“President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department regularly surveilled retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s financial records and transactions beginning in December 2015 and well into 2017, before, during and after when he served at the White House as President Donald Trump’s National Security Director, a former senior Treasury Department official, and veteran of the intelligence community, told the Star Newspapers.
(…) In March 2017, she filed a formal whistleblower complaint with Acting Treasury Inspector General Richard K. Delmar, who continues in that office today, she said. Beyond Delmar acknowledging receipt of the complaint, the inspector general never followed up on the matter.
(…) This surveillance program was run out of Treasury’s Office of Intelligence Analysis, which was then under the leadership of S. Leslie Ireland. Ireland came to OIA in 2010 after a long tenure at the Central Intelligence Agency and a one-year stint as Obama’s daily in-person intelligence briefer.
The whistleblower said Treasury should never have been part of the unmasking of Flynn, because its surveillance operation was off-the-books. That is to say, the Justice Department never gave the required approval to the Treasury program, and so there were no guidelines, approvals nor reports that would be associated with a DOJ-sanctioned domestic surveillance operation.
“Accessing this information without approved and signed attorney general guidelines would violate U.S. persons constitutional rights and civil liberties,” she said.
By March 2016, the whistleblower said she and a colleague, who was detailed to Treasury from the intelligence community, became convinced that the surveillance of Flynn was not tied to legitimate criminal or national security concerns, but was straight-up political surveillance among other illegal activity occurring at Treasury.
“When I showed it to her, what she said, ‘Oh, sh%t!’ and I knew right then and there that I was right – this was some shady stuff,” the whistleblower said.
“It wasn’t just him,” the whistleblower said. “They were targeting other U.S. citizens, as well.”
Only two names are listed in the whistleblower’s official paperwork, so the others must remain sealed, she said. The second name is Paul J. Manafort Jr., the one-time chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The other names include: Members of Congress, the most senior staffers on the 2016 Trump campaign and members of Trump’s family, she said.
“Another thing they would do is take targeted names from a certain database – I cannot name, but you can guess – and they were going over to an unclassified database and they were running those names in the unclassified database,” she said.
This ruse was to get around using classified resources to surveil Americans, she said. Once the Treasury personnel had enough information about someone they were targeting from the black box, they would go to the white box for faster and more informed search.
Conservative Treehouse has more to say about this whistleblower complaint:
“This whistleblower complaint simply makes sense.
We know Jack Lew was moved from President Obama’s White House to the position of Treasury Secretary specifically because the IRS targeting became public. As Treasury Secretary, Mr. Lew was in a position to keep damaging information from surfacing.
Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:
The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)
Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there’s a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in early spring 2012.
The IRS scandal was never really about the IRS, it was always about the DOJ asking the IRS for the database of information. That is why it was transparently a conflict when the same DOJ was tasked with investigating the DOJ/IRS scandal.
Additionally, Obama sent his chief-of-staff Jack Lew to become Treasury Secretary; effectively placing an ally to oversee/cover-up any issues. As Treasury Secretary Lew did just that.[…] The timeline reflects a few months after realizing the “Secret Research Project” was now worthless (June 2012), they focused more deliberately on a smaller network within the intelligence apparatus and began weaponizing the FBI/NSA database.
Sometime around the summer of 2012 the Obama administration shifted from direct searches of the Treasury IRS files, to using contractor access to the NSA database as a way to conduct political surveillance and export search results without any minimization.
The process of exploiting the NSA database continued for years until March 2016 when a severe uptick in activity, coinciding with candidate Donald Trump becoming the presumptive GOP nominee, flagged the NSA database auditor.
Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.
The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.
While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016
It just makes sense the exported contractor results from database access would then transfer to non-classified (Treasury) searches on other networks for more details. That process is exactly what the Treasury whistleblower is outlining.
Here’s the full background story.