Obama Denies Wiretapping Trump, but His Administration Did
President Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him. Obama has denied it. The mainstream media has come to the defense of Obama by calling it a “conspiracy theory.” But the wiretapping allegation is one of the most serious of all.
NSA – too much sharing
On January 3, 2017, just days before Obama left office, a procedure change was enacted by the Obama Administration regarding the NSA’s SIGINT data sharing. Executive Order 12333 had been in place since the Reagan years – Obama altered it to allow 16 Intelligence agencies access to the billions of pieces of raw data from information gathered without warrant. The new powers make it easier for private information to be misused or leaked.
“The procedures released today allow more agencies to directly access information collected by the NSA without a warrant under procedures that are grossly inadequate. This raises serious concerns that agencies that have responsibilities such as prosecuting domestic crimes, regulating our financial policy, and enforcing our immigration laws will now have access to a wealth of personal information that could be misused. Congress needs to take action to regulate and provide oversight over these activities.” Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU legislative counsel
As he hands the White House to Trump, Obama just unchained NSA from basic limits on passing raw intercepts to others https://t.co/JkbJhTrUsI
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 12, 2017
The FISA court is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In June of 2016, the Obama administration’s Justice Department requested a warrant to tap communications to the Trump Campaign, according to a Breitbart article. They were denied. Eventually, however, in October, a narrower request, ostensibly about banking violations on a server in Trump Tower, was submitted to FISA and it was granted.
Most of the time, FISA warrants are obtained for foreign operatives outside the United States. Use of the court in this manner was not the norm, but was based on the left’s narrative about the “Russian influence over our elections.” And they found NOTHING.
“The first [FISA] request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; [sic] SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.”
In fact, they found nothing on the server, yet the wiretaps reportedly may have continued. FISA is generally only used for American citizens if they are thought to be agents of a foreign power, and is not used for building criminal cases.
There is no direct information that links Obama personally to wiretapping Trump. But it was his administration, and the buck should stop there. He is well known for not taking responsibility for anything.
The unfair tainting of a President
Andrew McCarthy, Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute, summed it up nicely:
“Moreover, it cannot be glossed over that, at the very time it appears the Obama Justice Department was seeking to surveil Trump and/or his associates on the pretext that they were Russian agents, the Obama Justice Department was also actively undermining and ultimately closing without charges the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton despite significant evidence of felony misconduct that threatened national security.”