NEW: Carter Page Named As Surveillance Target While Congressmen Deny Nunes Claims

There are two new developments in the story of the alleged “wiretapping” of the Trump team during the campaign. The name of the Trump associate that was the subject of a previously known FISA warrant was named and several congressmen are disputing Rep. Nunes’s claim that the intelligence community inappropriately unmasked subjects of surveillance within the Trump campaign.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant to investigate Carter Page as early as last July. The investigation was part of the counterintelligence effort opposing Russian interference in the election. The government claimed that there was probable cause to believe that Page was acting as the agent of a foreign power.

Page was listed as a foreign policy advisor by the Trump campaign in March 2016. In August 2016, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks called him an “informal advisor,” the Post notes. By September, when the investigation of Page’s Russia ties was known, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said that Page “has made no contribution to the campaign” and Kellyanne Conway claimed that he was “certainly not part of the campaign that I’m running.” In January, Sean Spicer described Page as “an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign.”

In a February interview with the Los Angeles Times, President Trump apparently described his relationship with Page, saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. And he actually said he was a very low-level member of I think a committee for a short period of time. I don’t think I ever met him. Now, it’s possible that I walked into a room and he was sitting there, but I don’t think I ever met him. I didn’t talk to him ever. And he thought it was a joke.”

Carter Page denied the allegations against him in an interview on Tuesday. “This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” he said. “I have nothing to hide.” No charges have been filed.

No charges have been filed against Susan Rice either. Rice was alleged to have improperly handled surveillance by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Nunes claimed in March that intelligence on Trump staffers appeared to have been legally collected, but was concerned that the identities of campaign team members unmasked and details that had no intelligence value were widely disseminated.

Now CNN reports that Nunes’s claims are being refuted by both Democrats and Republicans who have reviewed the same intelligence documents cited by Nunes. The unnamed congressmen said that the requests made by Rice were “normal and appropriate” for a National Security Advisor and that there was “absolutely” no smoking gun in the reports.

Rice has also denied any wrongdoing. “There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a US person was referred to — name not provided, just a US person — and sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request the information as to who the US official was,” Rice said. “The notion that some people are trying to suggest, is that by asking for the identity of a person is leaking it, is unequivocally false. There is no connection between unmasking and leaking.”

President Trump told the New York Times last week that he believes that Rice broke the law, but has thus far failed to provide evidence or have the Justice Department file charges against her. The president claimed that he would provide the evidence “at the right time.”

There have many conflicting claims and counterclaims in the surveillance scandal. The revelations that Trump aides were under investigation for their ties to Russia is an established fact that was known before the election. The identification of Carter Page as a target of the investigation is likely accurate as well. It is also possible that the investigation was not limited to Page.

The jury is still out on the matter of Nunes’s claim of impropriety on the part of the intelligence community. If there is evidence that Rice or other intelligence officers broke the law, then they should be prosecuted and a sanitized version of the evidence should be made public to support the extraordinary claims of Trump and Nunes.

So far there is no indication that any surveillance was conducted illegally or for purely political purposes. Even Nunes acknowledged that the intercepts of Trump campaign communications appeared to be an “incidental collection” that could result from communication with foreign nationals who are under surveillance. If this is how the intercepts resulted, then the FBI was doing its job.

The one person who has the power to clear up the entire mess is President Trump. The president has access to all the intelligence information available and the power to have relevant portions declassified and released to the public. So far, however, it appears that Mr. Trump is not inclined to clear up the situation.

BREAKING: Nunes Temporarily Steps Aside On Trump-Russia, Is This Leftist Lawfare?

This is a good example of lawfare gone wild, with enough truth baked into to make it stick.

The AP reported Thursday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is stepping aside from the Trump-Russia investigation due to accusations filed against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” Nunes said in a statement. “The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power.”

Speaker Paul Ryan called the ethics accusations “a distraction” and stood by Nunes’ decision to step away, putting Reps. Mike Conaway and Trey Gowdy at the helm.

“I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as committee chairman, and I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims,” Nunes said.

Nunes obtained document references leaked through the intelligence community, and used the White House’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) to view those documents without informing his committee members. Then Bloomberg’s Eli Lake blew the lid off the leaking, exposing former Obama minion Susan Rice as the unmasker-in-chief for Trump “incidental” surveillance.

Here’s the problem, which Lake clearly stated: Is the story about Trump’s Russia ties, or is it about Obama’s surveillance of Trump using the Russia investigation as cover?

Let me suggest that both stories are something-burgers. Depending on where the facts lead, we will know whether Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was justified in unmasking the names of Trump transition officials or whether the media’s obsession with the government’s Russia investigation was warranted.

I don’t think Rice’s unmasking can be justified. But now, Nunes is out of the way (temporarily), leaving the Democrats room to try to paper that over while playing up the “White House coverup” angle because Nunes went there alone.

The ethics accusations are also something-burgers, but really thin and weak. Politically, it’s better for Nunes to step away. It’s lawfare and political grandstanding by the Democrats, to be sure. They and their media lapdogs really don’t want this investigation cleared up. They want to make hay with it until Trump’s term is done or he quits.

Any Republican who dares to use the Left’s own tactics, leakers, news sources, or the White House to expose the truth will be attacked with lawfare to get them out of the way. Democrats did it to Attorney General Jeff Sessions (which was absolutely a nothingburger), and now they’ve done it to Rep. Devin Nunes.

Leaks Cut Both Ways: Adam Schiff Mum After Viewing Nunes Intelligence

During the House Intelligence Committee hearings, ranking Democrat Rep Adam Schiff made a great show of FBI Director Comey’s refutation of President Trump’s accusations of “wiretapping.” He and fellow Democrat Terri Sewell did a great job grandstanding and making hay off the president’s unsupported accusations.

What has Schiff seen that’s silenced him?

Remember, leaks cut both ways. A leaker gave the New York Times and the Washington Post information about “surveillance” on Trump that fed stories of smoke and fire on various campaign and administration associates connections with the Russians. Another leaker fed specific highly classified document references to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. Nunes worked with White House staffers to gain access to those documents in a secure fashion, without informing his fellow committee members.

That was undoubtedly against procedure, but Nunes had no idea what he was going to see, and no way to see the documents without going through the White House. It’s not as if the CIA, DIA, NSA, or any other intelligence community agency was about to go along with a document request.

We don’t know what Nunes saw, but we do know that it indicated there was some “incidental” data collection on Trump’s campaign and that information was available to the Obama administration. It’s now surfaced that Susan Rice requested specific “by name” intelligence data on Trump staffers.

Schiff has now seen what Nunes saw. His response should be troubling for those grandstanding Democrats. “While I cannot discuss the content of the documents, if the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities,” the statement read.

Schiff’s biggest complaint is why the White House shared the documents with Nunes before the rest of the committee. This is all explained by the narrative Streiff suggested Friday at RedState.

  • Leaker gives Nunes list of document serial numbers.
  • Nunes asks White House — probably one of the two lawyers fingered by the NYT as leakers — for help retrieving the documents because of agency stonewalling.
  • NSC intel guy retrieves the documents and passes them to White House counsel for clearance. This part alone makes this sequence believable to me. The NSC intel chief is on thin ice with McMaster, the odds of him defying McMaster by collaborating with Nunes on his own as a “leaker” seemed to me to approach zero.
  • Nunes visits White House SCIF and views documents that have been retrieved.

This is backed up by the fact that the CIA moved to have National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster reassign Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director of intelligence. Trump belayed that order.

It appears that Schiff has no answer for the documents that were leaked to Nunes. The intelligence community has been caught with its pinky in the pushke, and they don’t like it at all. The documents should now be shared with the entire House Intelligence Committee, and hopefully the Department of Justice. Whatever went on between Trump and Russia, it is not a bigger story than the abuse of intelligence information that seems to be rampant in the intelligence community.

Instead of “Nixon-Watergate,” we are more likely looking at a “Scooter Libby-Valerie Plame” scenario. Fellow billionaire and Trump-watcher Mark Cuban’s take is worth reading. The short version is that Trump simply did what businessmen do–he didn’t use Russian influence to win the election–and Trump didn’t have the situational awareness to organize that kind of scandal if he could have.

There was a concentrated effort to stop Trump, and it’s looking likely that members of our intelligence community were complicit in that effort to some degree.

Leaks cut both ways. It’s time for our intelligence folks to put their cards on the table with the administration and Congress. It’s also time for Democrats in Congress and their media minions to quit their single-minded effort to destroy Trump. But I’m pretty sure that’s asking too much.

Carly Fiorina Agrees That a Special Commission May Be Neccessary in Russia Probe

Few Republicans have spoken up to ask for an independent investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, or the connected case of alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower.

During an interview on Wednesday, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 presidential hopeful, Carly Fiorina, spoke up on the subject.

“We’ve got to have either a special prosecutor or an independent commission, and that’s still the right answer,” she said Wednesday on “The John Fredericks Show,” as first reported by CNN.

“And every day that goes by it becomes clear that’s the right answer, because the Democrats will not let this go,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added.

“And the American people need to be reassured about what actually happened here. That’s the only way you’re going to get to the bottom of this in a way that everyone trusts.”

And she has a point.

The behavior of House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has caused some to call that he immediately recuse himself, as they doubt he can carry out his duties as chairman.

Nunes shook up the investigation immediately after the hearings began, by holding a press conference to announce that he’d met with a secret source and seen evidence that members of Trump’s team had been “incidentally surveilled,” which is not the same as being intentionally targeted.

Nunes has refused to reveal his source, has not revealed what evidence he has, not even to the very committee he chairs, and has only discussed the evidence with the president.

To further compound the situation, it appears Nunes was on White House grounds to talk with his source the day before he held his press conference, leading some to believe that the White House was his source.

Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.) on Tuesday became the first Republican in Congress to call for Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation.

“If anything has shown that we need [an independent] commission, this has done it by the way he has acted,” he told The Hill just off the House floor.

And of course, as is to be expected, Democrats have called for his recusal, as well.

Nunes, to date, has refused to step aside and Republican lawmakers on the House Intel Committee have circled the wagons, vouching for his integrity and protecting him from calls to recuse himself.

Frankly, this is the worst of partisan politics.

When Democrats circled the wagons around Hillary Clinton during the hearings into her handling of emails, Republicans were appalled.

Likewise, they should hold their own to an equally high standard. Nunes’ actions, at the very least, present the public with an awful set of optics. It could easily be construed as a cover up.
Fiorina and Rep. Jones represent the fair and reasonable voices in this potentially explosive situation.

We want this investigation handled in a way that leaves not even a hint of corruption or partisan favoritism. An independent commission could be the only solution.

Tantrum-Throwing Schumer Demands That The House Kick Nunes Off His Committee

In his latest childish fit, Senator Chuck Schumer took to the floor of the Senate on Monday to demand that House Speaker Paul Ryan replace Rep. Devin Nunes as head of the House Intelligence Committee after Nunes presented information to President Donald Trump suggesting that then-candidate Trump had been subject to secret wiretapping.

“Unfortunately, the House Intelligence Committee has come under a cloud of suspicion and partisanship,” Schumer said, making his case against Nunes. “A few months ago, Chairman Nunes spoke to reporters at the request of the White House to tamp down stories on the links between the Trump campaign and Russia, which is exactly what his committee is now investigating. This past week, Chairman Nunes broke with committee process and tradition to brief the president on information he learned but hadn’t yet shared with the committee. Now we learn this morning that Chairman Nunes was at the White House the day before that event — doing what? We don’t know.

“You cannot have the person in charge of an impartial investigation be partial to one side,” Schumer declared. “It’s an inherent contradiction. And it undermines decades of bipartisan cooperation on the Intelligence Committee, which handles such sensitive information paramount to national security.”

Nunes became a lightning rod for controversy when he went directly to the president with the information he had, while he has yet to present that information to the committee. Democrats, like Schumer of course, argue that Nunes’ actions constitute a breach of protocol, while Republicans brush the claims off as irrelevant to the investigation.

What will Speaker Ryan and/or President Trump do in response to Schumer’s demands, and more importantly, will they make Schumer cry – again?

BREAKING: Ranking Intelligence Member Schiff (D) Asks Nunes To Recuse From Russia Probe

Just minutes ago, ranking House Intelligence Member Adam Schiff released a public statement demanding that Chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the committee’s probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Nunes (R-CA) recently made headlines by publicly admitting that Trump Tower and his transition team were effectively wiretapped by former Obama administration officials, confirming President Trump’s claims that many in the mainstream media have dismissed as conspiracy theory.

Now, Rep. Schiff (D-CA), is demanding that Nunes recuse himself from any further investigation into Russian activities, comparing Nunes’ comments to those of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

What do you think? Should Rep. Nunes recuse himself? Or is Rep. Schiff out of line? Let us know by sharing this article on Twitter with your thoughts and tagging @Resurgent!

The Leak to CNN Does Not Confirm What You Think It Does

There are no coincidences. It is not a coincidence that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes spoke to reporters today and said the FBI has not been cooperative and only a few hours later CNN is running a salacious story alleging Trump campaign staff just might have coordinated with the Russians.

In his sworn testimony the other day, James Comey said this:

Leaks have always been a problem. I read over the weekend subjects from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln complaining about them. But I do think in the last six weeks and couple of months there’s been, at least apparently, a lot of conversation about classified matters that’s ending up in the media, and a lot of it is just dead wrong which is one of the challenges because we don’t correct it. It does strike me there’s been a lot of people talking or at least reporters saying people are talking to them in ways that have struck me as unusually active.

Notice the wording in the CNN story:

One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests “people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.” But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it’s premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it’s largely circumstantial.

So we have an entire, salacious story being run based on ONE law enforcement official with multiple other law enforcement officials saying it is premature to draw conclusions. What do you think the odds are that the ONE law enforcement official is a Democrat?

This story is making waves because the Democrats need it to and reporters these days are hired and fired based on how much traffic they bring to newsroom websites. That symbiotic relationship is generating fake news and exaggerated news.

To quote FBI Director James Comey, “A lot of conversation about classified matters that’s ending up in the media, and a lot of it is just dead wrong.” Let’s wait and see. Let’s also note the timing — it comes after Nunes’s press conference in which he largely dismissed the seriousness of the story. Suddenly there’s a new story to make it serious again.

This reeks of partisan opportunism.

Nunes Statement Does Not Confirm Trump Tweets

Comments made today by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R- Calif.) are being construed by many on the right to confirm President Trump’s tweets alleging that the Obama Administration wiretapped the Trump Tower during the campaign. In reality, Chairman Nunes’s statement falls short of substantiating Trump’s claims, but does allege misbehavior by the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes said in Politico. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes described the surveillance as “incidental collection,” which Politico notes “can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be ‘unmasked’ by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.”

Nunes’ statement does not seem to be a revelation. The story that Trump aides were under investigation for their ties to Russia broke before the election. The evidence of Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak came from FBI surveillance of the Russian official. This would fall under the category of “incidental collection.”

Nothing in Chairman Nunes statement indicates that there was any surveillance targeted at Mr. Trump or the Trump Tower. In fact, Nunes reiterated that he had no evidence that any surveillance was conducted in the Trump Tower.

Nunes identified four concerns about the new information. First, that information was “incidentally collected” about members of the Trump transition team. Second, details about members of the transition team “with little or no intelligence value” were widely disseminated in intelligence circles. Third, additional members of the transition were “unmasked” by the surveillance. Finally, Nunes said, “None of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or the Trump team.”

Nunes said that the Intelligence Committee planned to investigate further to determine who was aware of the intelligence collection, why it was not reported to Congress, who requested the additional unmasking, whether there was any direction to focus on the Trump team and whether any laws were broken.

“Investigators are not supposed to ‘brief’ the folks being investigated,” retorted Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that members of the Trump campaign were under investigation for their ties to Russia, but, at the same time, said that he had “no information” to substantiate Trump’s wiretap claim. Comey also noted that “no individual in the United States can direct electronic surveillance of anyone.”

If Nunes had actually confirmed that President-elect Trump had been under surveillance, then Director Comey would have necessarily been lying. If Comey lied to Congress, especially on an issue in which he conflicted with President Trump, the president would have no choice but to fire him. The fact that Comey has not been dismissed is proof of the lack of evidence for Trump’s claim.

While President Trump told Fox News that he felt “vindicated” by Chairman Nunes’s statement, as commander-in-chief, Trump would have both the access and the authority to present evidence to substantiate his wiretapping claim if any such evidence existed. Numerous Republicans have urged the president to back up his claim with evidence, but nothing has been forthcoming.

Last week, Press Secretary Sean Spicer even attempted to soften the president’s accusations by saying on CNN, “The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.” Spicer also said that Trump’s tweets referred to the Obama Administration as a whole rather than the former president individually, even though one tweet called Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy!” [The exclamation is present in the original tweet].

The entire brouhaha over the wiretapping tweet has followed the classic pattern that starts with Donald Trump making an outlandish claim. When asked to withdraw or back up his statement, Trump typically doubles down without providing evidence. At that point, pundits start twisting facts as well as the president’s words to make each match the other.

At this point, there are numerous loose ends to tie up. The FBI investigation of Russian meddling and links to Team Trump is still underway. The House investigation of intelligence dissemination of Team Trump is just getting started. There are many unknowns but one thing seems certain: Obama did not wiretap Trump Tower.