Obama - Could he Spy on Trump - and DID he?
Another day into this matter, and of all the interviews of various Senators sitting on Investigation Committees and of former Intelligence Directors two things were made abundantly clear.
#1 - No Intelligence agency has evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump.
#2 - There was indeed a full investigation into Trump and his campaign associates by various U.S. Intelligence agencies.
What is also made clear is that any President, through the NSA, could spy on anyone at anytime for any reason and that Obama could have used this source of intelligence gathering on Trump's campaign.
For this the President needs no warrant, needs no approval, he simply tells the NSA give me everything you got on this person, and they go and get it.
As for the FISA Warrants, James Clapper, Former Director of National Intelligence for the Obama Administration, states matter of factly that there was no FISA Warrant issued to wire tap Trump.
James Clapper also states that there was no information gathered that he saw which produced any evidence that there was collusion between Russia and Trump. Both of these statements by James Clapper can be seen in the video below (2nd one down).
But the NY Times reported back on the 6th and 20th of January that intelligence reports WERE given to former President Obama on then candidate Donald Trump, or to someone who answered directly to then President Obama. This most likely would have been either James Clapper, or AG Loretta Lynch (in the case of FISA).
This is an ever changing story, with new information coming to light every day (IE - WikiLeaks putting out information on Vault 7 and the CIA) while other information is quickly buried (IE - Uranium One and Joule Unlimited) and Russian ties to Podesta, Clinton, Schumer and others is ignored.
By this time next week, everything I have typed here will be old news, much of the information below already is.
Hugh Hewitt gives EXCELLENT break down of this for MSNBC
James Clapper Interviews - No Trump Collusion with Russia
First Question - Could Obama order Trump to be tapped and hacked? Answer - Yes.
In Chapter 36 of Title 50 of the US Code *War and National Defense", Subchapter 1, Section 1802, Some key excerpts of this, take note:
(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that -
Each application shall require the approval of the Attorney General based upon his finding that it satisfies the criteria and requirements of such application as set
forth in this subchapter. It shall include -
(1) the identity of the Federal officer making the application;
(2) the authority conferred on the Attorney General by the
President of the United States and the approval of the Attorney
General to make the application;
(e) Personal review by Attorney General
(1)(A) Upon written request of the Director of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State,
or the Director of Central Intelligence, the Attorney General shall
personally review under subsection (a) of this section an
application under that subsection for a target described in section
1801(b)(2) of this title.
Throughout the entire document, it states over and over again that this must be reviewed and approved by the AG, at the least.
Second Question - DID SOMEONE in the Obama Administration ask for or order Trump to be tapped & hacked? . . . Answer - Yes
The Guardian and other news sources reported months ago that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court in June, in order to monitor members of the Trump campaign suspected of having contacts with Russian officials. The FISA court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow their focus. According to follow up reports, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October.
What was left unsaid, is that this would have had to pass by the Attorney General to get the go ahead, and no doubt the AG would not submit such a request (twice) without some form of acceptance and authorization by President Obama himself. There will be no paper trail linking it to the President, but you can bet it was discussed at some level between the AG and EO.
The NYTimes reported on Saturday that: "a senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president’s chief counsel, was working on Saturday to secure access to what the official described as a document issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing surveillance of Mr. Trump and his associates."
The paper trail for such requests to FISA should be a significant one, and when those papers are made public it would certainly help prove that this witch-hunt into tying Trump and others to the Russians has been long in the making, and that the Obama Administration bent his EO's authority and power in an effort to undermine Trump the candidate, and Trump the President, an act of sedition pertaining to the latter.
This will go one of two ways, an investigation headed by the AG or the Assistant AG (one appointed by the Trump Admin) will look into this and the supposed Russian conspiracy, and will determine one of the two parties as essentially traitors to the United States. Things are going to get messy.
You can find more detailed conversation/facts about it here: