by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Margot Cleveland explains in a Federalist column why she believes more transparency is needed regarding federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies in their treatment of the Trump presidential campaign.
What we know about federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ spying on the Donald Trump campaign likely represents but a sliver of their covert activities. But it’s about time we do, and President Trump is right to demand an investigation. Here’s what we know so far.
In the run-up to the presidential election, on July 31, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) opened a “counterintelligence investigation” to probe whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to influence the election. Over the last two weeks, in a series of articles, The New York Times and Washington Post revealed that the investigation, dubbed operation Crossfire Hurricane, involved a government informant connected to the Trump campaign.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported more details of the informant’s “months-long pattern of seeking out and meeting three different Trump campaign officials.” …
… [N]ow we know that the FBI used the term “investigation” in a technical sense, not a colloquial one. Rather than vindicate the FBI, this raises the specter that the FBI extensively targeted Trump campaign officials before its official launch of Crossfire Hurricane.