#FakeNews 102 Update: The Smoking Gun

Presented for your review:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/04/politics/trump-obama-wiretap-tweet/index.html

Here we have unnamed sources refuting, or completely affirming, (you can read it either way),  Trumps claim that the previous administration was involved in wire tapping.

Then, we have this specific denial from a spokesman for Obama, Kevin Lewis (Fair Use)

“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,” Lewis said in a statement early Saturday afternoon. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

This seems to be a bit difficult for folks to follow, so let me phrase this the way it would normally be phrased.

When Obama took office, he could have stated:

“No White House official shall ever interfere with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. In order to enforce this rule we will ensure that neither President Obama nor any White House official will order surveillance on any US citizen.”

That is an interesting if puzzling rule, and one Obama could very well have worked hard to enforce. Let us presume he did so.  Then, here at the end of 8 years, he can state:

A cardinal rule of the Obama administration has been successfully enforced: No White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. Neither President Obama nor any other White House Official has ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen.”

This could be, as things turned out, a true statement. The problem is this:  An order for surveillance on a US Citizen might have been required to ensure that White House officials did NOT interfere with a DOJ investigation. In other words, for example, James Comey could have asked Obama to order the surveillance with the understanding that he would be charged with interfering with a DOJ investigation if he failed to do so.

Well, did Obama order such surveillance? We have no idea, he won’t say.   And James Comey suddenly seems to be quite nervous about all of this and is trying to get the DOJ to refute Trump’s claim. Here is what Lewis went on to say:

“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Is this a true statement?  We do not know, because Obama has not followed through with the required “A cardinal rule of the Obama administration has been successfully enforced…” statement. That would require submission of paperwork and months of analysis.  And Obama is no longer in the analysis business, having failed to complete his report on the tens of thousands of Islam enforcers (men of military age who force dress codes on tiny tots and little women, among other things), who were rushed into the country near the end of his term.

And now, we have the smoking gun:  https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/838536319924068352

Chris Geidner, @chrisgeidner Legal Editor, (we all remember Buzz Feed Golden Showers, right?) has written to White House Attorney Donald F. McGahn II asking about his whereabouts on Saturday morning when Trump tweeted his understanding that Obama had ordered the wire tap discussed above.  In this message, Geidner includes this quote:

The standing policy, issued in 2009, states:  “The Justice Department will advise the White House concerning any pending or contemplated criminal or civil investigations on cases when, but only when, it is important for the performance of the President’s duties and appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.”

Is this the nonsensical “rule” that Lewis was quoting in his infamous non-refutation cited above? Or do we have here a clear statement that sometimes the DOJ will advise and/or ORDER the President to institute a wire tap when it is important from a law enforcement perspective? This is exactly what was speculated above and now it appears to be affirmed.

We thus have a right to demand Obama’s specific response. Trump remains on solid ground, retaining his right to remain silent pending receipt of the full report. @POTUS has no intellectual debt to the #FakeNews at the heart of this whole mess.

 

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