by Elizabeth Vaughn
I once posted about an Obama administration official who actually had integrity, a man who noticed that something was amiss and acted. It was this man who traveled to Trump Tower on November 17, 2016, to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump that communications from the building were being tapped. He did not notify his superior, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, beforehand. This man’s name is Mike Rogers. He served as the head of the National Security Agency (NSA).
But Rogers’ role went beyond informing Trump about the surveillance being conducted at Trump Tower.
A couple of years earlier, Rogers discovered that American citizens were being spied upon and drew attention to the abuse of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama administration. According to former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, Section 702 allows the government to essentially weaponize the NSA’s ability to collect data and surveil private U.S. citizens. In light of IG Horowitz’s report, this man’s story becomes even more relevant.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in an April 2019 appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show, reported:
On that same day, the Trump transition team abruptly announced they were leaving Trump Tower and moving their operations to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Two days later, the Washington Post reported that James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter had recommended the removal of Mike Rogers from his NSA position. That didn’t happen, but Rogers announced his retirement on January 5, 2018…after heading the National Security Agency for nearly four years.
Below, DiGenova refers to the Obama administration’s use of “Section 702. DiGenova said:
He [Rogers] discovered the illegal spying. He went personally to the FISA Court and briefed the Chief Judge and worked with her for months to uncover the people who did it. The FISA Court has already told the Justice department who lied to that court and that has been given to [Attorney General] Bill Barr already.
For more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI [private] contractors — four of them — to steal personal information, electronic information about Americans and to use it against the Republican Party.
Section 702 allows the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to “jointly authorize surveillance of people who are not “U.S. persons.”” Use of 702 has actually helped the U.S. thwart planned terrorist attacks. When used as intended, it is a valuable tool.
It’s when information is collected on U.S. citizens, either by accident or by design, that it becomes questionable. If the government is surveilling a foreigner with suspected ties to terrorists, the data of any American who communicates with him or her will be collected. “If two Americans are communicating with one another and mention the name of a foreigner who is under surveillance,” their data will be collected.
The reason that critics of the law are so upset is that the program essentially gives law enforcement agencies a “backdoor” to search Americans’ data without having to get a warrant. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Americans are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement officials typically have to go to court and ask a judge to issue a search warrant. They must show probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found.
The information becomes part of a database that the FBI or other federal law enforcement agencies could then search to find evidence that Americans are engaged in domestic crimes that have nothing to do with terrorism. For example, it could be used to find evidence that an American citizen isn’t paying his or her taxes or has committed a minor drug offense, according to the ACLU and other civil liberties groups.
Patrick Toomey, an ACLU staff attorney in New York, told USA Today that “Americans should be alarmed that the NSA is vacuuming up their emails and phone calls without a warrant. The NSA claims it has rules to protect our privacy, but it turns out those rules are weak, full of loopholes, and violated again and again.”
Clearly, the potential for abuse under the 702 program is great.
Dating back to 2012, the 702 program was used to spy on Americans, which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The Epoch Times’ Jeff Carlson wrote a detailed article about this entitled “An American Hero and the Death of a FISA Narrative” in January 2018. (He also provides a precise account of the Obama administration’s violations of the 702 program.)
Carlson, in the above-mentioned article, speculates that Obama administration officials didn’t obtain the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page for the purpose of collecting information, but rather, because they had already spied on the campaign, they needed it to “explain” the information they had previously collected.
The implication being, the Trump Dossier was not created to allow for spying on the Trump Campaign. The Dossier was created to obtain a FISA Warrant to cover surveillance activity that had already taken place.
That may well have been the origin of the Trump Dossier creation — to create a rationale for previous illegal surveillance activity. But heroic actions taken by Admiral Mike Rogers stopped the plan from being implemented. The FISA Court had been warned.
Our entire intelligence apparatus was weaponized to alter a Presidential Election,” it concludes. “The chain of activity may rise all the way to the top. How does a nation prepare itself to deal with that level of criminality?
Carlson made these remarks nearly two years and he’s been proven correct.
From a recent episode of Dan Bongino’s podcast (which I posted on here), we learned that Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos had been spied upon even before he joined the campaign. He had been working with the Ben Carson campaign. This leads to the obvious question, Was the FBI involved in surveilling the campaign members of Trump’s rivals? I’ll explore that in a post later today.
Me Here.....The democrats would never have tollerated Bush '43 spying on the future Usurper Soetoro. They would have demanded Bush be shot! But when democrats get caught illegally spying on a candidate and President Elect, it is no big deal. None of them should ever be punished. They are above the laws and Constitution! Only us deplorables are subject to the laws.