(National Sentinel) Executive BranchÂ Scandal: What did the president know, and when did he know it?
That infamous question was asked by Sen. Howard Baker during the Watergate hearings more than 40 years ago. But in the wake of new information that indeed, Team Trump was “wire tapped” by James Comey’s FBI — who answered to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who answered to President Obama — the question is particularly relevant again today.
Because, asÂ The Wall Street Journal notes, the so-called “mainstream media” media isn’t asking the question. In fact, members of the MSM seem far more interested in how President Donald J. Trump described the Obama administration surveillance than the surveillanceÂ itself.
The facts, we now know, are thus: Not only was the Obama administration actively surveilling members of an opposing presidential campaign forÂ months — beforeÂ and after Trump won the Nov. 8 election — but in order to even get such surveillance (ofÂ American citizens) authorized,Â the decision to proceed would have only come from the top tiers of the Executive Branch.
And who sits atÂ the very top of that branch? The president.
One would presumably only approve such an order if the request presented by the executive branch was highly compelling and likely to produce evidence that the subject of the wiretap was in fact working with Russia to disrupt U.S. elections. Roughly a year later, as the public still waits for such evidence, this column wonders how this judge is feeling now, especially now that CNN has reported that at least two of its three sources believe the resulting evidence is inconclusive.
One would also presumeâ€”or at least hopeâ€”that seeking to wiretap associates of the leader of the political opposition is not an everyday occurrence in any administration. At the very least, it seems highly unlikely that such a decision would be made by a mid-level official. CNN notes, â€œSuch warrants require the approval of top Justice Department and FBI officials, and the FBI must provide the court with information showing suspicion that the subject of the warrant may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.â€
It seems reasonable for the public to know exactly which officials made this decision and who else they consulted or informed of their surveillance plans. Was the President briefed on the details of this investigation?
And as for the information showing suspicion, where did the FBI come up with that?
Last fall, the WSJ’s Kim Strassel wrote that it seemed at least plausible that Comey’s FBI was behind the bogus Trump “dossier” — which has been widely denounced as fraudulent, proven to be bogus, but nevertheless used as justification, in large part, for the FBI’s Team Trump investigation and, to another degree, the authorization of Comey friend and former Obama FBI Director Robert Mueller [and let’s never forget that #nevertrumper Sen. John McCain made sure Comey’s FBI had a copy of that dossier — which has since been tied to Democrats].
Regarding the appointment of Mueller, as we wrote yesterday:
Regardless of how Muellerâ€™s probe turns out, let us also never forget that it wasÂ Comeyâ€™s strategy all along to get a special prosecutor appointed to â€˜investigateâ€™ Team Trump â€” under theÂ guise of â€œRussian collusion,â€ though Muellerâ€™s probe has since extended way past that initial mandate.Â The swamp is deep and wide.
“Oddly,” the WSJ continued, “even though CNN is the source of this weekâ€™s news, the media outlet seems less interested in President Obamaâ€™s knowledge of the surveillance activities that occurred on his watch and against his political adversaries than in how President Trump has described them. CNNâ€™s scoop doesnâ€™t even mention Mr. Obama except in the context of Mr. Trumpâ€™s accusations of wiretapping against the former president that appeared on Twitter in March.”
Trump’s actual March tweet — that Obama had his “wires tapped” — has still not been proven, per se. But theÂ context in which the president made the accusation certainly is accurate. And given all the players, the level of deceit, the known politicization of the intelligence community and Department of Justice by Obama, it is not a far stretch of the imagination to believe that Trump’s predecessor was in on this from the beginning.
It’s a shame that the legacy media of today isn’t as curious about what Obama knew and when he might have known it as a U.S. senator was four decades ago when another president was involved in scandal.
The question is just as relevant today as it was when Howard Baker asked it regarding Nixon in 1973.
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