FBI Director Wray to call for renewal of key surveillance tool

FBI Director Christopher Wray is expected to urge Congress on Tuesday to renew a surveillance law that provides most of the intelligence that lands on the president’s desk each day. Wray will make his plea in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Many Republicans have opposed a renewal of the law — Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expires Dec. 31 — as part of a crusade against the FBI and Justice Department, which they allege has been weaponized against conservatives.

Wray is expected to point to threats from Iran and China to argue that surveillance powers under the law serve a crucial role to U.S. national security interests.

“When it comes to foreign adversaries like Iran, whose actions across a whole host of threats have grown more brazen — seeking to assassinate high-level officials, kidnap dissidents, and conduct cyber attacks here in the United States — or the People’s Republic of China, which poses a generational threat to our economic and national security, stripping the FBI of its 702 authorities would be a form of unilateral disarmament,” an excerpt of Wray’s prepared remarks read.

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