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Trump is Right: Obama Monitored the Communications of Political Opponents

Our friend Fred Fleitz, who held national-security jobs for 25 years with the CIA, DIA, Department of State, and House Intelligence Committee staff, reminded us recently that Obama and his thugs have a proven record of using the U.S. intelligence apparatus to monitor political opponents. 

Back in December of 2015 Fleitz published an article in National Review explaining how Obama’s National Security Agency provided the White House with intercepted Israeli communications containing details of private Obamadiscussions between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. lawmakers and American Jewish groups on the Iran nuclear deal. 

A bombshell Wall Street Journal article by Adam Entous and Danny Yadron outed the Obama effort. Fleitz termed it a “stunning” revelation to learn that NSA sent the White House intelligence on private discussions with U.S. congressmen on a major policy dispute between the White House and Congress. 

Mr. Fleitz says this suggests major misconduct by the NSA and the White House of a sort not seen since Watergate.  

First, said Fleitz intercepts of congressmen’s communications regarding a dispute between Congress and the White House should have been destroyed and never left the NSA building. The Journal article said a 2011 NSA directive requires direct communications between foreign intelligence targets and members of Congress to be destroyed, but gives the NSA director the authority to waive this requirement if he determines the communications contain “significant foreign intelligence.” 

Netanyahu’s discussions with members of Congress on a policy dispute between Congress and the president do not qualify as foreign intelligence. Destroying this kind of information should not have been a close call for NSA. Congress should immediately ask NSA director Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to verify the Journal story and explain why intercepts of private discussions of members of Congress were provided to the White House. If this did happen, both officials should resign. 

Second, noted Fleitz the White House bears significant responsibility for this scandal. By encouraging and accepting this intelligence, the White House used the NSA as an illegitimate means to undermine its legislative opponents. This represented a major abuse of presidential power, since it employed the enormous capabilities of an American intelligence service against the U.S. Congress. It also probably violates the U.S. Constitution’s separation-of-powers principles and the Fourth Amendment, since surveillance may have been conducted against U.S. citizens without a warrant. 

The claim that Obama officials did not directly instruct the NSA to collect this information but simply accepted what the NSA sent them is preposterous concluded Fleitz.  

If the Wall Street Journal article is accurate (and no one has ever disproved it) Obama officials knew they were receiving intelligence on the private conversations of U.S. congressmen on a major policy dispute. These officials knew they were not supposed to have this intelligence but did not cut it off, because they wanted to use it to defeat efforts by Netanyahu and Congress to derail the Iran nuclear deal.  

Now, here’s where it gets interesting and Fred Fleitz’s 2015 article applies to the Obama monitoring of President Trump’s campaign and transition officials. 

Having been caught in what was a major breach of the laws governing collection of intelligence on what are referred to as “US persons” Obama didn’t cease and desist; he refined his techniques and deployed them against the Trump campaign and transition

It is now known that in the course of routine monitoring of the Russian ambassador’s communications, conversations between private citizens associated with the Trump campaign and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were intercepted. 

It must be stressed that a private citizen speaking to the Russian Ambassador is not a crime. Likewise, criticizing the policies of the Obama administration to the Russian Ambassador is not a crime; it is a right protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. 

Indications are beginning to trickle out that having obtained the information that perfectly legal contacts between private citizens and the Russians were underway, rather than destroying them as should have been done under the law, Obama began a formal investigation of the Trump campaign and transition – and changed the rules governing dissemination of the material to make sure it would be leaked to the media. 

In its final days, the Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying “minimization” privacy protections. 

As our friends Diana West and Andrew C. McCarthy have observed, reporting indicates that, prior to June 2016, the Obama Justice Department and FBI considered a criminal investigation of Trump associates, and perhaps Trump himself, based on concerns about connections to Russian financial institutions.

Preliminary poking around indicated that there was nothing criminal involved. Rather than shut the case down, though, the Obama Justice Department converted it into a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA allows the government, if it gets court permission, to conduct electronic surveillance (which could include wiretapping, monitoring of e-mail, and the like) against those it alleges are “agents of a foreign power.” FISA applications and the evidence garnered from them are classified – i.e., we would not know about any of this unless someone had leaked classified information to the media, a felony. 

As Andy McCarthy documented in his recent article:

In June, the Obama Justice Department submitted an application that apparently “named” Trump in addition to some of his associates. As I have stressed, it is unclear whether “named” in this context indicates that Trump himself was cited as a person the Justice Department was alleging was a Russian agent whom it wanted to surveil. It could instead mean that Trump’s name was merely mentioned in an application that sought to conduct surveillance on other alleged Russian agents. President Trump’s tweets on Saturday claimed that “President Obama . . . tapp[ed] my phones[,]” which makes it more likely that Trump was targeted for surveillance, rather than merely mentioned in the application. 

In any event, the FISA court reportedly turned down the Obama Justice Department’s request, which is notable: The FISA court is notoriously solicitous of government requests to conduct national-security surveillance (although, as I’ve noted over the years, the claim by many that it is a rubber-stamp is overblown). 

Not taking no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department evidently returned to the FISA court in October 2016, the critical final weeks of the presidential campaign. This time, the Justice Department submitted a narrowly tailored application that did not mention Trump. The court apparently granted it, authorizing surveillance of some Trump associates. It is unknown whether that surveillance is still underway, but the New York Times has identified – again, based on illegal leaks of classified information – at least three of its targets: Paul Manafort (the former Trump campaign chairman who was ousted in August), and two others whose connection to the Trump campaign was loose at best, Manafort’s former political-consulting business partner Roger Stone, and investor Carter Page.  

McCarthy observes the Times report (from mid-January) includes a lot of heavy breathing about potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia; but it ultimately concedes that the government’s FISA investigation may have nothing to do with Trump, the campaign, or alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election by hacking e-mail accounts

Back in 2007, when I served as Director of Communications for Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13) Mac was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was intimately involved in the debate over Democratic efforts to revise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  

Democrats were in the majority in the House and Senate and one of Rep. Thornberry’s chief concerns was the politicization of intelligence gathering. Among the proposals Democrats advanced was one that would have required the intelligence community to create a list of Americans whose communications have been intercepted in a terrorist investigation.  

Fearing such a list could be used to smear opponents Mr. Thornberry vigorously opposed the measure saying, “The implications for anyone whose name innocently ends up on such a list are obvious.” 

Democrats, and Barack Obama in particular, have a long record of trying to use the government’s intelligence gathering capabilities against political opponents. Evidence of their anti-constitutional targeting of President Trump’s campaign and transition officials, and their efforts to use the information to smear President Trump and other innocent Americans is slowly trickling out. It is time a full-fledged investigation of exactly what happened and who ordered it is conducted and concerns about where it leads be damned.

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Obama Wiretaps

It is difficult to comport with the idea that the former president would have resorted to behavior like this. But, when you consider all of his other infractions, it is highly plausible! In observation, it became obvious that he had no regard for the laws already on the books when he refused to enforce immigration laws! He chose to enforce the laws he agreed with and ignored the ones he didn't. For a sitting president to have expressed this type of arrogance, is unprecedented and, in my humble opinion, one of the reasons for the out-of-control crime now sweeping our Country. He set the tone for organizations like Black Lives Matter, attacks on our police officers and riots taking place in large inner-city areas, to flourish. His lack of respect for our laws, was responsible for all of these things to be acted out in kind on the streets of America and "O" must bear the burden of blame. What is most troubling to me is that he doesn't seem to care one whit about leaving our Country in shambles!

Obama Monitoring

“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” according to a carefully-worded statement. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Total Misdirection: When a warrant is obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), “it is technically the FISA court that ‘orders’ surveillance.”

FISA warrants

Yes we want our FISA warrants issued where evidence presented to the courts return reasonable suspicion that Foreign Intelligence has information that we are at risk of being or are being gleaned of important and secret material! What the people won't put up with is a rogue president supplying false material to capture a warrant to glean information from a candidate or his associates to gather and distribute his information to an opposing parties cadidates! This is false information submitted to gather information for political purposes by the FISA courts! Yes they will gather information at the request of the President, information he gives them (which they must believe, he is the president) if that information for the warrant is false, contrived by means not legal, presented as truth, and false evidence, then a crime has been committed!! It sure appears to me that a crime was committed, and perpetuated by the MSM long after proof was in that there was no connection between Trump and the Russians politically, or any other association!! This is use of the FISA courts illegally to obtain and glean political information for dissemination to another parties candidate! This man, BO, must show cause why he shouldn't be charged with this crime! Trump has been damaged, Flynn, Sessions, and others have been damaged, and the DNC has been damaged, for severe political malfeasance! FISA has been damaged, FBI, CIA, DSI,and the MSM has been lied to, they printed the lies, talked about them long after agencies cleared Trump and his organization! Heads should roll! Whether they will or not, another question, BO has minions in all bureaus', agencies, courts, and the MSM that cover for him, covertly, it is like a shadow gov't! An illegal shadow gov't, is their any other kind?????

Stop being afraid

We need to stop being of afraid of what might happen if we do the right thing.
When you do what's RIGHT the consequences are in God's hands.
We have plenty of evidence that the Obama administration was corrupt and treasonous in many instances and occasions. Does it shock anyone to know he had Trump's campaign wiretapped? Considering the last 8 years that is probably the least of illegal things Obama did.
Right now we have the administration, the constitution, the police, the military and a legal and rightful president who is on the side of the American people...and the backbone of the middle class is on Trump's side.
I say 1. Make sure every traitor is thrown out of the Trump administration
and THEN 2. Start arresting the left for whatever illegal activities we have proof of.
Stop putting it off as if this is going to magically get better on it's own because it's not. Every generation has a challenge and this one is ours.
We need to understand this is NOT simply an attack on Trump. This is an attack on EVERY conservative and this is an attack on a 2 party system itself.
Anybody awake in Washington? We've woken up out here in the heartland!!

obama

There is absoulty NOTHING I would put past the Clinton/obama crew. They know no shame. I wish, as it says in the bible, that their faces be smeared with ofal and paraded around town as Queen Esters uncle was by the evil Haman. No one can dispute these signs of the times. Eternity is upon us and everyone must choose for themselves where to go. All of the Soros crowd has already chosen. Hopefully some will come to their senses after the coming rapture. Some will never change and they will have hell to pay, I'm afraid.

wire taps

Obama absolutely wiretaps his opponents phones---this guy is the most criminal President this country has ever had---and the bad thing is we have a GOP leadership that will not do anything about it or hold Obama accountable--they are scared---hey Rinos the 2018 election is coming up keep up your obstruction with your buddies the democrats and watch what happens to you the next election