Gingrich: Obama Abused Justice System With Surveillance Measures

Newt Gingrich is among many Republicans expressing outrage at a new story involving government surveillance. Gingrich slammed the disclosure that the FBI spied on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The former House speaker called the surveillance, which reportedly took place before and following last year’s election, “the most egregious abuse of the criminal-justice process in American history.” He told Fox News host Sean Hannity that “this is a radically bigger scandal than anything about Russia,” adding: “Here you have an administration which deliberately was going after political figures, which on the other hand was deliberately defending its own political figures.”

Newsmax reported that Gingrich, referring to government employees loyal to former President Obama, claimed that “the country that you and I know is under siege by a deep state which really wants to create a very different America and is willing to break the law and abuse the law in order to achieve that.”

A former government official told CBS News that wiretaps of Manafort’s phone uncovered discussions with Russians about the presidential race. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, has obtained the transcripts.

The surveillance of Manafort sounds like something out of a spy novel. Two months ago, FBI agents picked a lock on the door of the former campaign official’s condominium in Virginia to search the home while he was sleeping. Former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg described the bureau’s tactics as “very aggressive.” He suggested that agents could be trying to persuade Manafort to answer questions in return for immunity from criminal charges. When that is the goal, prosecutors do “exactly what they’re doing now,” according to Zeidenberg. He cited the “search warrants, interviewing everybody around him, and then advising him that he’s about to be or will be indicted.”

A Manafort spokesman demanded that the Justice Department “release any intercepts involving (the former campaign chairman) and any non-Americans.” The spokesman insisted that those looking for evidence of collusion with Russia will find “nothing there.”

CBS News noted that this is not the first time Manafort has been the subject of a criminal investigation. In 1989, authorities accused him of conspiring to use a housing project in New Jersey to funnel millions of dollars to Republican Party officials.

Several congressional panels continue to hold hearings to determine the extent of Russian interference in the election, and whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign was involved. According to U.S. intelligence agencies, Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered last summer’s cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Putin also may have been behind the dissemination of anti-Clinton and pro-Trump propaganda on social media during the race.

Fox News reported that on Tuesday, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen consented to giving public testimony at Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in October. Earlier in the day, the committee canceled a scheduled closed-door meeting with the attorney. Cohen “decided to pre-empt today’s interview by releasing a public statement prior to his engagement with committee staff, in spite of the committee’s requests that he refrain from public comment,” Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., explained.

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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