Trump Vindicated on Wiretaps, Hillary Ukraine Collusion
Well, well, well. Hope the "destroy Trump" media enjoys the taste of crow now that it has been revealed that, yes, Virginia, Trump Tower and its occupants who were in contact with both candidate and President-elect Trump, including one Paul Manafort, were in fact wiretapped as Trump claimed. Obama’s DOJ and James Comey were both liars in denying the wiretapping for which Trump was widely mocked:
Department of Justice lawyers say that the department has no evidence for President Trump’s controversial claim that President Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign. In a filing made public on Friday, the lawyers wrote that “both the FBI and [National Security Division] confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by” Trump. The filing was made in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the group American Oversight.
In a series of early-morning tweets sent on March 4, Trump had claimed, without offering any evidence, that he had “just found out” that Obama had tapped Trump Tower toward the end of last year’s presidential race.
When asked about Trump Tower being wiretapped, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that he would have been aware of any FISA court-ordered surveillance of Trump Tower and the Trump surrogates within during the campaign by the Obama administration., He says he was not, implying there was none:
A former top intel official under President Obama asserted Sunday that President Trump’s phones were not tapped, contradicting a claim made by the current president.“Obviously, I can’t speak officially anymore, but I will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as [Director of National Intelligence], there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time or as a candidate or against his campaign,” James Clapper said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Clapper maintained that he would’ve been told of there was a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order to survey Trump’s phones on “something like this.”“I can deny it,” Clapper said, asserting that an order related to Trump or Trump Tower does not exist to his “knowledge.”
Clapper may think that the Obama administration is incapable of such an act, the Obama administration who used the IRS in a way Richard Nixon only dreamed of, targeting the Tea Party movement that had arisen in opposition to ObamaCare. Such an act would indeed make Watergate look like, well, a third-rate burglary. Clapper forgets as well how the NSA and the Obama administration spied on world leaders, starting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
The record of James Clapper and the Obama administration on truthfulness is suspect. The Obama administration has spied on world leaders, American citizens, and the press. It was said that Trump has provided no proof of Obama administration surveillance, which is hard to do in a tweet. But Breitbart’s Joel Pollak has put together an interesting timeline of the surveillance scenario, including not one, but two FISA requests featuring such items as:
1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied….
4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found -- but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services….
7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies -- the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties. Other news outlets also report the existence of “a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government,” though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.
Interestingly, the New York Times on January 20, 2017 ran a story on the front page titled “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides” which was denied later by one of the authors, one Michael S. Schmidt, presumably after being reminded of the career hazards of reporting the truth:
On January 19th and 20th 2017, The NY Times reported that wiretaps of people on the Trump team were passed along to the Obama White House, one of the story’s authors was Michael S. Schmidt. On Saturday that same Michael S. Schmidt was one of the reporters who wrote the story, “Trump, Offering No Evidence, Says Obama Tapped His Phones.” That’s right, the same NY Times reporter who was one of the sources for the President’s claim, said that there was no evidence for the claim.
Those denials were lies. Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager during the late primaries and convention period and then worked in Trump Tower during the transition, was in fact wiretapped as others may have been, including the President-elect they were undoubtedly in contact with. As The Hill reports:
The government wiretapped the phone of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, CNN reported on Monday.
Sources familiar with the matter told CNN that the government obtained a secret court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 2014. The warrant allegedly focused on his work consulting for the government of Ukraine.
That warrant was reportedly ended in 2016, but the FBI obtained a second one soon after which lasted until early 2017, including periods when Manafort was speaking with Trump.
Call it Watergate 2.0, the unthinkable wiretapping of a presidential candidate by the administration of a political opponent. This is the electronic version of the Watergate breakin, something more worthy of a dictatorship like Venezuela than the United States.
In an irony on steroids, Manafort’s work for the Government of Ukraine, the justification for the wiretapping of Trump Tower, may lead to an indictment of Manafort while Hillary Clinton’s collusion with that same government for the purposes of obtaining information on Manafort will not.
If you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s real collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
Here you have a meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences other than in the case of the Trump meeting of boring its participants to death.
Was anyone interested? Certainly not MSNBC’s Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell, who were puzzled as to what Donald Trump was referring to when he tweeted about Team Hillary’s collusion with Ukraine:
On MSNBC Wednesday morning, two of MSNBC’s most prominent anchors admitted they had no idea what Trump was referring to, when he tweeted out that the Clinton campaign also sought out information from foreign government officials to help boost her campaign, during the 2016 election. After reading the tweet, Brian Williams asked Andrea Mitchell if she knew what he was talking about. “I’m hoping you can help me decipher this,” he asked. “It’s hard to figure out what this is about,” Andrea Mitchell quizzically responded.
It wouldn’t have been so hard if the crack investigative reporters at MSNBC and CNN had followed the facts and the named sources in the Politico report, instead of unnamed sources who produce fake news about Team Trump which result in stories being retracted and reporters resigning. As MRC/Newsbusters reported:
Trump’s tweet was referring to a seven-month old report from Politico, which found that Ukrainian officials worked with the DNC to help do opposition research on Trump in order to help Clinton’s campaign. This research was also leaked to several American journalists, according to the report.
Politico found that a veteran DNC operative, Alexandra Chalupa, sought out information to damage the Trump campaign after media reports speculated Paul Manafort had ties to Russia. She sought out help to do this from the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. and one of his top aides, “with the DNC’s encouragement,” Politico reported.
Chalupa spoke to Politico, which recalled:
She [Chalupa] said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well. She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said.
The report went into further detail, but the long and short of it explained how Ukrainian officials admitted to “working very closely” with Chalupa, who then shared this information with the DNC.
One official, Andrii Telizhenko told Politico:
“They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa.”
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
Say what? This is what you really call “empirical evidence” of collusion with a foreign government -- inviting them to interfere in the 2016 election. Yet the media ignores it, Congressional Democrats avert their eyes, and Congressional Republicans, afraid of their own shadow, let Democratic bottom feeders like Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Chuck Schumer beat up on President Trump without any meaningful response or defense.
Where are the congressional hearings on Hillary’s collusion with the Ukraine? Where is the special prosecutor preparing an indictment based on wiretaps of Team Clinton’s collusion with the Ukraine? Were these things lost in the alleged conversation on the tarmac between President Clinton and Obama AG Loretta Lynch? Were they lost on the cutting room floor when James Comey wrote his memo exonerating Hillary Clinton before key witnesses, including Hillary herself, were ever questioned?
Trump told the truth and is totally vindicated. Let the investigation of the real criminals and colluders begin.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.