Brennan: Trump Harming Democracy by Calling for DOJ To Probe Obama Admin's Campaign Spying

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Former Obama administration CIA director John Brennan chastised GOP congressional leadership for allowing President Donald Trump to “harm” the country’s democracy after the president called for the Department of Justice to investigate potential spying on his 2016 campaign by the federal government.

In a Sunday tweet, Trump wrote, “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

On Monday, the White House and the DOJ reached an agreement, whereby the department’s inspector general will look into the matter, The Hill reported.

According to a statement released by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, the DOJ inspector general will “expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign.”

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Brennan claimed that Trump’s demand for the DOJ to investigate the matter is a “disastrous path” and that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy.”

“You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump’s self-serving actions,” he added.

Trump hit back at Brennan with a series of tweets on Monday quoting conservative commentator and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino who said, “John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community.”

The president continued quoting, “He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at the top of the FBI. Brennan started this entire debacle about President Trump.

“We now know that Brennan had detailed knowledge of the (phony) Dossier…they then used to start an investigation about Trump.”

The president’s concluded his series of tweets, writing, “‘It is that simple. This guy is the genesis of this whole Debacle. This was a Political hit job, this was not an Intelligence Investigation. Brennan has disgraced himself, he’s worried about staying out of Jail.’ Dan Bongino.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, like Brennan, admonished Trump that the president should not be making demands on the DOJ to investigate the alleged Obama administration spying on his campaign.

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“The Justice Department is not an arm of the White House,” she tweeted. “The Justice Department is independent and serves the American people. Its job is to follow the facts and the law. Law enforcement investigations must be initiated and carried out free from political interference.”

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called Trump’s claim there was an FBI “spy” tasked to his campaign “nonsense.”

“Never mind that DOJ has warned that lives and alliances are at risk. He doesn’t care,” he added.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel and The Washington Post both reported over a week ago that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devon Nunes has subpoenaed the Justice Department for background materials about an FBI informant positioned close to the Trump campaign.

“This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting,” wrote Strassel. “It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough.”

She called out The New York Times last week for trying to downplay the significance of the discovery.

Her biggest takeaway from The Times’ story Strassel tweeted was: “Govt ‘sources’ admit that, indeed, the Obama DOJ and FBI spied on the Trump campaign. Spied. (Tho NYT kindly calls spy an ‘informant.’)”

She continued, “NYT slips in confirmation far down in story, and makes it out like it isn’t a big deal. It is a very big deal.”

Former Obama administration Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN on Thursday that the FBI “may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign,” and if the agency did, it was a “good thing.”

Do you believe Obama administration officials should be held accountable for spying on Trump's campaign?

In a Sunday op-ed, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board mocked those like Schiff who are making the distinction between an “informant” and a spy.

“We now have all but official confirmation thanks to ‘current and former government officials’ who contributed to apologias last week in the New York Times and Washington Post. And please don’t call the informant a ‘spy,”’ they wrote.

The editors added, “This ought to disturb anyone who wants law enforcement and U.S. intelligence services to stay out of partisan politics. We can’t recall a similar case, even in the J. Edgar Hoover days, when the FBI decided it needed to snoop on a presidential campaign.”

Radio talk show host and former CIA analyst Buck Sexton noted how quickly the narrative has changed regarding the Obama administration’s involvement in the 2016 race.

“The speed with which they have gone from ‘only crazy people think Obama officials spied on the Trump campaign’ to ‘Of course Obama officials spied on the Trump campaign’ is a remarkable sight to behold,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, Sexton said Nunes is perfectly within his right to demand to learn more about the FBI’s Trump campaign source.

“Congress has oversight over the FBI. The FBI does not have oversight over Congress,” he wrote. “No matter what is said this week, don’t forget this fact. Many powerful people are hoping you will, and will try to make it so.”

Strassel chimed in: “Correct. And those powerful people will also seek to confuse you on who did the leaking here, who blew the source, and who is continuing to hide things.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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