- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2013

A government watchdog group demanded Monday in a letter that Attorney General Eric Holder investigate James Clapper, accusing the intelligence head of lying about NSA intelligence collection practices during recent congressional testimony.

“The Obama administration has been extremely aggressive in prosecuting leaks,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement issued by the group. “It is only reasonable to expect DOJ to be at least as diligent in investigating high-level government officials who deliberately lie to Congress.”

The organization is specifically concerned about Mr. Clapper’s claims that the National Security Agency does not collect information on Americans.

Mr. Clapper, asked in March about this issue during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, responded, “No sir. … Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps, collect, but not, not wittingly.”

NSA information leaked by Edward Snowden, however, belies that claim. Mr. Snowden revealed that the NSA has a program called PRISM that collects data on Americans and that the program was part and parcel of NSA spy plans at the time of Mr. Clapper’s testimony.

After PRISM came to light, Mr. Clapper told NBC that he gave congressional members the “least untruthful” statement he could come up with that didn’t divulge sensitive information.

The organization said in its release that Mr. Clapper’s testimony seems to clearly violate law.

Miss Sloan said that if “DOJ can … waste valuable resource prosecuting baseball player Roger Clemens for lying about using performance-enhancing drugs, you’d think the department could find the bandwidth to investigate a top official for lying about an issue impacting the constitutional rights of millions of Americans.”

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