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Law Professor Turley: Trump May Have Been Right With Wiretap Tweets

Image: Law Professor Turley: Trump May Have Been Right With Wiretap Tweets

By    |   Saturday, 25 Mar 2017 09:01 AM

President Donald Trump masked legitimate concerns with the wording in his March 4 tweets that President Barack Obama wiretapped his offices at Trump Tower, but the point remains that his campaign staff may have been subjected to surveillance under his predecessor's administration, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley says in an opinion piece for The Hill Friday.

"The White House appears unwilling to address the exaggeration and unfairness of the original allegation, while most of the media seems entirely unwilling to admit that there might indeed be an alarming abuse of surveillance rules," writes Turley, a constitutional law attorney at George Washington University, while drawing a comparison between the news and Stephen King's book "The Shining."

"On the 40th anniversary of the publication of "The Shining," Stephen King must be wondering if Washington is working on its own sequel," said Turley. For the last couple months, Washington has been on edge, like we are all trapped in Overlook Hotel with every day bringing a new “jump scare,” often preceded by a telltale tweet."

Trump triggered the scare this time with his tweets, and the media "rightfully demanded proof," but then ended up refusing to acknowledge there could have been reasonable interpretations of Trump's words.

"From the earliest days of the scandal, I balked at that narrow reading," said Turley, calling the initial reading "absurd."

The word wiretap, especially among those of the Trump generation, generally means surveillance, said Turley, so there is "no reason to assume that Trump meant solely the act of an actual wiretap when he put wiretap in quotations as opposed to surveillance."

When House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes disclosed there was evidence that inadvertent interceptions had occurred, and intelligence officials attached names of parties to transcripts and circulated the documents within the intelligence community, that added weight to Trump's allegations, said Turley.

"Yet, when this disclosure was made by the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, CNN and other news outlets immediately proclaimed that it did not prove anything about the Trump allegations," said Turley.

Meanwhile, the White House is unwilling to address Trump's original allegations, and the media is also not willing to admit surveillance rules may have been abused.

"I suppose our Shining sequel is even more scary than the original because you cannot entirely trust anyone in the Beltway Hotel," Turley concluded. "It is nothing but jump scares and creepy moments."

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President Donald Trump masked legitimate concerns with the wording in his March 4 tweets that President Barack Obama wiretapped his offices at Trump Tower, but the point remains that his campaign staff may have been subjected to surveillance under his predecessor's...
turley, trump, wiretap, tweets, right
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2017-01-25
Saturday, 25 Mar 2017 09:01 AM
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