ATTORNEY: SPY CHIEF HAD ‘FORGOTTEN’ ABOUT NSA PROGRAM WHEN HE MISLED CONGRESS


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He just forgot

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By Julian Hattem05/08/15 05:30 PM EDT

Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper wasn’t lying when he wrongly told Congress in 2013 that the government does not “wittingly” collect information about millions of Americans, according to his top lawyer.

He just forgot.

“This was not an untruth or a falsehood. This was just a mistake on his part,” Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Advisory Committee on Transparency on Friday.

“We all make mistakes.”

The comments add to the years of criticism that Clapper has received for his testimony in the 2013 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

In the public session, longtime surveillance critic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) had asked Clapper whether or not the NSA collected “any type of data at all on millions of Americans.”

“No sir,”…

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