Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center,
is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the
radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Last week, CNN
revealed (and excused) one phase of the
Obama spying operation on Trump. After
lying about it
on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of
Trump officials to Congress.
unmasking the names of Trump officials a
month before leaving office. The targets
may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced
out of office using leaked surveillance.
Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with
Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.
Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser.
Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy
on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to
latest CNN spin piece informs
us that secret
FISA orders were used to spy on the
conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul
Manafort. The surveillance was discontinued for lack of
evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a
pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor
matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from
new FISA requests.
Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the
limitations on the conventional investigations of their political
opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.
If any of
Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them.
And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by
Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a
technically legal Watergate.
CNN stories hold up, then Obama Inc. had spied on two Trump
espionage operation closely tracked
Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request
targeting Trump happened the month after
he received the GOP nomination. The second one came through
in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to
upend an election.
ramped up after Trump’s win when the results could no longer be
used to engineer a Hillary victory, but would instead have to be
used to cripple and bring down President Trump. Headed out the
door, Rice was still unmasking the names of Trump’s people while
Obama was making it easier
to pass around raw eavesdropped data to
switched from spying on a political opponent to win an election,
to spying on his successor to undo the results of the election.
Abuse of power by a sitting government had become subversion of
the government by an outgoing administration. Domestic spying on
opponents had become a coup.
Democrat scandals of the past few administrations have hinged on
gross violations of political norms, elementary ethics and the
rule of law that, out of context, were not technically illegal.
the pattern that makes the crime. It’s the context that shows the
compartmentalized its espionage operation in individual acts of
surveillance and unmasking, and general policies implemented to
aid both, that may have been individually legal, in the purely
technical sense, in order to commit the major crime of
eavesdropping on the political opposition.
individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s
irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the
political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.
spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a
coincidence. It’s a pattern.
motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised
by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence
from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A
shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two
different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s
the pattern that makes the crime.
was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied
on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different
people and two different pretexts.
single target. President Trump.
pattern that exposes the motive.
learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover
that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different
technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.
individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together
they add up to the crime of the century.
gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If
you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in
politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or
technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone
engaged in illegal surveillance makes.
illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that
they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was
what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.
crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a
everyone were being spied on all the time, many crimes could be
exposed every second. But that’s not how our system works. That’s
why we have a Fourth Amendment.
Obama Inc. trying to expose crimes for their own sake, but to
bring down the opposition.
it doesn’t matter what results the Obama surveillance turned up.
The surveillance was a crime. Anything turned up by it is the
fruit of a poisonous tree. It’s inherently illegitimate.
and foremost agenda must be to assemble a list of Trump officials
who were spied on and the pretexts under which they were spied
upon. The pattern will show the crime. And that’s what Obama and
his allies are terrified of. It’s why Flynn was forced out using
illegal surveillance and leaks. It’s why McMaster is protecting
Susan Rice and the Obama holdovers while purging Trump loyalists
at the NSC.
gamble was that the Mueller investigation or some other
illegitimate spawn of the Obama eavesdropping would produce an
indictment and then the procedural questions wouldn’t
dirty cop using illegal eavesdropping to generate leads for a
“clean” case against his target while betting that no one will
look too closely or care how the case was generated. If one of the
Mueller targets is intimidated into making a deal, the question of
how the case was generated won’t matter.
will have a cooperative witness. And the Democrats can begin their
coup in earnest. It will eventually turn out that there is no
“there” there. But by then, it’ll be time for President Booker.
just one problem.
gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more
than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the
Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops,
then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic
surveillance of their political opponents.
nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.
race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the
investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging
in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical
grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t
targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National
Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to
do, then it’s over.
Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump,
it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will
be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.
and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation,
they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to
destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.
crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more
urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each
crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse
crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old
story when it comes to criminals.
of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal
surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double
down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.
Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time
it was bound to pay off.
his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals
that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of
their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of
executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by
anyone who would undo them. The more his staffers lied and
broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the
Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out
all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did
it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power
locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop
riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.
want to understand why Samantha
Power was unmasking names, that’s why. The
hysterical obsession with destroying Trump comes from the top
down. It’s not just ideology. It’s wealthy and powerful men and
women who ran the country and are terrified that their crimes will
the media increasingly sounds like the propaganda organs of a
Communist country. Why there are street riots and why the internet
is being censored by Google and Facebook’s “fact checking”
just ideology. It’s raw fear.
is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president.
The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican
point in history is here.
goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds,
then America ends.