In the last week, as revelation upon revelation hit that Obama administration officials and career employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) spied on the Donald Trump campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the mainstream media, the Left, and Never Trump Republicans have fallen back on three ready responses.
A solid plurality of this contingent continue to avert their eyes from the facts and dismiss the claims of misconduct as peddled by tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists. There is not much you can say to this faction, because they refuse to consider the proof.
A second—and more extreme group—believes Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. There is not much you can say to this bunch either, because they are tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists.
But the final group sees things differently. While they don’t necessarily believe Trump was treasonous, they argue that the FBI and other intelligence-gathering agencies rightly targeted the Trump campaign. With Russian-leaning Paul Manafort and Carter Page involved in the campaign, and Trump trolling Hillary with praise for Vladimir Putin, the government could not just ignore the risk, they posit. And there was no impropriety in doing so.
I Was Once In Group Three, Too
For two years, I teetered between that third contingent and utter disinterest. But then we learned that the DOJ intentionally failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court that the Democratic National Committee had paid for the Christopher Steele dossier. That unverified and mainly false dossier formed a significant part of the government’s application for a wiretap for former Trump aide Page.
This admission changed everything for me: I had spent nearly 25 years reviewing challenges to warrants based on claims of withheld (or false) evidence. However, unlike the typical criminal case in which a defendant later has access to the warrant application, in the case of a FISA court order, the target cannot view the information the government used to obtain a wiretap, making FISA court proceedings ripe for abuse.
My rule of law alarms went off. Trump’s criticism of the Russia collusion investigation no longer sounded staged, and he no longer seemed paranoid. Then the revelations kept coming, as did leaks intended to harm Trump, change the narrative, or soften soon-to-be released news of other misconduct.
Meanwhile, what was not forthcoming was the information Congress requested, and when it belatedly arrived it was heavily redacted to protect “national security.” Then later releases revealed the national security excuse didn’t hold. So while claims that the FBI properly inquired of connections between the Trump campaign and Russia were valid to a point, that point has long since passed.
Was there good faith in the beginning? Did political appointees and career agents rightfully pursue leads to see if something was there? Or was the investigation always an insurance policy?
I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that there is a convincing mosaic of evidence that the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and DOJ acted with improper motives—some related to the Obama administration’s general modus operandi, and some specific to Crossfire Hurricane.
Let’s Look at That Mosaic
For instance, we know that the Internal Revenue Service was weaponized to target conservatives under the Obama administration, and we know the media was easily manipulated to push the Iran deal. This makes it even more probable that intelligence agencies and DOJ were likewise politicized to target the Trump campaign and the press used to peddle the Russia collusion narrative.
Today President Trump re-branded this scandal with a new name more apt to what was really going on:
While Democrats have been scrambling to protect Coupgate this happened last night, https://www.c-span.org/video/?446001-1/house-republicans-call-special-counsel, lets see if Ryan has the right stuff or if his retirement has already begun.
It’s past time. The moment we learned Mueller had stocked his “investigation” with Trump-hating zealots we knew this was not and never was meant to be a legitimate, unbiased search for facts and truth.
Perhaps Trump will command his servile underlings to make it so, then we can see how that works out. Though he should probably be content with having pressured the NFL to make their black players behave as he thinks they should.
Trump has been illegitimate from the start.
@Greg: Nothing to worry about, there were no crimes committed …right?
The FBI’s search warrant for Anthony Weiner’s laptop was unsealed and released the warrant is the second search warrant for the same laptop, related to the discovery of emails to and from Hillary Clinton on it. This discovery during an unrelated search prompted Comey to write a letter to Congress informing it that he was going to be diving back into the Clinton email investigation. Why Huma was not prosecuted for this cause if its involving Hillary its not a crime ever…I suspect there is another more extensive collection as she is still running in the Democrat circle.
@Greg: Greg, you appear to be running out of weak excuses to try and explain away the obvious. You could now be on the road to recovery.
You don’t seem to have many traditional value-oriented conservatives left in the audience. Only Trump cult members.
@Deplorable Me: There is no recovery for those who are too ignorant to see or hear or understand. You are right, when Greg must call everyone who can think and follow facts ” Trump cult members”, he has lost the argument since there are no other responses.
I guess I am part of the Trump cult.
I persist in my belief in the rule of law.
And I have not seen or heard of any law broken by Trump. Of course the naming of such a law may be in Mr Rosenstein’s instructions, but we can’t see those.
Nor am I averse to accusations of the stealing of elections. Pres Lyndon Johnson certainly stole several elections. So did Pres Kennedy.
So I ask you, Greg, “where’s the beef?”
Trump ain’t Hillary. Or Obama. And he was PROMISED.
That’s about it.
@Deplorable Me: Greg has not had his daily briefing from Schumer and Pelosi yet today. He is speechless. Back to potato peeling!