Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Confirm or Deny


The FBI asked the Justice Department to refute President Trump's assertion that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump's phones last year.

The FBI made the request because such wiretapping would be illegal, since a President cannot just order the eavesdropping of a citizen's phones.  A court would have to approve any request to wiretap.  The sources wouldn’t say who was involved in the conversations between the FBI and DOJ or what role FBI Director James Comey might have played.

The FBI felt saying something publicly about the allegations would be more appropriate for the Justice Department to make, since the bureau as a policy of not confirming or denying investigations.  It was felt to be more appropriate politically for the Justice Department to handle, because they’re freer to talk to the White House about such matters.

The Justice Department hasn’t said anything about Trump's tweets, in which he made the wiretapping allegations.  When asked about the FBI request, a Justice Department spokesperson said he had no comment.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling.  President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.  Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.” 

The FBI hasn’t made another comment.  However, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a career intelligence official who had oversight of the US intelligence community announced: "For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign."

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