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  1. 02 Feb '18 14:48 / 1 edit
    https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/fisa-explained-and-how-the-left-is-trying-to-mislead-on-the-trump-wiretaps/

    On Saturday, President Donald Trump threw the equivalent of rhetorical megaton nuclear bomb into the nation’s political discourse. In a series of tweets, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of “wire-tapping” his Trump Tower office. While it is unknown if Obama himself ordered a wire-tap of equipment in the Manhattan skyscraper, it has been reported that a FISA warrant was requested over the course of the campaign for equipment in the building.





    Since Trump’s series of tweets, there has been a lot of misinformation about the FISA court, and the threshold that is necessary to obtain a warrant from the court. Here’s what we know about Trump’s claims, and how that relates to the FISA courts.

    On November 7, 2016, the day before the 2016 general election, HeatStreet released a bombshell report that a FISA warrant was issued for a server in Trump Tower.


    Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.


    In January National Review picked up on the story with former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy offering his take. McCarthy explained that as a terrorist prosecutor he often argued against the “wall” separating the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence division, and the criminal investigative division. McCarthy leads with, “the idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.”

    That leads to the question, what is the FISA court and how is it different than a regular criminal court.

    Unlike the misconception proffered by Howard Dean, the FISA court was not, “set up after 9/11 by Bush.” According to the Department of Justice, The Foreign Intelligence Service Court was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Here is how the DOJ describes it.



    Like Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the “Wiretap Act&rdquo, the FISA legislation was the result of congressional investigations into Federal surveillance activities conducted in the name of national security. Through FISA, Congress sought to provide judicial and congressional oversight of foreign intelligence surveillance activities while maintaining the secrecy necessary to effectively monitor national security threats. FISA was initially enacted in 1978 and sets out procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information. Initially, FISA addressed only electronic surveillance but has been significantly amended to address the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches, and business records.

    FISA also established the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a special U.S. Federal court that holds nonpublic sessions to consider issuing search warrants under FISA. Proceedings before the FISC are ex parte, meaning the government is the only party present.



    There are currently eleven members of the court. They are appointed for set terms, and also hold judgeships in other Federal Courts. Judges were appointed to their district courts by both Republican and Democratic presidents, and FISC judges are appointed to the court by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    The narrative from the Left has quickly morphed from denial that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower to an admonishment that if a wiretap did happen is was after a FISA court warrant. The Left has further stated that if a warrant was issued, then it must have been because probable cause was found to give the warrant. Here’s David Axelrod, a high level Obama confidant, making that assertion.


    If there were the wiretap @realDonaldTrump loudly alleges, such an extraordinary warrant would only have been OKed by a court for a reason.

    — David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) March 4, 2017

    That’s not how FISA warrants are given. Here’s how the DOJ describes the warrant process in a FISC [emphasis added].



    Electronic Surveillance Procedures – Subchapter I of FISA established procedures for the conduct of foreign intelligence surveillance and created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Department of Justice must apply to the FISC to obtain a warrant authorizing electronic surveillance of foreign agents. For targets that are U.S. persons (U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, and U.S. corporations), FISA requires heightened requirements in some instances.
    •Unlike domestic criminal surveillance warrants issued under Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the “Wiretap Act&rdquo, agents need to demonstrate probable cause to believe that the “target of the surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power,” that “a significant purpose” of the surveillance is to obtain “foreign intelligence information,” and that appropriate “minimization procedures” are in place. 50 U.S.C. § 1804.
    •Agents do not need to demonstrate that commission of a crime is imminent.
    •For purposes of FISA, agents of foreign powers include agents of foreign political organizations and groups engaged in international terrorism, as well as agents of foreign nations. 50 U.S.C. § 1801


    There you have it, the “agents do not need to demonstrate that commission of a crime is imminent.” This low bar results in almost all warrant requests being granted by the FISC. In 2013, Mother Jones reported that the FISC had rejected just 0.03 percent of all requests.

    McCarthy explained further in his January, 2017 piece how a FISA warrant differs from a criminal warrant.



    The theory of the Clinton DOJ brass in imposing the Wall was the potential that a rogue criminal investigator, lacking sufficient evidence to obtain a traditional wiretap, would manufacture a national-security angle in order to get a wiretap under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A traditional wiretap requires evidence amounting to probable cause of commission of a crime. A FISA wiretap requires no showing of a crime, just evidence amounting to probable cause that the target of the wiretap is an agent of a foreign power. (A foreign power can be another country or a foreign terrorist organization.) The reason the Wall theory was absurd was that a rogue agent would surely manufacture evidence of a crime before he’d manufacture a national-security angle. The process of getting a traditional wiretap is straightforward: FBI crim-div agents and a district assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) write the supporting affidavit; it gets approved by the AUSA’s supervisors; then it is submitted to the Justice Department’s electronic-surveillance unit; after that unit’s approval, the attorney general’s designee signs off; then the AUSA and the FBI present the application to a district judge. FISA wiretaps, by contrast, go through a completely different, more difficult and remote chain of command. In it, the district AUSA and FBI crim-div agents who started the investigation get cut out of the process, which is taken over by Main Justice’s National Security Division and the FBI’s national-security agents. In other words, if we assume an agent is inclined to be a rogue, it would be far easier (and less likely of detection) to trump up evidence of a crime in order to satisfy the probable-cause standard for a traditional wiretap than to manufacture a national-security threat in order to get a FISA wiretap. No rational rogue would do it.



    What McCarthy describes is that a FISA warrant is much easier to obtain, and that the Clinton DOJ set up a wall between counter intelligence officers and the criminal division to ensure that a rogue FBI agent, unable to demonstrate probable cause, would be unable to obtain a FISA warrant to circumvent the criminal courts. If the Obama administration went to the FISC for a FISA warrant, that is exactly what seemingly happened.

    While we will not definitively know that if there was or was not a FISA warrant until it is released to the public, it is important to know the facts surrounding the court to parse the statements being made by the Left.
  2. 02 Feb '18 15:04
    Before both parties come out with their own versions of the results of the FISA warrant, it would appear that the mere existence of such a warrant is blatant evidence of political corruption and abuse.
  3. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    03 Feb '18 05:50
    No it doesn’t.
    And members of the Trump team have been found sucking Putin’s arse.

    So, it is seemingly justified that a warrent was given.

    That means the FBI (or whoever) obviously had intel they wanted to verify.

    The republikunts have their knickers in a twist about something which is rather obvious to the rest of the world: there’s something rotten in the State of Trumpistan.

    The republicans should welcome an investigation to prove the world wrong.

    But they, you and the rest of the world know that this is not what’s gonna come to light.
    And that’s scaring the republicants silly.
  4. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    03 Feb '18 09:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @whodey
    https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/fisa-explained-and-how-the-left-is-trying-to-mislead-on-the-trump-wiretaps/

    On Saturday, President Donald Trump threw the equivalent of rhetorical megaton nuclear bomb into the nation’s political discourse. In a series of tweets, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of “wire-tapping” his Trump Tower offic ...[text shortened]... mportant to know the facts surrounding the court to parse the statements being made by the Left.
    I would prefer to hear from sh76 or no1marauder on FISA. Call me crazy if you wish, but I tend to depend on attorneys for legal advice, just like I tend to depend on doctors for medical advice, engineers for engineering advice, jewelers for jewelry advice etc. It's a silly habit I picked up awhile back.
  5. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    03 Feb '18 09:50
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    No it doesn’t.
    And members of the Trump team have been found sucking Putin’s arse.

    So, it is seemingly justified that a warrent was given.

    That means the FBI (or whoever) obviously had intel they wanted to verify.

    The republikunts have their knickers in a twist about something which is rather obvious to the rest of the world: there’s something r ...[text shortened]... ld know that this is not what’s gonna come to light.
    And that’s scaring the republicants silly.
    No it doesn’t.
    And members of the Trump team have been found sucking Putin’s arse.



    This is unfortunately true. I am not pleased with the direction America is headed, just like I'm not pleased with our mounting national debt that King Trump was supposed to fix, however on our currency it does say "In God We Trust"
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Feb '18 10:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Before both parties come out with their own versions of the results of the FISA warrant, it would appear that the mere existence of such a warrant is blatant evidence of political corruption and abuse.
    Of course it isn't. And your almost year old article is ranting about the non-existent wiretapping of Trump that Obama didn't order and has nothing to do with the present brouhaha about the FISA warrant obtained against Carter Page. Do you really want the government to have no power to use surveillance against suspected agents of a foreign power?

    Of course, some liberal Democrats and a few "libertarians" like Rand Paul tried to reform section 702 a few weeks ago but it was extended for 6 years. Republicans voted for the extension 191-45; Democrats against 65-119. http://www.zdnet.com/article/here-are-the-256-lawmakers-members-who-just-voted-to-reject-privacy-reforms-and-extend-nsa-spying/

    The story was the same in the Senate: Republicans 43-7 for; Democrats 22-27 against.https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s12

    So whodey should be screaming at Republicans.
  7. 03 Feb '18 13:38
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Of course it isn't. And your almost year old article is ranting about the non-existent wiretapping of Trump that Obama didn't order and has nothing to do with the present brouhaha about the FISA warrant obtained against Carter Page. Do you really want the government to have no power to use surveillance against suspected agents of a foreign power?

    Of ...[text shortened]... s://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s12

    So whodey should be screaming at Republicans.
    There is nothing wrong with FISA. It is the DNC/HRC/Obama abuse that is the problem.

    Trump being wiretapped? The people saying he wasn't has just been caught lying and providing false information. It is common logic which side has the credibility.
  8. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    03 Feb '18 13:39
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Of course it isn't. And your almost year old article is ranting about the non-existent wiretapping of Trump that Obama didn't order and has nothing to do with the present brouhaha about the FISA warrant obtained against Carter Page. Do you really want the government to have no power to use surveillance against suspected agents of a foreign power?

    Of ...[text shortened]... s://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s12

    So whodey should be screaming at Republicans.
    Am I correct in believing that the FBI would have to show probable cause in order to be granted such a warrant?
  9. 03 Feb '18 14:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @moonbus
    Am I correct in believing that the FBI would have to show probable cause in order to be granted such a warrant?
    Yes...but the bar is very high. There are two ways to obtain a FISA warrant. This will explain the criminal action of the Steele dossier.

    https://www.justsecurity.org/39886/high-bar-fisa-warrant-monitor-carter-page/
  10. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    03 Feb '18 16:12
    Originally posted by @mott-the-hoople
    Yes...but the bar is very high. There are two ways to obtain a FISA warrant. This will explain the criminal action of the Steele dossier.

    https://www.justsecurity.org/39886/high-bar-fisa-warrant-monitor-carter-page/
    But the Trump campaign has been found to be colluding with the Russians.

    The warrent was justified.
  11. 03 Feb '18 18:14
    Originally posted by @shavixmir
    But the Trump campaign has been found to be colluding with the Russians.

    The warrent was justified.
    Show me the collusion then...ummm for the warrEnt
  12. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Feb '18 20:14
    Originally posted by @mott-the-hoople
    There is nothing wrong with FISA. It is the DNC/HRC/Obama abuse that is the problem.

    Trump being wiretapped? The people saying he wasn't has just been caught lying and providing false information. It is common logic which side has the credibility.
    Trump has credibility???????????????????????????????

    I mean LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    04 Feb '18 01:09
    Originally posted by @mott-the-hoople
    There is nothing wrong with FISA. It is the DNC/HRC/Obama abuse that is the problem.

    Trump being wiretapped? The people saying he wasn't has just been caught lying and providing false information. It is common logic which side has the credibility.
    Here's an idea:

    Trump is (unfortunately) the President of the United States. If he really wants to know if there was ever a warrant issued authorizing him to be wiretapped, why doesn't he turn off Fox and Friends, pick up the presidential phone and order someone to produce ALL FISA warrants issued in the appropriate time frame? Or those mentioning "Donald Trump or any of his campaign aides"? he surely has the power to do so; maybe you could pass this suggestion along to Sean Hannity so he'd be sure to hear it.
  14. 04 Feb '18 01:12 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Here's an idea:

    Trump is (unfortunately) the President of the United States. If he really wants to know if there was ever a warrant issued authorizing him to be wiretapped, why doesn't he turn off Fox and Friends, pick up the presidential phone and order someone to produce ALL FISA warrants issued in the appropriate time frame? Or those mentioning "D ...[text shortened]... to do so; maybe you could pass this suggestion along to Sean Hannity so he'd be sure to hear it.
    It is ignorant to think he has that power. Congress holds that power and has asked the FBI to provide the application, FBI is stonewalling just like they did will texts and emails. It is the DOJ/FBI that could clear this up immediately, IF THEY WERENT GUILTY.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/devin-nunes-open-to-releasing-transcript-of-andrew-mccabe-testimony-about-fisa-application/article/2648001
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    04 Feb '18 01:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @mott-the-hoople
    It is ignorant to think he has that power. Congress holds that power and has asked the FBI to provide the application, FBI is stonewalling just like they did will texts and emails. It is the DOJ/FBI that could clear this up immediately, IF THEY WERENT GUILTY.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/devin-nunes-open-to-releasing-transcript-of-andrew-mccabe-testimony-about-fisa-application/article/2648001
    You are wrong, AGAIN. The President decides what is classified or not and he has access to whatever information the Executive Branch Departments have because, you know, he's the head of the Executive Department. From the White House Counsel's cover letter to the Nunes' memo:

    As the Supreme Court has recognized, it is the President's responsibility to classify,
    declassify, and control access to information bearing on our intelligence sources and methods and national defense. See, Dep of Navy v. Egan, 484 US. 518, 527 (1988)

    http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180129/106822/HMTG-115-IG00-20180129-SD001.pdf