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WEAPONIZING FEDERAL AGENCIES AGAINST POLITICAL OPPONENTS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 29, 2019) — In a guest appearance on Friday’s “Hannity,” radio host, author and commentator Mark Levin said there was an organized effort within the Obama regime to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign and that “it defies logic” to believe that Obama himself was unaware of it.
At the beginning of his monologue, Levin reviewed former presidents’ use of the IRS against their political enemies, including Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK, Nixon and FDR. He then said that in similar fashion, Obama unleashed the same type of effort against Trump by using the intelligence community to monitor the communications of his campaign.
He recounted that Obama’s Justice Department collected the phone records of approximately 20 AP journalists and then-Fox News journalist James Rosen and used the IRS to conduct unnecessary audits on Tea Party and related organizations applying for tax-exempt status. No one was criminally penalized as a result.
Despite its impact on First Amendment protections, Levin said, the media generally ignored the surveillance, conducted without a warrant or the AP’s knowledge.
Early in Trump’s presidency, Trump tweeted that his campaign had been “wiretapped,” a claim to which the media reacted with a collective guffaw and criticism that he presented “no evidence.” The media ignored a January 19/20, 2017 article which referred to “wiretapped” information collected by the FBI to conduct multiple investigations into the Trump campaign which would obviously carry over into Trump’s presidency.
The intelligence-gathering in 2016 gave way to a counterintelligence probe based on the allegation that someone within the campaign was coordinating with Russians to affect the outcome of the election.
In the wake of the finding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after a 22-month probe encompassing 500 search warrants, as many witnesses and 2800 subpoenas, found no evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, others have made the same suggestion about Obama personally.
Levin was originally a “Never-Trumper” who supported Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy. After Trump received the nomination, however, Levin reluctantly said he would support him in the 2016 general election.