For John, BLUF: Eventually someone is going to get hurt playing these games and it won't necessarily be President Trump. This is not 1974. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Definitions: FISA Court
This is from Powerline and Mr John Hineraker, on 4 March 2017.
After President Trump accused Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones during the election campaign, the Associated Press hurried into print a defense of the former president:Well, this is what it is evolving to.President Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of having Trump Tower telephones “wire tapped” during last year’s election, a claim that an Obama spokesman said was false.No one fits a lot of details into a tweet, but there is no doubt that Obama’s Justice Department–the most corrupt and politicized Department of Justice in modern American history–obtained a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump associates, and possibly Trump himself, in the heat of the presidential campaign. The Associated Press apparently didn’t know this.
Trump did not offer any evidence or details, or say what prompted him to make the allegation.
This scandal cries out for aggressive investigation. Let’s see the initial FISA application, and the court order denying it. Then let’s see the second application, and the order that approved it. Let’s put the Obama administration officials who signed the applications under oath, and find out who put them up to it. Let’s find out what judges denied the first application, and what judges granted the second one. Let’s get the details on the Obama administration’s spying. Did they tap the Trump campaign’s telephones? If so, which lines? Did they hack into the Trump campaign’s servers? If so, which ones?Washington is just consuming itself in accusations and counteraccusations. Don't these folks understand that the voters want them to be about the business of governing and not about the business of relitigating the November election. And every Democrat and Democrat fellow traveller accusation against President Trump elicits a response.
Obviously, as President Trump said, the Obama administration learned nothing of significance from its spying on the Trump campaign. But it now appears that the election of 2016 may have been hacked after all, in a far more meaningful way than an intrusion into Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email account. It may have been hacked by the Obama administration. We need to find out what happened. Congress should give top priority to this investigation.
But, for those of you who reject Powerline as being just another right wing source, here is the 11 January 2017 article from The [Manchester] Guardian. Here is the key paragraph:
The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.By the way, I don't think Blogger and Retired Law Professor Ann Althouse (currently walking the Grand Canyon) is very impressed by the denials from the left.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff