Eavesdropping on Michael Flynn
Did U.S. spooks have a court order to listen to
his conversations? Why?
14, 2017 "Information
House spokesman said Monday that President Trump
is “evaluating the situation” regarding national
security adviser Michael Flynn over his
pre-inaugural contacts with Russian officials.
(See the editorial
nearby.) While the President is at it, how
about asking if the spooks listening to Mr.
Flynn obeyed the law?
Flynn is a retired general who ran the Defense
Intelligence Agency, so surely he knew that his
Dec. 29 call to Russian ambassador Sergey
Kislyak would be subject to electronic
surveillance. U.S. intelligence services
routinely get orders from the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor
foreign officials. But under U.S. law, when they
get those orders they are supposed to use
“minimization” procedures that don’t let them
listen to the communications of Americans who
may be caught in such eavesdropping. That is,
they are supposed to protect the identity and
speech of innocent Americans. Yet the Washington
Post, which broke the story, says it spoke to
multiple U.S. officials claiming to know what
Mr. Flynn said on that call.
questions someone in the White House should ask
the National Security Agency is why it didn’t
use minimization procedures to protect Mr.
Flynn? Or did it also have a court order to
listen to Mr. Flynn, and how did it justify that
Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance,
then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this
point so should the American public. Maybe
there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump
White House needs to know what’s going on with
Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.
The views expressed in this article are solely
those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Information Clearing