As Oregon's senior U.S. senator and a leader within Washington on national security, Sen. Ron Wyden will play a key role in resisting the policies of President-elect Donald Trump. WW asked him to discuss ways he and outgoing President Barack Obama could stonewall Trump's abuses of power. Here are a few answers Wyden gave.
Before President Obama leaves office, Wyden wants him to declassify the full torture report prepared after 9/11 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "We have a president-elect, an attorney general nominee, and CIA director nominee who all seem to be pro-torture and a national security adviser who is open to it. I continue to believe that torture is contrary to American values, it's contrary to the law, and it doesn't work. You shouldn't sit idly by and let a new administration turn back the clock."
A key battleground: cellphone encryption. Wyden "would filibuster any effort" to compel tech companies to provide intelligence or law enforcement agencies a way around encryption. Law enforcement initially had difficulty unlocking the cellphone of the San Bernardino mass shooter, causing a round of controversy over encryption.
Wyden is now trying to block legislation that would allow the FBI to gain access to computer browsing history. "I've been able to hold it off thus far."
Wyden plans to use his post on the intelligence committee as a bully pulpit. "I have fought against these abuses under both Democratic and Republican administrations. What we're doing now is delivering a wake-up call for the potential abuse of executive power."
One thing he isn't ready to do: urge his colleagues to seek impeachment on day one. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," he replied to WW's question. "We're talking about the proposals from the campaign."