As Republican congressmen called for the public release of a memo reportedly detailing the Obama administration’s abuse of power using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Fox News host Sean Hannity declared that the use of FISA surveillance against candidate and later president-elect Donald Trump constituted a scandal “far bigger than” the notorious Richard Nixon Watergate scandal.
“Our sources are telling us that the abuse of power is far bigger than Watergate,” Hannity said Thursday night. “Remember, Watergate was a third-rate break-in. What we’re talking about tonight is the systematic abuse of power, the weaponizing of the powerful tools of intelligence, and the shredding of our Fourth Amendment constitutional rights that protect all of us against unlawful search and seizure.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama’s administration requested authority to spy on members of the Trump campaign before the FISA court. Reportedly, they used the infamous dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FISA memo promises to include more details on this process.
Hannity contrasted this with the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon. In Watergate, “you’ve got a group of people who tried to cover-up the leak of an election. They broke in, they stole things they shouldn’t have stolen from the opposition.”
By contrast, in this FISA case, “What we’re talking about tonight is an abuse of the powerful tools of intelligence that we use to spy on people — except those tools were used against an opposition candidate and a president-elect and his entire team, and it was done not only under false pretenses, but with the help of Hillary Clinton. She bought and paid for the dossier that they filled with Russian lies, propaganda, salacious details that were never true.”
Furthermore, the presence of anti-Trump members of the FBI like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggests a election bias within the intelligence community. Furthermore, when now-special counsel Robert Mueller led the FBI, the department kept secret an investigation into Russian corruption involving uranium on U.S. soil — in the run-up to Hillary Clinton’s approval of the notorious Uranium One deal, in which a Russian company gained access to 20 percent of U.S. uranium. That same FBI also reportedly acted fast against Russian spies because they were getting too close to Clinton at the time.
Hannity declared, “Robert Mueller’s band of democratic witch hunters never should have been appointed and they need to be disbanded immediately.”
These questions will undoubtedly spark more complaints that conservatives and Republicans are attacking the “integrity” of the FBI. But the FISA memo might silence those claims once and for all.
As PJ Media’s Deb Heine reported Thursday, at least one Republican in Congress compared the FISA abuse to the activities of the Soviet intelligence arm, the KGB. “You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said.
Americans need to know what happened, and if the Obama administration’s actions were above board, Democrats should prove it by releasing this memo.