NYT: FBI Didn’t Spy On Trump, They Just Had Informants Secretly Ask About Trump-Russia Under False Pretenses
Imagine you are in a courtroom, hearing a defense attorney in a murder trial arguing to the judge that his client did not actually commit the murder despite all the evidence clearly pointing to him as being guilty. Imagine the defense attorney then attempts to argue the definition of “murder” and says: “Your Honor, my client did not murder the victim; he simply un-alived her without her consent.”
You would think that’s a pretty stupid argument, correct? And yet, that’s the sort of argument the New York Times tried to make recently about the FBI spying on the Trump campaign in 2016.
The NYT ran a piece where they attempted to downplay what will be in the Inspector General’s report regarding Obama-era FISA abuses and FBI spying into the Trump campaign before the 2016 presidential election.
Of course, the NYT doesn’t have the IG report yet because it will be released on December 9th. So what is their source of information? “People familiar with a draft” of the report aka anonymous sources that may or may not exist.
Here is a chunk of what the NYT wrote:
“The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.”
“… The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped. The startling accusation generated headlines but Mr. Trump never backed it up.”
“The finding is one of several by Mr. Horowitz that undercuts conservatives’ claims that the F.B.I. acted improperly in investigating several Trump associates starting in 2016. He also found that F.B.I. leaders did not take politically motivated actions in pursuing a secret wiretap on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page – eavesdropping that Mr. Trump’s allies have long decried as politically motivated.”
It’s interesting that they would say that conservatives were claiming the FBI was spying on Trump, because that is also what the New York Times essentially admits later on IN THIS VERY PIECE.
Later in the piece, we read:
“The F.B.I was cognizant of being seen as interfering with a presidential campaign, and former law enforcement officials are adamant that they did not investigate the Trump campaign organization itself or target it for infiltration. But agents had to investigate the four advisers’ ties with Russia, and the people they did scrutinize all played roles in the Trump campaign.”
“Mr. Trump and his allies have pointed to some of the investigative steps the F.B.I. took as evidence of spying, though they were typical law enforcement activities. For one, agents had an informant, an academic named Stefan A. Halper, meet with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopalous while they were affiliated with the campaign. The president decried the revelation as an ‘all time biggest political scandal’ when it emerged last year.”
“The F.B.I. did have an undercover agent who posed as Mr. Halper’s assistant during a London meeting with Mr. Papadopalous in August 2016…”
So what exactly do we have here? An outright contradiction within the NYT piece. Read the very first part I shared with you again. The NYT said earlier that the report would find that there was “no evidence” that the FBI tried to “place undercover agents or informants inside” the Trump campaign. And later on, they say that they DID place undercover agents and informants, at least to engage in conversation with members of the Trump campaign under false pretenses to discuss Trump campaign affairs and report any information discovered back to the FBI.
That’s called “SPYING”. What’s worse is that this isn’t even the first time the NYT tried something exactly like this. Back in May of 2018, they had the following piece: “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.”
Let me go back to my original hypothetical scenario of the courtroom scene. The defense attorney (NYT) has just claimed that his client (the FBI) did not murder the victim (spy on Trump) but simply caused her life to end by his hands without her consent (used an informant to extract information from Trump campaign staffers and report back to the FBI). Do you think the defense attorney is using an even semi-decent argument? OF COURSE NOT! He’s trying to make a distinction without a difference. He’s basically saying the same thing but trying to make it mean something else entirely.
“I didn’t rob the bank, your Honor, I just forcefully made a manual withdrawal of all the money in the safe while threatening to kill people with my gun.” It’s an insanely idiotic argument, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from the New York Times. How many stories have I written myself that discuss the outright idiocy of this “news” organization? How many stories have they written that I did not write about myself that are equally as stupid?
I don’t know what the IG report will ultimately say, but if it doesn’t fully acknowledge the FBI’s egregious attempts at spying on the Trump campaign, and in particular, James Comey’s actions of using the defunct Steele dossier as a means to try and get FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, then Horowitz messed up badly. Even by the NYT’s own admission, there were informants looking into the Trump campaign under false pretenses and trying to report back whatever they found. What the FBI did is out in the open and is, as Trump says, the all-time biggest political scandal in American history.
If this wasn’t about politics and only about possible ties to a foreign government, why didn’t the FBI look into Hillary’s ties to Russia and Ukraine? If this behavior is perfectly “normal” for law enforcement practice, why didn’t they plant a spy, oh, sorry, I mean an informant, into the Hillary campaign? With all the allegations regarding her and the Clinton Foundation’s foreign assistance, why didn’t the FBI think to look at her too, if this wasn’t about politics?
It’s not like there was any actual proof of Russian ties to the Trump campaign or the staffers themselves; just allegations. So if that was all it took, why did Hillary get a pass despite all the allegations surrounding her?
Rhetorical questions, all, as we definitely know the answer. The Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign, something Lisa Page and Peter Strzok acknowledged given their texts about the then-POTUS knowing about it and given the “insurance policy” Strzok mentioned.
No amount of mental gymnastics and word redefining will erase the fact that the FBI, under orders from Obama, spied on the Trump campaign.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
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