Fake News v. The Law

No news organization has reported that President Barack Obama had Trump’s “wires tapped,” as Trump claimed in a Saturday morning tweet to have “just found out.”  Communicating with his 26 million followers, Trump stated as a categorical fact that Obama ordered the tapping of phones at Trump Tower before the 2016 election.  He provided no evidence to support his incendiary claim.

This past Saturday (03/04), President Trump accused Former President Obama of “tapping” his phones in Trump Tower in the month before the election.  Democrats, former White House officials, the press core, and even some Republicans strongly refute the claim.  The claim has no substance and encouraged Kevin Lewis, Spokesperson for Obama to issue the following statement:

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.  As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.  Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Trump’s tweets rocked the American political world and the general public.  After all, it appears the President attempted to slaughter his respected predecessor’s character with an unlawful accusation unheard of before.  However, Trump’s claims remind me of broader issue at hand – the right to privacy, in this case, with regards to “surveillance” under federal legislation.

In the aftermath, James Comey (F.B.I director), requested that the Justice Department formally decline Trump’s assertion.  Ultimately, anybody who understands the rules and laws of the American Government – particularly that of the presidency – will know that it is legally impossible for President Obama to order a “wiretap” of Trump Tower.  President Obama did not abuse the power of his office, but some people will not look past the politics involved and are calling for a formal investigation.  President Trump’s claims play into the fears of a divided American public.  Most Americans who will not look themselves, will not know that only a federal judge may order a “tap” of a citizens’ communications.  Therefore, to do so is outwith the powers of the executive office.
The public is divided evenly over the Patriot Act, with 39% saying it is a necessary tool and 38% believing it goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties.  The remaining 23% responded, “don’t know.”  However, it is difficult to understand exactly how this particular issue can generate such indecisiveness.  Either way, this student is relying on the courts and the Justice Department to formally condemn President Trump’s accusations and his attempt to discredit his predecessor, not for politics, but in legal terms.  Further, we should all stop trying to shout the loudest about how patriotic we are, and, instead, begin to form opinions about the real Constitutional issues at hand.  As it stands, fake news silences the real political debate in this country.


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