Tags: Andrew McCarthy | Obama | Wiretap | Denials

Andrew McCarthy: Obama Camp's Wiretap Denials Disingenuous

Image: Andrew McCarthy: Obama Camp's Wiretap Denials Disingenuous
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 06 Mar 2017 02:07 PM

President Donald Trump's accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign have rightly brought to the forefront a scandal that should have already been a major topic in the media, according to Andrew McCarthy of The National Review.

McCarthy insists that this "appears to be extraordinary, politically motivated abuse of presidential power" and that the denials of the Obama administration are disingenuous on several levels.

Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said that "a cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false."

But McCarthy pointed out that "the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff ‘ordered' surveillance of Trump and his associates," because it is technically the FISA court that does that and it is the Justice Department that represents the government before a FISA court.

The real issues are "whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court; and whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so."

McCarthy said that "there is less than zero chance" that such a controversial surveillance request "could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House."

To make his point clear, he wrote that "it would be a scandal of Watergate dimension if a presidential administration sought to conduct, or did conduct, national-security surveillance against the presidential candidate of the opposition party.

"Unless there was some powerful evidence that the candidate was actually acting as an agent of a foreign power, such activity would amount to a pretextual use of national-security power for political purposes."

McCarthy said that reporting appears to indicate, including by The New York Times, that the FISA court authorized the Justice Department's request for surveillance of some Trump associates after previous attempts to obtain permission had been denied.

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Politics
President Donald Trump s accusations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign have rightly brought to the forefront a scandal that should have already been a major topic in the media, according to Andrew McCarthy...
Andrew McCarthy, Obama, Wiretap, Denials
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2017-07-06
Monday, 06 Mar 2017 02:07 PM
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