[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 22 (Friday, February 5, 2021)]
[Pages H459-H463]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       NATIONAL SECURITY LETTERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jones). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 4, 2021, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, interesting days in the Capitol.
  I keep being asked about the metal detector. I was not happy about 
metal detectors. But for some weeks now, I have been complying, taking 
my stuff out, putting it on the table, going through the metal 
  I did that yesterday and came in here, and I was going to be 
recognized to speak. Since the restroom is just right there through 
that door, you see it as you are standing there at the door, I did what 
I have done for a number of weeks now. I went to the restroom and came 
back. Since the officers see you, and there was nobody else in the 
area, as there usually isn't these days, I went in, came out.
  So people know, it isn't like ``The Godfather.'' There are no tanks 
on the toilets, no place to hide a gun, that I see.
  Anyway, the officers see you, and no one has ever said a word about 
needing to be reexamined when you are just right there.
  Anyway, apparently, rules have changed over the last few weeks, and 
all of a sudden yesterday I was told, well, you need to be wanded. I 
said, no, I have been through the metal detector, and this has never 
been required before.
  So, I came in today. I get a notice that I am supposed to be fined 
$5,000. So, we will be appealing.
  One of the things that is not supposed to happen is arbitrary and 
capriciousness--and to go for a number of weeks and nobody ever say a 
word because you are just going right there and back, never having to 
be reexamined, and then all of a sudden yesterday, and today, be hit 
with a $5,000 fine.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to make sure our colleagues know that the 
metal detectors are not the issue entirely. You may want to use 
facilities at your office or around your office because now, despite 
the admonition in the Constitution itself about not stopping or 
detaining a Member of Congress on his way into a session--it is in the 
Constitution--this Speaker has seen fit to defy that, to create metal 
  And now that is not enough. You can't even go to the restroom in full 
view of the officers without being hit upon and unconstitutionally 
treated again. I have been going along with the unconstitutional action 

                              {time}  1800

  But it seems that it is one of those things, Mr. Speaker, no matter 
how much you finally are desensitized to the Constitution enough to 
comply with unconstitutional actions, there just keeps being another 
requirement, another requirement, and another requirement. So we will 
see how it all comes out, but hopefully other Members will learn from 
the arbitrariness of my treatment to avoid that for themselves.
  On FOX News my friend, Tucker Carlson, touched on this yesterday. And 
this article is by Tucker:

       There has been an enormous amount of talk--not just this 
     week, but over the last month--about violent extremism and 
     the people who embrace it. Those people, we are told, are 
     domestic terrorists who must be put down by force. The war on 
     terror has moved Stateside. Extremists are inside our 
     country, and we must hunt them down.
       We are hearing those words nonstop, not just on cable news, 
     but from elected officials, including some Republicans. We 
     are hearing it from the leaders of Federal law enforcement 
     agencies and the intelligence agencies. We are hearing it 
     from the Pentagon. Just this week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd 
     Austin ordered the entire U.S. military to ``stand down'' 
     while investigators cleanse the ranks of political 
       And, of course, we are hearing it from the business 
     establishment, from Wall Street and tech monopolies, from the 
     massive multinational corporations that increasingly control 
     the contours of American life. All of them are now on the 
     hunt for political extremists.

  By the way, with regard to the effort to purge the military of 
anybody with a political position that does not support socialism, my 4 
years at Fort Benning, Georgia--about half of that under Commander in 
Chief Carter and the other, about half, under Commander in Chief 
Reagan--there were a lot of people at Fort Benning who didn't care for 
what was happening to the military under President Carter. But we knew 
you could not say anything derogatory about the Commander in Chief 
without being either punished with an article 15 nonjudicial punishment 
or being prosecuted because he was the Commander in Chief. But 
everybody, Democrat, Republican--and now lots of Socialists--as long as 
you did your job in the military and you followed orders, you didn't 
have any problem. But we were not heard to talk about the terrible 
morale under President Carter, the way we were no longer respected, the 
way internationally--especially after the failed hostage rescue attempt 
that I believe had more to do with civilian oversight restrictions than 
it was anything else. I was told by people at Fort Benning that the 
President, the White House was warned, If you make us go in with so few 
helicopters, there is a good chance we won't have the six needed in 
order to go rescue the hostages--we knew where they were--and that they 
were made to scale to eight. So when they lost three on the way to the 
staging area, then it was an automatic abort, according to one of my 
friends who was part of it.
  Anyway, we ended up losing a chopper with military on board, a C-130, 
with military onboard. But, still, we didn't go out. You didn't hear us 
trashing the Carter White House because we were in the military. Our 
political opinions didn't matter. Even if people had contempt for the 
poor leadership in the White House, you didn't say it because it was 
not allowed.
  People, despite their political positions, were ready to lay down 
their lives for their country if that was necessary, and some did. Even 
though that was a time of peace those 4 years I was in, we were never 
in a declared police action or war. Still, we did our jobs no matter 
what it was, and nobody was run out of the military for their political 
positions. But now under this administration, things have changed.
  As Tucker Carlson goes on, he says:

       You have to be more precise than that. In order to root out 
     a problem, you have to know what the problem is. You need a 
     sense of what you are looking for, a clear picture. You have 
     to define the terms. The remarkable thing about this 
     conversation we are having is that no one is doing that.
       Have you noticed that none of these newly energized and 
     highly empowered extremist hunters have told us exactly what 
     an ``extremist'' is?
       We are left to guess, to look around nervously to see if we 
     can spot one.
       They are not talking about us, are they?
       And if they are, what exactly are they doing?
       How are they hunting these ``extremists'' they keep telling 
     us about, but will not describe?
       We now know part of the answer to that question.

  He points out:

       Tucker Carson Tonight has exclusive obtained evidence that 
     Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the country with 
     more than 60 million customers, is actively but secretly 
     engaged in the hunt for extremists in cooperation with the 
     government. Bank of America is, without the knowledge or the 
     consent of it customers, sharing private information with 
     Federal law enforcement agencies. Bank of America effectively 
     is acting as an intelligence agency, but they are not telling 
     you about it.
       In the days after the January 6 riot at the Capitol, Bank 
     of America went through its own customers' financial and 
     transaction records. These were the private records of 
     Americans who had committed no crime; people who, as far as 
     we know, had absolutely nothing to do with what happened at 
     the Capitol. But at the request of Federal investigators, 
     Bank of America searched its

[[Page H460]]

     databases looking for people who fit a specific profile.
       Here is what that profile was: Number one, customers 
     confirmed as transacting, either through bank account debit 
     card or credit card purchases in Washington, D.C., between 
     January 5 and January 6. Number two, purchases made for a 
     hotel or Airbnb in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland after January 
     6; any purchase of weapons or at a weapons-related merchant 
     between January 7 and their upcoming suspected stay in the 
     D.C. area around Inauguration Day. And also airline-related 
     purchases since January 6.
       The first thing you should notice about that profile is 
     that it is remarkably broad. Any purchases of anything in 
     Washington, D.C.; any overnight stay anywhere in an area 
     spanning three jurisdictions and hundreds of miles; any 
     purchase not just of legal firearms, but anything bought from 
     a ``weapons-related merchant,'' T-shirts included; and any 
     airline-related purchases--not just flights to Washington, 
     D.C., but flights to anywhere, from Omaha to Thailand. That 
     is an absurdly wide net.
       Bank of America identified a total of 211 customers who met 
     these ``thresholds of interest.'' At that point, ``Tucker 
     Carlson Tonight'' has learned, Bank of America has turned 
     over the results of its internal scan to Federal authorities, 
     apparently without notifying the customers who were being 
     spied upon. Federal investigators then interviewed at least 
     one of these unsuspecting people. That person, we have 
     learned, hadn't done anything wrong and was cleared.
       Imagine if you were that person. The FBI hauls you in for 
     questioning in a terror investigation, not because you have 
     done anything wrong or suspicious, but because you bought 
     plane tickets and visited your country's capital. Now they 
     are sweating you because your bank, which you trust with your 
     most private information, has ratted you out without your 
     knowledge. Because Bank of America did that, you are being 
     treated like a member of al-Qaida.
       It doesn't matter how much you despise Donald Trump or how 
     much you believe that hatred of Trump justifies suspending 
     this country's ancient civil liberties, going through that 
     experience would scare the hell out of you.
       Does anyone else know about this?
       Is there a record of this interview?
       Will I lose my job because of it?
       That actually happened to someone.

  Anyway, he goes on and points out this issue of banks toting over 
information, and it took me back in time to the George W. Bush 
Presidency, when I first got to Congress and I first learned about 
something called National Security Letters. That was a shock to me to 
find out about what were called NSLs, National Security Letters, 
because I have been a litigant, I have been a felony judge and a chief 
justice, and I was quite familiar with reviewing affidavits in support 
of requests for warrants. And I have reviewed them at all hours of the 
day and night most of the time because law enforcement in my 
jurisdiction was told by the DA they needed to go through the DA's 
office to make sure that the warrants met the constitutional 
  So it was rare, but sometimes I did say: You don't have facts that 
create probable cause to believe a crime has been committed or probable 
cause to believe this person committed it. We need some facts here that 
you can swear to under oath that will allow me to sign a warrant so 
that places may be searched and specific things described with 
particularity can be seized.
  So having had that history, I was quite surprised to find that under 
the PATRIOT Act--and, actually, this note is from the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation. I am not familiar with them, but they have a good 
synopsis on National Security Letters:

       NSLs are currently authorized by four Federal statutes: the 
     Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the National Security 
     Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act--which is kind of 
     ironic; they don't need probable cause to get your records 
     under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, that is amazing--
     the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and also the USA PATRIOT Act.

  This article described the way they work pretty well:

       Although there are procedures for review after they are 
     issued, National Security Letters can be issued by the FBI 
     without any judicial oversight.

  The FBI must certify that the records sought are ``relevant to an 
authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or 
clandestine intelligence activities.''
  We were assured during the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act that 
this was only used to go against or to investigate foreigners who were 
either part of a known terrorist organization or known terrorists 
themselves or had relations with a known foreign terrorist 
  I had asked in one of our meetings with Justice Department people: 
Well, what about the other reason you can send out a National Security 
Letter and just siphon up all of somebody's records from a third party?
  That is called clandestine intelligence activities.
  And I was told: Oh, no, we don't really use that.
  I said: Well, I would like to know what that means, clandestine 
intelligence activities. Does that mean if my next-door neighbor is 
kind of hiding behind the curtain and watching what is going on at my 
house--that is clandestine, they are seeking intelligence what was 
happening next door--does that mean you can scoop up all their records?
  The answer basically was: No, we don't really use that part.

                              {time}  1815

  That was so vague, it bothered me. Our chairman at the time was a 
great man, Jim Sensenbrenner, but he was not about to allow any changes 
to that, so it is still there 15, 16 years later.
  We kept being assured by everybody that there are never any abuses to 
the National Security Letters. But it concerned me because if all it 
took was an FBI agent just signing something saying, ``I need this for 
an investigation,'' who is to be sure it really was?
  I kind of like the warrant system, where you have to go to a judge 
and establish with particularity the person to be seized or the things 
to be seized or the place to be searched.
  I remember when I was an assistant DA. We had kind of an interesting 
deputy who people would kind of roll their eyes about. He was 
constantly coming in, asking for a warrant. As assistant DA, I got to 
know him.
  He was a nice guy, but he came in once and said: I know I have been 
harassing you, trying to get a warrant. I know there are people smoking 
dope out in this little bitty community. They have a little bitty store 
there, and I found out the people I think are smoking dope are going to 
have a party Friday night. I have good authority they are going to have 
potato chips there. That little store was just recently burglarized 
late at night, and one of the things they took was potato chips. So, I 
want to get a warrant to go into these people's home looking for potato 
chips, and then I will look for the dope while I am there.
  I said: Well, is there any way to identify the potato chips that were 
in this store that were stolen?
  No, no. But, see, that is the beauty. While I am looking for potato 
chips, I will just kind of look around for dope.
  I said: That is not adequate to establish probable cause to go 
busting into somebody's house looking for potato chips if you can't 
identify they were the ones that were stolen.
  Anyway, he was very upset that I wouldn't draft up the application 
for a warrant, his affidavit, because he thought he had a great way to 
do it.
  Well, what I didn't know back then was that there would be Federal 
statutes established after 9/11 that you don't need to go get a judge 
to say, yes, there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed 
and this person did it or probable cause to believe that you could find 
the fruits of a crime at a particular described location. No, no, you 
just have an FBI agent send a National Security Letter saying: I am 
investigating a matter, and I need you to give me all the records you 
have on a certain individual or a certain business. And by the way, 
under this NSL law, if you tell anybody that you got this demand for 
records, then you will have committed a felony, and we will prosecute 
  Now, back then, it didn't say you could even tell your lawyer. But 
the President George W. Bush administration Justice Department said: 
But we are interpreting it to mean that somebody who receives a 
National Security Letter demand for production can talk to their 
lawyer. We won't prosecute anybody for talking to their own lawyer.
  Well, wasn't that generous. But we were assured, both privately in 
meetings and under testimony, that there were no known violations of 
the law on National Security Letters. It was always to go after foreign 
terrorists or people that associated with foreign terrorist groups; 
that is what we are doing.
  It still was a concern. That just seems like so much power. 

[[Page H461]]

it was included that, gee, you had to get higher up approval before you 
sent out the National Security Letter.
  But the Attorney General at the time--really good, decent guy, 
Alberto Gonzales--he had indicated that he was not aware of any known 
violations of the law under the National Security Letter laws. 
Unfortunately for him, he testified before--and I don't have any of the 
information; I am just going off my institutional memory from those 
days. He had testified before a Senate committee that, yeah, there were 
no known violations of the law on National Security Letters.
  Well, unfortunately for him, there was a DOJ inspector general 
report, as I recall, that had been on his desk for 3 days. The IG said 
there may be as many as 3,000 violations of the law in gathering 
information under National Security Letters, where FBI agents just 
wanted to find out about somebody, some business, so they sent a letter 
demanding records about the person or the business, saying give me all 
you have on this person or business, when there was not a case, not 
probable cause of anything, not a known terrorist involved or known 
terrorist organization. They just wanted information about somebody, 
something, and so sent them out.
  I had seen that Senator Schumer was really upset. He felt like they 
had been lied to when he found out there had been an IG report 3 days 
before, that the Attorney General had, when he said there were no known 
  I ran into Senator Schumer here on the Hill--I think it was the next 
day, within a couple of days--and I said: Say, I saw you had our 
Attorney General, giving him a hard time about the violations of the 
National Security Letter. That is something I have been upset about, 
then to find out there may have been more than 3,000 violations, just 
fishing expeditions.
  He said some things that were not complimentary about the head of the 
Justice Department. And he said: I don't know why the President doesn't 
just let him go and hire somebody else.
  I said: Well, I can tell you why he doesn't, and that is because we 
figure you would not allow a new appointee to get through committee, 
and we don't need to go--I think it was a year-and-a-half left--without 
a real Attorney General.
  And he said: No, look, there are people I know we could agree on if 
they would just try.
  But he felt like we needed a new Attorney General.
  Well, the thing is, the FBI Director at that time was a guy named 
Mueller, and it was really a problem that should have fallen directly 
at the feet of Director Mueller. It was his FBI. He could have 
supervised them more thoroughly, especially when we are talking about 
thousands of abuses of people's rights and abuses of the National 
Security Letter use, seizing people's information, personal as it is.

  But I thought about all of that when seeing Bank of America had 
turned over all of this information to the Federal authorities, the 
FBI, I guess. It made me wonder if maybe they were back to their old 
ways of abusing the NSLs, no probable cause that a particular person 
committed a crime at all, just on fishing expeditions. I wondered if 
maybe they used the NSLs to go on those fishing expeditions and caught 
lots of honest, innocent Americans in their net.
  Now, going back to that, when I first got here, we had a lot of 
friends on the Democrat side of the aisle who were extremely concerned 
about civil rights, just like Senator Schumer was extremely upset to 
find out the FBI had violated potentially thousands of people's basic 
civil rights, seizing information about them, without having any 
probable cause, violating the Fourth Amendment and possibly Fifth. But 
that was a different time.
  In fact, I was concerned, and I called the White House, asking for 
the Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten at the time. I felt like he was a 
really good, decent guy. He was in a meeting with President Bush at the 
time, but he called me back.
  I told him about the concerns, that a lot of people on both sides of 
the aisle are upset that our Republican administration was abusing 
people's rights like that, just using National Security Letters willy-
nilly, and that we needed some change. They couldn't do it unless they 
knew they had an agreement to get through somebody else.
  What I should have done--I made a mistake--I should have been 
demanding that Mueller go, and we get a different FBI Director. But 
anyway, I suggested somebody that could talk friendly with Senator 
Schumer, give him a call and see if they could agree on some 
  Anyway, we ended up with Attorney General Mukasey. I felt like he was 
a very honorable man. I had nothing to do with who was picked, but 
apparently, there was an agreement between the White House and Senator 
Schumer and others, potentially.
  But all of that came back to mind as I saw that a bank--I think the 
second biggest in the country--was turning over information without 
apparently getting any warrant. But really, it is a problem of the 
National Security Letter.
  We got into a discussion back at reauthorization. I heard from the 
Department of Justice, saying: Look, this is such an important tool.
  I am going: But it is so easily abused. There have to be more checks 
and balances here.
  Back at the time, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee here in the 
House were concerned, but there were not enough of us concerned to 
completely, radically change the National Security Letter laws or to do 
away with it, so they are still around all these years later.
  I am hoping that we can get some people on both sides of the aisle. 
Democrats are in the majority. I would love to see a hearing where we 
could get down to it. If it needs to be under classified conditions, 
closed, whatever, but we really need to take another look at this, 
because it could just completely depend on the administration.
  I would hope that maybe with as much hatred as some people have for 
former President Trump, maybe they thought, gee, what if he got 
reelected, then he could put people in place that used those National 
Security Letters to go after all the people he didn't like.

                              {time}  1830

  Maybe that would be enough to encourage people who hate former 
President Trump to actually take some action to really try to secure 
people's civil rights that have been violated for years, and all under 
the guise that we are protecting ourselves from either international 
terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, whatever that is.
  So, anyway, that came back to mind. It is still something that should 
be done. There is a story here my staff was able to find from The New 
York Times back in 2007, when they were a little more trustworthy, but 
it is titled ``FBI Head Admits Mistakes in Use of Security Act.''
  And that was Mr. Mueller. He embraced the responsibility for the 
lapses, but he was punished by giving him 2 extra years as Director of 
the FBI. That allowed him to continue the poor supervision that allowed 
these kind of what he called lapses.
  In this article, it says, `` `How could this happen?' Mr. Mueller 
asked rhetorically in a briefing at the headquarters of the FBI. `Who 
is to be held accountable? And the answer to that is, I am to be held 
accountable.' ''
  But the truth is, he was never held accountable. In fact, he was 
actually rewarded. And Attorney General Gonzales paid the price for his 
huge failure.
  So that is rather tragic. That is something I am hoping that we could 
work together on, Democrats and Republicans, because civil rights, it 
appears, are being trampled once again. I don't know if there was a 
pause in the trampling, but, regardless, we need to be doing some 
serious oversight.
  Now, I have an article here from Yael Halon. It says, ``DeSantis 
bracing for `big fight' over Big Tech crackdown: `We're buckled up.' ''
  And that is another area where it is not the government that is 
abusing people's rights, but it is the high tech.
  I recently reread George Orwell's ``1984,'' and as I understand, I 
believe it was 1947 that he wrote it. He was dying, as I understand, of 
cancer. He had gone, I believe it was, to Scotland. He had been through 
some treatment that was pretty rough. So some think that may have 
helped him with imagination on how people could be tortured. But 

[[Page H462]]

  I mean, in the late 1940s there were very, very few televisions 
around. And I know where I grew up in east Texas, there were hardly any 
at all. Even up until 1953, there were very few.
  But here it is, right after World War II, and George Orwell is 
talking about this big brother. Of course, under the rules of the 
House, we are not supposed to talk about brothers, but this big sibling 
I believe is the word we are supposed to use. So big sibling watched 
and listened to everything everybody did, and they would use a 
telescreen. Which back then, you know, there were no flat screen TVs, 
but that is what is conjured up when you think about a telescreen.
  Televisions were rare, and this guy already is imagining that someday 
the government will be watching you through this big screen. And 
nowadays that is your phone, that is your computer. And I know I had 
heard from an intelligence friend, you know, that they could watch 
people through their camera on their computer; and so I started putting 
a little sticky note on my computer.
  One day, at the Judiciary Committee, the head of the FBI came in, and 
I noticed he had a little sticky note over the camera on his computer, 
and I thought, well, he knows what they can do, and if he is putting a 
sticky note over his camera, maybe he doesn't want to be watched by big 
sibling either.
  But, anyway, now the big tech industry can watch everything you do, 
everything you look up. They can listen to you. We had an IT helper 
come in. And I just don't like the idea that somebody, whether in high 
tech or government, could be watching or listening when there is no 
crime that is being committed. I asked the IT guy: ``Can you take Siri 
off of my stuff?''
  I just hate Siri. And Siri's voice came up and said: ``That is not 
  Whoa. I would just as soon not have Siri, Alexa, anybody watching and 
listening to everything that is going on. No crime is being committed.
  It is not a crime to go to the bathroom here, even though I am being 
fined $5,000 for it. Hopefully that will be corrected. But that is just 
a little unnerving. Yet George Orwell foresaw that this big sibling 
would be out there someday watching and listening.
  So I really appreciate my old friend, Congressman Ron DeSantis as 
Governor of Florida. This article says he ``took aim Tuesday at the 
country's largest technology companies, which he characterized as a 
group of `monopoly communications platforms' based on how they have 
grown to regulate public discourse . . . DeSantis announced a crackdown 
on tech companies over content moderation, which he equated to 
political manipulation, reiterating a belief held by many conservatives 
that Silicon Valley is biased against right-leaning viewpoints.''
  Parenthetically, here is an article in Time magazine by Molly Ball, 
``The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign that Saved the 2020 
Election.'' And, of course, she characterizes--well, I say she. I don't 
know. Molly may be a guy--but characterizes what went on as being 
justified, but try to save the election for then-Senator Biden. And it 
is quite interesting, but there is no question there was tremendous 
manipulation of information by the high-tech industry, even though that 
person, Molly, has a different perspective.
  The article by Yael Halon goes on to say: `` `We think this is 
something that Floridians want protection from, and I think it will end 
up being a really good first step,' DeSantis told `Tucker Carlson 
Tonight' on Tuesday.
  ``There has always been the question, `What do you do about this?' A 
lot of us have thought there was something wrong for a long time, but 
to sit back and hope it gets better, that clearly wasn't going to work. 
So we're leading and I think it will be good.
  ``In an effort to keep big tech out of Florida's political sphere, 
DeSantis proposed a number of measures, including a $100,000 daily 
fine''--not for going to the restroom right off the floor--``for 
companies that deplatform political candidates. Additionally, actions 
taken by companies to effectively promote a candidate will be 
considered campaign contributions.

  ``The Governor proposed measures to enhance user rights as well, 
including allowing individuals and the Florida attorney general to sue 
companies over violations of individual protections, as well as 
requiring companies to provide full disclosures of actions taken 
against individuals for violating policies.
  `` `It's not just being banned from Twitter. As we've seen, these 
companies can collude,' DeSantis told host Tucker Carlson. `They can 
deny you, if you're a small business . . . payment processing, the 
ability to use e-mail and text. So you go to a rally that they don't 
like or you engage in wrongthink, and all of a sudden, your flower 
business is decapitated for a month because they take action.
  ``The Republican acknowledged that the initiative will likely cause a 
`big fight in the legislative session.'
  `` `Hopefully, we can get a lot of support,' he said. `Most folks do 
want protections for their privacy and data. Most folks want 
protections from being de-platformed. I think it will be very 
positively received, but we're buckled up. We know there are always 
fights over these things, so stay tuned.' ''
  So we will see what happens. But in the meantime, I am sure some 
would want to blame it on conservatives or Republicans.
  There is a report out from Mar Chastain: ``2020 Homicide Rate So High 
There is `No Modern Precedent.''
  But if you look at what brought about the 2020 homicide rate so high 
there is no modern precedent, we are talking about the group that had 
been protesting, looting--even though the lamestream media calls it 
mostly peaceful--the killing, the brutalizing, the fires, the trying to 
burn and kill police in their own station, those things have gone on.
  And until the Capitol was invaded--which was totally wrong. It 
doesn't matter, Republican, Democrat, Socialist, whatever, it doesn't 
matter, it is wrong. And despite my quoting the Speaker, her comment 
about surprised there are not riots in the street across the country, I 
do not advocate for violence. Never have. Don't advocate for violence.
  As a historian--and I never quit studying history, reading, finding 
out more--it is very clear that some things do help trigger violence. 
Just as if you seal a heating pressure cooker, it is going to create a 
terrible reaction.
  And as I pointed out before, you know, we in this country created 
courts. And in some cases it is the legislative job to resolve disputes 
civilly, and that normally avoids violence. Now, sometimes we have 
violence erupt in courtrooms. That happens. But as I have told people 
in my courtroom, you know, the courts often are the last civil bastion 
where we work things out. No violence. We punish people for violence. 
But this is where we come to civilly resolve disputes. And when you 
have courts repeatedly refuse to even have a hearing, take evidence, 
and resolve disputes, it does create problems. And I don't want those 
problems. I don't want violence from anybody. The odds are you increase 
chances of not having violence when our institutions constitutionally 
created to resolve disputes civilly do that.

                              {time}  1845

  And I hope that is what we will do here and do a better job of it 
than has been done.
  But it used to be during the Revolution, one of the most common 
expressions often attributed to Voltaire--I have read some places that 
maybe somebody said it before Voltaire--but the line that Founders 
often said was: ``I disagree with what you said, but I will defend to 
the death your right to say it.''
  And now we come to a place in America where people feel like, well, I 
disagree with what you say, so I hate you. I hate your family. I am 
going to try to get you fired, and I hope we can get you put in jail. 
And I hope your children die and never get a job and can't take care of 
  I mean, it has gotten really viscous in some places in this country.
  And I was raised in a family where meals were pretty lively because 
everybody was fairly intelligent and we had some very heated 
discussions. But we still loved each other. And, I mean, there are 
people in this body that I really love, you know. I think they are 
wrong about really critical issues, but we could come in here and argue 
and debate and fuss. Since I have been here, maybe one time it was 
different. But

[[Page H463]]

when people in here say, we are going to fight this, they are not 
talking about violence. They are talking about debate.
  That is what I am talking about. But we need to get back to the 
institutions designed under Federal and State constitutions to resolve 
disputes civilly.
  One of the problems with this whole Russia hoax, the guy that was 
slam-dunk guilty of fraud upon the FISA court of lying under oath was 
just allowed to plead and get probation. And I said when the article 
came out--I think it was December of 2019 that Kleinsmith had changed 
the information to help them in what amounted to be illegally getting a 
warrant against somebody in the Trump campaign--I said, I hope they are 
not going to use him as a scapegoat when there are so many in the DOJ 
or FBI that lied under oath.
  They committed what certainly appeared to be crimes. I will say, 
Durham entirely dropped the ball. The information should have been out 
long ago so people would know what was true and not have to rely on big 
tech to lie to them or manipulate them. But he dropped the ball.
  And so it appears to many people that there is a double standard when 
it comes to justice.
  If you are a part of the DOJ, FBI, or intelligence and you favor 
Democrats, it appears you get a better deal, but we will see.
  This is Friday and, Mr. Speaker, I know it is Friday and I am told I 
am the last speaker of the day. You have been immensely gracious, and I 
hope you have a good weekend.
  I yield back the balance of my time.