by WorldTribune Staff, May 1, 2019
On March 4, 2017, just 43 days after taking office, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
The person who initially tipped off Trump (on Nov. 17, 2016) that communications from Trump Tower were being tapped was Adm. Mike Rogers, then-head of the National Security Agency (NSA).
Upon learning of the illegal spying operation, the Trump transition team promptly announced they were leaving Trump Tower and moving to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Soon after, The Washington Post reported that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter had recommended the removal of Rogers from his NSA post.
That didn’t happen. Rogers announced his retirement on Jan. 5, 2018 … after heading the National Security Agency for nearly four years.
Former U.S. Attorney and FISA Court Judge Joe DiGenova said that Rogers, an Obama administration official “who actually had integrity,” realized something was amiss. American citizens were being spied on by their own government, and Rogers acted.
“There’s a hero. His name is Admiral Mike Rogers,” diGenova said on Fox News.
Rogers’ role went beyond informing Trump about the surveillance being conducted at Trump Tower, analysts say.
DiGenova refers to the Obama administration’s use of “Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” to essentially weaponize the NSA’s ability to collect data and surveil private U.S. citizens.
DiGenova said: “He [Rogers] discovered the illegal spying. He went personally to the FISA Court and briefed the Chief Judge and worked with her for months to uncover the people who did it. The FISA Court has already told the Justice department who lied to that court and that has been given to [Attorney General] Bill Barr already.
“For more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI [private] contractors — four of them — to steal personal information, electronic information about Americans and to use it against the Republican Party.”
The Epoch Times’ Jeff Carlson detailed Rogers’ actions in an article about the wiretapping incident entitled “An American Hero and the Death of a FISA Narrative” in January 2018. (He also provides a precise account of the Obama administration’s violations of the 702 program.)
Section 702 allows the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to “jointly authorize surveillance of people who are not “U.S. persons.” Use of 702 has helped the U.S. thwart planned terrorist attacks.
When the government is surveilling a foreigner with suspected ties to terrorists, the data of any American who communicates with him or her will be collected. “If two Americans are communicating with one another and mention the name of a foreigner who is under surveillance,” their data will be collected.
Critics of the law say it essentially gives law enforcement agencies a “backdoor” to search Americans’ data without having to get a warrant.
The information becomes part of a database that the FBI or other federal law enforcement agencies could then search to find evidence that Americans are engaged in domestic crimes that have nothing to do with terrorism.
Critics say the 702 program was used to spy on Americans dating back to 2012, which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The DOJ Inspector General is expected to release his report to the public in the next six weeks.
According to diGenova, “There’s another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.”
Carlson, suggested that the “Trump Dossier was not created to allow for spying on the Trump Campaign. The Dossier was created to obtain a FISA Warrant to cover surveillance activity that had already taken place.
“That may well have been the origin of the Trump Dossier creation — to create a rationale for previous illegal surveillance activity. But heroic actions taken by Admiral Mike Rogers stopped the plan from being implemented. The FISA Court had been warned.
“Our entire intelligence apparatus was weaponized to alter a Presidential Election. The chain of activity may rise all the way to the top. How does a nation prepare itself to deal with that level of criminality?”