Wikileaks released an email dated 2016-04-27 between two Democratic National Committee staffers (email@example.com and BrinsterJ@dnc.org). In the email firstname.lastname@example.org wrote, “[T]he pro-Russia stuff ties in pretty well to the idea that Trump is too friendly with Putin/weak on Russia.”
We now learn that in June 2016 the Obama administration filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied. A subsequent request in October was approved by the FISA court.
Fox News “White House sources confirm: FISA court issued a warrant to wiretap Trump Towers, “Intelligence community did its due diligence given the threat of the Russian influence... they had to do it.” [Emphasis added]
Are the two connected? Was the DNC colluding with the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign?
Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollack in a column titled “Mark Levin to Congress: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump” reports:
Radio host Mark Levin used his Thursday evening show to outline the known steps taken by President Barack Obama’s administration in its last months to undermine Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and, later, his new administration.
Specifically Levin gives a ten item timeline about the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign. Here are the first four showing two involve using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), Department of Justice and FBI to spy on the Trump campaign:
- June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.
- July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.
- October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.
- October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.
Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.
The FBI agents who talked to the New York Times, and rubbished the ground-breaking stories of Slate ( Franklin Foer) and Mother Jones (David Corn) may not have known about the FISA warrant, sources say, because the counter-intelligence and criminal sides of the FBI often work independently of each other employing the principle of ‘compartmentalization’.
The FISA warrant was granted in connection with the investigation of suspected activity between the server and two banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank. However, it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any ‘US person’ connected to this investigation, and thus covers Donald Trump and at least three further men who have either formed part of his campaign or acted as his media surrogates. The warrant was sought, they say, because actionable intelligence on the matter provided by friendly foreign agencies could not properly be examined without a warrant by US intelligence as it involves ‘US Persons’ who come under the remit of the FBI and not the CIA.
Should a counter-intelligence investigation lead to criminal prosecutions, sources say, the Justice Department is concerned that the chain of evidence have a basis in a clear warrant. [Emphasis added]
This is the first time in history that a sitting president’s administration used government agencies to spy on an opposition candidate.
Senator Lindsey Graham at a town-hall meeting said, “If it is true, illegally, it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate.”
For lack of a better term we have called this “spying on an opposition candidate” Towergate.
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