#ObamaGate Is a Lot More than a Hashtag
If I were a Democrat, I'd be afraid. I'd be very afraid.
Forget the usual smokescreen of hyper-partisan blather from Chuck Schumer on "Meet the Press" or the myriad calls for Trump's head from the usual press suspects and consider the situation: Congressional committees, the FBI, not to mention numerous avid media organizations and who knows who else (NSA? CIA? ASPCA?) have been investigating putative Trump-Russia collusion for some time now and come up with... exactly nothing.
Are they likely to come up with something of significance at this point? Almost certainly not.
So now we have Trump's bold, brash, "unhinged" Twitter accusations that Obama wiretapped him. This came after Mark Levin, Breitbart, Andrew C. McCarthy, Louise Mensch and others I've forgotten about or am unaware of reported about two appeals to FISA courts (one denied last summer and one approved in October) for permission to tap phones in Trump Tower. Did they happen?
It seems that tapping of some sort actually occurred because it was virtually acknowledged in tweets from Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, who sprang to action only hours after Trump tweeted, writing: "I'd be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the WH ordered it." Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, had almost simultaneously declared: "Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U. S. citizen." Ordered? That's what we used to call plausible deniability and now is known as a wiggle word.
Trump wants this possible surveillance to be investigated along with the rest of the supposed Russia mess — the little that's left of it to be cleared up. Meanwhile, that Democratic Party house organ The New York Times is reporting that James Comey himself wants the Justice Department to issue a denial that such a wiretap ever existed — or so the paper's ubiquitous "sources" say. Of course the Times itself saw it differently only a couple of months ago. Meanwhile, former DNI James Clapper — who famously told all his fellow citizens a boldface lie about the NSA — has assured the media regarding this particular tap, "I can deny it." (Yes, you can.)
All this while Barack and Michelle Obama, rather than graciously depart the D.C. scene in the manner of previous presidents — recent ones anyway — have moved into a local estate with their constant companion Valerie Jarrett in some kind of Ménage à Medici as if Barack never had an intention to leave and expects to serve a third term.
My guess is this will all come down to whether our former president knew about this wiretapping — whoever authorized it and wherever it came from — and, if so, when. And also how he reacted to it and what he did from there. It's all, in the grand Clintonian tradition, about what the definition of "ordered" is.