No matter what IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr think about the FBI's handling of the “Trump/Russia” investigation, Democrats in Congress and “insider” bureaucrats –- including, it seems, Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray –- circled their wagons a long time ago.
Lack of evidence against Trump won’t have anything to do with whether or not Congress hops off the impeachment train. No matter what they say publicly, it appears they’re strapped in for the ride. As Catherine Herridge reported on Tuesday, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler was pushing for their "official" impeachment probe weeks before special counsel Robert Mueller finished his report –- which, of course, concluded there was no case for Trump/Russia “collusion” (conspiracy) --- and months before he went on CNN and announced a “formal” impeachment investigation. Nadler said his timetable is to vote up or down on impeachment by the end of this year.
Herridge reports that according to newly obtained court records, the committee laid the foundation for impeachment proceedings against President Trump all the way back in March. “On March 4, 2019,” one document reads, “the Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into ‘threats to the rule of law,’ encompassing alleged obstruction of justice...one critical purpose of the Committee’s investigation is to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President.”
This is the same court filing in which Democrats asked for an expedited ruling on a subpoena for the former White House Mueller. (Of course, we all know how dismally that turned out.)
So, this filing occurred on March 4. And supposedly congressional leaders are working together on the impeachment issue, having signed various “memoranda of understanding” amongst themselves. But in mid-March, Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post that she was against impeachment unless there was compelling and overwhelming EVIDENCE. (Emphasis mine.) She said that doing otherwise would divide Americans.
So, which is it, Democrats? I guess you’re covering all your bases, stealthily moving into position for impeachment if that’s what you decide to do, while making a public show of actually caring whether or not Americans might be divided. Since when haven’t you wanted to divide Americans? You divide Americans every chance you get. Anyway, that sure is what it looks like to me.
Now, to Christopher Wray. According to Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations, it’s still like pulling teeth for Republican lawmakers and Trump administration investigators to get certain tightly guarded classified documents from the FBI and other intel agencies. These have to do with the origins of, and justification for, the FBI investigation of alleged Trump/Russia conspiracy. Sperry has compiled an inventory of these documents from information provided by “sources familiar with the material” (at least somebody is).
It is a treasure trove of amazing things, many of them having to do directly with John Brennan. For example –- and I would think this one is major –- there are agendas for former CIA chief John Brennan’s secret interagency task force meetings on alleged Trump-Russia collusion in spring, summer and fall of 2016. (Let that sink in: Brennan was running a “secret interagency task force” throughout 2016 to investigate a presidential candidate.) Envelopes containing these agendas were sent to national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Then there’s this: a classified document that Brennan hand-delivered to Obama in a sealed envelope; this contained information from someone Brennan described as “a critical informant from someone close to Putin” but who’s thought to just be one of Christopher Steele’s sources from his debunked “dossier.” This was dated August 2016. Still think Obama didn’t know what they were working on?
Then there’s an email exchange from December 2016 between Brennan and Comey, in which Brennan argues for the inclusion of material from the Steele “dossier” in early drafts of the task force’s January 2017 intelligence assessment, which furthered the narrative (with no evidence) that Vladimir Putin had personally ordered the hacking of Hillary’s emails to damage her chances against Trump.
There are numerous confidential source reports (“1023’s”), which summarize briefings between agents and assets/informants such as Steele, Russian mobster Felix Sater, Stefan Halper and Azra Turk. These last two are the ones who appear to have lured Trump campaign associates George Papadopoulos and Carter Page overseas, baited them with leading questions about Trump and Russia, and secretly recorded them. Also, there are said to be transcripts of recordings in which Papadopoulos “denies any illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.” Papadopoulos himself has said he told Halper this, but these prosecutors have no qualms about squirreling away exculpatory evidence.
Here’s an important one: queries that Susan Rice and then-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, or someone signing Power’s name, made to the National Security Agency between January of 2016 –- yes, that far back –- and January of 2017 to unmask the identities of Trump officials whose conversations were intercepted in recordings of foreign nationals. (Some of these logs are actually being kept under lock and key at an Obama Foundation storage site outside Chicago. Wonder what else is in there?)
In addition, there’s an Obama “interagency memorandum of understanding” signed by the FBI and CIA, that enables outside contractors --- possibly including Fusion GPS --- to gain “improper access” (as a court has ruled) to raw FISA data between November of 2015 (again, yes, that far back) to April of 2016. Let that one sink in, especially the “Fusion GPS” part.
The inventory goes on and on; these are just a few highlights. The full list is at the link below, and I highly recommend looking through it and being amazed at how much information is still being withheld from us. SO MUCH went on. The FBI, as led by Chris Wray, is determined that we don’t get to see it.
And, if I understand correctly, Wray doesn’t want BARR to get it. Look, William Barr is the attorney general of the United States; the President has given him the power to declassify everything he sees fit. If Wray won’t immediately turn every bit of this material over to him, and/or to John Durham, who has been charged by the attorney general with investigating the FBI’s activities regarding Trump and Russia, he should be fired.
The congressional investigators who are still trying to get this material are charged by the Constitution with oversight responsibility. If at this point Wray won’t turn the material over to them as well, he should be fired. Enough of this.