The Obama administration wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the 2016 election, CNN reports.
In other words, Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin was right, and now the mainstream media’s deceitful malpractice is on display for all to see. Obama and Hillary’s shameless media lapdogs, the “Praetorian Guard,” wanted to ignore the truth at every turn, and now they can’t.
The unsurprising wiretapping revelation comes months after Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin laid out the case, based on mainstream media reports, that the Obama administration obtained a FISA court warrant to surveil members of the Trump campaign to an unknown extent.
According to CNN, the Obama administration’s surveillance of Mr. Manafort began sometime after an investigation related to work Manafort had done in Ukraine was opened in 2014. This surveillance was closed sometime last year, due to lack of evidence, and the Obama administration eventually obtained a new FISA court order. That round of surveillance extended into early 2017, sources told CNN.
CNN’s sources claim the second FISA warrant was part of the FBI’s investigation into “ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.” Importantly – and this is key – the surveillance on Mr. Manafort allegedly took place during a period when Manafort was having conversations with Donald Trump.
“It's unclear whether Trump himself was picked up on the surveillance,” CNN states.
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Now let’s review.
Back in March of 2017, Mark Levin observed that intelligence leaks to the media prompted former national security adviser Michael Flynn to resign from the NSC and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Levin said these leaks constituted a “silent coup” against President Trump.
"There's a much bigger scandal here: We have a prior administration – Barack Obama and his surrogates – who are supporting Hillary Clinton and her party, the Democratic Party. Who were using the ... intelligence activities to surveil members of the Trump campaign, and to put that information out in the public. Those are police state tactics. Nothing Flynn or Sessions has done is even in the same category as that," Levin said.
Levin recounted how in June of 2016, the Obama administration filed a request with the FISA court to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and his advisers, a request that was denied. In October, as Andy McCarthy reported at National Review, the Obama administration tried again, an attempt that was met with success. Top Trump associates became the targets of several intelligence agency investigations.
"The question is,” Levin said last March, “Was Obama surveilling top Trump campaign officials during the election?"
Fast forward to April, the Washington Post confirmed Levin’s claims that members of the Trump team were surveilled when they reported that the Obama administration obtained a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page. Then we learned that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice was responsible for unmasking the identities of multiple Trump campaign and transition team officials.
In June, the House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas to seek information concerning the involvement of three former Obama officials in unmasking Trump officials: former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, former national security adviser Rice, and former CIA director John Brennan.
There were reports of surveillance on the Trump team, reports of unmasking of Trump officials, and repeated, damaging leaks to the media designed to hurt the Trump administration. The evidence suggested intelligence may have been gathered incidentally during these alleged surveillance operations and may have been illegitimately leaked. So Levin raised questions about the extent of the Obama administration’s surveillance.
For these questions, Mark Levin was savaged by the mainstream media. CNN’s Brian Stelter claimed Levin was spreading “conspiracy theories.” Now we know, from CNN itself, the answer to Levin’s question is “yes.” The Obama administration did surveil at least one Trump campaign official during the election.
In attacking Levin, in dismissing a “right-wing talk radio host,” the mainstream media utterly and completely failed to do its investigative duty months ago when Levin picked up on their own reporting and drew the correct conclusions. Now is the time to admit that failure and follow up with more questions – and more investigation – to expose the extent of the surveillance on Trump’s team.
Was President Trump incidentally surveilled while Manafort was wiretapped?
Were other Trump officials surveilled? If so, were any of the officials surveilled unmasked by Susan Rice or any other member of the Obama administration?
Was any of the information gathered from this surveillance leaked to the media to harm Donald Trump politically?
Will CNN & the rest of the phony media admit they were wrong & I was right? https://t.co/qOUaDPnaaA— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) September 18, 2017
As Levin said before, the great scandal upsetting our constitutional order doesn’t involve Team Trump and Russia. It involves the Obama administration, their unbounded surveillance, and the complicity of the mainstream media in playing defense for Democrats.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.