Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Is there any legal way to overturn this?


I'm infuriated to learn that potential evidence in the alleged interception of communications between some members of President Trump's election team has been placed out of reach of investigators.

The National Security Council cannot hand over records relating to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s surveillance of Americans, because they have been moved to the Obama presidential library and may be sealed for as many as five years, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Monday.

. . .

Judicial Watch earlier this year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for those documents, including of communications between Rice and any intelligence community member or agency regarding any Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers, or any suspected communications between Russia and Trump officials.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the group will seek to find out when the records were moved, and warned of legal actions.

. . .

The Wall Street Journal editorial board has argued Rice had no reason to request the unmaskings. Since then, the House intelligence committee has also subpoenaed the intelligence community for information on unmasking requests by Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

There's more at the link.

I have no doubt whatsoever that this transparently duplicitous maneuver was performed precisely to hide illegal monitoring of President Trump's campaign by the Obama administration.  There is no logical reason whatsoever why unmasking requests by Ms. Rice should form part of President Obama's library.  To place them behind that firewall can only be an attempt to prevent them being used in investigations and (possibly) prosecutions.  No other explanation seems possible.

I hope this can be overturned, and the records made available.  If it can't be done under existing law, then I want Congress and the Senate to change the law to make them accessible.  This maneuver was nothing more or less than an obstruction of justice.  It must be overturned, or the rule of law (what's left of it, at any rate) will become nothing more than a hollow mockery.

Oh - and if the Democratic Party is so hot about investigating everything, I presume they'll put their weight behind obtaining these records as well.  If they don't, all their rhetoric will be exposed as meaningless partisan political hackery . . . not that we don't already know that, of course.




Peter

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a platoon of US Marshall shows up at the library and reclaims them.

Ron Merrell said...

I find myself wondering how long the Dems expect people to put up with this blatant manipulation of the law.
When you create laws that abuse the public trust, or even worse, manipulate existing laws to do the same, you create a lack of trust and respect for ALL laws. At what point is someone going to say "enough" and lash out? And at what point after that will the majority come to agree?
When the former happens, the Dems will begin using the system against us openly.
When the latter happens, we will be at the point of no return.
At this point, unless things change radically, I don't see any clear way to avoid the worst case scenario.

DaddyBear said...

Five years is a lot of time for shredding and burning. I wouldn't be surprised that "We can't find it" is the response when Congress comes knocking.

deborah harvey said...

it is called obstruction of justice.
jail for all involved.

Jonathan H said...

Considering the agencies involved, and the way they keep records of everything, especially everything that will cover their butts, I suspect the records still exist elsewhere; it is just a matter of finding them since the 'alphabet agencies' involved are known for being tight lipped.

CDH said...

I would think a proper subpoena would override all such obstructionism. FOIA requests I think are not held to nearly such a high standard...but you need a judge on your side first.

Orvan Taurus said...

How about an Executive Order that the Statute of Limitations clock does NOT _start_ until the information is public?

Feather Blade said...

Wasn't the plan that all records in the Obama Library would be digital?

So, digitize the record, shred the hard copies (if there were any int he first place), "accidentally" misplace or delete of scrub the Susan Rice records, et voila: '"What unmasking?"

Bob M said...

Same shit, different day.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

The rules are different for Democrats in power, rules are for the "Little People". I know that it sounds cliche, but the rampant lawlessness and the acceptance of the democrat base because it is "their people", the rule of law is almost gone. I have commented that since the election of BO, and the politicization of the government against the enemies of the now former administration, the age of the banana republic has arrived.

Dan said...

The demonrats have been getting away with illegal conduct for decades. They have managed to seize almost ALL the important bureaucratic roles in DC. To them Trump is a bump in the road. Their loony followers will run riot as a distraction as directed but they know Trump is temporary. They will regain power and continue the quest to destroy America. There is nothing Trump can do legally to remove these criminals from power.

They are entrenched and they have rigged the system so they can't be touched legally.
The left has rewritten the system to the point where nothing THEY do is illegal but every thing the GOP and normal Americans do IS illegal. We can't win legally. This is why as distasteful and violent civil war 2 will be it is the only way to break their power. I just doubt the right has the will or the stomach to do what must be done. We have already seen the left has no problem using violence. When one side plays by the rules and the other side has only one rule.....WIN AT ANY COST....guess who always wins.

Anonymous said...

Anyone surprised by the tactics used by communists has not been paying attention. They will do whatever they want, and if you try to tell them they cannot, their answer is FU.

They did what they had to do to win, as they always do. They do not care about your ethics, morality or sense of propriety. Again, if you protest their actions, their answer is FU. If you protest too hard, they will have you put out of their misery.

What makes anyone think that you can beat them at this? Have you seen any accountability for any of them over decades?

I think that if you did not expect this move, or anything else that needs to be done for the purposes of expediency, you are naive at best.

Unknown said...

how can these agencies operate if 8 years of records become inaccessible within a few months?

There have to be copies of this stuff.

It's not available to FOI requests for 5 years, specifically to prevent witch hunts of the prior administration by the public, but the records have got to exist somewhere, and Trump has the authority to declassify them.

David Lang

dave said...

It's my understanding that the law which seals the records for five years went into effect in 1979; this isn't a new thing, and there's a very good reason for keeping a lot of it secret for a time, namely sensitive operational information.

This isn't a conspiracy to protect Obama; it's SOP for coming up on 40 years now.

Peter said...

@dave: The point at issue is not the law sealing presidential records. It's why extremely dubious requests for unmasking by Ms. Rice were included in those records. The latter have nothing to do with the former except by the most devious and extraordinary 'stretch' of terms of reference. They should have remained with the normal, operational records of the NSA and other three-letter agencies. The only reason that I can see for classifying them as presidential records is to remove them from public access, so they can't be used as evidence against anyone concerned. That's my beef.

Unknown said...

I agree.

The problem is that Presidents have been doing this for a long time.
To the best of my knowledge, it started with Kissinger (accurately) fearing the incoming Carter administration's foreign policy judgement. Some sensitive information was time-locked so that foreign allies in vulnerable positions would not be betrayed.

Every Democratic President since has taken shameless advantage of the precedent.

Anonymous said...

I cannot comment politely on this, and admire those that can. As an observation, one small piece of entertainment here is the various Green Guy png images used to rate each post. I have the distinct impression Peter needed something even stronger, but Red Shaking Fist was as far as it goes. Is there a Purple Mushroomcloud Top?

Paul