The War for the Trump Presidency Just Escalated—Bigly

Oh, you thought Jeff Sessions was a big story, did you? So much for that.

President Trump on Saturday morning dropped a bombshell—several, actually—in his Twitter feed. The president accused his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower ahead of last year’s election.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post published stories with similar headlines, highlighting how Trump made the claims “citing” or “offering” “no evidence.” Well, “citing no evidence” isn’t quite the same as lacking any evidence.

If the claims are true—and it’s hard to believe even this president would level such a charge if he didn’t have some evidence backing it up—the ensuing scandal would be monster-sized.

In fact, some of these claims have been circulating for months—including, even, in the New York Times. Naturally, the Resistance (snicker) is resisting with legalistic dodges. President Obama couldn’t have ordered the NSA or any other agency to tap Trump’s phones, because that would have been illegal and well outside of protocol. Then again, if the FISA court approved the warrant, it must have had a good reason:

But Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online last month explained how the Obama Administration could have misused the FISA courts (which, as civil libertarians will tell you, have precious little oversight) in order to spy on Trump’s campaign. McCarthy notes that Trump himself was named in a FISA warrant request in June, which the court reportedly rejected as overbroad. (“Reportedly,” because the proceedings are secret.) But a second warrant application was approved in October.

“While it’s too early to say for sure,” McCarthy wrote, “it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.”

So what? We know the U.S. government tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phones. We know the Obama Justice Department tapped the phones of members of the press and prosecuted a few journalists under the Espionage Act. We know the Internal Revenue Service blocked Tea Party groups from receiving nonprofit status or subjected them to overzealous audits.

Nobody disputes those things happened. They simply dispute that President Obama had any direct knowledge or involvement until after the fact.

Was the man even president for eight years?

In retrospect, the brouhaha over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ encounters with Russia’s ambassador is starting to look like a blunder. The Resistance (snicker) took its shot at Sessions and struck not even a glancing blow. Sessions recused himself from involvement in any Justice Department investigation of the 2016 presidential election. That was a concession to “bad optics” and an overabundance of caution against the “appearance of impropriety”—in short, a mistake.

But it turns out that business with Sessions was just a sideshow. The real story appears to be that the Obama White House tried to sandbag the new administration before Trump even took the oath of office. And that’s not all.

The contours of the campaign to delegitimize Trump already had been coming into view before Saturday’s explosive allegations.

“The narrative that Donald Trump is effectively Putin’s prison wife is an information operation orchestrated by Democratic hands, many of whom served in the Obama administration, sectors of the intelligence community, and much of the American press,” writes Lee Smith in a fascinating Tablet profile of the late Wayne Barrett, a former Village Voice reporter and columnist who became the go-to archivist for journalists delving into Trump’s life and career ahead of the election last year.

“Barrett had Trump on a whole variety of issues, but check the records yourself—up until the day of his death, the day before Trump’s inauguration, there’s nothing on Trump and Putin,” Smith observes. “Does this mean Trump is totally clean? Who knows? But the journalists now clamoring like maniacs about Trump’s ties sure aren’t going to find it. They’re thin-skinned hacks outraged that Trump dared violate the inherent dignity of that most important of American political institutions, the presidential press conference.”

After National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s resignation last month, the Resistance (snicker) thought it had another administration scalp to take this week with Sessions. Democrats tried to smear Sessions as an unreconstructed racist during his confirmation hearings. Now they’re trying to smear him as a Russian stooge based on two meetings last year with the Russian ambassador. But senators who serve on the Armed Services Committee and other committees related to foreign affairs meet with ambassadors as a matter of course. Yes, even Democrats.

This is pathetic. It seems to be part of the new narrative from the Resistance (snicker) that standard operating procedure—from political staff resignations to meeting with ambassadors—is nefarious if not treasonous.

Politics at its best is the art of persuasion. But it is also the use and sometimes abuse of power.

Democrats want investigations? By God, let them have full investigations. Let’s get to the bottom of what really happened in the months leading up to the election. Let’s find out what the Justice Department and an alphabet-soup of federal agencies were looking for.

Let’s see the FISA application from last June as well as the court order denying it. Let’s see the application the court approved in October. What was the difference? Let’s learn the names of the judges who reviewed the applications, as well as the names of the Obama Administration lawyers who sought the warrants.

Who was running the show? Who else was the administration spying on? Never mind what President Obama knew. What did his subordinates know and when did they know it? Just because they’re out of the government now doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held to account for their abuses while in power.

It may turn out that the 2016 election was hacked after all—just not by the Russians.

About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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36 responses to “The War for the Trump Presidency Just Escalated—Bigly”

  1. And don’t accept the anti-Trumpians’ narrative. The June FISA may have been denied, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t go ahead with it or had been doing it before the request. This is no different with regards to hillary’s 33,000 deleted emails. Who verified her assertion? No one, and she probably deleted hundreds of thousands.

  2. Yes, Mr Trump has thrown down the gauntlet. Now he has got to back it up with firepower. But can his appointees at Justice and Intelligence act fast enough to produce the FISA documents and information to prove that he was the target of an illegal fishing expedition and witch hunt? It didn’t take Queen Hillary long to trash 33,000 emails. I hope his meeting today was to tell them: “Get moving, fast.” You can’t rely on Congress to watch your back; you have to protect yourself. The best defense is a good offense, and I think the President took the Obamunists by surprise. But now he has to follow through for the kill–or at least indictments.

    /Mr Lynn

    • Trump wouldn’t have gone public with this unless he already had the documentation. He is the Garry Kasparov of political chess, so yeah, Trump knows what he is doing.

    • Some one is going down on this one. Trump if he wimps out. A whole lot of people if he doesn’t.

      The odds are long. The time is short. I pray it becomes our finest hour.

  3. If Obama wire-tapped the Trump campaign, our previous president needs to die in prison, period. Obama, the FBI, and the Deep State spy agencies turned the United States into a fascistic Banana Empire.

  4. Secret investigations into unknown matters signed off on by unknown judges for unknown reasons ….. that sounds like the sort of thing the American revolution was fought to get rid of.

    If this is the legal process in this country then I’m embarrassed by it. How do we have standing to criticize the Russians or Chinese or other countries when we’re practically a police state ourselves?

    • Its possible good way to bring WW3 without give the proofs that China or Russians did that,, it is our own country did that.. So embarrassing. Remember who invaded most in Europe and Middle East since 1919.. It is u.S.. Has Russia or China ever invaded physically? NO.. it is U.S the most aggressor.. I believe idiots in Deep State did that to cover up in order to try to have war with Russia or China for nothing.. you ought to read this… Click on colored words..

      • I know Sen McCain wants war, and wants war with Russia in particular. Before he ran for President he was agitating for NATO to move right up to the Russian border.

      • Julie you are a shill.
        The united states was on the same side as Russia in both
        world wars.What a maroon!

      • Julie S, you really need to read a little history.

        Without going too far back (during just the 20th and 21st centuries), Russia invaded Poland shortly after Hitler did. Soviet tanks rolled through the streets of Budapest, Hungary in 1956 to put down the Hungarians’ “revolution”. The Soviets did the same thing to Czechoslovakia in 1968. Then there was Afghanistan in 1979, Chechnya in 1994, and, most recently, Georgia and Ukraine (and this isn’t all of Russia’s/the Soviet Union’s invasions of their neighbors in the last 116 years).

        As for China, ask the Tibetans how they feel about hosting the Chinese in their country.

        Having no understanding of history is something that our politicians as well as Americans, in general, share. It’s sad . . . and it’s dangerous.

      • I do not believe that “Julie” is an American. I’m not sure which foreign nation “she” is from, but “her” insufficient knowledge of American and/or European/Asian history combined with “her” rudimentary command of the English language is a dead giveaway.

      • Mr. Adams, you may very well be correct. If Julie is not an American, however, this is even more reason to call out her allegation. Too often, it seems, many individuals from outside the United States are quick to accuse America of engaging in nefarious conduct on the world stage without taking into account the bad acts of other countries. I am not willing to go so far as to say that the United States has always conducted its foreign policy in the most responsible manner. We have much room for improvement. But for someone from outside this country to say that America has invaded other countries more than have Russia or China is nonsense. Such a statement deserves correction, regardless of the claimant’s citizenship.

      • toomuchthinking: I couldn’t agree with you more. My intent was not to excuse “Julie’s” low-informed opinion, but rather to illuminate the fact that a foreigner is criticizing American policy, history and heritage without having been born and raised here, or having been steeped in our culture, and without knowing what he/she is talking about. ;)

      • Poland, checkoslavkia, hungary, ukraine, tibet, nepal, ( north ) viet nam. Basicaly small neighbors that could not fight back, … except those guys who had been practising against us, viet nam.

        Fwiw, since europe has submitted it’s resignation from the enlightenment, we don’t need to fight for their liberty. They won’t do it for themselves.

        Freedom isn’t free.

    • Ha! The sort of thing the Revolution was fought over was a 2c tax on tea, and the lack of representation to make it go away. Now, your property can be seized without justification by the bureaucratic state.

      The causes of the Revolution are so lost in the rear view that we are very fortunate to have dodged the bullet we did on November 8.

    • I would bet the farm Obama wire-tapped the Trump campaign but Congress also is part of this scandal. The GOP, not to mention Democrat, senators and members who knew this was happening and remained mute will be the next shoe to drop.

  5. I would love to see Obama and his minions hauled before an honest Judge and prosecuted for wiretapping Trump.

    Hell, if Nixon had those kind of FISA powers, he wouldn’t have NEEDED the Watergate burglars, which he, to his credit, never ordered, found out about after the fact, and his crime was the cover-up.

    Obama’s Justice Department hands are all over this. People should go to jail.


  6. Trump president and his predecessor charged with crimes…life doesn’t get much better!

  7. 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

    Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

    US Code


    prev | next

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both

  8. Out of 35,000+ FISA surveillance requests the court has rejected 12.

    • Yeah, my first reaction to “Trump claims phones tapped” was “I thought the NSA literally tapped and recorded every single phone conversation in the US so of course Trump’s was also”.

  9. We KNOW the Obama Regime bugged and hacked the email of James Rosen of Fox News, and also his mother.
    We KNOW the Obama Regime bugged AP reporters and put them under surveillance.
    We KNOW the Obama Regime hacked Sheryl Atkinson’s PC and took control of it.
    We KNOW the Obama Regime bugged Angela Merkel’s cellphone.
    These people were not traitors or working with hostile foreign powers.
    So, how the heck does dipwad Axelrod say “there must have been a good reason”?

    • He said it because Obama is his man, and the Left defends their illegal and/or violent behavior all the time. For them it is as natural, and necessary, as breathing.

  10. My (now passed on) mother warned me about this, post 9/11. Said citizens have now given up freedoms and allowed government powers it SHOULD NOT have in the name of ‘protecting’ you.
    And this is where that goes.
    Mother Knows Best?

  11. They go low… you go lower and take off the gloves. Trump tried to be presidential and reach out in his S.O.U. speech but they weren’t having it, so time to come out punching (again). Interesting having someone who will fight back. Go D.T., we got your back. It’s a shame he has to deal with this undermining with so much that needs to be done; but that’s their only strategy isn’t it? It’s not like Democrat/Progressives have a rational patriotic alternative. I confess I was not a Trump supporter until I realized that fighting dirty if you had to was the only way to defeat the socialist/Marxist infection that plagues America. I had hopes this antagonism would die down and run out of fuel. We could get back to living our lives and steadily rebuilding what the “Obamanation” has torn down, but it may not so stay aware and be prepared.

  12. Look for the Lerner. There’ll be a Lois Lerner somewhere.

  13. The notion that the DOJ wouldn’t run a FISA request on one of the two major presidential candidates past the current POTUS is just idiotic. Obama HAD to know. There’s not a bureaucrat alive that would green-light an operation like that on their own. No how, no way. Ever.

  14. Hey everybody, lets elect as president a man who grew up in a third world dictatorship and then act surprised when he behaves like a third world dictator.

  15. Is it just me? I have assumed Trump’s office, homes and plane were bugged/wire tapped since the beginning. And Trump is not naive. I have assumed he has assumed the same thing and wondered what he did to safeguard really important communications. How is anyone surprised about this? I find the reporting on the conservative side ridiculous. After the IRS denial of exemptions, the known wiretapping of reporters, the still unexplained cash transfers to Iran, the Obama Executive Orders, Cash for Clunkers used to put Republican-owned dealerships out of business, Fast and Furious, the Benghazi lies, Obama’s Organizing for America , etc., etc., it comes as a shocking idea that Trump “might have been” wire tapped/bugged? Check, the NYT wrote stories about FAISA warrants. What shocks me is that Obama even bothered with FAISA warrants. I don’t think that’s even the beginning of it. Obama constrained by a FAISA court or even wanting to bother to apply to one? Get real.

    There has been discussion about the RNC managing to stop Russian hackers. But what about U.S. gov’t hackers/wire tappers? Does anyone think that didn’t happen?