Statement of David S. Kris
Associate Deputy Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism, and Property Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee Concerning Counter-Terrorism Legislative Proposals and the Constitution October 3, 2001
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Administration's proposed legislative response to the acts of terrorism inflicted on our country on September 11.
My name is David Kris. I am an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. My portfolio includes national security policy and FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I have been invited to provide information and answer questions about how the FISA process works and how that process can be improved consistent with the Constitution. The additional tools sought by the Administration seek to remove impediments to the vitally important coordination between the intelligence and law enforcement elements of the government. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss and answer questions in this area.
The Department has prepared and sent to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee - Senators Leahy and Hatch - a detailed letter from Assistant Attorney General Dan Bryant explaining why our proposed change to FISA's "purpose" requirement is constitutional. I understand that you have copies of that letter. With respect to the finer points of the Constitutional analysis that underlies the Administration's proposal, I will defer to the letter.
I must also note that, given the classified nature of FISA proceedings, I may not be able to answer certain of your questions in this open hearing. I apologize in advance for that and I will do my best to provide full and complete unclassified responses. However, I am also happy to brief you and other members of the Committee in a closed setting if there are matters that cannot be discussed here this morning. I appreciate your understanding of these constraints.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to provide your Committee with the information it seeks on this important matter involving our country's fight against terrorism. Thank you.