Tag Archives: Russian Collusion

Poll Finds Majority of Americans Believe Obama Administration “Improperly Surveilled” Trump Campaign

Washington, D.C. – A new poll reveals that the majority of the American public believes the Obama administration’s national security apparatus “improperly surveilled” then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign staff, according to the latest Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll.

The public survey showed that more than half of those surveyed would also like to see a second special prosecutor appointed to investigate potential impropriety on the part of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI in relation to spying on the Trump team.

The poll suggests that some Americans don’t necessarily believe the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and instead, perceive Obama’s law enforcement and intelligence bureaucracy as potentially complicit in engaging in political espionage.

Respondents of the IBD/TIPP public opinion poll were asked:

“How closely are you following news stories about the role played by the FBI and the Department of Justice during the 2016 presidential election?”

Responses were only considered from the 72% of individuals that noted they were either “very closely” (39%) or “somewhat closely” (33%).

Of those respondents, 55% said they thought it was “likely” that the Obama administration “improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.” There was clearly a partisan divide in the responses, with 87% of Republicans, but only 31% of Democrats, believing improper surveillance occurred— but interestingly, some 55% of independents believed the political spying allegations.

When asked whether it was necessary to appoint a second special counsel to “investigate whether the FBI and the Department of Justice improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election,” a majority of respondents (54%) answered “yes,” – with 44% responding “no.” This time, 74% of Republicans, 50% of independents, and surprisingly, even 44% of Democrats thought appointing a second special counsel was necessary.

Public bipartisan agreement on appointing a second special counsel for a full investigation of Obama-era political espionage could potentially spell trouble for many high-ranking security officials, especially if the special counsel is afforded similar latitude to investigate as seen in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation.

The survey also asked whether individuals believed that “some senior career civil servants at the FBI and Department of Justice knowingly coordinated to frame the president with allegations of Russian collusion in order to cast a cloud over his presidency.”

The Investors Business Daily reports that 35% of respondents answered “yes” to this question – while 60% answered “no.” This question had the largest partisan divide – with 77% of Republicans saying yes, and only 11% of Democrats responding no.

Interestingly, only 30% of independents thought that elements within DOJ and FBI colluded to frame Trump for Russian collusion, which may be semi-surprising given the fact that 55 percent answered that it was “likely” that Obama-era officials “improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 election” and 50 percent thought it necessary to appoint a second special counsel to “investigate whether the FBI and the Department of Justice improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Of note, a recently-released Rasmussen poll revealed a full 50 percent of Americans “believe it’s at least somewhat likely senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency,” while 40 percent disagreed.

The results of these polls indicate that a segment of the American public doesn’t believe the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election, and would like a full investigation into whether or not political espionage was undertaken by elements of the Obama administration in an effort to handicap Trump’s presidential candidacy and presidency.

WATCH: Senator Rand Paul Calls Out Government Surveillance Power on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

New York City — On Wednesday night’s airing of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, host Steven Colbert asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) if he thought the FISA memo, which allegedly details the FBI using opposition research — funded by a major donor of GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio, and subsequently paid for by the Clinton campaign — to manipulate the FISA court into allowing surveillance of President Trump’s campaign staff, should be released to the public.

“You said the Bob Mueller investigation was a witch hunt, and you think it is a distraction of Congress’s time,” Colbert said.

“Do you think it should be ended- do you think he should be gotten out of there? Do you think they should get rid of Rosenstein and release the memo, and just blow the whole thing up and forget it ever happened?” Colbert asked.

Paul then took the opportunity to express his concerns, while enlightening Colbert on the danger in allowing secretive intelligence agencies to monitor the private communications of every American — without a warrant signed by a judge — in light of “bias” in the intelligence community, clearly referring to the FBI and DOJ, as allegedly implicated in the now-released FISA memo.

[RELATED: Nunes Memo Released]

“I’m concerned. My biggest concern is over something that Madison said at the beginning of our country, he said that ‘men are not angels’ and that’s why we need more oversight of government,” Paul said.

“Our intelligence community has the authority to listen to every phone call. Everyone’s phone calls could be listened to if they wanted to. Everyone in your e-mails can be tracked, every one of your phone… who you call and how long you speak can be tracked, every bank transaction can be tracked,” Paul explained.

Paul went on to note that human nature can lead to potential “bias” in the “intelligence community,” and pointed out the critical need for “checks and balances” in the form of “a judge and a warrant.”

“I think because men are not angels and women aren’t either, that there can be bias that can enter into the intelligence community, so we have to be very, very careful that someone gives them a check and balance and that check and a balance should be a judge and a warrant, so one of the things, you know, I fought with over this collection of FISA data, we should go to a judge to get to that,” Paul stated.

Paul then explained that he was “concerned” that Mueller had gone beyond a “Russia Collusion” investigation. The Senator, who has previously called the investigation a “witchhunt” – invoked the indictment of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, which was not for colluding with Russians, but for not being truthful about “what was recorded on the phone call.”

“I’m concerned that we give too much power to a prosecutor who was supposed to be going after Russian collusion,” the Senator cautioned.

“So far he’s gotten somewhat over. He recorded General Flynn and then got him to say something inconsistent with what was recorded on the phone call,” Paul reasoned.

“Think about it from a personal perspective, if I have a thousand phone calls of Stephen Colbert, what I could learn? And then I can interview you, and if you say anything inconsistent with what you said on your private phone calls, I could put you in jail.” Paul explained.

Following the recent release of the memo, Paul issued the following statement on Friday:

“While I applaud the release of this memo, I also call for Congress to take immediate action to help prevent such behavior in the future. It is imperative it start by listening to Americans who have expressed outrage over its disregard for the Fourth Amendment and reexamining the powers it reauthorized right before we learned of the memo. Continuing to ignore the Constitution will only guarantee that others fall victim to government abusing its domestic surveillance powers.”

Watch Sen. Paul explain the dangers of an intelligence apparatus given vast power to spy on Americans beginning at 15:10 in the video below.