CIA Accused of Illegal Surveillance Tactics Against Trump Associates

Former President Donald Trump has long alleged that federal agencies engaged in surveillance activities targeting individuals connected to him. The controversy surrounding the Steele Dossier and the monitoring of officials linked to his 2016 campaign has sparked debates regarding potential reforms to the federal FISA program. A probe into the FBI revealed procedural breaches in its pursuit of allies of the 45th president.

Allegations have surfaced against the intelligence community, suggesting surveillance of associates of the ex-president prior to the 2016 election.

A significant article released on February 13 by journalists Matt Taibbi, Alex Gutentag, and Michael Shellenberger claims that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the broader US Intelligence Community (IC) focused their attention on 26 individuals associated with Trump prior to the summer of 2016, coinciding with the purported commencement of the Russia probe.

As per the article, the established narrative has consistently maintained that the FBI initiated its investigation following reports from Australian intelligence, which claimed that a Trump associate boasted to an Australian diplomat about Russia possessing compromising information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The journalists contend that the sequence of events differed from the official account. Rather, they assert that the Intelligence Community (IC) requested intelligence agencies in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to provide any relevant information they had gathered on the billionaire.

Accusations have been leveled against John Brennan, the former CIA director under President Barack Obama, alleging that he identified 26 individuals for foreign intelligence officials to focus on. These operatives were purportedly instructed to establish contact with or exert influence over Trump’s associates.

According to information from a source cited by the conservative journalists, intelligence operatives purportedly began their efforts to reach out to the 26 individuals as early as March 2016. Allegedly, Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) dispatched spies to various locations, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, and other undisclosed places.

The article additionally asserts that Trump expressed a desire to declassify the investigation-related information towards the conclusion of his presidency. Allegedly, these documents were contained in a 10-inch binder that had mysteriously disappeared. The former president believed that the contents of this purported folder would demonstrate unlawful actions by the intelligence agencies.

If accurate, the surveillance operations would represent a level of intricacy beyond what was previously understood. Former Special Counsel John Durham, who conducted an inquiry into the origins of the Russia probe, has already indicated that the FBI should not have initiated the investigation. However, he did not uncover any evidence of criminal misconduct by the Obama administration.

The recent report suggests potential interference by the administration in the 2016 election. With another election looming and Joe Biden, formerly Obama’s vice president, now serving as the 46th President of the United States, there are apprehensions about the implications for the upcoming November election.




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