90 Miles From Tyranny : Potential Consequences of Spying on the Trump Campaign

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Potential Consequences of Spying on the Trump Campaign

Actions by Justice Department officials in spying on a Donald Trump campaign adviser in 2016 could be a crime or merely an administrative offense, legal experts say.

Crimes could include perjury or misleading a court, they say, while disciplinary action for an administrative offense could mean being fired or losing a law license.

Testifying last week before two separate congressional panels, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General report about the surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page will be released in May or June.

Barr also indicated that he planned a further review of government “spying” on the Trump campaign.

What’s known is that the Obama administration’s Justice Department obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to conduct electronic surveillance on Page in October 2016.

The inspector general’s review is looking at whether Justice Department or FBI officials did anything improper in obtaining the warrant approved by a federal judge.

“Before looking at the legality, the department should examine the process behind getting a FISA warrant against a presidential campaign. That’s something that should be approved by the attorney general first,” John Yoo, a former assistant U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush, told The Daily Signal.

Domestic spying on political opponents was a big part of what prompted the FISA law in the 1970s after President Richard Nixon’s administration, the goal being to put a check in place.

“The whole point of FISA was because Nixon was spying on political opponents,” said Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. “This seems to have violated the purpose of FISA, which is to make sure surveillance is always...

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1 comment:

Anonymous White Male said...

Potential consequences? Lots. Actual consequences? Zip. At least for the main play ers.