There is a large scandal brewing in Washington.
It involves illegal leaks of classified information.
And one journalist explains how it could lead to members of Barack Obama’s team going to prison.
Bob Woodward of the Washington Post was one of the reporters who broke the Watergate story.
He recently appeared on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor to discuss the bombshell revelations from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that members of the Trump team had been under surveillance and their identities had been illegally passed around the intelligence community.
Woodward said this was a gross violation.
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When an American citizen is picked up communicating with an individual under a FISA warrant, their identity is supposed to be minimized, unless there is foreign intelligence value attached to the communication.
Nunes is alleging there was no foreign intelligence value to some of the communications he observed.
Passing around this information is illegal.
Even keeping information with no intelligence value collected through a FISA warrant is illegal.
When Trump first accused Obama of spying on him, Robert Barnes wrote on LawNewz blog that there were two possible criminal violations by the Obama team:
“…it seems the FISA-compelled protocols for precluding the dissemination of the information were violated, and that Obama’s team issued orders to achieve precisely what the law forbids, if published reports are true about the administration sharing the surveilled information far-and-wide to promote unlawful leaks to the press. This, too, would be its own crime, as it brings back the ghost of Hillary’s emails — by definition, FISA information is strictly confidential or it’s information that never should have been gathered. FISA strictly segregates its surveilled information into two categories: highly confidential information of the most serious of crimes involving foreign acts of war; or, if not that, then information that should never have been gathered, should be immediately deleted, and never sourced nor disseminated. It cannot be both.
Recognizing this information did not fit FISA meant having to delete it and destroy it. According to published reports, Obama’s team did the opposite: order it preserved, ordered the NSA to search it, keep it, and share it; and then Obama’s Attorney General issued an order to allow broader sharing of information and, according to the New York Times, Obama aides acted to label the Trump information at a lower level of classification for massive-level sharing of the information. The problem for Obama is simple — if it could fit a lower level of classification, then it had to be deleted and destroyed, not disseminated and distributed, under crystal clear FISA law. Obama’s team’s admission it could be classified lower, yet taking actions to insure its broadest distribution, could even put Obama smack-middle of the biggest unlawful surveillance and political-opponent-smear campaign since Nixon.”
Nunes’ revelations make it clear that members of the Obama team committed both of these crimes.
And Bob Woodward is right. People could end up in jail.