If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I and other bloggers on the right have been saying since early last year that Obama did indeed wire tap Trump. It is now early 2018 and establishment media is finally catching on.
One of the most frustrating things about mainstream media is that they pass you off as conspiracy theorists to avoid having to look at the issue and then act like they were the first ones to have come up with the idea once things blow up. The conclusions we came to before did not come out of nowhere. There were publicly available information saying that the FBI did seek FISA warrants on Trump associates. Publicly available information that Susan Rice attempted to unmask several names on FISA transcripts. Publicly available information that the Obama administration changed the rules of intelligence sharing right before the election. Publicly available information that the Obama administration is keeping all of his emails secret for five years. The point of saying publicly over and over again is to show there are enough data points for anyone to take a look at and have serious concerns.
I do not mind the New York Times, MSN, CNN, and other left leaning outlets dismissing the allegations out of hand. It is what they are supposed to do. You expect left leaning outlets to act like left leaning outlets. My greatest disappointment and anger is directed towards people like Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh. They have the connections and resources to push for FOIA requests and other things to bring the issue to light. Except they acted like members of left leaning media until things got too big.
One thing I would like everyone to remember is that unlike Watergate, where the media was one of the primary driving forces in exposing the scandal, in this case media was on of the primary forces keeping it under wraps. Again this includes people on the right like Ben Shapiro and National review.
For this article I would like to focus on how it actually happened. How did a FISA warrant on Carter Page get stretched to spy on an entire presidential campaign?
When bloggers on the right say Obama wiretapped Trump we dont really mean that Obama himself was listening to Trumps phone calls. We just use that language as it is short, simple, and a good summary of what happened. In long form what we actually mean is the Obama administration weaponized the FBI and other national security agencies to spy on the campaign of the opposing party in an attempt to help Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. It is not exclusively limited to phone calls. Emails, voice mails, transcripts, and yes actual phone calls. Everything and anything that could be used to gain information about a campaign and help the opposition.
Having said this we go to the “Three Drops Rule”. This has been discussed in open sessions in the senate before and provides some insights into how everything was done. When securing a FISA warrant on a target the FBI is not only limited to the person himself (aka Carter Page). They can surveil the person he talked to (first drop), the person they talked to (second drop), and the subsequent people they talked to (third drop). The FBI has dismissed concerns about this giving them the right to conduct surveillance on entire cities from one warrant as that would be too many conversations to listen to in practice. One city could be too much sure. But one presidential campaign? Particularly with the stakes we have involved.
Lets take a look at a practical application of all this. Suppose Page were to have spoken to someone like Donald Trump Jr on one occasion. The FBI can now use the warrant for Page on him. Suppose Trump J r talked to his dad on occasion. That would make him the second drop and would give the FBI the legal right to conduct surveillance on the candidate himself. This would also mean that Carter Page was pretty high on the Trump team. What if he was lower? What if for example Carter Page spoke to a lawyer or hiring manager for his brief time as a member of the Trump campaign (first drop). The hiring manager then speaks to his or her boss which is presumably Kellyanne Conway, who was the campaign manager at the time (second drop). She then speaks to Trump (third drop). As you can see with the three drops rule there are many scenarios where the chain of surveillance could lead to Trump. The kicker here is that for you to place the entire campaign under surveillance the three drops does not even have to lead to Trump himself. Lets take the hiring for example. Page speaks to his lawyer about contacting the Trump team for employment (first drop). The lawyer speaks to a representative from the Trump campaign (second drop). During the course of his duties the hiring representative speaks to Conway, Don Jr, and other operatives but not Trump himself. Enough people could be on the third drop step that the entire campaign is put under surveillance. Please note that we are just talking about one person that Page communicated with here. Just spending a day on a campaign would generate enough contacts with various people for the FBI to surveil Trump.
Some people will note that the warrant was only granted in October. Please do remember that the surveillance can go back up to five years from the date of request. Any transcripts, emails, voice mails, and anything else from those hit by the three drops could have been collected.
Once the legal justification is in place the rest is trivial. Unmasking names provides justification for leaks by “anonymous sources”. Unknown recordings provides ammunition for perjury traps like the one Flynn was caught in. Confidential campaign data like polls and other things of that nature could be given to the other campaign.
This ends it for today. I will make another article at a future date for deniers and their common arguments. At the risk of sounding cliché this scandal is bigger than Watergate. At least Nixon had the common decency to use criminals.