Spying on the Trump Campaign Now an Issue, Finally

Spying on the Trump Campaign Now an Issue, Finally, by Paul Mirengoff.

Things haven’t gone well for James Comey lately. First, his friend Robert Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and did not find that President Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey or by any other action. And now Attorney General William Barr says he needs to explore whether the intelligence community engaged in improper spying on the Trump campaign. …

Barr is saying that spying occurred but it might not have been proper. Comey is saying spying didn’t occur because the surveillance was proper.

Since Barr is taking no position at this point as to whether the surveillance was proper, Comey’s dispute with him is a semantic one.

Barr has the better of the semantics. Tapping someone’s phone is a form of spying on that person, court order or not. A court order doesn’t change the nature of the act it authorizes, it just affirms its legality. But the semantics don’t matter because Barr agrees with Comey that if the spying was pursuant to a court order properly obtained, then the spying is not problematic. …

If Comey’s FBI conducted itself properly in obtaining its court orders, the former director has nothing to worry about. But that’s a big “if.”

Spying (in the normal sense of the word) on the Trump campaign by the FBI etc. occurred. Comey admits that. It’s now just a matter of determining whether it was legal.