March 14, 2017
“President Trump’s assertion that his phones at Trump Tower were tapped last year has been treated as hilarious—and in some circles as beyond contempt,” begins Dennis Kucinich in his recent column for Fox News.
“But I can vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur, regardless of whether it is officially approved. I was wiretapped in 2011 after taking a phone call in my congressional office from a foreign leader.”
The former Democratic congressman went on to note that a secret recording of that very phone call was revealed to him a “full two years” after he left office. Worse, he found out about it through 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,” the Ohio Democrat recalled, adding:
When I met them at a Chinese restaurant in Washington, they played back audio of a call I had taken in my D.C. congressional office four years earlier.
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.
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…