Ok folks, it’s time to play America’s favorite game in which you read a few excerpts from a piece of news and apply one of the following two labels:
- “politically-motivated, illegal surveillance”
- “(more) evidence of the Trump campaign’s efforts to collude with the Kremlin”
It’s a fun game and one we’ve unfortunately (and conveniently) lost track of, what with all the Tomahawk missiles being lobbed at a Russian client state and all.
So here’s the latest via The Washington Post (and do note that I’m only excerpting the objective parts so that you can apply the label of your choice free from undue politicizing)…
The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
Page has not been accused of any crimes, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department might later seek charges against him or others in connection with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections began in July, officials have said. Most such investigations don’t result in criminal charges.
The officials spoke about the court order on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.
The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.
Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.
An application for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act need not show evidence of a crime. But the information obtained through the intercepts can be used to open a criminal investigation and may be used in a prosecution.
The application also showed that the FBI and the Justice Department’s national security division have been seeking since July to determine how broad a network of accomplices Russia enlisted in attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election, the officials said.
Since the 90-day warrant was first issued, it has been renewed more than once by the FISA court, the officials said.
Ok, so there are some facts, mostly devoid of any editorializing (note how almost every passage ends with “the officials said”).
Apply one of the two labels noted above as you see fit.
Oh, and by the way, it’s pretty clear what Breitbart wants you to think as evidenced by the following hilarious series of tweets in which one employee (who is really, really fired up) apparently felt like maybe once, or twice, or four times wasn’t enough to get his point across…