Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.
Make a new
"This afternoon, Chairman David Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. Persons, including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been. Indeed, it appears that committee members only learned about this when the Chairman discussed the matter this afternoon with the press. The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way." (Emphasis is mine.)
As some of you may recall, I raised the possibility previously that this could be what Trump had been referring to regarding "wiretapping" by Obama. Trump's frequent loose language, either intentional or because he frequently uses imprecise language. I.e. some of the Trump people, or even himself, being caught up in this type of surveillance. Flynn in particular.
I later did more research, but by the time I had done the research, the thread was full and I didn't see a good place to summarize my research.
The area is tough and complicated, and I couldn't get a full handle on it from articles and a directive or two. There are about 3 ways to get this general surveillance. One is Fisa. Also 2 other statutes. The minimization doctrine clearly applies to Fisa surveillance. The DOJ/Holder put in place some procedures in 2009 (I think).
Some of the commentary seems inconsistent.
It's clear that Trump is already using this as some validation for his prior very loose (or wrong) comments. He says he is now "somewhat" vindicated. In my view, if you give him the benefit of loose comments, I think he is going to have some support for what he said. No wiretap authorized on him or his people, and certainly not by Obama, but some indirect surveillance and apparently some passing around of the information.
Again, for several reasons, I don't think it was proper, or even legal, for the stuff on Flynn and the Ambassador to be disclosed, and certainly not to be leaked to the press.