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Tag: FISA

Memo Reveals President’s DOJ Extended Surveillance of Carter Page on Russian Spy Allegations

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A classified, highly disputed Republican memo reveals that the Justice Department under President Trump approved continued surveillance last spring of Trump campaign associate Carter Page because investigators suspected he was a Russian agent.

The New York Times, citing three people familiar with the document, reports that the memo portrays the Russia investigation as “tainted from the start” because it relies in part on research by former British spy Christopher Steele, who had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The memo, which Democrats claim contains “cherry-picked facts” to craft a misleading narrative, takes aim at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate possible obstruction of justice by the president and collusion with Russian to undermine the 2016 presidential election. Last summer, the president considered firing Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation that so far has led to indictments against four Trump associates.

According to the memo, Rosenstein extended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) order on Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker whom a Russia spy had tried to recruit, according to a 2013 investigation. Carter served as a Trump foreign police adviser until September 2016.

In the memo, Republicans alleges that senior intelligence officials abused the surveillance program to target Trump’s campaign as part of a political bias and failed to properly vet the application.

“The president has been clear publicly and privately that he wants absolute transparency throughout this process,” White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said in a statement. “Based on numerous news reports, top officials at the F.B.I. have engaged in conduct that shows bias against President Trump and bias for Hillary Clinton. While President Trump has the utmost respect and support for the rank-and-file members of the F.B.I., the anti-Trump bias at the top levels that appear to have existed is troubling.”

The Justice Department declined to comment on this report.

Manafort Calls on Justice Department to Investigate Leak of FBI Wiretaps

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is urging the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate who leaked to the media information about the FBI conducting several wiretap probes of him, Bloomberg reports.  

Manafort also is asking the Justice Department to release “any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement Tuesday.

Using leaked information, CNN reported Monday that two FISA court orders were obtained by the FBI to authorize wiretapping of Manafort before and after the presidential election.

Of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement on Tuesday. The Justice Department’s inspector general “should immediately conduct an investigation into these leaks and to examine the motivations behind a previous administration’s effort to surveil a political opponent.” 

FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Trump’s Former Campaign Adviser on Russia

Carter Page

Carter Page

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI obtained a warrant to secretly monitor President Trump’s former campaign adviser, Carter Page, on suspicions that he was acting as an agent of Russia, The Washington Post reports. 

Using a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, the FBI and Justice Department targeted Page’s communications as part of a clandestine mission to determine whether he engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Russia.

This is just the latest revelations allegedly linking Trump’s campaign team to Russia, which federal authorities say influenced the outcome of the presidential election.

It’s premature to say whether the Justice Department investigation will uncover illegal activity. 

“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page said in an interview Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.” He compared surveillance of him to the eavesdropping that the FBI and Justice Department conducted against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Opinion: Why NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Doesn’t Deserve Celemency

Fred Kaplan
Slate

I regard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot. I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress. On June 7, two days after the first news stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, I wrote a column airing (and endorsing) the concerns of Brian Jenkins, a leading counterterrorism expert, that the government’s massive surveillance program had created “the foundation of a very oppressive state.”

And yet I firmly disagree with the New York Times’ Jan. 1 editorial (“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”), calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” for the “great service” he has done for his country.

It is true that Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens—far vaster than any outsider had suspected, in some cases vaster than the agency’s overseers on the secret FISA court had permitted—have triggered a valuable debate,leading possibly to much-needed reforms.

If that were all that Snowden had done, if his stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the NSA’s domestic surveillance, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing.

But Snowden did much more than that.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


 

Report: At least 27 Accused Terrorists Prosecuted Under Secret Surveillance Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least 27 accused terrorists were prosecuted since 2007 using evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Reuters reports.

The FISA cases vary from murder to an 18-year-old American trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

As early as today, the U.S. government plans to disclose how many terrorist attacks were foiled under the NSA program, which is another surveillance tool used by feds.

FISA warrants were created in 1978 after congressional hearings revealed the U.S. was illegally spying on its residents, Reuters wrote.

FISA requires approval from a judge.

Internet Companies Call For More Disclosure of Surveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Facebook are calling for more disclosure of secret requests to hand over date of users, The Guardian reports.

“Permitting greater transparency on the aggregate volume and scope of national security requests, including Fisa orders, would help the community understand and debate these important issues,” Microsoft said in an emailed statement.

The federal government issues national security letters to demand access to computer data.

It’s currently against the law to disclose how many secret requests were turned over under the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Government Has Violated Spying Limits on U.S. Citizens, Documents Show


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — When it comes to listening  in on conversations or reading emails, the feds have repeatedly violated legal limits of surveillance of U.S. citizens, the Washington Post reports.

The Post reports that the conclusion comes from the release of 900 pages of documents obtained by the ACLU in a court battle. The paper reported that U.S. government agencies refused to say how many Americans’ rights were violated or intercepted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – or FISA.

“The documents note that although oversight teams did not find evidence of “intentional or willful attempts to violate or circumvent the law . . . certain types of compliance incidents continue to occur,” as a March 2009 report stated,” the Post reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

President Ford Approved Warrantless Wiretaps in 1974

President Ford/whitehouse photo

President Ford/whitehouse photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Gerald Fold authorized the FBI to use domestic warrantless wiretaps in 1974, according to the website WIRED.

The website, which cites a classified memo recently obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting, says Ford signed a Dec. 19, 1974 memo giving his approval  “just one month before the Senate established an 11-member panel, known as the Church Committee, to investigate government surveillance programs.”

It said he had reviewed the matter and found it was legal. The signing came at a time critics were up in arms over what they considered excessive government surveillance on the domestic front.

“The Church Committee would ultimately uncover other unconstitutional spying activities, such as that conducted by the National Security Agency under the rubric of Operation Shamrock,” WIRED wrote. “Two days after the memo was signed, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, writing in The New York Times, disclosed a covert government spying program that focused on monitoring political activists in the U.S.”

The website said Ford later supported the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which required permission from a special court so law enforcement  could conduct domestic surveillance.

The news of Ford’s memo comes after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled last week that the National Security Agency illegally wiretapped conversations of two lawyers and a Saudi charity during the Bush years.

To read more click here.

Read Ford Memo

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