In their zeal to get President Trump, federal law enforcement operatives loyal to Barack Obama have used every questionable trick in the book regardless of its legality.
There is no longer any question that serious abuses were committed with the abuse of the nation’s surveillance apparatus that is ostensibly in place to protect America from our enemies but has been weaponized for political purposes.
The damning report on FISA abuse by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz that was released in December leaves no doubt as to whether this took place and absent reforms, it is safe to assume that such practices are ongoing.
Now, an associate of Trump attorney and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has filed court documents accusing the feds of FISA abuse as well as using the controversial cellphone tracking technology known as stingray.
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The bombshell was dropped by lawyers for Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian businessman who was arrested as a part of the deep state counteroffensive to keep the lid on Giuliani and his investigation into Democrat linked corruption in the former Soviet state.
— Eddie Donovan (@EddieDonovan) January 10, 2020
Via Fox News, «Feds used FISA, possible stingray to spy on Giuliani-connected businessman, filing says»:
One of the businessmen accused of conspiring with associates of Rudy Giuliani to make illegal campaign contributions argued Thursday in federal court that the government is trying to cover up the «warrantless and unlawful electronic surveillance» it conducted in its investigation, including possible «stingray» technology to track cellphones.
Saying it now «appears to be the case» that the government obtained evidence through the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and that it was «inconceivable» that no communications were intercepted, lawyers for Andrey Kukushkin sought an explanation as to the «genesis of such evidence and the extent to which it was used.»
The bombshell filing comes as the FISA court has sternly rebuked the FBI for submitting false and incomplete materials as part of its investigation into other members of the Trump team. However, the FISA court has not sought a comprehensive review of past FBI filings, and at least one high-level FBI agent apparently involved in FISA misconduct remains at the bureau.
«The government’s insistence on complete secrecy is incompatible with the rights of the defendants, particularly in the face of rapidly advancing technology,» Kukushkin’s attorneys wrote Thursday. «Initially, it was the government’s repeated insistence that ‘no Title III [wiretap] warrants were used in this investigation,’ even when asked whether non-Title III surveillance occurred. This was coupled by the government’s refusal to answer direct and repeated questions as to its use of stingray and other electronic surveillance.»
The attorneys continued: «Indeed, other than Title III warrants, there is not a single form of surveillance that the government has denied using in the course of this investigation, which makes sense and proves the defense’s point.»
Does cellphone-sweeping ‘StingRay’ technology go too far? Civil liberties, privacy groups increasingly object to crime-fighting tool. https://t.co/iDQdac9BhW
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 26, 2017
For those unfamiliar with stingray, an Associated Press story describes the technology:
Civil liberties and privacy groups are increasingly raising objections to the suitcase-sized devices known as StingRays or cell site simulators that can sweep up cellphone data from an entire neighborhood by mimicking cell towers. Police can determine the location of a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message. Some versions of the technology can even intercept texts and calls, or pull information stored on the phones.
Part of the problem, privacy experts say, is the devices can also collect data from anyone within a small radius of the person being tracked. And law enforcement goes to great lengths to conceal usage, in some cases, offering plea deals rather than divulging details on the StingRay.