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domingo, 14 de enero de 2018

President Trump calls for investigations into FBI, DOJ, and Clinton scandals

The president doesn’t want to keep waiting for answers.

Following a Fox and Friends segment which speculated about whether the FBI used information found in the uncorroborated Christopher Steele “opposition research” dossier on now-President Donald Trump as a pretext to spy on his presidential campaign, the president demanded answers from investigators regarding the authority of the dossier and the status of Hillary Clinton’s recently renewed email server probe.

Looking for answers

The president directly referenced the early morning Fox News program when he suggested that his 2016 political opponent may have had a financial arrangement with the Russian government to discredit his campaign and future administration.

In addition, the president implied that emails deleted from Clinton’s unauthorized email server constitute evidence of wrongdoing from the former secretary of State. He tweeted on Thursday:

In his tweet, Trump was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows special courts to issue warrants against private U.S. citizens suspected of fostering ties to foreign espionage. According to a report from Salon, the FBI used the dossier as evidence to issue a warrant to secretly monitor Trump national security adviser Carter Page.

Since this dossier was funded by Trump’s political opposition, and the information was furnished by Russian operatives, it is difficult to see how these FISA warrants were not politically motivated.

“Did FBI use intel tool to influence the election?”

Trump’s questions represent more than baseless political rhetoric. Since the new year, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announced that it was expanding its investigation, which was originally established to look into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election season, to look into Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm responsible for gathering the salacious dossier.

Just days later, The Daily Beast reported that Justice Department officials, under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, were taking a second look at Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server.

Since the Trump administration replaced a Clinton-friendly Democrat administration, lawmakers have learned that the FBI wrote a document exonerating Clinton months in advance of actually interviewing her and other key witnesses in that case.

Additionally, Clinton, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Barack Obama each paid the Perkins Coie law firm a total in excess of $13 million. Perkins Coie, in turn, paid Fusion GPS for opposition research. Further, Fusion GPS paid Steele to gather the information found on the dossier, and Steele paid Russian operatives for compromising information on the president.

Though the path was intentionally obfuscated by intermediaries, Clinton and the DNC indirectly paid the Russians for the dossier.

“Where are hidden and smashed DNC servers?”

According to a New York Times photo dated Dec. 13, 2016, a reportedly Russian-“breached” DNC server was just sitting in the organization’s national headquarters in Washington, alongside a relic of the 1972 Watergate scandal. But Democrats have refused to allow FBI investigators to take a look at these servers, which were apparently the source of a hostile attack on American democracy.

Additionally, although a low-level employee supposedly bleached Clinton’s personal server following Justice Department subpoenas requesting the emails, Clinton’s archived emails are still likely located on an online server in the form of live email accounts.

While there are answers to Trump’s questions hidden under Clinton’s web of lies, most of these simply produce more questions about the legitimacy of the former Clinton dossier and the motives behind the funding of the anti-Trump dossier.

But only time will tell if the president gets the answers he’s looking for.