"Extraordinary & Worrisome" - WSJ Demands To Know How FBI 'Meddled' In 2016 Elections

Via WSJ Editorial Board,

Congress needs to learn how the FBI meddled in the 2016 campaign.

When Donald Trump claimed in March that he’d had his “wires tapped” prior to the election, the press and Obama officials dismissed the accusation as a fantasy. We were among the skeptics, but with former director James Comey’s politicized FBI the story is getting more complicated.

CNN reported Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant last year to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from May to August in 2016. The story claims the FBI first wiretapped Mr. Manafort in 2014 while investigating his work as a lobbyist for Ukraine’s ruling party. That warrant lapsed, but the FBI convinced the court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a second order as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the election.

Guess who has lived in a condo in Trump Tower since 2006? Paul Manafort.

The story suggests the monitoring started in the summer or fall, and extended into early this year.

While Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign in August, he continued to speak with Candidate Trump.

It is thus highly likely that the FBI was listening to the political and election-related conversations of a leading contender for the White House.

That’s extraordinary - and worrisome.

Mr. Comey told Congress in late March that he “had no information that supports those [Trump] tweets.”

 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was even more specific that “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against—the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.”

 

He denied that any such FISA order existed.

Were they lying?

The warrant’s timing may also shed light on the FBI’s relationship to the infamous “ Steele dossier.” That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele—who relied on Russian sources. But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research.

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey’s FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

All of this is reason for House and Senate investigators to keep exploring how Mr. Comey’s FBI was investigating both presidential campaigns.

Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign. The Justice Department and FBI have stonewalled Congressional requests for documents and interviews, citing the “integrity” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don’t cooperate in contempt.

Mr. Comey investigated both leading presidential campaigns in an election year, playing the role of supposedly impartial legal authority. But his maneuvering to get Mr. Mueller appointed, and his leaks to the press, have shown that Mr. Comey is as political and self-serving as anyone in Washington.

No investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey’s wiretaps.

Comments

Jim in MN Theta_Burn Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:58 Permalink

Let's see....Putin allies maybe placed some social media vs. Watergate-turbo domestic spying and obstructing justice for the party in power's candidate.Gee....hmmm.....so hard to discern the threat to the Republic in all this.....just....can't....critically.....think.....where's my opioids?   Remote?   Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnvrmnd

In reply to by Theta_Burn

DeadFred Jim in MN Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:25 Permalink

I did a mental exercise concerning this general subject the other day, what did I actually knows vs what am I being told? I 'know' next to nothing. I have an honest acquaintance who lived near the Clintons in Little Rock when Bill was governor. She gives accounts from parties they attended that 1) Bill is a sleazy womanizer and 2) Hillary is the worst human being she's ever met. Other than that second hand info which I consider reliable I 'know' nothing. Every fact comes from someone else and I can't verify anything. Other than that I can only say the accounts don't add up. When I see a Trump press conference then read the MSM account about it that doesn't even seem to be about the same event I know I'm being lied to. So I know I'm being lied to but have no assurance of what the truth is. It leaves me guarding my wallet and a bit disconnected to the whole narrative. The good side of this is that I have virtually no say in how this kabuki theater plays out so I have no responsibility for its outcome.

In reply to by Jim in MN

knukles y3maxx Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:57 Permalink

I been saying for months around here that the Madness of Investigations would spill over into focuses other than Trump/Russia.Drag a hook through a swamp and lots of bad stuff thought lost when cast overboard comes retrieved from long ago.Art of the Deal.The WSJ has broken with the rest of the press.  This will serve to create a Schism in the Establishment, for you see, there's a limited amount of goodies to be divvied up by all the the Establishment members and if the Dems can be marginalized, the Repubs get a bigger share. Doesn't stop the NWO's designs, but that primary standard bearers are left behind.A Schism in the Establishment

In reply to by y3maxx

knukles natxlaw Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:31 Permalink

Thank youWhat this all means is that the R's will next support (Feigning Indignity and patriotism, throughout, loudly) a Special Investigation into the DNC/Democrats, etc., under the guise of broadening the investigation.  Or establishing a new one.         Must find those crafty Russians!                   C'est la vie.PS  This don't make your life any safer or happier. 

In reply to by natxlaw

JSBach1 MillionDollarButter Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:54 Permalink

If this surveillance of Trump's associates was not political in nature why were the names leaked, why were the conversations with foreign leaders leaked, why all the leaks? Why were these reports shared between sixteen other agencies? Who ordered the surveillance and when? We are now learning that surveillance, at least in Manaford's case, started much earlier than that of others -- and, as it relates to Susan Rice's unmasking, it had no direct Russia collusion angle no matter how it is made to appear that a meeting with an UAE crown prince was tainted with a possible drop of Russian dressing, nonetheless does not make it Russian collusion and most certainly had no intelligence value thereof. Can someone revive Jeff Sessions, convince Trey Gowdy to start some investigations for, at the very least, there is strong suspicion and anxiety that a government is able to go to secret courts, with virtually no checks and balances, and request for surveillance of its citizens with apparently weak or suspect reasons for doing so, but to cloak its more sinister self-interest as the key objective? We know that Susan Rice lied in a public NPR interview: Woodruff: We’ve been following a disclosure by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, that in essence, during the final days of the Obama administration, during the transition, after President Trump had been elected, that he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals in that their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this? Rice: I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today. http://thefederalist.com/2017/09/14/reminder-susan-rice-lied-role-obama-... She later changed her tune in front of a closed session -- not to be confused with Jeff Sessions -- of a House committee Rice: Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/13/politics/susan-rice-house-investigators-un... Here is a interesting read on the subject, albeit months ago and one coming from a intelligence officer and a Army Colonel: (His Bio) Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served combat and combat-support tours in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as on numerous special operations and special mission intelligence contingencies in Central America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units, and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force, as well as in international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism. He is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC -- which provides strategic and operational security analysis and assessments to governmental and private entities, as well as media organizations on national security issues, policy, and processes. He currently provides advisory and consulting services on national security, international strategic policy, and strategy assessments for the U.S. and foreign private sector and governments entities, media groups and outlets, and to political groups, forums, and political candidates. He is an author and writer providing regular commentary and opinion to national and local TV, radio networks, and for both print and online publications, as well as speaking engagements to business, political, civic and private groups on national security matters – focusing on international strategic policy and engagement, and strategic intelligence, and subject matter expertise on special mission intelligence and operations, counter-terrorism, and asymmetric warfare and conflict. http://americaoutloud.com/obama-administrations-unmasking-americans-leak...

In reply to by MillionDollarButter

jeff montanye ergatz Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:04 Permalink

yes, it should.  but it doesn't.  in fact it has become one of the essences of party politics: russiagate.  that, with charlottesville and, in an evolving fashion, 9-11, is the death sentence for the hillary clinton/deep state/neocon/neoliberal/mic/bankster wing of the democratic party.http://www.voltairenet.org/article179295.htmlhttp://www.whale.to/b/isra….   http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/everything-rich-man-trick/https://smile… http://g-2.space/sixmonths/https://www.truthdig.com/articles/time-to-re…’s-left-russiagate-–-are-we-down-1000-paid-trollshttp://archive.is/lD4BVhttp://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/… http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2359.htmhttps://vultureofcritique.wo… got them in the crosshairs.

In reply to by ergatz

doctor10 knukles Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:45 Permalink

Everybody knows Comey was Hillary's tool. They started shrieking like Sen Joe McCarthy once they realized all their crooked efforts weren't going to get their broad over the finish line.

So then they tried to take down an elected, sitting president before the truth could come out.

LOSERS!!!

In reply to by knukles

Giant Meteor Luc X. Ifer Wed, 09/20/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

Maybe the dullest tool in the tool shed ..A slight quibble with the WSJ however  .."Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign."Should read,"Russian meddling" was no threat to "democracy" at all , however. as the FBI as has seemngly relied on, so far, baseless, groundless accusations, not to mention serious logical fallacies, as many deep state actors have told provable bold face lies, peddled various memes via heresay, and innuendo, from questionable sources, not the least of which originated from within, and from deep state actors themselves, up to and including the FBI, and leading to further baseless accusations from the poisonous fruit of FISA approved wire tapping warrants, leading to the easedropping within the lens of a highly contentious presidential campaign, and thus now indicates, banana republic status, for the former republic,  the United States of America  .. ..Furthermore, failing to admit under the current set of rules, of widespread and systemic corruption, rule by a select few, leading to all manner of fuckery and finanancial repression from a relative few deep state actors, representing an entrenched Oligarchy, who really DO meddle in elections, and every other fooking thing, is to deny reality itself  ..Have a nice day ! 

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

Antifaschistische knukles Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:07 Permalink

part of this show's Trumps naivete on the part of the evilness of the Clinton/Obama/'deep state' machine.Trump should have KNOWN everything going in/out of Trump tower electronically was being watched.   He should have planted THOUSANDS of false flags...(e.g. phone calls with completely fake scripts:  Example:  "one of our investigators was able to get ahold of a video of Bill Clinton having sex with a 14 year old girl on Epstein's island, apparently Epstein video'ed VIPs completely compromized as a means of guaranteeing his future immunity"  Example #2:  "we have received a $15 million secret cash campaign gift from Nieto (mexican president), and we've decided to use this money to run campaign adds in Texas"...knowing the insiders would begin large scale hunts for detail would be priceless.  The big score would be seeing your false flag show up on the front page of the NYT. 

In reply to by knukles

John Kerry-Heinz knukles Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:50 Permalink

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 A Civil War within the Establishment.  There's only so many cookies in the cookie jar, and there are far too many obese establishment children than it can feed.  Add to it that no one wants the scraps and they're too fukn spoiled to share.  The establishment will tear itself apart, in its infinite greed.  It should prove to be a Supremely Obliging Spectacle. 

In reply to by knukles

Jim in MN spieslikeus Wed, 09/20/2017 - 15:39 Permalink

"I have virtually no say in how this kabuki theater plays out so I have no responsibility for its outcome."Well here at ZH we parsed out the Podesta emails, for example.  Demonstrating corruption, media collusion, Israeli demands for policy assurances (counter to Obama and Sanders positions), etc. but NOT nailing down evidence of sexual crimes as some were alleging.  We can crowdsource very serious analysis of a wide range of issues.  And we have.We are part of the 'reality filter', we do have a say, and we are responsible.

In reply to by spieslikeus

rbianco3 knukles Thu, 09/21/2017 - 02:40 Permalink

Today is the beginning of a consciousness shift. I sensed it during the election- and I sense it now.WSJ as you mention the first to break from the rest- and I will give them many clicks for it- as will many other patriots. The other vultures will want some- and the beginning or our new JFK begins. I am not only removing WSJ from my blocked site list- I'm giving WSJ a subscription right-now- a short trial subscription- conditional support like that I give our President. Optimistic - absolutely- what the hell do we have without some hope? Those who know me may say I'm up when up and down when down. The momentum is changing- finally. Praise God or whoever you want to praise.Trump is the great American favorite of the people, an underdog, a fierce fighter & winner- Rocky!  'Rocky Don' takes on 'Rocket Man' & 'Fake News' nearly goes down- and comes out swinging in the 17th round. Trying hard now - It's so hard now - Trying hard nowGettin' strong now - Coming on, now - Gettin' strong nowGonna fly now - Flyin' high now - Gonna fly, fly, fly

In reply to by knukles

lil dirtball y3maxx Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

> Don't be surprised to see sudden suicides taking place...

... in the media.

(One could easily replace 'sudden' with 'fake' in the above quote.)

Nothing happens the way it's told. There are two complete societies at work - us ... and them. And, everything of any import - including the media - belongs to them.

In reply to by y3maxx

JRobby y3maxx Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:56 Permalink

"but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign" Any Excuse will do, they just make them up because they were going to listen anyway (and they still are)How they will dare to charge Trump with obstruction (and they will) when so many of Comey's crimes were already in full view for months before his firing and now even more so is nothing short of total desperation. What will CONgress do?

In reply to by y3maxx

Blue Steel 309 y3maxx Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:55 Permalink

Assasinations are only done when one of the psychopaths gets conesnsus that there is no other way. Most of them are sloppy, because chaos theory. It takes collusion to make them happen. The more collusion the closer they are to approaching the original risk.

This explains Seth Rich and dozens of other people dying in the last decade tied to intimate knowledge of Obama and Hillary. Seth Rich had to have been considered a very very great threat. But, then D.C. Police have been groomed and cultivated for decades, and it still left traces.

In reply to by y3maxx