Striking parallels emerged Friday between the cases of former U.S. President Donald Trump and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who appear to have been the victims of electronic eavesdropping by political opponents.
In the Netanyahu case, Israelis have learned over the past few days that law enforcement authorities used spyware to hack his cell phone and those of his associates, doing so without apparent legal authority to find evidence to use against him — or to turn potential witnesses against him. In addition to devoting massive police resources to searching for dirt on Netanyahu, Israeli authorities also leaked stories — many later discredited — to the press as Netanyahu faced a series of tough elections.
In the Trump case, Special Counsel John Durham filed a motion Friday in the prosecution of a former Hillary Clinton lawyer that suggested Clinton associates paid a contractor to spy on Trump and his associates, during the 2016 campaign and once Trump became president. Their goal was to dig up dirt on Trump and to support the Russia “collusion” conspiracy theory, which turned out to be false but crippled Trump’s presidency and led indirectly to a failed impeachment effort in 2019.