Target Trump Campaign: Obama’s Domestic Spying Abuses

This high-level scandal was, and still is, aided and abetted by the mainstream media which has now become nothing more than a clique of left-wing Democrat Party operatives with bylines in the production and dissemination of FAKE NEWS. Americans haven’t heard the end of this anti-constitutional scandal and, no doubt, darker days lie ahead with even more revealing memos to come.

By Morgan Norval l February 5, 2018

The February 2nd release of the House Intelligence Committee’s four-page memorandum provides an introduction to the Obama Administration’s use by fraudulent means to allow the FBI to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and its transition to the presidency.

The subject of this memo: “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” implies Obama Administration complicity in political targeting of the Republican Party candidate over the favored Democrat Party presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, who received a pass.

Playing a central role in this well-woven plot was a warrant obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow FBI domestic spying on American citizens—in this case Carter Page, a U.S. businessman playing a minor role in the Trump campaign. Page was a convenient target in that he had a business interest in Russia and this became the all-important “hook” for the Obama Administration to actively spy on Trump and associates. Page was wrongly termed by the FBI as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia. The FISA Court (FISC) would grant a warrant flowing from this assertion.

The declassified memo reveals that 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…material and relevant information was omitted. (1) The ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia…The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of – and paid by – the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”

What is the FISA Court? It is a court established during the Cold War—in 1978—to provide a means to allow domestic spying on U.S. citizens thought to be engaged in espionage on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The court consists of eleven sitting Federal Judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. They serve seven-year terms. They rotate through a secure, heavily guarded venue located in the Federal District Courthouse in Washington, DC. One of the eleven judges will travel to DC, spend a week presiding over the court, then return to their Federal District Court, replaced by another of the eleven FISC judges. The remaining judges rotate through the court in this same manner until their seven-year term expires. The court’s hearings are “ex parte” meaning only one side—the government—presents evidence to the presiding judge. This set up is similar to the notorious 15th – 17th century English courts of law known as the Star Chamber—named after the star painted on the ceiling of the chamber where they met, often to the fatal detriment of those hauled before it. Both the FISC and the old Star Chamber produce arbitrary results.

Not just any government official can approach the FISC seeking a surveillance warrant; only the highest-ranking FBI and Justice Department officials. And, certain procedures must be followed. Only the highest-ranking FBI official must first vet and approve a request before sending it to the next level for approval. The FBI-vetted request must then be approved at a high level of the Department of Justice, normally the Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General. With such vetting and approvals, the FISC can be approached seeking the warrant.

That isn’t the end of the matter, however, once the warrant has been approved and issued by the FISC, it must be re-vetted and re-approved every 90 days. The FISA warrant request involving the Trump surveillance, and its renewals, were signed by James Comey and Andrew McCabe of the FBI, Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein, all Deputy Attorney Generals.

The “ex parte” procedure depends upon the integrity of both the FBI leadership and the Deputy Attorney General. In the case of the Obama Administration’s domestic spying on Trump and associates, this integrity was clearly lacking – instead, extreme bias was the order of the day.

The FISA warrant granting surveillance of the Trump campaign was grounded on a known work of fiction—the Steele dossier. But this fictitious work was of vital importance to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who admitted as much when he claimed that without the Steele dossier there would have been no FISA application.

The dossier was compiled and written by Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 agent with a Russia specialty, who hated Trump and didn’t want to see him become President of the United States. Steele also used material supplied to him by some of his Russian contacts, who obviously knew who was behind his efforts.

The fictitious dossier written by Steele, also in the employ of Fusion GPS, was an opposition research product commissioned by the Clinton Campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. Steele’s pornographic dossier fit the bill.

Steele’s information on alleged Trump—Russian collusion was peddled to the left-wing media outlet, Mother Jones, among others. The unscrupulous document was soon published by Buzzfeed now facing libel lawsuits from several parties in London.

However, the FBI knowingly used information generated by Steele and Fusion GPS. This was provided by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie was working for Fusion GPS at that time. Ohr had also told the FBI of Steele’s hostile bias toward Trump. Ohr’s notification, in essence, put the whole food chain on notice of Steele’s hostile bias. The chain seems to have run from Comey at the FBI through Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Justice Department to the White House and directly to President Obama. Can anyone of sane mind believe running a spying operation on a U.S. presidential candidate would not have been vetted and approved from the top? No doubt they will deny that, but it doesn’t pass the smell test. Yet, they went ahead and lied to the FISC to obtain their surveillance warrant.

The declassified memo states: “The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC…While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations.”

This was a blatant attempt to corrupt and unduly influence the 2016 presidential election with the goal to cement the election of Hillary Clinton by a secret anti-Trump cabal of Obama-Clinton sycophants. They assumed, not only would she be elected, but that she would ignore their seedy actions. But Hillary lost, and their efforts then turned to overthrowing the election results—unbecoming conduct that seems more like a coup d’état than a legal democratic process.

This high-level scandal was, and still is, aided and abetted by the mainstream media which has now become nothing more than a clique of left-wing Democrat Party operatives with bylines in the production and dissemination of FAKE NEWS.

Americans haven’t heard the end of this anti-constitutional scandal and, no doubt, darker days lie ahead with even more revealing memos to come.

Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the online-conservative-journalism center at the Washington-based foundation.