Did Obama use British Intelligence to spy on Trump?

Daily WireWhile the American Intelligence Community (IC) plays "not us" when it comes to claims that the Obama Administration spied on President Trump (when he was both a candidate and President-elect), Fox News has learned that in order to avoid a paper trail, fingerprints, and pesky little details like the Bill of Rights, President Obama circumvented all of that by requesting the British spy on Trump.

This is an interesting claim. However, I think it's also something of a distraction. While this basic structure is in place -- the various intelligence agencies have long cooperated with each other to avoid the legal restrictions on spying on their own citizens pretty much exactly as described -- there are aspects about the previous reporting on the Trump wiretapping story that don't add up. For example, there have been multiple sources reporting on applications to the FISA court and to other more normal courts for surveillance involving Trump. Doing an end-run around us law by going to the British wouldn't need such warrants, so why then file for the warrants? Would British intelligence, faced with a request to do an end-run around US law concerning a candidate for President, actually comply or gracefully decline?

I'd like to think the Brits would gracefully decline such a request, but the existence of the FISA warrants and denied applications suggests that the Obama administration didn't go the British route. And if someone is leaking information saying they did, it seems more likely that the leaker is trying to suggest a purportedly legal path to obtaining the leaked information as an alternative to the obviously illegally abuse of our own national security infrastructure and court system.

But the existence and disclosure of the warrants and denied applications for warrants says otherwise. So this is a smokescreen. For rational observers, though, the exact path doesn't matter: Obama used the intelligence agencies to try to influence the outcome of a presidential election. That's the bottom line, and it's worth than anything Nixon ever did.

There's one other thing that's worth mentioning:

Daily WireIn other words, according to these sources, Obama tapped into a wiretap that is already in place on pretty much all of us, including Trump and his team. It is only accessed, though, when there is a specific request from someone like the President of the United States. Napolitano also explained that the law allows the President to legally do this to anyone he wants for any reason he wants. No warrant required.

There may be legal fictions that claim to allow this conduct. The Fourth Amendment does not allow it, and any judicial decisions that claim otherwise are corrupt.

There's a saying that seems to apply here. "How many legs does a calf have, if you call a tail a leg?" "Four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it so." And calling a violation of the Fourth Amendment legal does not make it so.

And I'll put one other thing up for emphasis. "It is only accessed when there is a specific request from someone like the President of the United States." I call bullshit on that. It's accessed by the NSA continually for everything from investigating terrorists overseas -- their proper function -- to checking up on potential girlfriends ("LOVEINT"). Claiming that there has to be a specific request from the president is another attempt to downplay the broad-based nature of the surveillance.

This entry was published Fri Mar 17 10:33:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2017-03-17 10:33:04.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.

This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.