Levin: ‘Let Congress Finally Step Up…Get Into Those Damn FISA Applications’

Susan Jones | March 7, 2017 | 8:42am EST
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Sean Hannity interviews conservative radio host Mark Levin on Fox New on Monday night, Marh 6, 2017. (Screen grab from Fox News)

(CNSNews.com) – It’s up to Congress to resolve the question of whether the Obama administration wiretapped Donald Trump and his associates, conservative talk show host Mark Levin told Fox News’s Sean Hannity Monday night.

“Two things need to happen, one way or another,” Levin said. First, he said, the Obama administration’s applications for a FISA warrant, reportedly made in June and again in October, must be released – if they even exist.

Levin said the second thing that must be done is for members of Congress to read the presidential daily briefings that President Obama would have received.

“And now we will get to the bottom of this,” he said.

“Let Congress finally step up and do its job. They have oversight committees. We pay these people do their job! Get into those damn FISA applications! Look at the …warrant that was released. Look at these daily briefings, let’s see what is in them.”

But do those FISA warrants actually exist? James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he would have known if a FISA court had ordered surveillance on Trump or his associates -- and "I can deny it," he told host Chuck Todd.

"There is no FISA court order," Todd asked. "Not to my knowledge," Clapper said.

So, if that’s the case, “then what the hell are we talking about?” Levin asked.

If there is not enough evidence for a FISA court to issue a warrant, “What are all these groups investigating?” Levin asked. “What are these wiretaps that The New York Times is talking about?”

In its Jan. 20 (inauguration day) edition, the New York Times reported that “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”

The report, which quoted “current and former senior American officials,” said the FBI was leading the investigations, “aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the (Obama) White House.”

“I look at this, if I'm reading these news reports -- we have a runaway executive branch,” Levin said Monday night. “I don’t know who knows what, and as of today, the media do not appear to know who knows what, which is exactly why I've been calling for congressional investigations.”

Levin said he believes what Clapper said on “Meet the Press” about there not being any FISA warrant to wiretap Trump and his associates.

“I accept everything that James Clapper said. And it contradicts every piece of significant reporting over the last six months. If he is saying there was no FISA application, there was no FISA warrant, then why have so many news entities said that there are?”

(The intelligence community did wiretap conversations between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador after the election -- presumably while Flynn, then a private citizen, was working with the transition team at Trump tower. In fact, on Feb. 9, the Washington Post -- citing nine anonymous sources --- reported that Flynn had discussed sanctions in his phone calls with the Russian ambassador. It is a felony to leak such information, and FISA law is supposed to protect the privacy of Americans who are caught up in such surveillance.)

Levin said the liberal media “were all trying to present the case of overwhelming connections, overwhelming concern, overwhelming potential evidence of Trump and the campaign involved with the Russians. Now it is wait a minute, no…Now they are saying, wait a minute, we didn't have a FISA warrant…”

“So which is it? Which is it?!” Levin asked. “Were there FISA warrants or not? Now, if there weren't, why didn't you report that weeks ago? If there are, some of us would like to see them. So we have a real problem right now…We have leaks coming out that are felonies, we have stories about six federal departments and agencies, intelligence and law enforcement, that were investigating something, somebody, by somehow. 

“So – what’s the answer? That’s why we need to get to the bottom of this. I have a question …Why all the investigations? Is there any evidence … was there any evidence, a scintilla of evidence at all, that Trump, his campaign advisers and his transition team were on the take?"

“None -- none.” Hannity chimed in.

“OK," Levin replied. "Then why are six federal departments and agencies involved in an investigation, and now Clapper says he doesn’t know anything!”

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