TriggerFinger


When conventional wisdom differs from real wisdom


The Republican Establishment line on recent revelations that Trump's associates, and possibly Trump himself, had their conversations recorded and transcribed while Trump was conducting his transition appears to be that somehow it wasn't "wiretapping" because Trump wasn't personally targeted. His communications were only collected "incidentally" to surveillance of someone else, which is presumed to be legitimate and authorized by warrant.

I'm sorry, that's a distinction so fine that it might as well not even exist. If Trump's transition team's communications were picked up, than his conversations (that were picked up) were wiretapped. It might not be all of them if he wasn't the target, but the ones that were picked up -- absolutely those conversations were wiretapped and thus so was Trump.

It does change the legal questions, but it doesn't change the basic fact that Trump's transition team communications were wiretapped.

So with that out of the way, what else is wrong here?

Well, apparently those communications were widely disseminated by Obama's order shortly before the inauguration, and the identify of at least one American participant in the "incidentally collected" conversations was leaked. (Presumably that's Flynn). Unmasking that American identity and leaking it to the press? Felonies for each conversation and each different American involved. So just because the collection was "incidental" doesn't mean it's not a big deal. And that bit about Obama ordering the widening of distribution right before the inauguration? That reeks of a political motive. So does the massive leaking to the press.

And you know what none of that actually explains? The original news reports about three separate warrants targeting Trump and/or his associates. There's the FISA warrant that was requested and denied, which mentioned Trump, and then the second FISA warrant that did not mention Trump and was granted. And the third non-FISA warrant which may or may not have been granted. That sequence stinks to high heaven.

And Comey isn't cooperating with Congressional investigations here either. Given that we're looking at allegations way the hell beyond a simple counterintelligence investigation, that cannot stand. And given Comey's earlier, repeated, attempts to interfere in the election process by both omission and commission, I think it's time Comey spent more time with his family. He's clearly either incompetent or being blackmailed by multiple parties.

Another point that's not being recognized:

Jerry PournelleWe still need to know: how did Sallie Yates know what General Flynn told the Vice president about his phone call from the Trump Tower to the Russian Ambassador? There was some source of information about Candidate Trump and his staff that very likely came from a wiretap of Trump Tower; how did Obama people get it?

It's one thing to know what Michael Flynn said to the Russian Ambassador. Presumably the Russian Ambassador's phone is tapped 24/7 on general principles. How did Yates (and the press) know what Flynn told VP Pence about that conversation in order to leak the contradiction?

This entry was published Fri Mar 24 10:15:37 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2017-03-24 10:15:37.0. [Tweet]

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