Dems Claim Trump Team Not Wiretapped While Wiretapped
| PJ Media
“On January 20, the New York Timespublished a story on wiretapping of Trump insiders. In the print version, the headline was “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides,” although you’re going to have to squint to read the acknowledgment of the print headline at the bottom of the page.
Still, if you look through the actual article, you’ll find this paragraph:
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
I’ve written about this before here and here, and I won’t go through the whole argument again as I’m not paid by the word, but the really inescapable conclusion was that either the New York Times reporting was false, or Trump was justified. The real question was identifying who in the Obama administration (or in the upper-level civil service staff) had been responsible for leaking information that identified a “US Person” — and would they be prosecuted for what appear to be felonious violations of 18USC793 and 50USC1801.
This strikes me as silly and disingenuous: it’s the same old “well, it wasn’t really a wiretap and it wasn’t really a wiretap of Trump” defense.
Now, after a lot of talk during hearings on Monday that no one saw evidence that Trump had been wiretapped, today Devin Nunes announced (quoting from his press release):
As a commenter at Instapundit pointed out, this is starting to look like the old Washington tradition, the “modified limited hangout.”
The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping @ theAtlantic.com
So, this is getting even more interesting now. It appears now that a number of Trump insiders were intercepted, and no, I’m not buying the argument that Trump saying “wiretapped” was wrong, especially since that’s exactly what was reported.
And it appears now that people trying to maintain that Trump was “lying” about being wiretapped are being driven to the interesting defense that it was a lie because the U.S. wasn’t actually wiretapping Trump people when the U.S. was wiretapping Trump people.
Which is, at least, good for a laugh.
In the meantime, though, I think Colonel Mustard should lawyer up: the bobbies are closing in.”
News on this topic is being updated as I write but here’s how I see it.
There were illegally obtained intercepts of Trump communications (call them wiretaps, or intercepts, or whatever). They show Trump did nothing wrong but they can be used to continue to push the narrative ‘Trump was involved with the Russians to hack the election’ and keep the Trump administration mired in a haze of innuendos and suspicion thereby damaging his administration.
But they have a problem.
They can’t reveal their information because people will ask the obvious questions, ‘Who gave you this information? Who obtained it? How was it obtained?’
The Democrats and enemies of Trump are in a bind.
If they release what they have they will have to explain who gave them the intel and give a detailed account of how it was obtained.
That’s why you have Come[d]y saying, ‘we have information but I can’t tell you what it is’.
If they release the intel their game is up because they will have to reveal the sources and methods.
But having already admitted they have the intel but they aren’t going to release it because the investigation is ongoing only makes things worse for them.
Democrats are screaming to release the evidence and wondering why Comey isn’t releasing the intel that will take Trump down.
Which leads to this:
If they release what they have the ‘Deep State’ (Obama White House staff) players will be exposed.
It’s like witnessing a crime while you’re committing a crime.
FBI Director Comey Proclaims Americans Deserve NO Privacy; The Government Owns Even Your Thoughts, Memories
| TruePundit |
“FBI Director James Comey took the liberty of rewriting the United States Constitution and completely dismantling the Fourth and Fifth Amendments during a speech Wednesday at Boston College on cyber security.
Comey’s incredulous claims that even the US government owns the thoughts and memories of its citizens were absolutely disgraceful and proves he is unfit for any office in a free society. Comey fabricated a tale that the founding fathers “struck a bargain” and in return for freedom, law enforcement is allowed to invade privacy at will. Really? The founding fathers of Russia?
Special note to Comey and his wall of academic degrees: The Fifth Amendment affords every American the right to say nothing to you or the Justice Department. Ever. By law, you can’t compel squat. Ask Lois Lerner. Ask Bryan Pagliano.
Comey’s third-worldesque comments are beyond chilling and should shine a brighter light on his Anti-American, Orwellian philosophies that steer what used to be considered the country’s premier law enforcement agency. But no more. His words not only undermine this country’s constitutional fabric but also prove that he is not fit to serve at the helm any government agency. His rhetoric is dictatorial, dangerous and have no place in a free society.
The sycophants and collegiate stooges at Boston College gave Comey a rousing ovation after his comments. College kids all jacked up on caffeine and student debt. They’re dumb enough to believe a globalist like Comey who would kick your door down for downloading a mp3 file.
“It is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think,” gasped MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski last month. This week’s gasp from the media assumes a slightly different form and can be translated as: It is our job, not Trump’s, to push stories about the government investigation of Trumpworld.
For months, the media, drawing upon criminal leaks from Obama holdovers, has been saying in effect: Trumpworld is under investigation for ties to Russia! Then Trump says essentially the same thing on Twitter and the media freaks out. Why does the latter merit condemnation but not the former?
Notice what is happening here: The Obama holdovers are denying the import of the very stories that they planted. Where did the liberal BBC’s story (building on a story first reported by Heat Street) on intelligence agencies receiving a FISA court warrant to investigate Russian-Trumpworld ties come from? It came from a “senior member of the US intelligence community”:
On 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything – giving up classified information would be illegal – but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.
Notice on the Sunday talk shows that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan did not appear. Yet he served as the genesis of this investigation, according to the BBC story:
Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.
It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.
The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.
Why did this article appear? Because John Brennan wanted it to. He just didn’t expect Trump to call him on it. Now the Obama embeds who used the press to smear Trump now demand it disclaim the storyline they stoked. How dare anyone suggest we were investigating the Trump campaign!
Forget about all the endless parsing of claims and lawyerly denials from the Jim Clappers. The bottom line is that John Brennan and his band of anti-Trump saboteurs sought to investigate the Trump campaign. That is the story. The Chuck Todds want people to miss the forest for the trees. That’s why Todd didn’t press Clapper on his as-far-as-I-know style denial. A serious questioner would have asked Jim Clapper to respond directly to the BBC paragraphs quoted above. A serious questioner would have also asked: Why are you here and not John Brennan? Why are you here and not Loretta Lynch?
Notice as well that FBI director Jim Comey’s quasi-denial on Sunday didn’t come from an appearance or even a press release but from a leaked news story, which was designed not to eliminate confusion but to increase it. We’re told that he wants the Justice Department to issue a denial. But to deny what? That the U.S. government ever sought to investigate the Trump campaign? To deny the Heat Street and BBC stories (which Trump was in effect repeating) that Comey didn’t ask the Justice Department to deny after they actually appeared?”
FBI’s Comey At Boston College: ‘You’re Stuck With Me For Another 6 1/2 Years’
| Boston.CBSlocal.com |
BOSTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey says he plans to serve his entire 10-year term, even as controversy swirls over his attempt to rebut President Donald Trump’s claim that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the election.
Comey said Wednesday during a cybersecurity conference at Boston College: “You’re stuck with me for another 6½ years.” He was appointed 3½ years ago by then-President Barack Obama.
After Trump recently claimed that Obama tapped his phones during last year’s election, Comey privately asked the Justice Department to dispute the allegation.
During his speech to law enforcement officials and private-sector business leaders, Comey said the FBI is renewing a focus on the challenges posed by encryption. He said there should be a balance between privacy and the FBI’s ability to lawfully access information.”
Wikileaks CIA Revelations Refuel Speculation That Author Michael Hastings Was Murdered by Deep State Operatives
| theGatewayPundit |
“Wikileaks released documents today on the CIA’s global hacking force. The documents reveal CIA attempts to remotely hack into cars and trucks for remote assassinations.
This news refueled speculation on author Michael Hastings’ death in 2013.
Author Michael Hastings was a vocal critic of the Obama administration, Democratic Party and surveillance state. In 2013 during the investigation of reporters by the U.S. Department of Justice Hastings referred to the restrictions on the freedom of the press by the Obama administration as a “war” on journalism. His last story, “Why Democrats Love to Spy On Americans”, was published by BuzzFeed on June 7.
Hastings died in a fiery high-speed automobile crash on June 18, 2013, in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Hastings died in a fiery crash hours after contacting Wikileaks.
Hastings contacted Wikileaks hours before his fatal crash. He sent out a panicked email saying the FBI was investigating him.
Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013
Hastings told his neighbor he believed his Mercedes had been tampered with, according to a report.
In a lengthy profile by LA Weekly, Hastings’ neighbor Jordanna Thigpen says he knocked on her door after midnight and asked to borrow her Volvo because he was afraid to drive his own car.
“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” she told the weekly newspaper. She declined, saying her car was in need of repairs.
Hastings died later that night. He lost control of his car.”
How CIA allegedly turns everyday devices into high-tech spy weapons
| New York Post |
“CIA software can secretly turn everyday electronics like smartphones and high-tech TVs into listening devices to spy on unsuspecting users, WikiLeaks claimed in a massive document dump Tuesday.
Some of the computer programs target the iOS software that runs Apple iPhones as well as Google’s Android operating system, which does the same for phones built by Samsung, HTC and Sony, WikiLeaks said.
The “weaponized” software also reportedly provides techniques to defeat the encryption abilities of popular apps including WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Wiebo, which claim to supply users with secure and private communications.
One program, known as “Weeping Angel,” can even be used to infect Samsung “smart” TVs and covertly activate their built-in microphones to record conversations and then transmit them over the Internet, WikiLeaks said.
The documents also reveal that the CIA was “looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks” as of 2014, WikiLeaks said.
“The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations,” WikiLeaks suggested.”
Obama’s Police State | Wikileaks Reveals CIA Tools and Tactics for Domestic Spying |
| Heavy |
“It was revealed today by the WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 leak that the Central Intelligence Agency may have car hacking capabilities, leading online conspiracists to further the claims that journalist Michael Hastings was murdered by the CIA.
Hastings died on June 18, 2013, in a fiery high-speed automobile crash in his Mercedes C250 Coupé following the publication of “Why Democrats Love to Spy On Americans” on BuzzFeed. Hastings had been a vocal critic of the Obama administration. Following his death, former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke said that Hastings’ crash was consistent with a “car cyber attack.”
Clark told the Huffington Post, “What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag… You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.”
According to CW6 San Diego, Hastings claimed to have received a death threat prior to the crash by a staff member at the McChrystal Group about a critical passage in his book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. The McChrystal Group is an advisory firm started by retired United States Army general Stanley Allen McChrystal.
McChrystal’s last military assignment was in Afghanistan.
CW6 also reported that Hastings was investigating CIA Director John Brennan for an upcoming exposé before his death.
In an official synopsis of the recently leaked Vault 7, the above passage can be found.
Redditors on r/conspiracy are already connecting the new information to the death of Hastings. It cannot be independently confirmed.
However, a July 23, 2015, article on WhoWhatWhy by Russ Baker also drew a similar conclusion to conspiracist Redditors, despite not having access to WikiLeaks Vault 7 information.”
WikiLeaks Exposes CIA’s Covert Global Hacking Program
| Daily Caller
“WikiLeaks has released nearly 9,000 pages of files it says exposes a covert global hacking program operated by the CIA.
The document dump, which WikiLeaks is calling “Vault 7,” is the largest publication of documents stolen from the CIA, says the group, which was founded by Julian Assange.
The veracity of the documents has not been verified and it is not yet clear whether the release marks a major breach of the CIA.
According to an explainer released by WikiLeaks, the 8,761 documents had been maintained in a high-security network at CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. But the group says that the CIA “lost control” of the documents after they began circulating among a 5,000-person network of former U.S. government hackers and contractors. One of those individuals is WikiLeaks’ source, the group claims.
The documents, which include more than 70,000 redactions, show how CIA hackers use malware, trojan viruses and other tools to convert electronics, including phones and smart TVs, into covert microphones used for spying. The group also says there are documents showing that the CIA uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert hacker base for its European operations.
Among the most salacious revelations in the WikiLeaks release come from documents showing how CIA developed techniques to hack Samsung smart TVs with British intelligence services. The malware, called Weeping Angel, records audio while the target of the hack believes the TV is turned off.
One of the documents released on Tuesday purportedly shows that the CIA was working on a program as of Oct. 2014 that would infect the vehicle control systems of certain cars and trucks.
“The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations,” WikiLeaks asserts.”
Wikileaks: Want a look inside the CIA’s cyberespionage efforts?
“First it was the NSA’s turn, and now the CIA gets its Wikileaks moment. Claiming it to be the “largest intelligence publication in history,” Wikileaks has released its first installment of documents that expose the CIA’s cyberespionage efforts. If genuine, the documents unveil operations, locations, and methods that could cripple US efforts on cyberwarfare:
“Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
Judge Nap: Obama Wiretap Order Would Be ‘Profoundly Unconstitutional But Legal’
| Daily Caller
“Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on allegations that the Obama administration monitored Trump Tower during the 2016 election on Fox News Monday morning, calling the alleged actions “profoundly unconstitutional” but still “legal.”
“Because of the unique interpretation of a Ronald Reagan executive order… and because of the language of the USA Freedom Act,” Napolitano explained. “The NSA now has ability to capture in realtime the digital copies of everybody’s phone calls, cell and landline, everybody’s key strokes, mobile device and desktop.”
“The NSA works for the president. If the president were to ask for a transcribed copy of any of that, they’d give it to him,” he continued. “The President of the United States can order surveillance on any person inside the United States in conjunction with a certificate or a certification filed by the attorney general.”
“In my view it’s profoundly unconstitutional but it is legal because of the statue,” Napolitano stated. “Think about this, if you’re Barack Obama, and you have the ability by making a phone call to hear what Donald Trump is saying, are you going to bother to get a warrant?”
REPORT: FBI Said to Have ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ To Wiretap TRUMP Tower!
“Earlier this morning, Trump took to Twitter to express his outrage over wiretapping at Trump Tower during Obama’s Presidency. Back in November, the media did confirm that wiretapping did allegedly take place, via Heat Street:
Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request […].
The original FISA request which specifically named and broadly targeted Donald Trump was denied, a second request was redrafted months later which narrowed down on equipment in Trump Tower. The second request is said to have been granted, despite the fact that FBI sources did not believe these servers to be of actual national security or possess any illegal ties to Russia. The notion that this second FISA warrant was granted is highly significant as they exist to investigate cases when Foreign Intelligence is suspected of operations in the US.
The implication is that Trump or one of his employees was secretly functioning as a Russian-sanctioned spy (which is obviously absurd). However illegitimate the request was, the granting of said FISA request allows the government major access:
Pursuant to FISA, the Court entertains applications submitted by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. Most of the Court’s work is conducted ex parte as required by statute, and due to the need to protect classified national security information.
Contrary to a lack of any evidence by the Obama Administration or FBI, the possibility of the second FISA request being granted would indeed monitor activity within Trump Tower. Again, this FISA request was issued with no definitive proof/evidence that Trump had any nefarious ties to Russia – instead, it bears the hallmarks of a political witch hunt.
If proven, there is a good chance the issuing judge and corresponding FBI personnel will soon face serious jail time. Liberal media is ignoring this, and instead seems to have coordinated a large online campaign with headlines that almost consistently read “Provides No Evidence”. So let’s get this straight: The GOP is accused of colluding with Russians MSM publishes as a front-page story fact, Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping and… “PROVIDES NO EVIDENCE!”
Obama wire-tapped his phones at Trump Tower before the election in ‘Nixon/Watergate’ style scandal
– Daily Mail UK
“The Obama administration has strongly denied President Donald Trump’s claims that Barack Obama wire-tapped his phones at Trump Tower before the election.
Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis released a statement Saturday afternoon refuting Trump’s wire-tapping claims.
‘A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,’ Lewis wrote.
‘As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.’
Lewis’ statement comes shortly after Trump fired off a flurry of tweets early Saturday morning claiming that the former president had been spying on him in October, a month before his election victory.
‘Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!’
McCarthyism, which the president used in his first tweet, is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
Trump started tweeting shortly after 3.30am ET and posed the question: ‘Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?’
In another tweet Trump said it was a ‘new low’ for the former president, compared it to ‘Nixon/Watergate’ and called Obama a ‘bad (or sick) guy’.
‘It seems unthinkable. If that were the case by some chance, that means that a federal judge would have found that there was either probable cause that he had committed a crime or was an agent of a foreign power,’ the official said.
According to the official, a wiretap cannot be directed at a US facility, without finding probable cause that the phone lines or internet addresses were being used by agents of a foreign power.
‘You can’t just go around and tap buildings,’ the official told the Post.
Another former senior US official, who worked under the Obama administration, told CNN there was no such investigation of Trump, nor were his phones tapped.
‘This did not happen. It is false. Wrong,’ the former official said.
The official echoed that of others saying Obama could not have ordered this and adding that it would have been taken to a judge by investigators, but investigators never did that.”
– Let’s all remember the time the Obama Admistration spying apparatus tapped the phones of Germany’s Chancellor and France’s president Hollande, wherein the Obama denied it, then later stated Obama was not aware of what his NSA was doing. On the heels of President Trump’s newest accusations, recall we are dealing with Obama, an individual with a record of secret spying and lying about it. Just like Nixon. This is going to get very interesting. /CJ
Angela Merkel’s call to Obama: are you bugging my mobile phone?
– the Guardian | 2013
“The furore over the scale of American mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden shifted to an incendiary new level on Wednesday evening when Angela Merkel of Germany called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.
Merkel was said by informed sources in Germany to be “livid” over the reports and convinced, on the basis of a German intelligence investigation, that the reports were utterly substantiated.
The German news weekly, Der Spiegel, reported an investigation by German intelligence, prompted by research from the magazine, that produced plausible information that Merkel’s mobile was targeted by the US eavesdropping agency. The German chancellor found the evidence substantial enough to call the White House and demand clarification.
The outrage in Berlin came days after President François Hollande of France also called the White House to confront Obama with reports that the NSA was targeting the private phone calls and text messages of millions of French people.
While European leaders have generally been keen to play down the impact of the whistleblowing disclosures in recent months, events in the EU’s two biggest countries this week threatened an upward spiral of lack of trust in transatlantic relations.
Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, made plain that Merkel upbraided Obama unusually sharply and also voiced exasperation at the slowness of the Americans to respond to detailed questions on the NSA scandal since the Snowden revelations first appeared in the Guardian in June.
Merkel told Obama that “she unmistakably disapproves of and views as completely unacceptable such practices, if the indications are authenticated,” Seifert said. “This would be a serious breach of confidence. Such practices have to be halted immediately.”
The sharpness of the German complaint direct to an American president strongly suggested that Berlin had no doubt about the grounds for protest. Seibert voiced irritation that the Germans had waited for months for proper answers from Washington to Berlin on the NSA operations.
Merkel told Obama she expected the Americans “to supply information over the possible scale of such eavesdropping practices against Germany and reply to questions that the federal government asked months ago”, Seibert said.
The White House responded that Merkel’s mobile is not being tapped. “The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” said a statement from Jay Carney, the White House spokesman.
But Berlin promptly signalled that the rebuttal referred to the present and the future and did not deny that Merkel’s communications had been monitored in the past.
Asked by the Guardian if the US had monitored the German chancellor’s phone in the past, a top White House official declined to deny that it had.
“The Obama administration engaged in surveillance of Trump Tower communications during the 2016 Election. With that fact now front and center, voters would do well to recall all of the “leaks” that were said to be coming from inside the then-Trump campaign.
Were operatives working under the direction of a then-sitting President of the United States, the source of those leaks? Some are already suggesting YES, making what Barack Obama potentially did in 2016 MUCH WORSE than anything Richard Nixon did leading up to the Watergate scandal. This is big. This is the Obama Shadow Government now being exposed in real time:
UPDATE: Sources now indicating top Democrats and Republicans were aware of the surveillance (and potential subsequent leaks) being conducted on/against the Trump campaign. These include, but are not limited to, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham.”