Trump Goes Nuclear With Claim Obama Wiretapped Him During Election [Updated]

Early this morning, President Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets accusing then-President Barack Obama of wiretapping his office in Trump Tower during the presidential election:

This is the most explosive political allegation in many years, far more explosive than Watergate. Is it true? I assume it has some basis in fact, e.g., Trump’s security people may have told him that they detected a tap on one or more of his phone lines. I have no idea how that works, or why it would only be detected now, or how the presence of a wire tap could be connected to the Obama administration. But it seems unlikely that Trump would make such a dynamite allegation without some kind of support.

I also wonder what Trump means by “turned down by court earlier.” It sounds like the Obama administration applied for a tap on Trump’s phones at some point, and was denied. Is it possible that Obama later succeeded in getting a wire tap order from a partisan judge, and that is what has now come to light? That is hard to imagine, but there are some very bad federal judges. The comment “nothing found” may support this interpretation.

At this point, it is all quite mysterious. But the claim is nuclear, and I can’t believe it is wholly without basis. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Scott emails:

Someone in the intelligence/law enforcement bureaucracy had a applied for a FISA warrant to tap the Trump people in June, It was turned down. Renewed and granted in October, I think. The details are out there. That’s what he’s talking about.

This is astonishing to me, as I have never heard a word about this story. If the Obama administration abused the FISA process to wiretap a political opponent, it is a scandal of the first order–the worst political scandal of my lifetime, easily. And the press has known about it and covered it up? Unbelievable.

But if this is a story that has been out there for a while, why does Trump say he “just found out”? Sounds like at a minimum there are new developments. We will see.

FURTHER UPDATE: More from Glenn Reynolds:

I THINK TRUMP NEEDS TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS CHARGE. Mark Levin: Was Obama Using NSA Against Trump During 2016 Campaign?

LBJ used government resources to spy on opponents. Why should we think Obama wouldn’t?
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The FISA court found the application so weak that it said no — which it never does — and the Obama Administration came back with a narrower one, which may or may not have mentioned Trump specifically, which was granted, shortly before the election.

It is too late to impeach Obama, but the FISA application should be carefully reviewed, and if appropriate, the judges who issued the warrant should be investigated. If it was issued on partisan grounds, it is not too late to impeach the judges who authorized the improper wiretap.

FINAL UPDATE: Much more here and here. Notably, Obama’s spokesman doesn’t deny that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump’s campaign, but merely quibbles about the chain of command.

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