Wiretapping Trump: Did Obama Lie and Spy?
There's a long way to go to get to the bottom of this one.
The state of politics in the Washington Swamp is in absolute disarray. The deceit, cover-ups, scandals and illegal activity amongst government officials both former and current really seem to be the norm these days. And while the Leftmedia scramble to find new stories to discredit President Donald Trump, the American public is becoming more disgusted by the actions of the people who are supposed to be serving us.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted out several statements accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump and his associates at some point during his presidential campaign. Of course, as we noted yesterday the Leftmedia were quick to jump all over Trump for presenting no evidence to support his wiretapping claim and for accusing a former president of doing something so egregious.
“Unsubstantiated,” “baseless” and “no evidence” are the Leftmedia buzzwords to try and convince the American public that the Obama administration did no wrong. Except he was citing that same Leftmedia. For instance, in January, The New York Times reported about an intelligence investigation into Trump. Was he wiretapped? We don’t know.
Interestingly, the media slap these labels upon Trump with regard to wiretapping, yet the same media across a multitude of networks have no qualms about telling everyone that the Russians hacked the 2016 election, helped Trump get elected and that Trump welcomed their support.
Conveniently, it seems that every time Trump does something positive — such as give an impressive speech or hold to one of his campaign promises — the Leftmedia attempt to halt his momentum by bringing up Russian involvement with the election.
It’s not only the media. Shortly after Trump’s wiretapping tweets, FBI director James Comey on Sunday requested that the Justice Department publicly rebuke Trump’s surveillance claims. It’s strange that the head of the FBI would make such an extraordinary request to discredit the president — unless the wiretapping did occur and there were many people within the Obama administration who knew about it.
Then again, with all Comey did to help Hillary Clinton, maybe it’s not so strange after all.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked during an interview about any wiretapping. Clapper stated, “To my knowledge” there was no wiretapping activity mounted against Trump or his campaign and that if the FBI had sought a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order to wiretap the Trump campaign he would have known about it.
Then again, Clapper also initially falsely claimed the NSA had no program conducting widespread surveillance of all Americans.
Obama denied through a spokesman any wiretapping against Trump. Nothing unusual with that, though — Obama always denied any allegations of unlawful actions during his presidency.
Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee, were also asked if they had any knowledge of wiretapping being conducted on Trump. Both were unaware, and Collins noted that the Intelligence Committee would be looking into the issue as part of the investigation into Russian influence on the election.
Given Obama’s involvement with other numerous scandals and cover-ups during his presidency — the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, to name a few — why should anyone, especially the media, immediately dismiss Trump’s claims against Obama? Even if he didn’t “order the code red,” as with the IRS targeting scandal, Obama’s minions knew the objective and didn’t need direct orders.
University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds also points out that Obama’s administration was involved with wiretapping journalists and spying on Congress. Given that information, along with Obama’s blatant disregard for the Rule of Law, it’s reasonable to surmise that he might not have taken “no” for an answer from the FISA court.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, explains:
First, as Obama officials well know, under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that “orders” surveillance. And by statute, it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court. So, the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff “ordered” surveillance of Trump and his associates. The issues are (a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and (b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so. Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about — an application to wiretap the presidential candidate of the opposition party, and some of his associates, during the heat of the presidential campaign, based on the allegation that the candidate and his associates were acting as Russian agents — it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House.
And as talk radio host Mark Levin, a constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese III in the Ronald Reagan administration, put it, “The issue isn’t whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign or transition of surrogates; the issue is the extent of it.”
At this point, the two congressional Intelligence Committees need to conduct a thorough investigation and the entire intelligence community needs to get work and get to the bottom of all of this. Doing anything else would be a disservice to America. The trouble with both courses of action is that partisanship will steer things awry. Are there enough honest people in the Swamp to sort this out? We hate to be pessimistic, but don’t count on it.