Now we know how former FBI Director James Comey did it. We now have evidence that he used a secret program to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign without judicial approval.
And whoever heard of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution?
A new report in the New York Times details how the whole thing went down. It all started in the summer of 2016 when the FBI dispatched a couple of agents to speak to an Australian diplomat who was drunkenly told by Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos that there may be Russia meddling in the election. This mission, named Crossfire Hurricane, was kept under wraps, and hasn’t been revealed until now.
The Times reports:
Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.
Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 16, 2018
So far so good. An ally of the United States says they’ve heard about an adversarial foreign power trying to tilt a domestic election. Seems ripe for checking in on, right?
That’s how we’ve gotten to the point of having a Special Investigation led by Robert Mueller looking into Russian interference after all. But why was the FBI investigation into Trump’s campaign kept in the dark? Why wasn’t the public told that an investigation was going on way back in the summer of 2016?
Well, it turns out that the investigation remained little known because of the methods involved in it.
Here is the key detail in the NYT report:
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. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.
Ryan Saveedra of the Daily Wire notes that so-called national security letters “are secret orders that the FBI uses on a regular basis to obtain sensitive electronic data and phone records.” Citing a report from The Intercept, Saveedra highlights that they are used to circumvent the judicial system, obtaining private information without a judge-issued warrant.
This is big. The more we learn about the origins of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, the more we learn that the whole thing was rigged against Trump from the get-go. Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, predicts that in the end, the FBI’s reputation will be in tatters once the full truth comes out.
And all that makes it more astounding that Trump was able to defeat Hillary Clinton and become the 45th president of the United States.