A former intelligence contractor is suing the federal government for violating civil liberties, and spying on innocent Americans—and the trove of classified information he took from the National Security Agency is reportedly much larger than what was obtained by Edward Snowden.
Dennis Montgomery told Circa News that he left with more than 600 million classified documents on 47 hard drives from the NSA, which is a far greater haul than the 1.7 million classified documents that were allegedly taken by Snowden.
While critics of Snowden argue that he should have raised his concerns internally through “official channels,” Montgomery claims he tried that approach. He said that even though he gave the FBI clear evidence that detailed the warrantless collection of phone records and personal data from millions of innocent Americans, the agency did nothing.
“This domestic surveillance was all being done on computers supplied by the FBI," Montgomery told Circa. "So these supercomputers, which are FBI computers, the CIA is using them to do domestic surveillance."
Montgomery filed the lawsuit on Monday, along with Larry Klayman, founder of the political advocacy groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. The list of defendants includes former FBI Director James Comey, NSA Director Michael Rogers, former CIA Director John Brennan, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and former President Barack Obama.
The lawsuit hones in on the claim that both Montgomery and Klayman have been “the targets of illegal spying and surveillance” that was conducted by the defendants.
Montgomery claimed he returned the hard drives to the FBI, and Circa News noted that in 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington “approved a grant of limited immunity for Montgomery so he could explain how he managed to walk out of his contract and the buildings he worked in with the classified material.”
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The lawsuit claims that Montgomery testified under oath at the FBI field office in D.C. During a three-hour interview, Montgomery said he detailed the illegal surveillance of millions of Americans, including Supreme Court justices, 156 judges, and prominent politicians and businessmen such as Donald Trump.
“On August 19, 2015, Plaintiff Montgomery was induced by Defendants Comey and the FBI and made to turn over 47 hard drives of evidence of the aforementioned illegal, unconstitutional activity, which hard drives alone are valued in excess of $50,000 dollars. Indeed, counsel for Montgomery, Plaintiff Klayman, was told and assured by the former General Counsel of the FBI, James Baker, that Defendant Comey was taking ‘hands on’ supervision and conducting the FBI’s Montgomery investigation, given its importance.”
"Can you imagine what someone can do with the information they were collecting on Americans?” Montgomery said, noting that the U.S. government has illegally obtained information from more than 20 million Americans. “Can you imagine that kind of power?"
Montgomery claims the FBI concluded the meeting by assuring him that James Comey, the agency’s director at the time, would conduct a thorough investigation. However, nothing was done as a result.
“The FBI, on Defendant Comey’s orders, buried the FBI’s investigation because the FBI itself is involved in an ongoing conspiracy to not only conduct the aforementioned illegal, unconstitutional surveillance, but to cover it up as well,” the lawsuit states."
As The Free Thought Project reported, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York first ruled that the NSA’s bulk data collection was illegal in May 2015. In its decision, the three-judge panel called the government’s rationale “unprecedented and unwarranted,” and claimed the program “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized.”
Montgomery’s access to more than 600 million classified documents could lead to a historic case, if he is given his day in court. One of the most intriguing parts of this case, as reported by Circa News, is that it was assigned to the same federal judge who has ruled that the NSA’s collection of innocent Americans’ data was unconstitutional.