We now have official confirmation that Manafort was under surveillance last year. Let me restate that. We now have confirmation that the campaign manager of the Republican candidate was under surveillance by the FBI. I explained in my previous articles how everything works. Come up with an excuse to get a FISA warrant. Have your allies in the FBI conduct espionage on the opposing campaign. Then either leak than information to the press or use it to further your campaign as appropriate.
I don’t want to devote another article to rehashing that instead I want to address the counterpoints offered by the Democrats and NeverTrumpers.
No Political Value
One of the initial defenses of the democrats and the FBI is that even though some members of the Trump team have been tapped there was nothing of political value listened to.
This has now proven to be one giant lie. There is no scenario where you can put the campaign manager under surveillance and not pick up anything of political value.This is true for a local campaign much less a presidential one.
Since we know information of political value was picked up what happened to it? Was it leaked like so many other things?
Not During the Campaign
Ben Shapiro defended the actions of the FBI in this fiasco by categorically stating that Manafort was not surveilled while he was the campaign manager for the Trump campaign.
This is false. All we know is that the investigation stopped last year due to lack of evidence and then picked up again later in the year with a different FISA warrant. I do not know where Shapiro is getting his information but in all the reports I have seen no actual months were mentioned. There is nothing that would allow you to categorically state that it was not done during the campaign.
In any case when you serve as the campaign chair for a campaign you are not only involved in the campaign when you are officially appointed. To think that would be foolish. Trump and his team would have talked about the campaign with Manafort before and after. And been picked up by the FBI while they did so. I wonder if this information had political value?
The FISA courts
The next line of argument the nevertrumpers use is that since the FISA courts issued the warrant then it must be legitimate and Manafort did something.
First off let me remind everyone that Manafort was under investigation for two years before 2016. An investigation authorized by the very same FISA court which was stopped because they came up with no evidence. If the FISA court was his infallible entity then they would have been able to indict Manafort with something.
Secondly I find it very disturbing that an institution which only denied 9/35000 requests commands such trust among democrats. The secret FISA court is a system that you can easily manipulate and abuse. It is as close to a rubber stamp as you can get.
Manafort is Dirty
One of Ben Shapiros arguments is that Manifort is a dirty player with links to Putin and should have been investigated. He has a long history working for various foreign entities.
I am willing to grant that. My question is. Where is the indictment? If he is as historically guilty as Shapiro makes him out to be why did a two-year investigation have to be stopped because no evidence was found? If he is as dirty as claimed and the FISA court is as thorough as it is then shouldnt an indictment have happened?
Manafort was not just the campaign manager for Trump during the last phase of the primary. He was also the campaign manager for the first half of the general. The truth is simple. The Obama administration used the powers of the government to spy on the Republican candidate during the election. It is not shocking. They used the IRS to target conservatives as well. If Nixon were able to use something like the FISA courts he would not have had to rely on criminals and would have been impeached.