Jason Chaffetz: Battle looming over FBI surveillance abuse – Will IG report become classification cover-up?

July 10. 2019

OPINION By Jason Chaffetz

The question of whether Obama administration officials abused their authority to spy on foreign entities as a pretext to spy on political opponents looms large over the coming presidential election. Answers to those questions await the release of  (IG) Michael Horowitz’s ongoing investigation in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.

My personal experience with a wide variety of agencies is that the government overclassifies material and does so routinely in order to protect political rather than national security interests. The coming battle will play out among General Barr, IG Horowitz, and government intelligence agencies.

My personal experience with a wide variety of agencies is that the government overclassifies material and does so routinely in order to protect political rather than national security interests. The coming battle will play out among General Barr, IG Horowitz, and government intelligence agencies.

President Trump can weigh in and be the final arbiter if necessary, but in these matters, he has shown an amazing amount of restraint from the very beginning. He stays out of it. He may tweet information as he becomes aware of it. But that’s far different than calling up and directing somebody to do something. Given his past history, he is likely to leave this matter entirely to the discretion of William Barr. That means the classification battle could go on for weeks.

In the meantime, look for intelligence agencies to try to get ahead of the bad news. Inevitably, you will start to see those implicated in the report leak their own information to friendly media in an effort to put their own spin on it. No one should necessarily take these leaks at face value. People trying to protect their own reputations may not tell the whole story. They will proactively leak their segment to put the best possible spin on it, but eventually, the broader picture will emerge.


Leonard Bacani is a retired Santa Ana Police Officer and the Founder of HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. headquartered in Southern California.HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. is a Private InvestigationPrivate Security firm and State Authorized Training Facility. Contact Leonard at LBacani@hssinc.us for assistance or call the office: (714) 865-1135.      Website: http://www.homelandsecurityservices.com

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