• Did the Obama Administration Bend the Rules to Spy on Trump?

    Remember when Trump claimed he was being wiretapped and everyone in the left-wing establishment went crazy?

    In his tweets, the president launched some serious allegations at then President Obama.

    Trumps claims were dismissed by people who if they can be trusted, should know about any wiretapping…FBI Director James Comey.

    According to a CNN report it looks like Trump may have been right:

    US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

    The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.
    The Obama Administration orchestrated the secret spying by utilizing whats known as a FISA warrant:
    A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party, the sources told CNN.

    The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources.

    The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year. Sources say the second warrant was part of the FBI’s efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. Such 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.

    The current law covering these FISA warrants is a 4th Amendment disaster that has basically given license to powerful people in our government to literally obtain permission to spy on their political enemies. The wiretapping of Manafort is a perfect example. Trump was never personally wiretapped that we know of…but the use of Section 702 of the FISA authorization allows the wide net to be cast. That wide net scoops up the information of many Americans not the focus of the warrant.

    Remember Edward Snowden…these are the authorizations that government agencies such as the NSA and others use to trample on individual Americans rights, essentially eliminating any 4th Amendment protections in the name of “Intelligence”.

    Right now congress is in the process of reworking the FISA rules and Section 702. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has an opportunity to protect the 4th Amendment rights of all Americans by fixing the FISA program. He could literally put a stop to the exact abuse that the Obama Administration used against the Trump campaign officials and honor the Bill of Rights.

    That great opportunity could be squandered by the fact that the Trump Administration has signaled their willingness to approve the same secretive methods used against them. It makes no sense that President Trump would not want to make the changes needed to eliminate the abuse of power used for partisan purposes, unless he intends to utilize them himself. Not to mention, this is Trumps opportunity to end the collection of data of innocent Americans without warrants or probable cause.

    The only true way to fix FISA is to require that any and all agencies get warrants based on probable cause before searching for the information about any American – regardless of whether they say their purpose is intelligence or criminal.

    This change would prevent the use of these authorities for nefarious political activity. With the current controversies over the constant leaking of information by administration officials and Congress, it is shocking that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and President Trump have come out in opposition to these common sense reforms.

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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