Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey was on ABC’s This Week to discuss the ongoing wiretapping scandal that has caught up both the current and the past administration.
This is the difference between being correct and being right. I think the president was not correct certainly in saying that President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney — of the Justice Department through the FISA court.
I base that on news reports that you mentioned in the last spot. I also base it on kind of inadvertent blurting out by Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence agents at the FBI who were involved in this. Now, what that means is this is part not of a criminal investigation, but of an intelligence gathering investigation.
The FBI has got two functions. They investigate crimes and they gather intelligence. They started gathering intelligence in ’08 based on guidelines that we put in place.
They tried to get – apparently tried to get a wiretap based on their criminal investigation function in June. That was turned down. They then tried to get, and got, an order permitting them to conduct electronic surveillance in October. This is October of 2016.
So, yeah. Trump Tower was being watched by the federal government. You’ll notice that in the video Martha Raddatz doesn’t treat this revelation like the bombshell that it is, but she does use it to attempt to paint the picture that President Trump or someone close to him is acting as a Russian agent.
However, thanks to some top-notch reporting from Rob Eno at the Conservative Review, we know that this isn’t necessarily the case.
The narrative from the Left has quickly morphed from denial that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower to an admonishment that if a wiretap did happen is was after a FISA court warrant. The Left has further stated that if a warrant was issued, then it must have been because probable cause was found to give the warrant…
But that’s not how FISA warrants work. No, unlike in a criminal proceeding federal “agents do not need to demonstrate that commission of a crime is imminent.” This low bar results in almost all warrant requests being granted by the FISC. In 2013, Mother Jones reported that the FISC had rejected just 0.03 percent of all requests.”
At this point it seems that liberals are now agreeing that the Obama administration was surveilling Trump Tower, but they’re okay with it because now they can imply that it’s proof that Trump was doing something wrong… even though no evidence that this is the case exists.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said as much while appearing Sunday morning’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press.
President Obama has flatly denied that he has done this. And either way, Chuck, the President’s in trouble. If he falsely spread this kind of misinformation, that is so wrong. It’s beneath the dignity of the presidency. It is something that really hurts people’s view of government. It’s civilization-warping, as Ben Sasse, a conservative Republican, called it. And I don’t know of any president, Democrat or Republican in the past, has done this. It shows this president doesn’t know how to conduct himself.
On the other hand, if it’s true, it’s even worse for the president. Because that means that a federal judge, independently elected, has found probable cause that the president, or people on his staff, have probable cause to have broken the law or to have interacted with a foreign agent. Now that’s serious stuff. So either way, the president makes it worse with these tweets. Now, is he trying to divert things here? Yeah. The president denied this. I don’t have any doubt to doubt– I don’t have any doubt that President Obama has been telling the truth.
Except that’s not what happened, Chucky. A FISA warrant, as we’ve already discussed, is very easy to get and almost never turned down. Again, the government doesn’t even need to show that a crime may be committed.
The story isn’t stopping here though, folks.
Over the weekend former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro and dropped another bombshell, saying that the Obama administration was also eavesdropping on then-Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)!
“What we have seen from the previous administration is they did spend time listening to conversations between then-Senator Jeff Sessions and the ambassador to Russia while he was in his U.S. Senate office. If that were to take place, what other conversations are they listening in on?
The fact that the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act is being used to listen to a political opponent of the United States is very, very damaging,” Lewandowski argued.