Secret subpoenas, top-level authorizations that no one will own up to, spying on rival members within the government and the press … Is this a tale of East Germany or Soviet Russia? Perhaps Communist China? No, it’s right here in Americans’ own backyard – though if one forms opinions by believing whatever the leftist media tell the public to think, it could be argued that Trump’s dominion encompassed the worst of all three and more.
Allegedly, the Trump administration spied on several congressional Democrats and members of the press during the Mueller investigation – you know, right after Democrats were spying on him. So, what’s going on with these secret subpoenas, and why are we just now hearing about them? Perhaps just as importantly, why are the Democrats so upset about it? Wasn’t covert government surveillance a good thing when they did it?
The Timeline, As We Know It
In early June, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department under President Donald Trump used subpoenas to acquire information from Apple about at least two Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee. The orders targeted the members of Congress and their families and office staff. It was later revealed that Microsoft was another subpoena recipient. Allegedly, both companies refused to provide the contents of emails.
Not long after the news broke, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced an internal review to “examine the Department’s compliance with applicable DOJ policies and procedures, and whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations.” To simplify that considerably: Now that it’s in the news that the DOJ demanded phone records and account data from both members of Congress and journalists, the Department is going to either find a way to justify it or find someone to take the blame.
In 2017 and 2018, while the House Intelligence Committee and numerous left-leaning media outlets were investigating Trump’s alleged Russian collusion, the DOJ under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions subpoenaed communications metadata of at least a dozen committee members – including Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) – and reporters from three prominent, left-leaning media outlets. This included a gag order, which had to be renewed each year, forbidding Apple from disclosing that the data had been seized. Evidently, that order wasn’t renewed this year – so now it’s news.
Who’s responsible for this? No one seems to know. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions purportedly didn’t know anything about it. Business Insider reported that, according to sources close to Sessions, he wasn’t aware of it or briefed on it. Could that be? Well, he had officially recused himself from the Russia probe, so it’s certainly possible.
Bill Barr, Sessions’ replacement, also denied knowing anything about it. That is also entirely possible. After all, he didn’t take the job until a year after the subpoenas were issued. According to CNN, Rod Rosenstein, who was deputy to both aforementioned attorneys general, has also claimed to know nothing about this.
Still, someone high up had to sign off on these for them to exist. There are other possible “suspects,” but no one is stepping up to claim credit, and speculation at this point is merely that; speculation. Perhaps the internal review will provide a revelation.
Domestic Spying is Evil!
Democrats, of course, are aghast. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) demands that Sessions, Barr, and Rosenstein all testify before Congress. “The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump,” she declared. “This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity.” She went on to say that this goes beyond anything Richard Nixon ever did and that it is about undermining the rule of law. An “egregious assault on our democracy,” she called it.
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for President Joe Biden, released a statement, saying this “clearly fits within an appalling trend that represents the opposite of how authority should be used.” Would the current commander in chief ever do something like this? “President Biden is absolutely committed to the independence of the Department of Justice, and – having served as Senator for decades – to respecting the all-important rights of Congress as a co-equal branch of government,” Bates explained.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) worries that “the corruption may run deeper than has already been reported.”
Domestic Spying Is … Good?
Just how rogue was the DOJ during the reign of DJT? Well, before Trump was elected – that is, when he was a civilian, a private citizen, a guy with no government position whatsoever – it turns out there was all manner of spying on him. The FBI – overseen, at this point, by President Barack Obama – embedded a spy in the Trump campaign who met with campaign advisers in 2016, including George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. If those names sound familiar, it’s because they were splattered all over the news cycle after becoming the focus of FBI investigations all their own.
Then there were all those texts taken from the FBI’s now-infamous love birds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. They paint a picture of an FBI focused on ending the Trump presidency before it could even get started. And don’t forget the Steele Dossier, which was funded by the FBI, the DNC, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign with DOJ official Bruce Ohr acting as the go-between for communications between Steele and the Mueller investigation.
But that was all good. According to retired Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served under Obama, this wasn’t spying; it was surveillance – and Trump should have been happy that the FBI and DOJ were looking out for him. The informant wasn’t imbedded to spy on Trump, but to find out what the Russians were up to. Never mind the fact that Trump was the one investigated and impeached.
Pelosi, Schiff, Swalwell, and the leftist media were all fine with domestic spying when they were the ones doing the spying – now it’s wrong, an attack on America’s very democracy. It seems they just can’t make up their minds.
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