Reps. Eshoo, Rush, House Colleagues Demand FBI and CBP Answer Questions About Surveillance of Protests

July 17, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), and 21 of their House colleagues sent letters to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) demanding answers to several questions about surveillance of protesters.

On June 9th Reps. Eshoo and Rush led letters to the FBI, CBP, the National Guard Bureau, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) demanding that the agencies immediately stop surveillance of peaceful protesters around the country. After receiving responses from the FBI and CBP that raised more questions, 23 Representatives sent follow up letters with a long list of questions for the agencies.

“While we appreciate your response, the lack of any information in your letter is worrying. For that reason, we write this letter including specific questions about the recent actions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” said the lawmakers to the FBI. The lawmakers similarly told CBP, “your letter raises several questions which are listed in this letter.”

“As we stated in our letter, the First and Fourth Amendments protect protesters from government surveillance. The reason our Constitution has such critical protections is that government surveillance has a chilling effect on peaceful protests, and Americans should not have to take proactive measures to protect themselves from government surveillance before engaging in peaceful demonstration,” the lawmakers stated in both letters.

 

Text of the letters to CBP and FBI.