Posted by Curt on 23 May, 2018 at 9:05 am. 11 comments already!


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.

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