Amid former President Donald Trump’s claims that the FBI could have used its raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate to plant listening devices, one commentator who has written extensively about the FBI said it could have been done with no one being the wiser.
Ronald Kessler, who has written “The Secrets of the FBI” and “In the President’s Secret Service” offered his thoughts on how the FBI could have bugged Mar-a-Lago in an Op-Ed for the Daily Mail.
Kessler does not allege in his piece that the FBI did bug the estate, only how they might have done it.
Kessler noted amid Trump’s complaints about possibly being bugged “if the FBI had done so, it is highly unlikely anyone would know it.”
In this world of specialization, he noted, “the FBI uses Tactical Operations (TacOps), a super-secret unit of break-in artists who conduct court-authorized burglaries in homes, offices and even embassies to install hidden microphones and video cameras and to snoop into computers.”
“When conducting covert entries, TacOps tranquilizes guard dogs and may stage fake traffic accidents or utility breakdowns to waylay occupants and security personnel,” Kessler wrote, adding that “to conceal agents as they defeat locks and alarm systems, the unit creates false fronts to houses and fake bushes to hide them.”
Kessler notes that Louis E. Grever, who was the FBI’s executive assistant for the science and technology branch, gave Kessler inside information for his book on the FBI.
Jesse Watters: Trump Should Sweep Home for Bugs After Raid https://t.co/inYtSVSbTM
— Dogboy12 (@rprtiz1242) August 20, 2022
In describing an FBI listening device, Kessler noted its size.
“The device is a circuit board the size of a postage stamp and the thickness of two stacked quarters,” he said, adding that the device was large compared to others.
He wrote that Garver explained how the device works.
“It’s a transmitter and a stereo recorder,” he quoted Garver as saying. “It records for about 24 hours, and it will transmit to a local receiver in encrypted form. Lots of times the transmit function would not be enabled. Why transmit when it’s just another thing that could potentially expose the penetration?”
Grever said the bug could fit in the rechargeable battery of a cell phone. The FBI could also program a cell phone to record and transmit what is said near it.
Although the FBI used a warrant to enter Mar-a-Lago, sometimes it needs to enter a location without anyone knowing.
“We give people opportunities to travel and do exotic things,” Grever said. “You’ve won the lottery! You’ve won a trip, a free dinner! Congratulations, we picked your business card out of a bucket. That wasn’t luck. That was us, trying to present an opportunity.”
One issue the FBI’s TacOps agents face is neutralizing dogs. That takes research and the help of a skilled veterinarian.
“We will provide the vet with pictures and a description of the dog in question,” Grever is quoted as saying. “He’ll look at their size and age, and he will tell us the potion to mix for them. We carry a kit with all of the narcotics and the sedatives.”
“The point is certainly not to kill the dog because that poses a risk of being found out,” Grever said, adding that the FBI will shoot the dog with a stimulant to wake it up when a search is over.
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