Obamagate timeline

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This is a timeline. For a detailed presentation, see Barack Hussein Obama and Barack Obama Controversies.
Obama and CIA Director John Brennan meet in the White House to discuss the Torturegate coverup.[1] Brennan had been heavily involved in the CIA's torture program,[2] and when the Congress investigated,[3] the CIA spied on and hacked into its Senate overseers computers who were investigating the CIA's use of torture.[4] Brennan needed Obama's assurance the Justice Dept. would not prosecute himself or anyone else involved in the torture program.

The Obamagate scandal refers to President Barack Obama and his administration's misuse of government agencies, media manipulation, illegal wiretaping, and domestic spying on American citizens to harass political opponents and critics.

In 2017 abuses again came to light when Mark Levin cited mainstream press reporting of Obama administration leaks about government agencies spying on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and surrogates, including then U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, who is presently the Attorney General of the United States.[5]

2009

  • August. Responsibility for interrogations of terror suspects shifted away from the CIA, and the White House assumes direct control.[6] John Brennan, a holdover from the Bush torture program,[7] placed in charge. Unlike executive departments and agencies such as the FBI, CIA, or Department of Justice, the National Security Council is on the personal staff of the president, is not subject to Congressional oversight, and functions outside of public view.[8] This arrangement was based on the model of Iran Contra headed by Col. Oliver North of the NSC. The American Civil Liberties Union called attention to this before Obama appointed the NSC staff to serve an operational role.[9] The Tower Commission Report specifically criticized a major abuse in the Iran Contra affair was the President using his personal staff to carry out operations.[10]

2010

  • 21 January. Citizens United overturned.
  • 27 January. Obama insults the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address over the Citizens United ruling.[11]
  • March. IRS employees in Cincinatti instructed from Washington to scrutinize tax-exempt applications using the words "Tea Party" or "Patriots" in the name.
  • May. Sixty documents go missing from Senate Intelligence Oversight Torture Review investigation. Chairwoman Feinstein said CIA personnel at first denied that the documents were missing, then blamed the IT contractors, then said it was at the behest of the White House.[12]
  • August. The IRS distributes its first BOLO (Be on the Lookout) list to examiners nationwide. The criteria on the BOLO list were Tea Party organizations applying for section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.[13]
  • 26 October. In a campaign speech, Obama promises to "punish our enemies and reward our friends."[14]
  • 2 November. Republicans sweep Midterms. GOP gained 63 seats in the House and took control, the largest for any midterm election since 1938 in the Great Depression. All 63 seats came from wins over Democrats who voted on a straight partyline for Obamacare. The GOP also gained six seats in the U.S. Senate. In state legislatures the GOP gained 680 seats.[15][16][17] to break the previous majority record set by Democrats in the immediate post-Watergate Scandal Midterms of 1974.[17] Republicans controlled 26 state legislatures, compared to 15 still by Democrats, and 29 of 50 Governorships. Obama referred to this outcome as his "shellacking".

2011

  • June. Terminology on the BOLO list is increased to include additional names (Patriots and 9/12 Project) as well as specific policy positions such as government spending, government debt, or taxes; or involved advocating or lobbying to "make America a better place to live"; or criticized how the country is being run; or advocated education about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; or focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
  • 12 July. Obama administrations targets Iraqis with new visa and background checks after terrorists residing in Bowling Green, Kentucky were discovered.[18]

2012

  • February. IRS abuses hit the media for the first time but attract little attention.
  • 22 March. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman testifies before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight that there was "absolutely no targeting" by the IRS of conservative and/or Tea Party organizations.
  • 19 April. National Organization for Marriage Human Rights Campaign announced that IRS disclosed copies of their tax returns to Obama political allies. IRS later admitted to theft of government property and paid damages for illegal disclosure to unauthorized persons of a citizen's confidential information.[19]
  • 12 May. The Associated Press publishes a story based on leaks of FISA information about a CIA operation which foiled a terrorist plot to detonate an explosive device on a commercial airline.[20]
  • 4 June. Inspector General informs Treasury Department general counsel he will be investigating the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.[21]
  • July. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) inquiry begins.
  • 11 September. White House puts out fake news story about Benghazi massacre
  • 6 November Obama elected to second term. His opponent Mitt Romney does not allege any improper surveillance of Romney's campaign. Republicans retain control of House Oversight Committee investigating IRS abuse.
  • 11 November Shulman steps down as IRS Commissioner.

2013

  • 21 January. Obama re-inaugurated for second term.
  • 29 January. FBI press release on convictions of two Bowling Green terrorists. “Using our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities, FBI agents and analysts assigned to our Bowling Green Office were able to neutralize a potential threat." The FBI is the only federal agency able to match fingerprints on an exploded IED found in Iraq with a person residing in Bowling Green, KY.[22]
  • March. CIA awards a $600 million contract to Amazon Web Services for a computing cloud system which would allow all 17 agencies of the US intelligence community to coordinate and share information.[23] The General Accounting Office found the deal violated the open bidding process, but a federal court stood by CIA's action.
  • 7 March. Senate confirms John Brennan as CIA Director. Brennan is now in charge of writing the CIA's response to torture allegations in the Senate Intelligence Oversight Torture report which implicates Brennan.[24]
  • 12 March. In public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked Obama Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?" Clapper replied, “No sir. Not wittingly."[25]

May

  • 10 May. Brennan meets with Obama in the White House to discuss CIA's response to the Torture Report.[26]
  • 13 May. The AP announced telephone records for 20 of their reporters had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. News sources reported the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia was conducting a criminal investigation into publication of a foiled May 2012 terrorist plot. While journalists are protected, leakers in the government are subject to prosecution. The Justice Dept. subpoenaed the phone records of AP from Verizon and other service providers.[27] The AP claimed these acts were a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering.[28][29] The "intrusion" is the frightening off of government sources, the bread and butter of the Washington news gathering industry. CEO Gary Pruitt of AP stated: "These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know;"[30][31] a "conceivable right to know" would be a hunt for leakers of FISA information within the administration.
  • 13 May. Obama states publicly he first heard of IRS targeting conservatives only days before "from the news."
  • 14 May. Inspector General issues initial report of IRS abuse; FBI begins investigation.
  • 17 May. New York Times reports Obama lied about when he first knew of IRS targeting conservative groups.[32]
  • 22 May. IRS Commissioner pleads the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination during opening statement before Congressional oversight committee.

June

  • 6 June. The UK Guardian reveals NSA unlimited metadata collection under FISA protection. Data collection on millions of Verizon customers are collected daily.[33]
  • 7 June. Guardian reveals NSA tapping into user data of Apple, Google, Facebook and others.[34]
  • 7 June. Obama defends NSA wiretapping.[35] The Guardian story, soon to be known as the Snowden leaks, evidence Obama Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper may have misled the Congress and public about the true nature and extent of domestic intelligence gathering in his 12 March sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • 9 June. Edward Snowden identifies himself as source of NSA leaks published in The Guardian.[36]
  • 10 June. Wall Street Journal reports FISA Court has rejected only 11 of 33,900 warrant requests in the 33 years the law has been in existence.[37]
  • 12 June. IRS suspends use of the BOLO list.
  • 20 June. News is made public that two former IRS Commissioners who oversaw the abuse of Tea Partiers, the one who initiated it and the 'fall guy' who resigned over the program, were paid bonuses of $42,000 and $100,000, respectively.
  • 27 June. CIA responds to Torture Report, attacks Committee; Sen. Mark Udall issues a statement alleging intelligence officials leaked "inaccurate information" critical of the Committee report. Udall states that the CIA and the White House "repeatedly rejected requests to discuss the Committee's report."[38]
  • 1 July. Daniel Ellsberg calls for Congressional probe of “abuses of American intelligence agencies” and to “restore the protections in the Bill of Rights."[39]
  • 5 August. Reuters runs an article on how the NSA shares information, collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with other agencies to frame criminal cases against American citizens using a process called "parallel construction" to manufacture probable cause, violating a person's due process rights.[40]
  • October. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com purchases the Washington Post for less than half of his ongoing contract for cloud service with the CIA.[41] The Institute for Public Accuracy releases a statement condemning the move.[42] Washington Post begins promoting Hillary Clinton as their preferred candidate for President in 2016.[43]
  • 27 October. Der Spiegel reports Obama personally approved wiretapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone conversations.[44]
  • 20 November. ABC News reports on terror suspects arrested in Bowling Green, KY.[45]

2014

  • 6 January. Sen. Mark Udall writes to President Obama asking the President to compel the CIA to comply with Congressional Oversight requests, and "a public statement from the White House committing to the fullest possible declassification of the Committee's study."[46] CIA refuses to comply.[47]
  • 6 January. Bernie Sanders pleads for leniency for Edward Snowden.[48]
  • 17 January. Obama makes a speech at US Justice Dept. about his new directive allowing internet and telephone service providers to disclose to the public FISA court rulings and NSA requests for surveillance in aggregate volume. (Note: in National Security parlance an NSA request = FISA court order).[49]
  • 17 January. At some point during the dispute between Brennan and the Oversight Committee, the CIA Inspector General filed a "crimes report" with the the US Justice Department about the CIA spying on the Senate; in retaliation, the CIA's general counsel filed a "crimes report" alleging Senate staffers pilfered copies of the Panetta review.[50]
  • 18 February. Ukrainian coup begins.[51][52]

March

  • 4 March McClatchy reports on CIA spying on its Congressional oversighters.[53] Sen. Mark Udall again writes the President: "As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee in relation to the internal CIA review and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the committee's oversight responsibilities and for our democracy," he writes. "It is essential that the committee be able to do its oversight work – consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers – without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today."[54]
  • 10 March. Award winning News Anchor Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS alleging the network was spiking news stories that were unflattering to Barack Obama.[55] In her Best Seller, Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington,[56] Attkisson tells how her work and personal computers had been hacked for more than two years after she began filing stories about the Benghazi massacre.[57] CBS News investigated and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012.[58] The hackers were identified by experts as a US Government intelligence agency.[59] In March 2015, Attkisson and her family initiated suit against Eric Holder, Patrick R. Donahoe and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States claiming to have been subjected to illegal surveillance activities.[60][61]
  • 11 March. Senate Democrat Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein takes to the Senate floor to accuse the Obama CIA of violating "the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the C.I.A. from conducting domestic searches or surveillance," and "breaching a constitutional boundary" of intimidation and spying on the US Senate.[62]
  • 20 March. Majority Leader Harry Reid backs investigation into Obama CIA hacking of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee's computers,[63] and notifies Brennan and Attn. Gen. Eric Holder that the Capital Police will investigate charges that the CIA accessed the Intelligence Oversight Committee’s computer network.

April

June

  • 9 June. Islamic State captures Mosul;[67] Obama calls ISIS "the Junior Varsity team."[68]
  • 13 June. IRS notified House Republican investigators that it had lost emails from January 2009 to April 2011.[69] The emails were under subpoena.[70] NSA megadata collection makes the loss of data impossible.
  • 19 June. IRS said that a damaged hard drive containing the missing emails had been disposed of more than two years prior.[71] Legal commentators raised questions how the IRS handled these federal records.[72][73][74] A National Archives and Records Administration spokesperson said: "The Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government has contacted the IRS to explore specifics of the situation.[73]
  • 9 July. House Republicans released an April 13, 2013 email from the Commissioner in which she cautioned colleagues to "be cautious about what we say in emails," citing congressional inquiries. Congressional investigators said this email suggested that the Commissioner tried to hide evidence.[75]
  • 31 July. CIA admits to hacking into Oversighter's computers and spying on the Senate.[76] Democratic Sen. Mark Udall calls for Director Brennan's resignation.[77]
  • 5 August. Public release of the Senate Torture Report is put on hold when the Senate objects to CIA trying to redact evidence that the agency misled congressional investigators, a key finding of the report. The report is already nearly one full year overdue.[78]
  • 5 September. The IRS said it lost additional emails of five workers under congressional investigation.[79] These five workers include two people based in Cincinnati who worked on Tea Party cases.[80]
  • 4 November. Midterm elections. Republicans take control of the Senate, 54-46. Overall, the elections resulted in the largest Republican majority in the entire country in nearly a century, 247 House members, 31 governorships, and 68 state legislative chambers. GOP gains in the House were the largest majority since 1928, as well as the largest number of state legislatures since 1928.[81][82][83]
  • 22 November. A spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Republican majority stated that TIGTA investigators told Congress that they had recovered up to 30,000 emails to and from a past Commissioner.[84]
  • 23 December. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's staff releases a report that found that "[t]he IRS's inability to keep politics out of objective decisions about interpretation of the tax code damaged its primary function: an apolitical tax collector that Americans can trust to treat them fairly."

2015

  • January. The new Republican Senate requested that the White House produce all communications it has had with the IRS since 2010.[85]
  • 17 January. Feinstein slams CIA's internal review of hacking and interference with Congressional Oversight, the Panetta review, as a whitewash.[86]
  • 29 January. Washington Times publishes audio recordings of wiretaps from 2011 of Congressman Dennis Kucinich and other Pentagon officials refuting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's claim a genocide was about to take place in Libya and US intervention was needed.[87]
  • 22 February. British Secretive Court rules NSA-UK sharing of bulk metadata before December 2014 was illegal, however, after the Snowden leaks, now that the practice is publicly known, US-UK intelligence metadata sharing is legal.[88] Legal intelligence sharing with foreign agencies is a convenient way for law enforcement in both countries to circumvent constitutional restrictions and obtain information without probable cause or a search warrant. Under a reciprocal agreement, the US can ask the UK to spy on a US citizen or vice-versa (as in the case of Lady Diana Spencer) as a national security prerogative. The UK doesn't need a warrant in the US, nor the US in the UK, and a person's civil rights may be "legally" violated under this loophole. The practice was originated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 by Executive Order allowing British intelligence to wiretap American citizens that Britain feared were monitoring ships leaving harbor in New York and New Jersey, making them vulnerable to U-boats.[89]

2016

  • 13 February. Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia found dead in Texas.[90]
  • April 27. Trump delivers major foreign policy speech: “We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia, from a position of strength only, is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.”
  • Spring. FBI begins investigation into Paul Manafort's associations. This investigation leads to the wiretapping of at least three Trump associates, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone.[91]

June

  • June 22. Wikileaks releases information leaked by insiders that the DNC aided Hillary Clinton and obstructed Bernie Sanders efforts to win the Democratic Pr3sidential nomination.
  • 27 June. Bill Clinton meets Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch in a face-to-face meeting at an airport hanger in Phoenix, an environment to eliminate a paper trail and avoid NSA metadata collection. It is said Lynch authorized the Justice Dept. to proceed with a FISA warrant application after this meeting.[92]
  • June. Obama administration seeks FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Donald Trump and associates. FISA court denies request. Ordinary proceedures call for the FBI to make the request of the Justice Department to ask a FISA Court for a warrant. It is improbable that Attorney General Loretta Lynch acted on her own against a presidential nominee of another party without consulting President Obama.[93]

July

  • 1 July. Shawn Lucas serves papers on DNC for lawsuit on behalf of Bernie Sanders supporters alleging election fraud.[94]
  • 10 July. DNC IT worker Seth Rich murdered.
  • 22 July. DNC seeks to delay election fraud lawsuit on behalf of Sanders supporters based upon improper service of papers. The papers being served was videotaped by Shawn Lucas and an associate.
  • 2 August. Shawn Lucas, 38 years old process server for lawsuit against DNC on behalf of Sanders supporters alleging election fraud, found dead. The lawsuit is now effectively delayed until after the November 8 election.[95]

October

  • 15 October. Obama administration rewrites a narrower request to FISA court dropping Trump's name and citing only the Russian banks as direct targets.[96] While the BBC report suggests that the surveillance was meant to ferret out “transfers of money,” the Mensch article asserts that a “warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.” FISA court approves request.
  • 31 October. Hillary Clinton sends out a tweet obtained from an illegal intelligence leak of an alleged connection between a webserver in Trump Tower and a Russian bank. Trump Tower is a hotel and thousands of guests rotate in and out annually.

November

  • 7 November. Louise Mensch of HeatStreet reports two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community confirmed that the FBI 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.[97]
  • 8 November. Donald Trump elected president.
  • 17 November. NSA Director Mike Rogers makes unannounced trip to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Trump without notifying the White House. [98] Congress renews calls for perjury charges against ODNI boss James Clapper.[99]
  • 19 November. Washington Post reports Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and DNI James Clapper recommend to the White House NSA chief Rogers be fired. Rogers traveled to New York to meet with President-elect Trump days earler at Trump Tower. "That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials."[100]
  • 15 December. DNI Clapper signs off on NSA directive for new rules of circulating raw wiretapping evidence; needs Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch's signature to take effect.
  • 19 December. Electoral College meets in 50 state capitols to elect new president.

2017

January

  • 3 January. Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch signs off on new rules permitting the NSA to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information.”[101] "In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections," the New York Times reports on 12 January; basically, an authorization to circulate the Brennan memo issued 6 January currently in the works.[102] DNI James Clapper previously signed off on 15 December 2016.
  • 5 January. FBI Director James Comey testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee the DNC refused multiple requests to examine their servers after allegations of hacking. DNC continues to deny FBI ever made any requests.[103]
  • 6 January. Congress certifies Donald Trump's victory with 306 Electoral votes. CIA Director John Brennan issues scathing memo attacking Donald Trump with Russophobic innuendo.[104] Anti-Trump critics launch anti-Putin and anti-Russian smear campaign based on xenophobia.[105]
  • 11 January. The UK Guardian reported that "the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus." The Guardian further stated unconfirmed reports claim a warrant was obtained in October.[106] Trump complains leaked information by the Obama administration targeting him is "something that Nazi Germany would have done.”[107]
  • 12 January. Former NSA official John Schindler tweets, "When @IgnatiusPost speaks, Langley's 7th floor lips are moving. They are taking traitor Trump out now."[108] Langley's 7th floor is a reference to CIA headquarters. David Ignatius of the Washington Post publishes unmasked information of Michael Flynn's phone call with the Russian Ambassador obtained by FISA warrant. The leaking of the identity of a US citizen unmasked gathered as part of a foreign intelligence operation is a criminal act.[109]
  • 13 January. Obama signs Executive Order removing US Attorney Dana Boente from the line of succession to be acting Attorney General placing Sally Yates in his stead.[110]
  • 18 January. McClatchy News Service headlined a story that the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) collaborated for months in an investigation of Donald Trump, according to two anonymous sources.[111]
  • 19 January. The New York Times carried a frontpage headline, Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides. The article stated "investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.[112] The headline has been changed for its online version.[113]
  • 20 January. Donald Trump inaugurated president.
  • 23 January. Washington Post reports FBI found nothing illicit in Flynn's call with Amb. Kislyak.[114] The reports unmasking Flynn were a violation of law.
  • 28 January. Navy SEAL William Ryan Owen killed during intelligence gathering operation against al-Qaeda in Yemen.

February

  • 2 February. Politico reports 5 House IT staffers, including 3 brothers later identified as Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan, were relieved of access to House computers and had been under criminal investigation since late 2016.[115] While full details were not disclosed, subsequently it was learned they managed office information technology for Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee handling matters on war and terrorism.[116] It was also learned later Imran Awan worked for ex-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz,[117] had access to her iPad and password,[118] took $100,000 in cash from an Iraqi company,[119] and was a suspect in the leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks. Despite verbose allegations of "Russian hacking," the DNC never allowed the FBI to examine its servers to determine if indeed the DNC had been hacked, or did the leaks come from an inside source.[120] The suspects may have been involved in a leak of information that lead to the ambush and death of Navy SEAL William Ryan Owen.[121] Furthermore, because the suspects were Muslim,[122] their activities were covered up and they were not fired til after the death of Owen. Even then, they were initially relieved of duties without their names being released, two weeks later fired,[123] and three weeks after that in a series of press leaks identified as prime suspects in what the media called the "Russian hacking" scandal.
  • 9 February. New York Times reports fake news narrative "Flynn is Said to Have Talked to Russians About Sanctions Before Trump Took Office,"[124] based upon material gathered by the FISA court warrant.
  • 11 February. National Security aide to National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is denied a security clearance, in effect, the CIA exercising veto power over the President's management of national security affairs. The action was unprecedentent and without cause. Reports say the CIA did not like the aide's attitude toward the agency.[125] “They believe this is a hit job from inside the CIA on Flynn and the people close to him," because the aide "believes that the CIA doesn’t run the world.”[126]
  • 13 March. Flynn resigns. Consortiumnews reports, "Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it."[127]
  • 14 February. Charles Krauthammer on unmasking of Flynn, "When the conversation involves an American, there are extremely strict procedures to blur the identity, to hide the identity and to protect the information coming from the American. This is the exact opposite of that and it is scary."[128]
  • 17 February. Kucinich says Intelligence Community and the owner of the Washington Post are trying to influence US foreign policy.[129]
  • 19 February. Breitbart reports Obama's Organizing for Action, formerly Organizing for America, partners with the Soros-funded Indivisible Project to disrupt the Trump agenda.[130] Indivisible provides online training for the 'Resistance' movement.[131] Indivisible claims to follow the Tea Party model rather than the Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter; however the Tea Party is not known to have focused on rudeness and violence.

March

  • 1 March. New York Times reports "In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald Trump and Russians — across the government.[132] "Low level" leaks of "Russian hacking" plagued the Executive Branch and mainstream fake news media since early January. Daily Mail reports Valerie Jarrett moves into Barack and Michelle Obama's DC home, the "nerve center of the mounting insurgency against" Donald Trump. "Obama's goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency."[133]
  • 2 March. The Washington Post reported the inquiry focused on contacts Sessions had “while serving as Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy adviser in the spring and summer of 2016,”[134] implying (a) surveillance occured on a U.S. Senator,[135] and (b) surveillance may have occured without a warrant. Ranking Democrat Vice-Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff accuses Comey of withholding information from Congressional Overseers. Lindsey Graham says, "Somebody is leaking this crap. It's putting people like me in a terrible spot."[136]
  • 3 March. New DNC Chair Tom Perez tweets Russophobic slur.[137]
  • 4 March. Trump sends out several tweets: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!; "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"; "I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"; "Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!"; "Just out: The same Russian Ambassador that met Jeff Sessions visited the Obama White House 22 times, and 4 times last year alone." Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau parses Obama response, "I'd be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the WH ordered it."[138]
  • 5 March. James Clapper exonerates Trump of collusion with Russia; Progressive media begins backtracking on innuendo and slurs in Trump-Russia conspiracy theory.[139]
  • 6 March. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential election campaign manager told Fox News he knew of electronic surveillance on Trump during the campaign and was told by US intelligence. Mook is not a government employee and had no right to access of that information.[140]
  • 7 March. Sen. Tom Cotton of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirms Mike Flynn was wiretapped and reveals that he is aware of the agency that surveilled him. Also, he is aware of which agency leaked the transcript of the phone call between Mike Flynn and Sergei Kislyak and suggests it is the Department of Justice.[141] Wikileaks releases Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed. [142]
  • 8 March. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse of the Senate Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee request of Director Comey warrant applications and court orders related to wiretapping of Donald Trump and associates.[143] Google, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung react to Vault 7 revelations.[144]
  • 9 March. Comey meets with House and Senate Congressional leaders, and leaders of House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Sens. McConnell, Schumer, Burr, Warner, and Reps. Paul Ryan, Pelosi, Nunes and Shiff.[145] Justice Dept. official responds 'no comment' when asked by the New York Times to confirm Trump isn't under investigation.[146]
  • 10 March. Kucinich goes public with his story of wiretapping as a Congressman in 2011 and 4th Amendment violations.[147] Petraeus says Wikileaks hurts CIA ties to Silicon Valley.[148]
  • 15 March. Sen. Lindsey Graham makes public statement: "If there is no warrant than the only way to surveil would have clearly been illegal;"[149] Comey briefs Sens. Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein. House Intelligence Committee asks FBI for information about the illegal unmasking of Michael Flynn's identity while the Obama administration had the Trump transition team under surveillance.
  • 16 March. Former CIA acting director Michael Morell slated to be Hillary Clinton's choice to head the CIA told NBC News “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”[150] Judge Andrew Napolitano cites NSA-UK intelligence sharing agreement as another way for President Obama to obtain, legally, wiretap information on American citizens without a surveillance warrant.[151]
  • 17 March. Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton of the House Armed Services Committee warns of nuclear war with Russia, cites the outdated doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction as basis for his claim.[152] MAD was replaced by Reagan's Assured Survival doctrine more than 30 years prior. Critics reacted to Moulton's claim as another Russophobic scare tactic having failed with Russian hacking claims.
  • 20 March. FBI Director James Comey, in sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, confirms Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, John Brennan, and James Clapper all had access to sensitive wiretap information which contained the name of Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Comey was uncertain if Ben Rhodes, a National Security Council aide, had access. Leaking to the press the identity of Flynn is a felony because the information was part of a confidential intelligence gathering operation and the information had been “masked” to protect Flynn's identity.[153] Chairman Nunes asked anyone with information about the matters before the committee to come forward. President Trump took to Twitter using the White House @POTUS account unlike the March 4 tweets made from his personal user account. The President tweeted: FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Flynn to Russia.[154] NSA Director Rogers tells Congress unmasking individuals endangers national security.[155] FBI Director Comey says classified leaks to the media have been "unusually active" recently.[156] FBI Director Comey says Obama's White House had the ability to "unmask" American citizens.[157]
  • 22 March. Attorney for Freedom Watch representing a whistleblower sends letter to Chairman Nunes imploring the Intelligence Committee to investigate allegations and evidence his client presented that "spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump... Working side by side with Obama's former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, and Obama's former Director of the CIA, John Brennan," his client "witnessed 'up close and personal' this 'Orwellian Big Brother' intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes."[158] Further, that "the FBI director recently claimed publicly, I believe falsely, that there is ‘no evidence’ of surveillance on President Trump and those around him by the Obama administration." After briefing the President on new whistleblower information the House Intelligence Committee chairman confirmed "on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. None of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities."[159][160] Two days after Dir. Comey's extraordinary testimony, Chairman Nunes reveals the FBI is still not cooperating in the investigation of illegal Obama administrations leaks.[161]
  • 23 March. GOP U.S. Representative Devin Nunes revealed that some of the Trump Team's conversations had been spied upon.[162] National Security expert and journalist Bill Gertz who has has lectured on defense, national security, and media issues at the Defense Department’s National Security Leadership Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, the FBI National Academy, the National Defense University, and the CIA reported it is possible "Nunes himself was among those whose communications were improperly monitored."[163] US Justice Dept. sued under Freedom of Information Act to disclose all documents related to Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch's secret meeting with Bill Clinton on board the Attn. Gen.'s plane at the Phoenix airport prior to the wiretapping of Trump campaign associates.[164] Russian hacking further discredited.[165] Famed Journalist Bob Woodward labels' Obama actions a gross violation and possibly criminal. Under the rules the name of a US citizen who is wiretaped during a foreign intelligence surveillance operation is to be 'minimized', and in transcripts their identity is to be 'masked'. Only 20 persons in the Intelligence Community have the ability to 'unmask' a US citizen's name who in incidentally caught up in a foreign intelligence gathering operation.[166]
  • 24 March. Nunes says he will recall Dirs. Comey and Rogers for private hearing after concern is raised over their public testimony.[167] Kucinich calls for Comey's recusal from investigation.[168] Comey makes late afternoon unscheduled, unannounced one hour meeting at White House with President Trump.
  • 25 March. NSA whistleblower Bill Binney corroborates massive domestic spying on Supreme Court, Joint Chiefs of Staff, House, Senate, and White House.[169]
  • 27 March. In an attack on Chairman Nunes, Louise Mensch now gives the names of the four individuals whom the FISA warrant was denied in July 2016, emphasizing the new cover story to justify the wiretaps, not as political spying, but against "unwitting" foreign "agents of influence." This may give legal cover for using foreign intelligence apparatus for domestic spying, but does not justify the criminal civil rights violations in leaking an American citizens name "incidentally" caught up in a foreign intelligence gathering operation. Instead, Mensch accuses Nunes of leaking information about FBI and NSA surveillence operations.[170]

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