On Monday USA Today posted an article about the Mueller investigation.
The article asks a very interesting question:
The Russian collusion story had been an article of faith for the Resistance and the press. But why were so many people so deeply convinced of something that was not true? Who was behind not only concocting this fantastic tale but also embedding it in the highest levels of the Justice Department, the intelligence community and the news media?
This question had been on hold during the Mueller investigation. Government officials could not dig into it because anything they might do publicly would have been denounced as interference or “obstruction.” But with the Mueller phase concluded, the gates have opened.
President Trump retweeted a link about a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying the Obama administration must account for “abuse of surveillance powers.” “Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called for the appointment of a new special counsel. And former George W. Bush administration spokesman Ari Fleischer asked what could be the ultimate question, “What did Barack Obama know and what and when did he authorize it?”
The surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team was inexcusable. It was a more blatant an abuse of federal power than anything previously seen.
This is Article I of the Impeachment Articles against Richard Nixon:
On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.
Note that the crime was breaking and entering to secure political intelligence and using the powers of government to cover up the crime. What about lying to a FISA court to be able to conduct illegal surveillance and then fabricating a crime to cover up your activities?
The article at USA Today includes the following:
Yet Obama officials also treated Trump campaign staffers as targets themselves. They used cooperative foreign intelligence services to chat them up overseas, both to put a layer of deniability between them and this questionable behavior, and to get around prohibitions against spying on American citizens. The recently released transcript of the House Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Government Reform and Oversight interview with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos goes into great detail how this targeting was conducted. Papadopoulos claims that foreign governments are now cooperating to reveal more about these activities.
These activities are illegal. Those involved in illegal FISA warrants, targeting innocent staff members of the campaign, and other misuses of government need to be held accountable. Unless they are held accountable, we can expect to see more of this behavior in the future.