Andrew McCarthy has a great article out today on the New York Times piece yesterday that revealed how a secret FBI cabal inappropriately investigated the Trump campaign in 2016.
Let’s get started:
You have to dig pretty deep to find that the FBI ran “at least one government informant” against the Trump campaign…
But that’s not even the most important of the buried ledes. What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign.
That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.
The Clinton case was a criminal investigation that was predicated on a mountain of incriminating evidence…
By contrast, the Trump case is a counterintelligence investigation. Unlike criminal cases, counterintelligence matters are classified…
The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.
McCarthy goes on to note how the NY Times doesn’t really say much on this huge point, hoping the fact that Russia was meddling in our election would muddy the waters. He argues that it would have been wholly appropriate for the FBI to open an counterintelligence investigation on Russia.
But opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia is not the same thing as opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign.
The media-Democrat complex has tried from the start to conflate these two things. That explains the desperation to convince the public that Putin wanted Trump to win. It explains the stress on contacts, no matter how slight, between Trump campaign figures and Russians. They are trying to fill a gaping void they hope you don’t notice: Even if Putin did want Trump to win, and even if Trump-campaign advisers did have contacts with Kremlin-tied figures, there is no evidence of participation by the Trump campaign in Russia’s espionage.
Lastly, McCarthy explains that even if the FBI had evidence of clandestine activities on behalf of Russia by the Trump campaign, they still wouldn’t have opened a counterintelligence investigation:
Under federal law, to establish that an American is acting as an agent of a foreign power, the government must show that the American is purposefully engaging in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power, and that it is probable that these activities violate federal criminal law. (See FISA, Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 1801(b)(2), further explained in the last six paragraphs of my Dec. 17 column.)
But of course, if the FBI had had that kind of evidence, they would not have had to open a counterintelligence investigation. They would not have had to use the Clinton campaign’s opposition research — the Steele dossier — to get FISA-court warrants. They would instead have opened a criminal investigation, just as they did on Clinton when there was evidence that she committed felonies.
So to sum up, Obama’s FBI abused it’s powers to open an illegal classified investigation into Obama’s political adversaries. All the while letting his political allies – Hillary Clinton – off the hook for crimes of which they had plenty of evidence!
And this isn’t the first time Obama used the government to target his political opposition. Remember how the IRS targeted conservative groups while aiding liberal groups before the 2012 election???
I think Trump is right. This is bigger than watergate. Much bigger.