Donald Trump shouldn’t have tweeted his morning missives to paranoia, as he has announced to the world that he is being spied on and the news won’t be good. While he was trying to cast aspersions on former President Obama, Trump managed to cut off his nose to spite his face because he focused attention on why the government would be spying on him.
A FISA warrant, or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, is a judicial warrant that has to be applied for.
A FISA warrant must certify that the “target of the proposed surveillance is either a ‘foreign power’ or ‘the agent of a foreign power’ and, in the case of a U.S. citizen or resident alien, that the target may be involved in the commission of a crime.”
This is the warrant that was reportedly (and disputably) given to counter intelligence agents so they had ability to cover those in Donald Trump’s campaign who had ties to Russia.
House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) explained that Trump might have declassified a warrant against his own people with his tweet. Rep. Himes said, “Talking about a particular warrant, the existence of a warrant is something you simply don’t do. So when I wake up this morning and find that the President is tweeting about it. Mind you, he is the ultimate declassification authority, and if he just declassified the existence of a FISA warrant on his people.”
Video of Rep. Himes on MSNBC:
The Federal Judicial Center explained:
“Warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are drafted by attorneys in the General Counsel’s Office at the National Security Agency at the request of an officer of one of the federal intelligence agencies. Each application must contain the Attorney General’s certification that the target of the proposed surveillance is either a ‘foreign power’ or ‘the agent of a foreign power’ and, in the case of a U.S. citizen or resident alien, that the target may be involved in the commission of a crime.”
Heat Street reported that the FBI was granted a FISA warrant in October of 2016 to cover the activities of “‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.”
The confirmation of a FISA warrant will be denied because that’s the nature of intelligence work. So it’s up to time to reveal if there was a FISA warrant issued, but people in the know seem to think there is.
If there wasn’t a FISA warrant issued already, Trump’s tweets just admitted that there should be. So the question is, the warrant would need to have certified that the person or people are foreign powers or agents of.
By tweeting without thinking, Trump may have declassified a warrant and brought down his entire presidency.