Acosta has always been a partisan hack. But this is getting embarrassing.
Obama’s inner circle was unlawfully listening in on the Trump team. There’s no intelligent way to dress this up and make it look lawful.
That won’t stop Acosta from trying. After all, he does have that one core principle he’s deeply committed to — OrangeManBad.
Here he is trying to defend the indefensible.
DoJ IG Michael Horowitz on “Crossfire Hurricane”: “It’s illegal surveillance, it’s not court-authorized surveillance.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 11, 2020
Horowitz was desperately tapdancing around a hard truth, trying to avoid becoming a soundbite. But his point here is pretty evident:
Sen. Lindsey Graham on FBI surveilling the Trump campaign: “Let’s put it this way, if you don’t have a legal foundation to surveil somebody and you keep doing it is that bad?”
IG Michael Horowitz: “Absolutely.”
Graham: ”Is that spying?”
Horowitz: “It’s illegal surveillance.” pic.twitter.com/cYLZ3JjMJ3
— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) December 11, 2019
Barr wasn’t putting such a fine point on it.
Bill Barr used two frightening terms when he testified in front of the Senate last month:
He's going to get to the bottom of the spying. pic.twitter.com/KVm0ZDLgw1
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 10, 2019
But maybe they had a legitimate reason to do that spying. That would make it ok.
So did they? Or were they proceeding with information that was bad, and they knew it?
There is a process called the Woods Procedure that is supposed to vet any information provided to a FISA court. This step is especially important because (due to the sensitive nature of FISA Courts) there is no lawyer offering any counter-arguments for why the subject of this approval should NOT have their privacy rights violated.
It’s even MORE vital because it is not a FISA court’s judge’s responsibility to test the quality of the evidence presented in favor of surveillance. They only check to see that the vetting process has properly taken place.
No such process DID take place and if it had, they would never have granted the FISA request. In fact, the FIRST application for surveillance was denied.
A secretive court that approves sensitive surveillance issued a rare public rebuke of the FBI on Tuesday, saying the bureau misled the Justice Department and the court when it sought permission to wiretap a former Trump campaign aide.
The FBI’s handling of the applications to wiretap Carter Page “was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor” expected of the bureau, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wrote in a public opinion released Tuesday.
“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” Collyer wrote. —USAToday
Without that page surveillance, none of the rest would have been possible. They lead to Trump being surveilled.
By a political rival.
Without justifiable predicate.
The FISA warrants, of course, gave the FBI authority to spy on Page, and now that the government has finally made a mea culpa, we know that surveillance was illegal. But contrary to the continuing narrative, that spying wasn’t limited to Page. It included internal Trump campaign communications.
The IG report acknowledged this, noting that Gabriel Sanz-Rexach, the chief of the Office of Intelligence’s Operations Section, explained “that the evidence collected during the first FISA application time period demonstrated that Carter Page had access to individuals in Russia and he was communicating with people in the Trump campaign.”
Horowitz’s report added that, “based on our review of the Woods Files and communications between the FBI and [Office of Intelligence], we identified a few emails between Page and members of the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign concerning campaign related matters.” The Woods file is a record of compliance with procedures intended to “ensure accuracy with regard to…the facts supporting probable cause.” — Federalist
If Jim Acosta was a journalist, instead of a political flunkie, he would be asking a few probing questions about what may well be the most corrupt abuse of power in US political history.
– Why did Obama, Biden, Comey, and others have a meeting targeting General Flynn AFTER the FBI had indicated they were ready to close the ridiculous case against him regarding Russian collusion? (This was the same meeting referred to in Susan Rice’s infamous ‘By the Book’ email.)
– Why did Obama’s inner circle proceed with investigations against Trump when they already knew there was no substance to the allegations, if not for crass political advantage?