New York Times: Trump Wiretaps In January Report Did Not Need Warrants

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

A January 19 New York Times report on wiretap investigations involving the Trump team and Russian officials stemmed from intercepts picked up overseas that did not require any warrants.

New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd differentiated the paper’s claims from those of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who said that warrants were never obtained to wiretap Trump or his associates.

“I reached out to editors in the Washington bureau to seek their help in clarifying the difference between Clapper’s — and The Times’s — assertions that no warrants had been issued, and the reference to wiretapping in the January story,” Spayd wrote.

“Elisabeth Bumiller, the bureau chief, said the January story was referring to information picked up from wiretaps and other intelligence collected overseas, a process that requires no warrants.”

This information goes along with claims from former NSA whistleblower Bill Binney that a FISA warrant would not have been necessary to record Trump and his associates. Additionally, the top eight lawmakers who regularly receive intelligence briefings from the federal agencies were not made aware of any wiretapping of the Trump team at the time the intercepts occurred.

A FISA court reportedly rejected a request for a warrant to monitor Trump’s group last June, but the court later allegedly granted a warrant in October after the DOJ narrowly tailored the application to omit Trump. The House Select Intelligence Committee will have an open hearing March 20 to discuss the Trump probe with invited witnesses that include FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan.

Follow Kerry on Twitter