by Pamela Williams
Obama has responded to the accusations against him that he knew of the wiretapping on Trump and associates. He speaks as if it did happen, and he is not the one who did it.
He is blaming it on the DOJ. Does he mean Loretta Lynch is responsible?
I would say it would be more like Ex-CIA Director John Brennan – the most evil man alive.
Obama does not seem threatened in the least, and that worries me.
The Actual Statement:
A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance of any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
The statement hints than any order to wiretap Donald Trump’s office or for carrying out surveillance on Donald Trump’s ‘associates’ was the work of officials in the Justice Department, and it seeks to shift responsibility – or blame – onto them.
This too is almost certainly true. However it neglects to say that some of these officials were people whom Obama himself appointed, and who were therefore part of his administration.
Obama’s statement is a lawyer’s reply. Obama is of course himself a lawyer, but there is no doubt this statement was prepared after consultation with his lawyers. In fact they probably drafted it.
We are at a very early stage in this matter. There are multiple investigations underway, some launched by the outgoing Obama administration against the incoming Trump administration, and some launched by the current Trump administration against the preceding Obama administration. There are also separate inquiries underway in Congress. It seems there are rules prohibiting public discussion of these inquiries or even in some cases disclosure of their existence.
Obama’s highly legalistic statement today – which reads very much like a defence statement – however gives a good flavour of the direction some of these inquiries are taking, and of the sort of defence of his actions which Obama – if pressed – will make. As I have said previously, there is no doubt the wiretaps were legal since they were approved by a court. Unsurprisingly therefore Obama is taking a legal route to defend himself.
Published on Mar 5, 2017
Ratcheting up his attacks on predecessor Barack Obama, President Trump called Sunday for a congressional investigation into whether “executive branch investigative powers were abused” by his predecessor during last year’s election.
“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” the White House said in a statement a day after Trump accused Obama — without evidence — of having him wiretapped in connection with an investigation of Russia.
Trump is “requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” the statement said,
While Trump repeatedly tweeted about Obama during the weekend, the statement said “neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
Hours before, Trump tweeted about his predecessor’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, “Tell Vladimir that after the election I’ll have more flexibility?” Trump said.
Obama, who denied authorizing wiretaps on anybody and would be prevented by law from doing so in any case, did make the “flexibility” comment during a discussion with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ahead of the 2012 election.
It came in connection with talks over a proposed missile defense system.
The attacks on Obama come amid investigations of any contacts between Trump, his associates and Russians who may have been involved in efforts to influence last year’s presidential election.
In addition to the crack at Obama, Trump criticized the investigation into the hacking of Democratic National Committee officials involved in the 2016 election. “Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked?” Trump said. “Can that be possible?”
During his Saturday tweet storm, Trump said of the previous president: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found.
This is McCarthyism!”
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said the last administration had a “cardinal rule” that “no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”
As a result, Wilson said, “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Trump’s claims about wiretapping inspired more calls for an outside investigation of Russian involvement in last year’s election.
Citing Trump’s tweets about Obama, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calf., said “the Deflector-in-Chief is at it again,” and “an investigation by an independent commission is the only answer.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, stung by disclosures he met with the Russian ambassador to the United States last year, announced last week he would recuse himself from any investigation involving the Trump campaign in which he worked.
Trump criticized Sessions’ decision, and said his critics are engaged in a “witch hunt” over Russia.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2017
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