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Tag: wiretapping

Trump Doubles Down on Wiretapping Claims Even As Republicans Express Doubt

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President Trump has provided no evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped his offices during the 2016 presidential campaign, he insisted again Wednesday that the claims are true.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before a congressional panel to discuss what evidence, if any, has been found to back up Trump’s claims.

“Wiretap covers a lot of different things,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson last night.

But even Republicans are getting frustrated with the unfounded claims, and leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that they have found no evidence to confirm President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,” said U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week … people we’ve talked to — I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the Boston Herald reports

Fake News Sites Perpetuate Myth That Obama Tapped Trump’s Phones

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s claims that Obama wiretapped the Republican’s phones during the presidential “have proven to be a petri dish for fake news,” Politifact has found

Multiple fake news sites have posted stories alleging that the FBI has a warrant to arrest Obama for wiretapping Trump’s phones.

“FBI issues Warrant For Obama’s Arrest After Confirming Illegal Trump Tower Wiretap,” read the headlines on multiple fake news sites.

Politifact concluded: “These stories don’t have a grain of truth. There’s no warrant out for Obama’s arrest, and he’s definitely not getting arrested by the FBI. We’ve also found no evidence to support Trump’s claim that the wiretapping even took place.”

Fake news has contributed to confusion, resentment and anger among people who have trouble discerning real news from fictional news.

Justice Department Requests More Time on Wiretapping Evidence

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department said it needs more time to provide information on President Trump’s wiretapping claims.

The House Intelligence Committee has asked for wiretapping applications, orders and warrants involving President Trump or his associates.

The Justice Department called the committee “to ask for additional time to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist,” the Washington Post reports. 

The committee wants the records by Monday’s deadline.

President Trump has yet to provide a shred of evidence that Obama ordered wiretapping of the Trump campaign.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer walked back some of the claims.

“If you look at the president’s tweet, he said very clearly, quote, ‘wire tapping’ — in quotes,” Spicer said, gesturing with his fingers to symbolize quotes. “There’s been substantial discussion in several reports. ... There’s been reports in the New York Times and the BBC and other outlets about other aspects of surveillance that have occurred. The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, ‘wiretapping’ — that spans a whole host of surveillance types of options.”

Senators Request Information on Trump’s Claims of Wiretapping Ordered by Obama

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Senators from both sides of the aisle want the Justice Department and FBI to release any information about Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that President Obama had wiretapped phones at Trump Tower during the presidential election.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., sent a formal request for information on any action taken to tap Trump’s phones at his New York home and offices, ABC News reports. 

“Congress must get to the bottom of President Trump’s recent allegation that President Obama wiretapped President Trump’s phones during the 2016 election,” wrote Graham and Whitehouse in a letter to FBI director James Comey and Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

“As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, we would take any abuse of wiretapping authorities for political purposes very seriously,” the letter adds.

“We would be equally alarmed to learn that a court found enough evidence of criminal activity or contact with a foreign power to legally authorize a wiretap of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower.”

On Saturday, Trump claimed on Twitter that President Obama had directed federal authorities to tap Trump’s phones.

FBI Tried to Stop Martin Luther King Jr. from Delivering College Commencement in 1964

stanford.edu photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just days after Martin Luther King Jr. was invited to speak at Springfield College’s commencement in 1964, the FBI tried to get the school to cancel speech, the Atlantic reports in an account detailing new questionable tactics against the civil rights icon.

At the time, King had been the subject of extraordinary wiretapping at his home, office and hotel rooms where he stayed. Agents used those wiretaps to urge the college to cancel King’s commencement address.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with discrediting King at the time.

In mid-June, King delivered his speech and spoke about segregation, pacifism and morality.

Did FBI Conduct Warrantless Wiretapping of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack?

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was listening to Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s cell phone calls for nearly six months under the authority of a court.

But that authorization ended two days after agents raided Mack’s home last summer, the NJ.com reports.

Government records now suggest agents continued to tap Mack’s phone, raising major questions surrounding the handling of the probe of the mayor of New Jersey’s capital city.

NJ.com wrote that defense attorneys are likely to challenges any warrantless wiretappings.

“It will come out at the time of motions,” said Jerome Ballarotto, a lawyer for Mack’s co-defendant Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni.

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DEA Has Unprecedented Access for AT&T Phone Records Dating Back to 1987

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

AT&T agreed to provide the DEA with real time access to an unprecedented amount of phone records as part of a recently revealed partnership, The Atlantic reports.

Since 2007, the DEA has had access to every call that goes through AT&T’s switchboard, The Atlantic wrote.

The phone company even provided four employees to help track down suspects.

The access includes phone numbers, time and duration of calls and where the calls were made dating back to 1987.

To put that into perspective, 4 billion call records accumulate every day, the New York Times wrote.

Reporter in Washington D.C. Learns FBI Was Monitoring His Calls to Disgraced D.C. Councilman

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A tenacious reporter who covers urban affairs and the D.C. Council received a troubling email from the U.S. Attorney’s Office: His voice was picked up after agents tapped the cell phones of now-disgraced Councilman Michael Brown, WUSA9 reports.

“I’m not going to be surprised if I call someone at some point in the near future and they say ‘I can’t talk to you because the FBI might be listening,'” reporter Bruce Johnson told the news station, where he works. “Bottom line, of course it’s unsettling when you get a call saying the FBI has heard part of your conversation in the course of you doing your job.”

Here’s a statement from the US Attorney’s Office:

“As has been widely reported, during the investigation which led to former Council Member Michael A. Brown’s conviction on a bribery charge, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia authorized the interception of wire and electronic communications on two cell phones used by Mr. Brown during the relevant time period.

“Thus, some communications between Mr. Brown and individuals not otherwise connected to the government’s investigation were intercepted. Significantly, law enforcement utilized procedures to minimize and reduce to the smallest possible number the amount of innocent and non-pertinent communications that were intercepted between individuals and the target of its investigations.

“The government, as it does in all of its Title III investigations, recently provided notice to individuals who were named in the court orders authorizing interceptions or whose communications with Mr. Brown were intercepted during the course of its investigation. The contents of those intercepted communications will remain sealed, will not be used for any other purpose, and are not anticipated to result in any additional charges against Mr. Brown or anyone else.”

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