American Elephants


The Scandal Unfolds. Where Do We Go From Here? by The Elephant's Child

Well, well, well. Representative Trey Gowdy R-SC said that in 18 months, he has not seen “one scintilla” of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with Russia. He added that if such evidence existed that Adam Schiff would have leaked it by now.

Over the weekend the FBI finally released its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications for warrants against former Trump aide Carter Page. Now we know why the bureau resisted disclosing them. Even in heavily redacted form the applications confirm that the FBI relied on very dubious partisan evidence to justify the warrant and withheld relevant information from the court.

The applications also vindicate the criticism of the FBI’s surveillance requests that were laid out last February by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. On the basis of an uncorroborated document that was commissioned by he Hillary campaign, the FBI accused a U.S. citizen of being “an agent of a foreign power” who should be wiretapped.

Mr. Nunes also reported that the FBI did not inform the FISA court that the dossier and “trusted source” (Christopher Steele) were paid by the Clinton campaign. The applications for the FISA court do not mention the words Clinton, Democratic National Committee, Fusion GPS (the Clinton-financed oppo research firm that hired Mr. Steele) or Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson.

The FBI cited a Sept. 23,2016 story in Yahoo News to back up its Steele dossier information with the court — noting that the story said “intelligence reports” and a “well-paced Western intelligence source”  had made claims like those in the dossier. But the “reports” were the dossier, and the “Western intelligence source” was Mr. Steele. Some evidence! The media claims that Mr. Page’s history of personal Russian dealings justified the surveillance, but no one has produced evidence that Mr. Page was anything beyond an innocent abroad. There is no justification for the FBI’s use of uncorroborated partisan smears to back up the application. They appear to have played fast and loose with the facts, and the ethical boundaries of the FISA statute to unleash a counterintelligence campaign against a presidential candidate.

Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield explains the whole thing very clearly at Front Page Magazine, the players and the role of the media.

On Saturday, the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump, his campaign and his associates. In the interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Clapper said:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

I guess if you’re all into beheadings and flag-burning and claims that the country is on the verge of Auschwitz, comparing the President of the United States to Hitler—the previous president’s spying on the campaign of the candidate who opposes his own preferred successor doesn’t seem especially notable. But it is. This is an enormous scandal. And it would not have been possible without the cooperation of a partisan media. It is a direct assault on the rule of law and our free Republic for partisan political purposes.


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