"Patriots are not revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government of the United States.
Patriots are Counter-Revolutionaries trying to prevent the government from overthrowing the Constitution."
The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
House Intel Memo Shows Just How Politicized The Obama Administration Had Become
The following article appeared in the
Federalist on February 2nd
The House Intelligence Committee memo
on alleged FISA abuses by federal authorities reveals, above all, how
politicized the DOJ and FBI were under Obama.
is out, and it’s bad. It shows, unequivocally, that the Federal Bureau of
Investigation used political opposition research paid for by the Democratic
National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to get a secret court
warrant to spy on a Trump campaign member.
Obama, Comey and Mueller
It also shows that the FBI omitted
vital information in its warrant request to the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Namely, the FBI kept asking for warrant renewals
(FISA wiretapping permission expires after 90 days) without telling the court
the FBI itself had dismissed Christopher Steele, who generated the opposition
research, for lying to the FBI and leaking his relationship with the agency to
the press. Both are not only unethical but likely illegal.
It also shows that Steele was utterly
biased, that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was
passionate about him not being president.” We know that because Steele admitted
it to Bruce Ohr, then a senior DOJ official, whose wife was working for Fusion
GPS, the firm the DNC and the Clinton campaign hired to produce the Steele
The memo reveals a lot of outrageous
stuff. Everyone should read it (it’s only four pages, go
read it). But the most important and shocking thing the memo shows is how
utterly politicized the Justice Department and FBI had become by the end of
Barack Obama’s term.
We should have seen this coming. The
Obama administration politicized everything it touched, from the Internal
Revenue Service to the DOJ to the National Security Council—agencies that are
supposed to be above partisan politics. Under Obama, they were all put in
service of nakedly political aims, often in ways that drew censure from the
judiciary, and always in ways that violated the U.S. Constitution. This is
something conservatives have warned for centuries is a feature, not a bug, of
big government through administrative agencies. Power corrupts, remember?
IRS Was a Political Operation
Remember Frank VanderSloot? He was
one of eight Mitt Romney donors that an Obama campaign website targeted in April
2012, listing each by name and condemning them for the crime of having donated
to Obama’s opponent. The post described VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual”
with a “less-then-reputable record.”
It didn’t stop with this public
shaming of a private citizen. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel later
noted, the Obama campaign’s site was a clear signal to harass and
intimidate Romney donors, which is exactly what happened:
Twelve days later, a man working for
a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr.
VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and
his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of
Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch.
In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses.
Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the
four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only
concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr.
VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and
estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn’t account for what the
president’s vilification has done to his business and reputation.
Using the IRS to target political
enemies was nothing new for the Obama administration in 2012. In Obama’s
January 2010 State of the Union address, he infamously disparaged the U.S.
Supreme Court—to the justices’ faces—for its ruling in Citizens United.
He claimed the ruling would “open the floodgates for special interests” to
influence elections—by which he meant conservative groups. He returned to this
theme again and again in subsequent speeches, warning that Citizens United
would enable shadowy organizations, maybe even foreign-controlled corporations,
to infiltrate our politics with “dark money.”
Obama’s message was clear: these
conservative advocacy groups should be targeted. The IRS got the message, and
from 2010 to 2013 it systematically targeted conservative nonprofits applying
for tax-exempt status. If your group had “tea party” or “patriots” in its name,
the IRS came after you. Hundreds of individuals and groups, mostly comprised of
private citizens with moderate means, were subjected to exhaustive and
expensive IRS audits. The feds demanded detailed donor and member information,
reading lists, and in some cases the contents of prayers offered at meetings.
The applications were held up for years.
Last October, the IRS signed a consent
decree in federal court admitting that it targeted conservative groups. But
of course nothing
ever happened to those responsible. The IRS official at the heart of the
targeting scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with a full pension and no disciplinary
action was ever taken against any IRS employee. When the scandal broke in 2013,
Obama feigned outrage, calling the agency’s behavior “outrageous” and assuring
the public that the IRS should be “held fully accountable.”
But of course the IRS was simply
responding to Obama’s openly expressed suggestion that these groups were
suspicious and improperly engaged in campaigning. Obama didn’t have to issue a
direct order to get the IRS to do his political dirty work, he just had to make
Just The IRS
The same sort of politicization and
abuse of power unfolded throughout the executive branch under Obama. Consider
the contraceptive mandate. The Affordable Care Act invested the U.S. secretary
of Health and Human Services with enormous power over the country’s health
insurance markets, including the ability to define what sort of contraceptive
coverage employers had to provide. Employers with strong religious objections
to contraception and related abortifacients, like Hobby Lobby and the Little
Sisters of the Poor (an order of Catholic nuns who care for the poor elderly),
were effectively told by the Obama administration to shut up and violate their
In both of those cases, Obama’s
Justice Department went all the way to the Supreme Court to try to force those
employers to comply with the dictates of the HHS secretary. That Obama’s
Justice Department failed in both cases shouldn’t diminish the fact that both
HHS and DOJ carried on a highly politicized campaign against religious
conservatives who refused to go along with federal rules stemming from Obama’s
signature legislative accomplishment.
Politicization took different forms
elsewhere in the administration. Early on in his first term, Obama put a bunch
of political hacks in charge of foreign policy by stocking the National
Security Council—an institution that’s supposed to be apolitical and is
traditionally staffed by foreign policy professionals from the military and the
intelligence agencies—with the likes of Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor, a campaign
speechwriter and a press aide.
They were part of an NSC headed by
Democratic political operative and former Fannie Mae lobbyist Tom Donilon. It
was this thoroughly politicized NSC that decided, in the aftermath of Benghazi,
to spin the whole thing and blame it on an Internet video. It was this NSC that
advised Obama to do nothing after Bashar al Assad crossed the president’s
chemical weapon “red line,” then later blame Congress for inaction. It was this
NSC that counseled Obama to set a withdrawal date in Afghanistan, a “reset”
with Russia, and proceed with transparently political stunts like the Bergdahl
Is the Latest of Many Obama-era Abuses
Now we have the memo showing just how
politicized the FBI and DOJ had become in the waning months of the Obama
administration. None of the FISA applications the FBI filed to surveil Page
disclosed that the Steele dossier, on which the warrant request relied, was
funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. The
Steele dossier was nothing more than paid political opposition research, yet it
was used as evidence by the FBI to warrant spying on an American citizen who
was volunteering for the Trump campaign. As the memo itself makes clear, a FISA
warrant would never have been issued if it hadn’t been for the dossier.
For anyone who has been following
this story, the memo is shocking and much worse than what many people expected.
It details nothing less than the abuse of FISA wiretapping—a civil liberty
concern Democrats used to care about. What’s worse, that abuse was carried out
by the Obama DOJ for unashamedly political purposes, to tarnish the Trump
campaign with the “Russia collusion” smear and put a thumb on the scales for
Shocking, yes. But perhaps not
surprising, given what we saw for eight years under Obama. Is it any wonder
that his administration’s politicized intelligence agencies, on the eve of a
presidential election, took steps to ensure a Democratic successor?