Release Trump-related FISA warrant applications

On March 4th, Donald Trump accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of ordering a wiretap of Trump Tower in October of last year. While this accusation may be at least partially confused—the President does not have the authority to order wiretaps—it nevertheless raises questions that the American people deserve an answer to.

Reports by the BBC and the Guardian suggest that the FBI (not Obama himself) did request a FISA (foreign intelligence surveillance) warrant that included four members of Trump's campaign. These reports also suggest that while the original request was denied, a revised narrower request was in fact granted in October. 

The American people deserve to know if the BBC and Guardian reports are accurate. If they are, we also deserve to know the basis on which the FBI claimed probable cause in applying for the warrant. We deserve to know if members of Trump's campaign or various businesses were included in the final version of the warrant. If they were not, we deserve to know if nevertheless any of the ultimate targets of the warrant were located in Trump Tower, or were in regular communication with the Trump campaign.

Calls to let the American people know the facts of this matter enjoy bipartisan support:

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) said in statement that, "if [the wiretap] was with a legal FISA Court order, then an application for surveillance exists that the Court found credible. The President should ask that this full application regarding surveillance of foreign operatives or operations be made available, ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the U.S. Senate."

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) said in his own statement that, "I fully support the White House’s request for Congressional investigations into President Trump’s explosive claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped."

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) vowed to "get to the bottom of this" at a town hall event.

Therefore, we the undersigned join Senator Sasse in calling on the President to release this information. We also call on any relevant Congressional committees (including the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary) to compel the release of this information if the President is unwilling to do so.

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  • signed 2017-03-06 21:14:25 -0800