The powerful public interest legal firm American Center for Law and Justice is declaring war on the “deep state,” comprised of entrenched bureaucrats who apparently are using their position and power to try to undermine the president.
“First, the Trump transition team was caught up in surveillance conducted by the Obama administration, wrote ACLJ’s chief counsel, Jay Sekulow. “Second someone in the Obama administration unmasked the names of those on the Trump transition team who were caught up in that surveillance. Third, in its final days, the Obama administration changed the rules in order to widely disseminate this information. Fourth, the deep state bureaucracy leaked this information to the media,”
Sekulow said it’s looking more and more “with each passing day” like “an orchestrated conspiracy where the conspirators’ marching orders come from the highest levels.”
The concept of a “deep state” or “shadow government” isn’t unknown. In the United Kingdom the losing political party forms such a chain of command to “shadow” the sitting government and hold it accountable.
That apparently is what is happening now in the United States. Instead of leaving Washington, as most former presidents have done, President Obama has set up a command center in a mansion only a few miles from the White House.
And since President Trump’s inauguration, there has been an almost steady flow of claims against his administration based on leaked information from the intelligence community.
A central figure has been Susan Rice, Obama’s then-national security adviser, who at one point denied knowing about such activities but has admitted intentionally “unmasking” Trump campaign officials swept up in U.S. surveillance.
“Now we know this goes far beyond incidental surveillance. This was spying on political enemies,” Sekulow said.
His organization has gone to court when the federal government has not been responsive to Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the surveillance.
One complaint, filed this week, is against the National Security Agency and the nation’s director of national intelligence, contending they failed to respond within the allowed time limit.
ACLJ is seeking details of the process through which the government’s rules were changed to allow “dissemination of raw signals intelligence information.”
Obama DNI James Clapper executed those procedures last December, and ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch did in January, only about six weeks before Obama’s term ended.
The damage from the Obama operatives’ actions already has been costly, Sekulow wrote.
“While opponents of President Trump have become emboldened in the wake of General Flynn’s resignation as the National Security Adviser, and while the media has reveled in a frenzy of self-righteous outrage that conceals its glee, it is important to observe that his resignation was sparked by leaked information coming from unelected bureaucrats within our nation’s intelligence apparatus, seemingly provoked by their deep distaste for the new administration. Even more ominously, some of these bureaucrats are perhaps motivated by their loyalties to the Obama administration,” Sekulow wrote earlier.
On Thursday, he said his plan is to “shed light on the motivations behind the abuse of the intelligence gathering power and the coordinated leaking of classified information.”
“Today, we are sending our FOIA request to the National Security Agency (NSA). If they do not respond, we’ll once again go back to federal court. Rice’s conduct is unprecedented. We will do everything in our power get to the bottom of what she actually did, why she did what she did, and who else was a part of the conspiracy. While the purely political nature of the motive seems obvious, the ACLJ is after the evidence that will prove it,” he said.
“Deep state operatives consistently leak selective information – intelligence information, classified information, information that jeopardizes U.S. intelligence methods, sources, and even the very integrity and reputation of the U.S. intelligence community – all for purely political purposes. I understand that, in Washington, leaking is certainly not new. But it has never happened at such an alarming rate and with a root system embedded deep and wide throughout the bureaucracy – the shadow government,” he said.
Sekulow cited admissions by Obama Department of Defense Assistant Secretary Evelyn Farkas that she “implored” others in the Obama administration “to obtain and spread intelligence information on the incoming Trump administration.”
He said the ACLJ is also requesting all records of communications with her, to “determine who else participated in the intelligence abuse and leaking scandal.”
It “very well may be the biggest political scandal in modern American history,” he said.