Why It Matters

On Wednesday Real Clear Politics posted an article titled, “What the ‘Obamagate’ Scandals Mean and Why They Matter.” The article lists and details the scandals and why they matter. I will list them and then share the conclusion. Please follow the link to the article for further details.

The article lists the scandals:

Scandal No. 1: Massive, illegal surveillance of American citizens, using the database of the National Security Agency

Scandal No. 2: Spying on the Trump campaign

Scandal No. 3: Covering up this spying, continuing it during the new administration, charging that Trump was not legitimately elected, and impeding his presidency with major investigations, based on false charges

The article concludes:

Obama officials worked especially hard to remove incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Because Gen. Flynn was an experienced intelligence officer, he would surely uncover the surveillance of Trump’s campaign and transition and stop its continuation against the new administration. He had to go. Now we know just how low the Obama administration and Comey FBI sunk to make that happen: spying, unmasking, leaking classified phone calls, discarding FBI protocols to set up an entrapment interview based on a meaningless “legal violation,” and telling Trump directly, as Obama did, not to hire Flynn.

Beyond this destructive mission, Brennan loyalists at the CIA burrowed into Trump’s National Security Council while the FBI tried to plant agents in the White House itself. Most important of all, the Obama team and their congressional allies helped launch multiple, full-scale investigations of “Russian collusion” with no solid basis, plenty of contrived “evidence,” and breathless media headlines. It all failed, but not before it damaged Trump’s presidency and the basic tenets of liberal democracy.

It’s an ugly picture, one that goes beyond dirty tricks and the normal bounds of “loyal opposition.” We still have a lot to learn, but we already know a great deal. We know how grave the three scandals were. We know they fit together, forming something much larger. With each new tranche of declassified documents, we see something big and hideous emerging from the Swamp, a political scandal of profound import.

This information needs to be shouted to the American people. There are many Americans who still believe that President Trump did collude with the Russians, and they need to be told the truth. No one likes to admit that they believed a lie, but it is time to educate the American citizens on what the truth actually is.

A Synopsis Of What Obamagate Was And How It Happened

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an op-ed piece in The Washington Examiner detailing some of the highlights of Obamagate. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I am going to focus on a few highlights.

The op-ed notes:

The Trump-Russia inquiry was ingeniously designed. If the president demanded that his subordinates unveil the intelligence files that would reveal the prior administration’s political spying, he stood to be accused of obstructing investigators and seeking to distract the country from his own alleged criminality.

On that score, an underappreciated aspect of the saga is that Trump came to office as a novice. His unhinged Twitter outbursts obscure an abiding uncertainty about the extent of the president’s power to direct the intelligence bureaucracy. A more seasoned Beltway hand would have known what he could safely order reluctant bureaucrats and Obama holdovers to produce for him or disclose to the public. Trump, however, was at sea. That is why it was so vital for his antagonists to sideline Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions, Trump loyalists with deep experience in intelligence and law enforcement, who could have put a stop to the farce if they’d remained, respectively, national security adviser and attorney general.

The article concludes:

There are two lessons to be drawn from all this.

First, Barr could not be more right that the malfeasance in our government today is the politicization of law enforcement and intelligence. The only way to fix that is to stop doing it. That cannot be accomplished by bringing what many would see as the most politicized prosecution of all time. The imperative to get the Justice Department and the FBI out of our politics discourages the filing of charges that would be portrayed as banana-republic stuff. Yet, even if Barr succeeds in this noble quest, there is no assurance that a future administration would not turn the clock back.

Second, when wayward officials are not called to account, the powers they have abused become the target of public and congressional ire. The problem is that the powers are essential. Without properly directed foreign counterintelligence, supplemented by legitimate law enforcement, the United States cannot be protected from those who would do her harm.

The Trump-Russia farce has destroyed the bipartisan consensus on counterterrorism, and on the need for aggressive policing against cyberintrusions and other provocations by America’s enemies. There is an implicit understanding: The public endows its national security officials with sweeping secret authorities, and those officials solemnly commit that these authorities will only be used to thwart our enemies, not to spy on Americans or undermine the political process.

That understanding has been fractured. In counterintelligence, government operatives have to be able to look us in the eye and say, “You can trust us.” Americans no longer do. The sentiment is justified. That will not make our consequent vulnerability any less perilous.

Consequences for the guilty parties would be appropriate. However, until the American public is educated on exactly what happened, any consequences are going to look political. What is needed at this time is a massive education campaign to bring the general public up to speed. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is not likely to participate in that campaign. I am concerned that because of the dishonesty of the mainstream media,  many Americans have no idea that there actually was an attempted soft coup against President Trump. Attorney General Barr and those working with him will need the wisdom of Solomon to navigate the maze that lies before them.

Judicial Watch Uncovers The Beginning Of Obamagate

Yesterday, in their weekly update, Judicial Watch posted the text of the memo that was used to justify the spying on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and later the administration. The memo is redacted to continue to protect the guilty, but there is enough left to see what was going on.

Here is the memo:

The document is dated July 31, 2016. Here is the text of the “electronic communication”:

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Electronic Communication

Title: Crossfire Hurricane Date: 07/31/2016

Cc: [Redacted]
Strzok Peter P II

From: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE
[Redacted]
Contact: Strzok Peter P II, [Redacted]

Approved by: Strzok Peter P II

Drafed by: Strzok Peter P II

Case ID #: [Redacted]

CROSSFIRE HURRICANE;
FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACT –
RUSSIA;
SENSITIVE INVESTIGATIVE MATTER

This document contains information that is restricted to case participants

Synopsis: (S/ / ) Opens and assigns investigation

Reason 1.4 (b)
Derived from: FBI
NSISC-20090615
Declassify On: 20411231

[Redacted]

(S/) An investigation is being opened based on information received by Legat [Redacted]         on 07/29/2016. The text of that email follows:

SECRET/
[Redacted]

Title: (S/ / CC/NF) CROSSFIRE HURRICANE
Re: [Redacted] 07/31/2016

BEGIN EMAIL

(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] information from [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission

Synopsis:
(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] received information from the [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.

Details:
(S/ /[Redacted] On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Legal Attaché (Legat) [Redacted] was summoned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the [Redacted] who will be leaving [Redacted] post Saturday July 30, 2016 and set to soon thereafter retire from government service, advised [Redacted] was called by [Redacted] about an urgent matter requiring an in person meeting with the U.S. Ambassador. [Note: [Redacted]. The [Redacted] was scheduled to be away from post until mid-August, therefore [Redacted] attended the meeting.

(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] advised that [Redacted] government had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President. One of the people identified was George Papadopolous (although public media sources provide a spelling of Papadopoulos), who was believed to be one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers. Mr. Papdopoulos was located in [Redacted] so the [Redacted] met with him on several occasions, with [Redacted] attending at least one of the meetings.

(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] recalled [Redacted] of the meetings between Mr. Papdopolous and [Redacted] concerning statements Mr. Papadopolous made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. [Redacted] provided a copy of the reporting that was provided to [Redacted] from [Redacted] to Legal [Redacted]. The text is exactly as follows:

(Begin Text)

(S/ [Redacted]) 5. Mr. Papadopolous [Redacted] also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama). It was unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer. We note the Trump team’s reaction could, in the end, have little bearing of what Russia decides to do, with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.
(End Text)

(s/ [Redacted]
[Redacted]
(s/ [Redacted] Legat requests that further action on this information should consider the sensitivity that this information was provided through informal diplomatic channels from [Redacted] to the U.S. Embassy’s DCM. It was clear from the conversation Legal [Redacted]
had with DCM that [Redacted] knew follow-up by the U.S. government would be necessary, but extraordinary efforts should be made to protect the source of this information until such a time that a request from our organization can be made to [Redacted] to obtain this information through formal channels.

END EMAIL

(S/ / ) Based on the information provided by Legat [Redacted] this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia.

The article includes Judicial Watch’s reaction to the memo:

No wonder the DOJ and FBI resisted the public release of this infamous “electronic communication” that “opened” Crossfire Hurricane – it shows there was no serious basis for the Obama administration to launch an unprecedented spy operation on the Trump campaign. We now have more proof that Crossfire Hurricane was a scam, based on absurd gossip and innuendo. This document is Exhibit A to Obamagate, the worst corruption scandal in American history. This document shows how Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham are right to question the predicate of this spy operation.

What was done during 2016 and into 2017 was a purposeful effort to undermine the principle of a peaceful transition of power in a republic. This is a serious matter despite the fact that the press is working very hard to ignore it. If we cannot depend on the peaceful transition of power, we no longer have a republic. On that note, I would like to say that people do need to be held accountable, but the only way forward is to temper justice with mercy.