This morning Donald Trump publicly accused President Barack Obama of having wiretapped Trump Tower just before the election. This is a nonsense claim, as Obama would have had no say in any such matter, with the Judicial Branch making decisions on granting FISA surveillance warrants on U.S. citizens. But the warrant in question does appear to exist, and now Trump’s own White House counsel has been caught improperly meddling in the matter.
While Trump is wrong about Obama having wiretapped him, as we’ve been reporting since November, there is strong evidence that a federal judge did grant the FBI a secret FISA warrant in October to eavesdrop on Donald Trump and his associates and Trump Tower itself. White House Counsel Donald McGahn, hired to the position by Trump just six weeks ago, has spent the day trying to force a copy of said warrant to be turned over to the White House. That represents a gross violation on McGahn’s part.
Not only is Donald Trump’s White House now actively meddling in an FBI/DOJ investigation, violating the sanctity of the process, it’s meddling in an investigation into Trump himself. This represents an even more egregiously inappropriate breach than the stunt pulled by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus last month when he pressured the FBI and Republican members of Congress to throw the media off the trail of the Trump-Russia scandal. But it gets worse.
White House counsel Donald McGahn is also arguably attempting to interfere with the Judicial Branch’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation by trying to forcibly obtain a copy of the secret FISA warrant the judge may have issued. The White House has no authority over the actions of the Judicial Branch whatsoever, and any attempt at subverting that would be unconstitutional. And yet the New York Times is confirming that McGahn did go after the warrant today. It suggests McGahn himself is part of the Trump-Russia conspiracy. Help us investigate Trump-Russia!
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report