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What the 'Obamagate' Scandals Mean and Why They Matter


minervadoe
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https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/27/what_the_obamagate_scandals_mean_and_why_they_matter.html

The article is divided into three sections, which helps break out the scandal's separate phases:

Scandal No. 1: Massive, illegal surveillance of American citizens, using the database of the National Security Agency

Scandal No. 2: Spying on the Trump campaign

Scandal No. 3: Covering up this spying, continuing it during the new administration, charging that Trump was not legitimately elected, and impeding his presidency with major investigations, based on false charges

When NSA surveillance was halted, the Obama administration lost its secret eyes on domestic political activity and especially on the rising Trump campaign. To regain that vision, the CIA and FBI launched new surveillance efforts. Three elements stand out. First, the executive branch, then controlled by Democrats, was determined to spy on the opposition party. Second, much of the spying was conducted by agencies that are limited, by law, to foreign operations. Since their goal was actually domestic surveillance and since that was illegal, they apparently outsourced some of it to friendly foreign governments, who relayed the information back to Washington. Third, since the FBI wanted to spy on Trump aides who were not actually suspected of crimes, they couldn't get regular warrants. To work around that, the FBI (under James Comey) and Department of Justice (under Loretta Lynch) falsely claimed the targets were foreign spies, making them eligible for FISA warrants. They also tried to entrap them (with help from CIA assets abroad), hoping they would commit illegal acts or say their colleagues had done so.

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