In the wake of President Trump's allegations that the Obama administration surveilled Trump and his team during both the presidential campaign and the transition, I expected the mainstream media to do what they usually do in these cases, which is to memory-hole (through "updates" and midnight redactions) their own reporting. In other words, any journalism that is now inconvenient to the present-day narrative would either be explained away or outright erased.
Oddly enough, the very same national media that is now accusing Trump of making "unsubstantiated claims" about the Obama administration spying on him is still standing by their mountain of evidence that shows the Obama administration spied on him.
Out of the half-dozen or so media outlets, all of which are openly hostile to Trump, not a single one has retracted their contemporaneous reports that show the Obama administration investigated and spied on Trump and his team.
All of the journalism that uncovered this now-inconvenient fact that Obama's Department of Justice sought and obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, and the news that the Obama White House was looking at intelligence based on actual wiretaps, still stands!
In fact, at the time, the very same media that is now vehemently protecting Obama and his administration from Trump's claims, seemed thrilled with the news that the Obama administration was investigating and spying on Team Trump.
Here are the most damning stories in chronological order. Emphasis mine throughout:
EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia
Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.
As of this writing, Heat Street's Louise Mensch, a fierce Trump critic, has not retracted this story about the FBI receiving a surveillance warrant that would allow them to "examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign[.]"
It is important to note that the FBI is an agency that reports to the Department of Justice which, at the time, was headed by Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.
As of now, The Guardian has not retracted its reporting about Obama's FBI seeking a FISA warrant to "monitor four members" of Team Trump.
In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.
As PJ Media's Michael Walsh points out (read his full analysis), at the time, little attention was paid to this bombshell about the Obama administration expanding National Security Agency (NSA) powers in a way that would allow them to get around American wiretapping laws.
As of this writing, The New York Times stands by its reporting that the Obama administration gave the NSA ever-broader powers to go around the Fourth Amendment, and this includes wiretaps. Also, by expanding the number of people and agencies with access to this surveillance, by apparent design, it greatly improved the chances these private communications will be leaked to a partisan media.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities – in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer – outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case – told me that three of Mr. Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.
So, according to the left-wing BBC, after being turned down in June, Loretta Lynch's Justice Department targeted "three of Mr. Trump's associates" using a FISA warrant, which allows for all kinds of surveillance.
More from that same BBC report:
The investigation was active going into the election. During that period, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid, wrote to the director of the FBI, accusing him of holding back "explosive information" about Mr Trump. …
In the letter to the FBI director, James Comey, Mr Reid said: "In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and co-ordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Mr Trump praises at every opportunity.
As of this writing, The BBC has not retracted a word of its reporting that clearly shows that Obama's Department of Justice investigated Team Trump, both during and after the election, including a surveillance warrant.
The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said. …
A key mission of the six-agency group has been to examine who financed the email hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The London-based transparency group WikiLeaks released the emails last summer and in October.
The working group is scrutinizing the activities of a few Americans who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire and of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations.
The BBC reported that the FBI had obtained a warrant on Oct. 15 from the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing investigators access to bank records and other documents about potential payments and money transfers related to Russia. One of McClatchy’s sources confirmed the report.
As of this writing, McClatchy has not retracted its report of the FBI investigating members of Trump's campaign and business staff. This includes the FISA warrant necessary for all kinds of surveillance.
Print headline: "Wiretapped Data Used In Inquiry of Trump Aides" …
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
As of this writing, The New York Times has not retracted its reporting about the FBI "leading the investigations" with three other agencies that apparently resulted in the Obama White House being provided with intelligence based on WIRETAPS.
As you can see above, Trump has a ton of evidence backing his claim that the Obama administration spied on him, and all of that evidence comes from his enemies in the media who, at the time, believed that these stories about the Obama administration getting surveillance warrants and the White House itself looking at Trump's WIRETAP intel, would damage the incoming president.
But now that we are six months into RussiaGate and there is no evidence of any wrongdoing between Team Trump and the Russians, now that the unseemly spectacle of the Obama administration investigating a political enemy is out there, the very same media that exposed the Obama administration's frightening behavior is pretending they did not.