Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey was on This Week with Martha Raddatz. Apparently Raddatz is no longer blowing snot over Hillary’s loss and is off disability and back to work. The interview is pretty good because Mukasey is one sharp guy and he outs Adam Schiff as acknowledging that Trump’s campaign was under surveillance.
RADDATZ: We want to try to put this all together now with Michael Mukasey. He was former U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush and knows the federal wiretap laws and the FISA courts inside and out from his time fighting terrorist threats. But now we have the president himself saying he was the target of surveillance ordered up by his predecessor.
Thanks for joining us, Mr. Mukasey. It’s good to see you.
Your reaction to the tweets and the explanation you just heard from the White House?
MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I don’t do tweets.
RADDATZ: You heard about them.
MUKASEY: Yeah, I hear about them, but I don’t do tweets and for good reason. It’s not the’ ideal medium in which to get an idea across.
This is the difference between being correct and being right. I think the president was not correct certainly in saying that President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney — of the Justice Department through the FISA court.
RADDATZ: And what do you base that on?
MUKASEY: I base that on news reports that you mentioned in the last spot. I also base it on kind of inadvertent blurting out by Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence agents at the FBI who were involved in this. Now, what that means is this is part not of a criminal investigation, but of an intelligence gathering investigation.
The FBI has got two functions. They investigate crimes and they gather intelligence. They started gathering intelligence in ’08 based on guidelines that we put in place.
They tried to get — apparently tried to get a wiretap based on their criminal investigation function in June. That was turned down. They then tried to get, and got, an order permitting them to conduct electronic surveillance in October. This is October of 2016.
So that’s when, apparently, that’s when…
Stop the tape. I had to find out what Mukasey was talking about and here it is. Schiff is sniveling about the FBI not giving Congress all its information and specifically not their counterintelligence investigations. Good catch, Mr. Mukasey.
RADDATZ: And again you’re basing this on news reports as well.
MUKASEY: And on, and on, Adam Schiff.
RADDATZ: And on Adam Schiff. If a wiretap did exist, it would have to have been approved by a FISA court based on real evidence. So, if there was a wiretap, does that mean there were suspicious things going on between the Trump administration and the Russians?
MUKASEY: It means there were some basis to believe that somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians, for whatever purpose, not necessarily the election, but for some purpose.
And the FBI keeps track of people who act as agents of foreign governments. They keep track of people who act as agents of the Chinese, the Russians, the Israelis, everybody.
RADDATZ: Some of the evidence may have been gleaned from classified means. Is there any way to verify these claims in the press or Trump’s claims so the American people can really understand what’s going on here?
MUKASEY: The only way to verify, whether there was a — whether there was electronic surveillance is to disclose the warrant and to disclose the fruits of it. And that should not be done even in a political storm as hot as this one.
RADDATZ: Given all these accusations, and you’re aware of the tweets that President Trump put out. And they were pretty definitive. Shouldn’t they want a special inquiry, a special prosecutor, an independent prosecutor to look into this?
MUKASEY: No. There’s nothing to prosecute. The only crime I that have heard about or seen of that was committed was committed by the Russians when they hacked the DNC. They hacked John Podesta, and they tried to hack the Republican National Committee. That’s the only crime that I’m aware of.
Now, the question is of course is why was it committed? Some people say it was committed to promote the election of Donald Trump. I happen to think that is ridiculous. Because at the time that it had happened, Donald Trump looked like a sure loser. And you’d have to believe that Vladimir Putin was an idiot trying to back a sure loser. I think much more likely he was trying to intimidate a sure winner, Secretary Clinton.
The the last section I agree and disagree with Mukasey. There has been no crime alleged so calls for a special prosecutor are silly. Ditto, I believe, and I’ve posted on this several times, that Russian meddling was aimed at the DNC and Podesta because they thought Hillary was going to win and they wanted to rough her up a bit before she was sworn in. Where I disagree with Mukasey is on revealing the FISA warrant. The Trump administration should not only make public the warrant but they should make public the product of the warrant. That is the only way to put this to rest.