Earlier today, Attorney General William Barr tossed a hefty stinkbomb when he stated that he was convinced that President Trump’s campaign had been, in his words, spied on.
AG #Barr drops a bomb
"Spying did occur"
On Trump campaign
I am looking into
"failure among a group of leaders" of FBI & Intel agencies
— Jim Hanson (@Uncle_Jimbo) April 10, 2019
There is virtually no doubt about this, Devin Nunes brought the subject up when he chaired the House Intelligence Committee.
Attorney General Barr, asked if spying on the Trump campaign occurred: "I think spying did occur, yes."
We've seen 2 years' worth of evidence that intelligence community executives did this. The AG's willingness to investigate it is massive. Accountability is around the corner.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) April 10, 2019
Almost immediately the memo went out and you had drooling, mouthbreathers woofing on Twitter that Barr didn’t know what he was talking about. This is an example, via a reporter who really can’t tell her ass from hot rock.
Either Barr isn’t aware that the FISA on Carter Page came after he left the campaign, or he’s indicating in an open hearing that the FBI had other open FISAs in 2016.
And then adds later that he has no evidence he can cite right now of FBI wrongdoing. https://t.co/BRxwyvHjXE
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 10, 2019
This is the take of Fusion GPS’s asset at NBC:
It's reasonable for Barr to point out that FBI surveillance of a political campaign should not be taken lightly. It's questionable for him to compare the use of judicially-approved FISA warrants to the warrantless spying abuses of the 1960s.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) April 10, 2019
Even taking this at face value it is stupid. We know that Carter Page was first the subject of a FISA warrant in 2014. Unlike the October 2016 warrant, we don’t know why or for how long. We also don’t know if he was a subject of any other surveillance operation. We can bet, with a high degree of certainty, that if he was under surveillance by the US in 2014 that he was probably also under surveillance by the Brits during his trips to Europe. Even so, Page leaving the Trump campaign does not mean that he wasn’t used of carry out surveillance on the Trump campaign. Page continued to have contact with campaign and transition and those conversations would have been covered. While it is convenient to the surveillance denialists to focus on “wire tapping,” FISA surveillance is not limited to that. Smartphones, computers, etc., are all subject to surveillance. This means that any meeting Page was in was almost certainly recorded via his smartphone.
But this is all a smokescreen by people who pimped the collusion hoax to downplay what Barr is talking about. Barr isn’t talking exclusively about the Carter Page FISA warrant. He isn’t even talking exclusively about the actions of the FBI.
Federal surveillance of Trump campaign affiliates began looooong before the October 2016 Carter Page FISA. I know you're deeply invested in running interference for the people who enabled the spying, but that's no excuse for being ignorant of basic facts. https://t.co/gQ5s9EvxhT
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 10, 2019
Right now it seems as though that efforts were made to insert an FBI and MI6 asset, Cambridge academic Stefan Halper, into the Trump campaign. Halper made overtures to Carter Page, Sam Clovis, and George Papadopoulos. And we know this via leaks to the New York Times:
The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…
The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.
Halper seems to have tried to insert himself as both a confidant and agent provocateur. What is particularly interesting is how Halper seems to have connived to have Michael Flynn accused of having a “personal” relationship with a Russian asset.
Another character that comes on the scene is Australian diplomat Alexander Downer who just happened to have drinks with a low-level functionary, George Papadopoulos. Downer made an official report to the US embassy in London that Papadopoulos had first hand knowledge that the Russians “material damaging” to Clinton which, eventually, became that they had the emails that Hillary Clinton had erased from her server.
And we have the shadowy Joseph Mifsud to engaged Papadopoulos to do research for him out of the blue. Papadopoulos alleges that his meeting with Mifsud was brokered by a London embassy employee with long standing FBI connections.
This is just what we know about. But if this level of operation was being directed at the Trump campaign, and if it dated from early 2016, then the whole narrative of the “counterintelligence” investigation is no longer tenable.
Indeed. That was one of the more ridiculous claims that FBI/press pushed. Remember all the parsing over "human informants" versus "spying"? It was spying. Let's say it again: spying. https://t.co/GFFBJimzCB
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) April 10, 2019
What the media are trying to do is to assert that the only thing Barr is looking at is Carter Page’s FISA warrant, that was issued in October 2016 after Page had officially left the campaign. Don’t believe it. This goes much deeper than one man and it involves more than one US government entity.
AG Barr Suggests Multiple Intel Agencies Involved In Anti-Trump Spy Op https://t.co/f1qIMIOAzI
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 10, 2019
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