Robert Mueller and Alleged Baseless Surveillance of U.S. Citizens: A Troubled History

In U.S. history, there are 2 major instances in which alleged baseless surveillance of U.S. citizen(s) has occurred.

During both instances, Robert Mueller has been a prominent figure.

Is this just a coincidence?

Director of the FBI Era

In April of 2005, Robert S. Mueller III, was questioned as part of a hearing on the renewal of The USA Patriot Act.

At the time of the hearing, Mueller was the Director of the FBI.

In the hearing, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (Dem-MD) asked Mueller, “Can the National Security Agency, the great electronic snooper, spy on the America people?”

Mueller responded, “Generally. I would say generally, they are not allowed to spy or to gather information on American citizens,” per The New York Times.

This hearing was part of the process to renew the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (The USA Patriot Act), an Act which was passed in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 Attacks.

This act gave Former President George W. Bush broader power in fighting the war on terror. President Bush utilized this power by, “secretly authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying,” per The New York Times.

This practice started in 2002 and continued until 2007. However, this practice was un-masked in 2005 by The New York Times in an article titled, “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.”

Prior to this un-masking, only a small group of people including several cabinet members, Congressional leaders, and officials at the NSA, the CIA and the Justice Department, knew of the program, per The New York Times.

The Department of Justice is comprised of the FBI, DEA, ATF, and many other entities.

Mueller was the Director of the FBI from September of 2001 to September of 2013.

This means that you can be almost certain that Robert Mueller was briefed on the warrantless surveillance going on at the NSA. Yet, in that aforementioned hearing in 2005, prior to the New York Times article unmasking the program, he stated that generally, the NSA did not spy or to gather information on American citizens. Something he almost certainly knew to be a lie…

Special Counsel Era

Now we find ourselves in 2018, where Mueller has assumed the title of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and has been tasked by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with investigating, “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

Mueller was appointed to this position on May 17, 2017.

Prior to him being appointed to the position, the FBI and DOJ, allegedly, “sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC,” this according to the unclassified FISA Memo.

“The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC… Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andre McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the DOJ,” also alleged by the unclassified FISA Memo.

This warrant and the subsequent renewals were allegedly heavily dependent upon the Steele Dossier. This according to unclassified FISA memo which states that, “Deputy Director [of the FBI] [Andrew] McCabe testified before the Committee in December of 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”

This is the same dossier that in June of 2017, former FBI Director James Comey called, “salacious and unverified,” per the unclassified FISA Memo.

This is the same dossier which was compiled by Christoper Steel on behalf of the Democratic Nation Convention (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign in return for payment of $160,000 via the lawfirm of Perkins Coie and the research firm Fusion GPS.

The first application for the initial FISA warrant was allegedly on October 21, 2016. And, “as required by statute (50 U.S.C §1805 (d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause,” per the unclassified FISA Memo.

The first warrant was allegedly, “sought and received,” on October 21, 2017. After the initial warrant and 3 subsequent FISC renewals, Carter Page was allegedly under surveillance until October 16, 2017.

So, Mueller was in his Special Counsel position for roughly 6 months prior to surveillance into Carter Page allegedly being stopped.

Carter Page was a former Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor.

This means that Mueller almost certainly knew of the FISA warrants and subsequent surveillance. The same surveillance that was allegedly authorized in large part due to a “salacious and unverified” piece of opposition research paid for by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign against now President Donald Trump. He also almost certainly received the surveillance results of this seemingly baseless surveillance, seeing as his role of Special Counsel is defined as within the Department of Justice, and is supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who allegedly, “signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the DOJ,” per the unclassified FISA Memo.

So, what does this mean?

This means that of the two major times in U.S. history where alleged baseless surveillance of U.S. citizen(s) has occurred, Robert Mueller has been a prominent figure in both.

This article is not an accusation of Mueller, nor an assertion that he was complicit in any way.

Rather this article is intended to pose two questions:

  1. Is this just a coincidence or is there more to the story?
  2. Should Robert Mueller be trusted to investigate the President of the United States?

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of George W. Bush Whitehouse Archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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