Say what you will about former Democratic congressman and uber-leftist Dennis Kucinich he is at least consistent about his views on wiretapping, so much so that he is actually supporting Republican President Donald Trump.
In contrast to Nancy Pelosi, who once said of wiretapping under Obama that “people don’t mind giving up some rights in exchange for safety,” Kucinich, in a–ye gods–column for Fox News refuses to split hairs.
Addressing the “contempt” that has greeted the President’s “assertion that his phones at Trump tower were tapped last year,” Kucinich has defended the claim based on his own experiences:
… “I can vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur…I was wiretapped in 2011 after taking a phone call in my congressional office from a foreign leader.”
He only learned about this two years later when a secret recording of the conversation was revealed to him by a paper he probably doesn’t read for ideological reasons: The Washington Times.
“The newspaper’s investigative reporters called me, saying they had obtained a tape of a sensitive telephone conversation that they wanted me to verify,” he said.
Meeting with the reporters, Kucinich, upon hearing the recording quickly verified it. And the context under which it was recorded strongly hints that the Obama administration might have been behind it, or at the very least, an intelligence agency commanded by the administration.
According to Kucinich, “The call had been from Saif el-Islam Qaddafi, a high-ranking official in Libya’s government and a son of the country’s ruler, Moammar Qaddafi.
At the time I was leading efforts in the House to challenge the Obama administration’s war against Libya. The Qaddafi government reached out to me because its appeals to the White House and the State Department to forestall the escalating aggression had gone unanswered.”
Moreover, Kucinich’s conversation with Qaddafi was not breaking the law but well within the Constitutional parameters of his congressional duties:
“Before taking the call, I checked with the House’s general counsel to ensure that such a discussion by a member of Congress with a foreign power was permitted by law.
I was assured that under the Constitution a lawmaker had a fundamental duty to ask questions and gather information—activity expressly protected by the Article I clauses covering separation of powers and congressional speech and debate. I could and did ask questions of the younger Mr. Qaddafi.”
The former congressman from Ohio dismisses the possibility that the recording, which the reporters wouldn’t say who gave it to them nor did he ask, came from a foreign intelligence service:
“…which foreign intelligence service conceivably could have been interested in my phone call, had the technology to intercept it, and then wanted to leak it to the newspaper?”
Instead, based on the lack of response from American intelligence agencies he requested information from, Kucinich believes their silence five years later speaks volumes:
“I believe the tape was made by an American intelligence agency and then leaked to the Times for political reasons. If so, this episode represented a gross violation of the separation of powers.”
Thus, to those who scoff at Trump’s assertion his Towers were bugged by American intelligence agencies under Obama, Kucinich offers his own example in a refreshingly bi-partisan fashion.