Last night we learned that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump in May of 2017. This means that at the time, the FBI had solid evidence that Trump was a Kremlin spy. Now it’s time to ask the obvious question: has there been a FISA surveillance warrant against Trump for the past year and a half?
Let’s be clear here. The FBI would absolutely have sought a FISA eavesdropping warrant against any American being investigated for acting as a foreign government spy. In fact the Feds had FISA warrants against Paul Manafort and Carter Page during the election for that reason. So if there hasn’t been a FISA warrant against Donald Trump, the only reason would be that he’s occupying the office of President of the United States.
It’s also worth pointing out that because FISA courts are secret, if the FBI did apply for one against Donald Trump, he would have had no way of knowing about it. So it’s not something that he could have fought against or tried to sabotage. No one really knows precisely how FISA courts work, but ostensibly it would have been at the sole discretion of the FISA judges.
So let’s say the FBI did manage to obtain a FISA warrant against Donald Trump May of 2017, and that Robert Mueller then inherited that warrant when he was appointed to take over the investigation. That would mean Mueller has had access to Trump’s phone calls and other electronic communications for the past year and a half. It’s stunning to even imagine. But again, FISA warrants are standard procedure for anyone who’s in the situation that Trump was in.
It’s also notable that Donald Trump has spent the past several months trying to make a scandal out of the FISA warrant against Carter Page. This has never made sense, as Page was a low level Trump campaign adviser, and Trump couldn’t care less about the guy. Why has Trump tried so hard to use the Page case to convince the public that FISA warrants are inherently abusive? Did someone find out along the way that there was a FISA warrant against Trump and tip him off about it? Is that why Trump has become so obsessed with the FISA process? This leaves us with more questions than ever.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report