Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired and prosecuted for lying to Congress about the National Security Agency's widespread surveillance activities, Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R) told the Hill.
Sensenbrenner was the original author of the Patriot Act, which the NSA claims allows it to collect records of every phone call made in America. But Sensenbrenner has said he is shocked by the agency's interpretation of the law.
Clapper should be fired, he said, over a March exchange with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in which he was asked whether the agency collects data on millions of Americans.
"Not wittingly," Clapper responded. He later admitted that his answer was untrue, or as he put it, the "least untruthful" answer he could give in a non-classified setting.
"Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it," Sensenbrenner told the Hill. "If it's a criminal offense -- and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense -- then the Justice Department ought to do its job."
Obama has shown little sign of abandoning his intelligence chief, who as director of national intelligence oversees the NSA and other spy agencies. Sensenbrenner is currently sponsoring a bill called the USA Freedom Act that would end the bulk collection of phone metadata.