Donald Trump has dubbed it "Spygate", the brewing apparent scandal that Barack Obama weaponized the federal government to spy on the Trump campaign in order to defeat it. And when that didn't work, to destroy it.
The latest wave of revelations comes via a recent New York Times piece which exposed operation "Crossfire Hurricane", part of which involved paid government informants placed in the Trump organization to gather and possibly plant information.
"No, no, no!" say the Obama people who carried out this operation, "This was not an attack on Trump - this was to protect him!" And on cue every Democrat and many GOP moderates are calling for giving Obama "the benefit of the doubt".
1. If Obama wanted to protect Trump from Russia, why call the operation "Crossfire Hurricane"? Hurricanes destroy, they don't protect. Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans. The levees were supposed to protect it. Why not name it operation "Levee"?
2. Why did all this come out now, and why in a leftist newspaper? The DOJ and FBI have been stonewalling congressional document requests since the beginning of the Trump administration. At some point this will become unsustainable. Meanwhile, the DOJ Inspector General is about to release its findings regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation and whether or not it was done above-board. And finally, John Huber, a U.S. Attorney in Utah has been quietly looking into the very substance of "Crossfire Hurricane", including possible FISA, unmasking, spying, etc. abuses by team Obama.
Since I've never heard of a case where an Inspector General uncovered major corruption and made it stick, and congress has no power to actually get the IC to comply with its requests, my money is on John Huber as the stealth reason all this is coming out now. The NYT is trying to soften the blow by getting ahead of the story and giving time for team Obama to road-test their alibis.
(UPDATE: I don't know why, but whenever I hear about DOJ IG Michael Horowitz I picture him as Ari Spyros, the compliance guy at Axe Capital in "Billions". Definitely not a Wilbury! (Apologies to those who don't watch "Billions".))
3. Why are James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, etc. doing the bulk of the alibi road-testing while Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, etc. are acting like they are in a witness protection program? I'll let you, dear reader, answer that one.
4. Is "Spygate" the right nickname for operation "Crossfire Hurricane"? Spying implies information gathering. The more likely scenario is that Stefan Halper et al were there to plant information into the Trump campaign to form the basis of a counter intelligence operation. Halper introduced the subject of emails and Russia to George Papadopoulos. The unwitting Papadopoulos then repeated that information to the Australian ambassador which supposedly triggered the counter intelligence investigation. Remember, even the meeting at Trump Tower with the female Russian lawyer was preceded and followed by her meeting with Hillary's Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS. That whole meeting was likely a set-up, a sting operation on Donald Trump Jr.
This should be called "The Sting" or "Sting-Gate".
(UPDATE: Here's a photo of Stefan Halper (L) with Alexander Downer (R), the Australian ambassador, colluding at an event in 2010.)
5. Should Obama be given the "benefit of the doubt"? Sure, if your knowledge of history starts today, Barack Obama deserves the "benefit of the doubt". But if you paid even cursory attention to what happened during Obama's eight years, you'd know that:
- Barack Obama weaponized every single tentacle of the federal government for political purposes. (Here's a partial list in addition to the obvious IRS weaponization)
- Under Barack Obama, numerous film makers who disagreed with his agenda were jailed and persecuted - just like in any totalitarian dictatorship. (Here's a partial list)
- Barack Obama's DOJ was caught spying on journalists.
- Barack Obama lied repeatedly to the faces of the American people about substantive things, even earning the lie of the year.
- Barack Obama brazenly lied to grieving parents for political purposes after their loved ones were killed in Benghazi.
- Barack Obama's first Attorney General, Eric Holder, was actually found in contempt of congress. (And then there's this from yesterday!)