The Extreme Politicization of the Obama Administration

 

SURVEILLANCE - Obama Administration

by Diane Rufino, February 4, 2018

This should have been the logo for the Obama Administration !

The Obama administration, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the main stream media (MSM) all conspired to fix a presidential election by deceiving the secret FISA court to allow surveillance on American citizens and the campaign of a presidential candidate that they were “desperate” to “ensure not get elected” and were “passionate” that he “not be president.” All the while the Democrats and the MSM have been crying “collusion with Russia” and “Russian interference in our elections” when the fact is that Obama, the DNC, and the MSM themselves had interfered with our elections. Russians couldn’t have done a better job at destroying our sacred institutions than our own government has. The DNC, the FBI, and the DOJ not only tried to interfere with the presidential election but at the same time, with the help of Democrats in Congress and the MSM as messengers, they created the perfect cover-up. If it weren’t for the glaring partisanship of the FBI and the DOJ and seeming biased treatment in the investigation of Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton, and the subsequent investigation by the House Intelligence Committee, the abuses of the Obama administration would still be obscured by the phony Trump- Russian collusion investigation. The intent of that Russian collusion narrative, of course, is to tarnish and impugn President Trump, to destabilize and frustrate his administration, to detract from his accomplishments, and to give Congressional Democrats fodder to continue crying “Impeach 45!”

Thanks to Devin Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee for its investigation and summary of the findings (ie, the Memo), and thanks to President Trump for declassifying it so that the American people can know the truth. As the Memo points out, the Steele dossier was – and still is – knowingly “salacious and unverified,” but yet FBI and DOJ officials, who were extremely politically motivated, withheld that key fact from the FISA judges in seeking their warrants to surveille Carter Page and the Trump campaign team. The FISA provision was intended as a tool to combat terrorism, and NOT to target Americans for politically-motivated reasons. The Nunes memo points to an abuse of power and a breach in official duty of candor to the FISA court.

As Nunes summarized in the introduction to the Memo’s findings:

      On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

      The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

       Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard—particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

It is common for a candidate and a political party to conduct opposition research on an opposing candidate. We can understand that Hillary and the DNC would have wanted to do that. But what they did was to collude with the federal government to create a dossier of allegations hinting that Carter Page, a so-called Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, had connections to Russia and then to use that unverifiable dossier as the foundation for warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. They would then use that surveillance to make the claim that there is evidence that Donald Trump and the Russians colluded to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. And then they would use that evidence to have the DOJ and then Special Counsel to conduct a full investigation and bring down Trump’s presidency. This is treason against the Constitution and the definition of tyranny. It had the potential of a coup-d’etat – the overthrow of a legitimate government.

President Obama and his administration had become extremely politicized, from the infamous IRS scandal, to the use of the DOJ to create the illusion that law enforcement has a systemic racism problem, to his executive order improperly enacting the DACA program, to the use of the federal government to “vilify” the rich and working middle class in order to force them to pay for his new entitlement program (healthcare for the poor), to his refusal to enforce DOMA and his use of power to bully States who would not allow transgenders to use the bathrooms of their choice, to his surveillance abuses on American citizens and the Trump campaign. The Obama administration politicized everything it touched, and always, in ways that violated the US Constitution. Under Obama, the FBI and DOJ was able to use the full intelligence and counter-intelligence tools of the federal government to create an “Insurance Plan” against Donald Trump and to organize a group of like-minded government officials into a “Secret Society.” We can only imagine what they were up to.

John Daniel Davidson explained how serious the government’s abuses are in his article “House Intel Memo Shows Just How Politicized the Obama Administration Had Become,” in The Federalist:

     The memo is out, and it’s bad. It shows, unequivocally, that the FBI used political opposition research paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to get a secret court warrant to spy on a Trump campaign member.

      We have the memo showing just how politicized the FBI and DOJ had become in the waning months of the Obama administration. The FBI kept asking for warrant renewals (FISA wiretapping permission expires after 90 days) without telling the court that the FBI itself had dismissed Christopher Steele, who generated the opposition research, for lying to the FBI and leaking his relationship with the agency to the press. Both are not only unethical but likely illegal. The memo also shows that Steele was utterly biased, that he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’ We know that because Steele admitted it to Bruce Ohr, then a senior DOJ official, whose wife was working for Fusion GPS, the firm the DNC and the Clinton campaign hired to probe Trump and produce the Steele dossier.

      None of the FISA applications the FBI filed to surveil Page disclosed that the Steele dossier, on which the warrant request relied, was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. The Steele dossier was nothing more than paid political opposition research, yet it was used as evidence by the FBI to warrant spying on an American citizen who was volunteering for the Trump campaign. As the memo itself makes clear, a FISA warrant would never have been issued if it hadn’t been for the dossier.

     For anyone who has been following this story, the memo is shocking and much worse than what many people expected. It details nothing less than the abuse of FISA wiretapping—a civil liberty concern that Democrats used to care about. What’s worse, that abuse was carried out by the Obama DOJ for unashamedly political purposes, to tarnish the Trump campaign with the ‘Russia collusion’ smear and put a thumb on the scales for Hillary Clinton.

     Shocking, yes. But perhaps not surprising, given what we saw for eight years under Obama. Is it any wonder that his administration’s politicized intelligence agencies, on the eve of a presidential election, took steps to ensure a Democratic successor?

What the Obama administration did, what these highly-politicized actors of the FBI and DOJ did, should SHOCK THE CONSCIENCE of all of us. It should concern each American citizen, regardless of political affiliation. In a country whose people are so concerned with their civil liberties, this conduct can, and should never be, tolerated. I, for one, am glad that these abuses have been uncovered and I’m glad that now a responsible administration will have the chance to correct the avenues that permitted such abuses by putting stricter guidelines and procedures in place for the government and its agents.

The Obama administration will undoubtedly be remembered for its surveillance abuses and in particular, for its spying on the Trump campaign and the “insurance plan” to unravel a Donald Trump presidency. The social unrest in the streets would be matched by the political unrest within the government and the Democratic Party would have instigated something unspeakable here in the United States – a political coup d’etat, with Donald Trump forced out of office.

 

Reference:
John Daniel Davidson, “House Intel Memo Shows Just How Politicized the Obama Administration Had Become,” The Federalist, Feb. 2, 2018. Referenced at: http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/02/house-intel-memo-shows-just-politicized-obama-administration-become/

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About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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2 Responses to The Extreme Politicization of the Obama Administration

  1. predicament2014 says:

    Diane,
    Here are some contradictory issues raised by the Nunez memo not answered in your post:

    – According to the memo, the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia began with Papadopoulos, before the FISA warrant for Carter Page. Papadopoulos is guilty of lying to the FBI to cover up his Russian contact. This fact contradicts the Republican narrative that the dossier was the basis for the investigation.
    – You say: “the Steele dossier was – and still is – knowingly “salacious and unverified,” but yet FBI and DOJ officials, who were extremely politically motivated, withheld that key fact from the FISA judges in seeking their warrants to surveille Carter Page and the Trump campaign team.” The FISA judges would have to have been living under a rock not to know the questionability of verification of the dossier or its provenance (first by a Republican!) and then by the Clinton campaign. Later you add that the dossier is “unverifiable,” which is untrue, as described below.
    -As I understand it, some of the items in the dossier have been confirmed;
    o Verified: Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page met with representatives of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.
    o Verified: The Kremlin targeted educated youth and swing state voters during its cyber-attacks in the 2016 campaign.
    o Verified: Trump maintains ties to rich businessmen from Azerbaijan. Emails released in July revealed that Agalarov’s publicist Rob Goldstone had written to Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., to set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer who supposedly had dirt on Hillary Clinton, as part of what Goldstone called “Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump.” Trump Jr. attended a Trump Tower meeting with the lawyer in June 2016 along with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. That meeting has become a major focus of the investigations into the Trump campaign. Goldstone allegedly organized the meeting at Emin Agalarov’s behest.
    o Many items not confirmed have also not been disproven, hence there is no basis to form conclusions one way or the other about them.
    – If someone was looking for an investigator to look into possible wrongdoing between Trump and the Russians, who better than the man at Britain’s MI6 formerly in charge of the Russian division? Why not then acknowledge that the dossier may contain accurate information produced by a seasoned intelligence professional?
    – The Page FISA warrant was renewed two additional times, which could only have happened if the Page surveillance was yielding useful counterintelligence information.
    – In his promotional material Page reportedly claimed to be a “Kremlin consultant.” Why wouldn’t a “Kremlin consultant” as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign be worthy of the FBI’s further investigation?
    – Your narrative (and that of Republicans generally) implies that the dossier was the sole basis for obtaining the FISA warrant. Since the submission of an application for a FISA warrant is confidential, you have no way of knowing what other information was supplied to justify the request to surveil Page. Such submissions typically run 50 pages or more, so it is unlikely the FISA court relied solely on the dossier, in which case your whole argument falls apart. Moreover, these reports are prepared and submitted to the court by the “rank-and-file” FBI and DoJ, whom Trump says are “good people.”
    – All of the officials Trump and his supporters are maligning in connection with the Russian affair are Republicans, many, including Wray at FBI and Rosenstein at Justice were appointed by Trump. It seems quite obvious that Trump is throwing anyone under the bus who threatens to expose his dealings with Russia – a naked political act. You need to explain why this impressive collection of Republicans would be “extremely politically motivated” to undermine a Republican president. Moreover, in attacking Republican officials connected with the FISA warrant, Republicans are also impugning the FISA judges, who are appointed by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, a Republican.
    – Trump and his supporters keep saying “After a yearlong investigation, no evidence of collusion, conspiracy, cover-up has been revealed, ergo It’s a witch hunt.” The Muller investigation is ongoing under tight secrecy, so of course no evidence has been revealed one way or the other. It is premature, therefore, to form any conclusions about the existence of incriminating information.
    – You say, “The FISA provision was intended as a tool to combat terrorism, and NOT to target Americans for politically-motivated reasons.” There are several problems with that statement as revealed by the following from Wikipedia: The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, also called the FISA Court) is a U.S. federal court established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
    o If FISA was intended only to combat terrorism, it would have been called “The Foreign Terrorist Surveillance Act”
    o Terrorism was included as an additional object of the FISA Act only in 2001 by the USA Patriot Act.
    o The FISA Act specifies that such surveillance is authorized for “agents of foreign powers.” This obviously does not exclude Americans. So given the frequent suspicious contacts between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russians (leading to guilty pleas by Papadopoulos and Flynn for lying to the FBI about their Russian contacts, and indictments against two other senior Trump campaign officials) the surveillance of individuals suspected as acting as agents of foreign powers does not seem to be unwarranted, contrary to your assertion.
    – You state: “But what they did was to collude with the federal government to create a dossier of allegations hinting that Carter Page, a so-called Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, had connections to Russia.
    o Carter Page was not a “so-called” Trump campaign foreign policy adviser; he was acknowledged as such by Trump himself.
    o Carter did have connections to Russia, a verified allegation of the dossier.
    o How did the federal government collude in the creation of the dossier? Evidence please.
    – Isn’t it disingenuous to pretend to be “shocked, shocked” that the Obama administration “had become extremely politicized,” when Republicans, determined to make Obama “a one-term president” during his administration were ruthlessly political, and have remained so during the Trump administration?
    – What evidence do you have of an Obama-led “Insurance Plan” against Trump and “Secret Society”?

    I know you to be a sincere and well-meaning advocate for the Republican party. But until you address these contradictions and omissions, your post must be regarded as propaganda and not an objective attempt to uncover the truth about these vexing issues.

    Regards,
    David Smith

    • Hello Mr. Smith, thank you so much for your well-thought out and detailed response. My understanding is that the FBI tried to obtain at least one FISA warrant to begin surveillance on the Trump campaign but we denied by the FISA court because the information presented was not sufficient to overcome the burden necessary to grant one and so they obtained and used the dossier, counting on the credibility that Christopher Steele had (with regards to information he provided the FBI on much earlier matters), to sway the FISA court. Furthermore, I read in multiple sources (after I had written my article) that Papadopoulos was “set up” with the sources, or contacts, on the Russian matter. As far as the “insurance plan,” we all learned out that from the Strzok and Page texts. And the abuses by the FBI and DOJ with regard to the FISA warrants fit perfectly in with such an ‘insurance plan.” Emails or texts that “magically disappeared” from Strzok and Page (and between them), but were unexpectedly recovered, link their plan to President Obama. The “Secret Society” was identified in FBI emails. You don’t need to believe the information in my article or the ultimate point I was making. But I think you should know that the top lawyers, top constitutional attorneys in our country – on both sides, conservative and liberal – have agreed that the Nunes Memo is a correct assessment of what the abuses were. As far as Republicans wanting to keep Obama to one term, welcome to partisan politics !! That’s exactly what each side does. And I don’t have a problem with that – AS LONG AS THEIR EFFORTS ARE LEGAL. They can be sleazy, salacious, and even unethical, because, again, that is what politics has devolved into. But to use the full might and power of the federal government to influence an election – to use its most powerful and advanced information-gathering techniques, its access to sensitive information, its access to information that SHOULD be protected by the Fourth Amendment, to pervert federal law, and to manipulate our nation’s most secret courts (FISA) to fabricate information to benefit one candidate and to destroy the other candidate is unconscionable and is exactly the conduct of the worst of the worst kings of England, the reason we sought our independence and the reason we have the protected rights we have in our Bill of Rights. And then to weaponized the federal government (the DOJ and FBI) for an “insurance plan,” a plan to taint, distract, and destroy the presidency of the man the administration and DNC tried so aggressively to prevent being elected, is beyond anything that we thought could happen in this country. Instead of attacking the Nunes’ Memo and my article as propaganda, you should be outraged and supporting any and all efforts to investigate how and why those in government abused their powers so thoroughly.

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