Did Barack Obama and his government illegally spy on Donald Trump and his team during the 2016 campaign?
Americans were shocked when Donald Trump accused the former President of illegally monitoring his campaign’s communications.
But if it’s true, the consequences could include jail time.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin made the case that Obama used police-state tactics to illegally gather information about the Trump campaign.
He cited news reports that the Obama administration tried to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s communications.
According to reports, after the FISA court rejected the warrant, the Obama administration narrowed the request down to monitoring a server in Trump Tower, which they believed to be in communications with Russia.
This allegation proved to be false.
However, later reporting revealed the Obama administration was spying on the communications of Trump associates and Russian nationals.
But no evidence emerged that they were colluding with Russian intelligence operatives on hacking Democrats email accounts.
Finally, The New York Times reported the Obama administration was lowering the classification levels of intelligence regarding Russia’s involvement in the election and their communications with Trump associates so it could be more easily spread around the government and eventually leaked to the press.
Donald Trump echoed these charges on Twitter and claimed Obama illegally tapped his phone.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
This explosive allegation could lead to criminal prosecution for Obama and his team.
Writing at LawNewz, Robert Barnes outlines the possible criminal violations committed by the Obama team:
“This brings us to Watergate-on-Steroids or #ObamaGate. Here are the problematic aspects of the Obama surveillance on Trump’s team, and on Trump himself. First, it is not apparent FISA could ever be invoked. Second, it is possible Obama’s team may have perjured themselves before the FISA court by withholding material information essential to the FISA court’s willingness to permit the government surveillance. Third, it could be that Obama’s team illegally disseminated and disclosed FISA information in direct violation of the statute precisely prohibiting such dissemination and disclosure. FISA prohibits, under criminal penalty, Obama’s team from doing any of the three.”
FISA can only be used to gather information on foreign intelligence information.
Barnes notes FISA warrants are only granted in cases where:
“…surveillance is information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential “grave” “hostile” attack, war-like sabotage or international terror. Second, it can only be used to eavesdrop on conversations where the parties to the conversation are a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. An agent of a foreign power cannot be a United States person unless they are knowingly involved in criminal espionage. No warrant is allowed on that person unless a FISA court finds probable cause the United States person is knowingly engaged in criminal espionage. Even then, if it involves a United States person, special steps must be taken to “minimize the acquisition and retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of non-publicly available information concerning un-consenting United States persons.”
Russians hacking Democrat’s email accounts did not constitute a war-like attack.
And the Trump associates were not agents of a foreign power – and no evidence has emerged that they were knowingly engaging in criminal espionage.
A FISA warrant should not have been granted under any circumstances.
Obama and his team may have knowingly broken the law when they obtained these warrants.
And allowing the information collected from these warrants to flow throughout the government so they could easily be leaked violates the law.
Now that Obama is out of office, he can be prosecuted.
If these allegations are proven to be true, will he be held accountable for his actions?