U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes Against President Trump’s Nominee for Director of National Intelligence

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today released the following statement on her vote against confirming President Trump’s nomination of former Senator Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence:

“I believe we need to strengthen our counterterrorism efforts and protect the privacy and freedoms of law abiding Americans. We can and must do both. I don’t have confidence that President Trump and his Administration shares this belief so I have joined both Democratic and Republican colleagues in voting against the confirmation of former Senator Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence. 

“I voted against the PATRIOT Act more than a decade ago because I believed it would open the door to government overreach. Since then, we have seen that secret, domestic surveillance programs have crossed the line and infringed on people’s privacy. I have stood up to both Republican and Democratic administrations whenever I have believed that this line was being crossed, and I will continue to do that with President Trump.

“I have deep respect for Dan Coats’ commitment to public service, but I also have serious concerns that he and President Trump have not made a commitment to deliver to the Senate vital oversight information on whether the government is inappropriately using far-reaching foreign surveillance activities for broad collection of Americans’ communications through backdoor searches. My vote today is a vote to protect the civil liberties guaranteed by our Constitution that I fear will be threatened by the Trump Administration.”