March 23, 2017

"The Washington Post's Bob Woodward warned... that there are people from the Obama administration who could be facing criminal charges for unmasking the names of Trump transition team members from surveillance of foreign officials."

"During an interview on Fox News, Woodward said that if that information about the unmasking is true, 'it is a gross violation.'"
He said it isn't Trump's assertion, without proof, that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower that is of concern, but rather that intelligence officials named the Americans being discussed in intercepted
communications....

"[T]he idea that there was intelligence value here is really thin," Woodward said. "It's, again, down the middle, it is not what Trump said, but this could be criminal on the part of people who decided, oh, let's name these people."

He drove the point home, adding that "under the rules, that name is supposed to be blanked out, and so you've got a real serious problem potentially of people in the Obama administration passing around this highly classified gossip."

44 comments:

Original Mike said...

Obamites thought they were impervious to prosecution, and they were for eight years. But they should have realized this would not be true past a change in administration.

Nonetheless, I'll believe there are consequences for their law breaking when I see it and not before.

BADuBois said...

From Woodward's lips to God's ears...

C.U.N.T. said...

Since when did you care so much to write a blog about a reporter's warning? Washington Post's no less. Hah.

Lem said...

Is it possible Obama set a trap for Trumps people but ended up ensnaring his own people because of their own natural curiosity thinking maybe there's something here to bring the opposition down, they set about to decipher who was blacked out.

If true... it would just be too delicious. Real life is not like that.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, I'm going out on a limb here, but, remember, you heard it from the keyboard of YH first.

I predict that in the next two years the details of how corrupt & politicized the DoJ was under Obama will start coming out. The details will come out mostly because the opposition now controls all three branches of government, & the opposition now has access to eight years of Obama DoJ records.

As part of that investigation, it will come out the elements in the DoJ & the FBI not only performed electronic surveillance on Trump ( & I bet before him, Sanders), but they fed the intelligence gathered to the Clinton campaign.

If you think this is whacked, ask yourself why was Trump & Krew put under surveillance? Russian contacts? The Clinton camp with HRC & Podesta had as many Russian contacts as did the Trump camp. But, yet, Trump was "tapped", & starting, as far as we know, back in June.

Why? My guess is that 1) the FISA requests were done after the fact to put a veneer of respectability on a criminal act that was already in progress, 2) the "Russian ties" lie was used for the same reason, & 3) Democratic moles in the FBI & DoJ constantly fed the information gathered to the Clinton campaign.

Just wait. This is gonna be big, & it'll blow a hole in both the Obama & Clinton machines that the Democratic Party will struggle to recover from.

Lem said...

I mean if someone handed me some juicy stuff with the names blacked out, what would I do with it?

Bay Area Guy said...

It's breathtaking to me how Trump's Twitter has caused so much confusion. Permit me to simplify:

1. Anonymous leaks quoted in the NY Times -- specifically with respect to Flynn's telephone calls to the Russian Ambassador -- means that Trump's associates were, in essence, "wiretapped."

2. Most likely, this was done under a FISA Order, which meant it was LEGAL surveillance (better word, than wiretapping).

3. Leaking the "incidental" communications obtained via a FISA order is a felony.

4. More so, according to the famous NY Times story on 1.19.17, , it was a larger dragnet than just Flynn.

5. Leaking these communications is illegal, too.

Trump was a little sloppy on Twitter. But, there is no doubt there was surveillance on at least one of his transition members/early political appointees (Flynn), and more likely than not, Trump's own communications were caught in this FISA and/or prosecutorial dragnet as well. FISA orders are very, very, very broad. You catch a lot of stuff.

At the hearing, Schiff refuses to use the word FISA, but that's what he means, and Comey expressly dodges the FISA issue:


SCHIFF: Mr. Trump also asserted in that tweet that he was -- that the application -- or the president's order was turned down by a court. Was there any request made by the FBI or Justice Department to wiretap Donald Trump turned down by a court?

COMEY: That's one of those subjects I can't comment on one way or another. Please don't interpret that in any way other than I just can't talk about anything that relates to the Pfizer (sic) process in an open setting.

Note that the transcript says "Pfizer" (as in drug company, not FISA, as in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). These jokers don't ever want to say the word FISA.

FISA, FISA, FISA!!!!!!

Bottom Line: Probably, there was no FBI warrant, based on probable cause, to directly surveille Trump for purposes of a criminal prosecution. But, probably, there was a FISA application granted (National Security grounds) to surveille some Russians, which resulted in obtaining some incidental communications between Trump and Flynn and others.

So, to make a long story short, Trump was likely 'wiretapped" by Obama's DOJ.

Tom said...

Obama could unmask the names.

Matthew Sablan said...

I have no doubt they thought what they were doing would be fine. I mean, the last administration leaked the names, addresses and tax records of people that it disliked to left-wing agitators. It spied on journalists it disliked and even Congress.

So, why would they NOT think that they could get away with it, seeing all the other crap they DID get away with?

Lem said...

Accusing the Trump people of colluding with Russia does serve to somewhat obscure the shenanigans involved in capturing, collecting, wiretapping (whatever word you want to use) that may have gone on during Obama's reign.

BTW. This is the stuff a now quiet Snowden was talking about. It appears there may have been "abuses".

Look out for that word "abuses".

mikesixes said...

I'm really enjoying the Trump administration so far, which surprises me. He is the second-to-last person I would have picked to be president, but his cabinet and court appointments and policy proposals have been better than I would have expected from any of the other GOP candidates. The press and the left (but I repeat myself) hate him so much that they can't think straight. This foolishness about whether or not he was tapped is actually hilarious. Of course he was! Where did these Wile E. Coyote super-geniuses think their sources were getting all their inside information about Trump's Russian contacts? Contacts, by the way, which turned out to be perfectly innocent, while those leaking the tapped information are eligible for, and deserving of, substantial prison time. However Trump turns out as a president, he's doing a great job exposing the mental deficiencies of the Washington establishment. And he's entertaining the hell out of me while he's at it.

madAsHell said...

I predict that in the next two years the details of how corrupt & politicized the DoJ was under Obama will start coming out.

Go back, and watch the Obama, Romney debate with Crowley as the moderator. They knew where Romney's next talking point was going, and Obama encouraged him to say it. Crowley then jumped Romney with a big bag of revisionist history.

Yes, I've mentioned this before. I think my tin foil hat needs a new ground wire.

Bay Area Guy said...

James Rosen article about the evidence of Trump surveillance

If you don't know who James Rosen is, you should google "James Rosen report + DOJ investigation"

Original Mike said...

Eric Holder's DOJ's treatment of James Rosen was disgraceful.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One of the reasons that "suddenly" there are these multitudes of leaks is that Obama made an executive order that allowed the

In effect, Trump was wiretapped — if not in the corny, old sense of the word, something very close. Technologically, he was wiretapped, as were several (actually many) others.

A fair amount of this happened not long before Barack Obama suddenly changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, for the first time ever (!!!!!) allowing the NSA to share its data with 16 other intelligence agencies, thus making the dissemination of said data (i. e. leaking) many times more likely. That was done on January 12, 2017, just three scant days before Trump’s inauguration. Why did the then president finally decide to make that particular change at that extremely late date, rather than on one of the previous seven years and three hundred fifty-three days of his presidency? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes or Watson to smell a rat.
Read the rest

So....in otherwords. Knowing that this sudden ability for the RAW data to be widely spread and knowing that there are embedded Deep State stooges willing to leak this data, Obama practically guaranteed that the information which should have been REDACTED and wasn't would be handed to his willing minions to bring down Flynn and any one else.

If you don't find this frightening.....that the outgoing administration was using the power of our spy agencies to get information on its political opponents and then illegally leaking that information to create chaos in the new, legally elected administration and try to bring down the government......then you are really not paying attention and/or are a blind partisan.

This is the stuff of 3rd world dictatorships. Not the way a Representative Republic or a Democratically run government acts.

If this is just swept under the rug as business as usual...or worse...it is OK because Trump, we are in great trouble to survive as a free nation.

Michael K said...

The point about the Romney and debate issue is a good one.

I suspect the Community Organizer is experienced in such matters, going back to the Jack Ryan divorce records that Axelrod got a tame judge to open in spite of both parties opposition.

ndspinelli said...

Using the IRS to target Tea Party groups is also worthy of felony criminal charges.

Gahrie said...

Why would the Obama cabal worry about this? They have consistently gotten away with much worse. At the most a few flunkies will be forced to smirk at Congress and plead the Fifth.

YoungHegelian said...

@Gahrie,

Why would the Obama cabal worry about this? They have consistently gotten away with much worse.

Yeah, they did under the Obama/Holder DoJ.

A Trump/Sessions DoJ will be a whole different beast. Now, for Trump, it's personal.

ndspinelli said...

A Sessions run DOJ should cause some agita w/ the cabal. You get these weasels to flip on one another. They're politicians. I could see this going up to Ben Rhodes. I would love to see that smug sissy in Allenwood.

glenn said...

I'm not from Missouri but I was born not far away. Show me.

David Begley said...

Susan Rice and John Brennan are at the top of the suspect list for me.

Brent said...

I want people to go to jail over this leaking and exposing of names.

Jail!

Obama kissers. In. Jail

Kathryn51 said...

Gahrie said...
Why would the Obama cabal worry about this? They have consistently gotten away with much worse. At the most a few flunkies will be forced to smirk at Congress and plead the Fifth.

If (perhaps a big "if") Nunez obtained the documents from a whistleblower, then there is at least one individual still working for the US Gov't that knows where the skeletons are buried. Even more interesting is the "fact" (assuming it's accurate) that the new documents were completely unrelated to Russia - which means the Obama administration was surveilling other foreign parties at the time.

wendybar said...

Read Journalist Sharyl Attkissons book "Stonewalled" about HER being spyed on by the Obama administration...It is mortifying...

khesanh0802 said...

Trey Gowdy's questioning of Comey is impressive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3732167507&feature=iv&src_vid=JP0ug75up7w&v=TaGlZm_52dQ

Although Comey slips and slides the message is clear: there is a finite universe of people who could have released this classified information and the FBI had better find them.

chickelit said...

Why does Bob Woodward seem like the only honest journalist left at The Washington Post?

Michael K said...

"Why does Bob Woodward seem like the only honest journalist left at The Washington Post?"

Like Cecil B DeMille once said, "Sincerity is the key. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Woodward was one of Mark Felt's stenographers and has been riding on that reputation for decades.

PB said...

This "masking" topic. It's broadly misunderstood. It's not that officials "unmasked", but that they failed to "mask".

The Obama administration, greatly expanded the number of agencies that could access raw intelligence, bypassing the normal masking process and relying on the expanded universe of agencies to do the necessary masking before disseminating it further within their agency or outside of their agency.

This is the problem and Obama is solely responsible for it.

Original Mike said...

Blogger ndspinelli said..."Using the IRS to target Tea Party groups is also worthy of felony criminal charges."

Any chance Lois Lerner can still get what she deserves?

Mark B said...

I watched Trey Gowdy's questioning of Comey, which khesanh0802 recommended above (8:00 pm) as "impressive." Indeed it was! More substance (more steak) and less sizzle than the usual Trey Gowdy click bait. Thanks khesanh. And the rest of you -- go watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3732167507&feature=iv&src_vid=JP0ug75up7w&v=TaGlZm_52dQ

sodal ye said...

Mark B, thank you for that link

Humperdink said...

@Mark B. Just watched the entire linked video. Comey's a worm.

chickelit said...

Comey was forthright and even likable until around the 14 min mark when he starts to weasle-out. Interestingly, the trigger was the mention of former President Obama's name. It went downhill from there for Comey.

wildswan said...

Excellent video. What it comes down to is that the media has been abusing various aspects of the FISA program so that the program has been used as a weapon against the elected President. So Trump was right that fake news is the enemy of the American people.

For instance, General Flynn lost his job because of stories in the media about things supposedly gained from FISA transcripts. It seems that even if Comey knew the "transcripts" were erroneous he would not say so - even if the government lost an important official as happened in the Flynn case. And if the President of the United States had trouble with his transition because of false leaks in the media the FBI can't investigate and expose the lies nor can it expose the false leaks because methods of collection or verification would come out. And the media has been ruthlessly exploiting this fact to keep false narratives going with "leaks". And the FBI is baffled by this. It's new. But why is the FBI baffled? If someone like Trey Goudy were head of the FBI he would not be baffled and the practice would not keep going. Listening to Comey is like listening to Buchanan in 1859. "The South can't legally secede but the US can't legally stop secession. Therefore the government can do nothing," said Buchanan. Another President, Lincoln, had other ideas. "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." If Comey can't protect the President as he does his business and also protect FISA security, then maybe he should resign and let someone with fresh ideas head an FBI that ends this attack on the Presidency.

Achilles said...

Gahrie said...
Why would the Obama cabal worry about this? They have consistently gotten away with much worse. At the most a few flunkies will be forced to smirk at Congress and plead the Fifth.

Maybe under a Cruz or Rubio administration. But this is one of the reasons I supported Trump. Sessions is AG and has been treated like shit his entire career in the senate. They are going to let the dogs off the leash.

Trump has no reason to keep this all under wraps. Normal republicans are investe in the DC culture. But Trump is going to see what we all see: a corrupt shit hole full of slimy dirtbags abusing their power and flaunting the law.

Achilles said...

YoungHegelian said...
Okay, I'm going out on a limb here, but, remember, you heard it from the keyboard of YH first.

You are on a pretty solid limb there. There are a couple more big ticket items to add:

Obama was directly involved in all of it. He micromanages everything. He has a long history of using these tactics all the way back in his Chicago days.

It will become widely known exactly what the NSA has been doing and how widespread the surveillance has been. They collect everything. E v e r y t h i n g.

Obama was in up to his eyeballs with the IRS.

All 16 "intelligence" agencies have been corrupted.

Benghazi was a fiasco. They spent time in the aftermath trying to find a reason, the video, other than Al Quaeda affiliate carrying out a long planned attack and there were Generals fired because they questioned orders.

Someone in the DOJ ordered an American Citizen be arrested to support Obama's video lie.

Someone has Hillary on the record repeatedly denying additional security in Benghazi.

Kristian Holvoet said...

As Instapundit often notes: 'Laws are for little people.' And the unemployed Obama operatives are now little people. Though they have always been small.

Original Mike said...

Not one comment in this thread from the likes of Unknown or Chuck.

khesanh0802 said...

@Mark B Thanks. I haven't seen much of Gowdy, but that questioning session was quite something. I'll bet there were a lot of tightened sphincters among the leakers. Gowdy made the great point that the permission to intelligence-gather is given by the American people with various restraints in trade for better security. By ignoring the restraints and the rules the intelligence community is breaking their trust with the American people. For that a price will be paid- to the extent of withdrawing the right to conduct surveillance.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting video of Gowdy and Comey. I did find it extremely annoying yang to have to watch an advertisement every couple minutes of matter that is in the public domain. It was two very good attorneys verbally sparring. Gowdy had the advantage since he Was the one asking questions. Gowdy is a former prosecutor (indeed, saw him once In a Forensic Files episode), and it showed. Enjoyed watching him box in Comey (despite Comey, also being an atty, seeing it coming).

What did we learn? First, there is a lot more FISA surveillance than we thought. Not all of it is by the NSA - FBI and CIA also seem to be involved a lot in collecting it. Second, there are a limited number of people in each agency authorized to "unmask" "US Persons", which (we all know now) means attaching a name to the other side of an intercepted communication from the target, thereof. In Flynn's case, the official, legal, target was (presumably) the Russian Ambassador. Someone attached his name to the intercept, instead of the typical "US Person#1", etc. There aren't that many people authorized to do so, (e.g. maybe 10 in the CIA), they are known and fixed, and the only people who can unmask a US Person so intercepted are from the agency that originated the intel, and, thus owns it. (We ran into this intel ownership issue with Crooked Hillary's illegal email server, when other agencies refused to declassify information on her server just to keep her out of prison). There are apparently more of these unmaskers in the FBI, because they are the ones doing most of the internal FISA surveillance (which is most likely to sweep up communications with US Persons). That is where Comey got coy - more FBI unmaskers than NSA, but wouldn't say the exact number - which would be interesting in determining how often communications by US Persons get swept up by FBI FISA surveillance. Sounding like a lot more than we thought.

From all this, it is obvious that Gowdy and the Republicans are likely going to hold up FISA reauthorization next year unless the issue of who unmasked the identity of Trump people is resolved. A shot across the FBI's bow (NSA already seems aboard, which was easy for them, because this looks more and more like an FBI operation). Second, Comey can probably expect to be dragged back in front of the committee, and, in particular, Gowdy, until this is resolved. I expect that AG Sessions will be coming at the FBI from above on the same issue.

What a difference between this and the Gorsuch confirmation hearing, where a former (bad) comedian had two of his questions ranked in the worst 5 asked Judge Gorsuch.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Achilles - for the most part, Obama was the opposite of a micromanager, preferring to play golf, fill in his brackets, and party with celebrities, than do his job running the country. I think that it was Cooked Hillary who said that there was really no hand on the tiller, with his cabinet secretaries being allowed to essentially run their departments as private fiefdoms (which is why she was able to rake in so much to her foundation in 4 years as Sec of State, while destabling the Middle East). Benign neglect. He did apparently get involved in kinetic military actions, because, I suspect, they were fun and exciting. Much better than video games, since real people were shooting and dying.

I don't think that Obama really knew exactly what was going on. For one thing, for the post-election surveillance, he is too smart, and too timid to have authorized it. Call it plausible deniability. I still think that it was high level subordinates, like Jarrett, Lynch, etc, who were operating in his name, as they had been for his entire term of office. My bet is that both women were involved - esp Lynch who oversaw the DoJ attys seeking the FISA warrants and authorizing, in the last days of the Administration, the great expansion and of the agencies privy to raw FISA intel. But of course, this is all just fine, because Obama is the one person completely immune from prosecution for anything criminal he did while President. Neither Jarrett, Lynch, or even Ben Rhodes (mentioned by Gowdy) have that protection, nor do they have Obama's protection any more. I think that Jarrett is toast if any of her fingerprints are found. Lynch's is more problematic - sitting AGs are likely reluctant to set the precedent of criminally prosecuting their predecessors, lest it happen to them. Trump and Sessions may make an exception here.

exhelodrvr1 said...

There is so much that needs to be done with the economy, health care, foreign policy, defense budget, immigration, terrorism, etc., and so much from the previous 8 years that merits in-depth investigation, and only so much time/political energy available, that most of the evil of the previous administration is going to have to be ignored. Too much else going on, and they are going to end up getting away with most everything.

Rusty said...

Original Mike said...
"Not one comment in this thread from the likes of Unknown or Chuck."

They're waiting for their talking points.