Townhall has;"Stunner": Administration Spied On Congress Too
Carol Platt Liebau | May 16, 2013
Update: A member of Congressman Nunes' staff reached out to clarify that the DOJ seized phone records, not from the cloakroom itself, but from the Capitol. Even so, it is problematic from a separation of powers standpoint for the Executive branch to be monitoring the activities of a co-equal branch of government -- which, to the extent it's hoping to trace conversations between the press and Members of Congress, is exactly what it's doing.
Yesterday, on his radio show, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Congressman Devin Nunes -- who reported that as part of its probe into the AP, the Obama administration had actually wiretapped the Congressional cloak room.
It's not entirely clear to me whether Congressman Nunes means that the telephone in the Cloak Room was one of the numbers for which the DOJ sought a subpoena in the AP matter and wiretapped, or whether the DOJ subpoenaed Cloak Room phone records (this latter explanation seems most likely). But in a broad sense, I'm not sure the distinction really matters.
The fact is that The White House knowingly sought and obtained confidential information from a place where Congressmen have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That constitutes a serious separation of powers issue, as the President has no business seeking or obtaining confidential information pertaining to the inner workings of a co-equal branch of government conducting its business. And whether it was simply phone records of calls made or received or the actual recording of calls, it is difficult to fathom how the administration could have gathered the kind of information it was seeking without significant intrusion and gathering of inside knowledge of the workings of Congress.
Now the question has to be whether any of the information thus garnered was used (or rather, misused) for political purposes. With the crew in this administration, anyone care to lay any bets?
Thank You Townhall and Ms Platt-Liebau.