January 21, 2019
Senator Lindsey Graham
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Graham,
The following supporters of Campaign for Liberty respectfully request that the Senate Judiciary Committee hold hearings on whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is, or has ever, targeted Campaign for Liberty for surveillance.
As you may be aware, CATO Institute scholar Patrick Eddington filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the FBI regarding whether the Bureau has ever conducted surveillance on a number of public policy organizations, including Campaign for Liberty. Mr. Eddington received a “Glomar” response to his FOIA regarding Campaign for Liberty, meaning the agency will “neither confirm nor deny” whether they conducted surveillance of Campaign for Liberty. Mr. Eddington also received Glomar responses for several other organizations.
The FBI refusal to say whether or not they have ever conducted surveillance of Campaign for Liberty suggests that the Bureau is currently “monitoring” Campaign for Liberty. As Mr. Eddington said, “We know for a fact that Glomar invocations have been used to conceal actual, ongoing activities, and we also know that they’re not passing out Glomars like candy.”
Campaign for Liberty is a 501(c)(4) organization I founded in 2008. Campaign for Liberty is a grassroots organization that supports pro-liberty legislation and opposes legislation expanding the power of government. Its top issue is an audit of the Federal Reserve. Campaign for Liberty has also been involved in efforts to protect the Second Amendment, repeal ObamaCare, end unconstitutional surveillance and warrantless wiretapping, and cut government spending.
One of the First Amendment’s main functions is to protect the right of citizens to organize in groups, like Campaign for Liberty, to have input into and to influence public policy. Therefore, subjecting groups like Campaign for Liberty to surveillance, and even refusing to provide a straight answer to whether or not the surveillance occurred, violates the First Amendment.
Like the FBI’s investigation of Carter Page, this raises important questions about the powers federal agencies like the FBI have and use to violate Americans’ constitutional rights.
The Senate Judiciary Committee must hold hearings to find out if Campaign for Liberty, and other organizations, were, or are still being, targeted for surveillance by the FBI. Since it will be impossible to give this issue the attention it deserves during the impeachment trial, we respectfully request the hearing be held within one month after the conclusion of the trial. This will give Senators and staff adequate time to prepare for a meaningful hearing.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.