The Obama administration briefed lawmakers about its PRISM surveillance program 22 times between October 2011 and December 2012, according to a senior administration official who asked not to be identified.
As the administration faces criticism about its secretive approach to national security --and officials prepare to brief the full House Tuesday evening -- White House press secretary Jay Carney emphasized Monday that these programs have been subject to ongoing congressional and judicial oversight.
Carney told reporters at his daily briefing that "there has been substantial provision of information to Congress, both -- depending on the section we're talking about of the Patriot Act -- either to all members or to the appropriate committee members and leadership. It is also important to step back and recognize that when we talk about section this and section that, we're talking about sections of a public statute that was debated, passed, renewed, debated again, passed, altered, passed, with bipartisan majority."
On Tuesday at 5 p.m. four senior administration officials -- deputy attorney general James Cole, deputy FBI director Sean Joyce, National Security Agency deputy director Chris Inglis and the director of National Intelligence's general counsel Robert Litt -- will address House members about both PRISM and Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which gives the government access to Americans' business cellphone records.
On Saturday the White House revealed it had briefed lawmakers 13 times between 2009 and 2011 on Section 215. In each case, the administration official providing the information asked not to be identified because of the classified nature of some of the information.
While the White House has not disclosed the content of the briefings, the full list of them is below in chronological order. And since the last briefing was to a single senator in December 2012, they will have plenty to talk about on Tuesday.
10/19/11: Meeting with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Staff
1/10/12: House Judiciary Committee staff briefings (majority and minority separately briefed)
1/11/12: Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefings (majority and minority separately briefed)
3/5/12: Meeting with aides to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
3/8/12: Meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) staff
3/15/12: Law Briefing for Senate Judiciary Committee staff
3/15/12: Briefing for Senate leadership staff
3/21/12: Meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staff
3/23/12: Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing at the National Security Agency
3/27/12: Meeting with Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.)
3/28/12: Meeting with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
3/29/12: Meeting with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
3/29/12: Meeting with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
4/10/12: Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing (in Virginia)
4/20/12: Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing at FBI
5/4/12: Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing
5/31/12: House Judiciary Committee FAA hearing (unclassified)
6/7/12: House Judiciary Committee member briefing (classified)
6/11/12: Meeting with staff to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
6/21/12: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing (classified)
7/18/12: Meeting with Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
12/10/12: Meeting with Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
Correction: Based on information provided by a senior administration official, an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the administration briefed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about the PRISM program. The briefing was with her aides. The story has been corrected.