“That’s not the term I would use.” This is what Christopher Wray, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee when asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures. “Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in an investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me, the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”
This is odd to hear because it’s common knowledge that the FBI “spied” on radical left groups and on Martin Luther King, Jr., during the 1960s operation called “COINTELPRO.” Part of that involved wiretapping King’s conversations on the grounds that he was being controlled by the USSR and planting informants in his organization. This was revisited after 9/11 when the FBI lost court challenges to it placing informants within mosques. How placing informants in a radical mosque is less acceptable that attempting to insert informants into the inner circle of a political campaign rather like faulty logic.
What Wray is asking is that we suspend belief long enough redefine the concept of “legal” as being something that you lied to a court in order to get permission to do. The record clearly shows that the FISA application on Carter Page was fraudulent as none of the allegations made against him were proven and the only logical reason to extend the warrant on Page was to take advantage of the ability to use “two hop” surveillance, that is, the FISA warrant made it legal to intercept communications of anyone Page talked to (one hop) and anyone those people talked to (two hops).
According to Andy McCarthy, the whole effort to compromise George Papadopoulos was nothing more than a way of carrying out a political hit on President Trump(See How The George Papadopoulos Story Was Manufactured To Justify A Hoax Investigation).
If you take the role of the FBI in shopping the Steele Dossier around Washington, it is hard to see that as anything other than a tactic to try to damage Trump’s chances for election and then to hamstring him by a special counsel investigation.
While Democrats are still wringing their hands over things like private tax returns and non-existent Russian interference, that fact that they not only are ignoring the abuse of the legal system, in fact even promoting it, the rest of us are wondering just what has happened the republic that this could even have happened.