As the allegations of illegal Russian support for the Trump campaign grow more distant, another issue has moved to the front page. Or at least it should. That would be the allegations that Mr. Obama used government intelligence assets to spy on Mr. Trump and his team during the time between his election and inauguration.
This story got its start with a series of tweets from President Trump that he sent early this month. In his usual straightforward way, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Obama of wiretapping him. As to be expected, much of the media downplayed the accusations. However, it now appears that there may be some truth to the president’s allegations, although “wiretapping” might be a rather crude description of what may have happened.
Part of the problem with getting a handle on such an issue is that it involves intelligence agencies. Hence, there are issues of classified documents and classified procedures that those of us in the public will never see or know about. That said, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes just held a press briefing which gave a hint into the magnitude of the issue.
The question is whether Mr. Obama used federal intelligence services to collect information on then President-elect Trump and his team during the period between the election and inauguration. Here’s what Congressman Nunes has revealed: “Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News.”
Naturally, we wonder what “incidental collection” of intelligence means. What is this collection of intelligence “incidental” to? We then get the answer: “The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.”
The FBI apparently won’t help with the investigation, but reports are that the NSA and CIA will. You would think that these agencies of the government that deal with investigations and classified matters could get on the same page, but that does not seem to be the case.
Anyway, here’s what we’ve learned: “The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential ‘smoking gun’ establishing the spying.”
Nunes is being very careful in what he says here, no doubt so as not to speculate on what might be revealed from the NSA or CIA, but he did offer this glimpse: “‘What I’ve read bothers me,’ he told reporters, ‘and I think it should bother the president himself, and his team because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate.'”
And it should bother the American people if an outgoing president takes advantage of the formidable intelligence gathering assets at his disposal to surreptitiously gather confidential information on the person who has been elected to succeed him, especially when that former president has made it clear he intends to actively oppose the new president and his administration.
Source: Fox News