The Trump “Wiretapping” Timeline

The evidence that Trump and/or members of his transition team were “wiretapped” is extensive and persuasive.  Here’s why (Note: reports that would probably involve electronic surveillance are marked in orange, ones confirming electronic surveillance are marked in red):

Note: As much as possible I’ve tried to use original sources of information.  If you google FBI warrant Trump FISA, you’ll find that numerous outlets reported the story, but they all point back to the Guardian, Heat Street or the New York Times.

Note2: The investigation into the so-called “secret Trump server” is a red herring.  It has nothing to do with the FISA warrants and was not electronically surveilled.

Circa News reported on it recently:

For instance, the FBI and Justice Department received a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant in October to help further the Russia investigation. Officials stressed there were no intercepts of Trump’s phone or emails.

Separately, they used traditional investigative techniques to review a computer server tied to the soon-to-be-president’s businesses in Trump Towers in New York but located elsewhere.

The story is so crazy that even Snopes has had to refute it.

For information directly related to the DNC hack and Russia, see my timeline.

Note 3: This article will be continuously updated as more information becomes available.

Now let’s look at actual evidence of surveillance.

September 5, 2016 – In a Bloomberg interview Putin expresses no preference with regard to the winner of the November 2016 election

MICKLETHWAIT: The G-20. This will be one of the last times you will see Barack Obama. And as you well know, there is an American election underway, and as you well know, there is a choice in that between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Who would you rather have at the other end of the telephone if there is a geopolitical situation – Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Do you have a feeling at all?

PUTIN: I would like to work with a person who can make responsible decisions and implement any agreements that we reach. Their last name doesn’t matter. Of course, it’s necessary for that person to enjoy the trust of the American people, so that they won’t just have the desire but also the reinforced political will to fulfill all those agreements. That’s why we never interfered, don’t intervene and try not to intervene in domestic political processes. We’ll closely monitor what happens and wait for the election results. And then we’ll be ready to work with any administration if the administration itself wants that.

September 5, 2016 – The New York Times reports that Hillary claims the Russians are interfering in the election, ties it to the DNC hack

Hillary Clinton accused Russian intelligence of interfering with the American election, implying that President Vladimir V. Putin viewed a victory by Donald J. Trump as a destabilizing event that would weaken the United States and buttress Russian interests.

September 5, 2016 – The Washington Post reports that intelligence agencies believe Russia is covertly trying to disrupt US elections

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.

October 7, 2016 ABC News reports that the US blames Russia for hack attacks and election interference

United States intelligence agencies for the first time today publicly accused the Russian government of recent hacking against U.S. political institutions and interfering with U.S. elections, including the disclosures of e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks.

The U.S. said it is “confident” that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of e-mails, including from U.S. political organizations,” said the Department of Homeland Securityand Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a joint statement.

October 31, 2016 – The New York Times reports that the FBI is investigating Trump for ties to Russia and has been since the summer

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

November 7, 2016 Heat Street reports on a FISA warrant issued to surveil Trump and associates

Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.

Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server. The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.

November 26, 2016 – The Obama administration states that the results of the election “accurately reflect the will of the people”

December 9, 2016 – The Washington Post reports that the CIA believes that Russia intervened in the elections to help Donald Trump

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

December 29, 2016 – The Obama administration announces sanctions against Russia for election interference

The Obama administration announced sweeping new measures against Russia on Thursday in retaliation for what U.S. officials have characterized as interference in this fall’s presidential election, ordering the expulsion of Russian “intelligence operatives” and slapping new sanctions on state agencies and individuals suspected in the hacks of U.S. computer systems.

January 7, 2017 – The New York Times publishes an intelligence analysis claiming that Russia interfered in the election

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released on Friday a report that detailed what it called a Russian campaign to influence the election. The report is the unclassified summary of a highly sensitive assessment from American intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

January 11, 2017 – The Guardian confirms the June 2016 FISA warrant request, says it cannot confirm the October warrant

The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.

January 12, 2017 – The BBC reported that three FISA warrants were applied for and the one that was granted may have been illegally obtained.

Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks. 

Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.

Note: It is illegal to request a FISA warrant from a different judge than the one that originally denied the warrant

February 9, 2017 – The New York Times reports that a transcript of a conversation between Gen. Flynn and the Russian Ambassador exists

Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls. They were even more surprised that Mr. Trump’s team publicly denied that the topics of conversation included sanctions.

February 13, 2017 – A Democrat demands the release of the Flynn transcripts (which are highly classified documents)

February 15, 2017 Bloomberg reports that “several agencies” are investigating Trump’s ties to Russia

Several agencies are conducting the inquiries into Russia’s efforts to meddle in the U.S. election and coordinating as needed, said the officials, who requested anonymity to speak about sensitive matters. The investigations predate the dismissal of retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security adviser on Monday.

March 1, 2017 – The New York Times reports that the Obama administration rushed to widely disseminate intelligence information

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

March 20, 2017 – The Washington Post reports that FBI Director Comey confirmed an investigation into Trump ties with Russia today during testimony

FBI Director James B. Comey acknowledged Monday that his agency is conducting an investigation into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in a counterintelligence probe that could reach all the way to the White House and may last for months.

March 21, 2017 FreedomWatch announces that former CIA and NSA contractor Dennis Montgomery has obtained whistleblower status and has evidence of illegal spying

Montgomery left the NSA and CIA with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified, and sought to come forward legally as a whistleblower to appropriate government entities, including congressional intelligence committees, to expose that the spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump, and even yours truly. Working side by side with Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence (DIA), James Clapper, and Obama’s former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, Montgomery witnessed “up close and personal” this “Orwellian Big Brother” intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes. 

March 24, 2017 – A blog ties Montgomery’s claims into previous claims regarding spying

Multiple sources continue to confirm that a massive storm of scandal is brewing. The previous Obama administration is involved and could potentially result in the arrest of several Obama-era officials swallowed in this ‘storm of scandals’ path.

Grab your popcorn! The fireworks have been set and are about to go off in Washington D.C. Even Bob Woodward has confirmed what we are hearing from the confines of the intelligence community and military, “there is a real serious problem for the people in the Obama administration.”

March 27, 2017 More information about the classified documents Devin Nunes saw comes out

In an interview Monday, Nunes told Lake that he ended up meeting his source on the White House grounds because it was the most convenient secure location with a computer connected to the system that included the reports, which are only distributed within the executive branch. “We don’t have networked access to these kinds of reports in Congress,” Nunes said. He added that his source was not a White House staffer and was an intelligence official. 

March 27, 2017 – Former Obama administration official admits that Trump and associates spied on Trump and his associates

Note: Farkas resigned in 2015, so how did she have access to intelligence in late 2016?

March 28, 2017 Circa reports that the Obama administration was sharing unmasked intel since 2011

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports clearly identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked while other times they were so specifically described in the intelligence reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about US citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures’ perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time.  The NSA is expected to turn over logs as early as this week to congressional committees detailing who consumed  reports with unmasked Americans’ identities from their intercepts since the summer of 2016, and it is likely to become a primary focus of the Russia counterintelligence probe of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

March 28, 2017 CNN reported that Devin Nunes met with his source in the NSC offices of the Eisenhower Office Building and that it had nothing to do with Russia

A government official said Nunes was seen Tuesday night at the National Security Council offices of the Eisenhower building which, other than the White House Situation Room, is the main area on the complex to view classified information in a secure room.
The official said Nunes arrived and left alone.
Nunes told CNN he had been working on nailing down the surveillance information before Trump’s unsubstantiated claim earlier this month that he was wiretapped by President Barack Obama. Last week, Nunes told CNN he was unaware of any evidence to back up Trump’s claim. 
He told CNN Monday he wanted to “reiterate this has nothing to do with Russia.” In a statement, Nunes’ spokesman, Jack Langer, said the congressman is “extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of US citizens.”
March 30, 2017 – The New York Times claims “2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports”

 

But when you read the story, you find out that is not the case at all.  First of all, Nunes himself said he had been “hearing for more than a month about intelligence reports that included details on the Trump transition team, and had been trying to view them himself.”.  It’s likely that he had already requested access, more than once, from his sources.  Secondly, he said he had “a source” not “sources”.  Third, the article admits that he only met with one person, who they claim was Michael Ellis, “a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office”, but Nunes has not confirmed that Ellis was his source.  Furthermore, Nunes stated on the record that his source was “an intelligence official” and “not a White House staffer”, so the speculation about Ellis is either wrong or Nunes lied, which I think is unlikely.  Nunes has stated that he had to go to an Executive office building because he had to have networked computer access to see the documents, and Congressional SCIFs do not have such access.  It seems highly unlikely to me that a White House Counsel’s Office lawyer would even have the clearance to see FISA-related intelligence.

 

In the final analysis, this “report” is nothing but pure speculation and not based on facts.

 

FoxNews reports that neither person named in the New York Times report were Devin Nunes source for the intelligence documents.

Fox News Report and here

 

March 31, 2017 NBC reports that the CIA was involved in the Russia probe and that document IDs were given to the Senate Intelligence Committee

Obama administration officials were so concerned about what would happen to key classified documents related to the Russia probe once President Trump took office that they created a list of document serial numbers to give to senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a former Obama official told NBC News. 

The official said that after the list of documents related to the probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election was created in early January, he hand-carried it to the committee members. The numbers themselves were not classified, said the official.

The purpose, said the official, was to make it “harder to bury” the information, “to share it with those on the Hill who could lawfully see the documents,” and to make sure it could reside in an Intelligence committee safe, “not just at Langley [CIA hq].”

March 31, 2017 – A Democrat consultant reveals that the investigation into Trump began in 2015

March 31, 2017 – Another former Obama intelligence person reveals that the Trump team was targeted

 

April 2, 2017 Mike Cernovich reports that Susan Rice is the Obama official who unmasked Trump intelligence

Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.

The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.

April 3, 2017 – Eli Lake of Bloomberg confirms what Mike Cernovich reported yesterday

White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

April 3, 2017 – Circa also confirmed that Rice unmasked intelligence data

Computer logs that former President Obama’s team left behind in the White House indicate his national security adviser Susan Rice accessed numerous intelligence reports during Obama’s last seven months in office that contained National Security Agency intercepts involving Donald Trump and his associates, Circa has learned.

Intelligence sources said the logs discovered by National Security Council staff suggested Rice’s interest in the NSA materials, some of which included unmasked Americans’ identities, appeared to begin last July around the time Trump secured the GOP nomination and accelerated after Trump’s election in November launched a transition that continued through January.

April 3, 2017 – Fox news confirms as well

Multiple sources tell Fox News that Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.

The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office. 

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