Sen. Paul Issues Second Letter to FBI Director Seeking Answers on Domestic Drone Use
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued a follow-up letter to a piece of correspondence that was sent on June 20, 2013, to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller regarding his concern over recent remarks by Director Mueller that indicate the FBI has used surveillance drones over American soil. In the first letter, Sen. Paul indicated that he would like a response by July 1, 2013. Sen. Paul has yet to receive any response from Director Mueller which prompted him to issue further correspondence:
July 9, 2013
Robert S. Mueller
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 2055-0001
Dear Director Mueller,
During testimony before Congress on June 19, 2013, you confirmed that the FBI does operate drone aircraft within the United States. Details on the purpose of these drones and the rules governing their use were not fully available at the time, though you seemed to indicate through your testimony that some details might be forthcoming.
Given that drone surveillance over American skies represents a potentially vast expansion of government surveillance powers without the constitutionally-guaranteed protection of a warrant, it is vital that the use of these drones by the FBI be fully examined in an open and transparent manner. The American people have a right to know the limits that the federal government operates under when using these drones, and whether further action by Congress is needed to protect the rights of innocent Americans.
On June 20, 2013, one day after your admission before Congress, I sent you a letter requesting specific details on the FBI's use of drones. I have included a copy of this letter for your reference. In the letter, I indicated that I would like a response to my questions by July 1, 2013, which was a very reasonable timeframe to produce a response to a limited number of questions. Unfortunately, I have not received any answers to my questions, and I have not been informed as to when I should expect a reply.
Legitimate questions on important government functions should not be ignored. These questions are easily answerable and primarily questions of fact, so I respectfully request again that you provide answers to these questions. As you know, the President has submitted the nomination of your successor to the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun consideration of his nomination, and that nomination could be considered by the full Senate this month. Without adequate answers to my questions, I will object to the consideration of that nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and I look forward to a reply very soon.
Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator