Grassley Office: Leahy Working Behind Closed Doors on Privacy Bill

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office leveled charges of working behind closed doors at Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and his office following allegations and denials that he is aiming to allow law enforcement’s push for warrantless surveillance.

Leahy’s office first used Twitter and his website to hit back against criticism following a Tuesday CNET report about the senator’s proposed amendment to a bill affecting two 1980s-era surveillance bills — the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act, and the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

Now Grassley, the committee ranking member, is charging that his office has been kept in the dark regarding the development of the bill.

Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that neither “Sen. Grassley nor his staff have seen the new legislation proposed by Sen. Leahy,” stating that the bill is being rewritten “behind closed doors.”

“But, judging by the concerns on both sides of the issue, it may be time to take a step back, hold additional hearings to address concerns, and discuss the issues being raised instead of rewriting the bill behind closed doors,” she added.

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