Yes, Chief of Staff John Kelly set up a meeting between top intelligence officials and Congressional and Senate leaders, and, yes, it took place on Thursday as planned, and, yes, Democrats got to sit in, but, no, there was no document production. As committee members had feared, they were simply “briefed” verbally in the room without being able to set their eyes on any actual evidence. They’ve been trying to see certain documents relating to “human intelligence” (spying) and the origins of the FBI investigation, but the DOJ just will not let them, even though they have the required security clearance. Talk about stonewalling; this stone wall is higher and less penetrable than any wall we might someday construct at our southern border. Maybe Obama didn’t know how to draw a red line, but the intel community sure does.
Just as President Reagan famously said to Mr. Gorbachev, “tear down this wall,” President Trump needs to make the same demand to the intelligence community about the figurative wall it has built around itself. If those documents –- unredacted –- are to see the light of day in our lifetimes, Congress will just have to start impeachment proceedings against Sessions and Rosenstein. Do it! And Trump may have no choice but to use his authority to declassify the documents. Democrats will scream that he’s interfering with an investigation, but the President is not the one withholding evidence and obstructing justice here –- it’s the DOJ. We can’t trust them; we’ve already seen enough examples of their stonewalling, slow-walking, and massive redacting that turned out not to have been done to safeguard national security but to cover their own tracks. They’re such masters at self-protection in the face of legal challenge, you’d think they’d taken a course taught by Hillary Clinton. Maybe some of them did learn at her feet.
True to form, right after the meeting, Rep. Adam “Shifty” Schiff rushed to the cameras (leaving a slime trail) and said, “Nothing we heard today has changed our view, that there is nothing to support any allegation that the FBI, or any intelligence agency, placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols."
Well, of course there isn’t! The Congressional committees are getting only what the DOJ chooses to tell them. Schiff and the rest are also using semantics to claim the word “spy” means something other than what we all know a spy to be. Also, what, pray tell, is meant by “appropriate”? That weasel word can provide cover for a multitude of what we would consider sins. Another weasel word in this context is “in”; no, we don’t have evidence (so far) of FBI spies “in” Trump’s campaign headquarters, but there definitely were spies “around” campaign staffers in remote locations. Oh, and even the word “placed”; maybe the spy already happened to be where they needed one, or some outside helper did the actual placing.
See, when you’re dealing with weasels, you have to get inside the mind of one. Remember when we had to parse every word uttered by then-President Bill Clinton? Those were the days.
Former CIA chief and noted liar James Clapper was one who objected to Trump’s use of the indelicate word “spy.” “I took aversion to the word spy,” the former head of our chief spying agency said on Thursday. “It was the most benign version of information gathering. The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign.” James Clapper taking aversion to the word “spy” is like chef Jacques Pepin taking aversion to the word “food.”
Besides, I don’t see anything benign about what the government was and is doing to associates of the Trump campaign. And, as many are now pointing out, if Clapper and Comey were so concerned about Russians trying to infiltrate, whey didn’t they “information-gather” (spy) on Hillary’s campaign as well, and why didn’t they brief Trump? Significantly, they discussed warning him but decided not to.
Lastly, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) expressed outrage that John Kelly and President Trump’s lawyer Emmet Flood were in this meeting, when they actually weren’t. They just stopped by before the meeting to pass along brief remarks from the President about his desire for transparency. This took about 90 seconds, and then they left. The President’s outstanding press secretary has since issued a statement making this clear.
It seems Kelly and Flood needn’t have bothered stopping by. The remarks about transparency didn’t take.