‘Obamagate’, the alleged undermining of Trump’s presidency

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Jonathan Cutrer (Flickr)

The White House

Ivana Venema-Nunez , Reporter

Obamagate, a play on the word Watergate, a Nixon presidency scandal, is set to be the next scandal fueled by President Trump’s accusations that former President Obama attempted to undermining his presidency.

According to an article published by The Washington Post,  the allegations against Obama are unfounded and when reporters pressed Trump in asking what specific crimes were committed he was vague. 

“You know what the crime is,” he said Monday.

There may be two reasons for the unfounded allegations.  Trump’s full-scale attempt to undermine the Russia investigation that dominated nearly the first two years of his presidency and  Trump’s reelection efforts, according to the WP article. 

Trump’s presumptive 2020 opponent, Joe Biden was reportedly one of the  Obama administration officials who may have asked intelligence officials to reveal hidden names of Americans involved in intelligence reports in December 2016 and January 2017.

One of the hidden names in those intelligence reports was Michael Flynn, former national security adviser for Trump, who was observed talking to the Russian ambassador after Trump had won the presidency but had not yet been inaugurated. The talks with the Russian ambassador were regarding sanctions levied on Russia by the Obama administration.  As a result of  Flynn misrepresenting those conversations, he eventually plead guilty to lying to the F.B.I back in 2017.

Now the Justice Department under William P. Barr is arguing that wasn’t actually a crime.

According to an article published by The New York Times on Thursday, among the 120 tweets and retweets Trump made on Mother’s Day, was an article by a conservative writer.  The article alleging that following a meeting in January 2017, the month Trump took office, former FBI director James Comey, having decided to remain loyal to Obama, withheld information from Trump. 

“it was OBAMAGATE,” Trump wrote.

“The biggest political crime in American history, by far!” Trump wrote, when he retweeted a conservative talk show host’s accusation that Obama “used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration.”

The host provided no evidence to back his claims.

Unmasking requests reveal the identities of Americans which surface during monitored communications by our intelligence agencies on foreign targets.  Their identities are masked to protect their privacy.  Reportedly, unmasking requests, which allow government officials to better understand what they are reading are fairly common,  but sharing the names of who requested the unmasking is rare, according to the WP article.

The big question on the Republican side is whether Biden somehow played a role in getting the F.B.I to investigate one of Trump’s allies.   According to the Post there is no evidence that that is the case.

“It is, from my standpoint, pretty curious that the vice president of the United States would be requesting unmasking in this case of General Flynn eight days before he left office,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair of the Homeland Security Committee and one of the senators who released the names, said Wednesday night on Fox News.

Joe Biden’s campaign called this a diversion from the COVID-19 situation and claim that he did nothing wrong in requesting the unmasking. 

“The documents simply indicate the breadth and depth of concern across the American government, including among career officials, over intelligence reports of Michael Flynn’s attempts to undermine ongoing American national security policy through discussions with Russian officials or other foreign representatives,” his campaign said in a statement.

“Importantly, none of these individuals could have known Flynn’s identity beforehand,” the statement said. “These documents have absolutely nothing to do with the — any FBI investigation, and they confirm that all normal procedures were followed. Any suggestion otherwise is flat-out a lie.”