Opinion: Lack Of Court Hearings On Russia Spy Accusation For Trump Aide Alarming

Link — Opinion: Lack Of Court Hearings On Russia Spy Accusation For Trump Aide Alarming

On Friday, the Justice Department acknowledged in a court filing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page. Page is a former Trump campaign adviser who was the subject of four FISA warrants and suspected by the FBI of being a spy for Russia, an allegation Page denies.

President Donald Trump took to twitter Saturday to express his disapproval with the FBI and court system’s cooperation to surveil his campaign in 2016.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Report: There were no FISA hearings held over Spy documents.”It is astonishing that the FISA courts couldn’t hold hearings on Spy Warrants targeting Donald Trump. It isn’t about Carter Page, it’s about the Trump Campaign. You’ve got corruption at the DOJ & FBI. The leadership….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….of the DOJ & FBI are completely out to lunch in terms of exposing and holding those accountable who are responsible for that corruption.” @TomFitton @JudicialWatch

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

“You have a Fake Dossier, gathered by Steele, paid by the Clinton team to get information on Trump. The Dossier is Fake, nothing in it has been verified. It then filters into our American court system in order to spy on Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s political opponent……

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Donald Trump, and now we find out that there wasn’t even a hearing – that Donald Trump’s 4th Amendment right to privacy was signed away…and someone in there is swearing that this stuff is true, when it wasn’t? This is the scandal here – a police state.” Dan Bongino

If this report is true and there really was no hearing to issue a warrant to spy against an opposing political campaign, that should alarm all Americans. President Trump’s implied allegation is that the Clinton campaign worked with the Obama administration, who had control over the FBI, to create a way for the Clinton campaign to monitor the Trump campaign.

Of course, in order for the FBI to use its resources, a judge must issue a warrant and finding there is probable cause to do so. Based on the president’s tweet, a judge did so without finding the need to schedule a hearing and hear oral arguments for and against. This means that either the evidence was so overwhelming, or that the judge did not really care about such a high profile case. Both possibilities are alarming.

Just as it was a crime for former President Richard Nixon to spy on Democrats’ election efforts, it is a crime for any leader, whether in power or not, to spy on political adversaries. In Nixon’s case, he did it secretly. But here,  if the allegations are true, the court got involved and the FBI was playing along. If the spying took place with the false pretense that America needs to obtain information on Russia, then there are some really troubling questions that need to be asked — and answered.

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