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 Electronic Frontier Foundation
 Electronic Frontier Foundation
 Electronic Frontier Foundation
John R. Hall
Little Ricky / John R. Hall

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, at the break of dawn, President Trump without foresight and seemingly without thought took to Twitter and tweeted that former President Obama had tapped his “wires.” Shortsightedness, void of facts or evidence, is Trump’s forte. He is deft in delivering falsehoods, leaving surrogates to explain and sweep away the fallout. Before his fixers could contain the irrational and bizarre accusation of Obama, Trump doubled down, which is another talent the Tweeter in Chief possesses in spades, and called for a Congressional investigation of Obama’s alleged wiretap.

That call for official action trumped all of Trump’s previous buffoonery. He obviously did not think through either of those presidential proclamations because it is impossible for a president to unilaterally order surveillance of a citizen or an entity; and because if there was—or is—covert communication surveillance being conducted on the Trump camp, that means that a judge, probably under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), due to the time frame of the suspected snooping that Trump claims happened, found probable cause to grant a request to legally eavesdrop when issuing a warrant. An investigation will shine a blinding light on the “probable cause” for shadowing Trump, or his associates, either foreign or domestic, if surveillance did occur.

Trump’s obtuse behavior about being spied upon by Obama might have been trumped and eventually faded from the headlines by the constant bombardment of bullshit coming from his administration and its cohorts if he had not cried out for an official inquiry.

At this point though, it’s going to be tougher (probably impossible) for Trump’s team to put the genie back in the bottle because Congress took him up on his offer to look in to why he would be a person of interest—a usual suspect—by the intelligence community charged with protecting America. Trump’s private modus operandi, if a surveillance order was issued, will be made public. Just what might be dredged up from Trump’s dank and murky swamp is anyone’s bet.

In a rare display of bipartisan support, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), asked the justice department to release any documents that would support Trump’s claim that he was “tapp” [sic]. Due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions being forced to recuse himself last week from any investigation involving Russia and the Trump campaign, since he either lied, misled, perjured himself, or felt he did not need to be forthcoming to Congress (see “Nurse Ratched is Returning—The Party Sessions are Ending (Jeff), acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente is in charge of the ongoing Russia-Trump probe.

“We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders—redacted as necessary to protect intelligence sources and methods that may be compromised by disclosure, and to protect any ongoing investigations—related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower,” wrote Graham and Whitehouse.  “We will be glad to review any such applications and orders once they are disclosed, and proceed as appropriate with the oversight the President has requested,” USA Today reported.

It will be bad enough for Trump if his claims against Obama are warrantless. That would leave him vulnerable to legal action for libelous behavior. But, if the wiretapping occurred (for the record, it would be the administration of Obama via a court order and not Obama personally), then Trump will be caught like a deer in the glaring headlights due to the merits of the surveillance warrant that allowed the authorities to listen in on him and on Trump Tower, and on Trump’s team.

Mr. President, since crazed out Kellyanne Conway has been momentarily neutralized for unethical behavior due to advertising for Ivanka’s clothing line, and for lying, and for articulating alternative facts, you’ll be on your own to provide explanations regardless of the outcome of the investigation you requested.

In other words, sir, you got some splainin to do!

Post Scriptum: “Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; And your own lips testify against you” (Job 15:6).


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John R. Hall is a James Copley Scholarship for Journalism recipient. John studied journalism, psychology, communications & drama at City College, San Diego, California. John has largely traveled through life as a single and childless rolling stone, collecting little moss. He has been employed in numerous industries: first as a KFC dishwasher, then a Red Lion busboy, followed by soda jerking for Dairy Queen. All of that occurred before Uncle Sam whispered in his ear and he donned the olive drab green as a soldier in the U.S. Army. After that non Yankee Doodle Dandy duty was over, he attempted a career in entertainment, performing comedy and magic. When those opportunities disappeared, John reappeared in the transportation industry as a taxi and truck driver. He's been a barkeep, a hotel manager, a street performer, a professional student, a business manager, a dispatcher, an oil field professional, and an IT/IS professional; He's even been a procurer of substances. John developed and maintains both HuntingForThompson.com and HALLESQUE.com. All of this basically makes him an omnipotent . . . (in his own mind, which, as he says: "Is all that counts").