Yes, James Clapper should be charged with perjury over his involvement in the NSA scandal. Clapper lied under federal oath, and this is the very definition of perjury. The idea that he should be able to get away with such behavior because of his political connections is asinine. Charge this man.
James Clapper should be convicted for perjury because he knew that he was lying on stand and that he was under oath and that he swore to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I think that you should honor your word and make sure that you are doing what you swore to do.
Wyden sat on the Intelligence Committee at the time. That means he already KNEW about PRISM beforehand. Both Wyden and Clapper were under oath at the time. In posing the question, Wyden knew that Clapper had only two options. 1) Lie about the collection or 2) decline to reply except in closed session—which would have exposed the fact that NSA collected American data anyway. Interestingly, Senator Feinstein opened the hearing by reminding members not to ask questions with classified answers. Obviously Wyden did not take this seriously. So Wyden didn’t learn anything, the public didn’t learn anything and Clapper’s credibility was trashed for no good reason. If the committees really want to rein in programs like PRISM all they have to do is restrict funding—not engage in self-serving publicity stunts at the expense of people like Clapper. If Wyden really wanted to rein in PRISM, he could have legislated (like he was supposed to). Instead he forced Clapper to take all of the risks. Clapper did not mislead Congress, because Congress already KNEW about the program. Even Glenn Greenwald acknowledges that Wyden knew the answer beforehand. Congress was aware of the program and reauthorized it several times. Every member of Congress at that hearing already knew about the program.
Under the law, it does look like Clapper is guilty of perjury. But you have to actually look at what the law says. The relevant section of the law specifically requires that the false testimony be “concerning a material matter.” The test used by Federal courts for “materiality” is whether the false assertion “has a natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing the decision-making body to which it [is] addressed.” (8 U.S.C. § 1451) All the members on that panel of the Senate Intelligence Committee knew what the NSA metadata program did, so Clapper’s testimony had no chance of influencing the decision-making body as they had already been briefed on the program multiple times.