Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Who Spied on Trump?

One of the most closely-held secrets in the intelligence community – possibly even at the Cosmic Clearance level – is how U.S. intelligence agencies get away with spying domestically on its own citizens. Anyone who has worked in a classified setting learns that spying against American citizens is one of the cardinal laws that no one is supposed to violate. The law is called the Posse Comitatus law of 1878.

“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

While the law does not mention the Navy or Marines, both have regulations that put them under the posse comitatus law. The law is also believed to govern intelligence agencies – with the exception of the FBI, whose job it is to investigate crime in the U.S. in strict accord with the U.S. Constitution, defending all the Constitutional rights of a U.S. citizen. Therefore, it falls into the purview of the FBI alone to conduct wiretaps, and only with strict court approval.


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