Every week on Monday, the WoW! staff, community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Was There Illegal Surveillance Of Trump’s Team? If So, Should There Be Criminal Prosecution?
Before definitively answering, let’s examine some unquestionable facts. Barack Obama is the product of the Chicago political machine. He thinks like a sociopathic, narcissistic thug. Whatever he desires must be his, and ethics, law, morality, decency or consideration of damage to others does not enter into it. He spent eight years weaponizing the entire federal bureaucracy, from the Department of Justice to the FBI, IRS, EPA, every agency and department of the federal government, including every facet of the intelligence “community.” His radical leftist agents are everywhere, and they are more than willing to do his bidding; that’s why they’re there.
Embarrassing evidence of criminal acts under court order for preservation at the IRS? Ooops! Sorry your honor, it somehow got erased! It’s nobody’s fault, really… Americans murdered by terrorists due to gross Obamite incompetence? Lie about it, and lie about lying about it. Constitution get in the way of progressive whims? I’ve got a pen and a phone!
We now know Obamite agents, those out of government and those still embedded in the government, are covertly and overtly doing all they can, with the help of a corrupt and amoral media, to destroy Donald Trump and his administration, and any collateral damage, like national security, the Constitution, and American’s trust in government, is of no concern to them. They believe they’re immune from consequences, and they’ll always come out on top.
And we also know, at the least, some of Trump’s transition team were “inadvertently” caught up in surveillance of foreign agents, diplomats, etc. We also know the names of such people were released to the media by Obamite agents, including potentially high-ranking intelligence officials. We know such actions are, in fact, illegal. We also know, if we’re honest, it’s highly likely Donald Trump was right. He was being “wiretapped.”
But he wasn’t actually “wiretapped.” Probably not, but he wasn’t suggesting someone actually attached wires to telephone pairs to overhear his conversations. That’s old technology, but Trump is of an age where “wiretapping” is a generic term for all manner of electronic surveillance. In the same way, when I speak of replaying a chapter of a DVD, I invariably say “rewind,” because I’m so used to thinking of VHS technology, though I haven’t owned a VHS tape for years.
We’re not absolutely sure, as in having crystal clear video and sworn documentary evidence, that Mr. Trump was the direct subject of surveillance, or that Mr. Obama ordered it. What we can be reasonably sure of is the same Obamite agents that violated federal law to unmask innocent citizens associated with Donald Trump, would absolutely tell Mr. Obama what they found and what they were doing. Oh, they may not tell him directly, face to face, but they would tell his acolytes, who would tell him. Plausible deniability, you know.
We can also be reasonably sure that Mr. Obama did not directly tell anyone to “wiretap” Mr. Trump or anyone else. It would have been entirely unnecessary. At best, he might have said something like “will no one rid me of this troublesome Trump?” One doesn’t weaponize the entire federal bureaucracy without expecting such criminal minds to engage unbidden in whatever dirty deeds are necessary for the furtherance of the holy progressive cause. That’s why they’re there. Even if such surveillance were incidental, no one had to tell Obamite operatives to use that information to the detriment of Donald Trump.
Would Barack Obama and his minions want to have had intimate knowledge of everything Trump was up to? Would they have violated the law to gain that information? Would they have given a damn about violating the law? Does any rational person really need answers to those questions?
Something else to consider is the silence of Barack Obama and most of his toadies regarding this situation, as well as a warning from one of his former lackeys to be careful about saying no wiretapping of Trump was done. Has Obama ever been silent about such things? Has he ever hesitated to lecture, accuse, berate and lie about anything? Is it possible he might be lying low, hoping his agents remaining in government can still destroy evidence and still protect him? Or is he merely scheming, waiting for that evidence to be destroyed, only then to resurface and taunt the American people to prove him a criminal?
And what of the FBI, which is, at last report, refusing to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee? Can the FBI be trusted anymore, or has it been coopted by Obamites?
Should violations of federal law be discovered and provable, everyone involved must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Absent that, we will have devolved to a banana republic, where some people are immune from prosecution, and able to violate the law at will. We may not be far from that already.
Don Surber: It was legal. It was wrong.
JoshuaPundit: This involved something Barack Obama’s presidency was noted for…weaponizing government agencies like the EPA,DOJ and IRS among others and using them against his ‘political enemies.’
If this wasn’t illegal surveillance, then neither was Watergate. It also involved a government using surveillance against political opposition in an election year. One big difference – Nixon was unaware of the Watergate mess until after it happened, while Barack Obama almost certainly was. That’s why just before the end of his presidency, Obama issued an executive order allowing massive, open distribution of the transcripts of the surveillance on the Trump transition team and on the president elect himself.
Moreover, such transcripts are supposed to be redacted by law. These weren’t, and in fact were passed on to a helpful media.
As I mentioned here, the BBC documented and reported on how the Obama Administration gamed FISA requirements to get a warrant after two failed attempts. They accomplished this illegal act by placing the entire case as a FISA case (probably under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from the third request for a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the court unwittingly granted.
It’s a major felony under section 1809 of the FISA laws for anyone to either perform electronic surveillance under “color of law” under FISA or to disclose or use the information gathered from it. If these transcripts were leaked to the helpful press as they obviously were, that’s another serous felony.
Misusing the FISA system when foreign intelligence is NOT involved is another felony. So is perjury or conspiracy to commit perjury when it comes to say, testimony in congress used to falsely accuse Attorney general Jeff Sessions.
Now since we’ve answered the illegality question, should it be prosecuted? Of course it should, but there are obstacles.
President Trump will have to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special prosecutor. On of Bill Clinton’s last gifts to the country was to abolish the formerly independent Special Prosecutor’s office and make it part of the Department of Justice under the U.S. Attorney General’s total control.
Assuming the special prosecutor finds a few John Dean style rats willing to avoid prison by testifying (Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, John Brennan and a number of ‘journalists’ would be good places to start) the political feedback has to be calculated. And that could be troublesome.
If the trial of evidence leads back to Barack Obama, there could be other matters that come out regarding IRSGate, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the president using Mrs. Clinton’s illegal server with a pseudonym and a number of other matters. What then?
Since Barack Obama is no longer president, he no longer has any legal immunity and the question of getting votes to impeach him is moot. But he was the historic first black president. So President Trump would face an unusual dilemma. He can pardon the former president. That would lead to widespread disgust from his supporters that could very well doom his re-election as it did Gerald Ford’s, and lead to a national cynicism about the rule of law at a time when it’s already rampant.
Or he could choose to try Obama and convict him. No matter the evidence, that choice would have the media in hysterics, calls for open rebellion and riots umm, urban unrest in many of America’s cities. There’s also the question of what you do with a former president convicted of numerous felonies. He obviously can’t be housed in a normal prison. As president, he was simply privy to far too much sensitive information. What if he was kidnapped by a foreign power? The only solution would be a private security compound. And what would he do once his sentence was served? Barack Hussein Obama was not referred to in some quarters as the first post-American president for nothing.
Imagine his attitude after spending a few years in prison.
The third choice would be to simply expose these matters, prosecute and imprison the aiders and abettors (including those ‘journalists’ ) and let the American people know the truth about what happened. That’s the choice I’d expect President Trump to make.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : There is enough smoke to believe there was illegal surveillance of Trump’s team at Trump Tower. Congress should pursue exposing who was involved in this surveillance; who authorized it and who carried out those orders. Those individuals should be prosecuted and if found guilty should be sentenced to the maximum extent the law allows. Those working in our intelligence community should be held to the highest standards their positions demand. We seem to have too many political ideologues working in what are supposed to be apolitical positions.
Before President Obama left office one of his final executive actions introduced new rules that allow the NSA to share private data gathered without a warrant, court order, or congressional authorization with sixteen agencies within the intelligence community; including DHS, FBI, and DEA. This rule permits employees in these intelligence agencies to sift through raw data collected by the NSA. Prior to this the NSA would share information but only after filtering out irrelevant material and masking the names of innocent American citizens. How many innocent Americans are having their private and personal communications shared among employees in these intelligence agencies?
With these new rules President Obama lit a fuse before he left the White House. Our legislators must act in a non-political bipartisan manner to assure this private information remains private and is never publicly shared. Our intelligence community must understand the gravity of their positions and if they fail to honor their oaths of office they will be dealt with harshly and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.
Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.