Politics

Rand Paul lays groundwork for another filibuster on drones

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul signaled Tuesday that he may be gearing up for another filibuster of an administration appointee unless he gets more answers about the government’s use of drones.

Appearing on Fox News, the Republican lawmaker said he has placed a hold on the nomination of James Comey, President Obama’s nominee for FBI director.

“A hold is like the beginning of a filibuster,” Paul told anchor Eric Bolling. “Should they bring it to the floor, and I choose to speak like I did on the drone subject earlier, than as long as I can speak I can stop the debate.”

Earlier this year, Paul drew attention to the use of drones by filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA for 13 hours.

Paul said he has placed a hold on Comey because he has asked the FBI about 15 questions on their drone policy, but hasn’t heard back yet.

“I’m trying to get a real truth,” he said. “Is the FBI using the Bill of Rights? Are they seeking a warrant from a judge before they spy on us? That to me is an important truth, and the only way I can do it is by using my leverage as a senator.”

Added Paul: “I want to know when the FBI uses a drone to fly over my property  or someone’s house, are they getting a warrant first or are they just doing it willy-nilly because they can?”

The Republican lawmaker and potential 2016 presidential candidate said he’s not trying to “ultimately defeat” Comey, but will “slow [the nomination] down enough to see if the administration would respond to my questions.”

“The thing about a drone is it has an amazing ability to look everywhere from 50,000 feet,” Paul said, “so you don’t know you’re being spied upon. And I think that that kind of spying goes against the right to privacy that all Americans have.”

Follow Alex on Twitter