By: The Voice of Reason |
What happens when Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, two of the most corrupt politicians in modern history, join forces with the goal of their unholy alliance being their party’s retention of the most powerful office on earth? You get the potential for what was once “unthinkable,” to become “ordinary.” Nowhere is that more evident, than the “TrumpGate” scandal currently unfolding.
Now, according to Douglas J. Hagmann, President Trump now has evidence of a paper trail leading to a FISA court that substantiates his assertions that Obama, obtained authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign under the pretense of a national security investigation. Douglas J. Hagmann is been a licensed investigator in the private sector for the last 30 years. He’s also an author, has four websites, and a talk radio show host.
As a private detective, Hagmann has worked well over 5,000 cases and is recognized as a surveillance specialist. He has also worked as an informational and operational asset for various federal and state law enforcement agencies. So, if law enforcement can trust his investigative ability, you might want to do the same before putting your faith in the mainstream media’s investigative ability.
In the following video, Right Wing News reviews what is known about the Hagmann bombshell, and how it relates to a bizarre scenario that was predicted back in the mid 1990s by President Clinton’s Department of Injustice, and then recently explained in an article written by National Review’s Andrew McCarthy. Right Wing News also points out how everything Hagmann and McCarthy suggest, fits the known timeline of “TrumpGate” like a glove.
Do good things really come to those who wait?
There is a large storm brewing over Washington, DC right now – a storm that could dwarf anything ever seen in recent times. It is growing stronger by the hour as new information is being disclosed that strongly suggests that it is possible, even likely, that Obama and his Department of Justice maliciously and criminally misused the FISA process to collect intelligence on Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Additionally, Obama personally relaxed the limitations on how such information collected could be disseminated in the weeks before leaving office.
The political ramifications from this, if proved correct, could be unprecedented in scope. Once fully exposed, it would explain the curious actions of Obama as he prepared to vacate the White House. It would also explain, in context, the actions and statements of not only Barack Hussein Obama, but others in key positions of power including Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, John Brennan, and others within the media.
At issue is Obama’s insistence to secure a federal wiretap warrant of Donald J. Trump, the candidate, using the federal court system as the mechanism to do so. The ostensible probable cause was alleged ties between Donald J. Trump and/or his associates with Russia.
The first warrant application was made in June 2016, according to reports published by The New York Times and elsewhere, but was rejected due to the lack of probable cause of criminal activity.
When the request was denied in regular federal court, Obama and his Justice Department attempted an “end around” by citing the existence of a “foreign actor” and made a similar surveillance warrant application through the more specialized Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in October of 2016. According to published reports, that warrant application was rejected as well, a rare occurrence in the FISA venue, which strengthens claims that no evidence of any foreign involvement ever existed. It has been reported that the initial warrant application to the FISA court specifically named Donald J. Trump.
It is also relevant to note here that this is the type of activity that led to the creation of the infamous “Wall” that was referenced after the 9/11 attacks. Its relevance to this specific instance is explained well by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy in the article below…
The idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.
Remember the great debate over “the Wall” following the 9/11 attacks? “The Wall” was a set of internal guidelines that had been issued by the Clinton Justice Department in the mid 1990s. In a nutshell, the Wall made it legally difficult and practically impossible for agents in the FBI’s Foreign Counter-Intelligence Division (essentially, our domestic-security service, now known as the National Security Division) to share intelligence with the criminal-investigation side of the FBI’s house. Those of us who were critics of the Wall — and I was a strenuous one, beginning in my days as a terrorism prosecutor who personally experienced its suicidal applications — made several arguments against it.
My favorite argument, which I have repeated countless times, centered on how preposterous were the underlying assumptions of the Wall. This was far easier for prosecutors than journalists, academics, and the public to grasp, because we dealt with the Justice Department’s different chains of command for criminal and national-security investigations.
Alas, after 20 years, I may have to revise my thinking.
The theory of the Clinton DOJ brass in imposing the Wall was the potential that a rogue criminal investigator, lacking sufficient evidence to obtain a traditional wiretap, would manufacture a national-security angle in order to get a wiretap under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A traditional wiretap requires evidence amounting to probable cause of commission of a crime. A FISA wiretap requires no showing of a crime, just evidence amounting to probable cause that the target of the wiretap is an agent of a foreign power. (A foreign power can be another country or a foreign terrorist organization.)
The reason the Wall theory was absurd was that a rogue agent would surely manufacture evidence of a crime before he’d manufacture a national-security angle. The process of getting a traditional wiretap is straightforward: FBI crim-div agents and a district assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) write the supporting affidavit; it gets approved by the AUSA’s supervisors; then it is submitted to the Justice Department’s electronic-surveillance unit; after that unit’s approval, the attorney general’s designee signs off; then the AUSA and the FBI present the application to a district judge. FISA wiretaps, by contrast, go through a completely different, more difficult and remote chain of command. In it, the district AUSA and FBI crim-div agents who started the investigation get cut out of the process, which is taken over by Main Justice’s National Security Division and the FBI’s national-security agents. In other words, if we assume an agent is inclined to be a rogue, it would be far easier (and less likely of detection) to trump up evidence of a crime in order to satisfy the probable-cause standard for a traditional wiretap than to manufacture a national-security threat in order to get a FISA wiretap. No rational rogue would do it.
But now, let’s consider the press reports — excerpted in David French’s Corner post— that claim that the Obama Justice Department and the FBI sought FISA warrants against Trump insiders, and potentially against Donald Trump himself, during the last months and weeks of the presidential campaign. It’s an interesting revelation, particularly in light of last fall’s media consternation over “banana republic” tactics against political adversaries, triggered by Trump’s vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate serious allegations of criminal misconduct against Hillary Clinton — consternation echoed by Senate Democrats during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for attorney-general nominee Jeff Sessions.
From the three reports, from the Guardian, Heat Street, and the New York Times, it appears the FBI had concerns about a private server in Trump Tower that was connected to one or two Russian banks. Heat Street describes these concerns as centering on “possible financial and banking offenses.” I italicize the word “offenses” because it denotes crimes. Ordinarily, when crimes are suspected, there is a criminal investigation, not a national-security investigation.
According to the New York Times (based on FBI sources), the FBI initially determined that the Trump Tower server did not have “any nefarious purpose.” But then, Heat Street says, “the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server.”
Again, agents do not ordinarily draw FISA requests around possible crimes. Possible crimes prompt applications for regular criminal wiretaps because the objective is to prosecute any such crimes in court. (It is rare and controversial to use FISA wiretaps in criminal prosecutions.) FISA applications, to the contrary, are drawn around people suspected of being operatives of a (usually hostile) foreign power.
The Heat Street report continues:
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.
(A “US person” is a citizen or lawful permanent resident alien. Such people normally may not be subjected to searches or electronic eavesdropping absent probable cause of a crime; an exception is FISA, which — to repeat — allows such investigative tactics if there is probable cause that they are agents of a foreign power.)
Obviously, we haven’t seen the FBI affidavits (assuming they actually exist), and we do not know lots of other relevant facts. What we have, however, suggests that someone at the FBI initially had concerns that banking laws were being violated, but when the Bureau looked into it, investigators found no crimes were being committed. Rather than drop the matter for lack of evidence of criminal offenses, the Justice Department and FBI pursued it as a national-security investigation.
In June, an initial FISA affidavit (obviously prepared by the FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division) was submitted to the FISA court. It is said to have “named Trump” — but we don’t know whether that means (a) his name merely came up somewhere in the text of the affidavit or (b) he was an actual target whom the government wanted to investigate under FISA (meaning eavesdrop, read e-mail, and the like).
Even though the FISA standard is generally thought to be less demanding than the traditional wiretap standard (it is easier to show that someone may be colluding in some way with a foreign government than that he has committed a crime), the FISA court rejected the application that “named Trump.”
Five months later, the Justice Department and FBI submitted a second, more “narrowly” drawn affidavit to the FISA court. The way the Heat Street report is written intimates that Trump is not named in this October application for FISA surveillance. The tie to Trump also appears weak: Heat Street says the FISA court was presented with evidence of a server “possibly related” to the Trump campaign and its “alleged links” to two Russian banks.
To summarize, it appears there were no grounds for a criminal investigation of banking violations against Trump. Presumably based on the fact that the bank or banks at issue were Russian, the Justice Department and the FBI decided to continue investigating on national-security grounds. A FISA application in which Trump was “named” was rejected by the FISA court as overbroad, notwithstanding that the FISA court usually looks kindly on government surveillance requests. A second, more narrow application, apparently not naming Trump, may have been granted five months later; the best the media can say about it, however, is that the server on which the application centers is “possibly” related to the Trump campaign’s “alleged” links to two Russian banks — under circumstances in which the FBI has previously found no “nefarious purpose” in some (undescribed) connection between Trump Tower and at least one Russian bank (whose connection to Putin’s regime is not described).
That is tissue-thin indeed. It’s a good example of why investigations properly proceed in secret and are not publicly announced unless and until the government is ready to put its money where its mouth is by charging someone. It’s a good example of why FISA surveillance is done in secret and its results are virtually never publicized — the problem is not just the possibility of tipping off the hostile foreign power; there is also the potential of tainting U.S. persons who may have done nothing wrong. While it’s too early to say for sure, it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.
THE VOICE OF REASON is the pen name of Michael DePinto, a graduate of Capital University Law School, and an attorney in Florida. Having worked in the World Trade Center, along with other family and friends, Michael was baptized by fire into the world of politics on September 11, 2001. Michael’s political journey began with tuning in religiously to whatever the talking heads on television had to say, then Michael became a “Tea-Bagging” activist as his liberal friends on the Left would say, volunteering within the Jacksonville local Tea Party, and most recently Michael was sworn in as an attorney. Today, Michael is a major contributor to www.BeforeItsNews.com, he owns and operates www.thelastgreatstand.com, where Michael provides what is often very ‘colorful’ political commentary, ripe with sarcasm, no doubt the result of Michael’s frustration as he feels we are witnessing the end of the American Empire. The topics Michael most often weighs in on are: Martial Law, FEMA Camps, Jade Helm, Economic Issues, Government Corruption, and Government Conspiracy.
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