House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has said that the U.S. Intelligence Community “incidentally” collected information on President Trump’s transition team. The information was then “widely disseminated” in intelligence reports.
“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition,” Nunes told reporters.
This is the smoking gun proving that Trump was indeed correct, that his team was surveilled by the Obama Administration. Let’s look at the details.
“Incidental” collection means that the target of the intelligence activities was a foreign target and while underway, information on “U.S. persons” (citizens, green card holders, etc.) was also collected. This happens sometimes, especially with the advanced tools available to the intelligence community. It often cannot be helped.
Under intelligence community rules, in order not to violate the Fourth Amendment regarding illegal search and seizure, any information about American citizens, not related to foreign intelligence, cannot be retained, it has to be destroyed.
However in this case, communications recorded from American citizens, NOT related to foreign intelligence, made its way into intelligence reports and was disseminated for its political value. No FISA court order, all legal rights bypassed.
This is illegal.
This proves that President Trump was correct.
The Obama Administration allowed our intelligence services to continue collecting on the Trump transition team. Could it even be that a low value collection operation was continued just because the “incidental” information had political value?
Anyone honest in this chain of events, from the intel community to the political class who consume this information, would have immediately raised a red flag. Why didn’t they? Many people should be fired over this, and perhaps thrown in jail.
The Democrats want to bury this.
“If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been,” Schiff said in a statement. “The chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.”
When President Trump was asked if he felt vindicated, he said, “I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do,” he said at the White House. “I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found.”
I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg.
While we anticipate the mainstream media will not cover this topic adequately, we urge Congress to launch a full scale investigation, investigate the chain of events top to bottom, and clean house.
Author’s note: As a former intelligence officer, I can tell you this would NEVER happen in the CIA I was a part of. Collecting information a U.S. person, without a warrant was a quick trip to the unemployment line, with a possible long rest stop in jail.