The latest wrinkle in the imbroglio is the revelation that while surveilling individual targets presumed to be foreign diplomats, some within the Trump operation were observed incidentally(2). The problem is that such Americans assumed to be innocent are supposed to remain “masked” with their identities not revealed in official documents.
However, the Trump people who were revealed during the investigation were “unmasked” and were referred to by their actual names in documents and briefings. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was caught lying about his contact with Russian officials and was forced to resign.
Now, according to a letter(3) sent by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch to Rep. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the surveillance of Trump and his associates may have been far more extensive than is being admitted in the media. In fact, Klayman accuses FBI Director James Comey of lying to Congress about the intelligence gathering operation as part of a cover-up.
Klayman is basing this accusation on the testimony of Dennis Montgomery, described as a former contractor for both the NSA and the CIA who he says has documents that prove his allegations.
Montgomery claims that the Obama administration conducted an illegal investigation of Donald Trump and his associates, as well as a number of other prominent people, including justices of the Supreme Court, lower court judges, and Klayman himself over a period of two years. Montgomery attempted to go through regular channels, contacting the FBI and various congressional oversight committees, but saw his accusations fall on deaf ears. Montgomery has now retained Klayman’s services.
Klayman makes the claim that the cover-up extends to congressional intelligence and oversight committees, this being the reason that Montgomery was turned away and his accusations not listened to.
Biggest Scandal Since Watergate
If the allegations being levied by Klayman and Montgomery are true, they will constitute the biggest scandal since Watergate. Intelligence agencies are not supposed to surveil American citizens since counterintelligence is a purview of the FBI. Montgomery apparently has not publically revealed what the excuse was for investigating Donald Trump or any of the others, except perhaps to dig up dirt on them.
Other presidents, such as Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, engaged in similar behavior. But the post-Watergate reforms were supposed to stop this kind of illegal surveillance of American citizens, even if they are political enemies of the president.
President Barack Obama has developed a well-deserved reputation as someone who regards the United States Constitution as a document of suggestions. From the effort to use the IRS to harass the Tea Party to the operation that would up selling guns to drug cartels, the previous administration behaved in a lawless fashion. The one question in each of these scandals, as well as the one Klayman and Montgomery are alleging, is what did the former president know, and when did he know it? Whatever proof Montgomery claims is in his possession has not yet been publicly revealed.
Klayman and Montgomery
Now, ordinarily such allegations such as are being levied by Klayman and Montgomery are so serious that they should merit investigation. But there is one problem. Dennis Montgomery has a well-deserved reputation as a con artist(4).
When Montgomery was part of a company called eTreppid back he sold the federal government software that he claimed would detect hidden Al Qaeda messages in Al Jazeera broadcasts and identify terrorists based on drone videos. He won millions of dollars in federal contracts for the software that was later described as an elaborate hoax. The affair eventually caused Gov. Jim Gibbons of Nevada to be accused of accepting bribes while in Congress to obtain contacts for Montgomery’s company. The FBI eventually declined to charge the governor. Montgomery also entered into a relationship with Sheriff Joe Arpaio with the claim that his software could uncover a plot against him alleged to have been concocted by the Justice Department and a federal judge involved in a racial profiling case against Arpaio, a claim that turned out to be bogus.
So it looks like all of the government agencies and congressional committees that turned Montgomery away had good reason to do so. Obama may be capable of doing everything that Klayman and Montgomery claim he did, but anyone would be a fool to believe it just on their say so.
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