Sharyl Attkisson explains why one FISA warrant on one person can lead to spying on thousands of people

The genuine magnitude of the FBI spying on the Trump campaign (or Adam Schiff's getting a hold of the phone records of journalists and fellow representatives) was far greater than most people realize, reading or hearing about a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page.  Many people naturally presume that an operation to trample on the rights of one man — even an Annapolis graduate who served as a source for the CIA — was bad, but not a major spying operation.  After all, Page was not a top-level campaign adviser, but an unpaid volunteer.  So what's the big deal?

Here's what the deal is, as explained by Sharyl Attkisson:

Believe it or now, intelligence agencies can use one legal wiretap to monitor as many as 25,000 people for which there was no wiretap justification.

Through a single warrant, government agents can capture phone calls, texts, emails and bank records from people "two hops" away. That means all of the suspected spy's direct contacts — "one hop" — and everybody who contacts those people or even visits their Facebook pages or websites — two hops. 

In this way, one analysis found intel agencies can use one legal wiretap to access to 25,000 people's phones. Consider at least a half dozen Trump officials were caught in the FBI surveillance dragnet, according to news reports: campaign chair Manafort, multiple "transition officials" including Lt. General Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner, and adviser Carter Page — who was wiretapped over and over though never charged with anything.

Sidney Powell (former prosecutor and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's attorney): And what most people don't understand is, they don't just get everything they want against Carter Page, they get everything they want against every person who communicated with Carter Page, and against every person who communicated with that person. So it goes out what's called two hops. 

Sharyl: And that would allow them to find intelligence from someone nowhere near the original center that they went to the FISA Court about? 

Sidney Powell: Exactly. They could have all kinds of banking records and personal information on tens of thousands of people by virtue of those FISA applications. 

Sharyl: — including Trump who was known to be one or two hops away from surveilled targets. 

On top of that, at least four key anti-Trump figures have admitted in testimony and interviews accessing sensitive, protected intelligence of US citizens — including Trump associates — under the Obama administration. All say they were guarding national security, had no political motives, and didn't leak the information. As the 2016 campaign peaked, Obama official Samantha Power's name was on hundreds of attempts to reveal the identities of Americans caught up in secretly-gathered intelligence. Obama adviser Susan Rice also took part. And Obama officials Sally Yates and James Clapper admit having reviewed intel gathered on US political figures. 

If you are a target, Big Brother is watching not just you, but everyone you are in contact with, and everyone they are in contact with.

Photo credit: Sharyl

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