Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s language from a bill she introduced in April was recently included in the 2019 Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA.) Her bill, the Counterintelligence Accountability Act, would require the FBI to notify the House and Senate Intelligence Committee quarterly when the Bureau opens a counterintelligence investigation into a candidate for Federal office, campaign for a candidate for Federal office, or an individual knowingly associated with a campaign for a candidate for Federal office. The 2019 IAA states that the FBI must notify congressional intelligence committees “not less frequently than once each quarter” when they are engaged in counterintelligence activities in the United States.
“The Intelligence Authorization Act is a critical piece of legislation to ensure our Intelligence Community is fully prepared to protect our nation,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I’m pleased that language from my bill to ensure Congress is notified of any counterintelligence investigations into federal candidates was included in the IAA. The FBI should not be able to circumvent Congress and unilaterally conduct investigations without any congressional oversight due to a loophole in the law, and I’m proud to continue leading the effort for transparency at all levels of the government.”
The Counterintelligence Accountability Act was in response to Congresswoman Stefanik’s questioning of then-FBI Director James Comey at a HPSCI hearing in 2017, where he revealed that he did not follow the proper protocol of notifying Congress about opening a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016. That questioning can be found here.
The Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) ensures the Intelligence Community has the necessary resources, funding, and authorities to protect and defend the United States. The bill supports critical national security programs, particularly those focused on countering terrorism and cyberattacks.