WSJ Editorial Board: 'Team Obama Spied on Trump Officials and Tried to Conceal It'

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Posted: May 22, 2020 8:05 AM
WSJ Editorial Board: 'Team Obama Spied on Trump Officials and Tried to Conceal It'

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

The Wall Street Journal editorial board didn’t mince words in its takeaway on Obamagate, writing Thursday that if President Trump's team had done anything similar, "folks would be calling to bring back the guillotine."

“The larger truth here is now undeniable: The Obama Administration spied on the political competition, it continued that spying even after Mr. Trump was elected, and then it tried to cover up what it had done,” the board writes.

The paper says that while indictments may be forthcoming in the Durham investigation, right now the American people still lack “a full explanation of who did what and why.”

The editors point to Susan Rice’s infamous email to herself on Trump’s inauguration day about a Jan. 5, 2017 meeting she had with former President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to discuss incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

A newly declassified paragraph from that email quotes Mr. Comey talking about the monitoring of Trump adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with then Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The timing of that meeting is illuminating. The day before, Jan. 4, 2017, internal FBI documents show the bureau was planning to close its investigation into Mr. Flynn’s ties to Russia because agents had found no evidence of wrongdoing.

The day after, on Jan. 6, Mr. Comey gave his now notorious briefing to President-elect Trump. He mentioned the lurid claims from the Steele dossier. But, incredibly, Mr. Comey did not tell the incoming President the concerns he had expressed the day before to President Obama about the danger of Mr. Flynn’s passing classified information to the Russians. No doubt that is because he wanted to keep from Mr. Trump that the FBI was investigating his team. (WSJ)

The email emphasizes Obama wanted everything done “by the book” – an obvious attempt to protect the 44th president from culpability down the road. 

Rice is now calling for the Flynn-Kislyak transcripts to be released, saying the “The American people deserve the full transcripts so they can judge for themselves Michael Flynn’s conduct.”

"By all means, let’s see those transcripts and more," the board writes. "We now know the Obama Administration used intelligence and law enforcement to go after the political opposition. We can also see that they are still now working overtime to keep the American people from getting to the full truth."