What the ‘Obamagate’ Scandals Mean and Why They Matter

RealClearPolitics: By Charles Lipson –
Amid the flurry of details about spying on Michael Flynn, lying to secret courts about Carter Page, leaking classified documents, and more, it’s easy to get lost in the muck. It’s important to stand back, identify the worst abuses, and explain why they matter for American democracy. These abuses didn’t simply follow each other; their targets, goals, and principal players overlapped. Taken together, they represent some of the gravest violations of constitutional norms and legal protections in American history. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, whether you like Donald Trump or loathe him, these violations matter.

Some call this debacle “Obamagate” since the key officials were his appointees and the White House was directly involved. But they got plenty of help. Some came from the permanent bureaucracy, especially in law enforcement and intelligence. Still more came from the mainstream media, which served as conduits for classified leaks aimed at Trump, his campaign, and then his presidency. For over three years, the media’s top story was “Trump colluded with Russia.” When that imploded after the Mueller Report, they moved on to impeachment.

The entrenched elites behind these scandals are the Swamp at its most sulfurous. They spied illegally on Americans and used powerful tools of government to damage the party-out-of-power, its outsider candidate, and then his new presidency. It’s worse than a single surveillance scandal. It’s three huge ones, intertwined. All were abuses of power. Some were crimes.

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

During the second term of President Obama, and perhaps earlier, private firms from outside the government were allowed to trawl through the massive NSA database of phone calls, emails, and text messages. Without any warrants, they spied on vast numbers of American citizens. The public still doesn’t know who did it, who authorized it, or how the metadata was used.

This illegal practice ended in summer 2016 when the agency’s head, Adm. Mike Rogers, learned about it. He stopped it immediately and reported it to the Rosemary Collyer, chief judge of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court. Judge Collyer issued a scathing, heavily redacted report about the illegal activity, but, so far, no one has been indicted.

Scandal No. 2: Spying on the Trump campaign.

16 Comments on What the ‘Obamagate’ Scandals Mean and Why They Matter

  1. The liberals run things whether they win elections or not.
    Tired of bitching about it. If we’re not going to do anything about it, it’s a waste of time.

    About Officer Chauvin being charged:
    He was just trying to keep you safe, CNN and MSNBC. Just like your fucking lockdowns, ok?

  2. Excellent but vomit inducing rehash by Lipson of what we already know.

    Regardless of pol party, Watergate wasn’t weaponized by the Administrative IC. Clinton/Lewinsky debacle even less so, he perjured himself…nothing to do w/BJ.

    Why the difference in boldness, as pertains to Trump, among the Deep/Admin State? While we know the fed agencies were weaponized under obama, who could ever imagine that so many would participate or go along w/such illegal disgusting unpatriotic and yes unconstitutional behavior?

    Aside from the dumbing down of journalism majors, the lack of an engaged patriotic citizenry allowed this. Think about the numbers of illegal (and yes, legal) immigrants from nations not only adverse to a constitutional republic, more likely unable to understand freedom, Liberty and the independent responsibility that entails, pouring into our country.

    They (Fed bureaucracies, media) were allowed to operate in plain sight because too few “citizens” demanded answers.

  3. A short history lesson for those <60.

    FISA is a very good example of how "Bipartisan" means BAD. When Jimmy + Ted ("The Lion") were pushing this a lot of Bush "Republicans" joined in the party – names: Garn , Mathais ! Conservatives FROM BOTH PARTIES said the was a very bad law. Yes Ronny was not the only D to be conservative. BY this time Ron was infamous/famous for saying in 1960, "My party nominated and elected a Communist this year. My party LEFT ME!"!

    The last 18 years have shown over and over how right conservatives OF BOTH PARTIES were!
    Andconservatives are right today!

  4. Democratic cities are going up in flames this weekend. I want to watch every minute of it!

    The sad part about it, though, is republican congressmen who will race to see how fast they can shower billions of dollars of our money on these cities…..to show everyone just how much they care about black peoples.
    I can hear them already. “Please people who vote 96% against me, please don’t call me a racist for being a dirty stinking white person. I’ll give you anything you want, any amount of money, just please don’t say i’m a racist.”

  5. The problem here is the drive-by media, they are going to continue the coverup of the coverup.

    They have kissed Obama’s arse from the beginning, and they aren’t about to taint whatever legacy this jerk has left, if any.

  6. “…The public still doesn’t know who did it, who authorized it, or how the metadata was is used.”

    “This illegal practice ended in summer 2016 when the agency’s head, Adm. Mike Rogers, learned about it.”
    The known of collection of data is said to have stopped at that point. Doubtful in my mind. The use of the data didn’t stop. Ask crowdstrike- they have it all.

  7. …they’ve gotten very good at laying out Democrat crimes, very good indeed. Seen several like this, all with Democrat crime and evidence of Democrat crimes not only laid out, but not even refuted by the Democrats in question. Great.

    …now, anyone gonna PROSECUTE those crimes? Anyone? Bueller? No?

    …yep, that’s what I thought…

  8. Democrats have the controls at our justice department, so nothing is going to happen, smoke and mirrors then zip…

  9. Nixon could have only dreamed of what Obama actually did.

    This isn’t a “gate”. This is a totally new thing that all subsequent things should be named after.

  10. “No Momma Obama May 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    F*** Obama!
    He’s F***ed all of us.”

    No he’s not: he’s still slithering free. Until he’s prosecuted, he is a tumor that continues to grow. Same with hillary clinton.

  11. If I were Prez, I’d deliver a report to the nation detailing step by step and person by person the various plots and schemes, and then detail reporter by reporter and dim politician by politician the ones who think there is nothing here and that there is nothing there; THEN I’d state that in light of their ‘analysis’, the GOP was going to employ the same tactics to Biteme’s campaign since there was nothing illegal done in 2016.
    Watch the heads explode.

  12. Anonymous MAY 30, 2020 AT 11:13 AM-

    Love that. White house press conference. Make the particularly deviant pro-hoax reporters sit there the whole time. lol.

    But when the WH invites them, they should tell them it’s an exclusive just for them. lol.


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