Tapping that Russian Server
Early Saturday morning Donald Trump lit Twitter ablaze with allegations former President Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 election. In a flurry of early morning Tweets, Mr. Trump directly accused him of Nixonian like investigative tactics, to the point of McCarthyism. Trump stated, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Towel just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”
In referring to “McCarthyism” he harkens back to Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, who in the years following World War II unceremoniously investigated Americans for supposed ties to communism and the Soviet Union. The accusation of McCarthyism has recently been invoked by Trump (and surrogates) as well as Russia to attack the growing concerns the Trump campaign was in colluding with the Russian government during the campaign.
Mr. Trump went on to Tweet, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp[tap] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” Mr. Trump’s assertion a wiretap was in effect at Trump tower during the election may be accurate. Reports surfaced around October of last year, the FBI was investigating a secret server inside of Trump Tower (New York) which was being used to communicate with Alfa Bank of Russia. A FISA warrant was granted in October which allowed the sever to be investigated. The Department of Justice defines the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) as, “FISA, as amended, establishes procedures for the authorization of electronic surveillance, use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches, and business records for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence.”
Mr. Trump may be correct certain electronic communications in Trump Tower were being “tapped” during the election. However, the request for the FISA warrant would not have come from the president, it is the jurisdiction of the FBI to conduct domestic investigations with a possible foreign connection. The Trump Organization has denied a server was communicating with entities Russia during the campaign.