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Was President Trump’s Administration Undermined By President Obama?

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This article will focus on the possibilities of surveillance of President Trump during his campaign. The goal is to review the available evidence that has been presented so far along with the laws that authorize the collection of such intelligence. This article is a follow-up from our previous article; “Oversight Report: The Presidents Surveillance Authority,” and will mainly focus on the intelligence collection disclosed by Rep. Nunes which was not related to the hacking investigation involving Russia.

Three points will be reviewed to try to establish the plausibility of the claim that the Trump administration was under surveillance.  Further, was the intelligence properly collected, protected and not used to undermine his administration? We will not be looking at the Russian hacking interference investigations and the leaks that sprung from the intelligence gathered in them including those affecting General Flynn which led to his resignation.

  1. Was President Trump or his campaigns communications under surveillance?

  1. If information was gathered by an intelligence agency about President Trump or his campaign was the information properly handled and safeguarded?

  1. Did President Obama or his staff either direct or have knowledge of any intelligence agency conducting a wiretap/surveillance on President Trump’s campaign and then leak the gathered intelligence?

To answer these questions on whether President Trump or his campaigns communications were under surveillance we will need to look at the facts up to this point.

Rep. Nunes, the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee confirmed today during a press conference that information was collected on President Trump and members of his campaign during the months of November, December and January after the election. Rep. Nunes further stated,

He also said that the details had little or no apparent foreign intelligence but were widely disseminated in intelligence reporting.

When intelligence is collected under 50 USC 1802  on foreign officials or agents, US citizens that have been incidentally collected will have identities masked so that they are protected of their privacy and rights. There are some major legal questions that need to be asked.

First, who authorized this intelligence collection and under what legal authority if it was not related to Russia, foreign intelligence or any illegal activity? Second, we need to know who authorized the intelligence reports to be disseminated widely and without masking their identities as required by 50 USC 1802 for US citizens.

New rules that were put in place on January 3rd 2017 by then President Obama appears to have allowed the information collected on President Trump’s campaign to be disseminated widely in intelligence reports. These new rules opened NSA collected unfiltered raw intelligence sharing to all federal intelligence agencies. Within these new rules are a section that can be used to keep intelligence from being shared with the White house if it could be considered part of the political process i.e. (staff appointments, policy decisions, transition discussions…).                        

joint statement was released by DHS and DNI just prior to the election on 7th of October 2016, “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process…”

On 9 December 2016, White House Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco stated,

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