
Paul, who has become one of the most vocal critics of the NSA’s surveillance program, also lamented the one-sided nature of the discussion on the issue. He accused the president — a former constitutional law professor — of ignorance about the U.S. Constitution.
“You know, I think the president fundamentally missunderstands the constitutional separation of powers,” he said. “Because the checks and balances are supposed to come from independent branches of government. So he thinks that if he gets some lawyers together from the NSA and they do a Power Point presentation and tell him everything is okay, that the NSA can police themselves. But one of the fundamental things that our founders put in place was they wanted to separate police power from the judiciary power.”
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