An old Arab proverb explains much about the spygate strategy of infiltrating the Trump campaign and then administration. “If a camel gets his nose in the tent, the body will soon follow.” This is the proverbial “foot in the door” that allowed an in-power administration to use the full power of its judicial and intelligence agencies to spy on a political opponent, then to undermine a duly elected president.
Weaponizing the federal government was nothing new for the Obama administration. The Obama/Brennan CIA spied on Senate intelligence committee members and Obama/Lerner used the IRS to target conservative groups. So far no one has been punished for these abuses of power. Lady Justice’s scales of justice tilt in only one direction, favoring Democrats with a never expiring get out of jail free card.
Spygate had one primary objective, to prevent Donald Trump’s election. Failing that, then then had to cover their past transgressions of illegally spying on his campaign while at the same time undermining his administration, driving down his popularity to the point that he pulled a Nixon and resigned, or else be impeached and removed from office.
What better way to disrupt a campaign than to spy on it? Trump Tower was probably not literally “wiretapped” as Trump claimed, but “spying did occur” against the campaign, according to Attorney General William Barr. Carter Page played a big role in covering up the spying.
Carter Page was not the idiot the media portrayed him to be. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the top 10 percent of his class, unlike John McCain who graduated solidly in the bottom 10 percent of his class. Page also has a master’s degree from Georgetown and a PhD from SOAS in London. He worked as in investment banker for Merrill Lynch in London, Moscow, and New York.
The Moscow connection was part of the camel’s nose. The bogus Steele dossier alleged that Page met with Russian energy officials and others in Putin’s orbit. As Page worked as an advisor for the Trump campaign, this made him a Russian agent in the eyes of the CIA and FBI.
Ignored was the fact that Page actually worked with the CIA for decades, but his claims were dismissed by the media as rantings from a bumbling fool. The CIA provided documents to the FBI Crossfire Hurricane team that Page was an “operational contact” for the CIA. FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith changed the email from Page “is” working for the CIA to he “is not.” This kept the FISA warrants alive and the camel’s nose firmly under the Trump administration tent.
How did the FBI first get their nose under the Trump tent? They used a FISA Title I warrant, reserved for an “agent of a foreign power” who is “knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence activities.” Yet they knew he was not a Russian spy as he was a CIA asset. If he was a spy, he should have been arrested and imprisoned. Instead he is on Twitter and Fox News.
Why was the FISA warrant so important? Remember this warrant was requested on Oct. 21, 2016, while the campaign was in its last critical weeks. It was then renewed three times, twice while Trump was president. This type of warrant allowed 2-hop spying, meaning the FBI could spy on Page’s contacts in the Trump campaign, both past and present, even though Page was no longer with the campaign at the time of the initial warrant as the warrant is retroactive.
The first hop was Page’s direct contacts – Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowsky, Sam Clovis, Stephen Miller, and Hope Hicks. But the second hop was their contacts, meaning everyone else in the Trump campaign and family. The Obama/Comey FBI could now read emails, texts, and calls to or from everyone in the Trump campaign. While Trump Tower was not literally wiretapped, it was actually worse with all communications of the campaign, past and present, available to Obama, his FBI and DOJ, and almost certainly the Clinton campaign.
Neat trick, although illegal. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found, “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. FISA Judge James Boasberg agreed saying the FBI did not have probable cause to believe Page was an agent of a foreign power.
But it worked, during the campaign and well into the Trump presidency, four FISA warrants were issued to spy on Trump and his inner circle, well into the first year of his administration. The fourth and final FISA renewal was in June 2017, a month after Special Counsel Mueller’s witch hunt began.
The actual special counsel Andrew Weissman and his partisan Democrat goon squad had full access to any and all communications of Trump and his advisors, anyone within 2 hops of Carter Page. This was not just for June 2017 but going back as far as they wanted. Weissman and his thugs were the same group that conveniently erased the contents of their phones, destroying evidence, by implausibly entering their passwords incorrectly ten times in a row.
Yet Clinesmith is the only individual to be indicted, taking a plea deal with no certainty of prison time, perhaps just a slap on the wrist. How likely will he face punishment like Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, or George Papadopoulos?
Will there ever be an accounting? A reckoning? Punishment for those breaking the law, obstructing justice and abusing their power?
Taking it one step further, three FBI FISA applications were denied by the FISA court in 2016. Who were those for? Was one for Carter Page? What if the Obama FBI and CIA spied on Page anyway, without a warrant, and then cooked up the Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant eventually approved in October to legitimize their previous illegal and warrantless spying?
Now take another step further back. What if the Obama administration was illegally spying on its political opponents during Obama’s entire presidency, beginning in 2009, using an NSA surveillance tool called The Hammer? What if they realized in the summer of 2016, when Trump secured the GOP nomination for president, that he could win and expose the illegal spying? What if this fear led to the FISA warrant applications on Carter Page to throw a flimsy cloak of legitimacy over the past eight years of illegal spying?
Was this the “insurance policy” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page discussed in August 2016, getting an approved FISA warrant two months later to cover up their illegal spying? Hopefully someone under AG Barr is asking these questions and investigating.
Trump knows the score. In June he blasted, “It was an attempted overthrow of the government of the United States of America and duly elected president. And we caught them.” Trump summarized spygate with this description, “Treason, treason — it’s treason.”
He doubled down on the accusations during his Nevada rally on Sept. 12, saying, “And Obama and Biden got caught spying on our campaign using the intelligence, I put that in quotes, using intelligence to spy on our campaign, and they got caught. They got caught.”
So far nothing from Barr and Durham other than conjecture and speculation.
Will anything happen to the wrongdoers? Is pain coming? Is the storm coming? Q answered on Sept. 11, posting “James Comey Treason” and “John Brennan Treason” repeated almost 50 times. That’s obvious to those following this story but will there ever be a reckoning or justice?
As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see what happens.”