By Doug Hagmann
There is a large storm brewing over Washington, DC right now – a storm that could dwarf anything ever seen in recent times. It is growing stronger by the hour as new information is being disclosed that strongly suggests that it is possible, even likely, that Obama and his Department of Justice maliciously and criminally misused the FISA process to collect intelligence on Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Additionally, Obama personally relaxed the limitations on how such information collected could be disseminated in the weeks before leaving office.
The political ramifications from this, if proved correct, could be unprecedented in scope. Once fully exposed, it would explain the curious actions of Obama as he prepared to vacate the White House. It would also explain, in context, the actions and statements of not only Barack Hussein Obama, but others in key positions of power including Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, John Brennan, and others within the media.
NSA to shut down bulk phone surveillance program by Sunday
At issue is Obama’s insistence to secure a federal wiretap warrant of Donald J. Trump, the candidate, using the federal court system as the mechanism to do so. The ostensible probable cause was alleged ties between Donald J. Trump and/or his associates with Russia.
The first warrant application was made in June 2016, according to reports published by The New York Times and elsewhere, but was rejected due to the lack of probable cause of criminal activity.
When the request was denied in regular federal court, Obama and his Justice Department attempted an “end around” by citing the existence of a “foreign actor” and made a similar surveillance warrant application through the more specialized Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in October of 2016. According to published reports, that warrant application was rejected as well, a rare occurrence in the FISA venue, which strengthens claims that no evidence of any foreign involvement ever existed. It has been reported that the initial warrant application to the FISA court specifically named Donald J. Trump.
It is also relevant to note here that this is the type of activity that led to the creation of the infamous “Wall” that was referenced after the 9/11 attacks. Its relevance to this specific instance is explained well by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy in this January 11, 2017 column.
Apparently undeterred, the Obama Justice Department submitted yet another application to the FISA court, this time omitting the name of Donald J. Trump and submitting it as a FISA specific case. The FISA court reportedly approved the application under the new and more narrow scope. Specifically, ties to two Russian banks: Russia’s SV bank and Alfa Bank. The alleged target was a computer server reportedly situated inside the Trump Tower.
Based on the lack of action consequential to that warrant and wiretap, it has been stated (and can be reasonably determined) that no actionable evidence was found.
Shortly before leaving office, Obama expanded the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) as detailed in the unclassified document titled Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the National Security Agency (NSA). As detailed in that document, limitations were changed on what the NSA could do with the information they collected through their surveillance operations. These changes effectively relaxed the restrictions on the dissemination of information collected on private citizens by broadening the access to such information.
It is also notable that on January 3, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed off on rule changes for phone taps.
It appears that President Trump has been provided the evidence of a paper trail leading to a FISA court that substantiates his assertions that Barack Hussein Obama, working in concert with others including those wielding the full might and power of various federal agencies, improperly obtained authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign under the pretense of a national security investigation, and continued such monitoring beyond its tenuous scope even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found.
This is as serious as it gets.