Context: the peaceful transfer of power


By Daniel Gardner - Contributing Columnist



Let’s put some things into context. Would it bother you if a sitting president of the United States told the president of Russia he would have more flexibility to work deals with Putin after the election?

Would it bother you if the president monitored private phone calls between the president of Israel and U.S. lawmakers? Would it bother you if the administration wire tapped respected journalists or even the Associated Press?

Would it bother you if the secretary of state sent and received tens of thousands of emails, many of which were declared to be classified and highly sensitive by the director of the FBI, via an unsecured server?

Would it bother you if the same secretary of state made at least five statements under oath before a congressional committee, and the director of the FBI stated under oath before a congressional committee that those five statements were not true?

How bothered would you be? Would you call for resignations?

With that context in mind, how outraged would you be if a senior senator briefly met the Russian ambassador in a public venue, and later met the same ambassador in his own office with a couple of aides present? I mean, in comparison with your outrage over activities listed above, how much outrage would you express?

Did Donald Trump or anyone associated with his campaign conspire with the Russians? If so, what did they conspire to do? To steal the election? Did the Russians steal the election? We know the Russians have tried to interfere with our national elections at least since the 1960s. Have the Russians ever succeeded in swinging an American election one way or another?

Did someone in the previous administration, including the Department of Justice and the National Security Agency, petition Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor anyone or any server associated with Trump or his campaign?

The New York Times and other news sources reported the previous president changed longstanding rules increasing ways and means the NSA could share globally intercepted personal communication with the government’s 16 intelligence agencies without applying privacy protections.

The NSA gathers information from satellite transmissions, phone calls, and emails that cross foreign and domestic network switches. The rule changes were signed into law days before Trump’s inauguration, and they essentially allow staff in the 16 intelligent agencies to access private communication collected by the NSA. Does that bother you?

Democrats and Washington media are all a dither about communication between anyone associated with President Trump’s campaign and Russia. Why? What conspiracies are they imagining?

President Trump tweeted last Saturday morning: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” “How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

I discussed these tweets via social media with a person unknown to me who claimed to be a lawyer. He said Trump could be charged and prosecuted for these statements because presidents are held to higher standards than other folks. Really?

Hopefully soon someone will answer all … or maybe some of these allegations. So much for the peaceful transfer of power in our nation’s capital.

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By Daniel Gardner

Contributing Columnist

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. He can be reached at PJandMe2@hotmail.com.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. He can be reached at PJandMe2@hotmail.com.

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