Author Topic: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign  (Read 2972 times)

Crunch

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Or, Spygate, aka Crossfire Hurricane.

Via Andrew McCarthy

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Under federal law, to establish that an American is acting as an agent of a foreign power, the government must show that the American is purposefully engaging in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power, and that it is probable that these activities violate federal criminal law.

That federal law is FISA, Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 1801(b)(2).

Of course, that evidence did not exist and, after nearly 2 years of investigative efforts, can’t even be manufactured.

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The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.

We know that the FBI has lied several times about whrn the operation to penetrate the Trump campaign began. It’s now in the vague “spring 2016” timeframe. At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

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...the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation in the absence of any (a) incriminating evidence, or (b) evidence implicating the Trump campaign in Russian espionage. At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign. They used foreign-intelligence surveillance and informants.

This operation is directly tied to the Obama administration, a few undisputed facts:
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”Both before and after the FBI's official probe began in late July 2016," wrote Neumayr, "Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan's errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan's buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House."

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" program to spy against the Trump campaign.

What we're discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.

And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.

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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.
Once this is fully unraveled, quite a few Clinton and Obama cronies could end up at a Club Fed.


Crunch

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Here's the FBI rebuttal to the spying BBC so spelling is obviously wrong.   ;D

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The FBI, on its website, says that US courts have recognised that the use of informants is "lawful and often essential to the effectiveness of properly authorised law enforcement investigations".

As noted in my first post, this was not a law enforcement investigation. At the time the spy was tasked with getting information from the Obama campaign, and as of right now even, there is no evidence that a crime occurred. There was, and remains, no justification for opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign. That's why it was done under the aegis of a counter-intelligence effort and the Clinton/DNC opposition research improperly and illegally presented to the FISA court as justification to spy on the Trump campaign.

DonaldD

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There was, and remains, no justification for opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign.
That's an odd claim to make given that there have already been charges laid against members of the campaign and several guilty pleas. It's also unclear whether you are characterizing the special counsel investigation as a criminal investigation into the campaign, whether you are characterizing the criminal investigations into members of the Trump campaign as a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, or whether whether you are decrying a not-yet-initiated-but-possibly-on-the-horizon investigation.

D.W.

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I think the partisan response to that is, "All THOSE crimes are beside the point.  And you never would even know about them if not for an ILLEGAL investigation."  Probably sprinkled liberally with, "and they aren't real crimes" or "everyone does that..."

Wayward Son

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What exactly do you mean by "spying," Crunch?

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

Because that is what I've heard this "spying" was about.  Suspected foreign operatives contacted members of the Trump campaign.  At least one member of the campaign arranged a meeting on an island with one of them.  When suspected foreign operatives make contact with Americans, especially high-ranking Americans, it is the right and duty of the FBI to investigate, regardless of whether the persons are associated with a campaign or not.

Now maybe I haven't heard the whole story.  I'm sure McCarthy hasn't.  So let's not jump to conclusions.

And don't be used.  Remember, President Trump thinks his supporters are stupid.  (Why do you think he talks to you like you are a fourth-grader? :) )  He thinks that his followers won't dig into exactly what happened, and will just emotionally react to words like "spying" and "infiltration."  Find out exactly what happened, and make sure that whatever happened, you would still be outraged if it happened to Clinton instead.

Right now I don't think we know exactly what happened.  But from the preliminary reports I've heard, it sounds like stuff that the FBI should have been doing, and certain Republicans (*cough*Trump*cough*) are trying to blow it out of proportion, perhaps just to protect themselves.

Greg Davidson

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And none of the credulous Trump supporters (and yes, I am referring to you, Crunch) can explain how in this diabolical plan that the FBI chose not to mention before the election any of the open-and-close criminal actions that key members of the Trump Administration have already pleaded guilty to.

Crunch

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I think the partisan response to that is, "All THOSE crimes are beside the point.  And you never would even know about them if not for an ILLEGAL investigation."  Probably sprinkled liberally with, "and they aren't real crimes" or "everyone does that..."

The “crimes” referred to are what is commonly referred to as process crimes, e.g lying to the FBI. note that when those driving the spy operations lied to the FBI they were given immunity in exchange for nothing. It’s only Trump campaign officials that get hung up on these.

Ever wonder why?

As for lying, whats your theory on why the FBI and guys like Clapper keep getting caught lyft ng about this?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 08:37:53 AM by Crunch »

velcro

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The FBI has reasons to think someone is doing something wrong.
They send someone to talk to them.  Not identify themselves as working for the FBI,  but just talk.

This is what happened.

Some people call that "spying".

I call it "investigating crimes".

Either way, it is exactly what the FBI is supposed to be doing, regardless of whether you are involved with a political campaign.


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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?  Timelines?  Anything? 

velcro

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At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

False.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/may/24/blog-posting/fake-news-says-obama-paid-informant-trump-russia-p/

The money came from the DOD, not the FBI, and much of it was before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that your statement was false.

Crunch

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The FBI has reasons to think someone is doing something wrong.
They send someone to talk to them.  Not identify themselves as working for the FBI,  but just talk.

This is what happened.

Some people call that "spying".

I call it "investigating crimes".

Either way, it is exactly what the FBI is supposed to be doing, regardless of whether you are involved with a political campaign.


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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?  Timelines?  Anything?
You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to islead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation.

How is it you think they investigate a crime that they have no evidence it happened?

Flip it around, if in April of 2020 the FBI and CIA collude to use Trump campaign opposition research, no matter how absurd and unfounded the claim, lying to the FISA courts, to launch spying efforts on their opponent, it’s gonna be ok? You’re really going to defend that?

As for timeline, please, read some articles on this topic.

Crunch

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At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

False.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/may/24/blog-posting/fake-news-says-obama-paid-informant-trump-russia-p/

The money came from the DOD, not the FBI, and much of it was before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that your statement was false.

My statement was 100% accurate according to current news reports. A politifact post is not enough to contradict those news reports.

I’ll continue to wait for a reputable source to develop the story, not activist outlets and your confirmation bias.  8)

velcro

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A politifact post is not enough to contradict those news reports.

The website is not the issue.  Did you read the post?  Did you see the sources they linked to?  Just to save you the time, here it is.

https://www.usaspending.gov/#/search/98524dd055d3ad9f11813f0e5789ca6b

This is the federal government, explaining that the DoD paid the money, not the FBI, and much of it came before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that, while you thought your statement was true based on un-named sources ("current news reports"), completely reliable sources prove that your statement is false.

velcro

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You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right?

They were investigating the possibility of a crime. You don't need investigating if you already have proof that someone committed a crime.

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On July 7 of that year [2016], Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page traveled to Moscow to give a lecture. Page had long been on the FBI’s radar due to his contacts with Russia; in 2013, Russian intelligence reached out to him directly in a short-lived effort to recruit him as an intelligence asset. Less than a week later, Halper met Page at a conference on US foreign policy and the 2016 election held in Cambridge. The two men struck up an email correspondence.

(I found this on Vox, because it came up first.  If you don't like the source, prove it wrong with facts.  If you don't like the facts, prove them wrong with better facts.  But the same information is on several other sites.)

So is working with Russian intelligence a crime?  I think it is.  Were they investigating whether a member of the Trump campaign had committed that crime?  Yes.

So, in fact, they were investigating a crime.

Please let me know which part of my facts and reasoning is incorrect.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 04:31:09 PM »
What exactly do you mean by "spying," Crunch?

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

I think they would have contacted the Clinton campaign and tried to work with them to expose the Al-Qaeda member.

It was completely a valid option here, and in fact the road that should have been taken, to work with the campaign to identify and target foreign agents that were seeking to gain influence.  How could it not be?

It's still ironic (and no one seems to notice) that the foundation for sicking a spy on Trump's campaign to see if they were biting on a foreign influence campaign was a report by a British spy paid for by the DNC.  Just think that through.  If Trump had hired a Russian spy (through a law firm) to generate a report on corruption in the Clinton campaign that they used to get the FBI to spy on Clinton and send in an agent, the screaming would never have stopped, not to mention it'd be "proof" of Russian collusion.

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Because that is what I've heard this "spying" was about.  Suspected foreign operatives contacted members of the Trump campaign.  At least one member of the campaign arranged a meeting on an island with one of them.  When suspected foreign operatives make contact with Americans, especially high-ranking Americans, it is the right and duty of the FBI to investigate, regardless of whether the persons are associated with a campaign or not.

Yes, it's also their duty to act to protect the victims of the crime.  In this case the Trump campaign.

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And don't be used.  Remember, President Trump thinks his supporters are stupid.  (Why do you think he talks to you like you are a fourth-grader? :) )

In what way is that unique?  Obama, Clinton, heck Pelosi, all think the same thing.  Heck that expressly came out with that idiot who helped create Obama care.  And you know what, they're right.  Voters are stupid.  They routinely act against their own interests by voting on their emotional reaction and falling for dog whistles and misleading propaganda.

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He thinks that his followers won't dig into exactly what happened, and will just emotionally react to words like "spying" and "infiltration."  Find out exactly what happened, and make sure that whatever happened, you would still be outraged if it happened to Clinton instead.

I don't there's much legitimate that happened here.  It'd be like if the Nixon administration had deputized their operatives as fire marshals and thereby claimed they had every right to inspect the Democratic campaign headquarters at surprise.  Flipping around right and wrong based on flimsy claims of legitimacy is literally a blatant tactic at confusion.  Politicians have us thinking so tribaly that all they have to do is put forward a shell of an excuse and it gets jumped on.

I can honestly say that if the idea of spying on a campaign like this had been presented prior to the election everyone on here would have been appalled.  But now that it's tied to a tribe you want to explain it as legitimate?

Still remember when you claimed that there was no wiretap?  Now we know for a fact that there were don't we.  Bet you have a new rationale.

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Right now I don't think we know exactly what happened.  But from the preliminary reports I've heard, it sounds like stuff that the FBI should have been doing, and certain Republicans (*cough*Trump*cough*) are trying to blow it out of proportion, perhaps just to protect themselves.

I agree we still don't know what happened, but it's not because no one knows.  It's because those who did it have refused any oversight by ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL.  It can not be that if Trump is "disqualified" that Congress not get insight.  On what basis are the FBI and the DOJ involved in potentially illegal activity without any oversight other than there own recognizance?  They may have acted with some propriety, they may not have, but oversight is the only way to be sure.

I'm struck again about the ridiculous secrecy here.  This is not a circumstance where anyone should be respecting privacy of the FBI/DOJ.  If this goes to the President it needs to be public so it can be dealt with, if it doesn't then I can't see any potential investigation being worth this process.  I get the Dems are going to ride it for purely political reasons, but there's no reason Republicans or Independents should accept that.

DonaldD

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 04:45:10 PM »
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Just think that through.  If Trump had hired a Russian spy (through a law firm) to generate a report on corruption in the Clinton campaign that they used to get the FBI to spy on Clinton and send in an agent, the screaming would never have stopped, not to mention it'd be "proof" of Russian collusion.
Just curious: do you think that the Trump campaign did NOT spend money on opposition research?  If not, if you think they did invest in opposition research, do you have any idea who ended up being hired by the company or companies tasked with those efforts?

There are a couple of possible reasons why we don't know much about who did that research, but one of the primary reasons is that that research wasn't forwarded to the FBI or other US security services.  I wonder why not..?

velcro

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 07:53:55 PM »

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

I think they would have contacted the Clinton campaign and tried to work with them to expose the Al-Qaeda member.

You left out a critical component.  If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign with offers to provide them with stolen emails, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?

Because that is what Papadopolous did.

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Yes, it's also their duty to act to protect the victims of the crime.  In this case the Trump campaign.

Umm, when someone calls and illegally offers stolen information about your opponent, and your response is "I love it", I don't think you can claim victimhood.

And for the record Carter Page was not merely "contacted" 
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The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.


So when you think someone is acting as an agent, you really think the correct course of action is to warn them that they ought to stop, or they will get in trouble??

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It's still ironic (and no one seems to notice) that the foundation for sicking a spy on Trump's campaign to see if they were biting on a foreign influence campaign was a report by a British spy paid for by the DNC.

Nobody noticed huh?   ::)

The truth is, that dossier had a very small role in getting the FISA warrant.   I am happy to provide voluminous unbiased sources that prove that.  You may want to look into that so you don't continue to spread misinformation.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 08:01:42 PM by velcro »

TheDrake

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2018, 09:00:44 AM »
The FISA courts are a joke anyway, regardless of the dossier. I don't think it is relevant to give this rubber stamp much due.

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Warrantless Surveillance, Designed to Monitor Americans and Others

While Section 702 states that the NSA’s surveillance under the law must “target” foreigners abroad, in reality the law allows the agency to capture potentially vast numbers of Americans’ communications with people overseas (as well as Americans’ domestic Internet communications that just happen to be routed through another country en route to the recipient). 

This surveillance is warrantless, and no judge ever reviews or approves the government’s individual targeting decisions. The law does not require the government to show it has any suspicion that anyone who may be caught up in this dragnet has engaged in wrongdoing.

PRISM and Upstream

The executive branch uses Section 702 to seize private communications through two extremely large programs. The PRISM program enables the NSA (via the FBI) to gather and store enormous amounts of users’ communications that are held by Internet companies. Meanwhile, Upstream surveillance appears to involve automatic government searches of virtually all of the communications that flow over crucial pieces of Internet infrastructure that connect the US to the rest of the world.

Backdoor Searches: An End Run Around the Fourth Amendment

The FBI currently has the power to search (or “query”) Section 702 data without a warrant. The Bureau describes these warrantless backdoor searches as “routine and encouraged.” Such queries effectively evade other provisions of US law that require an individualized warrant or court order for access to such data.

human rights watch

I'd love true reform in this area.

velcro

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2018, 12:33:43 PM »
Drake,

If I understand your quote, it all refers to warrantless collection.
The FBI obtained warrants for their surveillance of someone they had probable cause to believe was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Completely different processes.

TheDrake

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2018, 01:52:40 PM »
I don't think that's true. There's always a warrant, but then a "look who else we got on tape". Not to mention that warrants are almost never rejected.

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By comparison, since 1979 to date, the court has approved 40,117 warrants but only rejected 21 requests. That's a rejection rate of 0.052 percent.


yossarian22c

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2018, 02:55:32 PM »
Whatever your opinion of the general FISA court process, in this case you have Trey Gowdy and Mitch Micconnell both stating publicly that not only did the FBI do nothing wrong but that the FBI acted appropriately with the information they had.

yossarian22c

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2018, 03:17:08 PM »
And now Paul Ryan joins the list of Republicans who say "spygate" is a fraud.

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/06/617578387/ryan-says-theres-no-evidence-the-fbi-informant-spied-on-trump-s-campaign

Greg Davidson

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 10:16:29 AM »
Crunch,

Are you capable of acknowledging the inaccuracies of your original position?

TheDrake

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2018, 04:56:14 PM »
Russia getting their money's worth, or does Trump just miss his playmate Putin? Spy to find out!

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"You know, whether you like it or - and it may not be politically correct - but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in," he said.


Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2018, 05:53:49 PM »
Crunch,

Are you capable of acknowledging the inaccuracies of your original position?

I'm curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position'?  Or do you just mean some of the early reports have been contradicted by other reports?  I'd take his position to be the logic, not the press accounts.

It doesn't seem like we have much more in the way of detail than we started with.  Labeling someone a "spy" or an "informant" or something, is in large part a semantic difference.

It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts.  I'm left with the, admittedly partisan belief, that if the target had been the Clinton campaign the decision would have been to help them close down the contacts (or honestly, even to bury them after the fact).

Pretty much, we're still left with a great big missing fact - what exactly, is justifying the belief that the campaign and it's leadership possibly including Trump was engaged in illegal activity.  There are bad people in every organization of any size, that doesn't automatically translate into a taint of the whole organization.  When are we going to see this piece of evidence (and how is it that so many people are "convinced" without having seen it)?

velcro

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2018, 12:50:48 PM »
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I’m curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position’?

Here are three items that are either established as completely wrong, or assertions on the part of Crunch that he refuses to provide sources for.  They were all covered in detail above, so I am not sure what you are curious about.

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the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts. 

You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to mislead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation. 

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration

Also, Trey Gowdy, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan all think that Crunch’s position is inaccurate.

As I said, this is all very clear in the thread above.  If you have specific facts or reasoning that you disagree with, sing out.  Or if there are other aspects of his position that have not been proven inaccurate, make that clear as well.

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It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts.  

Not remotely clear, but in-your-face-obvious clear, and explained above.  When foreign governments attempt to recruit agents,(sorry, "obtain influence" is a gross distortion of the truth, nice try though) we don’t just warn the potential agents that we see them about to break the law, we watch them to see what they do. That way we can learn about how they operate, we can learn if there are other people involved, and we can build a case against them.  Any undercover law enforcement, anywhere, operates on this principle. Any anti-corruption law enforcement does this.  Any counterintelligence operation does this. 

I’m really at a loss to understand what is confusing about this.  Could you please try to explain it?

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Pretty much, we're still left with a great big missing fact - what exactly, is justifying the belief that the campaign and it's leadership possibly including Trump was engaged in illegal activity.  There are bad people in every organization of any size, that doesn't automatically translate into a taint of the whole organization.  

Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.  The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.  Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.  Trump put out a false release about this, then lied about who wrote it, possibly obstructing justice.  Were you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 03:43:59 PM »
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I’m curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position’?

Here are three items that are either established as completely wrong, or assertions on the part of Crunch that he refuses to provide sources for.  They were all covered in detail above, so I am not sure what you are curious about.

I stated what I was curious about, specifically, whether Greg was asking him if his opinion had changed in light of the "updated facts" (though I expressly noted, that the "updates" are in large part second hand statements and not direct information), or whether Greg was equating factual inadequacies in part of the record with a refutation of a position (which its not).

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the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

That's very specific.  A lot of parts of that are true, or subject to multiple interpretations but when it's all together its false.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have to be all together to have meaning.

The "spy" was paid over $1 million over a few years by the government, while that government was under control of the Obama Administration.

DOJ vs. DOD, maybe material, maybe not so much.  It would be very material for a criminal investigation (which the DOD is not permitted to be involved in), which is troubling given how freely descriptions shift between terrorism investigations and legal ones as if they have the same basis and standards.

Whether he's a "spy" or an "informant" or a "trojan horse" for that matter is a matter of interpretation.  It can certainly be entrapment for law enforcement to send someone into a situation to solicit a crime, and it in fact is so, if the crime would not otherwise have occurred.

Of course, we really don't know anything about what actually happened, cause it's only on a second hand basis that we know anything at all.

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You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to mislead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation.

You are objecting to the claim that they were not investigating a crime?  The rest of that passage is a reasonable though not indisputable interpretation of what occurred.

As to the crime part, the typical investigation requires that there be evidence of a crime to start an investigation.  Evidence of Russian operatives reaching out is not a crime of anyone they are reaching out to, at best its evidence of a potential crime on the part of the Russian agents, and honestly, even that it is highly questionable.  It was not then, nor is it now, illegal to speak to Russian people, even Russian agents.  That's literally not a crime. 

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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration

Not sure what that even means, or how its falsified by anything that's described above.

We have not seen data or evidence that would allow anyone to reasonably determine if the "Trump-Russia" investigation originated in bad acts of the Trump campaign, Russian spies, Hillary's campaign, Obama's administration, Comey and Pal's thinking they were above the law, or even MI6.  You can make a reasonable speculation based case for any or all or even none of the above, but that's all it is, speculation.

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Also, Trey Gowdy, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan all think that Crunch’s position is inaccurate.

Maybe.  They all said they think the FBI's actions were justified.  That's kind of all we know.  Hopefully, that means that this wasn't a spying situation and that any impact it had in that direction was inadvertant.  Of course they are part of Congress that keeps the illegal FISA courts online.  Can't wait till this is all in the public record. 

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It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts. 

Not remotely clear, but in-your-face-obvious clear, and explained above.  When foreign governments attempt to recruit agents,(sorry, "obtain influence" is a gross distortion of the truth, nice try though) we don’t just warn the potential agents that we see them about to break the law, we watch them to see what they do.

Influence campaigns is literally what they are called, sorry if that's confusing to you.  It's also far more likely to be what they are seeking than trying to recruit Americans to be literal foreign agents or spies.  In fact, most national politicians are friendly with more than one agent of a foreign government.  Being favorably inclined doesn't make them spies.

And again, you're literally wrong.  We warn people all the time about foreign agents, they literally tell politicians to be careful because they suspect person x is actually a spy or agent and not the attache they present themselves to be.

Not to mention, they were completely capable of solving for multiple goals at once by involving the Trump campaign at the highest levels, which would have ensured several things, like isolating any potential spread of an agent network, making the campaign aware that it was being targeted (which contrary to your implication is a net good thing) and at worst making it clear that this was being watched. 

I can tell you part of why they didn't, they knew what they were doing was highly contestable, even if justified, and Trump was perfectly capable of making it a favorable campaign issue.  What I can't tell you, is whether they also had a political motivation in how they did it.

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That way we can learn about how they operate, we can learn if there are other people involved, and we can build a case against them.  Any undercover law enforcement, anywhere, operates on this principle. Any anti-corruption law enforcement does this.  Any counterintelligence operation does this.

This is true, we do run undercover operations, but again that's when we've already seen a crime by a US person and allowing the influence campaign doesn't continue or increase the risk.  The FBI literally kept this underwraps during the election.  The idea that they should knowingly  allow Russian agents to spread inside the campaign of one of two people that may become President as part of an undercover operation is almost literally insane.  The public policy goals that favor allowing an undercover operation are completely overwhelming by the national security risk in that situation.

In fact, you're building on a history of investigations from a different context to try pretend that this would have been a normal course of action in a unique and much higher risk context.  It's not normal.  And it's incredibly high risk to secretly investigate the Presidential campaign of the opposition party.

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I’m really at a loss to understand what is confusing about this.  Could you please try to explain it?

How people are so conclusive without having access to the actual facts.

Why they don't see that investigations of the other political party are especially suspect.  Particularly in light of all the oddities that have arisen, not to mention the denials that turn out to be false.

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Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.

First of all, from the public record, the guilty pleas from campaign members relate to process crimes where the underlying conduct was most likely not illegal.  Even Papadaous's actions, other than lying about them, were most likely not illegal - at best borderline.  Manafort seems to have nothing alleged that relates at all to the campaign, and it appears that his prosecution (persecution?) is just to try and force him to provide testimony on others.  It's amusing to me that Mueller can file new charges because Manafort talked to someone else on trying to suborn perjury, but prosecutors can give people massive incentives, including literal bribes and its not considered suborning perjury.

Emoluments is a farce and not subject of the investigation.

Defamation, not aware of relevant charges on defamation.

Illegal campaign contributions, pretty specious, and decidely anti-democratic to try and bring charges against someone who largely funded their own campaign, while the other candidate (and virtually every other politician) is completely in the tank for whomever writes them enough checks.  It's almost Twilight Zone levels of farce.

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The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.

Are they?  Last I checked there's no confirmation of that, though it does seem possible or even likely they are investigating it.  In any event, its pretty much a specious claim if you are referring to Comey's firing.

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Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.

No he didn't, that's a big stretch.  I agree he never should have met with a foreigner who claimed they could provide information.  He's responsible for being a political neophyte and not having a better grasp on the potential illegality (note I said potential). 

There's a lot of questions about the Clinton campaign's indirect involvement in arranging that meeting, which is literally a violation but whose counting (honestly counting anyway).

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ere you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.

I can honestly say there's never been a campaign where "elements" didn't engage in illegal activity.  Every local election someone is tearing down signs or putting them in illegal places.  There's always someone that crosses lines.  Normally, unless there's a top down directive or some evidence of wilful blindness we recognize that bad people sometimes support good ones. 

I mean honestly, you seem to have been alluding to Manafort earlier.  His known "illegal activity" was years before his involvement with the campaign.  He's worked on 4 out 5 of the last Republican Presidential campaigns, and he was on the Trump campaign for only a short while, yet he's part of this attribution you are making right?

We readily guess why there's so much pressure on Manafort.  They want him to say that Trump knew about something specific, cause they don't have evidence that he did.  Without that connection, they don't have a case.  So if Trump didn't know about something  are you okay with the DOJ bribing Manafort to get him to perjure himself saying he did?

D.W.

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 04:14:43 PM »
I'm still trying to get over the fact you are OK with them being 'victims' of entrapment...

velcro

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2018, 09:25:57 PM »
If anyone besides Seriati thinks there was anything in his entire post worth responding to, I will be happy to oblige.  Otherwise, Proverbs 26:4.

Crunch

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2018, 09:27:43 AM »
Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.  The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.  Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.  Trump put out a false release about this, then lied about who wrote it, possibly obstructing justice.  Were you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.

That the FBI is investigating illegal campaign spending for Trump and not Clinton (along with her mail server) should tell you how this is being run. From secret meeting on airport runways to disappearing Arwan's, Clinton and the DNC are clearly doing more than Trump ever though, yet not a hint of investigation from the FBI.

Indictments. You mean the indictments of 13 foreigner and/or foreign companies? Those are show indictments. Mueller never expected to pursue prosecution of those as they were in other countries where prosecution would be impossible. That one of them has come back throws a serious wrench in the works and Mueller is fighting having to prosecute it.

Guilty pleas. Like Flynn's? Pleading guilty to lying to the FBI (something Clinton and her team has done repeatedly without repercussion). Flynn has insisted he was innocent and we now know that nobody thought Flynn was lying. Get that? Charges were filed and pursued against someone where there was no suspicion of a crime being committed. Flynn fought this to the point he had to sell his house to pay the mounting legal bills. Flynn finally pleaded guilty because they were bankrupting him although I suspect the final straw was when Mueller threatened to go after Flynn's son. This is legal extortion, the prosecutorial equivalent of torturing a confession out of someone, and should result in criminal charges for Mueller and his team.

Why would Mueller do these things? So people like you can say there are indictments and guilty pleas without having a hint of how they were obtained or that they were baseless or that Mueller never intended to prosecute them, it was just a show. Pointing these pleas and indictments out as proof of anything other than an out of control prosecution is exposing that you don't know what's going on.

NobleHunter

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2018, 09:56:13 AM »
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

Fenring

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2018, 10:03:51 AM »
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2018, 10:19:05 AM »
Way to take the high road Velcro, lol.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2018, 10:23:09 AM »
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we now know that nobody thought Flynn was lying. Get that?

Who is this "we" you speak about?   Because this is pretty clear: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/01/us/document-Flynn-FBI-Russia.html

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2018, 11:22:37 AM »
Greg, I think he's referring to the reports that the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying.  Of course, we haven't heard from them directly, because notwithstanding that Congress had demanding they testify the DOJ has refused to make them available. 

velcro

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2018, 06:38:08 PM »
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.

No, that's what you are saying he is saying.

What he's saying is
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That the FBI is investigating illegal campaign spending for Trump and not Clinton (along with her mail server)

Just to be clear, he said the FBI is not investigating Clinton for illegal campaign spending. It is not clear whether he is saying that they should add the illegal campaign spending in addition to the completed investigation of her email server, or if they should start investigating her email server.

Seriati, please provide sources that back up the claim that "the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying. "  Not that I don't believe you, but I would like to see the sources.


Crunch

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2018, 07:23:23 PM »
Link
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The majority report of the House Intelligence Committee includes a finding that FBI agents “did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” As evidence, the report quotes Comey from a private briefing on March 2, 2017: “the agents … discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”
So nobody thought Flynn lied. They finally got him to admit he did by destroying his finances, including costing him his home, and then threatening his son.

As for those indictments:
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Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is worried that Russian intelligence services will use a criminal case in Washington to gather information about its investigation and U.S. intelligence-gathering methods.

In court papers filed Tuesday, prosecutors are asking a federal judge to impose limits on the information that can be shared by attorneys in the first criminal case directly related to Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

So far, only one defendant, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, has appeared in the case, and prosecutors say they're worried information they provide to the company's attorneys could end up in the hands of other defendants or Russian spy agencies.
And
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Prosecutors also want to bar other defendants from accessing the materials turned over in the case until they appear in a U.S. court.
Tryng to keep the “evidence” secret.

yossarian22c

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2018, 10:09:50 PM »
So the agents didn’t realize he was lying during the interview. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t discover information later that showed he had lied.

Crunch

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2018, 07:54:37 AM »
Wow, that’s the very best example of grasping at straws I’ve ever seen.

But no, when Flynn was charged , nobody thought he’d lied to the FBI. Flynn was prosecuted for a crime nobody thought he committed. Flynn maintained his innocence right up until they coerced him into the plea.

 It’s exactly what it looks like.

Fenring

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2018, 09:41:53 AM »
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.

No, that's what you are saying he is saying.

I was referring to this:

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Guilty pleas. Like Flynn's? Pleading guilty to lying to the FBI (something Clinton and her team has done repeatedly without repercussion).

scifibum

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2018, 12:35:41 PM »
Wow, that’s the very best example of grasping at straws I’ve ever seen.

But no, when Flynn was charged , nobody thought he’d lied to the FBI. Flynn was prosecuted for a crime nobody thought he committed. Flynn maintained his innocence right up until they coerced him into the plea.

 It’s exactly what it looks like.


This is the dumbest talking point. This kind of charge is not supposed to be predicated on impressions of interviewing agents. Flynn did lie. The charging document covers the evidence that he lied. Your assertion that nobody thought he lied when he was charged is completely false, based on the ridiculous concept that interviewing agent impression of body language preempts the actual evidence.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2018, 12:56:32 PM »
Seriati, please provide sources that back up the claim that "the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying. "  Not that I don't believe you, but I would like to see the sources.

That's not a claim that I made.  Lucky for you Crunch seems to have taken pity on you.

TheDrake

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2018, 01:27:43 PM »
stupid double jeopardy: You cannot be convicted of a crime if at any point an investigator thought you were innocent.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2018, 03:35:41 PM »
You guys are really straining to 'splain a rather simple point.  There's very little evidence, if any, that Flynn intentionally lied to the FBI.  Really it's just the guilty plea, which given the power of the state is half-way coerced (at least).

Contrast that, in a whataboutism way, with Comey clearing Clinton essentially cause she didn't have a bad intent (even though intent wasn't part of that crime), or with how, Mueller is ruthless on demanding guilty pleas with how all those Clinton aides got immunity for testimony (where there weren't even charges filed).  None of that really goes to substance but it certainly weighs in on appearances.

D.W.

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2018, 03:49:16 PM »
I don't know anything more than the rest of you, and probably less than several, but Crunch and Seriati, you are starting to sound rather paranoid.

Now, you may be correct about some aspects of this, but "straining to 'splain a rather simple point"? 

I'm not about to defend Clinton, and find "whataboutisim" the most ridiculous thing going; but the simplest explanation is Trump's team (and the man himself) are shady as hell, and use to crossing the line into strait up illegality, and getting away with it.  (or suffering minor consequences if they don't)

That several of them are getting a wake-up call and realizing that when it relates to the highest office of the country, the stakes (and the scrutiny) are a bit higher; that doesn't shock me in the least.

Mistaken, miss-remembered, unintentional lie, entrapped, bribed, coerced...  then just unfairly treated by the law.  /sigh  If that's not a strain, I don't know what is.

News flash, Hillary didn't win.  Trump did.  Convict her of something or don't.  I don't much care.  Actually, I kinda do hope things stretch out and she remains toxic so the party doesn't risk running her again, but I think that's highly unlikely already.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 03:51:29 PM by D.W. »

Wayward Son

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2018, 03:50:00 PM »
What you're neglecting is plea bargaining.  Pleading guilty to a lesser crime to avoid prosecution for a more serious crime.  Prosecutors often allow this if the defendant cooperates with the investigation and provides evidence of greater crimes of those higher-up than him.

Of course, we don't know if Flynn plea-bargained and cooperated or not, and won't know until all the evidence of the investigation is revealed.  But you shouldn't assume that there was no plea bargaining involved yet, especially if you're calling for an end to the investigation.  Because if there was, it was probably significant information.

And because calling for an end to the investigation is precisely what guilty people would want you to do. ;)

TheDrake

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2018, 04:02:23 PM »
He's going to go in to talk about his contacts with Russian officials, and he's not going to review his notes about the calls? He just sort of forgot about a bunch of work he did for the Turkish government?

Is it really credible that he forgot that he was trying to influence a UNSC vote in favor of Israel?

full complaint



Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2018, 04:29:55 PM »
I'm not about to defend Clinton, and find "whataboutisim" the most ridiculous thing going; but the simplest explanation is Trump's team (and the man himself) are shady as hell, and use to crossing the line into strait up illegality, and getting away with it.  (or suffering minor consequences if they don't)

Trump's team?  We're talking about Flynn, the guy who was a retired general, who was appointed by  Obama to head the defense intelligence agency, and who was Trump's NSA head for what 23 days?  Not even a month.

The simplest explanation for the claim that this is "shady as hell" is that you believe it without regard to facts.  Accordingly, because of confirmation bias anything you now hear just proves it more.  And in fairness, I suspect you believe the same about me.

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Mistaken, miss-remembered, unintentional lie, entrapped, bribed, coerced...  then just unfairly treated by the law.  /sigh  If that's not a strain, I don't know what is.

There's an actual term, perjury trap for a reason.  Many people have public statements going back years that are arguably contradictory.  I can think of even Obama being on record with contradictory statements to a Muslim audience and a Jewish one.  If a prosecutor wants to catch you they ask a question that of necessity must confirm one of those statements and deny the other (without reminding you of the statements), then they use the recording of the contradicting statement to argue that you lied to them and assert that as a crime.   Very difficult to disprove or defend.  This is why Hillary always answers some form of I don't recall (which, oddly enough, even when it's a lie, is almost impossible to use as a basis).

Republicans seem to operate under the mistaken belief that if they tell the truth everything will work out fine, while Dems have a far more healthy (for them) belief that prosecutors are only talking to you because they're out to get you.

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News flash, Hillary didn't win.  Trump did.  Convict her of something or don't.  I don't much care.  Actually, I kinda do hope things stretch out and she remains toxic so the party doesn't risk running her again, but I think that's highly unlikely already.

I think it's a bigger issue.  The comparisons have to be made because it really does feel like we're no longer living under the idea of equal protection.  Charges for Republicans for "lying" where there are none for Democrats is fundamentally unfair.  Immunity deals for staffers that provide NO TESTIMONY but that prevent a prosecutor from doing exactly what Mueller is doing, using pressure to flip little guys to catch big fish, really look like they have no plausible reason other than innoculating a politically favored person.

Whether you like it or not, I'm concerned about abuses of the Rule of Law regardless of which party is in power.

Seriati

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2018, 04:38:08 PM »
What you're neglecting is plea bargaining.

Not neglecting it, recognizing it for the highly abusive practice it is.  Threaten someone with 20 to Life for a crime they didn't do but that it'd cost them millions to defend and offer them a one year suspended sentence to lie and say they did it.  What happens? 

I mean heck, talk to BLM if you really think plea bargains lead to justice.

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And because calling for an end to the investigation is precisely what guilty people would want you to do. ;)

Any accused person, guilty or innocent would want an investigation to end.

The reason to call for this one to end is that it's damaging the country and may have been illegitimate in the first place.  Whether you think Mueller has the goods on Trump or not, the continuing secrecy is damaging.  If the goods are there it's leaving Trump in power when he could have been impeached and removed (he really can't be convicted and trying to do so will cause a constitutional crisis).  If the goods aren't there the entire failure to clear him is absolutely illegitimate and not being done for any proper purpose by law enforcement.

Of course, my suspicion is that there is no convincing evidence, and barely anything circumstantial and that the purpose of continuing the investigation is to help the Dems in the midterms, nothing more or less.   To that end, we will get either leaks or allegations from the team but only once the campaign season is going full swing.   

D.W.

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2018, 04:47:42 PM »
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Trump's team?  We're talking about Flynn,
Apologies for speaking in generalities about the investigation at large.

D.W.

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Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2018, 04:49:43 PM »
My bias makes me think they are shady as hell.  The convictions and deals of cooperation are what's making it confirmation bias. 

I am content to see the investigation play out.  The amorphous defense on the fly in attempts to derail the investigation does get tiresome though.

While I enjoy a good conspiracy theory for entertainment value, I'm very much an Occam's razor type person.