This is the question Powerline’s John Hinderaker asks: SO, WERE TRUMP’S TWEETS RIGHT AFTER ALL?. This is what he quotes:
Members of the intelligence community collected “incidental” communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.
House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.”
He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower — as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.
That the intelligence agencies of the American government under a Democrat administration should be undertaking surveillance in any respect of the Republican nominee for President is a scandal of the most extraordinary kind. This is the work of a police state, not an open and democratic society. The issue of the moment is to make it clear that IF this happened, then that is an INDICTABLE OFFENCE that should cause individual to END UP IN JAIL. Since we know that as far back as January, before Trump was inaugurated, exactly this kind of surveillance was being reported in the New York Times, there should be no doubting that something absolutely unacceptable was going on. This is from the NYT of January 19:
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.
How did the NYT know? Who authorised such leaks? Why is there no one being prosecuted? What was the role of the previous administration – the administration of the then-president – in any and all of this? That is what we would like to know. Instead, this is what we find at Powerline, and so many others who are on the conservative side of politics:
Closer to the heart of the matter may be Nunes’s observation that the identities of Trump associates subject to such incidental surveillance were “widely disseminated.” This “unmasking” is a federal crime, as House members discussed with Comey and Rogers on Monday. So, while President Trump may have been wrong in believing that the Obama administration directed surveillance at him or his associates–the jury is still out on that question–he was certainly right to be angry about the fact that information reflecting badly on his associates, collected through apparently legal surveillance, was leaked to the press in an effort to damage his campaign or his administration.
Weak, weak, weak! Every conjecture might be wrong, but that is taken for granted. Here the issue is what did happen and who did it and for what reason? Because it certainly looks like something very wrong, very illegal and very ominous really did take place.