Spying on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for “national security” purposes would not provide the “clear criminal predicate” required to authorize such surveillance, retired FBI special agent James Wedick said Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“You need to know that the guidelines say if you’re going to use an informant to infiltrate a political organization, you need a clear criminal predicate,” Wedick (pictured above right) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “National security is not a criminal predicate.”
Wedick’s comment points to the most basic mystery of the Spygate scandal — What was the original justification Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI officials used to justify spying on multiple Trump campaign staffers.
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Dan Bongino told Ingraham “the biggest open question” in this entire Trump campaign surveillance controversy is, “What was the genesis moment in this campaign? What’s point zero?”
“Nobody can seem to explain that,” Bongino said.
Trump demanded Sunday that the Department of Justice investigate whether the Obama administration “infiltrated or surveilled” his presidential campaign for “political purposes” after multiple media reports last week claimed it had been. The task was promptly added to the already lengthy to-do list of the DOJ inspector general, Michael Horowitz.
But Obama-era intelligence officials like former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper blasted Trump for demanding accountability and transparency while claiming any spying was done for national security purposes.
The New York Times reported deep in a May 17 story that the FBI placed an “informant” inside Trump’s campaign who “met several times with Mr. [Carter] Page and [George] Papadopoulos,” two of Trump’s former low-level campaign advisers.
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Ingraham that “it doesn’t take much of an imagination to look at this and say, ‘This is a setup’” against the Trump campaign.
“And again, when you see the [Obama] White House is running this, ‘POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing,’ you have to start putting two and two together,” said Johnson (pictured above left), referring to anti-Trump text messages exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
Strzok was temporarily one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s top investigators in the Trump-Russia probe before being removed after thousands of such biased texts became public.
Ingraham slammed the “ever-expanding surveillance state” in the U.S. as a “threat to our freedom,” saying that “some” within these government agencies “think that they are omnipotent and above the law.”
“They are not,” Ingraham said. “We the people and our elected officials should not be endlessly trailed and treated like dangers to the state. And we certainly should not be spied upon for political reasons.”
Fox News contributor Byron York, the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, noted that there’s a pattern between the DOJ’s and FBI’s refusal to accept transparency and accountability and the increasingly troubling revelations that have trickled out.
“Think about the [Trump-Russia] dossier. We first hear about the dossier, it’s kind of fishy, then we find out later it was funded by the Clinton campaign,” York said. “Then we find out later the FBI actually wanted to hire the author of the dossier to continue the work during the campaign. Then we find out it was used to get a wiretap warrant for Carter Page.”
“We just find out more and more and all the time, every step of the way the FBI and the Justice Department are dragging their feet and resisting efforts to find out those things I just mentioned,” York warned. “The same thing is happening now.”